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I am currently shopping around for an ADAT machine. I've been looking at the XT20 and M20. I can't tell much about the difference between the 2 though. Yes, the M20 has more I/O and 24 bit processing, but is it a worthwhile machine? My biggest question is: if I record on an M20, can I mix on the XT20?

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KurtFoster Tue, 10/29/2002 - 12:45

The M20 was the high end Super Pro offering from Alesis. Studer marketed a full blown 24 bit one for Alesis too. I don't think the M20 is BRC compatible. Tapes are cross compatible between the Alesis 16 & 20 bit machines but not the Studer 24 bit version. I never knew anyone who used the M20's so I don't know if they are any better or worse than tha XT's. All I know is I hate ADATS. They sound real "ok" but their very fussy to keep running....Fats

audiowkstation Tue, 10/29/2002 - 13:53

Fats is right about interfacing the BRC.

M20 units are the epitome of ADAT technology to date. I have the black face units and got lucky and incorporated M20 technology in them. (do it yourself, found M20 guts cheap...from shipping warehouse damaged and buy-out) No Sinc problems, no startup problems, no error problems...except the error 2 from the transport load being slightly different, after 4 or 5 trys the tapes' load up. Normal M20's are pretty bulletproof..and should be for the price.
If you can get them for 700 each, you better go for it..they are expensive units. I doubt they will ever drop below a thousand anytime soon.

Quite frankly, unless (like me) you have 100's of archive production tapes, it is best these days to either (if you have the money) to go PCM 3024Sony (10"), or PCM 3048Sony(14"), or do it entirely on HD and archive to tons of CD's or less than tons, DVD rams. The daisy-chained offerenings from Mackie, Alesis or Tascam in 24tk HD recorders seem a good way to go, providing you can interface them with Storage capability for your vault of archives (if need be). I cannot imagine having a bunch of fully funtional Hard drives in the vault for archive purposes)

I archive everything, hence my life is too short at this time to even listen to what I have archived. I will leave that to future generations to get wealthy off of them. (hehe)

Really, weigh the archiving against the ease of use and price of media (D-2920 tapes for the 3348 are over 120 each..unformatted) VHS ADAT M20 which is 1/10th.per 8 tracks. You get up to 48 tracks of M20 tape, you are close to what it cost for a 2920. HD on the other hand, if you can interface it, with cheap DVD-RAM capability..well go figure.

It is most impressive to have a pair of PCM3348's hanging out in your studio...but then again, for the 600K, and the media cost, I can think of so many more ways to go that will yeild great results and not cost that much.

Research what is happening with the 24/HD units and go that way is my best rec.

anonymous Tue, 10/29/2002 - 14:29

Thank you Cedar Flat Fats and Bill Roberts for your replies.

I think I made a mistake. I think that it is the LX20 rather than the XT20 model that I should have been referring to.

I should mention that I currently own a Mackie HDR that I use as my primary recorder. I have absolutely no intentions of giving this unit up. The reason I want an ADAT is strictly for transferring purposes. As I mentioned, there are a few studios in my area that still use the ADATs. One in particular (where I do freelance work from time to time) uses the M20s. That is why I am concerned about tape compatability.

I would like to get the less expensive unit. Although the M20 looks pretty nice. It would be nice to keep the few extra grand in my pocket or put it towards a decent preamp!

Thanks again! :c:

KurtFoster Tue, 10/29/2002 - 14:46

The LX 20 is a hybrid of the ADAT O/F and the XT. It's XT guts in an O/F case basically. The LX has only -10 dB rca unbalanced ins and outs but that shouldn't make a difference. This should be fine to do digital Xfers to and from the Hard Disk, as long as you can keep it running, lousy stinkin' adats...mumble........


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