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In the pursuit of excellence - Forssell vs Pacific Microsonics
Friday, 16 September 2011 06:14

forssell-mada-2Having the best available A/D and D/A converters in the studio means that we are able to capture and monitor every nuance & detail that our analog mastering chain provides very accurately and without compromise.

That’s why we recently conducted a mastering converter shoot out in order to find the very best converters for our mastering suite. We tested the Lavry Gold AD122-96 MkIII, the Cranesong HEDD 192, Prism Orpheus, Prism Dream, Prism ADA8-XR, Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model 2 & the Forssell MADA-2. The converters were put through their paces very carefully in order to reveal the most consistent performer. What we were looking for in our conversion was transparency, detail, focus and the best imaging.

The two converters that stood out were the Forssell MADA-2 and the Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model 2. The Forssell MADA-2 is a brand new design that designer Fred Forssell has been perfecting through prototypes over the past few years. The Pacific Microsonics is a discontinued converter from the 1990’s which is rare to find in the used market because few units were produced, and they are highly sought after. (Matthew Gray Mastering had purchased a Pacific Microsonics after auditioning some test files from a unit in Sony mastering, New York, and finding a unit for sale in Hollywood.)

Once the Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model 2 was set up along side the Forssell MADA-2, we found only very small sonic differences between them. As both units had been in use at Matthew Gray Mastering over the past several months on a wide variety of projects, Matthew was able to get to know the sonic signature of both units in greater detail. The results of this extended listening revealed that the Forssell MADA-2 was the superior converter for both A/D and D/A conversions. The MADA-2 now has pride of place on the analog mastering processing chain.

After much deliberation Matthew decided to sell the Pacific Microsonics unit in favour of a second ‘modified’ Forssell MADA-2 unit to be a back up A/D for the first MADA-2 while also taking over the Pacific Microsonics as the primary monitoring D/A converter.

In the pursuit of excellence, it was hard to refute the Forssell MADA-2. So hard, in fact, that we are now an Australian distributor, so let us know if you would like pricing or a demo unit.

We hope you enjoy listening to the results of these converters on your next mastering session with Matthew Gray Mastering, where we care about even the smallest of details to give you the best sonic result for your next project.