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Mbox 2 Pro D/A. Can it be this poor? Audio Interfaces
Old 11th September 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
Mbox 2 Pro D/A. Can it be this poor?

I've already posted on the Digi site but maybe I might get some users here.


I've been quite shocked to find that the output of the Mbox 2 Pro is extremely low. Using the same stereo mix from Pro Tools and playing one from the mbox and the same mix from a HD system out a 192I/O, the difference is incredable. I would say the mbox could be as much as 20db quieter!

I took the mbox to a gig recently and played back the tracks through the PA. I also had a second laptop with Pro Tools M Powered and the M Audio interface. The soundguy told me that the difference in quality was remarkable between the mbox and the M Audio interface. The M Audio was much better.

So, I guess I fairly dissapointed that the newest Mbox 2 Pro seems to have such a poor output, considering I bought it on the strength of its "Pro" title. Has anyone else noticed this? I can accept that it would not be as good as the 192I/O but not the M Audio 1814.
Old 11th September 2007
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

I had the same experience with MBox2 mini a few months ago. I use to work with HD systems during day, but i thought bout getting an mbox mini to bring some work home... Today it's one month since i sold it. The D/A is crappy, unusable to me... But at the end if you think it twice... 300€ for software + hardware, or even 700 in case of MBox Pro... What do we want to get for that cheap... it's impossible it sounds right.
Old 11th September 2007
  #3
Gear Nut
 

The DA section is absolutley fine on the mbox2 pro. Myabe your monitors suck, maybe you are playing back material that was recorded poorly. If you cannot get a good mix monitering out of it's DA, then you have problems with your skills.
Old 11th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditherman View Post
The DA section is absolutley fine on the mbox2 pro. Myabe your monitors suck, maybe you are playing back material that was recorded poorly. If you cannot get a good mix monitering out of it's DA, then you have problems with your skills.

I presume you have compared the Mbox 2 Pro to the 192I/O and the M Audio interface and you found it to compare favorably then?
Old 11th September 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
theblotted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech View Post
I've already posted on the Digi site but maybe I might get some users here.


I've been quite shocked to find that the output of the Mbox 2 Pro is extremely low. Using the same stereo mix from Pro Tools and playing one from the mbox and the same mix from a HD system out a 192I/O, the difference is incredable. I would say the mbox could be as much as 20db quieter!

I took the mbox to a gig recently and played back the tracks through the PA. I also had a second laptop with Pro Tools M Powered and the M Audio interface. The soundguy told me that the difference in quality was remarkable between the mbox and the M Audio interface. The M Audio was much better.

So, I guess I fairly dissapointed that the newest Mbox 2 Pro seems to have such a poor output, considering I bought it on the strength of its "Pro" title. Has anyone else noticed this? I can accept that it would not be as good as the 192I/O but not the M Audio 1814.

i didn't know that lower output means worse quality.

did you do a measurable test? as in, not using 2 different rigs; but using the same rig, same cables, and possibly record it into a diff medium, and then compare the difference one after another?

reason i say this, is b/c 192 uses Dsub outs, and MBox uses 1/4". if you have faulty 1/4" cable, it's easy to pick on MBox. how about the output settings?

and to compare MBox2Pro vs. 1814, use the same laptop, same output settings, same outputting cables, and then record into the 192. listen to the difference between the two post-recording.


i'm not defending MBox2Pro, in fact i own only 1814 in this equation. i'm just surprised to hear your conclusions without any hint of proper comparison.
Old 11th September 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Beech,

It did not strike me as sofft. Actually I had one mix that somehow went softer and softer (the sounds seem to require it.) Had no problem boosting it up on the PA. Compared to M-audio DUO the Pro is Pro.
Do have a prob with the monitoring. Low level, poor Q and no L/R...
Old 11th September 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblotted View Post
i didn't know that lower output means worse quality.
Indeed it does not. My post was headed badly in hindsight.

However, the mbox 2 is balanced out as are the 192 D subs so I can't blame cables. No, I have not done any scientific tests but I used the mbox for playing back stereo tracks all afternoon, plugged into line inputs on a console. Then I hit play on the HD system, plugged into two adjacent line inputs (set the same!) and the HD nearly took the monitors out it was that loud. That is what I meant t to say. Its as big a difference as the low output of an iPod in comparison to a cd player.
The comparison with the 1814 came about with the same tracks later at a gig. I am trusting the PA soundman when he says that he found the M Audio to be of better quality. I did not hear this as I was backstage setting up to record the show. But still, he did not know which box was which and to be honest, in a live record situation, there is not a lot of time for debating this kind of subject.

Given that nobody else here has noticed this low level output, maybe we have a problem with our setup. Thank you for your thoughts.
Old 11th September 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
theblotted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech View Post

However, the mbox 2 is balanced out as are the 192 D subs so I can't blame cables.
this is where the potential problem may start. until you swap out with a different balance out cable for MBox2 (unlikely that Dsub will yield hotter output as a "faulty cable") and notice the same lower output, yes you can blame cables. i've seen way too many cases of trusting certain cables both studio and live...

best of luck.
Old 11th September 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

I wouldn't expect a $300 interface to sound as good as one that was $4k. FWIW I have an mbox2mini-- It's output is roughly the same level as my Firepod. Don't have HD so I can't compare.
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