The Black Lion Audio Sparrow mkII - White (white faceplate) represents a portion of research into delta sigma conversion and clocking architecture. Instead of using one converter for stereo conversion, it employs two converters in a parallel-balanced circuit to drastically boost converter dynamic range. Add to this its unique approach to converter configuration, the 220/270SP master clock with wide Q third harmonic crystal oscillators, advanced PLL recovery, and a low noise analog path, and all of these elements together will yield the richest, clearest and fattest sounding A/D converter.
Black Lion's Sparrow mk2 is housed in a 1u 1/2 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 signal calibration accommodating nominal input signal levels from +11dBu down to -10dBV. It features sampling rates from 44.1kHz -192kHz, with a clocking architecture that features low jitter and wide Q third harmonic crystal oscillators, and because of the quality of the clock multiplier and PLL recovery stages, performance will not degrade should the converter be synched 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. This unwanted noise manifests itself within the audio signal as a grainy distortion, and often resides in the upper frequencies.
- Balanced inputs (XLR or ¼")
- Selectable user calibration
- Word clock input and output
- Sampling rates from 44.1kHz -192kHz
- AES, coax S/PDIF, and optical S/PDIF
- LED metering
- Accommodates nominal input signal levels from +11dBu down to -10dBV
- 1u high, ½ space rack mount chassis
- User selectable 110/220 voltage input
- Dynamic range: 120dB Black and Red Sparrow Unweighted. 122dB for the White Sparrow Unweighted. (124dB A-Weighted)
- Max analog input before digital clipping: >+24dBu
- Inputs: balanced analog = TRS and XLR Clock = 75 Ohm BNC
- Outputs: SPDIF = coaxial (75 Ohm) and optical, AES-EBU (110 Ohm) word clock = 75 Ohm BNC word clock lock = indicator LED
- Sampling rates: 44.1kHz - 192kHz
- Bit rate: 24 bit
- Latency: ≤ 65/Fs
- Digital audio output level indicator: bi-color LED (green/amber/red)
Word on the Street
"If you’re looking for bang-for-the-buck in your conversion, then Black Lion Audio’s White Sparrow delivers outstanding quality for about half the price of their competitors. Highly recommended!"