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Cranborne Audio Introduces C.A.S.T, N22, and N22H
Old 18th January 2019
  #1
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Cranborne Audio Introduces C.A.S.T, N22, and N22H

Cranborne Audio Introduces C.A.S.T, N22, and N22H-both_lores_jpeg.jpg

Cranborne Audio Introduces C.A.S.T, N22, and N22H

A year since Cranborne Audio began their journey in the humble surroundings of Hall E, the team are back at NAMM 2019 displaying an expanded product family. Alongside the award winning Camden 500 and production-ready 500R8 and 500ADAT, Cranborne Audio are welcoming 3 new additions to their product family that continue with the theme of technological innovation and groundbreaking application-based designs offering elite performance at accessible prices.

Cranborne Audio is very proud to announce C.A.S.T. - Cranborne Audio’s solution for flexible, high fidelity, and cost effective audio distribution systems in the modern home, project, or professional studio and our first 3 C.A.S.T. breakout boxes - the N22, N22H, and EC2.

The modern studio is full of headphone extenders, low-powered headphone amplifiers, and excessive cable clutter making cue/monitor mixing complicated, messy, and uninspiring for the talent to listen to. Cranborne Audio has set out to transform audio distribution on stage or in the studio by replacing 4 balanced XLR cables with a single Cat 5e cable - our C.A.S.T. or Cat5 Analogue Snake Transport. By repurposing the internal copper wires and internal shield of a Cat 5e cable, the C.A.S.T. system transports 4 channels of balanced analogue audio over distances of up to 100m.

Cranborne Audio have developed a range of products that are designed to live at either end of the C.A.S.T. system and position I/O where it is needed; in the vocal booth, in the live room, or backstage. N22 and N22H are Cranborne Audio’s palm-sized solutions for reducing cable clutter and increasing signal fidelity.

N22 is a 4-way cat 5 analogue snake that features advanced connectivity when used in conjunction with another C.A.S.T. enabled product. Featuring two combi jack inputs and dual 1⁄4” and XLR outputs, N22 can transport four channels of balanced analogue audio over distances up to 100m
using shielded cat 5 cable.

N22H is a standalone reference-quality headphone amplifier as well as an advanced headphone distribution system using Cranborne Audio’s C.A.S.T. system. N22H provides headphone connectivity where it is needed, right beside the artist/musician using a single Cat 5 cable. The built-in headphone amp can be used using an external 9v DC power supply or a 9v internal battery for over 5 hours of continuous use.

Connect two units together using C.A.S.T. and you can send and receive two channels of balanced analogue audio between two distant locations; in the studio connecting your live room into the I/O of your audio interface, in a live rig connecting your mixing console to your power amps, or even at home connecting your surround speakers to your home cinema system.

Cranborne Audio product but with their capability to be used standalone, they are also ingenious little tools for reducing cable clutter whilst increasing signal integrity, flexibility, and deployment convenience.

If a studio is built around a C.A.S.T. enabled product, such as the Cranborne Audio 500R8/500ADAT, you can connect N22/N22H into their C.A.S.T. Input connectors send mic/line sources connected to N22/N22H directly to 500R8/500ADAT’s inputs ready for recording. That same Cat 5 C.A.S.T. connection also transmits a stereo monitor mix generated by 500R8/500ADAT back down the same Cat 5 cable and directly into N22’s line outputs or N22H’s reference-quality headphone output.

Each C.A.S.T. Cat 5 connection on a Cranborne Audio product features unique optimisation to ensure that the maximum signal integrity is transmitted over shielded Cat 5 cables for distances of up to 100m without high-end roll off and with minimal crosstalk.

A palm-sized connectivity powerhouse, N22 and N22H are the perfect products for those looking to build their studio around a Cranborne Audio product but with their capability to be used standalone, they are also ingenious little tools for reducing cable clutter whilst increasing signal integrity, flexibility, and deployment convenience.

N22 Product Highlights:
- Two combi jack inputs
- Two 1⁄4” jack outputs
- Two XLR outputs
- C.A.S.T IN Port
- C.A.S.T OUT Port
- Advanced connectivity with 500R8, 500ADAT, and Camden EC2
- 4-way Cat 5 snake when used standalone
- Compatible with any shielded Cat5 cable with distances up to 100m
- Completely passive operation
- Ruggedised metal enclosure
- Fixing holes for permanent installation

N22H Product Highlights:
- Two combi jack inputs
- Two 1/4” jack outputs
- 1/4” & 1/8” headphone outputs
- Reference-quality, high power headphone amp with level control
- Freq. Response: <±1dB, <5 Hz to >100 kHz
- Output Impedance: 0.33 Ohms
- THD: 0.0003%, 1kHz
- Output Wattage: 2x250mW @ 600 ohm, 2x450mW @ 220 ohm, 2x250mW @ 100 ohm
- Headphone amp source switch for C.A.S.T or standalone operation
- Mono/Stereo width switch for headphone output
- 9v battery compartment
- ~5 hours running time, low impedance headphones, max volume.
- 12+ hours running time, high impedance IEM earbuds, max volume.
- C.A.S.T IN RRTT Port
- C.A.S.T OUT TTRR Port
- Advanced connectivity with 500R8, 500ADAT, and Camden EC2
- Standard 9v DC pedalboard-style power supply input (not included)
- Completely passive operation when headphone amp not required
- Compatible with any shielded Cat5 cable with distances up to 100m
- Improved crosstalk performance with Cat 6e and Cat7
- Ruggedised metal enclosure
- Fixing holes for permanent installation

For more information: Cranborne Audio Home - A modern approach to vintage sound
Attached Thumbnails
Cranborne Audio Introduces C.A.S.T, N22, and N22H-n22_overhead_lores_jpeg.jpg   Cranborne Audio Introduces C.A.S.T, N22, and N22H-both_lores_jpeg.jpg  
Old 19th January 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

this is pretty much exactly what i hoped they would announce I'm happy.
Old 21st January 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
Although CAST uses ethernet cables I am assuming that this is direct ethernet connection that cannot be routed through network switches? That would be some kind of wizardry!

Edit - not trying to be a bummer with the above comment, it's more that most of my use cases for CAST involve going from Control Room to live room with preexisting wallboxes - 24 audio and 2x ethernet. So if I for example get an R8, I can't really use CAST for anyone in the control room (other than routing the outs f an N22 through my existing wallbox). I probably need to think some more on it!!!

Great products though, really adds a lot of flexibility to an R8 based system!

Old 22nd January 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by gollumsluvslave View Post
Although CAST uses ethernet cables I am assuming that this is direct ethernet connection that cannot be routed through network switches? That would be some kind of wizardry!
Hey gollumsexslave! Unfortunately C.A.S.T. can't pass through ethernet hubs nor switches because it's not ethernet/digital signals. We are just using the copper of the cable and sending analogue signals down it. If you were to connect it to a hub/switch, that hub/switch is going to have a bad time. It will most certainly fry it unless it's a high-end switch with a protection circuit on the Ethernet input. But even with the protection circuit, there's no way it will pass the audio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gollumsluvslave View Post
Great products though, really adds a lot of flexibility to an R8 based system!

Thanks matey!
Old 24th January 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
These might be perfect for my new studio build. What will they cost (USD$)?
Old 24th January 2019
  #6
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sirthought's Avatar
Looking at headphone distribution: If you're just using the CAT5 cable for audio over the copper, is there any advantage to this over other audio cable I might use with a typical headphone amp? Smaller and cheaper wire, I guess?

This can't do some of the things that can be done with DANTE type networking found in the Aviom or Behringer options, right?

So I'd need to buy either one of 500 rack systems or the new EC2 before I could distribute my cue mix out via CAST to a performer, right?
Old 25th January 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karpmentalise View Post
Hey gollumsexslave! Unfortunately C.A.S.T. can't pass through ethernet hubs nor switches because it's not ethernet/digital signals. We are just using the copper of the cable and sending analogue signals down it. If you were to connect it to a hub/switch, that hub/switch is going to have a bad time. It will most certainly fry it unless it's a high-end switch with a protection circuit on the Ethernet input. But even with the protection circuit, there's no way it will pass the audio.



Thanks matey!
Just a follow up, i realised my cat6 wall connection isnt actually a switch/hub, but a mechanical cat6 patch plate? Im assuming these would fare the same way, but as there is no electronics and its just physically connecting the cat strands, maybe its possible?

Basically one of these Cat6 FTP Shielded RJ45 Module (Euromod Size) | Cat6 Modules & Outlets

C.A.S.T. is a REALLY cool idea, but if i could route it through one of the above it then it addresses every concern / use case i had with tracking a full band thru the R8 :D
Old 25th January 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Looking at headphone distribution: If you're just using the CAT5 cable for audio over the copper, is there any advantage to this over other audio cable I might use with a typical headphone amp? Smaller and cheaper wire, I guess?
Hi sirthought,

What kind of audio cable? An XLR? C.A.S.T. replaces 4 XLR cables so yes cheaper, but also gets rid of all that cable clutter. Or do you mean an analogue multicore snake? They are expensive, very thick cables that can be obtrusive and difficult to run. Whereas Cat5e/6/7 is thin and easy to route around your studio... And a fraction of the price of a decent analogue multicore, and with better crosstalk performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
This can't do some of the things that can be done with DANTE type networking found in the Aviom or Behringer options, right?
C.A.S.T. is not an ethernet networking protocol... We are just using the physical cable to transport analogue audio - so C.A.S.T. is totally different to these digital transports you mention. There is a lot of complexity and routing options with the protocols you mention, but the beauty of C.A.S.T. is the simplicity. It's plug and play and just simply works... No networking setup, no IP settings, no switches, no computers. Just a point to point transport of 4 balanced analogue audio signals from one box to another with no setup and no fuss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
So I'd need to buy either one of 500 rack systems or the new EC2 before I could distribute my cue mix out via CAST to a performer, right?
Nope! You can use N22 and N22H as a C.A.S.T. break-in box. Here is an examole: plug the outputs of your cuemix into the inputs of an N22 in the control room. Now run a Cat5e/6/7 cable from the C.A.S.T. IN on that N22 to an N22H's C.A.S.T. OUT connector. Let's put this N22H in the live room. Now the cuemix will be received by the N22H and into the artist's headphones in the live room. And the inputs of the N22H will be sent back to the N22's outputs on the other side of the cable back in the control room.

Check out our website where we have some diagrams showing some possible setups. Hope this helps explain! Thanks sirthought!
Old 25th January 2019
  #9
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by gollumsluvslave View Post
Just a follow up, i realised my cat6 wall connection isnt actually a switch/hub, but a mechanical cat6 patch plate? Im assuming these would fare the same way, but as there is no electronics and its just physically connecting the cat strands, maybe its possible?

Basically one of these Cat6 FTP Shielded RJ45 Module (Euromod Size) | Cat6 Modules & Outlets

C.A.S.T. is a REALLY cool idea, but if i could route it through one of the above it then it addresses every concern / use case i had with tracking a full band thru the R8 :D
Hey gollumsexslave,

In theory, a mechanical wall plate like this one will pass C.A.S.T. signals no problem! The wallplate is just an ethernet socket without any digital stuff, networking, etc, like have on the N22, N22H, EC2, etc so it works perfectly with C.A.S.T.

The issue is if this wall socket is poor quality, it could mess up our impedance matching and increase the crosstalk and noise... Hard for us to say but I can give one of these a try when I'm back in the UK and report back?

Cheers gollumsexslave!

Sean
Old 25th January 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
sirthought's Avatar
That is helpful. Thank you for answering my questions.

Do you have a price and date yet? I read on the other thread you are concerned about Brexit.
Old 25th January 2019
  #11
Gear Nut
 

This is brilliant stuff. Pricing would be awesome.
Old 27th January 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karpmentalise View Post
Hey gollumsexslave,

In theory, a mechanical wall plate like this one will pass C.A.S.T. signals no problem! The wallplate is just an ethernet socket without any digital stuff, networking, etc, like have on the N22, N22H, EC2, etc so it works perfectly with C.A.S.T.

The issue is if this wall socket is poor quality, it could mess up our impedance matching and increase the crosstalk and noise... Hard for us to say but I can give one of these a try when I'm back in the UK and report back?

Cheers gollumsexslave!

Sean
Can't say fairer than that! Would be really cool if this worked, but I appreciate that the plates / wiring of the ports could have some impact to the sound quality.

Be very interested in what you find out when you get a chance to try it.
Old 31st January 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WithUsInHatred View Post
This is brilliant stuff. Pricing would be awesome.
Thanks mate! We're very pleased with C.A.S.T. Anything that reduces some cable clutter in my own studio is a winner in my book!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Do you have a price and date yet? I read on the other thread you are concerned about Brexit.
As @ Karpmentalise said in another thread, we haven't released availability or pricing yet. Our factory is still flat-out trying to get 500R8/500ADAT into production ASAP and as soon as we have 500R8/500ADAT sorted, we'll work with our factory to get component lead-times and pricing for the Camden EC2, N22, and N22H done. Once we do this, we can announce pricing and availability.

Another slight problem is Brexit. Based on today's market, component lead-times take us to around May, and given the UK is leaving the EU on March 29th, the price of sterling could easily tumble and lose anywhere between 10-25% of its value... if we were to announce pricing now, it could have to increase when we're shipping or we would have to eat it and lose a lot of money (and we can't really afford to do this).

With the above disclaimer in mind - we hope to make it about $999 USD retail for Camden EC2 between $80-100 USD retail for N22, and around $130-150 USD retail for N22H. We're aiming to keep the costs as low as possible to hammer-home he whole 'low-cost' studio cabling message and opportunity for C.A.S.T.

As soon as we can confirm these, we will let you know!

Hope that helps! And sorry for the long-winded explanation.

Ells
Old 31st January 2019
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Holy hell in a hand basket, that would be some incredibly good pricing.
Old 6th February 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 

This is probably a dumb question, but I didn't see it mentioned anywhere. Are there any issues with sending 48v phantom down the cat5 or how does that work?
Old 6th February 2019
  #16
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sirthought's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentA View Post
This is probably a dumb question, but I didn't see it mentioned anywhere. Are there any issues with sending 48v phantom down the cat5 or how does that work?
Audio over wire is the same. I don't see a real issue, other than a longer run might weaken the strength.
Old 6th February 2019
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentA View Post
This is probably a dumb question, but I didn't see it mentioned anywhere. Are there any issues with sending 48v phantom down the cat5 or how does that work?
That's not a dumb question at all mate! We must confess to thinking there might be issues ourselves! A lot of Power over ethernet (POE) systems in telecoms and IT industries send lower voltage, higher current signals through cat 5. The oldest standard spec for POE (802.11af standard) is rated for 400mA at 48v over each twisted pair - phantom power has a maximum of 48v and around 10mA so we are well within Cat 5’s maximum rating and are well within spec of any cat5 or better (cat 6/cat 7 etc) cable.

We did a lot of testing to make sure that the Cat 5 would perform exactly the same as 4 XLRs - we're investing heavily in CAST now and into the future and so we went through great pains to prove the concept thoroughly!

Hope that helps and thanks for the question!

Ells
Old 27th February 2019
  #18
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sirthought's Avatar
Any updates on these for price and availability?
Old 27th February 2019
  #19
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Any updates on these for price and availability?
Hey sirthought,

We announced availability around May at the NAMM show launch. We are still roughly on-track even with the delays to 500R8/500ADAT production for this date - but we haven't announced pricing yet. Costings and what not are known and all good - we're just holding back until Brexit works itself out. But N22, N22H, and EC2 all offer the same value Camden 500, 500R8, and 500ADAT offer... expect very good, affordable prices for the quality that we always champion.

Thanks for the nudge!
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