(Originally written by Doyeuxyvan/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Class-A, 24bit/96kHz AD/DA audio converter. One of the main advantages is the possibility to select a high-quality 16-bit/44.1-kHz mode with auto-dithering. Many high-quality converters don't have this possibility anymore and it's a pity. Sampling rates: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz or 96kHz with 16, 20 or 24 bit resolution.
Analog stereo inputs as balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA with input sensitivity from -10 dBv to +4 dBu. (don't forget that this professional rack wasn't only conceived for music studios) It's useful to adjust both analog inputs accurately with a small screwdriver so that all gains have the same level. RCA (S/PDIF) and XLR (AES-EBU) switchable outputs.
Simultaneous AD and DA conversion.
For AD and DA conversion it uses the famous Crystal CS5396 and CS4396 chips respectively (except revision 4, which uses Crystal CS5381 and CS4398 chips).
Sonifex concentrated all its efforts on sound quality resulting in a clear, detailed and open sound. This converter is on the same level as Lucid Audio converters or similar, which are much more expensive and have additional features. The (rare) reviews on the web show it's a high-class converter.
Very high-quality circuitry and construction. I don't think that the Behringer SRC2496 provides the same quality since many audio specialists customize it regularly. The price is quite high but ever since the launch of the ADDA2 you can find it at very competitive prices on the web. Like I did.
Sonifex products aren't very renown among consumers but they have earned a great reputation in broadcast studios the last 40 years. You just have to think about the numerous contracts for the BBC group and other British broadcasting companies. They also sell their products to numerous Radio France stations and many other organizations in France. Sonifex has not the best marketing strategy to reach the masses but it uses its own professional network to extend its reputation.
About 10 years ago the famous Redbox provided all-in-one rack-mounting solutions for specialized applications. These products made in the UK have a very high-quality thanks to strict quality controls.
I decided a short time ago I'd use the inputs of my Atari Falcon 030 in digital format with the S/PDIF FDI interface. Real AD/DA converters are rare nowadays and only high-end products are available on the market (or very cheap products with a very bad quality). I spent a lot of time looking for the right solution until I discovered Sonifex. I thought about buying a D&R Sycos converter but it was too heavy, and its much higher price doesn't justify the few additional functions it provides so I decided to keep my Sonifex.
The "plug and forget" concept of the RB-ADDA can be surprising in the beginning. At first I found the lack of vu-meters, headphone output and an on/off switch were big disadvantages, but when you think about your home studio, these functions are not necessary because they are provided by your other gear. This product doesn't provide all the functions and buttons of more expensive competitors, but it does what it should perfectly: convert any signal at every possible resolution. I would say it's a low-end converter in the high-end product range. It's one of the best converters I know!
This product and this brand are worth a tribute. High-class gear!!