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Dangerous has been building award-winning, standard-setting converters since 2002 when the Dangerous Monitor’s onboard digital-to-analog converter (DAC) swiftly became the industry reference. We’ve been asked over the years to build a stand alone DAC, and they’re finally here in the CONVERT series. Eager to embrace the opportunity to develop a new and better DAC, we designed the CONVERT series converters from the ground up, utilizing cutting-edge digital technology coupled to a Chris Muth designed analog circuit that delivers our signature sound: open, articulate and powerful from top to bottom. Loaded with innovative and useful features accessed from an intuitive front panel, the CONVERT-2 tops an elite class of dedicated stereo digital-to-analog converters in both sound and ease of use. The CONVERT-2 goes beyond transparency – you won’t just hear everything, you’ll hear it beautifully.
While in theory most converters should be the same, among those who truly understand this hotly debated and endlessly researched area of audio technology, the mantra is implementation, implementation, implementation. How a converter’s components are selected, tweaked and assembled according to a specific design, and then tuned for superior performance within that plan is what sets a converter apart – for better or worse. The Dangerous CONVERT-2 has been developed by a team of experts with deep, up-to-the-minute knowledge of digital and analog converter technology.
A legend among mixing and mastering engineers for decades, Chris Muth has designed the analog gear used to mix and master an endless list of hit records and classic reissues. Chris’s powerful, articulate, hi-fi designs dominated the big studios in New York City since the 80s, and via Dangerous his designs have become essential components in the best modern DAW-based mixing and mastering studios. When we set out to develop a new dedicated stereo DAC, Chris brought his relentless design philosophy and world-renowned sound to the CONVERT’s analog technology. Not only did he develop the audiophile-grade analog audio path, Chris also meticulously fine tuned the low-pass reconstruction filters mandatory to implementing any DAC. These filters lie at the heart of how a converter will perform, and the CONVERT series has the jaws of top pros hitting the floor when they hear the big natural sound and the powerful, ultra-clear low-end.
We brought in digital guru Paul Messick to make sure the digital side of the CONVERT-2 would sing in perfect harmony with its finely tuned analog circuit. Paul rigorously refined the CONVERT’s JetPLL ultra-low jitter clocking technology until it surpassed the JET’s stated specs, resulting in the virtual elimination of jitter throughout the audio band and beyond. Gone are the sonic headaches and end-of-day fatigue brought on by long-term exposure to jittery digital audio systems. The CONVERT-2’s superbly implemented digital technology delivers such a natural, open and non-irritating sound that you’ll forget you’re even listening to converted 0s and 1s.
Reaching beyond transparency and accuracy, the sound of the CONVERT-2 is so open and 3-dimensional that many are saying that these are the most beautiful, natural sounding converters they’ve ever heard. Whether your focus is tracking, mixing or mastering, when you choose a dedicated stereo DAC, you’re choosing the unit you’ll trust to make all your sonic judgments, from choosing a mic to deciding how much limiting to use in mastering. You need your DAC to be honest, but you also need it to sound beautiful. With the CONVERT you get the uncanny combination of detailed information and delightful inspiration.
Our design philosophy includes a strict demand that our equipment be elegant and easy to use, and the CONVERT-2 exemplifies that philosophy. No menus, no cryptic multi-finger combinations to remember – just clearly labeled single-function buttons and one volume knob. However, the elegance of the CONVERT’s front panel belies its rich feature set, which brings a level of versatility not found in any other DAC.
Dedicated Volume Control With Hard-Bypass – If you ever need to bring down the output level of the CONVERT-2, just turn the knob. When fully up, the volume control is bypassed for feeding a dedicated monitor controller (such as our Monitor ST). When engaged, the volume control lets you achieve exact output levels for many applications, a useful one being sending the analog outputs directly to a set of speakers and using the CONVERT-2 as a monitor controller.
Instant Input Calibration – With industry-standard reference levels of -14, -16 and -18dBFS, you can recalibrate the CONVERT-2 with the push of a button. While many professional converters are only aligned at the factory, the Convert lets you move flexibly between different reference levels on the fly. Anyone who’s ever fumbled around behind a rack with a “tweeker tool” while a second person watches an external meter knows the special value of our front-panel calibration buttons.
Automatic Sample Rate Detection – Simply select “Auto” on the front panel and the CONVERT-2 will match its sample rate to the input signal. If you’ve ever started working at the wrong sample rate (we’ve all done it!), you’ll know why this feature can be so important. If you’re swapping among different DAW sessions at different sample rates, the CONVERT will follow your every move.
On The Fly Input Switching – Unique to the CONVERT, you can now swap between multiple digital inputs on the fly from the front panel buttons. No more digging into elaborate menus and system settings just to listen to iTunes, no more rerouting software drivers just to hear a different output. And because the CONVERT can automatically lock to the incoming signal’s sample rate, you don’t need to even think about sample rates as you switch between inputs. Five digital inputs include USB, AES/SPDIF-1, AES/SPDIF-2, ADAT and Optical SPDIF (TOSLINK).
USB Uplink – With its unique USB Uplink technology, you can route the CONVERT’s AES/SPDIF-2 signal back up through the USB cable and into your DAW session for printing. Additionally, you can easily switch between monitoring the original digital signal or the Uplinked signal, which means you can add finalizing plugins to your DAW’s return track and quickly flip between the processed and unprocessed stereo signal – especially helpful whether mixing or mastering.
Custom Metering – Our premium custom crafted digital meter gives you peak-over-average metering, typically found in expensive outboard mastering meters. The meter automatically calibrates to the chosen input reference level, giving you consistent visuals on every project. Our “3-word-over” indicator tells you when three consecutive samples have clipped, meaning you’re a breath away from violating industry standards for CD reproduction and are about to generate clipping distortion that would be audible in any digital file.
Use The CONVERT As Your Master Clock – It’s no secret that many digital audio systems are slaved to the best sounding clock in the rack, and The CONVERT’s customized JetPLL ultra-low jitter technology is winning shootouts again and again, sending expensive external clocks into retirement. Simply use the Word Clock output and set the CONVERT into Master mode from the front panel, and all the digital gear in your studio can benefit from The CONVERT’s cutting-edge digital technology.
Monitor ST Connectivity – Simply connect the CONVERT-2 to your Monitor ST to bring remote control of the CONVERT’s digital input switching to your fingertips right from the ST Remote. By incorporating the CONVERT into your existing Monitor ST rig, you’re seamlessly adding today’s best DAC to your monitoring system.
If you’re ready for the world’s most articulate, open and natural sounding dedicated stereo DAC, The CONVERT-2 will deliver the beautiful truth of all your digital signals into the analog realm without ever tiring you out. Contact a dealer to hear the difference and we’re pretty sure you’ll become a CONVERT.