Published by aclarson on 6th March 2012
So, I got tipped off to this converter by the GS thread "Converter for Classical" in which Jim Williams expressed that the PCM4222 was the best on the market and only available in the EVM currently. Turns out that the EVM is a fully functioning 2 channel 192KHz A/D with decent analog stage, clock, and digiital output. Configure it, add a power supply and housing, and you're running.
I build electronics for a living, so this was a very easy build for me, put it and the power supply in the box, wired up power cord, switch with LED, and also used some mu-metal shielding to isolate the PS from the EVM. Some less experienced individuals may have a little more challenge. Since it is being compared for the purpose of this review to existing products, I rated the ease of use and features accordingly.
After a little time messing with how to configure the DIP switches, it was working. Right away, I could tell it was sounding very clean and clear, so I started running stuff through it...
Let me just state that I don't have much experience with high-end converters, but this thing just knocked my socks off right away! Compared to my Focusrite Saffire and Presonus Digimax converters, it was like taking the cotton out of your ears. Nice, big bottom on everything, stunning clarity on the high-end on vox. It was not subtle to me, which was the biggest surprise.
I did an A/B with a few friends, and everyone in the room could hear the difference. I've never even been a believer in the converter-magic arguments, but this sold me right away. I consider this one of the best bang-for-buck things I've done to my studio. If you're a handy AE with some spare time and you want to make yourself a great converter for under $300, this is it.