Merging Technologies has announced a new generation of A/D cards comprising the AKD8D standard version, operating at up to 192kHz PCM, and the AKD8DP, operating at up to 384kHz and including all variants of DSD up to 256 and DXD.

Merging Technologies AKD8DThe boards are being shipped to meet an order rate that has been consistent since the company’s Horus and Hapi interfaces were introduced. As with the previous cards, direct analogue out connections are present to allow a mic level feed to be sent to an analogue mixer or recorder. The Ravenna/AES67 connection on Horus and Hapi allows for full remote control of all parameters including the ability to switch individual channels to mic or line. Phantom power switching, phase reversal, and low-cut filters can be enabled from the control room or locally from the front panel of the unit.

Merging’s engineers designed the circuits using the latest components for optimum transparency and performance, including a dynamic range of better than 120dB. The input stage features the ability to select the optimal impedance for condenser or dynamic microphones and this can also be done on a per-channel basis. In order to improve any leakage induced noise from the phantom power during warm-up, lower value, higher voltage high grade electrolytic capacitors have been used. Particular care has been taken to minimise any DC offset to the inputs of the A/D converter. This improvement to the DC servo loop guarantees that the offset is under 1mV over the whole gain range up to a maximum of 66dB. Analogue detection that is a feature of the ADA8 cards is now incorporated to ensure that gains are switched near to zero. Both features combine to suppress any clicks caused by switching the gain settings.

The AKD8D/P promises ultra-low distortion and noise floor at low levels while reducing latency. The new components reduce that further by saving more than 2W per board, which could be as much as 12W on a fully-loaded Horus.

‘We were always proud of what we achieved with the original AD8D series but the new AKD8D has unprecedented specifications both in terms of precision and neutrality,’ says Merging President, Claude Cellier, who heads the hardware design team. ‘We know this is the cleanest mic preamplifier and the most discriminating converter we have ever designed. One of our challenges these days is that these specs are starting to exceed those of the test gear so we rely on our users to tell us how good they really are. We are confident that our usual selection of Grammy winners are going to give us the thumbs up.’


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