Lynx Hilo Reference A/D D/A Thunderbolt Converter System


Mastering grade 2 In 4 Out A/D D/A Converter with a preinstalled Thunderbolt interface card.

What we think:

Lynx Hilo (pronounced “hee-low”)

There are very few units that are truly “game changers” in the world of digital audio interfaces, and the Hilo is indeed one of them. No detail was left unattended on the Hilo, as the unit has an A/D converter for overdub tracking as well as a D/A converter for mix printing. It also has a separate D/A converter [which provides maximum performance capability] for the Hilo's monitor section, and yet another D/A conversion system for the headphone output!

The design of the Hilo took over 3 years to accomplish. Every trace on the 8 layer PCB is the shortest run possible, and redundant copper ground planes were added for superior noise and cross-talk rejection. Unparalleled attention was paid to component placement to avoid the possibility of infinitesimal current leakage and the potential for capacitive irregularities between components. All of this adds up to one of the best sounding converter systems possible. The net result is spectacularly clear and detailed audio.

The line inputs are fully balanced and buffered to provide high input impedance and rejection of common mode noise. The line output faithfully mimics the qualities of transformers using precision amplifier circuitry. Both the inputs and outputs exhibit an extremely flat frequency response of ±0.02dB of variation – and that's in the worst case!

As a converter's full-scale signal level must match a studio's line level closely to minimize noise, Hilo provides eight standard trim settings on line inputs and outputs. To accomplish this, Telecom-quality relays with gold-plated contacts are used to avoid any additional distortion and/or noise that can be caused by other fain-switching methods that are commonly employed in lesser devices.

Hilo also incorporates Lynx's proven SynchroLock™ sample clock, which generates an extremely low-jitter situation when syncing internally, as well as when syncing to external clock sources. Additionally, the BiLinear™ conversion technology was developed. Based on a completely differential topology that minimizes noise pickup and reduces harmonic distortion components, high-speed differential amplifiers are employed to provide an ideal interface for all your two channel conversion needs. This insures proper transient response, as well as the most linear audio possible. The ability also exists to pick up the output level by 14db to use the “monitor output” as an additional “line level” output, which adds to the overall flexibility of the Hilo.

The real icing on the cake is the user interface, which employs a touch screen display for all your function selection, routing, and metering requirements. The metering options include both PPM [Peak Program Meters] for the input and output, as well as a “vintage” looking VU [Volume Unit] option that will supply the RMS metering option that is so important for understanding the true loudness of a mix.

Between the superior sounding A/D conversion, amazingly stable clock, attention to detail on the build, ease of setup via the “touch screen” menus, a superior monitor output section that works in 1/2dB increments [like units that only have a D/A and cost 3 times more], flawless audio from the headphone output, and the planning ahead Lynx did with the Hilo's expansion slot [which will permit interface with any current and future format!], all of your audio requirements are totally covered!


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