Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lynx Hilo AD/DA Converter & Headphone Amp with Touch Screen

From their Press Release:
"The new Hilo Reference A/D D/A Converter System reengineers and redefines the concept and functionality of the two-channel converter. Essentially three units in one: A/D converter; D/A converter; and headphone amplifier, Hilo offers connectivity, performance and control never before available. Newly designed differential analog stages and bilinear converter topology provide industry-leading noise and distortion specifications and unprecedented transparency. Digital I/O is extremely versatile with support for AES/EBU, S/PDIF (via coax or optical) or ADAT. The Lynx LT-USB is standard, allowing additional USB I/O and computer connectivity.

Hilo is also the first professional converter with touchscreen operation and monitoring. All controls and signal routing is set up using easy to use menus. The setup page shows two stereo input meters and three stereo output meters. Optional screens show two selectable meter sets and even old-style analog VU meters. Future screens (updatable in the FPGA via download) will include further metering options, diagnostic operations and personalization.

The internal 32 channel mixer allows any input to be routed to any output. In fact there are three stereo analog output options. Line Out that supports eight standard trim settings, Monitor Out with a volume control, and a Headphone output, also with a volume control. In fact the headphone output has its own dedicated D/A converter with the option of a different mix than the Line and Monitor outputs."

MSRP $2495.
Get more info at Hilo Reference A/D D/A Converter System
Check out this video at 1:34
Lynx Studio Hilo Intro

Past meets Present- JCF Audio DA8-V D/A Converter and Ampex 351

JCF Audio's DA8-V sounds like the best of both worlds. The ultimate Digital/Analog hybrid.

The DA8-V 
8 channel 
tube line stage that was inspired by the Ampex 351 reproduce circuitry. 
The Ampex 350 tape machines were considered the Holy Grail of tape recorders back in the 50's and 60's.

Here's two pics of the 351 used on Elvis Presley:

JCF's DA8-V uses the industry standard AES/EBU protocol on a DB25 connector with an additional DB25 "thru" connector. 
The AES/EBU DB25’s follow the 
“tascam” pinout and operates in single-wire mode at all sample rates
. The DA8-V derives its sync source from the incoming AES/EBU stream and
 has two analog outputs. Each coming from two separate, floating sources (with factory 
configuration). This comes in handy when the outputs of the DA8-V must be connected 
to multiple devices.
  • Ampex 351 inspired output stage
  • Simple self-clocking operation @ all frequencies
  • 1 additional courtesy turn-around DB25 AES port
  • ~20dB front panel calibration range control
  • Sensible output stage current for good performance and long tube life
  • Cinemag CM9600-T output transformer
  • Uses common tubes 12AX7, 12AU7
  • Ships with 5′ standard AES crossover cable
  • 1 year limited warranty


Number of Channels8
Digital Input110 Ohm transformer coupled AES/EBU compatible Single-Wire Operation Only
Output Impedence< 40hms
Minimum Recommended Load600 Ohms or greater
Maximum Output Level+32dBu rms
Distortion<.01% @ +4dBu, 0.025 % @ +28dBu
Noise-70dBu (BW lim 80kHz)
Power Supplies2 external (1 analog, 1 digital) ~100W idle cons.
Tube Compliment

8 x 12AX7 – 8 x 12AU7 – 1 x 5R4

$6750 at Mercenary Audio