Merging Technologies has announced a new series of A/D cards for its Horus and Hapi networked audio interfaces.
The boards are available in two versions as was the same with the previous generation. The AKD8D is the standard version providing up to 192kHz PCM. The AKD8D/P extends the range up to 384kHz and includes all variants of DSD up to 256 and DXD.
As with the previous cards, direct analogue out connections allow a mic level feed to be sent to an analogue mixer or recorder. The RAVENNA/AES67 connection on Horus and Hapi allows for full remote control of all parameters including the ability to switch individual channels to mic or line. Phantom power switching, phase reversal, and low cut filters can be enabled from the control room or locally from the front panel of the unit.
With the new cards, a dynamic range of better than 120dB is easily achieved. The input stage now features the ability to select the optimal impedance for condenser or dynamic microphones, which can also be done on a per-channel basis. In order to improve any leakage induced noise from the phantom power during warm-up, lower value, higher voltage high grade electrolytic capacitors have been used.
Particular care has been taken to minimise any DC offset to the inputs of the A/D converter. This improvement to the DC servo loop guarantees that the offset is under 1mV over the whole gain range up to a maximum of 66dB. Analogue detection that is a feature of the ADA8 cards is now incorporated to ensure that gains are switched near to zero. Both these features combine to suppress any clicks caused by switching the gain settings.
The new components also further reduce the low power consumption of Merging’s audio interfaces by saving over 2 Watts per board which could be as much as 12 Watts on a fully loaded Horus.
“We were always proud of what we achieved with the original AD8D series but the new AKD8D has unprecedented specifications both in terms of precision and neutrality. We know this is the cleanest mic preamplifier and the most discriminating converter we have ever designed,” said Merging’s president Claude Cellier, who heads up the hardware design team. “One of our challenges these days is that these specs are starting to exceed those of the test gear so we rely on our users to tell us how good they really are. We are confident that our usual selection of Grammy winners are going to give us the thumbs up.”