Prism ADA-8XR multi-channel modular AD/DA converter


 The ADA-8XR is a multi-channel AD/DA converter that can be configured in numerous ways using plug-in modules to suit a very wide variety of applications. It can be a 16 channel AD converter, a 16 Channel DA converter or an 8 channel AD/DA converter. It can be a multi-channel FireWire interface, or an AES/EBU / AES3 / SPDIF Digital to Analogue or Analogue to Digital converter. It can act as a high resolution Pro Tools Interface for recording or post-production. Similarly it can work with a wide range of other popular Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) including Logic, Cubase, Nuendo and others. In fact, there's not a lot it can't do when it comes to digital audio conversion.

The ADA-8XR is the top professionals' converter of choice in the most exacting applications in music and sound recording, mastering, broadcast and post-production. Offering the cleanest and most transparent conversion available, the ADA-8XR is ideal for producers, engineers and songwriters wanting to produce top-quality results when recording, tracking & overdubbing, mixing to stereo or surround, mastering and monitoring. The ADA-8XR is perfect for recording vocal, single instruments, drums or orchestra and is just as much at home providing multiple outputs for external analogue summing. It is in use in the top studios around the world as well as being used in numerous film sound tracks. 

Design Philosophy
The ADA-8XR takes the philosophy of the widely-acclaimed Prism Sound converter range a stage further: Now, the goals of ultimate sound quality, unbeatable performance and un-matched versatility have been realised in a modular multi-channel, 24-bit 192kHz-capable format. The ADA-8XR provides A/D and D/A conversion and the essential digital interfaces with a stereo monitor mix output in digital and analogue formats. 

Clocking and Synchronization
Unlike most other converter systems, the ADA-8XR is ideal as a master clock for your entire system, whether running from its precision internal reference or from an external source. No external clock source can improve the performance or influence the sound of the ADA-8XR. In addition, the ADA-8XR can run in Pro Tools Loop Sync mode, or lock to AES3, AES11 or Wordclock. The ADA-8XR delivers your recordings with perfect transparency, whatever the setup. 

Configuration options
The ADA-8XR is a modular system and this provides great flexibility when creating systems with larger numbers of channels. Whether you need just a few channels of high-quality conversion or large a multi-track setup, the ADA-8XR is the natural choice. Using combinations of the basic system options and the range of digital interfaces you can build the system that perfectly matches your requirements. For more detail see the ADA-8XR Configurations section.


Dimensions W: 483mm D: 390mm H: 88mm
Power: 90-125/180-250VAC, 50/60Hz, 60W
Module slots: 2 x Analogue I/O module slots
2 x Digital I/O module slots
Utility slot (monitor, sync,RS232/485/MIDI)
1 x internal DSP expansion slot

Two-channel, analogue and digital outputs.
Format Electronically balanced, RCA/phono sockets
Output impedance 50 Ohm
Headroom 0dBFS=+15,+18,+21, or +24dBu
Absolute gain accuracy +/-0.05dB
THD+N (997Hz, -1dBFS) -101dB (0.0009%)
Dynamic range (997Hz, -60dBFS) 105dB
Channel separation 1kHz >120dB
Format 6.3mm stereo jack
Output impedance 115 Ohm
Max Sensitivity 4.7Vp-p
AES3-ID / S/PDIF, 24bits

8-ch bargraph with peak hold; 2-channel readout; Assignable ‘Alert’ function
Overload indicator threshold 1 sample full scale or -0.05dBFS
Prism Sound Super Noise Shaping (SNS) TPDF dither, plus 4 curve shapes
Intelligent ‘auto-dither-defeat’ system
Prism Sound ‘MR-X’ bit-mapping 20-bit/24-bit/hi-rate on 16-bit tracks
24-bit/hi-rate on 20-bit tracks
Prism Sound ‘DRE’ 20-bit dynamic range on 16-bit tracks
24-bit dynamic range on 20-bit tracks
- without loss of tracks
Prism Sound ‘MR-X’ bit-mapping as above

Multi-stage, auto-ranging PLL per Path
Ultra-high-precision mode (+/- 0.15%)
Jitter rejection corner frequency ~80Hz
Jitter rejection slope 60dB / decade
Jitter attenuation >60dB above 700Hz
High-precision mode (+/- 6.0%)
Internal 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz +/-25ppm
Each path can be separately synchronized. Path sampling rate can be frequency-locked to a different reference frequency, for example: 96kHz path locked to 48kHz Worldclock.


8C-AD 8-channel A/D converter
Connections Electronically balanced inputs, female XLRs
Differential input impedance 21k5 Ohm
Full-scale input range (software-controlled) +5dBu..+24dBu in 1dBu steps,
trims in 0.05dBu steps
Absolute gain accuracy +/-0.05dB
CMRR 60Hz:<-100dB, 1kHz:<-90dB,
Overkiller Software selectable On/Off
THD+N (997Hz, -1dBFS) -105dB (0.0006%)
Dynamic range (997Hz, -60dBFS) 112dB
IMD (SMPTE/DIN, 60Hz@-3dBFS & 7kHz@-12dBFS) <-100dB
Maximum aharmonic spurium (997Hz @ -1dBFS) <-130dBFS
Frequency response fs=192kHz -0.05dB: 6.2Hz..50.2kHz;
-3dB: <1Hz..77.7kHz
Frequency response fs=96kHz -0.05dB: 6.1Hz..43.3kHz;
-3dB: <1Hz..48kHz
Frequency response fs=48kHz -0.05dB: 5.5Hz..22.8kHz;
-3dB: <1Hz..24.0kHz
Frequency response fs=44.1kHz -0.05dB: 5.0Hz..20.1kHz;
-3dB: <1Hz..22.0kHz
Passband ripple: 96kHz <0.015dB; 48kHz: <0.015dB
Inter-channel phase difference <0.03 degrees
Channel separation: 1kHz >125dB, 
20Hz..20kHz: >117dB
Group delay (input to AES3 output) 20/fs
8C-DA 8-channel D/A converter
Connections Electronically balanced outputs, male XLRs
Differential output impedance 50 Ohm
Full-scale output range (software-controlled) +5dBu..+24dBu in 1dBu steps,
trims in 0.05dBu steps
Absolute gain accuracy +/-0.05dB
Output balance 54dB
THD+N: (997Hz, -1dBFS) -102dB (0.0007%) typical
Dynamic range: (997Hz, -60dBFS) 108dB
IMD (SMPTE/DIN, 60Hz@-3dBFS & 7kHz@-12dBFS) <-94dB
Maximum aharmonic spurium (997Hz @ -1dBFS) <-130dBFS
Frequency response: fs=192kHz -0.05dB: 5.2Hz..37.2kHz;
-3dB: 1.4Hz..74.4kHz
Frequency response: fs=96kHz -0.05dB: 5.1Hz..38.9kHz;
-3dB: 1.4Hz..47.4kHz
Frequency response: fs=48kHz -0.05dB: 5.1Hz..22.6kHz;
-3dB: 1.4Hz..23.9kHz
Frequency response: fs=44.1kHz -0.05dB: 5Hz..20.8kHz;
-3dB: 1.4Hz..22.0kHz
Passband ripple <0.005dB
Inter-channel phase difference <0.02 degrees
Channel separation 1kHz: >115dB; 
20Hz..20kHz: >110dB
Group delay (AES3 to output) 49.5/fs


Unless otherwise stated, all performance specifications are quoted RMS, A-weighted, bandlimited 20Hz-20kHz, with PCM sampling at 96kHz and wordlength 24 bits, and with DSD line-up normal. Note that quotation of performance using A-weighting filters is not generally the policy of Prism Sound; however, the noise-shaped nature of DSD signals means that A-weighted measurements are more representative of subjective performance than are unweighted measurements.
PCM to DSD Performance
Maximum output level 0dB SACD (Normal) / +3.1dB SACD (Hot)
Absolute gain accuracy +0.05dB
THD+N (997Hz, -1dBFS) -118dB (0.00013%)
Dynamic range (997Hz, -60dBFS) 120dB
Frequency response: fs=96kHz -3dB: 0Hz…43.5kHz
Frequency response: fs=88.2kHz -3dB: 0Hz…40kHz
Frequency response: fs=48kHz -1dB: 0Hz…22kHz
Frequency response: fs=44.1kHz -0.05dB: 0Hz…20kHz
Frequency response: fs=32kHz -0.05dB: 0Hz…14.5kHz
Analogue to DSD Performance
As the Analogue Line Input Module except for the following:
Maximum output level 0dB SACD (Normal) / +3.1dB SACD (Hot)
Absolute gain accuracy ±0.1dB
THD+N (997Hz, -1dBFS) -103dB (0.0007%)
Dynamic range (997Hz, -60dBFS) 110dB
Frequency response -0.05dB: 10Hz…35kHz
-3dB: 3.9Hz…42kHz
DSD to PCM Performance
Maximum input level 0dB SACD (Normal) / +3.1dB SACD (Hot)
Absolute gain accuracy -0.05dB
THD+N (997Hz, -1dBFs) <-126dB (0.0005%, limited by DSD input signal)
Dynamic range (997Hz, -60dBFS) >128dB (limited by DSD input signal)
Frequency response: fs=96kHz -3dB: 0Hz…41kHz
Frequency response: fs=88.2kHz -3dB: 0Hz…38.5kHz
Frequency response: fs=48kHz -1dB: 0Hz…22kHz
Frequency response: fs=44.1kHz -0.05dB: 0Hz…20kHz
Frequency response: fs=32kHz -0.05dB: 0Hz…14.5kHz
(PCM to) DSD to Analogue Performance
The following DSD to Analogue specifications are measured using an ADA-8 Path in PCM to DSD mode as the signal source (since no standard DSD test source is available). They are as the Analogue Line Output Module, except for the following:
Maximum input level 0dB SACD (Normal) / +3.1dB SACD (Hot)
Absolute gain accuracy ±0.1dB
THD+N (997Hz, -1dBFs) <-100dB (0.001%)
Dynamic range (997Hz, -60dBFS) >106dB
Frequency response -0.05dB: 10Hz…35kHz
-3dB: 3.9Hz…40kHz
AES/SPDIF I/O module
Group delay (AES3 to output) 34/fs
Connection Transformer-coupled female DB25 connector
AES3 mode: I/O impedance 110 Ohm;
Output carrier amplitude (loaded) 3.2Vp-p
S/PDIF mode: I/O impedance 75 Ohm;
Output carrier amplitude (loaded) 0.5Vp-p
Output channel status Professional or consumer
Input jitter tolerance 15UIp-p below 200Hz;
0.5UIp-p above 8kHz (1UI=163ns @ 48kHz)
Wordlength 16, 20 or 24-bit
One-wire or two-wire (“Split96”) input and output modes supported @ 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz

FireWire I/O module
Electrical Interface 2 x 6 Pin IEEE-1394a Compliant
IEEE-1394 Power Class 4
Audio Format IEC 61883-6 (2nd Edition)
Up to four ADA-8s may be connected on the same FireWire bus allowing up to 32 channels of simultaneous recording and playback. 

Each FireWire card caters for 8 simultaneous input and output channels at up to 96kHz sampling rate, or for 4 simultaneous input and outputs channels at 176.4 and 192kHz sampling rates. 8 channel simultaneous input and output applications at sampling rates over 96kHz require two FireWire cards. 16 channel input or 16 channel output applications are also supported at up to 96kHz with two FireWire cards.

Pro Tools|24 MIX I/O module
Direct connection in place of 888 IO (or two 888|IOs for 16-channel A/D or D/A unit)

Pro Tools|HD compatible interface module
Direct connection emulating 192 IO; up to 32 input / output channels can be connected on each cable, each HD card handling 8 channels;