The Telarc production staff, from L-R: engineers Michael Bishop and Rob Friedrich, producers Elaine
Martone and Thom Moore, head technician Bill McKinney (with AX24), producer Erica Brenner, engineer Paul Blakemore, intern Ben Jacob, and engineer/video content manager Todd Brown.
Telarc senior engineer and six-time Grammy winner Michael Bishop, Telarc producer Elaine Martone, assistant producer Thomas Moore and two assistant engineers used a Digital Audio Denmark (DAD) AX24 A/D converter in a blind A/B comparison with other high-end converters and the analog output of the comapny's custom console. In a session with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, they all independently chose the output of the AX24. Reportedly, the difference between the AX24's output and its input bordered on imperceptible, even in Bishop's carefully aligned ATC monitors.
Although the DAD AX24 fully supports all of the standard PCM sampling depths and rates, all the way up to 24-bit/384 kHz, and is designed to be user-upgradeable as different standards emerge, Bishop used it to encode Direct Stream Digital (DSD), which is currently the Telarc standard and made available to consumers on SACD. The AX24 is also capable of encoding the related protocol, DXD, and is available with two, four, six or eight I/Os.
Bishop repeated the blind A/B test when he returned to Telarc's studios in Cleveland. Three producers and four engineers evaluated the DAD AX24 and all seven independently selected it as the best converter from among Telarc's converters. "Ten sets of ears, five of which have earned Grammys and the remaining five of which have Grammys in their futures, all independently selected the DAD AX24 as the absolute state-of-the-art," Bishop says. "The AX24 is a truly exceptional piece of electronics."
Telarc had planned to use the new converter for a live in-session recording of Puccini's La Bohème opera with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the AX24 has already been put to use in Telarc's mastering room. "Although we focused on the AX24's A/D converters for the tests, its D/A converters are noticeably cleaner and clearer than the converters that we had been using for post-production mastering," Bishop explains. "This says a lot, because our old D/A converters were, before the AX24 came along, the very best in the world."
LasVegasProAudio.com, a division of TransAudio Group, is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Digital Audio Denmark products, and is exhibiting at the 123rd AES convention in New York City's Javits Center in booth #848. For more information, visit www.lasvegasproaudio.com and www.telarc.com.