This unit sounds amazing! More depth and clarity to the mixes. The mic pres alone are worth the price of admission. Everything sounds great through the pre amps and you can dial in as much character as you want. I worked many years on a Neve 8078 and these pres are better. We have a rack of API that I love but in an A/B situation, there is no comparison.
Features- 4 great pres that double up as line inputs with input/output on all 4 channels. Twenty line inputs with gain/panning each channel, and solo all channels, inserts on the 4 transformer input channels, 4 aux sends on the first 4 transformer channels with separate controls for sends 1/2 and 3/4 on first 4 channels, talkback mike that mutes mix, monitor control with speaker A and B, can monitor mix with 2 buss inserts over mix, can monitor mix without 2 buss inserts over mix, can monitor tape return, mine has a mono monitoring function, usb automation saving for channels 5-20....you get the drift- plenty features.
Ease of Use - This is a unit that fits in a 3 rack size, and so is a technological marvel in what it crams in. But- controlling channels 5-20 with a rotary encoder for pan/level/mute/solo takes some getting used to - and so I give it a 3 for the rotary encoder jiggery for channels 5-20. Otherwise the unit would get a 5 for ease of use.
Sound QualityIf you want a transparent summing unit DO NOT STOP....This unit has transformer thickening at play...it results in a slight thickening and smoothing of the sound....and to my ear causes the high end to be softened/smoothened. These elements are subtle but there. So it takes colour eq that boosts high end like E27 fantastically.
The channels 1-4- if you hit the input gain past 3 oclock it starts really saturating -thick- bit more "grainy" non detailed (this is relative)- bit like say pacifica pad in. I like having the gain control at about 2 oclock and using the output trim to further control the levels. Using the channels 1-4 and turning the gain level to past 3 gets a nice thickening and smoothing - useful for instance to thicken brittle thin vocals etc etc... Channels 5-20 are wonderfully liquid clear in that good non brittle way.
And headroom-HEADROOM-this unit screams headroom and high voltage.
It is fantastically detailed, with a general character of slight thickness and high end smoothness, and in terms of summing seems to give an innate width to the mix. Cannot fault the sound.
Bang for Buck Unit is not cheap, but then it provides a very impressive feature set with absolutely top sonics. Is the most beautifully engineered item in my studio.Given its features and sonics- represents great bang for buck.