The Sparrow mkII is housed in a 1U, ½ rack chassis, featuring XLR and ¼” balanced inputs, LED metering, BNC word clock I/O, AES output, coax & optical S/PDIF output, and user selectable input level calibration that accommodates nominal input signal levels from +11dBu down to -10dBV. It features sampling rates from 44.1kHz -192kHz, with clocking architecture that features low jitter and wide Q third harmonic crystal oscillators. Because of the quality of the clock multiplier and PLL recovery stages, performance will not degrade should the converter be synchronized to a lower quality word clock reference.
The A/D conversion process is a tricky beast to tame. Because conversion requires so much current movement, there are plenty of places for unwanted noise to be created, both within the signal chain and in the power supply. As we began to research and test approaches to converter design, we discovered a unique way to reduce these unwanted artifacts, one that’s not cost prohibitive to implement and works better than traditional approaches. We coupled this proprietary converter circuit to a high-speed, high-headroom analog stage that can capture the smallest nuances and micro-dynamics. The result is unparalleled: a mastering grade, two-channel A/D converter that not only has an enormous sound with pinpoint imaging, but also has a smooth, open sonic quality and a wonderfully rich midrange. No other converter sounds like a Sparrow mkII.
Our Sparrow mkII features 4 input stage trim presets and a single amplifier before the converter for simplicity and purity of signal path. Power supply filtration is designed around latest-generation high grade capacitors, ensuring low power supply noise. This is an A/D whose sonic performance is as good or better than the top A/D’s currently available; once you use the Sparrow mkII A/D converter, your standards will be forever changed!
Sometimes it’s fun to show what your design team is capable of creating. The Sparrow mkII represents a good portion of our research into delta sigma conversion and clocking architecture. What sets it apart from the rest of the pack? For one, instead of using one converter for stereo conversion, it employs two converters in a parallel-balanced circuit to increase converter dynamic range. Add to this our unique approach to converter configuration, our FM master clock with wide Q third harmonic crystal oscillators, advanced PLL recovery, and a low noise analog path, and you get the richest, clearest and fattest sounding A/D converter to ever set foot in your recording studio. Once you track with it, you’ll find that other converters sound hard, processed, or lifeless. Use it for mastering, recording, final mixes, or whatever application your studio needs. The Sparrow mkII is $1999 and outperforms the FM192 modification, making it among the best two-channel A/D converters available in the pro audio market today.