Okay, sometimes it's fun to show what your design team is capable of creating. The Black Lion Audio White Sparrow mk2 (white faceplate) represents a portion of BLA's research into delta sigma conversion and clocking architecture. What sets it apart from the rest of the pack? For one thing, instead of using one converter for stereo conversion, it employs two converters in a parallel-balanced circuit to increase converter dynamic range. Add to this their unique approach to converter configuration, BLA's 220/270SP master clock with wide Q third harmonic crystal oscillators, advanced PLL recovery, and a low noise analog path, and all of these elements together will yield the richest, clearest and fattest sounding A/D converter to ever have set foot in your recording studio. The Sparrow mk2 WHITE the FM192, making it among the best two-channel A/D converters available in the pro audio market today, period.
There is an obvious need for affordable, yet good-quality converters within the professional and project studio world. Certainly there are great two-channel systems available, but they are prohibitively expensive. Those that are within reach of the project studio's budget usually suffer from the poor sonic qualities that plague mass-produced studio equipment. We have made it our mission to develop superior-quality, boutique audio equipment but at very "un-boutique," affordable prices.
Black Lion Audio proudly introduces the 2-channel analog-to-digital converter, the Sparrow mk2 ADC--fully modular design that can be upgraded as technology changes.
The Sparrow mk2 is housed in a 1U 1/2 rack chassis, featuring XLR and 1/4-inch balanced inputs, LED metering, BNC word clock I/O, AES output, coax & optical S/PDIF output, and user selectable signal calibration accommodating nominal input signal levels from +11dBu down to -10dBV. It features sampling rates from 44.1kHz -192kHz, with a clocking architecture that features low jitter and wide Q third harmonic crystal oscillators, and because of the quality of the clock multiplier and PLL recovery stages, performance will not degrade should the converter be syncronized to a lower quality word clock reference.
The A/D conversion process is a tricky beast to tame. Because conversion requires so much current movement, there are plenty of places for unwanted noise to be created, both within the signal chain and in the power supply.
As we began to research and test approaches to converter design, we discovered a unique way to reduce these unwanted artifacts, one that's not only inexpensive to implement but also works better than traditional approaches. We coupled this proprietary converter circuit to a high-speed, high-headroom analog stage that can capture the smallest nuances and micro-dynamics. The result is unparalleled: an inexpensive two-channel A/D converter that not only has an enormous sound with pinpoint imaging, but also has the smooth, wide open sonic quality of expensive high end systems and a wonderfully rich midrange.
Black Lion Audio's Sparrow mk2 (named as an homage to French singer Edith Piaf) features 4 input stage trim presets and a single ultra-low distortion amplifier before the converter for simplicity and purity of signal path. Power supply filtration is designed around organic semiconductor capacitance instead of a traditional electrolytic-based method, ensuring low power supply noise. This is an A/D whose sonic performance is as good or better than the top A/D's currently available; once you use the Sparrow mk2 A/D converter, your standards will be forever changed!
The Sparrow mk2 ADC is available in three different versions.
- Balanced inputs (XLR or 1/4")
- Selectable user calibration
- Word clock input and output
- Sampling rates from 44.1kHz -192kHz
- AES, coax S/PDIF, and optical S/PDIF
- LED metering
- Accommodates nominal input signal levels from +11dBu down to -10dBV
- 1U high, space rack mount chassis
- User selectable 110/220 voltage input
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- Dynamic range: 120dB Black and Red Sparrow Unweighted.
-- 122dB for the White Sparrow Unweighted.
- Max analog input before digital clipping: >+24dBu
- Inputs: Balanced Analog = TRS and XLR
-- Clock = 75 Ohm BNC
- Outputs: SPDIF = Coaxial (75 Ohm) and Optical, AES-EBU (110 Ohm)
-- Word Clock = 75 Ohm BNC
-- Word Clock Lock = indicator LED
- Sampling rates: 44.1kHz - 192kHz
- Bit rate: 24 bit
- Latency: 65/Fs
- Digital Audio Output Level Indicator: Bi-Color LED (Green/Amber/Red)
- Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
- Base Item
- Shipping Weight: 7 lbs