Hercules 16/12 FW: Affordable, Professional-Quality Multichannel Audio

Test System And Audio Measurement

Our test hardware was as follows:

  • Processor : 2.4 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory : 1 GB DDR SDRAM
  • Graphics card : NVIDIA GeForce Ti4200
  • Hard disk : 80 GB 7200 RPM
  • Optical drive : DVD LG16/48X
  • OS : Windows XP Home SP2
  • Direct X version : 9.0c
  • Speakers : Creative Gigaworks S750, Logitech Z2200
  • Video playback : Power DVD, Win DVD


  • RightMark Audio Analyzer 5.4
  • Right Mark 3Dsound 1.24
  • DAAS audio measurement system
  • Neutrik 3337 audio measurement system

As usual, our tests with RightMark were conducted in record/playback mode, connecting the output and input with an external loopback cable. Using a single mode (record or playback) naturally produces better test results.

Measurement of the level obtained playing back a 1 kHz signal show that the theoretical values are there, but we would have liked to get slightly higher levels.

In input, saturation was quite far from the nominal sensitivity level. Take care when using -10 dBV, though, because certain consumer sources such CD players can go beyond the saturation level on peaks (the typical output level is 2 V for 0 dB).

Line inputs and outputs (rear)

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Nominal level-10 dbV+4dBu
Maximum output level0.46 V / -3.8 dbV1.82V / +5.2 dbV
Input saturation1.6 V / +4.1 dBV4.4V / +12.9 dBV

The preamplifiers on inputs 11 and 12 offer a maximum gain of approximately 60 dB, which is added to the standard input level. You can still use the gain adjustment on the Control Panel (0 to +12 dB) on these channels. Watch out for cumulative gain!

  • dr3tri
    Article does not tell whether this can do MIDI merge between it's two MIDI IN or not. Could you tell it in here, at comments section? Anyone?