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Lynx Hilo vs Prism Orpheus / Lyra
Old 20th August 2013
  #1
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nms's Avatar
Lynx Hilo vs Prism Orpheus / Lyra

Just dropping a few things in this thread for those who are curious about Hilo vs Lyra. The Lyra is confirmed to be a stripped down Orpheus so the comparisons here apply to both. This should address what 2 people have said on here about the low end being weak on Hilo. This is certainly not a view shared by the majority, but I suspected all along that it's just cleaner and more tightly controlled than they were used to.

To date the Hilo remains the most transparent of any converter I've tested (50+ in the infamous Ultimate Converter DA/AD Loopback Thread) whether it be loopback null tests, blind listening tests (as I setup in the mastering forum with a selection of good ears and monitoring), or all the distortions RightMark Audio Analyzer tests for. Needless to say, that impressed me quite a bit which is why I recommend it so often that a few guys are sure I work for Lynx lol. I don't, but I love when a company hits one out of the park and for a price far less than it should be. I still give Prism a bit of a hard time because I wish they released Lyra with an updated converter design that trumps their previous rather than just repackage the Orpheus. I also hate to see people get caught up in new product hype when it's just a repackage of the old product. Don't buy it because it's new, buy it because it's what you're really after! That's me being critical though. They're both great sounding units. Depends what you're after. Anyways..

The first attached image shows a 60hz sine (crucial low end area) looped through 10 passes of ADDA conversion. The levels are carefully matched but as you can see the Orph isn't as tightly controlled and clips due to a bit of a slingshot effect.



The Left side is Orph, Right side is Hilo. I attached the audio files for anyone that wants to investigate further and check the waveform or run through an spectral analyzer to check out distortion. The audio files have sine waves at 60hz and 1khz. This is far from a comprehensive comparison of the two, just a few things I decided to put up. Maybe I'll update with the RMAA test results if I can find the link.

Attached you can also find the distortion results of each as viewed in a spectral analyzer.
Attached Thumbnails
Lynx Hilo vs Prism Orpheus / Lyra-orpheus-60hz.jpg   Lynx Hilo vs Prism Orpheus / Lyra-hilo-60hz.jpg   Lynx Hilo vs Prism Orpheus / Lyra-orpheus-1khz.jpg   Lynx Hilo vs Prism Orpheus / Lyra-hilo-1khz.jpg  
Attached Files

Prism Orpheus 10 pass vs Hilo 10 pass.wav (3.13 MB, 13903 views)

Old 21st August 2013
  #2
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Taurean's Avatar
Lynx are just top notch. Amazing customer support to boot
Old 5th September 2014
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post

To date the Hilo remains the most transparent of any converter I've tested (50+ in the infamous Ultimate Converter DA/AD Loopback Thread) whether it be loopback null tests, blind listening tests (as I setup in the mastering forum with a selection of good ears and monitoring), or all the distortions RightMark Audio Analyzer tests for.

Did u tried MSB Select DAC?!!
SELECT DAC Details
After u try this one tell us what is the best DAC in the world!!!
P.s. No that's not a mistake in the price.
Old 5th September 2014
  #4
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilly7 View Post



Did u tried MSB Select DAC?!!
SELECT DAC Details
After u try this one tell us what is the best DAC in the world!!!
P.s. No that's not a mistake in the price.
Why would I? None of us cares about silly overpriced products like that. They're meant to take advantage of people with more money than sense
Old 24th September 2014
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Why would I? None of us cares about silly overpriced products like that. They're meant to take advantage of people with more money than sense
Well until u tray that unit and try it for ur self u cannot claim like that!!!
Old 15th May 2015
  #6
Gear Nut
 

What other DA/AD have you owned/tried NMS? And besides the test, which sounds the best (warm, analog, etc.) to your ears?
Old 16th May 2015
  #7
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Sky View Post
What other DA/AD have you owned/tried NMS? And besides the test, which sounds the best (warm, analog, etc.) to your ears?
I've tested more than I have time to list, but owned Lavry Black, Mytek 96 & 192 (not the DSD DAC), Ross Martin, Motu 828mk3 & 828mk2, Steinberg MR816x.

I'm 3 yrs into the Hilo now and don't really care about other converters anymore. At this level I don't believe significant gains can be made at any price I would consider sensible. It's one of a kind when you take all the features & routing into consideration and is a crucial hub to my studio. I thought I might add something for extra I/O this year but just reconfigured my wiring scheme instead.

Great converters are an excellent investment, but keep sensible about it and put your money where it'll make the most difference in your chain.

Last edited by nms; 16th May 2015 at 11:56 PM..
Old 29th August 2015
  #8
SEA
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SEA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Just dropping a few things in this thread for those who are curious about Hilo vs Lyra. The Lyra is confirmed to be a stripped down Orpheus so the comparisons here apply to both. This should address what 2 people have said on here about the low end being weak on Hilo. This is certainly not a view shared by the majority, but I suspected all along that it's just cleaner and more tightly controlled than they were used to.

To date the Hilo remains the most transparent of any converter I've tested (50+ in the infamous Ultimate Converter DA/AD Loopback Thread) whether it be loopback null tests, blind listening tests (as I setup in the mastering forum with a selection of good ears and monitoring), or all the distortions RightMark Audio Analyzer tests for. Needless to say, that impressed me quite a bit which is why I recommend it so often that a few guys are sure I work for Lynx lol. I don't, but I love when a company hits one out of the park and for a price far less than it should be. I still give Prism a bit of a hard time because I wish they released Lyra with an updated converter design that trumps their previous rather than just repackage the Orpheus. I also hate to see people get caught up in new product hype when it's just a repackage of the old product. Don't buy it because it's new, buy it because it's what you're really after! That's me being critical though. They're both great sounding units. Depends what you're after. Anyways..

The first attached image shows a 60hz sine (crucial low end area) looped through 10 passes of ADDA conversion. The levels are carefully matched but as you can see the Orph isn't as tightly controlled and clips due to a bit of a slingshot effect.



The Left side is Orph, Right side is Hilo. I attached the audio files for anyone that wants to investigate further and check the waveform or run through an spectral analyzer to check out distortion. The audio files have sine waves at 60hz and 1khz. This is far from a comprehensive comparison of the two, just a few things I decided to put up. Maybe I'll update with the RMAA test results if I can find the link.

Attached you can also find the distortion results of each as viewed in a spectral analyzer.
Thanks nms for these test!
Appreciate it!

With all your input (Slug1 as well), I started taking a closer look at the Hilo and I'm thinking that may be the best route for me as well.

I know Slug1 has his Lyra 2 ADC going into the Hilo. However, if the Hilo ADC is great and transparent, how much is one actually going to hear between the two?

Also, if I went with a Hilo, and decided to try out another ADDA, can I bypass both the ADDA converters in the Hilo and, at the same time, connect some hardware in the chain as well? That way I could choose either ADDA I like and be able to switch back and forth.

Thanks for your help.
Old 30th August 2015
  #9
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA View Post
I know Slug1 has his Lyra 2 ADC going into the Hilo. However, if the Hilo ADC is great and transparent, how much is one actually going to hear between the two?
I'm not seeing the connection here. When he uses his Lyra's ADC there is obviously no A to D conversion happening in the Hilo because it receives the digital line out from the Lyra and passes it to the computer. In this scenario the Hilo acts only as the interface. The ADC of the Hilo and ADC of the Lyra will sound the way they sound. Only one conversion stage takes place.
Quote:
Also, if I went with a Hilo, and decided to try out another ADDA, can I bypass both the ADDA converters in the Hilo and, at the same time, connect some hardware in the chain as well? That way I could choose either ADDA I like and be able to switch back and forth.
The Hilo is an extremely flexible interface plus ADDA converter. You are free to use the converters or interface's digital routing matrix together or independently, however you feel like. It has the most versatile routing of anything I've ever used, and you can also save different routing templates as any one of the 6 "scenes" easily recalled from the touch screen.
Old 30th August 2015
  #10
SEA
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SEA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I'm not seeing the connection here. When he uses his Lyra's ADC there is obviously no A to D conversion happening in the Hilo because it receives the digital line out from the Lyra and passes it to the computer. In this scenario the Hilo acts only as the interface. The ADC of the Hilo and ADC of the Lyra will sound the way they sound. Only one conversion stage takes place.The Hilo is an extremely flexible interface plus ADDA converter. You are free to use the converters or interface's digital routing matrix together or independently, however you feel like. It has the most versatile routing of anything I've ever used, and you can also save different routing templates as any one of the 6 "scenes" easily recalled from the touch screen.
Thanks nms for your reply!

As far as the ADC of the Lyra 2 goes, what I meant was if you use the Lyra 2 ADC vs. the Hilo ADC, I wonder how much difference between the 2 there will actually be! Like is it splitting hairs (once again)

The only way would be to side-by side them of course.

Also, with all the routing capabilities and scene saving feature, it's possible to have several ADDA connected to the Hilo plus hardware in between and basically at a push of a button, switch back and forth! To me that's WAY cool indeed!
Old 30th August 2015
  #11
SEA
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SEA's Avatar
 

Have there been any hardware changes in the Hilo over the years or strictly software?

Thanks
Old 11th January 2016
  #12
Gear Addict
 
firubbi's Avatar
for usb how good is the driver and latency compare to RME.
thanks
Old 16th January 2016
  #13
Gear Head
Very happy with our Hilo..no latency issues

Astonishing good headphone pre amp (used with LCD-X's) you will fall off your chair

Surprising good mix matrix and output options too

Perfect to pair with monitors that have an AES input
Old 21st March 2018
  #14
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Synthpark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Just dropping a few things in this thread for those who are curious about Hilo vs Lyra. The Lyra is confirmed to be a stripped down Orpheus so the comparisons here apply to both. This should address what 2 people have said on here about the low end being weak on Hilo. This is certainly not a view shared by the majority, but I suspected all along that it's just cleaner and more tightly controlled than they were used to.

To date the Hilo remains the most transparent of any converter I've tested (50+ in the infamous Ultimate Converter DA/AD Loopback Thread) whether it be loopback null tests, blind listening tests (as I setup in the mastering forum with a selection of good ears and monitoring), or all the distortions RightMark Audio Analyzer tests for. Needless to say, that impressed me quite a bit which is why I recommend it so often that a few guys are sure I work for Lynx lol. I don't, but I love when a company hits one out of the park and for a price far less than it should be. I still give Prism a bit of a hard time because I wish they released Lyra with an updated converter design that trumps their previous rather than just repackage the Orpheus. I also hate to see people get caught up in new product hype when it's just a repackage of the old product. Don't buy it because it's new, buy it because it's what you're really after! That's me being critical though. They're both great sounding units. Depends what you're after. Anyways..

The first attached image shows a 60hz sine (crucial low end area) looped through 10 passes of ADDA conversion. The levels are carefully matched but as you can see the Orph isn't as tightly controlled and clips due to a bit of a slingshot effect.



The Left side is Orph, Right side is Hilo. I attached the audio files for anyone that wants to investigate further and check the waveform or run through an spectral analyzer to check out distortion. The audio files have sine waves at 60hz and 1khz. This is far from a comprehensive comparison of the two, just a few things I decided to put up. Maybe I'll update with the RMAA test results if I can find the link.

Attached you can also find the distortion results of each as viewed in a spectral analyzer.
Axes are not scaled, harmonics very similar. I don't see any hint that one converter is better than the other.
Old 21st March 2018
  #15
SEA
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SEA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthpark View Post
Axes are not scaled, harmonics very similar. I don't see any hint that one converter is better than the other.
I picked up the Prism Lyra like 6 months to a year and my wife was blown away in the first 5’seconds of a song I played. The difference was night and day!

Maybe the reason Prism doesn’t “upgrade” is because “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. After a while you got to say “Ok Ok, we can’t make it better!” (Except for routing and design configuration. Still waiting on a few things myself.)

Does the Hilo have much new? It’s pretty long tooth itself if you ask around.

Slug1 is a HUGE Hilo fan who has a full time studio out in CA. After years of pushing the Hilo he bough the Lyra and was “Blown Away” and could hear more details in the mids than his trusty Hilo.

I almost bought a Hilo. I love the Hilo’s rooting but that’s not a reason to buy it. I picked up my Lyra for $1,700 with a free $150 high end USB cable from a mastering engineer who needed more ins/outs and bought a Lavry blue that was more suited to his needs. Not the sound, just the configuration he needed. I don't need the cable so to me, it's like getting the Lyra for $1,550! I could sell it and make a $$$. That's why I got 40K in my studio but it only cost me around 19K USD.

Like the song says... "My momma told me... You better shop around!" Oh yeah ;-)
Old 22nd March 2018
  #16
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthpark View Post
Axes are not scaled, harmonics very similar. I don't see any hint that one converter is better than the other.


Not sure what to say here. Did you look at the images using a phone screen? In sunlight? From a few feet away?

It's clear as day if you're on a computer and use the forward/backward buttons to flip between the images.

X scale is simply a standard logarithmic spectral plot. Y scale is from full scale down to noise floor. The graphs are intended for comparative purposes.. against each other, not extrapolating absolute measurement data individually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA View Post
Maybe the reason Prism doesn’t “upgrade” is because “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. After a while you got to say “Ok Ok, we can’t make it better!”
That's a creative perspective, however there were cleaner converters available when the Orpheus was released 10yrs ago, and many which came along since.

Quote:
Slug1 is a HUGE Hilo fan who has a full time studio out in CA. After years of pushing the Hilo he bough the Lyra and was “Blown Away” and could hear more details in the mids than his trusty Hilo.
Distortion brings sounds forward. The Orpheus is unquestionably colored in comparison, which is partly why it was never favored among mastering engineers.

Last edited by nms; 22nd March 2018 at 03:14 PM..
Old 7th April 2018
  #17
Gear Head
 
kegn51's Avatar
 

Have YOU tested the RME ADI 2 pro ?
RME says it is absolutely pure after 10 loopbacks.

/Göran
Old 8th April 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
 
nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegn51 View Post
Have YOU tested the RME ADI 2 pro ?
RME says it is absolutely pure after 10 loopbacks.
Absolutely pure? I'm not familiar with that measure of performance haha. Naturally, the people making and selling a product are always going to say it's a great product.
I've never tested it myself. Truthfully, I've had no interest in converter shopping at all since putting the Hilo in my studio. To release a product with that featureset and converter quality on par with Hilo at that price point would certainly be uncharacteristic of RME though. For someone looking to spend $1800-2000 it looks like an option worth checking out though if the features add specific value to your application and fit your needs.
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