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Author Topic: UA-5 as A/D  (Read 1479 times)

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Offline greenone

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UA-5 as A/D
« on: April 23, 2003, 11:50:38 AM »
Had a private email convo with ducati last week and I just had my memory jogged by looking at all the UA-5 posts on here...has anyone ever run a UA-5 as an A/D *only*? I currently don't own an A/D but when my DAT finally kicks the bucket and I move to laptop/HD recording, I figure an un-modded UA-5 could be part of the rig as both an A/D that outputs 24/96 (my current "soundcard" is a U2A, which only does 16/48, and the analog ins are a) two 1/4" monos and b) noisy, from all accounts). Thoughts? Experiences? Comp tapes? ;D

--Dave
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DaryanLenz

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Re:UA-5 as A/D
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2003, 12:02:28 PM »
The a/d in the ua-5 is very much like that of the tascam da-p1, good, but not great!  The ua-5 doesn't really shine until you get it modded and use the pre's, that is where the bang for the buck concept about this unit comes into play.  As an a/d, I think there are some better solutions out there, but probably not in the pricerange!

Daryan

Offline greenone

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Re:UA-5 as A/D
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2003, 12:13:23 PM »
As an a/d, I think there are some better solutions out there, but probably not in the pricerange!

That's what I was thinking...used ADC-20's, for example, are real cheap these days, but they don't do 24/96 or USB so I'd need to buy a separate card to go into a laptop, which brings it up into the unmodded UA-5 price range or even higher...

--Dave
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archive.org admin - happy to upload tracked material to the LMA

DaryanLenz

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Re:UA-5 as A/D
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2003, 01:54:29 PM »
I think the adc-20 would be much better for 16/44 recording.  I am not so sure about 24/96, I am just starting to take a look at this myself...I figure if I have the mini-me, I might as well hear it how it is supposed to be heard!  ADC-20's are dirt cheap when they pop up, so you really wouldn't lose a whole lot on the 200 or so investment.  That said, if it were me, and I had a V2 like you do, I would look into an sbm maybe, or look at some of the higher end audio cards that have high quality a/d's...run xlr right into the a/d of the card.  Some of the higher end ones have pretty good specs, but having never used them, I wouldn't know where to tell you to start with that!  Check out the laptop taper's forum, they probably know some more about this type of recording.  

Good luck Dave, glad to see you active here!
Oh yeah, the BT list cracks me up on a regular basis these days...makes me remember the good ole days when people actually had something to say!  If you ever wanna send me a copy of that Towson, MD show from 1998 ;)

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Offline greenone

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Re:UA-5 as A/D
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2003, 02:04:41 PM »
That said, if it were me, and I had a V2 like you do, I would look into an sbm maybe, or look at some of the higher end audio cards that have high quality a/d's...run xlr right into the a/d of the card.  Some of the higher end ones have pretty good specs, but having never used them, I wouldn't know where to tell you to start with that!

Yeah...but with a V2 and a modSBM-1, I'd be getting closer and closer to the price point of the V3, which is the next logical step in the progression (provided I like the sound of what I have, of course). Even though I likely won't get back anywhere near what I paid for the V2 if I choose to sell it, it's still something to keep in mind...though it's not like I'm in this for the money. ;D

Oh yeah, the BT list cracks me up on a regular basis these days...makes me remember the good ole days when people actually had something to say!  If you ever wanna send me a copy of that Towson, MD show from 1998 ;)

The show's incomplete, unfortunately... :-[ looking for an upgrade myself. The list...geh. Catpiss took some of the riffraff away but it's dead now. Still, I'd rather have a dead list than one with pissfights all over the place. :P

--Dave
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archive.org admin - happy to upload tracked material to the LMA

DaryanLenz

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Re:UA-5 as A/D
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2003, 02:34:16 PM »
If we were in this for the money, it would be a really, really bad investment.  There were two tapers there that night.  Paul Kemmes and his old MS907? rig, and some dude with the band running those beyers who I think was taking pictures or something for the band.  I had seen him a couple times that summer, I believe at Nissan and another HORDE show, and he always had a pass.  Other than that, the venue were real dicks, and one tap[er left and went to see Bela down the road because of it.  Not a great show either way, I just happened to be there!  Down the road, I might be willing to take that V2 off your hands, not now, but down the road.  And as you said, this really all ends up being apples and oranges since you would be approaching the pricepoint or a v3........or mini-me ;)

That list is something else man.  I am not sure how many shows most of those people have been too, or how much they know about BT, but jeez.  That thread about how sbd recordings would open up BT to being huge again was just mortifying!

Daryan

Offline ducati

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Re:UA-5 as A/D
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2003, 03:45:21 PM »
I think the UA5 *needs* to be run at 24/96.  The A/D sounds VERY different in 24/96 mode than either 24/48 or 16/44.1.  It really opens up the sound, cleans up the highs, it's the proverbial veil lifting.

I don't think this has ONLY to do with wordlength and sample rate.  I have been reading a buttload of info about ADCs and DACs lately, as I was shopping for a home hifi DAC, and I learned alot about how digital chips work.

For instance, and I'm going to take you on a bit of a tangent here, so bear with me...  I run a Cary CD308 as a CD transport to feed my DAC.  When my DAC locks onto a signal from the Cary, I see a lock at 17/44.1.  Yes, that's 17 bits.  WHAT??  But when reading through an article on the Perpetual technology duo, I may have stumbled upon something that explains why the Delius is locking to the Cary (in non-upsampling mode) at 17/44.1..

http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/perpetual_p1a_p3a.htm

In particular, the following:

"Peter Madnick clarifies the operation of the P-3A and other so-called 24/96 DACs and 24/96 outboard processors this way: The P-3A does not interpolate 16-20-bit data to 24-bit data -- nor does any 24/96 DAC (e.g., the Bel Canto DAC1) or add-on 24/96 external device (e.g., Assemblage D2D-1). All of these products, so far, will output 24-bit data via dithering of the 16-bit input data. This results in data that has roughly 17 bits of equivalent resolution within a 24-bit datastream."

That *has* to apply here.  So the Cary is reading the data off the CD, inputting it into some digital chipset, and dithering the 16 bit data.  Then, if you don't have upsampling on, the digital coax out spits out the resulting 17/44.1 signal, or if you use the internal DAC it would sent it to the burr-brown 1704 (which is a 24/96 DAC, makes sense it would want to see 24 bits coming in).  This means it's spitting out a signal to the dCS that is dithered, but not yet padded with 0's to 24 bits.

UNLESS you turn the upsampling on, which not only spits out 24 bits to the dCS, but also 96khz.  So in the scenario above, after the 17 bit data is sent along it's merry way to Cary's custom DSP engine, it interpolates to 24 bits, and then runs upsampling to 96khz.  So the Delius sees 24/96.   From the article:

"The P-3A and other 24/96 products do upsample, for example, from 44.1kHz to 96kHz if you select that mode. People tend to assume that 24/96 products that advertise upsampling and/or interpolation actually convert 16/44.1 data to full 24/96 resolution, which is not accurate. To actually get 24-bit data in a 24-bit datastream, you must use digital signal processing (DSP), which is included in the P-1A and is referred to as "Resolution Enhancement" in the P-1A's user manual."

OK, so what I'm getting at here is the DAC in the Cary needs to see 24 bits to do it's DACly duties.  The data is well on it's way to dithering (interpolating) to 24 bits even before it hits the digital coax out.  

To come back to the UA5 discussion, that ADC obviously is a 24/96 device (anyone know which one??), and it really wants to operate at 24/96.  Anything you choose below that is not running a separate DAC, but dithering/downsampling to whatever you choose.  And I surmise that the dithering/downsampling algorithms aren't that great.

SO what I'm saying is, I don't really like the UA5 as an ADC until you run 24/96.  But at 24/96, it's MINDBLOWING.

 

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