Hilo Reference A/D D/A Converter System Reengineers the Two Channel Converter Format
HILO PRESS RELEASE –
Lynx Studio Technology Introduces Hilo, Reference A/D D/A Converter System
Lynx Reengineers the two-channel converter format with innovative features and control
COSTA MESA, CA – MAY 4, 2011 Lynx Studio Technology today introduced the Hilo Reference A/D D/A Converter System. With the pristine, open, transparent audio quality for which Lynx is known, Hilo (pronounced hç-lô) provides two channels of mastering quality analog to digital conversion, up to eight channels of digital to analog conversion, a secondary monitor output, and a world class independent headphone amplifier in a compact half-rack size. A first for the two-channel pro converter market, Hilo’s innovative 480 x 272 touchscreen provides a flexible and intuitive interface that can adapt to a particular application and be easily upgraded with enhancements and new features. Initial front panel controls support extensive signal routing and mixing, sample rate selection, clock source options, levels, metering and diagnostic features.
“Hilo completely redefines and evolves the category of the two channel converter. Of utmost importance is the audio signal quality. The completely new design of the analog stages and converter topology for Hilo break new ground in terms of lowering distortion and noise while maintaining transparency for A/D and D/A conversion,” stated Bob Bauman, Lynx cofounder and Chief Hardware Engineer. “Beyond that, Hilo offers extensive I/O capabilities and utilizes the latest FPGA technology with vast resources for control, routing, and signal processing capabilities. I am also very excited about the diagnostic and analysis tools we have on the drawing board for Hilo. The LCD screen is a natural interface for these functions.”
The digital or analog inputs can be routed to three separate outputs, Line Output (with 8 trim settings), Monitor Output, and Headphone Output. The Monitor and Headphone Outputs have volume controls, accessible via faders on the touchscreen or the single knob on the front (offering control in ½ dB increments). Another innovation, the Headphone section has its own dedicated D/A converter. This supports the creation of 32-channel headphone mixes independent of the main and monitor outputs, as well as providing specifications that rival those of dedicated headphone amps costing $1500 and more.
The digital section offers a wide range of inputs. AES/EBU inputs and outputs have transformer isolated balanced XLR connectors. SPDIF input and output are available via transformer-coupled coax or optical (TOSLINK) connections. The Optical ports can also be used for up to eight ADAT channels. The ADAT input and output channels are completely independent from the AES/EBU or S/PDIF coax channels. The Lynx LT-USB LSlot accessory is also included, for computer connectivity.
In total, Hilo has 12 total inputs, 16 total outputs plus 32 channels possible via its LSlot port. The unit’s FPGA powers its internal 32 channel mixer.
Hilo offers the most versatile I/O and routing in the two channel converter genre. This is just the beginning of the innovation.
“In contrast to the concentrated and intricate back panel, Hilo’s front panel is elegant in its simplicity. It has a power switch, headphone jack, multipurpose control and an LCD touchscreen,” explained David A. Hoatson, Lynx cofounder and Chief Software Engineer. “This high-resolution screen does a lot more than replace the buttons on the front panel of most other converters. Of course it handles the basic settings and routing functions, clocking and level settings. The main control screen has ten tabs for all of these plus five stereo meter sets, and faders for the monitor and headphone outputs. Beyond this first screen is where you see more of the innovation and versatility that Hilo offers.”
A second meter screen shows just two larger bar-graph style stereo VU meters. Any input or output set can be assigned to each meter. In addition to bar-graph meters common on most converters, Hilo’s touchscreen is able to show more traditional metering types, such as old style VU meters.
Also in development are diagnostic screens, such as real time analyzer, phase meter and loudness meter. As with all other Lynx products, Hilo is FPGA based, meaning new features, capabilities and graphics can be added at any time with a simple download.
Crucial for mastering and critical listening, Hilo offers world class, verifiable specifications. Actual measurements of a preproduction model show:
LINE IN PERFORMANCE
THD+N -114dB @1kHz, -1dBFS, 20kHz filter
Dynamic Range 121 dB, A-weighted, -60dBFS signal method
Frequency Resp. ± 0.01 dB, 20 – 20kHz
Crosstalk -130 dB maximum @ 1kHz, -1dBFS signal
LINE OUT PERFORMANCE
THD+N -109dB @1kHz, -1dBFS, 20kHz filter
Dynamic Range 121 dB, A- weighted, -60dBFS signal method
Frequency Resp. ± 0.01 dB, 20 – 20kHz
Crosstalk -120 dB maximum @ 1kHz, -1dBFS signal
Hilo can be powered by standard 110-230V AC power or remotely with 9-18 volts DC, allowing the use of standard video battery packs or even auto cigarette lighter connections. Hilo is 8.50 x 3.25 x 10.00 inches, weighs 6.75 pounds and will be available with a silver or black front panel/knob option. Available in late 2011, the US suggested retail price is expected to be $2495.