The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Tags: , ,

Another Golden Oldie -opinions on the Genex GX8000? Audio Interfaces
Old 13th July 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
mosrite's Avatar
 

Talking Another Golden Oldie -opinions on the Genex GX8000?

Hey Folks,

Any opinions on the Genex GX8000 as a viable location recording machine in 2009?

The manual doesnt seem to be available on the Genex website at the moment so if anyone can chime in on the following would be most appreciated;

1. Is the only way to get the data off this thing by playing through the AES outs in real-time?

2. What kind of recording time do you get at 44.1/24bit?

3. Whats the deal with the MO media - still available?

4. What's it worth these days?

Cheers fellas,
Old 13th July 2009
  #2
Gear interested
 

I have two Genex GX8500 recorders, which are based on the older GX8000. I would not suggest using one today as a remote multi-track hard-disk recorder. Not only is the manual not available from the Genex Web site, but I have been unable to get service from them for at least the past year. Unless you can acquire one for very little money and in operating condition, I think it is not a good choice. One of mine will record and play flawlessly for hours, but suddenly produce disk data errors and fail--you lose the last take you've recorded. Without service, though, it's impossible to count on it. Buy an Alesis HD2496 instead.

To answer your questions:

1. Genex never finished developing the interface which would allow you to copy files from their hard drives. So, yes, the only way to move files from the machine to your DAW is in real-time playback through the AES outputs.

2. I believe the GX8000 is only capable of 20-bit, not 24-bit recording, although I'm not 100% certain about that. On a 36GB SCSI hard drive, it will record 18 hrs-30 min of four tracks, 24/44.1kHz audio. Likewise, 6 tracks=12 hrs-20 min, and 8 tracks=9 hrs-15 min.

3. The M-O media may still be available, but it's expensive. I believe it's in the $75 range for a small cartridge (under 5 GB). I believe the M-O drives are discontinued (if not, they are incredibly expensive). To record high track counts or high sample rates on the M-O requires the use of an internal "insurance drive" to cache the audio while the M-O writes. This capability is built into the GX8500 and works well. I'm not sure what track counts and sample rates you can successfully write on M-O. All the internal or external drives on a Genex use the SCSI interface.

4. No idea about today's value.

The machines were brilliant when introduced. They have good converters and a wide range of settings and capabilities (internal digital mixer, time-code). But other inexpensive devices have far surpassed them.

Last edited by George Gilliam; 13th July 2009 at 06:09 PM.. Reason: fix typo
Old 13th July 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
mosrite's Avatar
 

Thanks for some great info George,

A couple of things puzzle me,

Quote:
The machines were brilliant when introduced. They have good converters and a wide range of settings and capabilities (internal digital mixer, time-code). But other inexpensive devices have far surpassed them.
Surely having only AES inputs they are not performing any kind of conversion and instead are simply data buckets?

also, is it possible to do a mix of the 8 recorded tracks and output a stereo mix through one of the AES outputs for capture?
Old 13th July 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Rab,

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...ex-gx8000.html

More tomorrow. I have manuals will see what I can dig up.

David
Old 13th July 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
mosrite's Avatar
 

Thanks David, much obliged

My only real concern is that of stability
Old 14th July 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Rab, stability is a funny word. Our GX8000 was wonderful if it can address the disk sectors. Until we understood the problem, as in my previous post, we got some funny overwriting when the sector addresses ran out.

The digital mixer on board sounds absolutely fantastic, and yes a stereo mix comes out the AES out, with the gains and panning all controlled from the fascia.

I love this thing, but its SCSI media cause problems with modern disks.

Attached is the 8500 manual which is almost identical to the 8000. Error codes the same etc. Kevin Brown explained to me the fire destroyed all the 8000 docs.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GX8500_MANUAL_v21.pdf (912.9 KB, 1914 views)
Old 14th July 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
mosrite's Avatar
 

thanks a lot David, this is a great help.

Excuse my ignorance on this but Im guessing that the MO drive eventually dies and what you have done is attach an external SCSI drive via the port on the back of the machine or does external HD support require opening the box?

Is there much to getting it up and running without having to rely on MO drive or media availability?
Old 14th July 2009
  #8
Gear interested
 

As David has already stated, the internal digital mixer (with volume and panning) controls is great for creating a monitor mix while recording multiple tracks. And the mix is output through AES.

The machines were available with internal A-D and D-A converter modules (I believe they went to 96kHz) and they sound pretty good.

I expect that the M-O drives in these machines are about dead by now. A SCSI connector on the rear panel gives access to the SCSI bus and you can attach external hard drives, DVD-RAM drives, and backup AIT tape drives. You can select the record device from the menu, as well as choosing an insurance HD if you're recording to an external DVD-RAM drive (which I frequently did for two-track 24/88.2 recordings). With an attached tape drive, you can create backups (slowly) from the internal hard drives, or restore from tape to disc. This works pretty well.

You can fit up to two internal SCSI hard drives (or only use an external SCSI drive) and be recording as soon as you go through the menus and set all the parameters. I wouldn't spend much time or money on the M-O drive or media.

You can get all the information about operation and set-up from the GX8500 manual which David provided.

If the price of the machine is low enough and if it's working, you might find it to be useful. It is my experience that support for the GX8000-GX8500 has become unavailable from Genex in the U.S. I don't know the situation with their later GX9000-series recorders. Kevin Brown, the main contact for Genex here, has been unresponsive for more than one year.
Old 14th July 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Genex, the company, is out of business. Kevin Brown has been assigned a new identity and is in hiding. I know several people who would murder him on sight if he poked his head out.

Genex was a spin off of the Decca research dept. and had good ideas at first.

Now the equipment is a boat anchor.
Old 14th July 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
mosrite's Avatar
 

Quote:
Genex, the company, is out of business. Kevin Brown has been assigned a new identity and is in hiding. I know several people who would murder him on sight if he poked his head out.

Genex was a spin off of the Decca research dept. and had good ideas at first.

Now the equipment is a boat anchor.
heh a glowing endorsement from the Plushmeister then heh


David and George,

Thanks for your input so far,

David, I followed your old post about fixing up the 8000. Could you tell me how you would format a SCSI drive to the specs that you were describing? Would it have to be with a PC or can it be done through the Genex itself?

Also, Im guessing I can open the box and fit two internal SCSI drives? If so, it is a straightforward procedure (ala fitting an internal PC HD)?

I am also assuming that because the only mechanical part on these machines is the MO drive then if I am not using that then, once the best SCSI drive is fitted and appropirately formatted, there really shouldnt be many issues regards stability?

- I am trying to determine if this could end up being solid enough as a main recorder.

Thanks again,
Old 14th July 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Rab, yes we got our 8000 with a non-working MO drive. Open the box, you will see a 5.25" cage to house the MO drive, this cage is like any PC cage for drives. Turf out the MO drive and you can fit two 3.5" SCSI drives in its place, provided you have some 3.5" to 5.25" mounting wings for the drives. There are 4 bolts that hold the cage to the chassis and they can be accessed from the underside of the 8000.

You need to prepare the drives outside the 8000, using a PC. I took the lid off an old PC with an adaptec SCSI card in it. I was nicknamed "Dr SCSI" for awhile at work. You connect up one drive at a time and use Bart's SCSI tool to format the drive with 2048 byte sectors, instead of 512 (the default). Not many drives allow this, the Seagates mentioned in my other post do. Format each drive separately, then bolt them into the 8000.

The Genex will record nicely till it can't address any more sectors. You may need to experiment with this to find out at what time oblivion occurs on your example, but you should get over 3 hrs of 8x44x24 tracks per 18GB SCSI drive. A bigger drive is useless because of the limited sector addressing prevents any more space being available. You can then change the active SCSI address to the next disk and get another 3 hours. Playback and music recovery can only be done in real time because Genex use a proprietary disk master boot record and file format.

I would never use it as a main machine, but as a multitrack backup it was beautiful. Having said that, the stuffing around with SCSI addresses and the fact that I think the PSU is dying in ours means we don't use it much anymore. We never had any analog cards in ours, it is a pure digital box. I now use a lappy and the thoroughly excellent and far more powerful TC SK48.

But the Genex has superb ergonomics for classical music recording, probably the best of any machine I have ever used. Its such a shame the company has gone down the toilet. I would own a 9000 or 9048 by now if it hadn't.
Old 15th July 2009
  #12
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

Sounds risky, worth it if you still have one
I would really like to hear more about the TC SK48 and which platform and program you're using.
Old 15th July 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7rojo7 View Post
Sounds risky, worth it if you still have one
I would really like to hear more about the TC SK48 and which platform and program you're using.
TC SK48, Lenovo T61 with 2 160GB 7200 drives, running W7 now, but XP SP3, Reaper 3 to acquire data. This 12 channel system has been unconditionally stable and reliable, and the stereo mixes from the TC with reverb and compression when needed have been much more capable as a result of the plugins than the GX8000 could ever be.
Old 23rd July 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Hmmm, Genex reinventing themselves?
Desono LLC
Old 23rd July 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Oh my word. . .


er, I mean, my root. . .
Old 23rd July 2009
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Interesting how not a single person's name is mentioned

The Desono website is pretty sanitized. No specifics on any of the "talented" Genex crew.

BTW, Isn't this the second time that this has happened with "Genex." Weren't they initially from the UK before moving base to CA?

My guess is that a creditor obtained the company and decided to reopen the doors with a new name tag; Wow.

Maybe the new guys will buy us ex-customers of Genex out too :-) Just to have us keep quiet that is.

Baithak
Old 26th March 2012
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Sorry for bumping up the old thread.
Are converters on GX8000 the same used in GXA8/GXD8? Anybody remember that?
Can one use the recorder as converter?
Thank you!
Old 28th March 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Man I'm so glad I managed to sell the gx8000 I had! Phew

....but yes you could hypothetically do that
Old 29th March 2018
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
blueNan's Avatar
Well, first of all sorry for bringing the thread from the dead.

I found a Genex GX8000 recorder for 200 euros and i bought it. I disconnected the magnet-optical drive and switched off the fan. I am using it clocked from a BLA White Sparrow MKII. It gets a bit hot in one side, not too much but i may put a low noise fan in the future, just to play on the safe.

The quality of the Genex blew the socks off my Apogees DA16x / AD16x. More clarity, tight and focused, not hyped, very musical. After listening to music for a while on it, changing to the Apogees was painful. I was in shock.

So I went overboard and sold my Apogee DA-16x to source ANOTHER Genex GX8000 - i had to pay more this time but still less than what i got for my DA16X. I kept my AD16x (that actually liked more than the DA16x part) to make for a 32in / 16 out system that feeds my mixer.

My experience with converters / interfaces has been the BLA White Sparrow MKII (excellent clock and master recording), Motu 24ao (decent but I did not like it too much in 48khz), a Steinberg MR816x (which was nice, not as defined), Apogee AD/DA16x (nice, a bit hyped in some freq ranges i think - preferred the AD section, and did not like too much the tops), and a Fostex D2424 recorder (very good quality, but less definition than current offerings). My subjective opinion is that the Genex GX8000 beats them all by far, but maybe the Sparrow. I am really happy with what i hear.

The second Genex just arrived to my country, I am waiting for it to be released by my customs office.

So i thought that in the meantime, i would post here to check if there are other people currently using GX8000 as a converter, and whats their experience with it, if they get a lot of heat, tricks or way to better using them, etc.
Old 31st March 2018
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
I bought a Genex 8000 from Neil Young.

Do people use it with a magneto optical drive?

I want to get it going as an experiment.
Old 31st March 2018
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I bought a Genex 8000 from Neil Young.

Do people use it with a magneto optical drive?

I want to get it going as an experiment.
We used them at Delos for a while when we were recording in native DSD, but only when we couldn't get a Sonoma from Gus. I never tracked to the optical drive. I wouldn't trust it. Not that I trusted the machine that much in the first place. Can't vouch for the sound of the converters on their own as we always fed it a DSD optical stream from the Meitner converters.
Old 5th April 2018
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
blueNan's Avatar
My second Genex GX8000 just arrived home after picking it at customs office - very well packaged and looking great. The problem is ... after switching on the power button, it takes a good 5 minutes until it actually boots up. At the beginning i thought it was DOA but not.

Once it does though, you can switch it off and back on, and it boots up normally. Still quite an annoying behaviour that I will try to fix.

My first Genex GX8000 has also a weird behaviour when you power it up... it refuses to lock to the external wordclock signal, until it warms up (about 5 minutes also... almost the same time).

So It looks to me like the capacitors in these units are getting old by now, having problems until they warm up. Probably they are close to be out of their specs...

I don't have soldering chops myself but i will consider to get a tech to recap the psus of both units - as i plan to use both of them as my main converters and i don't want them to fail anytime soon.
Old 5th April 2018
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
blueNan's Avatar
The magneto optical drive in my second Genex seem to work very well smoothly, but i still did not try to record audio.

The drive of my first Genex is completely blocked, there is a disk inside that i cannot take out. I read (probably here in gs) that the m.o. drives are a weak point of these recorders.
Old 5th April 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 

I am in the process of replacing the SCSI drives in mine with a SCSI to Sata adapter and use modern SATA drives. I also think the PSU is on the way out, and will have to find a compatible one.

But its not a high priority as I have other multichannel recorders. I love the ergonomics of the GX8000 though. I don't think any other recorder is as good on that front.
Old 8th April 2018
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
blueNan's Avatar
My second Genex keeps having problems - it does not start up until you leave it on for 5-7 minutes, sometimes does not start at all. Once is warmed up, it seems to boot normally. At the beginning i thought it could be something temporary due to a prolonged idle period or the adaptation to 220v, but it does not go away.

The seller does not want to assume any responsability, so i am taking it to a qualified service on monday, in order to get a professional opinion and an estimation of the fix.

I have been looking for a service manual / schematics or manual in the internet, but it is impossible to find. Could any user provide me this materials?
Old 9th April 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
blueNan's Avatar
Anyone , schematics of Genex GX8000 ?
Old 9th April 2018
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueNan View Post
My second Genex keeps having problems - it does not start up until you leave it on for 5-7 minutes, sometimes does not start at all. Once is warmed up, it seems to boot normally. At the beginning i thought it could be something temporary due to a prolonged idle period or the adaptation to 220v, but it does not go away.

The seller does not want to assume any responsability, so i am taking it to a qualified service on monday, in order to get a professional opinion and an estimation of the fix.

I have been looking for a service manual / schematics or manual in the internet, but it is impossible to find. Could any user provide me this materials?
Stupid question...Is there a hard drive in the system? The Genex continually checks for the presence of a hard drive. In the 9000 series, it would take minutes to do anything without a valid drive in the system.
You will find no documentation for the Genex hardware. Kevin brown was sued a decade ago and in the settlement, gave all the IP, spares and information to some guy in Chicago.
If if were me, I would run away screaming from anything Genex. I have more Genex hardware then probably anybody outside of live nation and every time I have to do anything with with them, it ends up being a block hole of time.
In this case, YMWNV. (Your mileage will not vary...)
All the best,
-mark
Old 9th April 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
blueNan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
Stupid question...Is there a hard drive in the system? The Genex continually checks for the presence of a hard drive. In the 9000 series, it would take minutes to do anything without a valid drive in the system.
You will find no documentation for the Genex hardware. Kevin brown was sued a decade ago and in the settlement, gave all the IP, spares and information to some guy in Chicago.
If if were me, I would run away screaming from anything Genex. I have more Genex hardware then probably anybody outside of live nation and every time I have to do anything with with them, it ends up being a block hole of time.
In this case, YMWNV. (Your mileage will not vary...)
All the best,
-mark
Thank you Mark,

The problematic Genex GX8000 has indeed a working MO drive, that seems to work well once the unit is started. The problems is that the unit does not start at all, it remains literally dead for 5-10 minutes before it boots up, and sometimes it just remains dead.

This is the video I sent to the seller (the unit starts by itself around 5:15):

YouTube


My other Genex GX8000 (the working one) is used only for the converters, having the MO drive unconnected. I just record-enable the inputs and use it when tracking, or when mixing from the computer. It has been working well so far ... hopefully it continues doing so!

The seller told me also that they used the recorders powered up at all times, so can have caused an early degradation of the electronics, specifically the psu. I am trying get the problem diagnosed here in Berlin, I went to Xtended today but they told me they could not risk working on it without schematics, and forwarded me to another place where they have more experience with that kind of psus.
Old 18th November 2018
  #29
Gear Head
 

I have a question about this wonderful unit. The manual states that the Genex 8000 series has DSD inputs and outputs. Is it capable of recording in DSD, or only the 9000 series had that feature?
Old 23rd November 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 
nobtwiddler's Avatar
My Genex 9048 setup

Not much more I can say, other then when it worked it was the best sounding machine I ever used.
Even the musicians were blown away by the 9048 sonics.


Oh, and the bottom pic, was a few months later, after I sent it back to Kevin Brown a few times...and he still didn't fix it.

So I took a pic with my 357 and told him the next pic would be of the machine with a big hole in it....
Attached Thumbnails
Another Golden Oldie -opinions on the Genex GX8000?-genex-2.jpg   Another Golden Oldie -opinions on the Genex GX8000?-genex-gun.jpg  
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
David Spearritt / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
2
centervolume / High end
0
rolo / So much gear, so little time
0
16942 / So much gear, so little time
3

Forum Jump
Forum Jump