Onyx Preamps - Premium Sound
Onyx Sound Quality

400f By now, you’ve seen just how powerful the Onyx 1200F FireWire Interface is. While it gives you everything you’ll need to function in a professional studio environment, there’s one other vital need to address: If you want professional results, you have to begin with professional-quality sound. As well-endowed as the 1200F is, the real genesis of the F-series is stellar sound.

So where does premium, professional-grade sound come from? It all starts with the input stage. We've put our finest preamps, the Onyx, into the 1200F interface. Onyx preamps deliver truly boutique-quality, premium sound, the kind only rivaled by the most expensive and esoteric preamp strips on the market. The overall Onyx design aesthetic is one of transparency—a pure, open, and detailed character with massive headroom and extremely low noise. They exhibit precise transient response, exceptional low-end depth, and a natural character all across the frequency spectrum.

Transparency is also about keeping noise under control and increasing the dynamic range. This is accomplished by keeping the crosstalk between components down and improving the  shielding and grounding within the circuit topology. As a result, the Onyx boasts superior RF interference rejection, and an extremely low 0.0007 THD rating. What does this mean from a practical standpoint? Less noise means you've got more signal to work with—a whopping 123dB of gain in fact. The Onyx allows you to seriously crank the gain without introducing any hint of artifacts into your signal.

To read more about the Onyx preamp design, click here.

Spiritual Conversion

The often forgotten component affecting sound quality is the analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion process. When analog signals get converted to digital information, the result is a representation of the original acoustic signal. And while A/Ds have come a very long way over the past 10 years, it's important to keep in mind that digital sound is still a representation of that signal. Put simply: The better and more accurate the conversion, the better the sound.

The Onyx 1200F uses mastering-grade AKM AK4358 (8-channel) and AK5385 (stereo) A/D and D/A (digital-to-analog) converters operating at up to high-definition 24-bit, 192 kHz resolution. Using a proprietary dual-bit, delta-sigma design, AKM converters achieve ultra-low jitter and superior signal stability.This results in outstanding conversion without the aperture, non-linearity, and quantization errors found in inferior converter electronics. The signal remains clean and accurate all the way through the chain.