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Aurora Gtp8 vs Phoenix DRS8
Old 13th May 2011
  #31
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steveschizoid's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad-Max View Post
I'm 100% with U,
Aurora Audio stuff it's wonderful sounding...I own the GTC2 and it's a superb compressor, probably the best in my rack... actually I'm seriously thinking about taking some of the new stuff that is coming out...

Would underline what U're saying bout the Neve Historical section on the website too...
it's a pleasure to read that pages, and nice to see Geoff sharing his stories and knowledge!
Yeah, the GTC2 is wonderful as well. Mine gets used heavily; whether tracking or mixing, it's always on!

For anyone who might be interested in how all this stuff sounds, there is audio on the Aurora Audio facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/auroraaudio
Old 12th March 2012
  #32
Here for the gear
 
mezzaninefloor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveschizoid View Post
GTP8 thumbsup
There's not a day that goes by that I don't see mine in the rack next to be and experience a warm feeling of gratitude for Geoff Tanner.

The only downside is that once you get one and realize how cool it is, you'll start getting curious about other Aurora Audio gear, and the GT4-8 will begin weighing heavily on your mind.....

It's too easy to spend money when it sounds this good!
So agree with this statement. Almost bought the 8ch aurora eq but instead sold the aurora gtp8 i already had and only because it was replaced by a 12ch neve kelso in unbelievable condition. I had to make a bit of money back after that deal but if it weren't for that I'd have kept that aurora indefinitely. Geoff tanners stuff is very very good. Tracked an entire record with it once, just for the heck of it, and it turned out great. No need for other 'colors' of pre's (not surprising considering a lot of records are tracked with one type of pre/desk).

...just my experience with tanner's stuff. A true modern classic!
Old 12th March 2012
  #33
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunleveque View Post
It is true that in the past we had problems. The fact is..........We HAD problems with DSOP-2's. We have made no secret of this. The problems took some time to track down. Then, we cured the problem. But, of course there are still units out there with old DSOP-2's that may fail eventually.......Or may never fail at all.

So, of course we get old units that need repair, but I have always supplied parts and labour free of charge for units that were built in the UK, or that have failing output stages. Any units that are built in the USA will NOT have this problem as it was rectified before production in the USA began. Incidentally, the number of old DSOP-2's has declined rapidly, and this was the problem with your NiceDi (more on this shortly).
Here's the latest update on Phoenix. Shaun is no longer actively with the company and the manufacturing has been moved to Southern California. Unlike Shaun's assertion, people with the old UK DSOP-2's that fail will no longer have them replaced for free. I know, because mine failed (again) after working fine for several years. It was too long out of warranty, despite the fact that it was the UK DSOP. In all fairness, Robin at the new Phoenix Audio did give me a deal on the repair, but I still ended up paying 40$ for a new op amp plus an hour's labor and one way shipping. IMO they should have taken care of it all for free, but that's their business decision to make.

It was explained to me that the DSOP failure is due to the fact that in order to get that nice pushed sound the amp has to run hot and will eventually burn out, which strikes me as odd but I'm not really an electronics guy. I believe the new ones have a new heat sink attached somewhere. Perhaps Robin can chime in with details.

All that said, the unit was repaired promptly and is working fine. They replaced the second op amp as well, at no extra cost.

-R
Old 12th March 2012
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
Here's the latest update on Phoenix. Shaun is no longer actively with the company and the manufacturing has been moved to Southern California. Unlike Shaun's assertion, people with the old UK DSOP-2's that fail will no longer have them replaced for free. I know, because mine failed (again) after working fine for several years. It was too long out of warranty, despite the fact that it was the UK DSOP. In all fairness, Robin at the new Phoenix Audio did give me a deal on the repair, but I still ended up paying 40$ for a new op amp plus an hour's labor and one way shipping. IMO they should have taken care of it all for free, but that's their business decision to make.

It was explained to me that the DSOP failure is due to the fact that in order to get that nice pushed sound the amp has to run hot and will eventually burn out, which strikes me as odd but I'm not really an electronics guy. I believe the new ones have a new heat sink attached somewhere. Perhaps Robin can chime in with details.

All that said, the unit was repaired promptly and is working fine. They replaced the second op amp as well, at no extra cost.

-R
well, all my phoenix gear failed numerous (!) times. more often than any other gear i had. maybe just bad luck. but other people seem to share a similar experience (they were always nice and quick with sending a replacement - in their defense). in my opinion there is a simple explanaition. it might not be the smartest idea to have a big pile of plastic glue (or whatever material it might be) all over the board? it might run hot? they do this in order to prevent other companies from copying their design i know of no other company doing a similar thing. and personally i think its just a horrible idea. no way of servicing the stuff yourself. it runs way to hot obviously. the caps die and you can dump the whole board. as soon as the company goes out of business it is un-servicable.
Old 12th March 2012
  #35
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
it runs way to hot obviously. the caps die and you can dump the whole board. as soon as the company goes out of business it is un-servicable.
FWIW, it's not that the whole unit runs hot (in fact the box is only slightly warm), just the op amps.

-R
Old 12th March 2012
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
FWIW, it's not that the whole unit runs hot (in fact the box is only slightly warm), just the op amps.

-R
yes, i know. its due to the "not copy us" plastic that covers the entire amp board.
Old 11th April 2012
  #37
Here for the gear
I have to agree about the ongoing maintenance issues with Phoenix Audio gear. Yes, Robin is very accommodating with handling repairs, sending out new amp blocks, etc., but regularly having to pull a piece of gear from the rack to install new parts yourself or mail the whole unit back to Phoenix adds up to a lot of wasted time. To me, this is a major design problem. Yes, the Phoenix gear sounds great, but so does gear from many other companies- without the ongoing hassle. I'm really not trying to slam Phoenix Audio here- I'd happily purchase their products in the future if there was some evidence that basic issues like PSU noise and constant component failures had been addressed. Unfortunately, most of the great customer service they provide goes into applying band-aids to what are basic design problems. I think it's important to know what you're getting into. If you do your research here on GS, you might get the impression that moving manufacturing to California was a solution to some of these issues. My experience has unfortunately mirrored that of folks who were posting here before the move: Hum induced from the power supply and output stage failures, with a lot of song and dance about "solutions" that don't really solve anything. In the end they just say "that's just how it has to be." My question is why?
Old 11th April 2012
  #38
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

I know, the more I think about it the crazier it is. Robin told me that the op amps were more or less expected to fail from heat over time because driving them hot was the key to the fat DRS sound. He even sent me a picture of my blackened op amp that he had replaced. WTF? I would not buy any Phoenix gear unless you satisfy yourself that this design "feature" has been heat-sinked away. Because believe me, it will fail, as it is designed to fail, and it's doubtful it will be at a convenient time.

-R
Old 11th April 2012
  #39
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xavi's Avatar
 

Don't normally like to get involved in threads as it can be a little bit of a minefield, but I thought I best as a couple of threads perhaps give an unfair impression.

Going back to Rick's earlier post, in 2008 Phoenix Audio changed a lot, our ownership changed and we re-located to the US from the UK, under terms of the agreement we weren't supposed to look after older legacy units, just newer US made units. However in reality customers just see as a before so ask us for support & service sometimes, which is cool as we have to look after everybody and the older UK company isn't really in a position to do that. As has been documented in the past there were some issues though certainly not as widespread as some might imagine, like a restaurant review people only see the bad ones not the hundreds of good ones - which is life !

We're happy to support any customers old & new and I'd like to think we do a very good job of it but that's only the feedback we get back, this service which Rick experienced is run as a loss and we aim to do things in a speedily & professional manner, sometimes repairing a unit which is defective is as painful or us as it for the customer, like Rick thought.

In terms of Crunkle's post, I like him a lot so I don't want to get into a debate here, but I think its a little unfair to tar us with the brush of the past (as discussed earlier), hundreds of units leave our factory every month destined for all manner of destinations and yes sometimes things don't go as well as we would want, in terms of repairs we run at around 1% which is similar to most established manufacturers, but I'm still disappointed it is this high and that's no consolation to the unlucky 1%, I hope we deal with them in a professional manner and resolve any issues in a speedy fashion. Crunkle was unhappy with the overall noise performance of the unit, noise is a very subjective issue, some people have major issues with noise whilst others don't, the majority of people are happy with the DRS8's noise performance but you can't please everyone. We are currently developing a new lower noise PSU anyway so hopefully Crunkle will try out another unit in the past and be 100% happy with everything.


Any questions as ever


robi[email protected]
Old 11th April 2012
  #40
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xavi's Avatar
 

Rick,

I think you got the wrong impression from me or I poorly communicated what I actually meant. What I tried to convey was that they do get very hot and that is desirable, they shouldn't burn out or were designed to burn out - that's crazy who designs any unit to fail ? However they can occasionally fail (like they do on other manufacturers units that use Class A discrete op-amps) and at no stage did I mean that and again its that's what you thought I apologize for my poor communication. Your unit was again built in the UK, your output stages were burnt as per the picture I sent you but I think we traced back through the dealer you bought it from, that they were 9 years old. So I agree its frustrating that the unit failed, but seeing as they were that old I think you can give us a degree of latitude. I thought we dealt with you in speedy & professional manner, If I recall the unit was repaired & returned within 24 hours (which I think is pretty good) and we lost money on your repair as a means of appeasing you (as I stated earlier we didn't manufacture that unit so I'm a little disappointed that you want to continue to bash us) but that's OK c'est la vie as they say



[email protected]
Old 11th April 2012
  #41
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Okay Robin, I reviewed our emails and am taking the liberty of quoting them to show you in a better light. The last thing I want to do is beat you up about this. It seems clear that the problem has been dealt with. It also seems clear that in the unit which I own there is a design flaw exactly as I described.


"Regarding heat, I perhaps have given you the wrong impression here and again my apologies, ventilation is not the issue. The key component of the sound of the unit is the output stage and it puts its main transistor under quite a bit of pressure making it get very hot, this is desirable as this is where the unit starts to saturate and distort and where the unit starts to sound great. Some of the early units did have an issue here, but for quite a few years now we modified the output stage and fitted each board with its own dedicated heat-sink, thus dispersing heat whilst not altering the sound of the unit at all. "

"I've enclosed a pic of our output amps, as you can see they're pretty scorched which is why they were having an issue"
Attached Thumbnails
Aurora Gtp8 vs Phoenix DRS8-photo-8.jpg  
Old 11th April 2012
  #42
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xavi View Post
Your unit was again built in the UK, your output stages were burnt as per the picture I sent you but I think we traced back through the dealer you bought it from, that they were 9 years old. So I agree its frustrating that the unit failed, but seeing as they were that old I think you can give us a degree of latitude. I thought we dealt with you in speedy & professional manner, If I recall the unit was repaired & returned within 24 hours (which I think is pretty good) and we lost money on your repair as a means of appeasing you (as I stated earlier we didn't manufacture that unit so I'm a little disappointed that you want to continue to bash us) but that's OK c'est la vie as they say



[email protected]
First of all, yes you did deal with this in a speedy manner. I can't see how you lost much money--I mean all you needed to do was pop in a new op amp. Did you add the heatsinking to my unit that you have on the newer ones?

In fairness to me, however, this was the 4th time a Phoenix op amp has failed on me. And I don't like the implication that after 8 years I can sort of expect the op amp to burn out because running it hot is how you get the cool sound. It really doesn't concern me whether the company was sold--I think we both agree I have a unit with a design error that can lead it to fail prematurely. It's still Phoenix Audio, no matter who the new rep is. When you buy a company, you get their debits as well as their assets.

I also sort of resent the idea that you "appeased" me by offering me a reduced repair rate. If Shaun were still running the company he would have replaced those op amps for free with apologies. Not to "appease" me but because he's taking responsibility for his product.

-R
Old 11th April 2012
  #43
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xavi's Avatar
 

Thats OK Rick, no harm done, we still love you !

Just so your clear your output stages have heat-sinks fitted to them as they have done for a number of years now.

I don't really consider something electronic that failed after 9 years use to be a design flaw, but I guess our opinions differ on that.


[email protected]
Old 11th April 2012
  #44
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Robin, my intention isn't to "bash" you. I was one of the early adopters of the DRS-2, which I still think sounds fantastic and which I have used as a main go-to for many successful recordings. Plus, I put my own reputation on the line by generating a lot of praise here at Gearslutz over the years, so when a new thread pops up I feel obliged to give an update on my own experience, otherwise I just look like some idiot fan boy.

You emailed me to say that the overheating problem has been solved with internal heat-sinking in the newer op amps, and that that is what is now in my unit, so I thank you for that and withdraw the comment about having a unit with a "design flaw". I take you at your word that the problem is solved and that this has been a positive, new beginning for Phoenix Audio here in sunny So Cal.

That said, I can again reiterate that these preamps sound more than fantastic and the 8-channel version has to be the deal of the century.

Sometimes it's good to air this stuff out. Admit there was a problem and show how it was solved, so the iffy-reliability legacy of the UK products doesn't continue to stick to the bottom of your shoe.

Peace and best of luck,

-R
Old 11th April 2012
  #45
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xavi's Avatar
 

Thanks Rick

sometimes its frustrating to hear about issues from old the UK company as people constrew its all the same and therefore we have problems which of course we don't. But your right that goes with the territory of taking on a company, we get the good & bad, if its any consolation I've bitched Shaun out more than most about some of those old issues which has caused us too many headaches and thought many times about hiring Obama's Navy seal team to take him out, but in reality he's a good guy and a great designer and now he's concentrating on that all is well.
Old 11th April 2012
  #46
Here for the gear
Does the DRS-8 have heat sinks for the output stages? I don't remember seeing any when I replaced the output stage that failed after less than a month. Are they within the potted opamp? If so, isn't that heat just distributed from the transistor to the heat sink then right back to the rest of the opamp? Just wondering . . .

Robin is a swell guy and yes DRS preamps sound great. However I think it is always important for people to share their honest opinions and experiences in this forum- users and manufacturers alike. Robin has suggested to me in an email that my post will damage his company for years to come- I honestly don't think that is the case if it encourages even-handed responses and open discussion. Hopefully people with positive experiences, different opinions, and additional information will chime in and we'll all benefit with improved products and more informed purchasing decisions.
Old 11th April 2012
  #47
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xavi View Post
if its any consolation I've bitched Shaun out more than most about some of those old issues which has caused us too many headaches and thought many times about hiring Obama's Navy seal team to take him out, but in reality he's a good guy and a great designer and now he's concentrating on that all is well.
Let's get Hillary on it.
Attached Thumbnails
Aurora Gtp8 vs Phoenix DRS8-hillary-op-amp.jpg  
Old 14th April 2012
  #48
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

What, no HillaryText fans?

-R
Old 4th September 2015
  #49
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JulianFernandez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunkle View Post
Does the DRS-8 have heat sinks for the output stages? I don't remember seeing any when I replaced the output stage that failed after less than a month. Are they within the potted opamp? If so, isn't that heat just distributed from the transistor to the heat sink then right back to the rest of the opamp? Just wondering . . .
Mk2 has something to do with this? Maybe someone @ PA could chime in? Thinking about getting one myself... Cheers!
Old 22nd January 2020
  #50
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Sound of phoenix Drs-2 vs drs-8?

Old thread but..
Just wanted to chime in..I"ve have great luck with my Drs-2 bought it back in the early 2000's not sure when ser. # 154 and i've had no problems with it.
I also like that you can plug 4 mics into it and get some different kit sounds.
Maybe not for everyones taste but there it is.

Am I wrong to assume that the new(er) Drs-8 would sound a little different than my Drs-2?

Better worse? Darker brighter?
thanks!


Last edited by FOURTHTUNZ; 22nd January 2020 at 06:09 PM.. Reason: adding stuff
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