Which 8 CH Preamp?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by stealthy, May 21, 2008.

  1. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I've looked around a bit and I've kind of settled on the Focusrite Octopre LE for $600. I would like some input on that particular piece as well as other similar priced units. It will be used in conjunction with a Dig 002R so I can have 12 XLR channels simultaneously.

    Any suggestions are appreciated!
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    You will need the Octopre's A/D card if you want to use ADAT to connect to the 002. That will cost you a bit more. You can't go up to 20 channels on the 002. You can use the 4 line inputs with 4 channels of analog pre and then use the two s/pdif channels to go up to 18.

    In the price range of the Octopre the Mackie Onyx units get a lot of love around here. I had a bout of buyers remorse about buying my Octopre, but I'm getting over it. Maybe the Focusrite platinum series gets negative reviews because it's worse than people expect from Focusrite while the Mackie gets good reviews because its better than people expect from Mackie. From what I've been able to determine (and I have not been able to do anything like careful comparisons) they are in the same ballpark. At any rate, it's my skill and not the Octopre that is the determining factor in the quality of my recordings. But definitely check out the Mackie units while shopping.
  3. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    *Sigh* I didnt know I had to get the darn card with the Octopre. I should have assumed, it couldnt be simple and all included so you can use something!!!

    So, that puts me at $800 for the Octopre and a/d card. Is there an alternative? Is the 8pre and Onyx the same way? I wanted to spend $600, but I guess maybe I have to change my budget?

    Thanks for making me realize what else was involved.
  4. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    anybody else?
  5. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    long term it may be better to keep mic-pres and the AtoD seperate

    the ADAT light pipe restricts you to 48k when working with 8
    and can work to 96k when working with 4 BUT the 002 doesn't think that way
    ... nor do any of the Digi units as far as I know

    I know it might work against the grain but here is why the ADDA80000 is so atractive for the price
    use as a line input
    HEY it's cheap and gets the job done
    ... I use the Mic inputs but don't tell anyone

    JLMaudio have a simple 8 transformers to ADAT for 8 line inputs
    but you will have to clock the 002 from the external ADAT as the JLM unit doesn't have ADAT input

    A seconhand Alesis Ai3 perhaps
    (beware the analog input levels are not quite as high as they should be)

    use the bulk of the money to get Mic-pres of long term value
    API, Greatriver, JLM, Manley, Grace etc
    a Brick or two
    ... all the usual suspects
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    The ADA8000 is a cheap solution for 8 mic inputs. However, there is no point in buying it hoping to use it as a transparent line input - the line inputs go through the same pre-amps as the XLR Mic inputs. I've modded several people's ADA8000s to by-pass the noisy pre-amps, but the mod is not for the faint-hearted, and you still only get the Wavefront (Alesis) ADCs at the end of it.

    Lots of choice of 8-channel ADAT-output digitizing preamps, and you largely get what you pay for. The Mackie 800R that Bob mentioned is among the best in this price range.
  7. quadrivium

    quadrivium Guest

    Presonus Digimax D8, about $100 more than ADA8000, it sounds good and good quality overall. I like that it senses the bit rate of the PT session that you open and sets itself accordingly with an led on the front so you can see what it is set at (either 44 or 48K). One thing I didn't like was that it only has optical out (no optical in) so you need to connect BNC to Digi in order to slave it.
  8. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    yes the 80000 is cheap and nasty and there is a point to buying if it gets you through a period where you aim to a higher level

    the unit is not good for a mod ... better to use a daughter board and add some transformers
    see the JLM AtoD for ideas

    MOST of the cheaper units use the wavefront chips ... Alesis chips became the wavefront company
    not to suggest that the original inventor of the 8 Ch Lightpipe is going to make the best chips but here is where most of the chips come from
    the 002 probably has the wavefront reciever

    in years to come when the 002 and the ADDA8000 and 48k is long gone and stealthy has a different system and interface they will still have the standalone mic-pres as I have suggested
    API3124 for example

    I don't think the Mackie Onyx 800R or the Focusrite Octopre LE will become long term classics

    quadrivium is correct to be worried about how the clock is distributed
    I feel that LE works better when the external unit is slaved to the digi gear
    which means, as quadrivium has suggested, the external unit needs both optical in and out
    added to this is what Boswell has pointed out ... what is inside the box ?
    just because there is a BNC does it mean it will clock correctly.
    I've fond that the Wavefront chips work best with optical in and out and can be flacky with external input. That could be the way there are implemented in the box.
    There is a reason this stuff is cheap.

    just my 2 cents

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