Digi 003r Signature Series

Digidesign 003r Mods

$550.00$2,500.00 $440.00$2,000.00

Stock Digidesign LE Hardware or Monster Recording Interface? Who Else Wants “The Sound” Of A $20,000 High Definition System For A Fraction Of The Cost?

With our powerful upgrade package, you can SUBSTANTIALLY improve the performance of your Digi 003 rack at an extremely affordable price…

*A 50% down payment will be collected during checkout. The remainder 50% will be due when the modification is complete. You will receive a confirmation email with your scheduled mod date after we receive your down payment. The interface is not included in the mod price. Please click on the “Disclaimer & Warranty” tab below for more information on how to schedule a mod.

SKU: Digi003rMods Category:

“We have a customer in Milwaukee that did some tracking for a major label R&B release. The label paired him with a multi-million dollar facility in Reno, Nevada to handle mix-down. When the mix-down studio guys heard the tracks, they were so impressed that they asked our customer about his recording setup.  He told them what he was using but they refused to believe him.  The owner of the studio actually flew to Milwaukee just to see our customer’s setup: one of our Signature Series 003R’s and two of our Auteur preamps.  He was furious when he saw it, because he said it sounded as good as his million dollar system yet it cost so much less.  We think that says a lot about not only the state of our industry, but also about what we’re doing as a company.” – Black Lion Audio

Forget what you thought you knew about digital audio!  As a multi-channel recording system, we feel that the Signature Series is not only unparalleled in price, it’s also extremely difficult to surpass in terms of performance. Here’s why…



The analog section of the circuitry is the path that the signal travels through before and after the converter stages.  This includes the mic preamps, line inputs, headphone output, and line outputs.  Improving the performance of these circuits improves sound quality by reducing noise and improving transient response (the audio sounds more detailed).  We’re fans of Burr Brown’s OPA4134, and we substitute those for the TL074 op-amps used in the mic preamp and line inputs.  We’re able to reduce analog stage noise created by the 003r’s phantom power circuitry as well as reducing the RF noise created by the stock switching power supply.  These modifications result in a cleaner signal, with much more high end definition.


Basically, the master clock generates the signal that tells the converter when to trigger. The more accurate the clock signal, the more ‘realistic’ or ‘defined’ the converted audio signal will be.  We install a high quality master clock to improve overall system response. This is a benefit that you can hear with your ears because a very accurate clock will create a very defined audio image with precise instrument placement.  In spite of the fact that we’re working in the digital realm, the clock is an analog signal: it’s a square wave, and square waves have quite a few harmonics. Ideally, all of these harmonics should be mathematically related to each other (exponents of the fundamental).  If the clock has harmonics that are not mathematically related, these harmonics will create an undesirable interference during conversion.  Often, this undesirable interference will be heard as distortion components in the high and low frequencies of the audio signal. It will create phase cancellations during conversion, causing the audio to take on a limp quality, with an apparent loss of volume.

Our internal clock is incredibly accurate and very low in unwanted harmonics; delta sigma averaging methods place the amount of unwanted signal content at less than 10 picoseconds.  The improved clock we install will give you improved signal clarity, fuller harmonic extension of the instrument you are tracking, an apparent increase in volume over the stock design (because of lower phase cancellations), and pinpoint image placement during mix-down.  This upgrade alone brings the stock rack to a level of performance that rivals or exceeds digital audio systems costing thousands more.


The Signature Series clock takes our standard clock upgrade to an entirely new dimension.  Our new internal master clock is, hands down, the most advanced master clock in pro audio today.  So not only do you get all of the benefits of pinpoint imaging, signal clarity, and harmonic extension, but you also get something unusual for digital audio: a beefy, yet nuanced quality.  Your audio will be thick, rich and highly detailed with this breakthrough master clock upgrade.  Not only does it feature our field tested and proven third order crystal oscillators, it has an astonishingly low 1 picosecond of intrinsic jitter measured using a delta sigma average!  Our proprietary noise suppression technology reduces RF and switching noise to a bare minimum, ensuring smooth high frequency response in the audio band.  Dual high current signal driver stages are used to deliver the clock signal into galvanic-isolated 75 ohm terminations, drastically limiting transmission line reflections normally found in multi-channel digital systems.  What does all of this mean?  Digital audio so articulated, fat and rich it has to be heard to be believed. In a word, it sounds “expensive.”


The A/D and D/A circuitry configuration on stock 003r units generates excessive distortion and phase cancellation during the conversion process.  Converters generate a LOT of noise when they do their work, and are very sensitive to their power sources.  The reason noise is created is that they have to move a lot of current, and lots of current movement means lots of electrons moving.  When those electrons move, they generate a sort of “mechanical” noise.  This ‘mechanical’ noise actually creates harmonics that travel within the power supply and digital signal path, and these harmonics have all sorts of adverse effects. One thing that they do is reduce the amount of bit-depth that the converter is capable of achieving in its real-world performance.  In its stock form, the 003r’s converters are very poorly decoupled using low-grade ceramic capacitors.  Instead of actually removing noise, they create resonant harmonics and make the problem worse.  By properly “decoupling,” we help remove or reduce this noise and its resulting aftereffects, leaving you with clear, crisp audio.


By using a low-emission toroid transformer to power the analog and digital stages separately, we improve the overall character of your sound dramatically.  This upgrade completely eliminates the power supply as a source of crosstalk between the analog and digital circuitry.  And if that were not enough, check this out: You know how a tube guitar amp sounds ‘bigger’ than a solid state guitar amp?  There’s one reason for that: headroom.  This upgrade process increases the analog stage headroom, giving your audio more definition, more “heft,” and much more “presence.”

XB Mod

The XB Mod is the result of squeezing as much fidelity out of the Digi as we could after finding even more ways of improving the sound over the Signature Mod. It was originally developed for Tony Maserati, and is based on the venerable XB internal clock, which is a lower jitter word clock than the Tweak Head or Signature clocks. In addition to the Signature Mod, the XB Mod includes audiophile A/D/A converter decoupling, proprietary op-amp decoupling on every analog input/output, ferrite power filtration, proprietary analog stage power decoupling, and the internal XB word clock. There are very few audio interfaces on the market that can hold a candle to the sound of the XB Mod! Prepare to be absolutely blown away!

Our upgrade packages are, dollar for dollar, one of the most dramatic improvements you can do to your 003 Rack.  If you were to purchase a ProTools HD rig, you could easily end up spending $20,000.00 by the end of the day.THE ABSOLUTE BEST VALUE IN PRO AUDIO!

Of all the gear you could spend your hard-earned money on, we promise you this modification will leave you with a smile, every time you crank up your system.  It’s so powerful, and so dramatic, it’s simply a “no-brainer.”

Our modifications come at a fraction of the price, and are in use by some of the top facilities and sound engineers in the world, such as SDI Media, The Los Angeles Opera, Audio Ease (AltiVerb Impulse Times were tracked on a Signature Series 003), Mattel, Disney, Fox Sports, Sony Scoring, and many more…

And remember, these are practices that aren’t used by any other manufacturer.  We’ve found them to yield sonic improvements that rival the most expensive conversion systems available in pro audio today!


Sonic Quality

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Digidesign 003r Signature Bars-for-Individual-Pages-Page_200
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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”.




“…hope you guys aren’t getting tired of hearing this, but… HOLY SMOKES!!!

The bottom end has tightened up so much. The mids have worlds more clarity and spacial separation and the highs aren’t ringing in my ears any more. A true modern engineering marvel. I haven’t gotten to tracking yet, but given that these mixes I’ve listened to so far were merely tracked with the old boring version, I can only expect things to get even better. As for mixing: Until now I knew there were some major EQ problems throughout my mixes that I was never quite able to solve. But now they are marked with big red flags. Thank you so much.”

Marcel Gellesch


“…I recently received my Digi003R after having the Signature Series modification performed. I just wanted to let you know that your service was excellent, customer service-wise AND in the work performed on the Digi003. This was the missing piece to my studio. The sound quality is astounding. The highs are creamy and the lows are tight. Everything I record sounds SO MUCH MORE NATURAL. I couldn’t have afforded HD quality audio without you. Thank you so much!!!”

Seth Allen, Goleta Studio


“I just finished the Black Eye Pea and T-Pain tour and let me tell you that I am super excited about my Signature Mod 003! I am T-Pain’s programmer and Pro Tools Operator on the road and thanks to the signature mod our show sonically sounded much better than the Peas’ show.

I have been using the mod now for almost a year to work on some amazing projects (all Ciara shows, Rip The Runway Brazil, Chris Brown show mix, Pleasure P, and many more projects). When I print 2track masters and send to TV or artist the first question I get is, where did you record this stuff?! Thanks to Black Lion Audio I can wake up and walk right in my home studio and get amazing quality.

Thanks so much for being such a big part of my musical equation and work flow!! Looking forward to having a facility full of Black Lion gear! Love the clock and summing box!!!!”

Adrian Porter, The AP Factor LLC, Lithonia, GA


“… I do a cappella (overdubbed) recordings which serve as learning materials for amateur singers. I was scrambling to finish a recording, and didn’t have my AKG 414 with me. I busted out an $80 condenser with my new 003R Signature Mod, the first time I had used it since getting it back from you guys. I was expecting mediocre results because of the cheap mic. The quality however was FAR superior with a 003R Sig Mod and a cheap mic, to what I ever got with my 414 and regular 003R. I’m scared of what this mod will do with a decent mic!! THANK YOU!”

James Estes, Nashville, TN


“…I got the Signature Series Mod for my 003 about a year ago, and its been pretty incredible …and quite reassuring I might add, knowing what Ive got under the hood…..especially when ‘mix-time’ comes.”

Jason Lyle, (ex-GRANDADDY vocalist-guitarist-kybds & ‘studio troll / music recordist’)


“Hey Guys – just wanted to give u guys a shout – just finished my first session after getting my 003 back – I had a Signature Series mod done and picked up an auteur as well – All I can say is WOW!!! Everything has come to life – my rig Never sounded this good… punch, warmth, sonic detail… You guys nailed it – and I am stoked!!! Thanks so much!”

Dave Williams, Audio Engineer, Creative Technology Group, Los Angeles, CA


“…I finally got my 003 thru customs and I hooked it up and…

1. All plug-ins I earlier had to use to enhance the sound [I now have] deleted – the traditional subgroup w compression for drums that I always had to make to be able to get a listenable sound, I just deleted it! No EQ, no compression, no mastercompression, the tracks became sibilant, lots of bottom end, lots of info in 200-4kHz.

2. No distortion whatsoever neither in master out nor in the headphones! Could listen as loud as I wanted in my AKG K271´s!

3. I placed a BLUE The Mouse mk1, Riga made in front of my Vox AC50/2×12″ Alnico Blue Bulldog Rig, the sound was there at once, moved the mike from center to edge of the speaker – the difference in sound reminded me of the good old days with U47 to Neve 1073 to Studer A820 2″ 24ch. Far from all HD-systems I worked with – regardless of outboard! Have used the lot, vintage NEVE, vintage Helios, vintage and new API, Thermionic Culture and so on…

4. I made 8 trax of guitars on 2 songs in just 1 and 1/2 hours – had no hustle with anything, all dynamics where there! Probably too much but who cares!?!?!?!

Thanx for making my life a lot simpler! From now I can put all my time in making music, not trying to get around all the obstacles I had before with both the cheapo and the expensive Digidesign/Avid systems. The difference is astonishing! Thanx a lot!”

Jörgen Cremonese, Sweden (formerly of ‘Whipped Cream’)


“About a year ago I had bought a brand new 003 rack and gave it to you for a signature mod. I’ve been working on it since and it is simply superb. I specially love what you’ve done to the main output section, the whole “master bus” sounds so analog and all my mixing [sound as if] I was mixing on a real desk. I read a lot about how people love the high clarity of the device thanks to the new [Word Clock] installed but I love the low-midrange ‘bottom’ even more, even when I crank up the monitor knob, it sounds awesome.”

Arnon Afriat, Holon, Israel


“Did some tracking finally with my new 003 sig mod… and wow! Big difference. People who say they can’t tell the difference shouldn’t be working in sound recording. I will most definitely be buying more BLA stuff in future, thanx…”

Darren Chamberlain, Saskatchewan, Canada


“The low end is Fat the highs are crisp nice mids the stereo image is great. Tracks also stack very well, too much good stuff to name…”

Prince Cheatwood, Cleveland, OH


“Hey Guys Just wanted to say thanks for my Hot Rod 003 Mod This thing is truly amazing.”

Jason Chaulk, BC, Canada


“You guys are great! I did a session at a place recently that had a 003 mod and it was bitchin!… Thanks!”

Damien Lewis, (Asst Engineer to Phil Tan)


“I just wanted to email you guys and tell you what an amazing job you guys have done on my Digi 003, and what an awesome service you guys provide for musicians/songwriters like myself!

I just plugged in my new Signature Series modded 003R today, to listen to a bunch of my old mixes I done in the past, and holy #*$&! I am just blown away!!! I haven’t even recorded into this thing yet to hear the AD side of it’s conversion, so I’m only hearing the DA side of things right now. I can only imagine what I’m in store for after I take full advantage of all the upgraded preamps and inputs on this thing?

I have listened to my mixes a million times over, and I know what they sound like, believe me! I can honestly say I never heard my mixes and monitors sound so open and clear after getting this thing overhauled from you guys!!! I actually hear the stereo mix widen and everything has a smoother less cloudy sound to it, and the punch? There is all this definition in the low end and high end that was missing from before, that just wasn’t [previously] audible. There is a definite distinction and separation between all the instruments now… I’m really impressed with this and I should have done this a long time ago! Well worth it! You guys are the best!”

Tom Yurik, Guitarist/Songwriter


“I was curious about the buzz of this modification when first heard about it… I thought this was going to be like an ok copy of the 192 system, thank God I was wrong! This is in a league of it’s own, you can NOT compare the superb tone, quality, genius, and everything in between that this device produces after your intervention. You guys made out of my simple 003R a true masterpiece– Digidesign created the car (003R, Control 24 HD, etc..), you gentleman created the PLANE!!! You guys are MICHELANGELO & you made out my simple 003R, THE SISTINE CHAPEL CEILING!!!”

Javy Bojorquez, Producer/Arranger/Composer/Songwriter (Billy Davis Jr & Marilyn Mcoo, Joan Sebastián, Yuri, Maria del Sol)


“I have been recording using my newly upgraded 003R and AI3. I was total amazed from the first take on vocals with the clarity and detail. My true shock came with drums. Our drum takes are so good that we cannot believe it. The depth of the kick and toms, clarity of the overheads. The sound is absolutely amazing. I sent a few rough mixes out to a couple friends and they could not believe their ears. One friend is even getting the upgrade now. Anyway, I appreciate your skill and what you have done to make the recording process a real pleasure!”

Mark Palmer


“Wow! What you did to my digi 003 is what I call a modern day miracle, I can not get over what I got in return for the money, no regrets at all; like they say, I would do it again.. the preamps have more headroom and the clarity has improved so much. The master clock is the best in my opinion, no need to use [my old] external clock, putting it up for sale.

Keep up the good work!”

Mike Lopez, San Clamente, CA


“I was planning on emailing you guys just to thank you for providing such a great product for the audio world and, also to send you a link to the blog post I had written up on your company and specifically your 003R mod… I started this blog to educate people on quality equipment… I thought your company would have been a good company to showcase.”

Nick Lucini 
(Read the article on our BLA 003R modification @ )


“I just wanted to email you guys back and express my thanks to the company. The mod went smooth and I got it back a lot sooner than I expected. It’s AMAZING!! I immediately noticed a huge difference in the quality of my recordings now. So clean and precise, and hardly any extra room noise with my condenser mics!! Best upgrade to my studio besides plug-ins, by far. You guys rock and I will definitely be buying your products again soon! Thanks again and keep it up!”

Jake Rowan, Muse Records Studio, Portland, OR


“Your 003R signature series mod is incredible. Just this past weekend I’ve had the opportunity to record live drums using the 003R, and the results have blown me away; The level of detail and depth to the sound is astonishing! My band had previously done some recording through the 003 at 44.1 kHz/16 bit, but at 96 kHz/24 bit this thing really shines! It’s almost surreal how amazing and huge the drum sounds are, especially considering that they were recorded in a basement with low ceilings, and very little in the form of acoustic treatment, far less than an ideal space for recording drums, that’s for sure. Yet still, they sound better than tracks I’ve heard coming from professional studios. It actually made my performances sound better! I’m really excited to finish tracking through the 003. What an amazing piece of equipment!”

Regan Bordessa


“So after doing some A/B-ing in my studio, I’m all aboard. Your guys’ claims definitely played out in my tests. The transients on the [BLA modded 003R+] were more varied and precise, where the stock mod seemed to kind of blur them all together. Every mic I tested shined through the [003+]. On a vocal track, the stock [Digi] was papery and 1-dimensional. The [BLA modded 003R+] was real smooth and dimensional… And the playback was huge. Spacious, precise. A big improvement…”

Ragen Crowe, Seattle WA


“Hey guys, my band, Swirl 360, got a song [“Breathe”] reviewed in Recording Magazine. It mentions my mod.
Check it out… (”

Kenny Scott, Engineer/Songwriter, 18 Below Entertainment, Florida




We schedule modifications according to demand. The next available “mod” date is listed on our website. Modifications can be scheduled online or by email ( We require a 50% down payment in order to secure your spot on our “mod” calendar. You will receive a confirmation email with your scheduled date after we receive your down payment. The audio interface is NOT included in the “mod” price.


We accept credit and debit cards (MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover), PayPal, checks, money orders, and real estate deed transfers (no mortgages or liens, please).


Please ship your gear to arrive at our shop 1-2 business days prior to your scheduled “mod” date. Be sure to pack your gear well (recommended 2” – 4” of protective materials) to avoid any additional charges for BLA-supplied packaging materials. We won’t be held liable for damage incurred during shipping.

Turnaround Time

Our turnaround time on modifications is typically 7-10 business days from the scheduled “mod” date. This does not include any unforeseen issues, the time it takes for final billing, or return shipping. We will contact you if we’re experiencing longer-than-usual turnaround.

Final Payment

After your modification is complete, we will contact you to collect the remainder 50% of the modification price, plus return shipping.
Please be aware, any completed modifications remaining unpaid in our shop for more than 5 business days from the time the final invoice is sent will accrue a $10 per day holding fee. Any completed modifications remaining in our shop for more than 20 business days from the time the final invoice is sent will be considered abandoned and sold to reimburse our costs.

Return Shipping

Customers are responsible for all return shipping costs for modifications. We use UPS (signature required) for shipping within the continental U.S., and USPS for shipping elsewhere. We can accommodate DHL and FedEx shipments upon request. You will be emailed a tracking number when your order ships.
We won’t adjust invoices to help international shipments avoid import duties, so please don’t ask. Your time is better spent lobbying your local government.


We extend a two-year warranty on defects in materials and workmanship for all Black Lion Audio modifications from the modification date. This does not cover user error, wear, tear, abuse, or OEM failures related to hardware, firmware, or software.
Should your B.L.A. modification experience any problems or failures during the warranty period, please email us at to request an RMA form. Warranty repairs that don’t include a completed RMA form in the box cannot be processed.


We can reschedule modifications for up to two weeks prior to the scheduled modification date. Please email us at with any changes you’d like to make.


We accept modification cancellations for up to two weeks prior to the scheduled modification date. If you need to cancel within two weeks of your scheduled date, there is a 30% cancellation fee of the down payment amount.

Returns & Exchanges

Once something has been modified, there’s no going back. We are not able to offer returns or exchanges on modified equipment.

Non-Warranty Repairs

If your B.L.A. modification is in need of a repair that isn’t covered by our warranty, please email us at to request an RMA form. Repairs that don’t include a completed RMA form in the box cannot be processed. We charge a nominal bench fee that covers most repairs. If the cost of a repair exceeds the bench fee, we will contact you.