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Old 03-25-2007, 07:44 PM
Yodah Yodah is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 97
Default BLA \'s breakdown of the 003!

Got this from their website, Damn, these guys are on it!!!!!!!

The Digi 003 has arrived! Thanks to our good friends at zZounds, we’ve finally gotten our hands on the new Digidesign 003. The 003 is, of course, Digidesign’s replacement for the 002. Curious about what was going to be changed in the new model, we did a bit of preliminary searching for press releases and comments from Digi’s design department. We at Black Lion Audio long suspected that Digi would begin using the new BridgeCo family of all-in-one firewire layer chips, and we even found some early 003 information on the Digidesign site that alludes to this change. The BridgeCo layers not only handle translation between the I2S and 1394 protocols, they also handle functions such as clock management, SPDIF, and word clock I/O, that are normally reserved for multiple IC’s. The M-Audio and MBox Pro 2 interfaces have begun using this family of firewire chips.

We began to hear unsubstantiated rumors that the 003 was the result of Digidesign's effort to comply with the European Union’s new directives on electronic devices. An examination of the 003’s circuitry yielded quite a few surprises. First, we were surprised to find that Digi hadn't moved over to the BridgeCo physical layer after all. Instead, they chose the Philips/NXP PDI1394L40BE chip, an earlier version of which is found in MOTU firewire interfaces. Digi has maintained the new blue-masked PCB’s which are found in Revision J of the 002—our favorite and arguably the best sounding revision of the 002.

We also began to suspect that Digi would move away from using AKM converters in the 003, and this has proven to be true. The 003 uses Cirrus Logic CS5381 converters for the analog to digital stage, and CS4392 for the D/A stage. The 5381 represents a great improvement because of its 120dB dynamic range (the 002’s A/D has 110dB dynamic range). The 4392 proves to be a bit of a disappointment though, weighing in at a mere 114dB compared to the 002’s 120dB D/A stage.

Analog stage power supply rails have been increased in the 003, and this translates to an increase in analog stage dynamic range over what the 002 offers. Overall though, the power supply appears to be very similar if not largely the same. This disappoints us a bit, as we’ve found the 002 power supply to be rather lackluster. The NJM4580, TL074 and TL072 based stages have all been eliminated in favor of a Texas Instruments NE5532 based analog stage. While the NE5532 isn’t exactly our favorite, there’s much worse out there, so we’ll abstain from complaining about it too much. We found the stock 003’s has significantly less ‘one-note’ bass response than the stock 002 does.

The master clock section is laid out differently, but is essentially the same design. A quick test of the word clock I/O capability using the Black Lion Audio prototype external word clock yielded decent results. We have yet to attempt any sort of phase noise and jitter measurements.

We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with requests to develop something for the 003, and the good news is that we’ll be offering modifications very soon!

PT 2019.5 on Mojave
MacPro Late 2013 6 Core 64gb 512ssd
Slate Raven Mti2 Core
Apollo X6. Apollo Twin.UAD2 Satellite
BLA XB Clock
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