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Lynx HILO for Mastering
Old 19th April 2012
  #1
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Lynx HILO for Mastering

I am being sold on a Lynx Hilo for my mastering conversion and monitoring solution. Do any of you ME's have an opinion on this? I noticed the Aurora has 8 channels (instead of the 2- Hilo) and sells for ~$500 less than the Hilo. Is the conversion the same? I was also looking into the Crane Song HEDD.

Please help, because my head is spinning over this.

Thanks
-C
Old 20th April 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chazmar View Post
I am being sold on a Lynx Hilo for my mastering conversion and monitoring solution. Do any of you ME's have an opinion on this? I noticed the Aurora has 8 channels (instead of the 2- Hilo) and sells for ~$500 less than the Hilo. Is the conversion the same? I was also looking into the Crane Song HEDD.

Please help, because my head is spinning over this.

Thanks
-C
I'm not a mastering engineer but I do own a Hilo and think it's great. All I really know for a fact is that the converters in the Hilo are an improvement on the aurora converters, mainly in the analogue sections of the converters. The line outs also use a 'two converters per channel' design for improved specs. There's a thread growing about owners impressions called LYNX HILO NOW AVAILABLE. I can't link it, in case u haven't read it yet, because I'm on an iPhone.
Old 21st April 2012
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezzta667 View Post
There's a thread growing about owners impressions called LYNX HILO NOW AVAILABLE. I can't link it, in case u haven't read it yet, because I'm on an iPhone.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-p...available.html
Old 22nd April 2012
  #4
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Looks like a tidy package to me, certainly the specs are very good.

The sites says:

Quote:
In fact it is a unique product that is, at first, a little difficult to get your head around.
Not that complicated, it's an 2 in/ out audio interface with headphone out, lol.
Lynx stuff always sounded good/ worked solidly in broadcast situations.
Old 23rd April 2012
  #5
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Looks BANGIN'!
Old 23rd April 2012
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SASMastering View Post
Looks like a tidy package to me, certainly the specs are very good.

The sites says:



Not that complicated, it's an 2 in/ out audio interface with headphone out, lol.
Lynx stuff always sounded good/ worked solidly in broadcast situations.
It's a bit more to it than that. It's more like a 2 in 6 out interface as the Line Out, Monitor Out, and Headphone Out, all run on separate DAC's which can receive any analog or digital input independently. Also, the headphone amp section is spactacular! I've never heard my HD600s sound this nice.

I've got one and love it! I replaced my UA 2192 with it and am very pleased! And yes, it does sound better than the Aurora.
Old 24th April 2012
  #7
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Thanks for the responses. I really appreciate it. Sounds to me like it's a pretty good unit.
Old 26th April 2012
  #8
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Re-posted: I got it for mastering, read below...

Folks got mine Monday and starting using it yesterday. Someone asked about the software and if its easy to use...The internal software and touch screen are very intuitive AS LONG AS you understand what this box is. A quick read through the manual makes it a synch to operate. My set-up, if I keep it, will be this:

USB in
Line out to Dangerous Liaison (to all my analog toys)
Line in from Liaison (from my analog toys)
Monitor Out for, well, monitoring
Dedicated Headphone out for...

So I’m using it as a dual stereo D/A and a single Stereo A/D. There are a massive number of permutations you can have because every input can be routed to specific outputs so you can really create many many routing matrixes. Because of this flexibility, however, the user should take 10 minutes to understand what this box is capable of. It is NOT simply a stero D/A - A/D But once you "get it" the user interface is as simple as can be.

More importantly, I had a chance to listen to it at length having run it all day while I was out. First: WOW! The clarity is exceptional and absolutely transparent. The imaging is actually incredible. I was impressed during a brief listen yesterday but today I'm experiencing a much much broader stereo image with no ambiguity in the imaging, and no smearing across regions. I'll state this claim to the headphone amp as well. (Speaking of which, I have very little time on the headphone amp but do find it so far to be very impressive.) The sound is very three dimensional (which has been a minor complaint of the aurora) And possibly among my biggest cheer is that the sound is very un-clinical, which is the most common complaint of the benchmark and sometimes the Lavry.

This box has the same converter chip as the aurora but as we know, this does;t mean much. I spoke with Lynx rep who discussed the improvements in the analog path. I can't point to what makes the difference but this box is a meaningful step up from the aurora in terms of both depth and imaging.

My initial impression is that this may be the perfect DA/AD system for a mid level dedicated Mastering room. At the end of the day, it comes down to what your ears like and work well with so I'll never say that this is the one. However, for a system like mine, where you'v got a stereo pair out to the analog world where it will stay and be routed around by a mastering console or something like that, this box gives you the out/in to and from the DAW/Real World, a separate DA for monitoring and a dedicated reference quality headphone amp. Ummmm?

I bought it for the functionality and its expected use with the Dangerous Music Liaison. I've got a lot of listing to do before I make a final decision, but so far, its earning its pace in a new home.

p.s. I'm trying to keep me excitement down because I only have about 2 hours of listening and comparing, but I am really really impressed!!

p.s.s: Today using Focal Solo 6 and Seinhesier HD650 for the HP amp.

More to come....
Old 12th May 2012
  #9
Gear Maniac
I'm curious to know why you consider the Hilo suited to "mid-level" mastering when all the reports so far put its transparency higher than the three most popular "mastering" converters.
Perhaps the relatively moderate price of the Hilo makes you think it's simply mid-level quality?
Old 13th May 2012
  #10
nms
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The truth is, if Lynx sold this exact box for $4k people would regard it as a $4k unit and no one would question whether it's truly a top shelf mastering unit.

Most people won't drop that kind of money on a few ch of conversion though so thankfully it's priced within reach of a lot more people. Better to make money from selling more units and having a larger customer base.
Old 15th July 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Eslam View Post
I'm curious to know why you consider the Hilo suited to "mid-level" mastering when all the reports so far put its transparency higher than the three most popular "mastering" converters.
Perhaps the relatively moderate price of the Hilo makes you think it's simply mid-level quality?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
The truth is, if Lynx sold this exact box for $4k people would regard it as a $4k unit and no one would question whether it's truly a top shelf mastering unit.

Most people won't drop that kind of money on a few ch of conversion though so thankfully it's priced within reach of a lot more people. Better to make money from selling more units and having a larger customer base.


Bump

And there's cheaper now, maybe soon Mass produced $80 boards will be about lol
Old 15th July 2012
  #12
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Using a Hilo here for mastering and couldn't be happier:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/maste...ing-rig-4.html
Old 15th July 2012
  #13
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Me too. Just hooked up my Hilo earlier this week and am sold.
Old 16th July 2012
  #14
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Lagerfeldt's Avatar
The specs look great, the interface and routing seems well thought-out - I'd love to check it out.

Anybody compared it to a Mytek 8x192 (which I have)?

How do you rack mount this thing?

How do you calibrate I/O's?
Old 16th July 2012
  #15
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Theres a rack tray you can buy to mount it if you want. There's pots accessible from the bottom for calibrating the IO too.
Old 16th July 2012
  #16
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Thanks. Can you mount the tray at an angle, i.e. is the Hilo attached or will it slide off?
Old 16th July 2012
  #17
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I don't have the tray myself, but I think it's just a standard 2 space rack tray. You can remove the feet on the Hilo and attach it to the tray on the bottom from what I understand.
Old 16th July 2012
  #18
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Ok, I hope so. I ask because I've seen a couple of rack tray/unit combos that didn't allow for that.
Old 16th July 2012
  #19
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This is what Lynx has to say: "Mid-Atlantic has a rack shelf that should work. The Hilo is designed so you can take off the feet and screw it into the rack shelf. It is exactly 2U high and 1/2 rack wide, so you can put two 1/2 rack devices next to each other."
Old 16th July 2012
  #20
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Thanks again
Old 17th July 2012
  #21
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Giuseppe Zaccaria's Avatar
 

I did order mine...and its coming next week...cant wait to dig into it...will post thought and impressions...see ya lads
Old 23rd September 2012
  #22
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I am currently torn between getting a Lynx Hilo, Mytek 8x192 and Prism Orpheus. I have heard both the Mytek and the Prism and they sound great, but I have no need for all those conversion channels.

On paper the Hilo sounds perfect for what I need: a computer connection (via USB or FireWire), one stereo analog loop for outboard processing, a monitor output and a decent headphone output.

Has anyone who makes a living from mastering had a chance to work with the Hilo?

I am particularly interested in the functionality and reliability of the unit, as it would be running in my studio for 10 hours a day on 5 days of the week. I don't want any issues with unstable computer connections. I use both a Mac (OSX 10.7) and a PC (Windows XP).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Bauer View Post
I am currently torn between getting a Lynx Hilo, Mytek 8x192 and Prism Orpheus. I have heard both the Mytek and the Prism and they sound great, but I have no need for all those conversion channels.
I've the Mytek8x192 and the Lynx Hilo now. I'll be selling the Mytek since I've no need for it any longer.

Quote:
On paper the Hilo sounds perfect for what I need: a computer connection (via USB or FireWire), one stereo analog loop for outboard processing, a monitor output and a decent headphone output.

Has anyone who makes a living from mastering had a chance to work with the Hilo?
Yes.

The sound of the AD/DA line I/Os and the monitor DA is impeccable. Completely transparent.

It's factory calibrated to extreme precision and has a noise level below any other converter I've tested.

I'm not a headphone fan, so my experience in that area is limited, but it's the best headphone amp I've heard with my HD 650s. Jack-sensing auto switch is nice. The rotary dial can be used for controlling the monitor output and clicked in order to switch to headphones output.

Plenty of digital I/O options such as AES/EBU, S/PDIF over coaxial or optical, ADAT (coming later in a firmware update), and W/C. USB2 out of the box and FW via expansion.

Quote:
I am particularly interested in the functionality and reliability of the unit, as it would be running in my studio for 10 hours a day on 5 days of the week. I don't want any issues with unstable computer connections. I use both a Mac (OSX 10.7) and a PC (Windows XP).
I can't speak about Windows or even OSX 10.7, as I'm on 10.6.8. The Lynx Hilo is plug 'n' play on Mac with class compliant Core Audio drivers. Plug in the USB cable and select the interface in your software and/or Audio MIDI Setup application for system use. No driver installation.

I've used it for about 10 days now. I've experienced a one time hiccup: the display locked up and I had to hard reset the unit. Otherwise it's been solid. This is a demo model my dealer gave me, I'm getting my own next week. The touch display looks decent and works well, though it's not an iPhone. The touchscreen calibration function works as advertised.

The latency via USB is about 60 [email protected] more than my RayDAT card. I'll be comparing latencies to the various digital connections including ADAT, once the latter is operative via the upcoming October 2012 firmware. USB latency may go down with future firmware updates, perhaps.

It took me more than 20 minutes to understand exactly how flexible the routing really is. It's possible to do mini mixes and you can even use it as a USB audio router, i.e. to record streams from other applications without leaving the digital domain.

Some minor things in the interface will probably be addressed in firmware updates, e.g. I can't seem to find an option for the Hilo to load a default scene on startup. So every morning I have to manually recall my setup from Scene 1.

The metering is mostly a bonus, but it's useful enough for confirming I/O levels.

I've decided to use the rack space from my Mytek for something else, so I won't be rack mounting the Hilo. Instead I've ordered a custom built stand for it. Zebrano wood, vibration isolated, resonance free cable tube - no magic Shakti stones, though...

I'm planning to do a small review in a month or so. RMMA test, stress test, etc., though it's already clearly evident that it's a superior converter in terms of sound and flexibility.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #24
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Glad to hear you're enjoying the Hilo, it's amazing what Lynx managed to accomplish with this little box. Been enjoying mine immensely.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #25
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Thanks Holger, your comments are very helpful. It is interesting to see someone switching from the well established and highly regarded Mytek 8x192 to the Lynx Hilo. I'll be sure to demo one in the next few weeks.

It would be good if there was a convenient rack mounting solution. I gather one is in the pipeline, but I wonder whether a standard 2U rack tray with four holes drilled into it (where the rubber feet would sit) might also do the trick? Your custom stand solution sounds very elegant, but it would be impractical in my studio.
Old 25th September 2012
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Eslam View Post
I'm curious to know why you consider the Hilo suited to "mid-level" mastering when all the reports so far put its transparency higher than the three most popular "mastering" converters.
Perhaps the relatively moderate price of the Hilo makes you think it's simply mid-level quality?
Becase the high end is this Diamond DAC IV Details so yes it is true that Hilo is mid level studio equipment
Old 25th September 2012
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilly7 View Post
Becase the high end is this Diamond DAC IV Details so yes it is true that Hilo is mid level studio equipment
$21.995 just for the base unit and then come the optional extras. For example, $1.995 for an iPod input.
Old 25th September 2012
  #28
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Given what I have heard, I have very little doubt that the Hilo is better than the Mytek. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose the Hilo. That being said, that doesn't mean that the Hilo is on par with more top of the line units. But it is probably the best unit in the price range, hands down.
Old 25th September 2012
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilly7 View Post
Becase the high end is this Diamond DAC IV Details so yes it is true that Hilo is mid level studio equipment
They reviewed that MSB in the new Stereophile magazine, it was more like USD$35k with a CD transport. The low-level signal performance is remarkably good, the performance at 0dBFS was not...........


DC
Old 26th September 2012
  #30
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilly7 View Post
Becase the high end is this Diamond DAC IV Details so yes it is true that Hilo is mid level studio equipment
That's not high end Chilly.. that's for people with too much money and too little common sense!

$1000 to add a usb2 input....
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