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Lynx Studio LynxTWO-B High-Performance Six-Channel (Output) Sound Card

Part I

February, 2006

John E. Johnson, Jr.

 

Specifications:
 
  • 200kHz sample rate / 100kHz analog bandwidth (Supported with all drivers)
  • Four 24-bit balanced analog inputs and outputs ("A" Model)
  • Two 24-bit balanced analog inputs and six 24-bit balanced analog outputs ("B" Model)
  • Six 24-bit balanced analog inputs and two 24-bit balanced analog outputs ("C" Model)
  • +4dBu or -10dBV line levels selectable per channel pair
  • 24-bit AES3 or S/PDIF I/O with full status and subcode support
  • Sample rate conversion on digital input
  • Non-audio digital I/O support for Dolby Digital and HDCD
  • 32-channel / 32-bit digital mixer with 16 sub outputs
  • Multiple dither algorithms per channel
  • SMPTE time code reader and generator with MTC conversion
  • Composite video genlock
  • Word, 256 Word, 13.5MHz or 27MHz clock sync
  • Extremely low-jitter tunable sample clock generator
  • Dedicated clock frequency diagnostic hardware
  • Multiple-board audio data routing and sync
  • Two LStream ports support 8 additional I/O channels each
  • Compatible with LStream modules for ADAT and AES/EBU standards
  • Zero-wait state, 16-channel, scatter-gather DMA engine
  • Windows NT/2000/XP Drivers
  • Macintosh ASIO 2.0 Drivers
  • Macintosh Core Audio Drivers
  • LynxTWO-A Suggested US List Price $1095
  • LynxTWO-B Suggested US List Price $995
  • LynxTWO-C Suggested US List Price $1195
  • Optional LStream Expansion Modules:

LS-ADAT: Provides sixteen-channel 24-bit ADAT optical I/O, US List Price $249 (Internal).

LS-AES
: Provides eight-channel 24-bit/96kHz AES/EBU or S/PDIF digital I/O, US List Price $469 (Internal).


 
Lynx Studio

www.lynxstudio.com

Introduction

There is lots of information out there on video cards, because the games are so processor-intensive with their 3-D graphics, the various companies improve their cards as fast as they can, to keep up with the ever-changing games. They run so hot, they need fans to keep them cool.

But what about the sound cards? Is everyone so focused on the picture, they don't care about the sound?

Well, I don't think this is the case, but there just does not seem to be the intense competition at the audio level.

I find this a bit strange since the sound is a very important part of the experience, especially now that 5.1 Dolby Digital audio is common in the game world.

And hey, what about us audiophiles who happen to play movies from our computers into the home theater? There is plenty of software out there now that lets us use our computers as Media Servers. We have good video cards that will output analog video through component video connections, as well as digital video through DVI outputs.

So, what I am saying here is that we have not paid nearly enough attention to the sound cards.

Lynx Studio to the Rescue

Lynx Studio is a company that makes just one thing: sound cards. And they are all high-performance products. No "entry level" items here. If you look at the spec box on the left, you will see that we are talking a kilobuck, at least, for the various versions of the LynxTWO model, which can have up to six analog inputs, and up to six analog outputs, and up to two digital inputs and outputs.

Lynx also sells the LynxOne (24 bit/50 kHz sampling), L22 (24 bit/96 kHz sampling, two channels instead of six), and AES16 (24/192) for various purposes. We are focusing on the LynxTWO-B, which has two analog inputs and six analog outputs, plus two digital inputs and outputs. (The inputs and outputs of models A and C are described in the specification box above.)

The reason I chose model B is that I can use the six analog outputs to drive all channels of audio power amplifiers during bench tests (with one of the outputs passed through a Y connector so it can drive channels six and seven. However, the performance is so good, I would like to invite PC CD/DVD player software manufacturers to modify their player programs so that the resulting output is sent, in digital form, to the DACs of each channel in the LynxTWO.

For the $995 MSRP, you get everything shown in the photo below. This includes the card itself, software drivers (also has the Lynx Mixer), XLR analog cables, XLR digital cables, and instruction manual.

The inputs and outputs are XLR because this sound card is fully balanced, meaning the DACs are differential. Each leg of the signal (+ and -) on each channel has a DAC. That is a lot of DACs. Input DACs are A/D (analog to digital), and output DACs are D/A (digital to analog). 

Click Here to Go to Part II.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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