SSL2 vs Audient ID14 - by far the best method of testing audio interface quality ... EVER!

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avasopht
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Post 28 Oct 2020

Basically, he feeds the output to the input 500 times, showing you how the audio degrades (or does not) in 50 cycle increments.

The actual test starts around 9:34.

It really shows you how good the SSL converters are.

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robotgard
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Post 28 Oct 2020

Image
Last edited by robotgard on 09 Dec 2020, edited 1 time in total.

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avasopht
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Post 28 Oct 2020

robotgard wrote:
28 Oct 2020
How does this have a practical meaning in life?
Are you joking?
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selig
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Post 28 Oct 2020

robotgard wrote:
28 Oct 2020
How does this have a practical meaning in life?
It doesn't IMO for a few reasons. For one, because one guy still chose one interface and the other guy chose the other. Meaning, even after the 500 trip test there is no clear overall winner. This also reveals that even after turning the audio to crap in 500 trips, as one interface appeared to do, there will still be someone who prefers what that interface does in one trip (or 1/2 trip, see below), so go figure.

Also worth mentioning, unless you do at least ONE full round trip (let alone 500), none of this matters to you.
If you produce your music entirely using software instruments and then export to an audio file, the converters are simply the thing you listened to while you made the music. The results of your export actually include ZERO round trips and thus are not going to be heard directly by your listeners.
And even if you record audio INTO your DAW, you're only doing 1/2 trip, not even one full round trip - so then we're talking about 1/1000th of the effect of 500 round trips.
Selig Audio, LLC

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kuhliloach
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Post 28 Oct 2020

The test is utterly ridiculous and only interesting from a scientific angle, not a musical one. A day this would matter towards the success or non-success of a piece of music will never come. That said, I find the ID14 has a superior sound to any other interface I have ever used, driving HD598's from the headphone jack. Never tried that SSL.

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avasopht
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Post 28 Oct 2020

It gives you a good indication of how clear it's converters really are.

So sure, if I'm doing everything in the box then the microphone quality doesn't matter. But it's pretty obvious it's not attempting to be relevant for that case.

All I know is that I've had brand new audio interfaces with a much higher noise floor than others.

It meant those recordings sounded like utter shit and I had to send it back. So it obviously means something.

And if anything, as mentioned in the video, it gives you some indication much more than just looking at specs and claims of quality.

Not to suggest you can't make good recordings. But, maybe this might give you good indication that there's little chance you'd ever need to spend more to get "better quality". And it showed that, even if you're not planning on doing 500 round loops, that the SSL has exceptional quality. The Audient test showed by comparison how good the SSL is.

So sure, you can work on the box and make good recordings on pretty much any interface, but my experience is simply that I've been burned, I've been disappointed, and I've been impressed.

When you're purchasing on a budget, it's kinda nice to be able to gauge this beforehand. Maybe you haven't experienced this because you've never had a disappointing device.

Not everyone has that same experience.
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selig
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Post 28 Oct 2020

I can only take issue with the actual usefulness of this test. It shows "something", but not anything that's actually going to make a bit of difference - unless you start doing 50 or more round trips…
You could see the same thing on a frequency response graph of the interface if you zoomed in far enough. But everything looks "wrong" if you zoom in far enough…

Again, one of the two guys choose the "crappy" interface as their favorite, so obviously the test was not useful to him! The "better" (read: "cleaner") gear doesn't always win when you compared them in real world tests in my experience.
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Skimrok
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Post 30 Oct 2020

well that wasted 15 minutes of my life now I fancy a fruit salad :lol:
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demt
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Post 29 Nov 2020

I like general guides ,seems this won isn't obvious enough to impress the crap out of the users.
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sprinkles__
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Post 01 Jan 2021

This test has a major flaw: iD14 does not have line inputs. The only way to record into it is through the pre-amps or the JFET D.I. input on the front. Even if you plug in via the jack socket of the combi input it's still going through the same circuit as the XLR. SSL 2 has proper line level inputs that bypass the pre-amp circuit (apparently). This is where the colouration in the iD14 comes from, by passing the signal 500 times through a mic pre circuit. It's pretty stupid actually, this is a totally unfair comparison. He doesn't even state whether the SSL had the line switch engaged. It's not a test of the converters at all, despite what he says.

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avasopht
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Post 01 Jan 2021

sprinkles__ wrote:
01 Jan 2021
This test has a major flaw: iD14 does not have line inputs. The only way to record into it is through the pre-amps or the JFET D.I. input on the front. Even if you plug in via the jack socket of the combi input it's still going through the same circuit as the XLR. SSL 2 has proper line level inputs that bypass the pre-amp circuit (apparently). This is where the colouration in the iD14 comes from, by passing the signal 500 times through a mic pre circuit. It's pretty stupid actually, this is a totally unfair comparison. He doesn't even state whether the SSL had the line switch engaged. It's not a test of the converters at all, despite what he says.
Good spot.
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