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Lynx Hilo still a good purchase in 2019?
Old 20th June 2019
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairbow View Post
[...]someone on GS did a high end converter test and did audio loops through DAC and ADC. After 50 pass throughs, the only converter that made no change to the audio was the Lynx Hilo.[...]
Do you have a link for this? I know in the loopback thread the Hilo scores relatively high but I've never seen any converter that makes no change to the audio after 50 passes. That would be pretty outstanding if true.
Cheers!
Old 20th June 2019
  #32
Still use my hilo here.
Old 21st June 2019
  #33
Sent mines for repair couple of month ago after six years of abuse and I felt like I was blind without it. Customer service at lynx is top-notch and quick.

Last edited by Razik; 21st June 2019 at 09:58 AM..
Old 21st June 2019
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razik View Post
Sent mines for repair couple of month ago after six years of abuse and I felt like I was blind without it. Customer service at lynx is top-notch and quick.
Good to know, I have some very expensive gear with very bad (and expensive) customer services and let me tell you that this is enough to make me dislike the gear itself sometimes!

It's as if the cheaper gear has better service sometimes...
Old 23rd June 2019
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Good to know, I have some very expensive gear with very bad (and expensive) customer services and let me tell you that this is enough to make me dislike the gear itself sometimes!

It's as if the cheaper gear has better service sometimes...
Totally. Gefell, Heritage both kind of disappointed with their service. Music Group has the best service I have experienced. Not joking.

I've got a Hilo too and adore it. Paul is awesome. Highly recommend.
Old 24th June 2019
  #36
Hilo is neutral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairbow View Post
For what its worth, someone on GS did a high end converter test and did audio loops through DAC and ADC. After 50 pass throughs, the only converter that made no change to the audio was the Lynx Hilo.

If you want it to "sound" nice do shootouts and buy whatever you like the most after a listening session. But the Hilo will be pure audio in a technical sense, and for people who do mastering or critical listening its nice to know what is "true".
Agree with all you say above.

Hilo is a "neutral" sounding converter; it is true to the source. Some like components that are not neutral and that add or subtract somewhere in the frequency range; more bass, increased air in high frequencies.

Neutral allows me to use the source equipment in my music making to create the "sound" I want rather than letting the equipment downstream to color my music.

A clean, neutral, and "pure audio" as you said, makes it a converter that is truer to the sources. It tells you what needs to be done to the source material (synth, DAW sound, treatments to sounds, etc.)

Getting accustomed to a neutral converter like the Hilo will facilitate better music production over time. Great converter and reasonable price.
Old 24th June 2019
  #37
Neutral

When a converter or speakers for example are "neutral", they convey more of the unique recording of music or sound. The more neutral a playback system (not talking about making music in the box, in the computer), the more distinct one recording will sound from another. It's quite ear opening when I first heard equipment that was more neutral than I had heard before.

So, the Hilo is more neutral than even the Forssell MDAC. As good as the sound is that comes from the MDAC, it does overemphasis the mid bass.

I have found that I don't want my downstream equipment to "color" my music.
I want to hear what i am doing when I am creating a sound, or playing it or mixing or mastering. The Hilo is better for me because it is neutral. The higher priced components, even scraping the sky in dollar amounts, they all are designed with neutral in mind. The more expensive, highly resolved equipment, the more neutral. It can be startling to hear this for the first time.

The Hilo's great strengths are it's neutrality, display interface, many converters inside and many routing possibilities. Well made and absolutely top notch, easy to phone up and talk to support.

Last edited by Quipu; 24th June 2019 at 07:15 PM.. Reason: bad grammar
Old 24th June 2019
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
I want to hear what i am doing when I am creating a sound, .
This does not make much sense, you always hear what you are doing, in other converters the part that changes is the AD, the DA is always as transparent as possible, in all converters ... except in the JCF.
So yes, you listen to what you are doing with transparency, although in the AD there is a transformer or a musical characteristic
Old 24th June 2019
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bichop View Post
This does not make much sense, you always hear what you are doing, in other converters the part that changes is the AD, the DA is always as transparent as possible, in all converters ... except in the JCF.
So yes, you listen to what you are doing with transparency, although in the AD there is a transformer or a musical characteristic
The idea is that a "neutral" sounding converter is more true to the source sound and colors or changes the source sound less than converters that are not neutral.
So, what I am doing to a sound or mix on the source, front end, before the converter is what is important.

I want the converter (or any component downstream) to give me the truest playback to what I am doing. I don't have converters or whatever to color the sound. I color it on the front end. Ideally, what us downstream faithfully takes what I created to the speakers with minimal alteration of the sound. So neutral respects the upstream and maybe mercilessly renders what is coming from the front end.

AD or DA, the goal is for it to be true to the source. Some people want or don't mind colorations from equipment, but it should be the music maker's choice and within their control, not up to colored equipment to decide.

the price of course is high. more $$$, more neutral, more fun, .....

thanks for your feedback.
Old 25th June 2019
  #40
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Not only is Hilo still relevant, it has some unique aspects, particularly related to the routing of all I/O, and the availability of two fully independent mastering grade stereo DACs and an independent headphone DAC. Several stand alone DACs have multiple analog outputs, but they are not truly independent and can't run and be controlled completely independently at the same time unless you use a specific input (ie USB). The digital IO allows for expanding to include other converters that also can benefit from the routing. Any analog or digital output can serve as the main monitor output and be controlled by the volume knob. May not seem special, but when all it takes is a few pushes on the touch screen to do so, it becomes more obvious how efficient it is. The new firmware also turns Hilo into a monitor controller using the two analog outputs to feed two pairs of monitors and be controlled independently. I think that Hilo represents an amazing product that can not only provide mastering grade DA and AD conversion, but can serve as a central station for expanding a mastering rig whether working all digital or hybrid. The intuitive touch screen is the icing on the cake.

One of my favorite features is being able to easily listen to the unprocessed DAW audio versus the analog processed audio by just toggling between USB and Digital input (coming from my Dangerous AD+ connected AES to Hilo). I can use the digital input trim fader to quickly trim down the processed track to level match the unprocessed versus processed audio.

Finally, it shines when fed conservative (non-clipped) audio, mainly from the perspective of the ADC. When not clipped, its hard to find a better converter from the standpoint of true to source. But it is not the ADC to use if you come in hot. It really lets you know when things clip because it really farts and sounds bad. I have a Dangerous Music Master that has multiple outputs and I connect one to a Dangerous AD+ for hotter work, and one of the other outputs connected to the Hilo ADC when I want to come in conservatively and maybe add level ITB.

For someone starting out in mastering, you can't go wrong with Hilo. Mastering grade conversion, lots of digital IO, super flexibility, and at an amazing price point.
Old 25th June 2019
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Not only is Hilo still relevant, it has some unique aspects,

For someone starting out in mastering, you can't go wrong with Hilo. Mastering grade conversion, lots of digital IO, super flexibility, and at an amazing price point.
Excellent descriptions about the Hilo in use. Fine machine. Highly recommended.
Old 25th June 2019
  #42
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Thanks guys, I am sold, now I just need to sell some gear!
Old 25th June 2019
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Thanks guys, I am sold, now I just need to sell some gear!


The only thing I hate is that the black one came out after I bought mine!!! I really really want the black one because it looks cooler to me!!
Old 25th June 2019
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
The idea is that a "neutral" sounding converter is more true to the source sound and colors or changes the source sound less than converters that are not neutral.
So, what I am doing to a sound or mix on the source, front end, before the converter is what is important.

I want the converter (or any component downstream) to give me the truest playback to what I am doing. I don't have converters or whatever to color the sound. I color it on the front end. Ideally, what us downstream faithfully takes what I created to the speakers with minimal alteration of the sound. So neutral respects the upstream and maybe mercilessly renders what is coming from the front end.

.
I agree with what you say, the thread is a great converter, faithful to the source, transparent AD, everything seems excellent if it is what you want, I was only referring to the phrase "I want to hear what I'm doing when I'm creating a sound"
It's what I do not agree with, with my DA and my PSI monitors I listen to what I'm doing very well
But yes, I understand, I also looked for transparent converters, but it happened that all converters have some weak point, some lose central image, others are a bit advanced in high frequencies, others sound a little sterile or cold or wide.
In the end you have to try to find yours, when I tried Prism Sound I thought "wow, I love" a very transparent DA, the AD is musical, with weight, not advanced in high frequencies, smooth, improves what comes.
I hate that "modern" sound that we want to sell now
Old 25th June 2019
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post


The only thing I hate is that the black one came out after I bought mine!!! I really really want the black one because it looks cooler to me!!
Glad I got the Black one...
Attached Thumbnails
Lynx Hilo still a good purchase in 2019?-black-one.jpg  

Last edited by GP_Hawk; 25th June 2019 at 05:03 PM..
Old 25th June 2019
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GP_Hawk View Post
Glad I got the Black one...
You're killing me dude!!
Old 26th June 2019
  #47
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Sorry man, mine’s black too

Edit: I don’t know if it’ll make you feel any better, but silver gear definitely hides any dust build up!

Last edited by Conundra; 26th June 2019 at 01:07 AM.. Reason: Addition
Old 26th June 2019
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conundra View Post
Sorry man, mine’s black too

Edit: I don’t know if it’ll make you feel any better, but silver gear definitely hides any dust build up!
True, true!! Had it for five years now. It’s all good in my silver Hilo’s neighborhood!!
Old 11th July 2019
  #49
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Yesterday I went shopping for new headphones. I brought my HD600 with me for reference, I wanted to try the Focal Clear and the HD800s.

So I go in, and the seller sets me up with a SPL Phonitor e in USB mode, I first listened with my HD600, I gotta say that thing sounded really good, it opened up my HD600 like I never heard them before. Listening to those 3 headphones through the Phonitor was pretty great.
The redco p2m amp that I have has plenty of power but never got me that feeling of hi-end sound.

This made me wonder how the Hilo would compare, DA and amp wise? It also made me think if I should concentrate more on a really high end monitoring DA and headphone amp instead of choosing an all in one solution. Even though there's a lot of praise for the Hilo I have a hard time believing it's as good as a DA only that cost the same, like a Mytek Brooklyn for example.
Old 11th July 2019
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Yesterday I went shopping for new headphones. I brought my HD600 with me for reference, I wanted to try the Focal Clear and the HD800s.

So I go in, and the seller sets me up with a SPL Phonitor e in USB mode, I first listened with my HD600, I gotta say that thing sounded really good, it opened up my HD600 like I never heard them before. Listening to those 3 headphones through the Phonitor was pretty great.
The redco p2m amp that I have has plenty of power but never got me that feeling of hi-end sound.

This made me wonder how the Hilo would compare, DA and amp wise? It also made me think if I should concentrate more on a really high end monitoring DA and headphone amp instead of choosing an all in one solution. Even though there's a lot of praise for the Hilo I have a hard time believing it's as good as a DA only that cost the same, like a Mytek Brooklyn for example.
the spl phonitor is a tough contender! since getting the mini version, i'm having a hard time listening to any other headphone amp which does not have any sort of (adjustable) crossfeed matrix...
Old 11th July 2019
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
the spl phonitor is a tough contender! since getting the mini version, i'm having a hard time listening to any other headphone amp which does not have any sort of (adjustable) crossfeed matrix...
I listened mostly without the crossfeed feature but I still found it very nice.

Do you also own a Hilo?
Old 11th July 2019
  #52
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
This made me wonder how the Hilo would compare, DA and amp wise? It also made me think if I should concentrate more on a really high end monitoring DA and headphone amp instead of choosing an all in one solution. Even though there's a lot of praise for the Hilo I have a hard time believing it's as good as a DA only that cost the same, like a Mytek Brooklyn for example.
I'm pretty close to getting a Hilo myself after researching this stuff to death. There's definitely no shops anywhere (even remotely) near me that would have one to demo, so I'm limited to online reviews until I purchase. I'm wondering about this, because I highly utilize headphones as well. I have HD650's that I plan to upgrading as well to LCD-X's or Clear's (leaning towards the Clear) around the same time.

I'm curious if it's not better to monitor everything via what's essentially the same converters for all I/O giving a more accurate representation? Even if those converters and/or amps are subjectively better/worse I'm wondering does that help or hinder having to translate the two depending on what set of speakers you're using? Granted, the speakers themselves are different, but different converters seems like another variable.

I have little doubts on the quality of the Hilo myself. I think at some point these things simply become preference and not a binary 'better' or 'worse' outcome. I'm sure the SPL unit is fantastic too though. I've been avoiding looking into it intentionally. I don't need another 'thing' on my list.
Old 11th July 2019
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sl1200mk2 View Post
I'm pretty close to getting a Hilo myself after researching this stuff to death. There's definitely no shops anywhere (even remotely) near me that would have one to demo, so I'm limited to online reviews until I purchase. I'm wondering about this, because I highly utilize headphones as well. I have HD650's that I plan to upgrading as well to LCD-X's or Clear's (leaning towards the Clear) around the same time.

I'm curious if it's not better to monitor everything via what's essentially the same converters for all I/O giving a more accurate representation? Even if those converters and/or amps are subjectively better/worse I'm wondering does that help or hinder having to translate the two depending on what set of speakers you're using? Granted, the speakers themselves are different, but different converters seems like another variable.

I have little doubts on the quality of the Hilo myself. I think at some point these things simply become preference and not a binary 'better' or 'worse' outcome. I'm sure the SPL unit is fantastic too though. I've been avoiding looking into it intentionally. I don't need another 'thing' on my list.
I hear you my dealer doesn’t have a demo for the Hilo either.

If I could just test all the stuff the choice would be super easy to make but without testing it becomes an obsession to read all the reviews I can find, I don’t really like that.
Old 11th July 2019
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
I listened mostly without the crossfeed feature but I still found it very nice.

Do you also own a Hilo?
i don't listen on headphones without the crossfeed switched in on my phonitor mini or (the simplified version on) the grace m900...

i didn't buy the hilo i had for evaluation 'cause i found the cranesong hedd 192's tone shaping options more valuable for my setup; the decision got nothing to do with the accuracy or 'sound' of the conversion though!

[imo converters such as hilo, hedd, grace, lavry, weiss and a few others are on such a high level that i don't care which one i use - in addition, i'm mostly tracking/recording with my broadcast desk: the built-in (and various outboard) converters are also of very high quality so i gave up using dedicated converters for monitoring. finally, i run my monitor signals for both stereo and surround into speaker processors anyhow and from there into poweramps or into speakers with digital inputs...- so sorry, i'm the wrong person to talk to if it comes to 2-channel converters]

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 11th July 2019 at 04:24 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 11th July 2019
  #55
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i don't listen on headphones without the crossfeed switched in on my phonitor mini or (the simplified version on) the grace m900...

i didn't buy the hilo i had for evaluation 'cause i found the cranesong hedd 192's tone shaping options more valuable for my setup; the decision got nothing to do with the accuracy or 'sound' of the converison though!

[imo converters such as hilo, hedd, grace, lavry, weiss and a few others are on such a high level that i don't care which one i use - in addition, i'm mostly tracking/recording with my broadcast desk: the built-in (and various outboard) converters are also of very high quality so i gave up using dedicated converters for monitoring. finally, i run my monitor signals for both stereo and surround into speaker processors anyhow and from there into poweramps or into speakers with digital inputs...- so sorry, i'm the wrong person to talk to if it comes to 2-channel converters]
Thank you for the explanation! I was heavily considering the Cranesong too, largely for the tone options as well, but think I've settled on the Hilo for the overall flexibility, routing and monitoring options. For now, I'd like to avoid a separate monitoring solution.
Old 11th July 2019
  #56
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Could we get more opinion about the headphone amp of the Hilo?
I read that's it's mediocre and then I read that it's great... kind of hard to follow what it really is lol
Old 11th July 2019
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Could we get more opinion about the headphone amp of the Hilo?
I read that's it's mediocre and then I read that it's great... kind of hard to follow what it really is lol
Well I do mastering a lot and sound quality is very important to me. Headphones are a must for my final mastering. The Hilo headphone amp is outstanding.
Old 12th July 2019
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
Well I do mastering a lot and sound quality is very important to me. Headphones are a must for my final mastering. The Hilo headphone amp is outstanding.
Thank you, have you tried other quality amps in the past as well?
Old 12th July 2019
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Could we get more opinion about the headphone amp of the Hilo?
I read that's it's mediocre and then I read that it's great... kind of hard to follow what it really is lol
I have an Aurora (n) which Lynx says is basically a multichannel Hilo (which I haven’t tried yet...). As for the headphone amp, I had a Lake People G109-P and the Aurora’s hp amps are just as good imo. I’ve actually sold the G109.

I use an HD650 and I’m very picky on sound quality and fine details. I use this setup for critical listening and double checking things during mastering as well.

So if the Hilo is at least as good as the Aurora (n), I wouldn’t need an external headphone amp.
Old 13th July 2019
  #60
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Thanks Peter.

I saw there's a new Antelope Amari, that seems to have similar I/o but there's not much info out there about it, I wonder how it is?
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