The Alesis Masterlink is one of the finest and most versatile analog-to-digital recorders available. It is capable of making excellent digital copies of analog material at resolutions of up to 24 bits and sample frequencies up to 96K Hz. The built-in hard disc holds over 30 hours of music at Redbook CD resolution (16/44.1). Music on the internal disc can be modified in a number of ways, including addition/deletion of tracks, filtering, equalization, level, and many other parameters. Contents of the hard disc can be played directly by the Masterlink's DAC; sent to a separate DAC; or burned to conventional CD-R's as AIFF files at resolutions from 16/44.1 to 24/96.
The Balanced Power Technologies (BPT)-modded Alesis Masterlink is the same model owned by Michael Fremer and John Iverson of Stereophile magazine. I had it sent directly from the retailer to BPT for modification upon original purchase. I think that BPT is no longer performing this service.
The full Signature Plus mod package includes extensive reworking of both the analog and digital electronics plus several other key component upgrades. Here is how BPT describes the modifications:
"-Replace power supply capacitors in the localized power supply feeding the digital section with ultra-low ESR capacitors (with polystyrene bypass caps) for reduced noise and super low impedance even at high frequencies.
- Add our custom Cap-Pak using ultra-low impedance elcetrolytic capacitors (with polypropylene) to the digital power supply creating a low impedance, extremely stiff power pathway.
- Add a new linear power supply for the 3.3VDC digital section.
- Replace the 40 pin ribbon connection cables between the hard drive to digital board and from the CDRW drive to the digital board with our custom high speed silver/copper/Teflon 80 wire ribbon cables.
- Dampen and shield chassis, CDRW drive and hard drive with copper foil to reduce RF noise contamination and 3 layer damping material to reduce mechanical noise.
- Create an extremely low impedance ground pathway to shunt high frequency noise using our custom 12 gauge high purity copper Litz wire for all power supplies.
- Dampen and shield digital clocks and critical digital ICs for improved performance.
- Replace all IN and OUT RCA jacks on rear panel with the finest WBT Nextgen Signature silver and platinum RCA jacks for greatly improved detail resolution, smoothness and high frequency performance.
- Replace capacitors in the localized power supply for the analog section (includes headphone power supply) with ultra-low ESR capacitors and non-polar BlackGates (with polystyrene bypass caps).
- Add a new linear power supply for the analog section.
- Add our custom Cap-Pak using ultra-low impedance electrolytic capacitors (with polypropylene bypass caps) to the analog positive and negative DC power rails creating a lower noise, stiffer power supply.
- Replace all polarized electrolytic caps in the signal path with the superbly musical BlackGate non-polar caps.
- Add our custom stainless steel Iso-Cones (with cup protectors) to reduce vibration interference that blurs the sound. These mofifications result in a significantly smoother, detailed and more analogue-like sound compared to the unmodified version".
The BPT improvement is significant and very obvious, as documented by Stereophile along with several blogs on the topic.
This unit is in excellent condition with perfect operation. It has a 1/8" long shallow scratch on the top panel that I can send a picture of upon request (I was limited to only 6 picures in this listing). Overall, however, I rated it 8 rather than 10 only because it is not brand new.
I will ship the unit in its original box and with the BPT invoice.
I will consider any reasonable offer.
If you are looking for an easy way to make excellent digital copies of your vinyl collection, you will be delighted with this recorder. In addition to archiving vinyl, this machine has been very useful to me in auditioning and comparing various changes in my sources, particularly phono cartridges.
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