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Lynx Hilo DAC/ADC Review and Measurements (part 1: DAC)

dallasjustice

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#21
There’s also a clock setting on the Hilo DAC/ADC menu where you can set to external clock source. I think that’s the problem.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #22
I suppose the Hilo Remote should set to external clock with SRC disabled?
But I don't have an external clock. And at any rate, it won't let me select anything else when the input is AES or S/PDIF.
 

dallasjustice

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#24
But I don't have an external clock. And at any rate, it won't let me select anything else when the input is AES or S/PDIF.
If you are feeding the Hilo a digital signal over AES spdif, then the Hilo is receiving an external word clock. There’s a menu inside the unit(not Hilo remote) to adjust for that.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #25
So I just tested it using my Audiophilleo USB to S/PDIF converter. Same problem so definitely not a setup issue.

Listening to it through headphones, once a second there is a soft click on very accurate cadence of about once a second. There is also a much louder click once in a while.

Reading the manual, it seems that it uses fixed internal clock and not what is coming in. If you want it to sync with incoming clock, SRC is mandatory. There are assuming a studio environment with external clock and for all others, use SRC.

Fortunately over USB it works great so for that, it is fine. And if you can put up with SRC, OK in S/PDIF and AES input also.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #26
If you are feeding the Hilo a digital signal over AES spdif, then the Hilo is receiving an external word clock. There’s a menu inside the unit(not Hilo remote) to adjust for that.
I have to pack and ship all this stuff to you Michael so I will leave it to you to sort out. :)
 

Jimster480

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#28
Another interesting product that I haven't ever heard of..... Just another reason why I love it here at ASR....
Reading the posts on this forum and the technical questions people ask makes me actually think, and sometimes they are completely over my head as I am not an EE of any sort.
This unit does look like a better value again vs the Benchmark UDAC3 especially with so many channels.
Any idea what DAC chip its using? Since it has 8 channels maybe its a 9028?
 

SIY

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#29
In USB testing which is what I post, AP is generating digital signals in software in the PC and sending it to the DAC using ASIO bit-perfect transfer mode. And of course the input is from the DAC, in this case, balanced as I mentioned in the review.
Just to make sure I understand (sorry to be thick), the selected output of the AP is ASIO, with the DAC's ASIO driver selected?

Re: the timestamps, smdh. Once I figured out how to get rid of them, I made sure to do so. Anyone who objects (haven't had any yet) can go pound sand, I hate compromising esthetics. Now about using the default title and font...:cool:
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #30
Just to make sure I understand (sorry to be thick), the selected output of the AP is ASIO, with the DAC's ASIO driver selected?
Correct.
 

SIY

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#31
Gracias!
 

pierre

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#32
Another interesting product that I haven't ever heard of..... Just another reason why I love it here at ASR....
Reading the posts on this forum and the technical questions people ask makes me actually think, and sometimes they are completely over my head as I am not an EE of any sort.
This unit does look like a better value again vs the Benchmark UDAC3 especially with so many channels.
Any idea what DAC chip its using? Since it has 8 channels maybe its a 9028?

They also do a 8/16/24 channels dac called aurora. They just switch to a new model and you can find the previous generation relatively cheap. I don’t have one due to the price but I have mixed on them and they are transparent.
I would tell as good as my rme ufx+. They do have cards for usb, thunderbolt, Dante ... and they add new ones when
New connectors appears which is quite cool.
 

Jimster480

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#33
They also do a 8/16/24 channels dac called aurora. They just switch to a new model and you can find the previous generation relatively cheap. I don’t have one due to the price but I have mixed on them and they are transparent.
I would tell as good as my rme ufx+. They do have cards for usb, thunderbolt, Dante ... and they add new ones when
New connectors appears which is quite cool.
Well I'll put them down on my list of things to check out when I build my full home theater setup.
 

bennetng

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#34
Hi, did you already notice, that RME released a new firmware of interest ? ;)

https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=27295

"Firmware DSP 21 brings an interesting new feature - well, interesting for geeks and nerds (like us). It addresses the ripple seen from the AD converter chip with frequency response measurements at higher resolution, at sample rates 44.1 up to 192 kHz. While this is nowhere near audible, the ADI-2 Pro is also used as measurement front-end. With today's high quality devices and measurements using a very high resolution, that ripple becomes visible, and is both distracting as well as a problem for documentation.
Other ADC chips typically have only a fourth of that ripple, which is why it mostly stays invisible. Firmware version DSP21 now adds a unique, phase-linear compensation filter, that reduces the ripple significantly. Not completely, but enough that in normal measurements the ripple is no longer visually obvious. The filter has zero effect on the audio performance. No phase shift, no change in SNR, THD or bandwidth, not in impulse response and not in latency. It just reduces the ripple by up to 86% (depends on mode and sample rate). That's why it is not an option but always on, and only switched off automatically with DSD recording.
The compensation filter also works on the already quite linear 176/192 kHz sample rates, improving linearity to a fabulous level. Note that 352.8 kHz and up do not have any (!) ripple, which is one of the reasons the manual recommends 384 kHz for audio measurements.
So you can shrug your shoulders and continue using the ADI-2 Pro as it is, or add a small pristine improvement on top of the jewel that the ADI-2 Pro already is. Your choice!
"


Download of the firmware update files (original update thread): https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=27280

Pro and DAC:
- Class Compliant compatibility for Windows 10 and Squeezebox Touch adjusted
- Dual EQ: save state to preset slot Temp after activation in the I/O menu

Only ADI-2 Pro:
- Level Meter of analog inputs simultaneously track pre and post EQ. This way overloads stay visible and Auto Ref Level works correctly even when the EQ is used to attenuate the signal.
- Added compensation filter for the AD-converter to reduce ripple in the frequency response for PCM, 44.1 up to 192 kHz, filter modes SD Sharp, Sharp, SD Slow, Slow.
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?pid=132179#p132179
Looks like RME was annoyed by ASR' review (but ixbt showed the same ADC ripple as well).
http://prosound.ixbt.com/interfaces/rme-adi2pro.shtml

It would be interesting to see ADI-2 Pro vs Hilo's ADC performance after firmware update.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #35
It would be interesting to see ADI-2 Pro vs Hilo's ADC performance after firmware update.
Unfortunately the Hilo was shipped yesterday so no chance for remeasurement.
 

mitchco

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#36
I honestly can't tell the difference. My setup is very unusual. I have a 4 way digitally active setup for the JBL M2 and 4 subs. The Hilo only has 6 analog outs, so I need another DAC for the horn tweeter on the JBL M2. The M2 horn tweeter gets the DAC3 and the M2 midwoofer gets the Hilo balanced out. The integration is perfect. I like the DAC3's high output and it locks perfectly over AES; there's no drift or other sync issues with it over AES.

Having said all that, if I could find a DAC/ADC that performed as well as the Lynx Hilo with 8 analog outs, at least 24dbu output and could do ASIO multi-client, I'd consider buying it. For now, that doesn't exist.
Hi Michael, very cool that you loaned your Hilo to @amirm to test out. I bought mine in 2012 and have been very happy with not only the SQ, but the routing lets you do pretty much what you want. It also has an excellent ADC, but we will see what the measurements bring. One set of objective measurements still ranks this converter at the top of the heap: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpost.php?p=13240356&postcount=1617

Thanks for the "I honestly can' tell the difference." The simple reality is that any artefacts from either the Hilo or DAC3 are orders of magnitude lower than what we can hear when listening to music at reference level. While I don't have an AP, my REW measurements are almost identical, e.g. 0.001% distortion across the frequency range, etc.

It also has one of the best multi-client ASIO drivers on the market, which allows for many interesting scenarios, not only for testing, but recording as well.

Thanks @amirm, looking forward to the 2nd installment.

Cheers, Mitch
 

Thomas savage

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#38
Hi Michael, very cool that you loaned your Hilo to @amirm to test out. I bought mine in 2012 and have been very happy with not only the SQ, but the routing lets you do pretty much what you want. It also has an excellent ADC, but we will see what the measurements bring. One set of objective measurements still ranks this converter at the top of the heap: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpost.php?p=13240356&postcount=1617

Thanks for the "I honestly can' tell the difference." The simple reality is that any artefacts from either the Hilo or DAC3 are orders of magnitude lower than what we can hear when listening to music at reference level. While I don't have an AP, my REW measurements are almost identical, e.g. 0.001% distortion across the frequency range, etc.

It also has one of the best multi-client ASIO drivers on the market, which allows for many interesting scenarios, not only for testing, but recording as well.

Thanks @amirm, looking forward to the 2nd installment.

Cheers, Mitch
Yes, the moral of the story is buy a dac that suits intended function and forget about it.
 

Thomas savage

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#40
Finally a Schiit endorsement!

;)
What matters , speaker design and how you drive the transducer plus how stuff behaves below the Schroeder frequency in ya room.. how you want to consume the music, wrt that there’s no science here, just do as you please .

What don’t matter ( possibly because like mastering of music you can’t as a punter have meaningful control ) everything else.

Great , we have that sorted .., now please excuse me I’m off to Israel to sort out another mess.
 
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