The Tracktion Copper Reference Stereo Interface is a two-channel, audiophile grade ADC/DAC for professional audio applications. It sports the ability to monitor sound from USB, analog, or other digital sources (AES/EBU and S/PDIF), as well as wordclock I/O for syncing with other clocks and outputting wordclock to other devices.
Two channels are on hand for recording audio into your DAW of choice (though obviously Tracktion has a preference for which DAW you’d use). Both channels feature combination XLR 1/4” inputs to accommodate microphones, line-level signals, and instruments. You’ll also note the prominent 12AX7 tubes on the unit; there’s one for each input channel, and both can be defeated at will if you’d prefer a solid-state tone to the gentle saturation of tubes. This tube stage was designed by Michael Solvano, and is intended to give you some warm harmonic distortion, should you desire it.
On the front of the device you’ll find Hi-Z and 48V phantom power switches, as well as a 1/4" headphone output that allows for latency-free monitoring while you record. On the rear, you'll notice connections for S/PDIF, AES/EBU, wordclock, USB Type-C, monitor outputs, and your analog inputs.
The unit itself is encased in solid copper, and employs an ESS 9038 Pro Sabre DAC chip. Two AKM AK4396 chips are used in the ADC. These chips sum quad to stereo, effectively facilitating an extra 3 dB of dynamic range that wouldn’t be achievable otherwise. On the DAC side, you’ll experience a dynamic range of 140 dB, as well as a relatively low THD level of -122 dB. A custom Pelican case is included with the Copper Reference.
Key Features at a Glance
2 mic/line inputs sporting THaT Semiconductor 5171 chips
Monitors Analog, AES, SPDIF or USB
Custom grown TCXO Fox Crystals, Word Clock I/O and digital synch
USB Type C with XMOS 8 core processor and universal driver
Headphone output with zero latency monitor mix
Volume bypass for integration with professional monitor controllers
ESS 9038 Pro Sabre DAC
2x AKM AK4396 ADC (summing quad to stereo)
12AX7 tube stage on inputs, designed by Mike Soldano and featuring a hard bypass
Pristine DSP controlled audio signal path
Custom product Pelican case