Prism Sound AD-2

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The Prism Sound Dream AD-2 is a professional A/D converter offering a wealth of sophisticated features as well as high-performance, multi-rate A/D conversion for the most exacting applications in sound recording, mastering and broadcast.


The Prism Sound Dream AD-2 is a professional A/D converter offering a wealth of sophisticated features as well as high-performance, multi-rate A/D conversion for the most exacting applications in sound recording, mastering and broadcast.
The AD-2 takes the philosophy of the widely-acclaimed Prism Sound AD-1 and AD-124 a stage further:

Converter performance is pushed ever-nearer the limit: Dynamic range reaches a massive 130dB, THD+n at full scale is raised to 108dB (0.0005%). Clock stability, and rejection of incoming reference jitter are also improved.

The AD-2 is like two separate A/D converters, plus a digital processor, all in one: it can generate two entirely separate output signals simultaneously. These can have different sampling rates, different word-lengths – even use different noise-shapers. For example, you can output a 96kHz / 24-bit signal and a 44.1kHz / 16-bit noise-shaped signal at the same time.

Apart from its breathtaking performance, the analogue front-end of the AD-2 includes many new features: Analogue input sensitivity (and inter-channel balance) is software-programmable over the entire range with 0.05dB resolution. Just as with the AD-1, the inputs are transformerless, electronically balanced and galvanically isolated (fully floating), to ensure freedom from noise pick-up and crosstalk.

The ‘D-D’ (digital-to-digital) path, first provided in the AD-1, has been improved still further in the AD-2: It still offers re-dithering, noise-shaping and DRE encoding / decoding, but now it has synchronous sample-rate-conversion (SRC) as well. So you can re-process your 96kHz, 24-bit masters to 44.1kHz 16-bit streams for CD, or you can up-sample low-rate recordings for post-processing at a higher rate… in fact, you can convert between any two standard sampling-rates – synchronously. Synchronous sample-rate-conversion, if correctly performed, is free of the distortion artifacts associated with conventional ‘variable-rate’ SRCs.

The four tried and tested Super-Noise-Shaping (‘SNS’) curves are extended to include optimal shaping for the higher sampling rates. The SNS process gives greatly-improved small-signal performance for limited word-lengths, such as CD, and is completely compatible with existing D/A converter products (including consumer and professional CD players).

The popular DRE function is retained from the AD-1: this allows you to make 24-bit quality recordings on 16-bit recorders such a DAT. DRE (Dynamic Range Enhanced) recordings need to be decoded on playback; the decode function is provided as an option in the ‘D-D’ mode. DRE, unlike conventional dynamic-range processing does not compress or add HF noise.

The AD-2’s front panel gives a clear indication of the main control settings at all times. Audio level is shown on 16-segment meters. A menu system allows control of operating parameters, and 16 stores are provided (including eight ‘factory’ modes) which can be recalled at the push of a button. A unique ‘Setup Wizard’ feature simplifies configuration of the AD-2 for new users.

The digital inputs and outputs of the AD-2 cover a wide range of formats. Digital outputs are available in all formats irrespective of the input format in use. When generating two different output signal paths, the AD-2’s digital outputs can be freely assigned to either path.

We’ve been very busy since our first generation converters came out in 1994. Take a long look at the new AD-2 and DA-2 and you’ll see why. We have compromised on nothing: these converters quite simply redefine the state-of-the-art.

Technical Specification:

Analogue Inputs:

Transformerless electronically-balanced XLR inputs with software-adjustable line-up level

Dynamic range is 130dB typical, rms unweighted, measured at -60dBFS

THD+n is -108dB (0.0004%) typical, rms unweighted at -1.0dBFS

Digital Output Signals:

Main and Auxiliary signals available simultaneously

Main can be at 96kHz, 88.2kHz, 48kHz, or 44.1kHz, any word format

Auxiliary can be at 48kHz, 44.1kHz or 32kHz, any word format

Word formats can be 24-bit, 20-bit, 16-bit or DRE encoded

20-bit and 16-bit formats can be dithered or noise-shaped (choice of SNS1-4)

Digital Input and Output Connector Formats:

AES3 (XLR, coaxial)

S/PDIF (coaxial, optical)

SDIF-2 as standard

DSD outputs available as upgrade option

Format conversion between any of the above connector formats

Signal Processing Functions Available (A-D and D-D modes):

Dithering and Super-Noise-Shaping (choice of four SNS curves)

DRE (Dynamic Range Enhancement) encoding

DRE decoding (D-D)

Synchronous sampling-rate-conversion, between any two of 96kHz, 88.2kHz, 48kHz, 44.1kHz and 32kHz (D-D)


Internal at 96kHz, 88.2kHz, 48kHz, 44.1kHz or 32kHz

External AES11 (XLR, coaxial or optical) or Wordclock (SDIF-2) within +/-1500ppm of standard rates


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