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Author Topic: Audioroot femto + Upre  (Read 29751 times)

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Offline HazyShadeofWinter

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 01:45:28 AM »
It's more midbox sized though.  I kinda think the title is funny, because my naming convention would put midbox at milli, littlebox at micro, and tinybox at pico.  Femto ought to be smaller :D  It's very attractive though and the OLED screen is beautiful.

Keep in mind that I had a very different design philosophy.  Most portable pres are an attempt to run a studio-grade preamp off of batteries, so they have lots of gain (70dB for the Femto) and very low input noise (-129dBu).  Those specs always come at a cost; either input transformers ($, space, and weight) or power.  So Femto idles at 31mA, presumably at 18V (batteries in series, so they aren't hotswappable?), that's 558mW, vs. about 90mW for a tinybox.  The Femto is also spec'ed at 67mA (1.2W) with a pair of CMCs, those draw 4mA each, for 384mW.  So that's about 65% efficient on their phantom conversion circuit; tinybox actually exceeds that a bit, around 70%.

Thus, they end up with a six hour stated runtime for 2x 9V (11.3Wh--it should be longer at nine hours given 1.2W) with the CMCs.  tinybox would manage over eight hours with the same load--but tinybox also has a low-volt phantom option which can run CMCs for over twice as long.

So why spend the power?  Again, for high gain bandwidth and low noise.  That is of benefit if you are using quiet mics on quiet sources.  That's why I have a low-noise amp option on tinybox, which doesn't quite hit the Femto's noise spec; -129dBu is impressively quiet.

I feel embarrassed to ask this question given that you seem to be the person who makes and sells the tinybox, but would you say that for the lowest possible noise at high gain, the Femto seems like the better option?

I understand that one sacrifices size, battery life and initial cost, but from a purely sound engineering perspective, would you say the Femto excels?

Offline HazyShadeofWinter

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 05:34:05 AM »
Jon,

Thank you for the thorough explanation.

Adam

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2013, 04:37:08 PM »
Cool thread. I'm dying to hear a LB/TB vs. femto comp :)
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

Offline TSNéa

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2013, 01:12:11 AM »
If you are recording very quiet sources with low sensitivity microphones (ribbons, moving-coil dynamics), you might select the Femto.
+1. I think Jon explains perfectly how useful / useless a high gain is, depending on your microphones.

I am not an expert with dBv, dBV, dBu, etc. but I can read the specs of a microphone and understand that a sensitivity of 1.5 to 2.5 mV / Pa is very low vs a sensitivity of 10-15 mV / Pa... The first ones are those of a ribbon resp. dynamic microphone, the last ones are common for a condenser one... (I do not consider bandwidth, max level and distortion which can be really important though).
If I use correctly my "Unit Convertor", the difference between 1.5 and 15 mv / Pa is 20 dB in the output level of the mic in the same conditions...

I own an old Beyerdynamic M160, a ribbon microphone that was made to be on top of a boom to record live dialogs in the movies industry, feeding the preamps of a Nagra III or IV: you really want 60 to 70 dB in some circumstances, without noise!

You can download Unit Convertor from here : http://www.sonelec-musique.com/logiciels_freewares_unitconvertor.html
Sorry: it's in French but the numbers are maths!  ;)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 01:14:50 AM by TSNéa »

Offline TSNéa

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2013, 08:39:07 AM »
Jon,

Th
"without noise" was just a way to be short, I agree with you!  ;)
I knew that ribbon (and dynamic) microphones had a self nois but didn't thought it was so high...

Offline TSNéa

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2013, 09:12:03 AM »
Sorry, my last reply was sent without permission while I was still writing!

Jon,

Thank you for your very precise answer, as usual.
"Without noise" was just a way to be short and conceal my ignorance!  ;)

I knew that ribbon (and dynamic) microphones had a self noise but I didn't know it was that high.
Anyway, I would not put my M160 in front of any PA system in a loud concert...

Jon, you're a kind of Lucky Luke of the electronics: you draw your logarithmic scale faster than your shadow...
http://s62.photobucket.com/user/crimson15_photos/media/lucky_luke_3.jpg.html
 ;D

Offline twoodruff

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2013, 12:23:39 PM »
Ok, I ordered a femto, jhfinn and I will be doing some testings.
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Offline jbell

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2013, 05:16:02 PM »
What site did you order it from??

Ok, I ordered a femto, jhfinn and I will be doing some testings.
Schoeps MK4's, MK41's> KCY 250/5 Ig> Naiant PFA(60V)> Sound Devices Mixpre-6

Offline twoodruff

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2013, 07:41:40 PM »
What site did you order it from??

Ok, I ordered a femto, jhfinn and I will be doing some testings.

Direct from audioroot

Audioroot.fr
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2013, 09:57:39 PM »
I am very interested in hearing that with some schoeps
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

Offline twoodruff

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2013, 02:42:07 PM »
Jim, anything to say about the femto with schoeps?
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Offline jhfinn

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2013, 12:20:37 PM »
Jim, anything to say about the femto with schoeps?

Ok guys I've had a chance to play with this pre for a couple shows now and here's my thoughts.
First show I taped was a wash....it was also the first time using a edirol r44 and the recording occasionally overloaded(had the smooth dials on the recorder set well below 12). Otherwise the recording was fine but I won't distribute it for that reason.
Second time was for Wsp in NYC. Ran two rigs on the same stand about 30-40ft from stage 9ft high DFC.
Dpa4021(ortf)> sonosax sxm2> r44(ch1+2)
Schoeps mk4(ortf)> kc5> cmc5> audioroot femto(l)> r44(ch3+4)

First observation is that the femto had a hotter output. I always run my sonosax set to "lo" which is supposed to have a +6db-40db gain range. Treys femto is the "L" version which is also supposed to have a minimum +6db minimum gain.  The sonosax dials were just below 12 and the femtos were at 9. The peaks were identical on the recorder. Could this be because of the different mics? Both preamps have similar gain range but 12/9 is a big difference...no?
Hard to compare the two recording since different mics were used but overall I prefer the schoeps>femto. Both sound good but the schoeps>femto has a nice balance of high and lows where the dpa sounds flat in comparison. The schoeps>femto is brighter and just better balanced. I'm liking what I hear from the femto. The bass is nice and smooth yet punchy. Sounds very similar to the eaa psp2 I owned years ago.
The build quality is excellent. All metal powder coated case similar to the sound devices preamps. The multicolor LCD is nice as it gives you battery level displayed in volts, and also shows your input levels. You should get just over 6hrs on standard alkaline 9vlts. You can run an external 12-18v battery as well.
My only gripe is the inputs/outputs are on the bottom on the pre which makes it hard to run in a bag without putting unwanted pressure on your cables. Wish it was setup more like a sonosax where the batteries insert on the bottom and input/outputs on the sides. I'd also be willing to give up the 12-18v battery option and have a unbalanced 1/8in output in its place. When talking to audioroot the designer said simply no room for a mini output:-(
This box belongs to trey and will be going back to him shortly.
I like it enough I ordered one for myself and will have it in a few weeks.
Thanks to trey for letting me take a test drive before I decided to purchase.

Regards,
Jim




« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 02:05:34 PM by jhfinn »
Mics:Neumann KM140x2...KM150x2...LC3KA actives x4
Pres:Sonosax SXM2 or Audioroot Femto(L)
Recorders: Edirol R44/Sony PCM-D50/Sony PCM-M10
Retired: Sony D10pro2 modified/ Sony TCD-D8

stevetoney

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2013, 04:23:20 PM »
Nice feedback...especially the part about how it sounds like a PSP2.  If you still say that after using it 10 or 15 times, that will be quite an endorsement.  I've listened to your Panic recording quite a bit now.  It's only one data point and unfortunately, with the venue being MSG, makes it kinda difficult to make any detailed conclusions.  But even with that, you can hear that this preamp has got some mojo living inside of it.  I'm looking forward to hearing more of it, especially something up close in a small club with good direct sound.  Your sample really makes me want to hear what the Upre sounds like. 

Offline twoodruff

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2013, 06:46:14 PM »
Thanks Jim. Anyone else want to borrow?
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Offline flipp

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Re: Audioroot femto + Upre
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2013, 07:48:41 PM »
Thanks Jim. Anyone else want to borrow?

I'd like to audition this but not the best time for me. Details in a PM, so if anyone else is interested don't hesitate on my account.

 

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