Lynx AES 16 and Empirical Off-Ramp Comparison

Hi fellows,

Has anyone compared these two? I could not find anything regarding to the sound quality comparison online. Here are the pro and con in my opinion.

- lower cost
- highly recommended by Berkeley Alpha Dac user. Berkeley Dac is currently high on my "Dac to try" list.
- 24/192 hi-res capability.

Empirical Off-Ramp
- Plug and play. No driver or complicated setup.
- flexibilty to use with any computers. More output options.
- Excellent support from Steve. He is very responsive everytime I emailed him.

Any experiences or pointers in these units are welcomed.
Received an Off Ramp Turbo 3 on Friday.

So with the distinct caveat of it being very early in the break-in phase, am genuinely impressed with the initial Turbo 3 performance vs a Lynx AES16 at 24/96 with both “feeding” a Delius -> Graham Slee -> AKG K701.

Will revert with more by weeks end.
Awesome! I can't wait to see your findings. In the meantime, may I ask what is your computer setup and what media player do you use?


Ahh eager I see - Good! And certainly had not forgotten.

So as to the configurations:

Consistent for both:
Transport: Foobar 0.9.6 with Secret Rabbit Upsampler at 24/96 running on a Digital Audio Workstation - Quadcore 6600 2.4GHz Kentsfield - from

As for OS, am using XP with the device manager options selected to disable kmixer - i.e: ~"Do not map through this device"/"Do not use audio through this device"- applied to both Empirical 1.1 and the Lynx drivers.

Foobar affinity set to CPU2 and CPU3. Eliminated many non-essential processes but system is not stripped, can still be used normally. Suffice typical load is <20% on the cores engaged. Assignment of the cores minimizes temps and hence fan.

Headphones: 1m Audioquest RCA Analogue cable from dCS Delius to Graham Slee Solo -> AKG K701. Delius set to max volume; hence, volume control running off the Solo.

The Choices
Empirical Audio Setup
Empirical 1.1 Driver -> USB out by 5m Belkin cable to Turbo Off Ramp 3 -> Empirical Bitmeister Digital 0.5 m -> Delius AES2

Lynx AES16
ASIO Lynx - > Supplied HD26 to AES breakout cable -> Big Ben Reclocker -> 1m Audioquest Hawkeye Digital -> Delius RCA1

Word of caution: Steve Nugent recommends four weeks of break in for the Off Ramp 3 so it is still comparatively early days. Suffice I've probably ~100+hrs on it at this juncture - essentially it has been on burn in since receipt.

Using Valerie Joyce's - New York Blue - 1st Track "It Never Entered My Mind"
(24/96 recording ex HD Tracks)

Advantage Empirical: better placement, tonal definition, greater sense of harmonics, very crisp attack and then appropriate decay of piano, with ambience being a standout - alive, visceral, pulling you in. Valerie's voice is especially seductive, well centered and to the front of stage - with an air around her vocals that is quite literally - and no pun intended
- breath taking.

All in all I find the Empirical to be creating stronger engagement IN the music. Not sure if this will make sense but with the Lynx have perception of observing the music, with the Empirical I am immersed. Hence, find myself selecting the Empirical, and since I've both, fairly sure am not exhibiting a bias...


Have you tried the Lynx AES16 set up without the Big Ben?