Antelope Zen Studio - thoughts and comparisons

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Chris Perra, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Anybody out there use one of the new Motu units?.. Like a 16 A?.. I think I can rent a 1248 and see what that sounds like.. I'm hoping they have the same guts..

    I think the Zen is a cleaner sounding interface than the Behringer/Rme but I'm not completely sold on the upgrade yet.. 3 Grand CAD.. Motu 16 A is 2 Grand..

    So far the Zen has been flawless driver wise.. Super solid on an older Quad core asus p5q somputer.. I think I had Xp on it when I started..
    The RME as well flawless..
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    I respecfully doubt we can compare the quality of Antelope and Motu... specially the zen vs motu 16, but hey, I didn't try them...
     
  3. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Well... I rented a Motu 1248.

    We'll see with 8 ins how they compare..

    Apparently they use the same converters as the apogee symphony.. Whatever that's worth..

    I've tried to get my maudio profire going. Having some issues with windows 7.

    Cant get it going..
     
  4. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Motu 16A is what I would be looking at if it's better as opposed to the track 16
     
  5. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Ok,. So.. I did a bigger.. better test.. that was much more organized.. And I even added the profire.. at 44.1

    I couldn't get the sample rate to change for the profire.... lots of problems with windows 10..

    I did each sample rate run in the same project..and matched the volumes once set across the board.. No eq comp etc..
    Only 8 mics ..

    Motu Zen Behri and Profire at 44.1
    Motu Zen and Behri at 48
    Zen and Motu at 96


    Things are very close.. too close... Personally I like the Motu the best.. When I get a chance I'll mp3 them and upload them but for now here's the 16 bit renders at 44.1.

    I wish we could upload small waves here.. they are only 15 megs each..


    https://www.mediafire.com/folder/xw2drxa6fdhr1/Big_ass_test
     
  6. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Here's all four at 44.1

    A

    B

    C

    D
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    48 K Different A, B, C though as far as A for 44.1 isn't the same as A for 48 k

    A

    B

    C
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    At 96k.
    A

    B
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    I wound up getting a Motu 16A.. To me the 16A is better sounding than the Zen..

    They are somewhat apples to oranges as the Zen has 12 mic pres and if you needed 12 mic pres then it's a no brainer..

    I found the Motu to be wider, and has more depth. The Zen has a bit of highs added that sound good,.. but not as natural sounding vs the 1248 to me.. D/A wise the Motu was better as well.. More detail with reverbs etc.. "Rise" by Katy Perry was a song that I could hear a huge difference in reverb/delay tails..

    The Motu sounds great, I was very surprised..
     
    kmetal, pcrecord and audiokid like this.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Well done. (y) Thank you for sharing all this with us.
     
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Cool man. Congrats on your new score!!!!

    Where did you hear/see MOTU was using the same comverters as the symphony? Just curious.

    I was looking into the MOTU stuff a while back and the new avb capable stuff is a new design, versus just another mk 'x' version, according to my salesperson. The only one that isn't an umpfated design in the traveller which is a basic Asian brand components type thing.

    I was having a tough time dechipering the differences among things on the iPhon which is what I've been using for quite a while now. 'A' from Thursday's post seemed to be the only one that sounded noticeably different, just a little. The others were super subtle.

    It's interesting the MOTU outperformed the zen. One reason I can think of is the MOTU has less features/design hurdles i.e. The pre amp section. So it can focus more quality on what it does do. This is another case of less is more. It's seems the more a peice of gear does, the less well it does each thing.

    Fwiw I did notice recently the Orion+ has come down $500 to $3k even, that seems like a no brainer to me vs the zen. Vs the MOTU it adds another thousand bucks and 16 channels which may or may not be worth it. I can't attest to the quality.

    The only other consideration would be the thunderbolt connection. These are cool becuase they run straight to the pci bus on the computer so are capable of similar performance specs, on paper. TB cards are like $40.

    Anyway man, I'm glad you found something you like. I'm looking forward to re vistong this thread when I have something better than a phone to listen on!!! Cheers!
     
  12. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    A Motu rep was on the purple forum discussing the newer Motu AVB stuff.
    He said they were using these. http://www.apogeedigital.com/ess-sabre

    I don't know how it works yet but they have Ethernet stuff that you can link up many units together.. I think without sample rate restrictions like Smux
    The control panel is web browser based so you can used anything with a web browser at a distance to control stuff.

    For me I don't care about any of that stuff at this point in time.. Just that the fidelity is noticeably better than my Behringer/RME Digiset set up..

    The Zen wasn't really an upgrade fidelity wise.. Maybe a bit... Mostly a bit more highs and perhaps a bit more depth.. However if you are starting from scratch and want 12 pres and 20 ins.. It packs alot of punch. There's nothing out there that does that for the money.

    It's interesting because every sales/rental person said that the Zen should blow away the Behri/Rme and Motu units.. I spent 350 bucks to rent the Zen and Motu 1248.. I'm glad I did..
     
    kmetal likes this.
  13. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Which "A" did you think was different because they aren't all the same unit.

    I think if you are on a budget,.. this test has shown me that the playing field of converters/interfaces is much smaller than it used to be. Get what you can afford and be happy that if your music sounds like crap. It's not your converters... Preamps, mics, and mic placement make way bigger differences.

    For me,... I made this jump as I have some drum track clients that require 96k. I already have stand alone preamps and the 16A is perfect for what I need and is 1000 dollars cheaper than the Zen.
     
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Yeah the 16a does three 8ch streams at 192k I belive. The amount of streams (channels) still drops as sample rates increase, it's just the new protocol is much more generous than smux. It's reall good for multi room places, and situations like you when yor behind the drumkit and need to adjust something remotely. Definatly worth looking into when you have time.

    Excellent! Your ears are always the best judge.

    That 'A' from 'Thursday 9:48 am'. The post where there were 4 samples at 44.1.
     
  15. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    This was the list.

    44.1

    Behri A
    Motu B
    Profire C
    Zen D

    48
    Behri B
    Motu A
    Zen C

    96

    Zen B
    Motu A
     
    kmetal likes this.
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Lol not suprisingly the berringer was the one that was noticeably yuck. It's crazy that the u ya pretty much sound according to price, but shocking how subtle the differences are between the mid and up are.

    Seems like you've got a killer bang for the buck and a very ice interface overall w the MOTU. Congrats. I've felt the MOTU stuff to be extremely reliable at the studios over the years, and dos their job w no fuss.

    The only thing that really smoked them as far as quality was an apogee Rosetta 8 which was 4x the price of the MOTU 828. The Apogee ensemble was 2-3x the price and not much better than the MOTU. The Rosetta was noticeably better, but again as converter differences are subtle, and it was a vintage calrec pre amp, so that made a big diff to both interfaces. The MOTU has served me well.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice