Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 11/16/04 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Mytek's Stereo 96 ADC A/D Converter

By Glenn Bucci

Recently there has been an increase in two-channel converters which are more geared for home and project studio owners. The reason is most people cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars for eight- or 16-channel converters. Since many home and project studios only record one or two tracks at a time, a high-end two-channel A/D converter like Mytek's stereo 96 ADC can be a lot more affordable.

The front of the stereo 96 ADC Mytek, has a gain knob on the left side of the unit. This is a stereo knob which affects both channels. The knob is longer than its closest competitor, the Lucid A/D 96 converter. In comparison, Lucid's stereo converter has separate gain controls for each channels. Both units are half rack sizes. (Approx 5.5 x 1.7 x 8.2 inch) and similar in weight. The knob on the Mytek allows you to get a good grip with the intent area allowing your thumb and index finger to move it securely. The knob moves smoothly but is not loose when turning it, like some gear that I have used.

There is a LED meter for both channels that have a -60, -20, -3, and 0 LED light for both channels. Though it is not a full meter like the 22 LED meter Lucid, I found the Mytek to be sufficient in preventing you from overloading your signal. To the right is a button to change the sample rate from 16 through 24 bit. Then there's a separate button to switch from 44k up to 96k. Mytek sell another unit that goes up to 192k, but for me, the 192k is less necessary than having good high end converters for recording at 96k, which is more than acceptable.

The last button on the front is a sync button. You can choose the internal or external on the clock setting. The unit has an internal 10ps clock generator, and a built in 110/220V power supply.

On the back there are two XLR input connectors, an output S/PDIF, and input and output Word clock sockets. Lastly there's the output for the power cord.

The box appears to be of very good quality and doesn't get too hot. The unit has a high performance 120dB design based on the Crystal Semiconductor CS5396 chip. There is also a SuperShaper-HR TM psychoacoustic noise shaping algorithm for 16-bit or 20-bit output. It uses ninth order high resolution noise shaping filters with proprietary filter coefficients to do this. It is supposed to preserve the 24-bit performance for 16- and 20-bit data output. The noise shaping is automatically engaged whenever 16 or 20-bit word length is selected. It is only active when an analog input is selected. The ADC has a very low jitter of 10ps with its crystal oscillator for sampling frequencies. Their manual recommends that when using external devices such as DAW's or recorders that they be slaved to the A/D. The internal sync mode is claimed to eliminate any relation of sound quality to incoming jitter.

Mytek's philosophy is that in their design of their converters, they try to be as faithful to the signal as possible. Some companies make an attempt to have a tube or other coloration to their converters to entice buyers.


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Related Keywords:Mytek, 96 ADC, A/D Converter, project studio

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