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Old 22nd May 2020
  #5
Deleted 2c9d885
Guest
Mastering Converter Chips/Measurement List & Links

Instead of writing it all down again - I'm just linking to my list. If anyone has any other info for other interfaces or wants to open up their own to see the converters inside and update the list - cool!

I had Prism and Lynx Hilo's and Antelopes but I'm actually fine with MOTU 828ES for now as they have the same converters and PGA2500 preamps inside as most other high end interfaces but more I/O and drivers have been rock solid. (Same preamps as prism and some RME ... Same converters as Apollo X)

RMAA tests help to decipher if some may be cleaner than others in a loop and Audio Precision tests are best which there are some measurements on RME and MOTU and other gear around.

Overall, Most interfaces use the same chips and even onboard preamps nowadays which are actually cleaner than most standalone ones unless you're paying $350+/channel ... implementation by each company may differ a bit but not much - you can't make a AKM or Cirrus Logic or whatever AD/DA converter chip better by implementation - just make it worse by bad implementation. So I'd say just get whatever has the I/O you need and the most reliable drivers for your platform for the best price and spend the rest on things that actually have a bigger impact on sound.

Can you audibly tell the difference in a blind level-matched test between any of them ... probably not unless you're running 64 or 128 channels of AD conversion or they purposely try to impart a specific noise but I'd prefer not to have any added distortion or "color" on converters.