APOGEE PSX-100 24-BIT A/D/A
The audio quality of your digital recorder is only as good as your converters. Use a flimsy converter, and the sounds you so carefully recorded will be sentenced to eternal two-dimensionality. We found the PSX-100 to be an excellent solution that translates sound between the digital and analog domains with superb accuracy.
The PSX-100 features two low-jitter clocks, one each for the A/D and D/A converters. This allows each converter to be used independently. It has full digital connectivity (S/PDIF and ADAT Optical, S/PDIF RCA, AES/EBU XLR, TDIF multipin, and word clock), so it can handle just about any format conversion required. The analog I/O is balanced XLR inputs and outputs. For analog input signals, the Soft Limit feature allows you to push the recording levels a little further than usual without the worry of digital overs.
The converters are 24-bit, but the unit has a user-selectable 16- and 20-bit output using UV22, Apogee's remarkably transparent scheme for reducing word lengths. The 16-bit recordings we made with the PSX-100 are far superior to anything else we have heard at that resolution. And with Apogee Bit Splitting (ABS), you can record two channels of 24-bit, 88.2 or 96 kHz data using eight tracks of a 16-bit MDM.
Special mention must be made of Apogee's Rosetta ($1,295), an A/D converter that has the same features and specs as the A/D on the PSX-100. If you just need a digital front end, and price is a consideration, the Rosetta is a fine choice. But if you want high-quality digital converters on both ends of your recorder, the results you'll get with the PSX-100 will take your breath away.