The Alesis AI3 interface is based on Crystal CS4220, by Cirrus Logic. While its published specs seem a little exaggerated, it presents an inexpensive form of channel expansion. Although we feel that the old Crystal’s converters have a very musical sound, the AI3’s biggest liability lies in its use of the NJM4580 op-amp.
Our Standard AI3 Modification addresses the analog stages, improving dynamic and transient response while getting rid of the noise, THD, and dull haziness that the NJM4580’s have become so infamous for.
We now also offer a new Premium Modification to the AI3, where in addition to the Standard AI3 Modification’s op-amp upgrade, we perform converter decoupling using the same high-end capacitors as in our Digi 002R/003R Signature Series modification. We also perform power filtering and noise reduction on the analog and digital rails. The Premium Modification provides a much richer sound, with a wider, cleaner soundstage with drastically improved frequency response.
|Alesis AI3 Standard|
|Alesis AI3 Premium|
The scale is from 1-10, with “1” being unimpressive audio quality and “10” being true audio excellence. This is an exponential scale, so going from “1” to “2” isn’t nearly as big of a jump as going from “9” to “10”.