A good studio needs good mics, and good mics need good preamps. Tube preamps have retained their supremacy in this realm, but digital outputs are extremely helpful for digital recording apps. In this case, the Aphex 207D was brought in to substitute for the E-mu 1616M’s onboard preamps, which lack three features found on the dedicated preamp: Polarity switching, low-frequency filtering, and a 20dB pad. The 207D’s maximum sample rate is only 96kHz compared to the E-mu’s max of 192kHz, and as such, it’s been used primarily to feed analog signal to the 1616M, rather than the S/PDIF output from the 207D’s converters. Aphex is known for the quality and consistency of their Reflective Plate Amplifier so it’s no surprise that this unit sounds terrific. This unit offers features simply not found on tube preamps at this level, such as the digital output, making this an excellent value for home studios at less than $500.