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StudioLive AI-series mixer 96 kHz over the onboard FireWire 800 interface

AWESOME NEWS for StudioLive AI owners!

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 2014
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PreSonus® is pleased to announce the availability of HD mode for StudioLive™ AI-series mixers. Once updated, any StudioLive AI-series mixer can record and play back audio streams at sample rates up to 96 kHz over the onboard FireWire 800 interface. The number of recording and playback streams is unaffected.

Designed with recording in mind, HD mode limits cascading and output processing while retaining bus mixing, Fat Channel processing on every input channel, and one reverb and one delay processor. Since included Capture™ and Studio One® Artist for Mac® and Windows® already record high-definition audio, no updates to these applications are required.

Registered StudioLive AI-series mixer owners can update their StudioLive AI-series mixer firmware free by downloading the firmware from their My PreSonus account or by connecting their mixer to an Internet-capable network and updating over the Web. Information on how to update the firmware is available from the online PreSonus Knowledgebase.

PreSonus also announced that its Nimbit® online, direct-to-fan music marketing, promotion, and sales service now supports high-definition (24-bit, 96 kHz) audio.

Only PreSonus offers a complete, "riff to release" music recording, production, and delivery solution for high-definition audio. Record, mix, and master in 24-bit, 96 kHz with a PreSonus StudioLive AI-series mixer and Capture or Studio One, then upload your HD files directly to Nimbit for promotion and delivery.

For more information about StudioLive AI-series mixers, please visit http://.

For more information about Nimbit, please visit http://.

Comments

audiokid Sun, 11/30/2014 - 22:22
Well, how awesome is this! I just got a 24.4.2 AI and I'm feeling like I just got a Christmas gift from Santa. PreSonus, you sincerely ROCK.

I would never have guessed you can increase the SR on these with a simple software update. I would have thought this was a hardware related design, part of the components?
Can anyone explain that to me?

anonymous Mon, 12/01/2014 - 02:52
There's something in my recent memory that's knocking on my skull, that says something about being sure to have a particular FW cable... something I recall reading or hearing somewhere regarding a special FW cable for HD modes/SR's... :confused:

I dunno, maybe I'm mistaken... Bos might be able to chime in here on this... Or, I suppose you could always contact PreSonus and query them about it...

Boswell Mon, 12/01/2014 - 03:07
DonnyThompson, post: 421673, member: 46114 wrote: There's something in my recent memory that's knocking on my skull, that says something about being sure to have a particular FW cable... something I recall reading or hearing somewhere regarding a special FW cable for HD modes/SR's... :confused:

I dunno, maybe I'm mistaken... Bos might be able to chime in here on this... Or, I suppose you could always contact PreSonus and query them about it...

You need a FireWire cable specified to run FW800, otherwise no problem.

You would also need a FW800 PCIe card, but I guess this is what your other thread was about, Chris.

audiokid Mon, 12/01/2014 - 11:47
Thanks guys, that was helpful. I'm surprised how reasonable these are priced too.
Reading some users reports, I can apparently use my current 400 port if I get an adapter? They say one StudioLive tracks great on FW400. That the 800 was added to insure cascading 2 mixer together. I'm still going to look for a FW 800 but I assume its correct info and possible.

dvdhawk Fri, 12/05/2014 - 15:28
FW400 was the standard on the original StudioLive mixers, and it will easily record up to 24 tracks (at 48kHz). FW400 could also be used to cascade two SL24.4.2 mixers together to make the equivalent of a 48 channel 8-bus. I have a feeling it would be pushing your luck if you tried recording all 48 of those tracks via FW400.

You can get (the original versions shipped with) a cable that was FW400 on one end and FW800 on the other. But as with anything else, it's only as strong as its weakest link. In other words, data transfer will only be as fast as the slowest port (or adapter) - in this case 400mbps.

Now that the new AI models are capable of recording at 96kHz, you have to figure you'll need double the transfer rate. The SL32 AI works great with FW800, but I haven't done this firmware update yet to start using 96kHz.

I'm sure you can use FW400 with your new AI mixer, but at 96k you may run into some limitations.

anonymous Sat, 12/06/2014 - 04:29
The A/I uses the exact same preamps that are on most of the current Presonus's I/O-Pres... XMAX.

Certainly not Millennia or Neve, or even RME, but still nice and powerful all the same. My 1818VSL, (which is essentially 8 XLR/Instrument input channels of the AI built into a rack) has absolutely no problems at all gaining up Ribbon mics... and it's quiet. The Fat Channel processing is kinda neat - with the exception of the HPF, I don't use it much for tracking, although once in awhile I'll add a tad of gain reduction to rein in transients on things like kick or snare.

You also have the ability to monitor effects without printing them.

As far as the pre's go, here's a review from SOS:

"With manufacturers falling over themselves to emphasize the quality of their preamps, not to mention finding ever more important-sounding names for said preamps, it's good to report that Presonus's 'XMAX' design delivers on both fronts. XMAX preamps run on 30V power rails, while most preamps in this price class run on 10V-18V. I had absolutely no complaints about the audio quality, and with a gain range of -15db to +65db, there is noticeably more gain available than with other preamps that are similarly-priced, so it would also be a good choice for those who use a lot of ribbon and dynamic mics.
XMAX preamps are not coloured, and some users have complained that the sound is too transparent, but Presonus didn't intend for this design to offer this type of sound. If you are looking for a character similar to what you would find in tube preamps, or other preamps with a "signature" sound, XMAX preamps would not be the best choice. However, if you want a preamp that is clean, transparent, powerful but quiet, the XMAX is a serious contender."


I don't believe you'll be the least bit unhappy with that desk in either a live or recording capacity. ;)

pcrecord Sat, 12/06/2014 - 06:36
What I found sad is that by it self, you don't have much expendability. No Adat inputs, No world clock sync...
Unless the line-ins can go strait to the converters, as is, you don't have the possibility of adding some high end pre.
Or you need external converters/interface and use the pre insert direct outs of the AI, but then, you won't be able use the mix features while tracking.
Also if you'd want to mix through the AI, you'd need to switch the Asio back and forth between your other interface for tracking and the Ai for mixing.

Sounds complicated, maybe I missed a feature and should read the manual ;)

audiokid Sat, 12/06/2014 - 09:27
pcrecord, post: 421819, member: 46460 wrote: What I found sad is that by it self, you don't have much expendability. No Adat inputs, No world clock sync...
Unless the line-ins can go strait to the converters, as is, you don't have the possibility of adding some high end pre.
Or you need external converters/interface and use the pre insert direct outs of the AI, but then, you won't be able use the mix features while tracking.
Also if you'd want to mix through the AI, you'd need to switch the Asio back and forth between your other interface for tracking and the Ai for mixing.

Sounds complicated, maybe I missed a feature and should read the manual ;)
I wouldn't use this or even a world class console to mix, I see no point in that anymore. I see no value using EQ's or console inserts during tracking so this is where those features in any console becomes a dead waste of money. Once ITB, stay ITB. I also have no need for faders OTB. That too is a complete waste of money.

Right now I see the 24 pre's as another option of preamps. For this particular asset then, the need for addition syncing would be little concern. I'm thinking the direct outs can go uncoupled into an Orion 32 or any converter AD ( a nice Dsub to Dsub)?
The StudioLive = pre-amps for tracking and a good live console. A killer demo tracking system and maybe even good enough for a lot of music.

Capture, which is the basic tracking software that comes with this, which you do then need FW connection is crazy cool. I've never used anything so simple and stable. Puts Reaper to shame right there. Import those tracks into any DAW and you are sailing.

IMHO, there is no gain with my workflow from any analog channel strip. I don't normally EQ or add effects during tracking . I see the StudioLive console as a very cost effective group of preamp's via the direct outs. I'm still playing around with the concept but it sure is a cool live console.

But, I think I read somewhere that you can bypass the Pre and use outboard options? Dave?
I'm hoping I'll have time to start playing around with all this in the new year.

audiokid Sat, 12/06/2014 - 09:47
It works out to about $130 per preamp. Pretty cool.

I wonder how the StudioLive AI Pre's match up to the MP32 . They are about the same price.

Edit) Looking at this from another workflow, we could also patch hardware between the direct outs and the capture process. Easily strap a digital or analog patchbay between there. Its a pretty versatile product.

dvdhawk Sat, 12/06/2014 - 12:03
audiokid, post: 421809, member: 1 wrote: Thanks Dave, I'm definitely going to get a FW 800 PCIe card.

My subs just arrived the other day too. I haven't hooked them up yet but they sure looks good.What a nice rig this is.

Hey, have you had the opportunity to compare the pre-amps between the older consoles to the AI series?

FYI: Worth looking at, if you haven't seen this, [[url=http://[/URL]="http://support.pres…-"]FW compatibility list[/]="http://support.pres…-"]FW compatibility list[/]

I have had an original series SL24 for 2-3 years now, and I've been very happy with it for recording and live PA use. I've installed a couple AI mixers recently and they sound just as good to me in a live setting, but I have not had an opportunity (or reason) to do any recording with any of those yet for further scrutiny. As near as I can tell they are the same beefy sounding XMax pres as the original. I recently picked up an SL32.4.2 AI for myself, but it currently sits still sealed in the box until I've got a better place to put it. At that point, if I'm sure the AI is in fact as cool as the original, I'll sell my older SL24 and replace it with the new RM32AI rack mount version for a one-rack wireless live rig.

audiokid, post: 421823, member: 1 wrote: The StudioLive = pre-amps for tracking and a good live console. A killer demo tracking system and maybe even good enough for a lot of music.

Capture, which is the basic tracking software that comes with this, which you do then need FW connection is crazy cool. I've never used anything so simple and stable.

Exactly right on both counts. The StudioLive is NOT a control surface for recording, but DOES have good analog I/O to FW to get into your DAW. If you want to use esoteric high-end preamps, connect them straight to the DAW. I've had no reservations about using any of my pres (Avalon, Sebatron, Presonus) in-line in an analog channel.

audiokid Sat, 12/06/2014 - 12:46
dvdhawk, post: 421827, member: 36047 wrote: I recently picked up an SL32.4.2 AI for myself, but it currently sits still sealed in the box until I've got a better place to put it. At that point, if I'm sure the AI is in fact as cool as the original, I'll sell my older SL24 and replace it with the new RM32AI rack mount version for a one-rack wireless live rig.

Nice. The AI Racks look like an excellent mobile solution.

dvdhawk, post: 421827, member: 36047 wrote: If you want to use esoteric high-end preamps, connect them straight to the DAW. I've had no reservations about using any of my pres ([="http://www.avalondesign.com"]Avalon[/]="http://www.avalonde…"]Avalon[/], [[url=http://="http://www.sebatron…"]Sebatron[/]="http://www.sebatron…"]Sebatron[/], [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.presonus…"]PreSonus[/]="http://www.presonus…"]PreSonus[/]) in-line in an analog channel.
So in other words, would I connect external pre's to the Line In?
And that would translate out the Direct Outs?
Would they also AD through Captured?

Line-level Inputs.
Each channel of the StudioLive has a ¼ inch, balanced TRS
connection for line-level input. When these inputs are engaged, the microphone-
preamp circuit is bypassed. Typical examples of line-level connections are synthesizer
outputs, CD/DVD-player outputs, and (with exceptions) signal-processor inputs and
outputs.

audiokid Sat, 12/06/2014 - 13:01
I think there is some confusion with the Inserts. The Inserts do not translate tracking or direct outs, correct? When they say,
"The return goes straight to the digital bus" they are referring to live, not tracking or direct outs?

Insert.
Each input channel on the StudioLive has a direct-insert point. These
unbalanced,
¼
-inch connectors can be used to connect external processors (such as
compressors, EQs, de-essers, and filters) to your StudioLive’s channel inputs. The
insert’s send is after the channel’s gain control but before the digital bus. The return
goes straight to the digital bus. So if you insert a de-esser on your vocalist’s channel,
you will be sending an unprocessed, amplified signal to the de-esser; the processed
signal returned to the StudioLive will then be routed to the digital bus, where it can
be sent through the Fat Channel, Aux and FX buses, etc

Boswell Sat, 12/06/2014 - 16:09
audiokid, post: 421830, member: 1 wrote: I think there is some confusion with the Inserts. The Inserts do not translate tracking or direct outs, correct? When they say, "The return goes straight to the digital bus" they are referring to live, not tracking or direct outs?
I can't quite follow what you are asking here, Chris.

The direct outs (balanced, on 25-way D-type connectors) and the insert sends (unbalanced) are basically the same signal. They carry the signal that comes out of the pre-amp, which originates from either the XLR mic input or the line in jack. The insert return goes only to the ADC for that channel. There's no usage-dependent variation.

You could use the SL AI-series pre-amps to feed external ADCs by taking the balanced direct outs. As with any insert-equipped console, you could extract a pre-amp output via the insert send and return a totally different and unrelated signal to the mix section, if you so wished.

audiokid Sat, 12/06/2014 - 17:31
Boswell, post: 421836, member: 29034 wrote: You could use the SL AI-series pre-amps to feed external ADCs by taking the balanced direct outs.
Yes, I understand this but I am wondering when using external pre's, or inserted hardware, does this signal follow through the SL AD which can be captured in the DAW via the "Capture software? For some reason I'm thinking this is where SL's fall short.

I really need to get this thing hooked up but its going to be a month or more before that happens.
I can't find anything directly about this on their forums.

Surfing through he forums though, this is a new possibility,
The first option card should be the Dante upgrade, at which point you'll no longer need Firewire or USB.

audiokid Sat, 12/06/2014 - 19:27
Boswell, post: 421836, member: 29034 wrote: you could extract a pre-amp output via the insert send and return a totally different and unrelated signal to the mix section, if you so wished.

Sorry Bos, i know I'm confusing but that's especially because the relationship between the AD and FW isn't clear when external gear is inserted.
I'm thinking once I bypass the onboard pre (insert a Neve pre) this also disconnects the rest of that channel going through FW to the DAW (SL Capture software).

Which is why the Direct Outs are the solution.
In a nut shell, I'm wondering if StudioLive "Capture" (see Capture), tracks the (example) Neve inserted, or does that channel become dead (not live to PA) thru the AD to DAW?.

For some reason I was thinking/ hoping the AI addressed this.

pcrecord Sun, 12/07/2014 - 06:08
If I follow correctly, you can put an external preamp to the line in but it will go through the preamp of the AI
To bypass the preamp of the AI you can put the external preamp to the return of the insert using an insert cable without using the send, or a special build cable that only have the return connection.
The question is, is there any circuitry after the insert point that can alter the audio quality? If you could choose to put the insert post fader, you would be sure of a clean path to the converter. But if it's pre-fader only, it goes through the EQ, pan and the fader. So the question remain; how much circuitry come to play after the insert point?

I would ask the Presonus that question, just to be sure.

Boswell Sun, 12/07/2014 - 06:23
audiokid, post: 421839, member: 1 wrote: I'm thinking once I bypass the onboard pre (insert a Neve pre) this also disconnects the rest of that channel going through FW to the DAW (SL Capture software).
Ignoring for a moment the balanced/unbalanced problem, if you wire the output of the external Neve pre-amp to the SL's insert return point, the SL will continue to route and function exactly as before, except that now that channel will be handling a mic or line signal from a different input device (the Neve). When connected this way, if you are tracking via the SL's FW interface to a DAW, then the SL is acting purely as an A-D converter, like a line-level audio interface.

The unbalanced nature of single-jack insert returns can be a problem when you are trying to feed them with quality pre-amps. We've had threads on this before, but basically you have a balancing problem and a level problem. Assuming the pre-amp has independent drivers for its + and - outputs, you need to use a cable wired to take the + signal from from the pre-amp's output jack or XLR to the ring connection of the mixer's TRS insert jack plug in order to carry an unbalanced signal into the mixer. However, top-range pre-amps tend to have either electronically-balanced or transformer-coupled outputs, and these need different wiring to take the output to the ring and sleeve (ground) of the TRS insert jack. Note that in both cases the tip contact of the insert TRS plug is left unconnected, as this is the send signal, i.e. the output of the mixer's internal pre-amp.

The nominal level at unbalanced insert returns is usually -2dBu, this being the 6dB reduction from +4dBu through loss of half the signal. Full-scale (FS) levels are typically 18dB higher than this. The -2dBu nominal figure can be an acceptable match to the output of many mid-range pre-amps when just a + output is taken. However, with electronically balanced or transformer-coupled outputs, not only will both of these will deliver the pre-amp's full range output into a balanced or an unbalanced load, but it's a frequent production requirement to drive these pre-amps into slight overload to take advantage of the sound of transformer saturation. In this case, you may be presenting something like a +32dBu peak signal to an insert point that has only 18dB headroom above a nominal level of -2dBu, i.e. +16dBuFS. It's time to reach for the in-line attenuators...

Boswell Sun, 12/07/2014 - 06:33
pcrecord, post: 421845, member: 46460 wrote: If I follow correctly, you can put an external preamp to the line in but it will go through the preamp of the AI
To bypass the preamp of the AI you can put the external preamp to the return of the insert using an insert cable without using the send, or a special build cable that only have the return connection.
The question is, is there any circuitry after the insert point that can alter the audio quality? If you could choose to put the insert post fader, you would be sure of a clean path to the converter. But if it's pre-fader only, it goes through the EQ, pan and the fader. So the question remain; how much circuitry come to play after the insert point?

I would ask the Presonus that question, just to be sure.
Not really any need, as it's all clear from the [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.avss.com…"]block diagram[/]="http://www.avss.com…"]block diagram[/]. Top left corner shows the insert return feeding only the input buffer of the ADC.

Don't forget that on all digital mixers, the faders and EQ operate in the digital domain. There's no concept of an analog insert point that is post-fader or post-EQ.

pcrecord Sun, 12/07/2014 - 06:55
Boswell, post: 421849, member: 29034 wrote: Don't forget that on all digital mixers, the faders and EQ operate in the digital domain. There's no concept of an analog insert point that is post-fader or post-EQ.

:oops: Yeah, I don't know where my head was this morning!! ;)

@Chris ;
Unless you are planning to sell your converters, I'd keep sending the high end preamps to those, combined with the direct outs of the AI.
Or start with comparing both setups to know which are the best converters and decide accordingly

audiokid Sun, 12/07/2014 - 09:34
Thanks for all the info guys, I keep forgetting about stuff lately. Seems I don't retain half of what I read until I actually use something.
I remember our past conversation about overloading those inputs, now I get it.
pcrecord, post: 421852, member: 46460 wrote: [[url=http://[/URL]="http://recording.or…"]@Chris[/]="http://recording.or…"]@Chris[/] ;
Unless you are planning to sell your converters, I'd keep sending the high end preamps to those, combined with the direct outs of the AI.
Or start with comparing both setups to know which are the best converters and decide accordingly
I'm planning to do a few comparisons with this console so I'm basically getting ideas for the party.
The direct outs would be the way I would go when combining this for sure.

@Bos, you linked a few products before. I should buy a few to have on hand. Was it similar to the Shure? Do these effect the sound, or better yet, would they match up "close enough" from one to the next?

Are there recommended 8 in/out in-line attenuator bays or are they best built in singles?
http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/microphones/microphone-problem-solvers/a15as-inline-switchable-attenuator
here for High Fi.
http://www.musiclinkav.com/store/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=722&Itemid=1

Boswell Sun, 12/07/2014 - 10:35
Apart from knowing that different sorts and values of attenuators are easily available, my feeling is that the thing to do is work out how your connections are going to be made. I would write down a table (or spreadsheet) with the models of pre-amps in the leftmost column, then in further columns their output configuration (unbalanced, floating, balanced, transformer etc), their maximum output level and the connector type. Leave columns to fill in with sort of connection and attenuation needed. Only when you have a handle on how the connections are to be made would I start to look at what attenuators to consider.

PS The Presonus documentation is largely very good, but I can't find any info on the clipping levels at the insert returns.

PPS You could share the spreadsheet with the rest of us here at RO - many others may find it quite useful!

audiokid Sun, 12/07/2014 - 10:59
Wonderful info Bos, if you want to do this, we could upload it, or post it for everyone. I had no idea it was this detailed but like everything pro, the last 2% is 98 percent of the problem solved or the reason why we are doing it all in the first place. :)

I'm not clear if you need my input on a list of pre's I use though? My list of Pre's is dropping off like flies. My "go to" is the Millennia M-2b for value and I'm considering an HV-3D for wideband transparency. I love the SPL Premiums but in the last 1/4 of this year, I'm pretty sold on transformeless pre-amps. I know and respect the Millennia Media sound so am very curious how the SL and Xmax compare. It would be fun to let you all hear the difference between an $1800 vs $130 per channel comparison. High end transformerless does not sound sterile at all. I compare it to fine sheer silk over an HD picture.
I wish I had more time just to do all the fun stuff like this. I'd love to have an extension to this site where we demystify all the nonsense. Which is really where I am heading half the time.

What can I do to help?

anonymous Sun, 12/14/2014 - 02:24
audiokid, post: 421860, member: 1 wrote: I know and respect the Millennia Media sound so am very curious how the SL and Xmax compare.

I wouldn't think that would be all that tough to do, after all, you do have both, right?

Although I'm a bit curious as to why you would want to compare them...other than just for fun... an $1800 dollar pre with a $130 pre - I would expect there to be be a pretty big difference, as one would, considering the price difference.

I don't think that the XMax would sound as good as the Millennia. And, I don't believe the XMax is a bad preamp, either - I really like their transparency, and in that price range, or maybe even a bit above it, I think you'd be hard pressed to do any better than a Presonus or a Focusrite, because of her transparency and gain, but I wouldn't think either one would sound nearly as good as your Millennia, nor would I really expect them to.

Would you? (not being sarcastic... I'm serious with that question). ;)

Let us know if you end up doing an A/B.

audiokid Sun, 12/14/2014 - 10:52
DonnyThompson, post: 422235, member: 46114 wrote: I wouldn't think that would be all that tough to do, after all, you do have both, right?
Yes, I have the console now.

DonnyThompson, post: 422235, member: 46114 wrote: Would you? (not being sarcastic... I'm serious with that question). ;)

Let us know if you end up doing an A/B.
Hopefully I get a good singer in here that will indulge me ;) If not, I will do it with speech by me. That's all I really need for where I am going with this.

I can't imagine anything rivaling the M-2b size or silkness, its a pretty unique design in that it is a Transformerless valve topology, on big rails. But, I can imagine other pre's being contenders in a best suited for a particular texture shootout.
I'm curious to see how the PreSonus sounds if I narrowed the bandwidth on the M-2b to match a XMax size, then how the pre in a Prism Atlas compares. I'm not looking for texture. I am interested to hear how these three compare when I roll off to try and match the smallest "one" in the comparison . This is where I'm going with this.
If this makes any scene, I'm inclined to believe some of why we choose particular pre's (maybe more than we think) ,has something to do with bandwidth capture.

I'm thinking the M-2b would make a great room pre too. It seems the best mixes I get, or those that are the easiest to dial in, are when the room has the largest canvas to paint with. So, for those that don't get the whole HPF thing when mixing, your mix can only be as big as your captured canvas. I am of course, getting artsy fartsy here.

Kurt Foster Sun, 12/14/2014 - 11:16
sos wrote: The XMax discrete-component preamplifier runs on power rails of 30V, which is around twice the norm for IC‑based designs, thus allowing the designers to build in more headroom. While excellent IC (Integrated Circuit) preamplifier chips are available, the best ones are quite expensive, and there's something endearing about the simplicity of a good discrete design. As is the case with the vast majority of discrete preamps, this one uses class-A circuitry, with a frequency response that's flat within ±0.5 dB from 20Hz to 50kHz, and only 3dB down at 150kHz. THD+N noise (unweighted, 1 kHz @ +4 dBu output, unity gain) is better than 0.003 percent, and the equivalent input noise (EIN) figure is ‑126dBu, with 55dB of gain and measured from 20Hz to 22kHz. The gain‑control range is 60dB, with maximum input signal handling capacity of +14dBu.

audiokid Sun, 12/14/2014 - 11:22
I've read that one too, thanks for posting that Kurt. :)

We're told the SL pre's are the same as the Xmax but I'm also told that the AI Series sound better than the first Generation of StudioLive Consoles. Which has me scratching my head. (The mystery of 3 versions of Xmas pres).
I have nothing to compare between both versions now but I'm hoping Dave sheds some light on this in time. He has the first gen of StudioLives and is planning to upgrade? (y)

Being said, it would be even more interesting to learn how the Xmas rack pre compares to the consoles too? Do they all sound different and why? All builds say they have the 30v rails.

audiokid Sun, 12/14/2014 - 11:38
Kurt Foster, post: 422263, member: 7836 wrote: are the XMax pre transformer balanced?
Good point, I think there is better of that on the AI. the first gen SL didn't have as good a PSU either. Maybe there is something to do with a "lack of" rather what the specs say.

How does the PSU effect balancing?

kmetal Tue, 12/16/2014 - 05:00
The eureka is transformer balanced.

I dunno, if they are the same Xmax pres through and through, it really proves hwhat most designers say that it's the overall design, not just one or two components, cuz I've used the Xmax pres in the SL, the 2ch, and the rack unit, and they perform differently. The older digimax being the worst, so maybe they have been making improvements in areas other than profits. Maybe. Prob not. It's probanly just due to the pres incorporation in a different overall design.