ProSoundNetwork: Gold AD122-96 MKIII Review

When the dB Technologies "Gold" AD122, from designer Dan Lavry, first appeared on the studio scene in 1995, it provided a glimpse into the future of digital audio. Its performance, even then, approached the theoretical limit of what is physically possible for an analog to digital converter. Better clocking and 96 kHz sampling were later added in the MkII. The newest iteration, the LavryGold AD122-96 MKIII, carries on the tradition with specs that are better yet, a new power supply, greatly reduced heat dissipation, and improved reliability. Versatile features such as Digital Soft Saturation, protection from full-scale overs, dither selection, and precise metering combine to make the AD122MKIII a nearly complete mastering system. The quality of sound is nothing less than you'd expect from a device of this pedigree. Earlier AD122-96MKII units can be upgraded to MKIII.

"In conversation, Dan Lavry is understandably protective about the proprietary aspects of his design, but he is definitely forthcoming about his philosophy. Its fundamental tenet can be summarized as "waveform in equals waveform out." Lavry's primary means of achieving this goal are total integrity in the analog stage, minimal jitter at the converter stage, and precise amplitude and phase linearity throughout."

"...In our blind preference tests, the AD122MKIII took the lead time and again. It was variously described as full, natural sounding, musical, and inviting. One comment was that it has the kind of sound that keeps you listening to the music..."

"...We ran some additional live passes with the Lavry slaved to the word clock from one of the other ADCs. None of us could really hear any degradation in the results, and the AD122MKIII won again in a blind preference test, even disadvantaged as a slave..."

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