Black Lion Audio Sparrow DAC
There's a debate in our industry: which is more important, a good A/D or a good D/A? We're of the opinion that both are equally important but for different reasons. When it comes to tracking, it's difficult to make up for the sonic influences of poor A/D conversion. Certainly a good D/A will help with instrument placement within a mix, but it can't alleviate the bloated, grainy, and wooly qualities inherent in poor A/D conversion. But a good D/A can make your source come alive. Whether you're simply listening to program material or mixing a project, a good D/A will help prevent listening fatigue and make editing and mixdown decisions much easier.
Black Lion Audio proudly offers the Sparrow D/A converter. Designed around the 32 bit capable ESS9012 chip, the Sparrow D/A features wide dynamic range and detailed, musical conversion that's as functional in the project studio as it is in the mastering facility. The Sparrow D/A converter is available in two platforms: red and white. The red model offers similar performance to our FM192 converter's D/A, although it features wider dynamic range than the FM192. The white Sparrow D/A features our most advanced clocking architecture to date, a stunning 128dB unweighted 20-20kHz dynamic range into 600 ohms. There are few D/A converters that can meet or exceed this kind of dynamic range, or provide you with similar clarity and musicality no matter how much you're willing to spend! There's a reason why engineers like Tom Lord-Alge, Tony Maserati, and Mike Shipley use Black Lion Audio converters.
The Sparrow D/A features user selectable AES, coax SPDIF, and optical SPDIF for input connectivity. Output connections include both balanced XLR for pro studio, consumer level RCA for home stereo, and a high current Walt Jung-inspired headphone output. Two mute buttons allow for independent control of line or headphone signals. Front panel volume control governs headphone outputs, and line output level is fixed.
THD+N: 0.0005% (20kHz BW, 20-20kHz, @-10dBFS)
IMD: < 0.0015% SMPTE (1:1) 60Hz + 2k~20kHz typical
Crosstalk : < 100dB (@20kHz all gain settings)
Frequency Response: (@ 192kHz Sample Rate) +/-.5dBu 10Hz ~ 80kHz
Size: 10.25” x 8” x 1.75”
Shipping Weight: 6.5lbs
Power Consumption: 14W
Recommended operating temperature: 0 ~ 40°C
Storage Temperature: -25 ~ 50°C
Output Impedance: < 10 Ohms
DNR: 125dB for the Red Sparrow, 128dB for the White Sparrow unweighted 20-20kHz bandwidth using AES-17 standard.
The next available date for scheduling a BLA mod is May 15 2013. Modifications can also be booked beyond this date as well, but all previous dates have been filled.
Alison Krauss and Union Station's album Paper Airplanes was awarded the 2011 Grammy for "Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical". Congrats to AKUS, Mike Shipley, Neil Cappellino, and Brad Blackwood, and thanks from all of us at BLA. We appreciate the fact that you took a chance on us; a small group of music industry outsiders here in Chicago.
Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer Mark Isham is currently mixing the score for the new ABC drama, “Once Upon A Time…” on his two BLA modified 96 I/O’s. The show is a contemporary story inspired by classic fairy tales, and is sure to be adorned with an amazing score to provide the ideal aesthetic framework for the film (as Mark’s projects always do)!
The new album by Tyler Ramsey (of Band of Horses' fame) has been released on Fat Possum Records, and is entitled "The Valley Wind." It was tracked and mixed by Bill Reynolds (also of Band of Horses). The record was done on Bill's Digi 003R Signature Series mod and modified Behringer ADA 8000, and sounds it absolutely beautiful! Give it a listen RIGHT HERE.
Several tracks on the new Lady Gaga album were mixed by Tony Maserati and crew on our FM192. Look for the single "You and I" which features Brian May of Queen on guitar.
The new Beyonce record, entitled "4" was mixed by Tony Maserati using our FM192 converters.
The new album by Alison Krauss & Union Station, "Paper Airplane" is now available! This record was tracked and mixed by Mike Shipley on the Black Lion Audio FM 192. In our opinion it sounds UNBELIEVABLE!! Alison now refuses to record on anything other than BLA converters! Read the interview with Mike Shipley in the July issue of Sound On Sound.
Our 2-channel D/A design is almost finished, and we're also working on a "big brother" to our Micro Clock mk2! It'll be housed in a 1U 1/2 rack, and feature AES, spdif, & optical outputs, six BNC word clock outputs, BNC word clock input, frequency display, and selectable frequency output of 44.1kHz-384kHz.
Grammy nominee Jay Ruston has recently completed mixing the new "Big 4 Live DVD," a live concert featuring METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH, and ANTHRAX. He dropped us a line to let us know he proudly used our "Micro Clock mk2," for mixing the DVD audio!
Maroon 5's new single, "Misery," from their album "Hands All Over" was produced by Mutt Lange and mixed by Mike Shipley using our acclaimed FM 192!
Check out the song on Facebook, Myspace, and iTunes, and compare it to their previously recorded material; the FM 192 sounds absolutely amazing, even at low res!
We are proud to announce the arrival of our new Audio Precision SYS-2722. Audio Precision is an industry leader in audio testing technology, and we're happy to employ their flagship system for testing and development here at Black Lion Audio.
The April 2010 issue of Mix Magazine contains an absolutely stellar review by Grammy Award-winner Erik Zobler of our very own FM 192! They even have us listed right on the front cover.... (pretty cool!!) Be sure to check it out!
singer-songwriter-producer (Katy Perry, Weezer, Pink,
Panic! At The Disco,
Avril Lavigne, Dashboard Confessional)