Digital recording has come a long way since the early days and there have been clear advances in the quality of audio to digital convertors, especially in the area of chip sets and clocking. But while many manufacturers have taken a very purist approach and focused on the most accurate conversion they can achieve, one company from Santa Cruz, CA have taken a slightly different tack.
Burl Audio convertors aim to give you the ultimate in recording tone. If you look inside (even high end) convertors, you’ll see they are stuffed with very cheap op amps and capacitors. No matter how good the clocking and chipset, how low the jitter, or how wide the frequency response, it seems that very little attention is given to the quality of components in the audio path. Transparency seems to be the aim. A noble cause, but is it the best one?
But Burl are different. They use a discrete, class-A, transformer based, zero capacitor, zero feedback audio path using a quality of components more often found in high end mic-preamps and compressors. The result is a digital recording that sounds very analogue. Highs are airy. Lows are low and resonant. There’s none of the typical graininess or smeary mid range you get with run-of-the-mill convertors. In fact, the Burl B2 Bomber AD is more reminiscent of a lovely old tape deck than a digital convertor. Think of a nicely maintained Studer B67 but without the tape hiss, wow or flutter.
We also have some Lavry convertors as a back-up and they sound great, but there is a little bit of magic in the Burl B2 that’s become an essential part of our secret voiceover sauce.
Posted on March 4, 2015