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Crane Song Avocet - setup question Studio Monitors
Old 31st May 2009
  #1
Crane Song Avocet - setup question

Hello

I just recently acquired a Crane Song Avocet and I'm very pleased with it. While hooking it up I run into couple of things I hope to find help from here.

I'm running the Avocet straight to my Genelec 8040 speakers. when I'm using the Avocets DA I can only turn the volume knob up 1/4 before it becomes too loud (the manual suggest 1 o clock position would be good). I already turned my Genelecs input to -6 db.

How would I go about attenuating the output of the Avocet so that I would get more usable range to the volume knob.

I read about in line pads (actually there was a mention about them in the manual page 24, I bought mine second hand so no pad for me ) ... what impedance would be right for my speakers or how it would affect the sound etc. any insight about this would be greatly appreciated.

Another thing is that the Built in DA is very loud compared to the analog input (Max volume from my RME FF400) When I play mastered material from my DAW the digital VU meter is not moving at all and it looks like it is peaking all the time (even thought it of course is not). Is there any way to calibrate the VU to not clip before it actually does?

Thanks for your time and help,
P
Old 31st May 2009
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
RTFM

You can set all of those levels from the software in your Avocet.
Old 1st June 2009
  #3
Ah Mr. Fletcher thank so much for your informative answer. It was clearly laid out and presented your apparent expertise in all of its glory.

The fact of the matter is that the software calibration of input is not helping. I am yet facing the problem of not getting a usable range from the knob. And no you cannot set the levels of the output thru the software.

So my question remains, do inline pads present impedance problems if they are to be used?

Thanks for your help,
P.
Old 1st June 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
World Studios's Avatar
Sir Fletcher apparantely has not read the manual to the fullest. ;-) It is true you can only set the input levels. Since most all active speakers and most power amps have a volume knob anyway, I guess few people have any problems with this. There is just one attentuator supplied anyway and the steps are way too coarse to be useful for balancing between 2 sets of speakers.

The 8030s have a volume knob on the front. :-)

Get a passive volume control?

I agree the VU could be a few dB's "lower" in its range. It could also be that the resolution should be higer at the top end. Mine is lit up like a christmas tree most of he time :-)
Old 1st June 2009
  #5
Hey World Studios and thank you for your reply!

Yes I was thinking of the passive volume control as you suggest.

Did the Avocet ship with 2 xlr attenuators as standard? Mine was 2nd hand so no pads came with it ... Do you think this Shure pad would be suitable ?

About the VU:
There is a mention in the rev7 pdf on the page 6 about 'Main Audio Path Digital level trims' but it does not go into specifics what it actually is going to affect? Maybe it could be a way to make the VU not clip when digital input is between -1db and 0db?

All the best,
P
Old 1st June 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Steamy Williams's Avatar
 

I believe you can buy the pads that come with the Avocet from Crane Song for about the same amount as you would pay for the Shure pads.
Old 1st June 2009
  #7
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unit7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parametex View Post
Did the Avocet ship with 2 xlr attenuators as standard?
Got the two xlr attenuators with my Avocet, so I guess it's standard. 6-20dB pad.
Old 1st June 2009
  #8
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
My bad, it never occurred to me that someone who would own an Avocet would have no working knowledge of reproduction system gain scaling. The outputs should be trimmed with the amplifier for each set of monitors at the amplifier [or other gain stage prior to the monitors... say like an equalizer].

Once you set the inputs to be of even volume, using something like a hand held SPL meter it is quite easy to trim the gain of the amplifiers. In my case, I have a set of monitors that only has a +4 / -10 switch, so using that as a baseline I set the amplifier gain on the other two sets monitors to pair with set that features fixed gain.

It ain't rocket surgery.

[PS, if you would like a set of official issue Crane Song LTD. in line attenuators lemme know. We still have them, but have never seen a reason to use them].
Old 1st June 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
World Studios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parametex View Post
Hey World Studios and thank you for your reply!

Yes I was thinking of the passive volume control as you suggest.

Did the Avocet ship with 2 xlr attenuators as standard? Mine was 2nd hand so no pads came with it ... Do you think this Shure pad would be suitable ?

About the VU:
There is a mention in the rev7 pdf on the page 6 about 'Main Audio Path Digital level trims' but it does not go into specifics what it actually is going to affect? Maybe it could be a way to make the VU not clip when digital input is between -1db and 0db?

All the best,
P
:-)

I got mine second hand too! No attentuators... But my buddy got a new one last week and it had them in the box. I couldn't tell you if the Shures are any good. I think you need a passive volume control, at least for some of your speakers, as Fletcher says - you can have one set of "fixed" ones and balance the others against them. Even without a SPL meter it is quite easy to balance the levels, but you must consider all requencies and opt for a middle ground where bass, mid and treble all are close in perceived volume. The mids beeing most important for humans.

We need to find out what the digital level trim does...

Best,
Old 1st June 2009
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
My bad, it never occurred to me that someone who would own an Avocet would have no working knowledge of reproduction system gain scaling.
Yes thanks again. If you RTFmail you are bound to find out that I have absolutely no problems in leveling my speaker setup. But hey, thats ok coz it never occurred to me that someone who would sell Avocets would have no knowledge of how to read simple mails

And thanks to Mr. Studios and Mr. Williams, I think I will contact the manufacturer about the attenuators and for getting a more usable range from the level knob. (And while I'm at it I might as well ask a clarification on the VU meter trim too)

All the best,
P
Old 2nd June 2009
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
pieter's Avatar
 

FWIW

I am using my Avocet with Genelec 8032s (turned at lowest gain level) and never had any need for the inline pads.

Pieter
Old 2nd June 2009
  #12
Yeah I'm using Avocet all the time and it's kinda ok ... I still feel I'd appreciate bigger range from the knob ...

Anyone whos interested in adjusting Avocets VU display so that the RED leds light up only when the DA actually clip should check the following (Instruction fron Sean from Crane Song)

Quote:
They are easy to adjust with a trim pot. If you want to adjust the meters there are two trim pots located inside the main unit, these would be R165 & R166 and they are located just to the right of the big filter caps. You can just adjust these trim pots so the red light is a clip light.
Cheers,
P.
Old 2nd June 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
World Studios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parametex View Post
Yeah I'm using Avocet all the time and it's kinda ok ... I still feel I'd appreciate bigger range from the knob ...

Anyone whos interested in adjusting Avocets VU display so that the RED leds light up only when the DA actually clip should check the following (Instruction fron Sean from Crane Song)



Cheers,
P.
Thanks for passing this info on, P!
Old 3rd June 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

inline pads / input levels

Hi Parametex,

When I used the Avocet I had no need for inline pads, since my speakers were passive, and I had another volume knob (amplifier) after Avocet. Also, I didn't have the inline pads that came with my purchase (2n'd hand).

Another possibility to your problem could be turning the volume down from your soundcard software mixer (if you use RME, then HDSP mixer). That way you can extend the range of your knob, as well as listen to mastered material with the volume knob where it should be.

I hope it works out!

Johannes
Old 3rd June 2009
  #15
Quote:
Another possibility to your problem could be turning the volume down from your soundcard software mixer (if you use RME, then HDSP mixer). That way you can extend the range of your knob, as well as listen to mastered material with the volume knob where it should be.
Hey J, good to hear from ya!

But wouldn't reducing the level from the daw only reduce the effective bit depth when using the digital signal?

Well, I'll just hunt down the attenuator barrels and I'm set ,)

Cheers,
P.
Old 3rd June 2009
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Parametex,

Yeah, you're right about the bit depth lost - I'm mainly hearing it in the DAWs itself - due to their complicated floating point calculations, but as far as fixed point math is concerned - as is RME HDSP Mixer and a couple of other applications - I could hardly hear the difference - it sounds much better to my ears.

But the way you're going about it might sound the most natural.

Good luck!
Old 13th September 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
degas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parametex View Post
Hello

I just recently acquired a Crane Song Avocet and I'm very pleased with it. While hooking it up I run into couple of things I hope to find help from here.

I'm running the Avocet straight to my Genelec 8040 speakers. when I'm using the Avocets DA I can only turn the volume knob up 1/4 before it becomes too loud (the manual suggest 1 o clock position would be good). I already turned my Genelecs input to -6 db.

How would I go about attenuating the output of the Avocet so that I would get more usable range to the volume knob.

I read about in line pads (actually there was a mention about them in the manual page 24, I bought mine second hand so no pad for me ) ... what impedance would be right for my speakers or how it would affect the sound etc. any insight about this would be greatly appreciated.

Another thing is that the Built in DA is very loud compared to the analog input (Max volume from my RME FF400) When I play mastered material from my DAW the digital VU meter is not moving at all and it looks like it is peaking all the time (even thought it of course is not). Is there any way to calibrate the VU to not clip before it actually does?

Thanks for your time and help,
P
Funny, you and me has the exact same type of gear (8040, RME, Avocet)...and the same type of problem.

Did you find a good solution that works for you?
Old 6th May 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 

HELP!

Unfortunately Cranesong hasn't return my call just yet and they are closed. For anyone who owns the cranesong Avocet. My AES inputs (all digital inputs) just don't work now. Came back to the studio, didn't touch a thing. Try the inital reset of the controller. Nothing. All my digital inputs are not bringing in any signal. Anyone know how to fix this? My analog inputs work fine. Just got this thing and its brand new.


Thanks in advance.
Old 6th May 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
Unfortunately Cranesong hasn't return my call just yet and they are closed. For anyone who owns the cranesong Avocet. My AES inputs (all digital inputs) just don't work now. Came back to the studio, didn't touch a thing. Try the inital reset of the controller. Nothing. All my digital inputs are not bringing in any signal. Anyone know how to fix this? My analog inputs work fine.


Thanks in advance.
If it was working properly before and you haven't changed anything since, the only thing I can think of is that it's DA is somehow broken (especially as resetting it hasn't helped).
Never had this problem before so sorry I can't be of any help.
Old 6th May 2010
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
Unfortunately Cranesong hasn't return my call just yet and they are closed. For anyone who owns the cranesong Avocet. My AES inputs (all digital inputs) just don't work now. Came back to the studio, didn't touch a thing. Try the inital reset of the controller. Nothing. All my digital inputs are not bringing in any signal. Anyone know how to fix this? My analog inputs work fine. Just got this thing and its brand new.


Thanks in advance.
Hard to believe the DAC would quit working. Is it at all possible there is something different about the clocking scheme, or digital outputs that are feeding it? When the clock sync is screwy in our Room, no signal proceeds to the DAC. Keep trying Sean, @ Crane Song. He is very helpful.
Old 7th May 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
Hard to believe the DAC would quit working. Is it at all possible there is something different about the clocking scheme, or digital outputs that are feeding it? When the clock sync is screwy in our Room, no signal proceeds to the DAC. Keep trying Sean, @ Crane Song. He is very helpful.

Good points. For testing the unit if its working or not. I connected only my Mac Pro to it. Ran itunes. Nothing on the digital input side of the box. Its like its not seeing any digital signals in. Analog works fine. I spoke with Sean. He said the DA board may be shot or a ribbon cable came loose. All ribbons are fine and the unit is only a week old fresh from Cranesong. I am still doing testing myself to check on cables and connections to it. Making sure its nothing besides the Avocet.

Thanks for the help.
Old 7th May 2010
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
Good points. For testing the unit if its working or not. I connected only my Mac Pro to it. Ran itunes. Nothing on the digital input side of the box. Its like its not seeing any digital signals in. Analog works fine. I spoke with Sean. He said the DA board may be shot or a ribbon cable came loose. All ribbons are fine and the unit is only a week old fresh from Cranesong. I am still doing testing myself to check on cables and connections to it. Making sure its nothing besides the Avocet.

Thanks for the help.
Do you have a meter and a scope?

If you feel comfortable you can open it up and trace everything from the power supply through the DAC converters and see if something is not right.

Do you have another DAC about? Have you tested the cables?
Old 7th May 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Do you have a meter and a scope?

If you feel comfortable you can open it up and trace everything from the power supply through the DAC converters and see if something is not right.

Do you have another DAC about? Have you tested the cables?

Yep got another Dac. fortunately. And extra cables. But no extra Toslink optical to AES converter box. (Mac Pro digital out to Avocet) Only one of those. I wonder if that could be the culprit. I hope so. So I don't have send this box back. I was just starting to enjoy it. heh

Got a meter. No scope. But man, did you see the inside of this thing? It looks like the 6 million dollar man's bionic brain. I will let Sean at Cranesong do it. Way above my skill level.

Thanks for the help Guys.
Old 11th May 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 

Cranesong sent me another DA section board. I replaced it instead sending the entire unit back to them. [email protected]!!

It works now. I guess I got a bad board? Man it was only a week old.

Hope this one last alot longer. Back in action. thumbsup
Old 8th September 2015
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parametex View Post
Yeah I'm using Avocet all the time and it's kinda ok ... I still feel I'd appreciate bigger range from the knob ...

Anyone whos interested in adjusting Avocets VU display so that the RED leds light up only when the DA actually clip should check the following (Instruction fron Sean from Crane Song)



Cheers,
P.
Sorry to revive this very old thread, but I am running into this very problem, Avocet going into red when my DAW doesn't...
So do I have to work on the 2 trims inside the Avocet apparently, but how exactly ? How can I exactly calibrate them ?
And also, are the little trims on the back of the units of any help ?
Thanks !!!
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