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SPL Crimson Audio Interfaces
Old 14th January 2014
  #121
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Polarelch's Avatar
 

Apart of the mentioned issues, how is the overall impression of the Crimson?
Would you trade your, say (in my case), FF400 for it?
Old 14th January 2014
  #122
141550
Guest
I just got mine. The built quality is second to none, its a mini tank. Its built better than half of my hi-end equipment. Its heavy metal and quite compact which I like. I have yet to test it.
Old 16th January 2014
  #123
Gear interested
 

First post, it's an SPL Crimson review and Im real happy!

For the last 3/4 years I have been using a Focusrite Saffire USB 1.1 interface. Its been OK, and is good for DJing out, but having worked through college and now Uni, doing sound design, mixing etc. I decided it was time to get a new set of toys.

I was gonna go for the Motu Ultralite, and then I realised since I work in the box mostly, I dont need many in outs, just a few on top of the Speaker outs, in case I want to use some outboard on occasion. So I was on Studio Xchange and decided to have a chat, dude called Dale was there. After a quick chat about what I wanted, he quickly suggested the Crimson.

Quickly, I HIGHLY recommend studio xchange. As Im new here, you could all already know this, but just in case you don't, I would say that from start to finish was the best service I have had, anywhere, ever.

So I ordered my Crimson yesterday at 3 in the afternoon and it arrived here about 7 hours ago, almost exactly 24 hours after I ordered it. I felt like a little kid opening it.

Im going to get my gripes out the way first. No USB cable, no disk with drivers and the plastic buttons feel very slightly rushed. Thats it.

Other than that, it is one of the best looking, feeling and of course SOUNDING products I have seen & heard. I cant get over it for 400 odd quid tbh.

I have Event 20/20V3 and Im running Overclockers Win7x64/i7/16ram. I use Maschine & and a virus. A lot of the time I spend listening to music is in the studio, I am very conscious of good and bad sound. Im not going to use lots of spraff to describe this. Ill also so say that having spent my time at college and Uni in studios with converters worth thousands and thousands, I know what REALLY good audio sounds like.

However, what I have never experienced up until now, was exactly what the true effect of all the acoustic treatment, monitor pads etc had actually done.
I have retyped this bit so many times now trying to think of a way to describe the difference, and I think I have found it.

Though I dont have 3 ways at my project studio, but I work on Questeds at Uni. It feels like by changing to this card from the cheapy focusrite, I have actually replace my 2 way monitors to a set of 3 ways.

Im exaggerating slightly perhaps, but thats how im trying to say separation. Everything, if it mixed right, feels separated, in a way up till now I have only heard coming from the Prism/SSL system at Uni. It is certainly getting up into that bracket, where people are going to be arguing over small small things, and it comes down to preference.

The build quality is insane, the sound quality is beautiful and I am one EXTREMELY happy customer.

I'm sure someone here will say there is better. And Im sure there is. But at that money, Im damn sure you ain't gonna find it!! THANK YOU SPL, BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!
Old 16th January 2014
  #124
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for sharing.

I'm still waiting to hear more feedback on latency/driver stability and to see if SPL's been able to fix the bug on DAW's reporting higher latency figures than reality. It would be nice to see how the figures compare with RME. I often encounter clicks/pops with my current interface and have never been able to get them to completely go away across multiple systems - often times I can't get by without at least 256 samples just for playback which is pretty much unacceptable (latency checker doesn't shows just one regular borderline problematic occurrence I've been unable to get rid of).

I did get confirmation from SPL that the monitor controller is a new active design based on +/-17V, which is definitely what I was hoping for. Not sure why they wouldn't advertise that.
Old 16th January 2014
  #125
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotini View Post
Thanks for sharing.

I'm still waiting to hear more feedback on latency/driver stability and to see if SPL's been able to fix the bug on DAW's reporting higher latency figures than reality. It would be nice to see how the figures compare with RME. I often encounter clicks/pops with my current interface and have never been able to get them to completely go away across multiple systems - often times I can't get by without at least 256 samples just for playback which is pretty much unacceptable (latency checker doesn't shows just one regular borderline problematic occurrence I've been unable to get rid of).

I did get confirmation from SPL that the monitor controller is a new active design based on +/-17V, which is definitely what I was hoping for. Not sure why they wouldn't advertise that.
^^^^
This

Surely someone is doing more than just looking at their shiny new SPL Crimson
Old 16th January 2014
  #126
Gear interested
 

Cool man, sorry Ill give you a little more detail, though all I care about is how it sounds.

In terms of use, to me there is no perceivable latency, I have included a picture of ableton with the asio driver open. 24/96

Use of the knobs I have heard no crackle whatssoever so far, however on the mic gains etc im not to worried, as this has been covered before; botique preamps might crackle when you turn them...

This defo doesnt happen on the volume pots at all.

I did just try to go 24/196. I registered 1ms as the latency, before it crashed violently. I had to unplug the unit to get it working again, and I mean the power not just the USB cable. Was very strange. However now its back on 96 its sweet as a nut, and the reality is I doubt I will need higher.

When it was first coming to life, like within the first ten twenty mins, there were a few random digital crackles, however since then I have been listening constantly except for 6 hours sleep in there, and it has been crystal.

View image: Latency

Just to clarify, at 24/96 in ableton live it is running at a buffer of 96 samps with 10ms overall latency. Not that me and my space bar can really perceive that!
Old 16th January 2014
  #127
Gear Maniac
 

I am one click away from ordering this thing. As a songwriter I continuously track and overdub both real and VSTi instruments (via midi) as I build up my songs. For this task I don't like to go above 64 samples @ 44.1kHz 24 bit. Obviously it is different for mixing and applying FX ect., in which case I don't mind using higher sample rates. So I just need the low-down on whether or not this interface is up to the task for my specific needs. All in all it sounds like a superb device.
Old 16th January 2014
  #128
Lives for gear
I'd love to hear the demos of the mic preamps and converters.
Old 16th January 2014
  #129
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miscend View Post
I'd love to hear the demos of the mic preamps and converters.
For the price I would imagine they are excellent and exceed expectation.
Old 16th January 2014
  #130
Gear interested
 

Ye I havent tested them yet, but im giong to guess they are great, like the rest of it. Admittedly this is the first time I have owned a high grade interface, so Im a bit "fresh faced" about the whole thing. Im going through all the sh*t old dance beats I used to write and mix mistakes have become blaringly obvious, where as before they sank into a mist of jitter and phase problems. Music has character again, each track has its own little nuances. Mix element are so clear now compared to what Im used to , as I say. I cant recommend this enough.

Btw when I pull the criver error compensation slider into negative value, the over all latency did come down to 1ms, however I didnt press play for fear of another crash. Perhaps this is all that needs to happen...
Old 16th January 2014
  #131
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiMiK View Post
Ye I havent tested them yet, but im giong to guess they are great, like the rest of it. Admittedly this is the first time I have owned a high grade interface, so Im a bit "fresh faced" about the whole thing. Im going through all the sh*t old dance beats I used to write and mix mistakes have become blaringly obvious, where as before they sank into a mist of jitter and phase problems. Music has character again, each track has its own little nuances. Mix element are so clear now compared to what Im used to , as I say. I cant recommend this enough.

Btw when I pull the criver error compensation slider into negative value, the over all latency did come down to 1ms, however I didnt press play for fear of another crash. Perhaps this is all that needs to happen...
Thanks for sharing your initial thoughts
Old 17th January 2014
  #132
Gear Maniac
 

How is your Chinese? Well there is always Google Translate and some nice pictures to look at


http://www.exound.com/modules/review...cle.php/c7/218
Old 17th January 2014
  #133
Gear Maniac
 

Old 17th January 2014
  #134
Gear Maniac
 

Old 17th January 2014
  #135
Gear interested
 

This is now my desktop back group ahahaha :P
Old 17th January 2014
  #136
Gear Nut
 

My Chinese is rusty. Actually I'm just using my Pleco reader. Really came in handy during the 6 months on the job I spent in China last year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Man View Post
It basically just says "disassembled" or something along those lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Man View Post
Power supply module
Adopt the second discrete circuit board, which is very well-hidden, which can help avoid electromagnetism on the computer chip's effect.

That last sentence is a bit iffy, my grammar falls apart at this level :P
Old 17th January 2014
  #137
Gear Nut
 

Holy crap, I highly advise anyone interested in this to check out the exound website. Too bad it's in Chinese but apparently they did some very extensive tests on the converters and latency! I might try to translate its comparisons to the RME FF400 and other paragraphs/images I think I might be interested in but it will take me a LONG time...
Old 17th January 2014
  #138
Gear Nut
 

Actually, those are figures for the RME FF400. The ones for the Crimson are just right before it. The Crimson seems to fare well against it.

From google translate:

90% of the audio interface has a software interface, but not all, such as NI, for example, then Digidesign, 003 and Mbox 2 interface are not whole series, this approach has advantages there are inferior, disadvantage is less functional, the advantage is the signal does not require more than once processed, regardless of quality, stability and performance to be a little bit better .

Crimson in Pro Tools, there are two engines (for the first time saw the two of .. buy one get one) , tried it, first called SPL Crimson (Bit Accurate) , only to 256 Buffer Under the 44100Hz run Pro Tools 50 10 multitrack demo song "Turn Me Off", but the second is called SPL Crimson (Core Audio) is too much bad - 32 Buffer, the equivalent of 0.75ms, totally sonic boom (computer is Macbook Air 2013 low version) . This is the second NI soundcard, our second in the yuan to see run 32 million in the current mainstream level is 64 to 128.

------------------

I'm not sure if this is true. The guy is saying by not having a software interface, there is reduced latency. Also, I'm not sure what conclusions he is getting on the buffer/latency in the second paragraph. I'm still waiting for a more thorough test on that..
Old 17th January 2014
  #139
Gear Head
 
Moje's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unmasked truth View Post
I just got mine. The built quality is second to none, its a mini tank. Its built better than half of my hi-end equipment. Its heavy metal and quite compact which I like. I have yet to test it.
Got mine today, and I couldn't agree more. The build quality is better than I expected. I have yet to test its stability, but from the recent posts here, the Crimson appears to be a true no-brainer.
Old 17th January 2014
  #140
Gear Nut
 

Sigh... I pulled the trigger on one just now. Mainly driven by the fact I need a decent monitor controller and if I'm going to be paying a couple hundred dollars on a decent active (even passives get expensive and they inherently have faults) I might as well upgrade my audio interface which I need to do anyway. The rest of the parts look very decent as well.

For those with it already, how do the preamps sound?
Old 18th January 2014
  #141
Hi rotini, can yu explain a little bit more about the settings in Pro Tools? I have 2 templates, bot the same but one in 44,1 and other in 88,2, usually mixing at 1024 and recording at 64, which one is for what? (2 sound engines in the same interface WTF?)
Old 18th January 2014
  #142
Gear Nut
 

I'm afraid I don't know. I haven't received mine yet, and I tried a better translation than what google provided but I actually came to the same translation.

Crimson in Pro Tools, there are two engines (first time we've seen two .. buy one get one free). Tried it, first is called SPL Crimson (Bit Accurate) , only [managed?] 256 Buffer Under the 44100Hz run Pro Tools 50 10 multitrack demo song "Turn Me Off", but the second [engine] is called SPL Crimson (Core Audio) is too [stubborn] - 32 Buffer, the equivalent of 0.75ms, it completely would not sonic boom [literally, sonic boom is the only translation] (computer is Macbook Air 2013 low version) . This is the second NI soundcard, our second in the yuan to see run 32 million in the current mainstream level is 64 to 128.
Old 18th January 2014
  #143
ok, didn't get that was a translation :P . I will try to contact a chinese friend :D
Old 18th January 2014
  #144
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DirkP's Avatar
 

Doesn't Core Audio simply means using the Mac Drivers that are part of the Mac OS while Crimson means using the drivers that are build by SPL for the crimson.
Core Audio is necessary for the Crimson to work without special drivers, which makes it possible to use it on an iPad or iPhone. Or am I wrong?
Dirk
Old 19th January 2014
  #145
With core audio you can work up to 96k only. With HAL is supossed to have better latency and you can reach to 192k.
Old 19th January 2014
  #146
Gear Maniac
 

Wow! There so many comments on this thread that are not very useful. There are many people saying that they bought one or are going to buy one, or they already have one - but most of them aren't saying how it sounds or providing any sort of comparison. Why do you just want to tell us that you have one? Please stop posting then because it's not very useful. Let us know that you have one AND also tell us how it sounds relative to your experience. And please be detailed to the extent possible for you. If you can't do that then would you please wait until you can before posting?

Thanks! :-)
Old 19th January 2014
  #147
Gear Head
 

So I did a little test on the mic pres. With the gain turn up fully to 60 db and nothing plugged in. I recorded the noise (hiss). In my DAW this registers as peaking at -63 db. I wonder how this compares to other interfaces. I have no way of comparing.
I am recording a piano/ cello duo at the beginning of Feb and will post some links. Just havent had alot of time to do anything worth posting at present. I also tend to think that you can't really tell much about the interface from others recordings because that are so many other variables involved.
Old 19th January 2014
  #148
Gear Head
 

Did another experiment with my Golden Age Pre (nothing plugged in). Mic Pre set to 60 db and the output knob at max. Recorded into the SPL Crimson line input. Got a noise level peak of -69 db. So I suppose that means the mic pres on the Golden Age and Crimson have about the same "noise level".
I am lead to believe that good quality pre-amps should be very quiet in terms of "self noise". Does anyone have an opinion on how the Crimson stacks up.?
j
Old 19th January 2014
  #149
Lives for gear
 
hogo's Avatar
 

Gahhhhgf! Seems mine is delayed until after the first of February. Too popular!
Old 19th January 2014
  #150
Gear interested
 

Right so it just blue screened my computer :( Literally bought it last week, so the machine is coushty. In the blue screen it atributed it to the Crimson driver...

Ill email SPL tomo morning to let them know the issue, it should just be a driver/firmware problem so easily fixed, just thought any of you buying to finish projects in the pro world should know, as stability is obv a big issue for you

Having said that its back on and working now, so doesnt bother me tooooo much, though it would be nice if they had released it after a bit more testing, they were obviously in a rush to get some money back on it. I have heard their customer service is pretty good, so hopefully they get back to me fast, keep you all posted.
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