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Best bang for buck? 8 channel Preamps/converters? Dynamic Microphones
Old 5th March 2007
Gear nut
Tommy Fobia's Avatar

Thread Starter
Best bang for buck? 8 channel Preamps/converters?

Hi, I'm currently looking at getting a Presonus Digimax FS to use in conjunction with a Digi 002 for my editing/demoing rig. The preamps seem rather neutral and the converters seem very clean for the money. It also has a lightpipe out and a word clock, so it seems perfect for use with an 002. I demoed one recently and it sounded a hellova lot better than the current digi preamps/converters...

I'm almost convinced, but I thought it unwise to commit until I've heard what you guys have to say about it.

Is there anything else on the market (in the same price point) that I have overlooked, that can offer me 8 preamps/converters with a clock and ADAT out? Taking the price into consideration what do you think of the digimax preamps/converters? Can I do a lot better/worse for the money?

Thanks in advance for your time.
Old 6th March 2007
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar

The Digimax FS is ruling the roost on bang for the buck + good sound. It also does D--->A conversion which is quite nice to have, and handles up to 96K for S/MUX users.

Old 6th March 2007
Lives for gear
bobwarren's Avatar

I got a Digimax FS to do some remote video recording with my mobile MOTU rig. I demo'd a screamo band called Stictland with the Presonus using the following mics:
Audix i5 or SM 57 (can't remember)
(2) MD421
(2) AKG 451B
(2) TLM-103 (room)

There's a little eq in the drums at the begining for effect but after that, everything else is dry including the guitars and bass. Track is mixed with levels only with just an SSL G comp on the end.
Old 6th March 2007
Gear Addict
sounds pretty harsh
Old 6th March 2007
Lives for gear
bobwarren's Avatar

mission accomplished.
Old 6th March 2007
Gear maniac

I didn't think it sounded harsh. Where's the rest of the song?

Old 6th March 2007
Lives for gear
bobwarren's Avatar

I just posted a sample to give an idea of the Presonus Digimax FS. I prefer to track with my API gear for drums, but, oh well. I'll try to post the whole song tomorrow. It's still in a very unfinished state. You also have to understand the gendre as well; very aggressive...
Old 6th March 2007
Gear nut
Tommy Fobia's Avatar

Thread Starter
Thanks for the feedback, guys. The general feeling surrounding the Digimax seems to be pretty good then...

If the recording sounds harsh, I have a feeling that is due to a combination of the tracks being unmixed and the fact that it has been encoded to MP3 in this state.

Taking this (and the price) into consideration (and the fact I briefly got chance to demo one) I think the digimax is surprisingly faithful to what you put into it, which is exactly what I want!

Thanks for the help guys. If anyone else thinks I am missing out on a similarly priced 8 channel preamp/converter/clock, I would appreciate your input!
Old 6th March 2007
Gear maniac

I think the FS is a good choice. I'm going to get one soon to replace my Berh.. ADA8000. The preamps are pretty crappy, and I just can't stand having Behringer in my rack.
Old 6th March 2007
Lives for gear
John Suitcase's Avatar

In sort of the same range, I have a Mackie 800r that sounds awfully nice. Much punchier/smoother than other pre's in this price range, in my opinion. I've used it a lot, mostly on drums, but also on guitars and vocals. Haven't tracked bass through it yet, but it's on my list.

They retail at around $1100, but you can get them used for $700 or so. Might be worth considering...

Of course, the presonus are very usable too, but the sound is definitely different.
Old 7th March 2007
Gear Head

Metric Halo 2882

in case you are on a Mac, maybe you could stretch your budget a little and get a MH 2882. They sell around 1300$ new and are a serious upgrade. Many poeple here consider them the best conversion in that pricerange. Got two. For me, no more need for converter upgrades anytime soon...
Old 8th March 2007
Lives for gear
Yeah, I've heard the Onyx 800r and it sounded better than the older Digimax, but I've not heard the new one.
Old 8th March 2007
Lives for gear
tnjazz's Avatar
For the price range I would also recommend the Onyx 800R. I've used all the Presonus stuff and eventually ended up selling it all. It was good, but it just wasn't as good as the Mackie.

I still have an 800R in my mobile rig that gets primary use on drums and bass these days, although I've also used it successfully on many other electric instruments (guitars, keys, organ) and vocals.

I would also recommend the 2882 as a secondary option, although it may not be quite the right ticket to work with an 002. I loved my 2882, but I needed a preamp with gain knobs for mobile work so it had to be replaced with something easier to use in a dark club. The preamps are good, the conversion is great. But since you already have the interface (002) you might be better served with a dedicated preamp like the Onyx.
Old 8th March 2007
Gear interested
mjteix's Avatar

Don't know about the more recent Presonus, but I had the Onyx 800R or a year or so, and I ended up using it for everything: Vocals, Drums, Electric and Acoustic guitars, Bass (DI and Amp), even rough electro-acoustic guitars directly thru the DI inputs - we kept the take because it was so good. I'm using it mostly with a Digi 001 (no need to laugh) at home, so I can tell you that using it with a 002 (or 003) is really easy, use it at the master clock for you LE system (if you don't have a better external clock), and you will already hear the difference. Also the 800R has ADAT smux and AES outputs up to 192K, so you're good for a couple of years!
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