Published by RobAnderson on 19th January 2012
This is one of the best mic amps you've probably never heard of. The 8MX2 seems to be a bit of an underdog for reasons I can't comprehend.
It's pedigree is rather impressive: the ATI Paragon console was one of the best sounding live boards ever made. This is essentially 8 Paragon mic pre's in a single RU package. They have an nice "full but open" sound to them, not particularly colored to my ear - just a good, solid console mic amp. In quality they are at least the equal of the True P8, and are well-known and well-regarded in the classical and broadcast world.
Despite the fact that they are priced in the same range as the Precision 8 and the DAV BG8, they deliver far more bang-for-the-buck, since the 8MX2 is also a feature-laden mixer. You can mix or simply monitor the preamp channels, but what's even better is that you can mix and monitor the multi-track returns. This could be used as an analog summing mixer as well as a front-end mic-amp.
Each channel features a limiter, mix bus assign, cue, phase reverse, and phantom power buttons, and each has it's own mix level and pan controls and a button allowing you to toggle between feeding the preamp or the return directly to the mix bus.
The master section has master volume and pan as well as control room/headphone volume (yes, this thing has a headphone amp too!). You could also monitor a 2-tr return if you wish.
If all that were not enough, multiple units could be ganged together to form a much larger mixer.
My only beef with this unit is that, despite seemingly being designed with the remote recordist in mind, the build quality is not as robust as that would imply. I am also not a big fan of DB25 output connectors on mic amps, but in this case I can understand why they had to go that route with this box. The metering is not the best, but it shows you what you need to know.
All in all, it is a great-sounding tool for both the location and the studio recordist.