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D&R vs APB Dynasonics?
Old 30th March 2014
  #31
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hedgehog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Gregor, I know Paul Westbrook in the US has been good with maintaining the Cinemixes, but I would imagine he's done it with the help of Duco and D&R Netherlands. I believe he has "upgraded" some Cinemix 1's to 2's in the past.

Yes, I used powerfade on my OrionX for quite awhile. Software is similar, but the faders are not motorfaders like the Cinemix. I hope you find a solution to your problem. There is no doubt that mixing digital control into the console topology complicates things exponentially in terms of maintainence and longevity. Best of luck. bp
well at the moment my cinemix is running fine. but for the future it would be interesting to know if it would be possible to retrofit a OrionX with my powerfade automation system.
Old 31st March 2014
  #32
Gear Maniac
 
hedgehog's Avatar
 

I was asking Duco for the possiblilty to retrofit a OrionX with the Powerfade Automation from my Cinemix. This is the answer. I must admit he is a very friendly guy, he answered pretty fast. I am sure he will help as good as possible in future.

"Dear Gregor,

In theory it should be possible, if you can overcome all the mechanical issues.
But be aware that all the engineers who designed Power VCA are not working with us anymore.
So there is not much support to be expected from us anymore, sorry.

Kind regards | Vriendelijke groet
Duco de Rijk"
Old 1st April 2014
  #33
Gear Maniac
 
margusalviste's Avatar
Has anybody compared the mic pres of the D&R Orion and the APB Dynasonics?
Old 14th June 2014
  #34
Gear Head
 
timgsun's Avatar
 

So did you buy either one of these boards yet?

I have the APB prodesk. It uses Burr Brown chips for the mic pres. I find them clean and pure sounding...not sterile or bright at all, which is opposite of most modern IC based board preamps that are semi cleanish but not a smooth pure clean like the burrs, which are not harsh or sterile. Basically the apb/burrs are an ideal clean for me. I'll take that kind of clean. Good for summing, mixing, too as all the channel lines go thru the burrs, not just the mic pres. Many of the better clean outboard preamps use Burr Browns, which in an overgeneraling way are known for being 'clean smooth', and not 'clean harsh', if you will. But dont expect burr browns or any other IC based preamps to give you vintage transformer based colored smoothness and punch without use of actual transformers, like api, neve, etc...but those are more specialty colored, and hence priced accordingly.

Now to the D&R Orion...it uses much older and now obsolete SSM2017 for its mic pre IC...older 90s based technology. I have not used the orion but have had many other 2017 preamps and they all were either plain and passable but nothing special at best, or at worst bright and harsh...depending on the circuit design it was used in...so it could go either way with the D&R. But overall seems there was never much love for the 2017, beyond being just ok in a few units. They were used in everything from digi001, symetrix 302, benchmark, DBX 386/586/760, joemeeks, trident, etc. A few years later the ssm2019 came out as a replacement for 2017 but I dont think were used in Orion boards. 2019 was better...a bit more pure and without the 2017 harshness, but not as smooth as burr browns. My guess is the D&R pres will sound more 90s old school plain/ok at best, or at worst harsh and brittle...depending on its circuit design. In that case I'd take the APB pres over the D&R.
Old 14th June 2014
  #35
Gear Head
 
timgsun's Avatar
 

p.s to margusalviste ...do you use violet or jz mics? they are made in estonia. I'm a fan of them too.
Old 14th June 2014
  #36
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgsun View Post
or at worst harsh and brittle...depending on its circuit design. In that case I'd take the APB pres over the D&R.
No harsh and brittle here and I've OWNED four of them. Perhaps a listen before judgment might be in order. Very useable pre's unless you need a specialty sound.
Old 14th June 2014
  #37
Gear Head
 
timgsun's Avatar
 

That'c cool, I believe you. I wasnt judging the D&R prematurely, just saying it could go either way depending on how they implimented the 2017 in circuit. Still I think a well designed 2017 circuit doesnt offer as pure or artifactless of a clean sound compared to a well designed BurrBrown circuit, at least I have not heard a 2017 pre that impressed me at all. In the Orion after the 2017 pre it next goes thru an oldschool tlo74...does the job but again pretty standard old tech. But if it sounds good and works for you thats cool, Id like to hear one. hard to find both D&R and APB anywhere near each other to try, especially here in USA. I've looked before going w APB. Plus any D&R here are usually well used older ones that need tedious work, not hard...but time consuming. Hard to find any APB used as people keep them. I can and have worked on boards but am sick of doing so, so new is the only way to go for me now, unless i got a steal on some super vintage awesome board worth the effort of upkeep/overhaul. I do have some D&R rack compressors from the same era (80s-90s) which are nice in a colored oldschool way.
Old 15th June 2014
  #38
Lives for gear
Of course, I'm very close to the APB family, but I also have a lot of respect for the D and R. Back in the day the Orion was what 100K....so if there is a decent price you gotta look at it.

As to ABD,its a new desk...big points. And I agree with Cleary, I think the ProDesk series is maybe the APB to look at. As far as the comments about studio functionality, I think they are largely immaterial unless you are running 2" or Radar. And yes I have owned a in line console.....a 44 channel one, and came to realize that in todays world its not the ballgame at all. But sonics are today and I would be very very surprised if the D and R could hang with the APB when it comes to sonics. Things like 24 or 28 bss...how often do you use those busses today. Eight is most likely more than you need.

Bottom line is they are both excellent products and the choice will have as much to do with the way you work as anything else. Me.....I would go for a new desk, the APB, and get an extra 8 channel block when you get a few bucks. Thats gonna be reliable tool for years.
Old 15th June 2014
  #39
Gear Head
 
timgsun's Avatar
 

The orions were orig near 100k? wow. To me a new APB's even more of a bargain then in comparison I guess...but then again this is not 1992 or whatever...if APB were around then they'd be made differently and prob cost much more then too, more hand wiring labor, less modular, etc. No I dont work for or have anything to do w/APB or anyone there, just a happy owner of a Prodesk 424 for home recording. No issues except monitor pot got scratchy very quick, prob just one bad pot from their parts supplier, they sent me replacement pots out right away at no cost. Another thing on the sonics, it uses THAT corp outsmarts output drivers, and many other very good ICs in the summing, between stages, etc.
Old 22nd October 2015
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
margusalviste's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgsun View Post
p.s to margusalviste ...do you use violet or jz mics? they are made in estonia. I'm a fan of them too.
Hey, sry - I just saw your question! Well, it's 2015 oct but in case you still might be interested in my response then the answer is - I have never owned any Violet nor JZ mics but as I was working for the company who later started to represent these brands I have tried a few models. To be true these mics are produced in Latvia but sold by an Estonian company. I have used the most expensive Flamingo model for recording and it was fantastic for female vocs. The cheaper models were just ok. I haven't used JZ mics, so I can't comment these. I like their original designs. And if I would have a need for another high dollar microphone I would most definitely buy the expensive Flamingo model for recording vocs.
Old 22nd October 2015
  #41
270182
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgsun View Post
The orions were orig near 100k? wow. To me a new APB's even more of a bargain then in comparison I guess...but then again this is not 1992 or whatever...if APB were around then they'd be made differently and prob cost much more then too, more hand wiring labor, less modular, etc. No I dont work for or have anything to do w/APB or anyone there, just a happy owner of a Prodesk 424 for home recording. No issues except monitor pot got scratchy very quick, prob just one bad pot from their parts supplier, they sent me replacement pots out right away at no cost. Another thing on the sonics, it uses THAT corp outsmarts output drivers, and many other very good ICs in the summing, between stages, etc.
Since we are resurrecting old threads, let me add, APB was around making consoles back then, more or else. Ever heard of Crest mixing consoles? Those are the guys. The APB consoles are what the Peavey HP consoles should have been, but Hartley needed the consoles downgraded for a cheaper price.
Old 8th December 2015
  #42
Gear Nut
 

This is very interesting topic for me. I onsider to buy APB Spectre 24Ti for my studio. I record / produce my (electronic) music in a "live" approach. I mean, tweaking auxes, muting/unmuting channels and so on. Busy with faders all the time. That's why having 8 auxes or more on every channel is something fundamental for me. I would love to have inline channels but i can live without it until the mixdown point. I still thinkin, checking options, talking with people The prefect, (rather dream) solution for me would be Zahl AM1 console. Unfortunatly it's far too expensive for my hobby I have seriously considered ADT 5M consoles as well.

I really like Oram 8T series but i feel a bit of compromise - only 2 auxes at the same time? I know i could double channels with an instruments and use another auxes but it's not so intuitive and kills a spontaneus vibe a littel.

I really love the matrix possibilities of Spectre. I think i could make some interesting connections during the recording process.

cheers j
Old 10th April 2017
  #43
Gear Addict
 
CharlesCola's Avatar
 

Apologies to resurrect this thread with such a long post but just thought I'd step in and say all the APB consoles are fantastic.

I had the H1020 ProRack and it sounded so great I began searching for a larger APB. Such amazing build quality and internal components - you can tell the design team have more than 70 years experience between them. Unfortunately John Petrucelli, one of the main designers (the P in APB), very recently passed away - may he rest in peace.

It is obvious these consoles were designed and built primarily with real passion and love (sorry for the cliche but I mean REAL passion) - cost concerns were clearly further down the list of priorities which you wouldn't think when you see the very reasonable price tags. The EQ's are as good as a rack of esoteric 500 series whatever... the signal path only has a couple of electrolytic capacitors from input to main out. The summing bus is where the magic really happens - truly shines when pushed hard, absolutely no loss of bass or width or brittle high end - the opposite in fact, everything just sounds better. Definitely on par with API, Neve, SSL etc... summing solutions.

Now onto the Spectra - WOW! What an amazing console. Such a shame this is no longer in production, also, it can be purchased for crazy low prices at the moment. This console is perfect for the previous poster (electronic music production). The VCA grouping allows control of several channels at once so if you have several stereo channels from DAW/synths you can do live mixing using only one fader (and mute) to control VCA of multiple mono tracks/stereo pairs assigned to the VCA groups (8 of them) in any combination e.g you could fade in a complete string section consisting of 6 or whatever various panned mono channels with one of the VCA group faders. This combined with mute groups gives a total 12 mute groups or "scenes" - extremely powerful. The best thing of all this is that every channel has a direct out pre/post fader switch (Ti/Ci version also have insert switch on every channel with balanced inserts!) - when switched to post fader all these VCA fades and mutes are applied to the direct out of each channel (this is perfect for electronic music production where all mixer fader moves and mutes will go into the mutitracks in realtime allowing editing later). If you want to use the console to record and monitor a full band simply press the direct out pre fader switches - monitor through the desk whilst pristine untouched audio from mic pres is fed to recorder - simple. When you come to mixdown there is a mic/line switch to switch from the xlr mic input to the trs line input (you can also feed line signal to xlr input so have ability to switch between two line inputs).

The Spectra signal path is also very special - INA163 (lowest noise version of Burr Brown mic amp) is used on every single channel - the two oversized electrolytic caps before this chip are the only EL caps in the signal path AFAIK. The console is slightly coloured (but oh, what a colour) - definitely not completely clean but verging more towards "pure" (max 15 degree phase shift) with slight euphonics - mostly all even order harmonics. It adds the perfect balance of THD that most plugins/summing plugins try to emulate - the harder you drive each gain stage more it adds and the better it sounds (subjectively). I couldn't believe it when I discovered it has SSL's coveted favourite 2-bus compressor VCA in every single channel i.e. THAT 2180LB in every strip - paralleled in the masters - the 24 channel has more than 35 of these chips in it in total (so if you like the sound of SSL G compressor you will love the sound of this console lol). Most of the other silicon is LF353 - a very good sounding and well specified op amp. Please note if you intend to record bands from direct outs of this console the signal is taken straight from the BB INA163 and you end up with 24 or 32 of among the purest and cleanest signals possible in modern recording going directly to your multitrack - if you want to track with the EQ the pre fader direct out can be changed internally to be post EQ.

The EQ is the cherry on this huge beige coloured cake - the EQ PCB is a thing of beauty, no electrolytics in sight - it is IMHO a pinnacle of modern analogue audio circuit design. Switchable 20 - 400 Hz HPF on every channel! The EQ honestly has a very nice pultec smooth/electric quality in the high end even at max boost it never sounds bad. It has a very tight powerful controlled API style low end (very similar adaptive curves) - it just sounds so good - but is also extremely useful too; narrow/shelf/bell selections for high and low and continuously variable frequency selection on all four bands - it really is a dream eq - to have 24/32 of them is utopia. I won't get into the matrix groups or 10 pre/post switchable aux sends which can have three pairs switchable to stereo mode (with pan!) - or - the APB designed & built, military grade and load balanced power supplies (most Spectra consoles have two of these PSU's working simultaneously)... Almost forgot to mention the Jensen transformers on the Alternative outputs which can be fed from the master bus and offer a whole other tone option for the console - especially when driven.

Sorry for such a long post it's just frustrating that a company such as APB Dynasonics is pigeon holed as live only desks when they are in reality among the top tier of any analogue console/summing mixer that's ever been produced whether it be for live, recording or mixing. It's even more frustrating that such a beautiful sounding, expertly designed and superbly built (in USA) machine is not better known, respected and acknowledged for what it is: a super high quality analogue mixing console for any application.



TL;DR If you want a reliable and recently built analogue mixer that sounds good as it was designed, not requiring any modifications to make it sound better, many hours spent recapping and renovating and doesn't cost as much as a new luxury car then you should definitely consider an APB Dynasonics console.
Attached Thumbnails
D&R vs APB Dynasonics?-img_0936.jpg   D&R vs APB Dynasonics?-img_0943.jpg  

Last edited by CharlesCola; 11th April 2017 at 12:26 AM..
Old 10th April 2017
  #44
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jurek View Post
This is very interesting topic for me. I onsider to buy APB Spectre 24Ti for my studio. I record / produce my (electronic) music in a "live" approach. I mean, tweaking auxes, muting/unmuting channels and so on. Busy with faders all the time. That's why having 8 auxes or more on every channel is something fundamental for me. I would love to have inline channels but i can live without it until the mixdown point. I still thinkin, checking options, talking with people The prefect, (rather dream) solution for me would be Zahl AM1 console. Unfortunatly it's far too expensive for my hobby I have seriously considered ADT 5M consoles as well.

I really like Oram 8T series but i feel a bit of compromise - only 2 auxes at the same time? I know i could double channels with an instruments and use another auxes but it's not so intuitive and kills a spontaneus vibe a littel.

I really love the matrix possibilities of Spectre. I think i could make some interesting connections during the recording process.

cheers j
I can say that every word that has been said is true. Great and detailed review of this great console which i use every day in my recording studio. I plan some simple modifications, for example putting direct outs to stereo outputs and changing matrix capabilities into a recording channels.
Old 4th January 2019
  #45
Gear Maniac
 
EvLoutonian's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCola View Post
Apologies to resurrect this thread with such a long post but just thought I'd step in and say all the APB consoles are fantastic.

I had the H1020 ProRack and it sounded so great I began searching for a larger APB. Such amazing build quality and internal components - you can tell the design team have more than 70 years experience between them. Unfortunately John Petrucelli, one of the main designers (the P in APB), very recently passed away - may he rest in peace.

It is obvious these consoles were designed and built primarily with real passion and love (sorry for the cliche but I mean REAL passion) - cost concerns were clearly further down the list of priorities which you wouldn't think when you see the very reasonable price tags. The EQ's are as good as a rack of esoteric 500 series whatever... the signal path only has a couple of electrolytic capacitors from input to main out. The summing bus is where the magic really happens - truly shines when pushed hard, absolutely no loss of bass or width or brittle high end - the opposite in fact, everything just sounds better. Definitely on par with API, Neve, SSL etc... summing solutions.

Now onto the Spectra - WOW! What an amazing console. Such a shame this is no longer in production, also, it can be purchased for crazy low prices at the moment. This console is perfect for the previous poster (electronic music production). The VCA grouping allows control of several channels at once so if you have several stereo channels from DAW/synths you can do live mixing using only one fader (and mute) to control VCA of multiple mono tracks/stereo pairs assigned to the VCA groups (8 of them) in any combination e.g you could fade in a complete string section consisting of 6 or whatever various panned mono channels with one of the VCA group faders. This combined with mute groups gives a total 12 mute groups or "scenes" - extremely powerful. The best thing of all this is that every channel has a direct out pre/post fader switch (Ti/Ci version also have insert switch on every channel with balanced inserts!) - when switched to post fader all these VCA fades and mutes are applied to the direct out of each channel (this is perfect for electronic music production where all mixer fader moves and mutes will go into the mutitracks in realtime allowing editing later). If you want to use the console to record and monitor a full band simply press the direct out pre fader switches - monitor through the desk whilst pristine untouched audio from mic pres is fed to recorder - simple. When you come to mixdown there is a mic/line switch to switch from the xlr mic input to the trs line input (you can also feed line signal to xlr input so have ability to switch between two line inputs).

The Spectra signal path is also very special - INA163 (lowest noise version of Burr Brown mic amp) is used on every single channel - the two oversized electrolytic caps before this chip are the only EL caps in the signal path AFAIK. The console is slightly coloured (but oh, what a colour) - definitely not completely clean but verging more towards "pure" (max 15 degree phase shift) with slight euphonics - mostly all even order harmonics. It adds the perfect balance of THD that most plugins/summing plugins try to emulate - the harder you drive each gain stage more it adds and the better it sounds (subjectively). I couldn't believe it when I discovered it has SSL's coveted favourite 2-bus compressor VCA in every single channel i.e. THAT 2180LB in every strip - paralleled in the masters - the 24 channel has more than 35 of these chips in it in total (so if you like the sound of SSL G compressor you will love the sound of this console lol). Most of the other silicon is LF353 - a very good sounding and well specified op amp. Please note if you intend to record bands from direct outs of this console the signal is taken straight from the BB INA163 and you end up with 24 or 32 of among the purest and cleanest signals possible in modern recording going directly to your multitrack - if you want to track with the EQ the pre fader direct out can be changed internally to be post EQ.

The EQ is the cherry on this huge beige coloured cake - the EQ PCB is a thing of beauty, no electrolytics in sight - it is IMHO a pinnacle of modern analogue audio circuit design. Switchable 20 - 400 Hz HPF on every channel! The EQ honestly has a very nice pultec smooth/electric quality in the high end even at max boost it never sounds bad. It has a very tight powerful controlled API style low end (very similar adaptive curves) - it just sounds so good - but is also extremely useful too; narrow/shelf/bell selections for high and low and continuously variable frequency selection on all four bands - it really is a dream eq - to have 24/32 of them is utopia. I won't get into the matrix groups or 10 pre/post switchable aux sends which can have three pairs switchable to stereo mode (with pan!) - or - the APB designed & built, military grade and load balanced power supplies (most Spectra consoles have two of these PSU's working simultaneously)... Almost forgot to mention the Jensen transformers on the Alternative outputs which can be fed from the master bus and offer a whole other tone option for the console - especially when driven.

Sorry for such a long post it's just frustrating that a company such as APB Dynasonics is pigeon holed as live only desks when they are in reality among the top tier of any analogue console/summing mixer that's ever been produced whether it be for live, recording or mixing. It's even more frustrating that such a beautiful sounding, expertly designed and superbly built (in USA) machine is not better known, respected and acknowledged for what it is: a super high quality analogue mixing console for any application.



TL;DR If you want a reliable and recently built analogue mixer that sounds good as it was designed, not requiring any modifications to make it sound better, many hours spent recapping and renovating and doesn't cost as much as a new luxury car then you should definitely consider an APB Dynasonics console.
Do these technical overviews also apply to the H1020 desk, or is it really a different beast?

Thanks!

Sounds encouraging... (I'm looking at picking up an H1020 rack console)
Old 22nd January 2019
  #46
Gear Addict
 
CharlesCola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvLoutonian View Post
Do these technical overviews also apply to the H1020 desk, or is it really a different beast?

Thanks!

Sounds encouraging... (I'm looking at picking up an H1020 rack console)

I had far to much coffee before writing that overly long post but hope it is helpful...

The H1020 is not VCA based so is a bit cleaner in sound - not that the Spectra is dirty but it has more of an enhancing effect on the audio due to the harmonics added by the VCAs in the signal chain. The EQ is different but still very good with the same character.
Old 27th February 2020
  #47
Lives for gear
 
Kimotei's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCola View Post
I had far to much coffee before writing that overly long post but hope it is helpful...

The H1020 is not VCA based so is a bit cleaner in sound - not that the Spectra is dirty but it has more of an enhancing effect on the audio due to the harmonics added by the VCAs in the signal chain. The EQ is different but still very good with the same character.

Sorry for late reply!

Just curious about the H1020:
Can you overdrive the channels hard yet nicely? For hard techno sounds like kicks, crispy claps and brutal toms, screaming 303 leads, grindy DnB snares, and so on.

Not that I expect it, as very few mixers do this well. And if not I would just use a cheep 90s or older mixer that does classic techno overdrive the traditional way, and use the auxes on the APB to send channels through it just for the saturation. That would be just as flexible as over-driving the channels internally. But if it sounded good internally it would help with less boxes and spaghetti cabling mess in the studio.

Most likely I would use the auxes and buses like that anyway, with distortion pedals and so on, but it would be fantastic if it sounded good internally as well. (Im very happy to read that you think the EQs sounded very good btw!)


Pedals are noisy as hell in general, and so are old cheep retro mixers. There are good 500 options, but 8 of those starts to get very expensive. Even 8 moog overdrive pedals would be pricey.


For me the APB rack mixer seems to be a great studio hub for sending channels out from the DAW, and use it for various analog mojo noodling like described above, then record all channels back from the APBs direct outs, or from its 4 stereo buses. Huge bonus if it can overdrive nicely by it self, but I would probably get it either way.
Old 27th February 2020
  #48
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Re> Cinemix Software: As mentioned, Power VCA is still available on the website and the VST plugin is easily found. The eproms are the only thing that can’t still be had, but I have the hex files for both the C1&2 (cloned mine). PM me if needed. My C1, loaded 32 frame with bottom faders motored and hi-def meters was $65k new in ‘98 but wasn’t delivered until ‘99.
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