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.
Digital to Digital Sample Rate Conversion
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 Last Word
We've been very busy since our first generation converters came out in 1994. Take a long look at the 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.