A16 Ultra VS 2496 IO Box

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micmac34
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A16 Ultra VS 2496 IO Box

Post by micmac34 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:52 am

Hi folks, so I found an interesting sale for an A16 ultra... currently I have two 2496 IO Boxes. So in the end, I would have the same number of I/O.
Is the A16 Ultra sounding so much better than my IO Boxes ? I know the converters are supposed to be better, balanced inputs and all that (which by the way I might not use... how do you plug the output of a stereo synth to a balanced input ??). But is it really worth it, considering I'm not a pro and mainly doing a few tracks a year for my own amusement ? What benefits would I have that would justify to replace my boxes ?

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astroman
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Re: A16 Ultra VS 2496 IO Box

Post by astroman » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:54 am

The A16 Ultra features 16 converters that are all synced to the same clock signal.
You can set sensitivity and output level per channel.
A balanced studio setup will deliver a better signal to noise ratio and prevent interference between devices.
You may need to balance external devices by transformers, which is expensive for quality types, though.
(unless you know about transformer brands and their particular math and can score them in the Bay)
If it's worth the effort depends on the quality of gear you want to connect.

From personal experience I have exactly one unit that was definitely 'saved' by this approach: an old Boss ME-5 pedal.
It's line outs and headphone outs suck if connected to a(ny) converter. Don't ask me why... not a glimpse of an idea.
But with cans on the unit just sounds gorgeous (in particular the reverb).
By a couple of Picatron studio transformers (the type matched headphone impedance) this magic could be preserved on transfere into the digital domain.

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faxinadu
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Re: A16 Ultra VS 2496 IO Box

Post by faxinadu » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:41 pm

hey micmac, considering your usesage i don't think you will have much of a benefit by switching
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dawman
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Re: A16 Ultra VS 2496 IO Box

Post by dawman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:01 pm

astroman wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:54 am
The A16 Ultra features 16 converters that are all synced to the same clock signal.
You can set sensitivity and output level per channel.
A balanced studio setup will deliver a better signal to noise ratio and prevent interference between devices.
You may need to balance external devices by transformers, which is expensive for quality types, though.
(unless you know about transformer brands and their particular math and can score them in the Bay)
If it's worth the effort depends on the quality of gear you want to connect.

From personal experience I have exactly one unit that was definitely 'saved' by this approach: an old Boss ME-5 pedal.
It's line outs and headphone outs suck if connected to a(ny) converter. Don't ask me why... not a glimpse of an idea.
But with cans on the unit just sounds gorgeous (in particular the reverb).
By a couple of Picatron studio transformers (the type matched headphone impedance) this magic could be preserved on transfere into the digital domain.
That’s a fascinating discovery using Pikatron Transformers..
If Zi ever run into that problem Ill definitely try that out.

micmac34
Posts: 52
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Re: A16 Ultra VS 2496 IO Box

Post by micmac34 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:03 am

Ok thank you all for your answers. I think I'll stick to faxinadu's advice : I probably don't need it... I already have a good enough sound without balanced inputs, and I'm definitely not buying additionnal transformers to balance all my synths.

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astroman
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Re: A16 Ultra VS 2496 IO Box

Post by astroman » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:49 am

yes, that's a reasonable decision :)
That transformers story was a rare exception, though and only driven by plain desperation: drove me nuts that it soundded so great with headphones on and none of this magic could be recorded ???
The Pikatrons were a cheap purchase (spares from another project) and simply 'restored' the can performance.
For entertainment:
that's how it sounds whith only the reverb section of the pedal active (Telecaster extra slow for decays, raw take)
this reverb from 1988 preceeded Scope for roughly 10 years, got it for 50 bucks LoL :D

https://soundcloud.com/anshoragg/dream-in-indigo

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valis
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Re: A16 Ultra VS 2496 IO Box

Post by valis » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:44 am

Gear has gotten much less sensitive to impedance differences since the 70's and 80's. And less noisy :)

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