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Author Topic: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?  (Read 9164 times)

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Offline acidjack

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Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« on: January 18, 2011, 11:55:09 AM »
Still considering getting a pre to run in front of my mics.  I have a littlebox but I am really thinking I want something with digital outs.  Sound-wise my goals would be improved detail, not "warmth" (I don't think my current mics lack that).  I understand that the V3 may be the way to go on that front, but honestly I am not wild about the size.  The only other pre I can think of that might fit the bill is the SD USBpre2, which has some attraction to me given its ability to go straight into a laptop.

Are there other digital-out pres I'm not thinking about? The Sax, PSP2, PSP3 all don't have digi-out, right?
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
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Offline OFOTD

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 01:04:07 PM »
The V3 and USBPre 2 appear to be the only quality pres with built in a/d sections available.

If you are running your 4021's there is absolutely no doubt that if given the choice of the two the V3 is the way to go.  FWIW, if you don't like the A/D in it Doug Oade is still doing V3 mods.   I love my ACM V3 with the DPA's and wouldn't consider selling it unless I ever got rid of my DPA's (fat chance).

 

Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 01:10:34 PM »
Until the V2 fell into my lap...I was considering a Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 will run stand alone...Pro 24 has level meters......Coaxial Digital out only...12v DC power...I can't find a size but have seen a photo of one on a desk....it looked about the same size as a V2/3 IIRC

http://www.focusrite.com/products/saffire/

Audient Mico but doesn't play nice with a Sony D50 on teh optical side.
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Offline JasonSobel

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 01:24:06 PM »
Two more to consider:
The Sonosax SX-M32 and the Apogee Mini-Me.

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 01:25:54 PM »
I had good success with an Oade Mod UA5. 

Terry
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Offline audBall

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 02:08:51 PM »
There's the Audient Mico as well, but I'm not sure if anyone is running it on here. 
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Offline Todd R

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 02:29:02 PM »
Summarizing and adding a couple (G-P and sony):

2ch preamps with A/D and digital output:
Grace Lunatec V3
Apogee Minime
Mod UA5 (digital out mod, Oade mod, Busman mod)
Audient Mico
Sound Device USBPRE 2
Graham-Patten DMic-24

Mixers with A/D and digi-out (expensive):
Sonosax SX-M32
Sony DMX-P01

If you don't want anything larger or more expensive than a Lunatec V3, the 2ch list above may be about it.  On the expensive, more esoteric field mixers used for ENG or whatever, the list could be much longer than the 2 above.

If size is the overwhelming factor, I'd say the USBPRE. The UA5 and Dmic-24 might be somewhat smaller than a V3 though.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 02:41:55 PM »
Summarizing and adding a couple (G-P and sony):

2ch preamps with A/D and digital output:
Grace Lunatec V3
Apogee Minime
Mod UA5 (digital out mod, Oade mod, Busman mod)
Audient Mico
Sound Device USBPRE 2
Graham-Patten DMic-24

Mixers with A/D and digi-out (expensive):
Sonosax SX-M32
Sony DMX-P01


The old Sony SBM-1 and the Denecke AD-20 fit into this category too, though neither provided phantom power... 

Terry
***Do you have PHISH, VIDA BLUE, JAZZ MANDOLIN PROJECT or any other Phish related DATs/Tapes/MDs that need to be transferred???  I can do them for you!!!***

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Sony PCM R500 > SPDIF > Tascam HD-P2
Nakamichi DR-3 > (Oade Advanced Concert Mod) Tascam HD-P2
Sony MDS-JE510 > Hosa ODL-276 > Tascam HD-P2

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Offline flipp

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 02:43:07 PM »
Zefiro Inbox/Denecke AD20 hasn't been mentioned yet but it doesn't have 24bit capability. Not sure whether that is somethhing you require as it isn't mentioned in your OP.

Offline darby

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 02:44:02 PM »
the UA-5 is slightly larger than a V3 plus harder to find

Offline Todd R

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 02:55:36 PM »
Good point, I was pretty much reading in (for no real reason) needing both phantom power and 24bits.  Get rid of either of those requirements and it opens the field a bit.

I'm sure there could be a lot of more esoteric $2,000+ mixers etc not on the list, but really I was surprised by how many 2ch, 24bit devices there are -- I always thought there were only 2-3.

Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 02:57:28 PM »
Hmmm...I always think of my old V3 being larger than my old UA-5, but...darby is quite correct:

V3   : 8.250” x 5.500” x 1.700”
UA-5 : 8.625" x 5.438" x 1.875"
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Offline Todd R

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2011, 03:02:51 PM »
Yeah, I've never owned a UA-5, but somehow thought it was smaller than a V3.

Then again, I also was wanting a Pre+AD for use with my 680 and was considering getting a USBPRE2 instead of a V3 since I thought I wanted something smaller.  Then I looked at the size of the V3 and realized it wasn't that much larger than a USBPRE that I should avoid it based on size. (So I opted for the V3.)
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
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kirk97132

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 03:15:04 PM »
Doesn't Marenius also have a pre with digi out?  I opted to go the USBPre2 route after looking at everything under the sun, but I was looking to pair it with my DR-680.  I like the Grace products but I think the SD preamp being a little less expensive and having a little more flexability gave it the edge for me.  The USB hook up is really what I am talking about.  It is a tiny bit smaller than a V3. 

Offline darby

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 03:35:06 PM »
Hmmm...I always think of my old V3 being larger than my old UA-5, but...darby is quite correct:

V3   : 8.250” x 5.500” x 1.700”
UA-5 : 8.625" x 5.438" x 1.875"

thanks Brian for taking the time to look up those specs
I think the reason the V3 seems larger is the knobs are recessed and the case is a bit wider
plus the mic inputs are on the back, that takes up more room in your bag obviously
I always liked my Oade Warm UA-5, and might have kept it after getting my V3
but I was tight on funds at the time

Offline Todd R

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2011, 03:54:22 PM »
Doesn't Marenius also have a pre with digi out? 


Ah, good call on the Marenius!  I used to have the MM-4210, which was a great sounding, little 4ch mixer.  The newer MM-4220 does indeed have a digital output!
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
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Offline H₂O

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2011, 04:02:12 PM »
On the more expensive side:
http://www.aeta-audio.com/english/produits_detail.php?id=9


The MIXY by Aeta Audio.


Alot of mixers offer digitial outs
Sony makes one
Sound Devices 552
The new Fostex units may offer this as well




If you can find a Aeta MIX2000 it supports Digital out (with the optional AD card)
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Offline audBall

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2011, 07:12:55 PM »
The newer MM-4220 does indeed have a digital output!

I'd love to tinker with this little guy.  4-channel mixer with CF recorder and SPDIF out.  Limited to 24/48. 

5.51" x 2.36" x 5.35"  !!!
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Offline Erick del Valle

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Offline taug

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2011, 09:29:09 PM »
Core Sound has their Mic2496 which I believe only has digital outs.

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2011, 12:54:28 PM »
For the size and $$, I think the B+K/DPA>Grace is HARD TO BEAT, at least IMO :)
Recording Gear:
Schoeps MK 4V & MK 41V ->
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Offline OFOTD

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2011, 02:42:54 PM »
For the size and $$, I think the B+K/DPA>Grace is HARD TO BEAT, at least IMO :)

Never thought i'd say it by damn Bean you're sure making a lot of sense there!   >:D

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2011, 02:53:32 PM »
For the size and $$, I think the B+K/DPA>Grace is HARD TO BEAT, at least IMO :)

Never thought i'd say it by damn Bean you're sure making a lot of sense there!   >:D

 8) For real tho, almost every DPA/B+K>Grace source kicks ass :) Its just like the MBHO>722 sound ;D 8)
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Offline mblindsey

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2011, 06:41:47 PM »
MOTU Traveler fits the bill, I think.
Mics:  Microtech Gefell m200/M20/nBob Actives>PFA
Pre's: USB Pre2, V3, V3 (optimod), V3 (optimod), MiniME, MiniMP, MP2
Decks: R44 Oade Concert Mod, M10
Playback: Grace m9xx/MiniDAC->Sen HD 650, Fostex TH-X00, HIFIMAN HEXX
Mixing: RME Fireface UFX->Reaper->Yamaha HS8

Offline tcf

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2011, 06:55:59 PM »
I own the focusrite. It is a real winner and very nice sounding, reliable and well built.  It is 12volt but so ismy mico and dr680

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2011, 08:18:04 AM »
I own the focusrite. It is a real winner and very nice sounding, reliable and well built.  It is 12volt but so ismy mico and dr680

Are you going digital out of your Audient Mico into the DR680? If so, do you feel the quality is better than the internal preamp of the DR680?

And how does the Mico compare with the Focusrite?
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Offline tcf

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2011, 10:17:38 AM »
I like the mico a bit better however it doesn't play nice with the 680, now it has with every other digi gear I've tried. The focusrite does work with the 680. The focusrite is clean and clear where the mico is warm and punchy. I use the mico for analog into the 680 while taking the mico digi out to my backup microtracker. The focusrite goes digi into the 680.

I would bet the focusrite saffire 14 blows the ua5 away. You have to program the saffire for user settings. I did it the first time and it has maintained those settings since day one

if using the 680 I'd go with the focusrite. If not go with the mico

I think both the focusrite and the mico have better pres and converters than the stock 680.

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2011, 02:53:20 PM »
The mico was kinda big for my tastes. 

Offline TNJazz

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2011, 03:12:19 PM »
The mico was kinda big for my tastes.

It's definitely an awkward size but what's more important - a smaller bag or a better recording?
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Offline tcf

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2011, 03:33:55 PM »
I've definitely gone in the size doesn't matter direction.

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2011, 03:36:29 PM »
The mico was kinda big for my tastes.

It's definitely an awkward size but what's more important - a smaller bag or a better recording?

BOTH ;D
Recording Gear:
Schoeps MK 4V & MK 41V ->
Schoeps 250/0 KCY's ->
Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 & MixPre-3 ->
SanDisk 128gb Extreme Pro & 64gb Ultra Plus SDXC-I

Portable Playback Gear:
Campfire Audio Dorado IEM's >
Linum G2 SuperBax & Bax {3.5mm} | 
FiiO LC 2.5c {2.5mm} >
Shanling Audio M5s | Sony NW-A35 DAP's

DAW:
Dell Inspiron 15 5570-5521 Laptop

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

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2011, 08:30:39 PM »
Very interesting thread.
AFAIK, all below are supposed to work stand-alone, and have DC powering.
Note that some have limitations to controlling bitrate/frequency, phantom power (ie you have to connect some of them to a PC to change settings).
I'm not saying that they are all good value or even good sounding, but for the record...

E-MU 0404 USB (street $165)
M-Audio Fast Track Pro / Ultra / Profire 610 (street $171/$298/$299)
Tascam US-600 / -800 (street $200)
Echo Audiofire 4 (street $249)
TC Electronic Konnekt 8 / 24D / Impact Twin (street $299/$399/$325)
Edirol FA-66/101/UA-101 (street $339/$379/$469)
RME Fireface 400 / UC (street  $1100/$1249)
Metric Halo ULN-2 / 2882 ( $1695/$1895)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 12:09:29 PM by sunjan »
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kirk97132

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2011, 09:14:49 PM »
The mico was kinda big for my tastes.

It's definitely an awkward size but what's more important - a smaller bag or a better recording?

Around that price point I went with the USBPre2.  I think the mico would sound nice but for me it was just too big.  You are the one who actually clued me into the size.   

Offline jielka

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2011, 12:23:30 PM »
hello from Strasbourg, France!
i use one MIXY (AETA)+PMD661(Marantz).
very good pres with a typical "sound" for music or song.
spdif 24-96 .
Beyer ribbons or m201 can do their job without noise.
my NT1a or superlux S502 too...
10 hours berfore a new batterie charge!
JLK

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2011, 08:52:25 AM »
I like the mico a bit better however it doesn't play nice with the 680

What happens when you use the Mico digital in to 680? I was wondering if it's the same problem as with the Sony D50 dig input.
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

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Offline tcf

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2011, 11:06:48 AM »
Re: the mico, the 680 gives a dig input error message. It works with my other digi gear. Audient said the 680 was to "consumer" for the mico.  The audient is a very nice piece of gear whether for multitrack or two track needs

kirk97132

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2011, 04:11:03 PM »
Well actually that is too bad that Mico choose that wording.  Seems a little too much of a brushing off of the issue rather than addressing the problem IMHO.  Funny that Sound Devices choose to listen the the issue from us, deal with the problem AND resolve it.  It takes Audient down a notch or two in respect for me.  Having dealt with this for the USBPre2, it is the way that the D50 and DR-680 read the incoming data stream.  If that makes it "too consumer" then so be it.  Sure seems like my 680 made some damn fine professional sounding recordings to me.  Those units read the header to get the digital info.  It sure didn't seem very hard for Sound Devices to fix the problem, took about a week.  Too bad Audient just decided to dismiss the problem rather than address it. 

Sorry to derail thread....rant off...back to your regularly scheduled programing. 

Offline sunjan

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2011, 04:19:35 PM »
Going back to the OP, I've been putting the dimensions of all pres with digi-out into a spread sheet.

Looking at which units are smaller than the V3, here they are, arranged from smallest to biggest:
Model                                 Street price   Cubic inches
Core Sound Mic2496                 599   23
USBPre2                                         649   47
Echo Audiofire 4                         249   49
Graham-Patten DMic-20/24 (disc.)   75   56
Aeta Audio MIXY                        2100   62
Edirol FA-66                                 339   65
Sonosax SX-M32                        2716   68
Marenius MM-4220                       2100   70
Aeta Audio MIX2000 + AD card (disc.) 1300   75
Grace Lunatec V3                       1390   77
...
Audient Mico                                660   160

So if the OP wants a quality pre smaller than the V3 without breaking the bank, the USBPre2 is hard to beat for the money/size ratio.
If you're on a budget, the Echo Audiofire4 or Dmic-20 might be an option, but I doubt they have the same sound, and definitely not the versatility...
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 04:28:47 PM by sunjan »
Mics: A-51s LE, CK 930, Line Audo CM3, AT853Rx (hc,c,sc),  ECM 121, ECM 909A
Pres: Tinybox, CA-9100, UA5 wmod
Recorders: M10, H116 (CF mod), H340, NJB3
Gearbag: High Sierra Corkscrew
MD transfers: MZ-RH1. Tape transfers: Nak DR-1
Photo rig: Nikon D70, 18-70mm/3.5-4.5, SB-800

Offline OFOTD

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2011, 04:22:17 PM »
Sorry if I missed it somewhere but is the MICO easily field powerable?    The website says 10v-16v but I don't see if it will work on battery power.

 

Offline sunjan

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2011, 04:32:49 PM »
Mics: A-51s LE, CK 930, Line Audo CM3, AT853Rx (hc,c,sc),  ECM 121, ECM 909A
Pres: Tinybox, CA-9100, UA5 wmod
Recorders: M10, H116 (CF mod), H340, NJB3
Gearbag: High Sierra Corkscrew
MD transfers: MZ-RH1. Tape transfers: Nak DR-1
Photo rig: Nikon D70, 18-70mm/3.5-4.5, SB-800

Offline tcf

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2011, 09:33:51 PM »
The mico works fine off battery power, plus I'd bet there are not too many people lugging a mico into the bars. They didn't really make it for our purpose, however with a little planning can be a very nice piece of gear in the kit. Just not with a 6&0 :). Currently there  is a nice selection of 12volt battery options.

If you have the money and like the sd pres, the new USB box is a no brainer.

If your on a budget look at the focusrite saffire. I've enjoyed mine a lot, however if you are using bright mics it may be a bit much.  I run nevaton mc 49 & mce400s which sound great with the  saffire and works with the 680.  My Audio technicas r too bright unless that's what the room calls for. There was one on.Nashville craigslist last month for a hundred dollars. I bought mine at guitar center due to their return policy.

Have fun
Tom



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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #41 on: January 30, 2011, 11:36:49 AM »
Well actually that is too bad that Mico choose that wording.  Seems a little too much of a brushing off of the issue rather than addressing the problem IMHO.  Funny that Sound Devices choose to listen the the issue from us, deal with the problem AND resolve it.  It takes Audient down a notch or two in respect for me.  Having dealt with this for the USBPre2, it is the way that the D50 and DR-680 read the incoming data stream.  If that makes it "too consumer" then so be it.  Sure seems like my 680 made some damn fine professional sounding recordings to me.  Those units read the header to get the digital info.  It sure didn't seem very hard for Sound Devices to fix the problem, took about a week.  Too bad Audient just decided to dismiss the problem rather than address it. 

Sorry to derail thread....rant off...back to your regularly scheduled programing.

S/PDIF is considered a consumer digital stream, as opposed to a professional stream (AES/EBU).  They are referring to the bit flags that get sent in consumer streams by default.  It's a Sony thing.  Remember SCMS?
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Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2011, 04:48:32 PM »
Awesome resource. Why this is not pinned I don't know.

Good to see the Focusrite getting some movement. I'm torn between the Saffire 14 and Saffire 24 that has meters and for 4 Channels to boot! To run 4 channels you would need a Tascam 680 or other 4 channel recorder with digi in? IOW there is a cheap bit bucket that would support the Coaxial SPDIF for 4 channels short of a laptop?
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Offline OOK

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Re: Pres with digital outs - what's out there?
« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2011, 05:59:46 PM »
should add the Sound Device mixpre D to the list.............
DPA/HEB 4060's > R09HR
MBHO648/KA100Lk/KA200/KA300/KA500 > SD702

 

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