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Lynx Aurora (n) 8 vs. Mytek Digital 8x192 Series AD/DA Digital Converters
Old 2nd February 2018
  #1
Lynx Aurora (n) 8 vs. Mytek Digital 8x192 Series AD/DA

Does anyone have experience with how the newer upgraded Lynx Aurora (n) line of converters stacks up against theMytek Digital 8x192 Series AD/DA? Also, thoughts on how the Lynx Aurora (n) DAC compares to the Benchmark DAC2 (or Benchmark DAC3, as they're extremely similar)?

Been rocking a Mytek Stereo96 DAC into a Mytek Stereo96 ADC for a long time as my pitch/capture DAC/ADC (analog mastering chain) with a Benchmark DAC2 DX as my monitoring DAC (prior to the Benchmark DAC2, a Benchmark DAC1).

I'm planning to move to either the Lynx Aurora (n) 8 or Mytek Digital 8x192 Series AD/DA as I've been getting into recording my own music again as of recently (never stopped playing but took a far too long hiatus with recording) and need more ADC channels. Regardless, the DAC and ADC of one of these converters will be used for my mastering chain as well.

I may or may not keep the Benchmark DAC2 as my monitoring DAC or use the Lynx Aurora (n) 8 for that purpose as well, depending on which I prefer, but the more important question is the Mytek vs. the Lynx.

Thanks in advance for any input!
Old 3rd February 2018
  #2
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric View Post
Does anyone have experience with how the newer upgraded Lynx Aurora (n) line of converters stacks up against theMytek Digital 8x192 Series AD/DA? Also, thoughts on how the Lynx Aurora (n) DAC compares to the Benchmark DAC2 (or Benchmark DAC3, as they're extremely similar)?

Been rocking a Mytek Stereo96 DAC into a Mytek Stereo96 ADC for a long time as my pitch/capture DAC/ADC (analog mastering chain) with a Benchmark DAC2 DX as my monitoring DAC (prior to the Benchmark DAC2, a Benchmark DAC1).

I'm planning to move to either the Lynx Aurora (n) 8 or Mytek Digital 8x192 Series AD/DA as I've been getting into recording my own music again as of recently (never stopped playing but took a far too long hiatus with recording) and need more ADC channels. Regardless, the DAC and ADC of one of these converters will be used for my mastering chain as well.

I may or may not keep the Benchmark DAC2 as my monitoring DAC or use the Lynx Aurora (n) 8 for that purpose as well, depending on which I prefer, but the more important question is the Mytek vs. the Lynx.

Thanks in advance for any input!
I'm sure the new version is better, and I have not heard it...but...that being said. I have an extremely hard time feeling convinced that it would ever beat out the Mytek 8x192.

The Mytek 8x192 was my second choice out of dozens of different designs (The Prism Titan via Digilink to PTHD Native edged it out). It's a stellar unit and it hangs with the best of them: Prism Titan/Lyra/Orpheus, and Dream/ADA-8xr, IZ ADA/RADAR, SPL Madison (which is extremely similar in quality and sound to the Mytek), and Burl converters if you want something deliberately more colorful with an almost tape-like response.

I am not a fan of the original Lynx Aurora and I remain skeptical that a new version would defeat even the Antelope Orion stuff which is not in the same league as what I've listed above but still pretty great for the money...or even the newer generation RME converters which I think have been steadily getting great for what they cost.

I might be proven wrong, as I've said I only have experience with the previous generation of their converter design, and they might have really turned that ship around. But I would demo it rather take people at their word. The Mytek is one of the best in class, and is the best in class in terms of connectivity options. If I wasn't running a PTHD system I might have chosen the Mytek over the Prism because I think it's overall feature set is better...however with Digilink the Prism won me over on sound/imaging.

Last edited by herecomesyourman; 3rd February 2018 at 07:39 AM..
Old 3rd February 2018
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I'm sure the new version is better, and I have not heard it...but...that being said. I have an extremely hard time feeling convinced that it would ever beat out the Mytek 8x192.

The Mytek 8x192 was my second choice out of dozens of different designs (The Prism Titan via Digilink to PTHD Native edged it out). It's a stellar unit and it hangs with the best of them: Prism Titan/Lyra/Orpheus, and Dream/ADA-8xr, IZ ADA/RADAR, SPL Madison (which is extremely similar in quality and sound to the Mytek), and Burl converters if you want something deliberately more colorful with an almost tape-like response.

I am not a fan of the original Lynx Aurora and I remain skeptical that a new version would defeat even even the Antelope Orion stuff which is not in the same league as what I've listed above but still pretty great for the money...or even the newer generation RME converters which I think have been steadily getting great for what they cost.

I might be proven wrong, as I've said I only have experience with the previous generation of their converter design, and they might have really turned that ship around. But I would demo it rather take people at their word. The Mytek is one of the best in class, and is the best in class in terms of connectivity options. If I wasn't running a PTHD system I might have chosen the Mytek over the Prism because I think it's overall feature set is better...however with Digilink the Prism won me over on sound/imaging.
Really appreciate the input! Very well stick with Mytek. Again, it's what I have now for my analog loop, just need more ADC channels. Happy now and the 8x192 even seems like a tiny, but nevertheless upgrade, to my two Stereo96 units. Thanks again.
Old 3rd February 2018
  #4
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric View Post
Really appreciate the input! Very well stick with Mytek. Again, it's what I have now for my analog loop, just need more ADC channels. Happy now and the 8x192 even seems like a tiny, but nevertheless upgrade, to my two Stereo96 units. Thanks again.
Totally welcome. To give you some context, I use my Prism Titan primarily for mastering and for audio software creation. If you are running PTHD I would think about it Vs. the 8x192, but in an 8 I/O box these are really the only two heavyweight contenders I can name in that price range to be sure, and honestly at any price they stand out.

The Mytek felt a bit more "transparent" in the low end, but a tiny bit more hyped in the upper mids to highs (sharper/harder sounding). The Titan has a more euphoric low midrange to sub low thing going on, and feels a bit more musical, but restrained in the upper mid range to highs, though the definition is accurate/clear in my opinion. To me things "groove" better on the Titan, and I feel you net a positive gain in a loopback in terms of stereo imaging and character (Whatever the losses are, it still feels better after I loop it).

The Mytek was similar in terms of net gain, but not quite as "musical", it feels a tad "stiff" in the groove factor by comparison to me...however, the capabilities to track to DSD, and to have AES or even Firewire connectivity give it a lot more flexibility if you need those connections. Also it's future-proofed if they come out with a USB 3 MDIO card later on.

The Titan clearly doesn't sound as good in USB as it does in with a Digilink cable. But I didn't get to test the difference between USB Vs. Digilink, or even Firewire with the Mytek directly in head to head (just Digilink). I did however, demo an 8x192 years ago at a different time with a firewire cable, and I can't remember them sounding much different offhand (though I would test this yourself, as I'm just thinking back). It might be that Digilink did improve things and I'm misremembering sessions more than a few years apart.

The Titan with Digilink clearly beats the Orpheus with Firewire, and from a Lyra user on the forum I correspond with, the Lyra in USB as well. Though you're also paying for the onboard preamps you don't need, which I wish they had eliminated to keep prices down. And the output summing and stepped monitor outs on the Mytek are awesome. All features I wish the Titan sported.

Hope all this helps. You would not regret either.
Old 3rd February 2018
  #5
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
The Titan clearly doesn't sound as good in USB as it does in with a Digilink cable.
Are you talking about the A-D or D-A stage? And in what way exactly does it sound worse when using USB? Soundwise it really shouldn't matter what digital protocol is used as long as the sample rate and bit depth are the same.

I'm considering the Titan myself so this makes me a bit worried.
Old 3rd February 2018
  #6
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangled Tales View Post
Are you talking about the A-D or D-A stage? And in what way exactly does it sound worse when using USB? Soundwise it really shouldn't matter what digital protocol is used as long as the sample rate and bit depth are the same.

I'm considering the Titan myself so this makes me a bit worried.
In a loopback DA > AD The titan via Digilink seems to sound a bit better than when I swap it back to USB. I think this has to do with the latency lowering to virtually nothing when you go to PCIE.

I'm going to do an exhaustive test with this soon, but to double confirm, a friend on this forum (B0se) verified that his Lyra via USB did not sound as good as my Titan via Digilink (though he was using a different DAW, and expressed that it made a bigger difference than I think I experienced swapping back and forth in PT).

Now there is one other factor. I used a set of quad cables to do the loopback. It might be that the Prism is designed for optimal use with quad (which is very unique if true). The manual points to using quad cable for optimal performance with the mic preamps, but doesn't say anything about the AD or DA.

I only had Mogami 2534 quad at the studio to test. So I'm ordering every type of high quality TRS to TRS patch cables I can to run additional tests.

So I've ordered Zaolla Silverline, Belden 1800F, and Mogami 2549 with Gold Neutrik's so far. I'm looking into Van Damme and Canare next. If none of these cables can beat the Mogami Quad, I'm going to order quad variants next from as many of these companies as possible to see which cable we'll use for everything here.

If you're going to eventually make the jump to PTHD I can say with confidence that the Titan is a much better pick than the current AVID converters. They're great, but not in the same league. I can also say that even with the design differences with the Mytek, where I preferred elements of it's design...in terms of sound the Titan refused to lay down the sword. It was just the best sounding thing I've ever used aside from the IZ Radar with classic 96 converters I've tracked with years ago (which was owned by Andy Seagle), and the Mytek 8x192 (which is just behind the IZ in some respects, but just ahead in others, both are maybe one step down from the Titan with Digilink, but even then it could come down to taste). At this price point ($3,000-$4,000, etc.) the Titan kind of demanded respect in terms of the imaging and sound.

I should add though that Shelterr chose the IZ ADA with Classic 96's, with Digilink, for his studio after owning a Prism ADA-8xr, and that when I used a Radar, it did not have Digilink.

Last edited by herecomesyourman; 3rd February 2018 at 09:01 PM..
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