Benchmark have just announced the release of a new multi-channel A-D converter, the ADC16. A 1U rack, the ADC16 can convert up to 16 channels of analogue audio into a variety of different digital formats. Eight RCA sockets on the rear output 16 channels of S/PDIF-format audio, while eight TOSlink sockets allow the ADC16 to interface with ADAT and optical S/PDIF equipment (these also facilitate use of the SMUX 2 and SMUX 4 protocols, for running at sample rates of up to 192kHz). A pair of D-sub connectors to the left of these can send the 16 channels out in AES3 format, again at sample rates of up to 192kHz. Two further D-sub sockets handle the 16 analogue inputs, and finally, there are two BNC connectors for sending and receiving word clock.
In addition to being able to run at all standard sample rates (from 44.1kHz to 192kHz), the ADC16 can also slave to any sample rate between 28kHz and 200kHz. A signal-to-noise ratio of 121dB (A-weighted) is claimed, as are THD+N figures of just 0.00063 percent.
The front panel houses buttons for clock-source selection, sample rate (when it is used as clock master), AES3 output source, S/PDIF output source, optical output source and TOSlink format (S/PDIF, ADAT, SMUX 2 or SMUX 4), plus a button marked Scale. The last of these changes the scaling of the nine-LED meters, such that they display either the top 20dB or the top 48dB of the full digital scale.
An optional expansion card is also available for the ADC16, and this turns it into a 16-channel, one-way Firewire audio interface.
No UK prices were available at the time of writing, but in the States, the ADC16 is set to sell for $3995, while the optional Firewire interface card costs $500.