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Ross martin audio Audio Interfaces
Old 6th August 2014
  #181
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nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolname6 View Post
Just be prepared to wait a very long time for a unit. I waited over 6 months before asking for a refund. Still waiting on that. I've seen a couple on CL in New York that might be the way to go. Good luck.
Are you located in NY? I may be one of the post you saw in CL. Im selling one of the DACs. It sounds amazing for the price. For me I just needed 8 channels which is the only reason Im selling it
Old 6th August 2014
  #182
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nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolname6 View Post
Yeah maybe, which one are you selling again?
Its the Ross Martin Super Beast...
http://newyork.***************/que/msg/4579151510.html
Old 6th August 2014
  #183
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Tubthumper's Avatar
 

My PCM4222 arrived late last week. I ordered on 8 January, therefore it was a wait of approx. 6.5 months.

It was packed really well, and arrived with no shipping damage. I ripped open the box, excited to finally get the fukking thing and *bam* - no power plug attached.

I was wondering how Ross handled the (international) 220v units. I had assumed he'd use an IEC connector. Nope. The external power supply steps 220v down to 16v AC, which is hard wired into the back of the converter. No power plug, a two strand "lamp" cable (no earth) and the power transformer sitting in an aluminium case - not double insulated.

I'm not a tech, but, we're dealing with no earthing, no double insulation.... in a 220v environment, if something goes astray in the power supply enclosure and it goes live - hot patootie, bless your soul.

I took it to my local tech, he recommended replacing the 2 strand 220v cable with a three strand cable and three prong (earthed) power plug. He's got a three week turnaround, so.... if you can give me a few weeks to get it back - I'll be the first to check it out and let you know my thoughts. If I haven't died of an age-related disease by then.

BTW, Steven Slate speaks highly of the PCM4222. IIRC, he said it was one of the most transparent ADCs he'd heard.

EDIT: I found Steven Slate's comment on the Ross Martin converters:
"I have a Lavry Gold, Antelope Eclipse, and formerly owned a Mytek. The Ross Martin A/D/A is the most transparent converter I've used, and in my tests was more neutral than the Lavry and Antelope. It's as high res as they come."

Last edited by Tubthumper; 6th August 2014 at 11:51 AM.. Reason: Found the quote
Old 6th August 2014
  #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubthumper View Post
My PCM4222 arrived late last week. I ordered on 8 January, therefore it was a wait of approx. 6.5 months."

Has your PCM4222 got upgraded caps and/or op amps? Looking forward to your review.
Old 6th August 2014
  #185
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5 months, roughly, here for a Superbeast. A little frustrated by the fact that the communication seemed to go along the lines of "it'll be done next week" for months. I was prepared for the wait, though, so no harm… Sounds good and works well. The fabrication is a little amateurish (laser cut face panel overlies the vinyl control panel so it doesn't have to be perfect, edges are a little rough, actual box looks hand cut) but that's probably where the corners were cut. Inside looks great.
Old 6th August 2014
  #186
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On the same review I read by the guy who was using it for digitising his vinyl collection, he said that the internal build quality of the PCM4222 was poor. He said the wiring was not laid out in a way that indicated the designer thought this was important and same for component choices.

I am not writing this to slag off the RMA stuff, I am really planning on buying one myself, just wanted to know if this seems correct? I wonder if Ross has changed his layout a bit since that guy reviewed it.

Like I said before, he concluded it was a very nice sounding converter for the money though, but not as good as the Apogee Rosetta. However, other reviews say it's as good as any of the super high end converters.

I am a little concerned about the power cable for the EU/UK does not have an earth wire though. I wonder if Ross would fit a cable with an earth wire?
Old 6th August 2014
  #187
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Here is the review I have been referring to btw. Ross Martin PCM4222 ADC <- Pics and Audio Sample!
Old 7th August 2014
  #188
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nyandres's Avatar
I never tried the Rosette but I thought it was better than the apollo.
Old 7th August 2014
  #189
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
He said the wiring was not laid out in a way that indicated the designer thought this was important and same for component choices.

he concluded it was a very nice sounding converter for the money though, but not as good as the Apogee Rosetta. However, other reviews say it's as good as any of the super high end converters.
To be blunt but direct, anyone who says these are on par with high end mastering grade converters doesn't know how to properly or thoroughly test and compare converters. To be fair, most people don't though.

The reviewer you're talking about above was right on point. These are not designed or built with the skill, design experience, or technical knowledge possessed by any of the high end manufacturers. No offense to Ross, as he's still providing units that people are happy with for a more affordable price. He's a nice & well intentioned guy. I think these are definitely worth the price you pay and probably a bit more. I never got a chance to give the rubber glove treatment to one of his DACs, just the ADCs. They don't compare to something like a Lavry Black though for example. Not if you're after transparent accurate conversion. If someone prefers its particular color that's a subjective matter which I can certainly understand though.

I'd say don't buy them if you want high end conversion and can afford something at the level of Lavry Black and up. If that's out of your budget range and you're okay with the wait then Ross' units could be a good choice.

In other words, keep your expectations reasonable
Old 7th August 2014
  #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
To be blunt but direct, anyone who says these are on par with high end mastering grade converters doesn't know how to properly or thoroughly test and compare converters.
No offense, but Steven Slate would possess this knowledge and skill, I'd imagine.

I haven't heard a Ross Martin converter directly, but I'll be comparing mine to my current converter (Lucid) once I receive it from the tech. I'll post some audio files.
Old 7th August 2014
  #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
Has your PCM4222 got upgraded caps and/or op amps? Looking forward to your review.
Not sure, I'll pop the top when I get it back and you can tell me what to look for.
Old 7th August 2014
  #192
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubthumper View Post
No offense, but Steven Slate would possess this knowledge and skill, I'd imagine.
I have no idea, but I would suspect he would. Why would anyone be offended by that? Are you implying he's actually opened one up or done any technical testing on one? My first unit was riddled with issues that he should have been able to spot. It was unusable. He sent a second one out to me which worked, but the amount of measurable conversion artifacts were miles away from my Lavry, Mytek, or anything else I owned. He also didn't design the ADC's to be able to slave to an external clock source, which I'm not sure if he ever figured out and added, but it was evident that his knowledge and design skills were nowhere close to what you get when buying units by Lavry etc. He was really cool with me about the whole thing and accepted the unit back for refund graciously. This was 2 yrs ago and it's certainly possible that he's improved the design since, but I can suggest several tests that would separate these from your Lavry/Mytek/Hilo/Forsell/Apogees etc. Those companies have a level of design experience and R&D resources that aren't easily matched. As nice as it would be to get products of that calibre at these prices, it's not a realistic expectation

Enjoy it for what it is, but like I said, if you have the interest and budget to go for something high end with mastering grade transparency it would be unwise to assume these are as good as it gets.

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade and I wish Ross nothing but the best, but just be realistic with your expectations guys! Testing converters is not easy and expectation bias plus inadequate test conditions has always plagued that a great deal.
Old 7th August 2014
  #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I have no idea, but I would suspect he would. Why would anyone be offended by that? Are you implying he's actually opened one up or done any technical testing on one? My first unit was riddled with issues that he should have been able to spot. It was unusable. He sent a second one out to me which worked, but the amount of measurable conversion artifacts were miles away from my Lavry, Mytek, or anything else I owned. He also didn't design the ADC's to be able to slave to an external clock source, which I'm not sure if he ever figured out and added, but it was evident that his knowledge and design skills were nowhere close to what you get when buying units by Lavry etc. He was really cool with me about the whole thing and accepted the unit back for refund graciously. This was 2 yrs ago and it's certainly possible that he's improved the design since, but I can suggest several tests that would separate these from your Lavry/Mytek/Hilo/Forsell/Apogees etc. Those companies have a level of design experience and R&D resources that aren't easily matched. As nice as it would be to get products of that calibre at these prices, it's not a realistic expectation

Enjoy it for what it is, but like I said, if you have the interest and budget to go for something high end with mastering grade transparency it would be unwise to assume these are as good as it gets.

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade and I wish Ross nothing but the best, but just be realistic with your expectations guys! Testing converters is not easy and expectation bias plus inadequate test conditions has always plagued that a great deal.

Thanks for your insight. So where would you place the RMA ADC? Are they comparable with RME? MOTU?
Old 7th August 2014
  #194
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I have the ADC, and quite like it. I compared it to the Black Lion Sparrows (both red and white), and found the differences to be negligible at most. Build quality is pretty poor, and the power brick is kind of a joke, but it does sound good.
Old 7th August 2014
  #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnytofu View Post
I have the ADC, and quite like it. I compared it to the Black Lion Sparrows (both red and white), and found the differences to be negligible at most. Build quality is pretty poor, and the power brick is kind of a joke, but it does sound good.

Well, that's a good result, although may be if you tested the converters in the way NMS did, you would not think the same? May be NMS can tell you how he tested his and see if you can replicate it?? May be you can't be bothered and your ears tell you all you need to know?
Old 8th August 2014
  #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
Well, that's a good result, although may be if you tested the converters in the way NMS did, you would not think the same? May be NMS can tell you how he tested his and see if you can replicate it?? May be you can't be bothered and your ears tell you all you need to know?
I used my ears, sorry. Measuring devices are all well and good, but I'm more willing to trust my senses over a calculator.
Old 8th August 2014
  #197
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I agree how something sounds is most important, and coloration (ie distirtion) can be desirable in gear, but converters are kind of the exception in this regard to me, as one wants as little coloration as possible, so measurements are a great way to test for this, as they are objective.
Old 18th November 2014
  #198
Gear Nut
 

Anyone heard from Ross lately?
I returned a faulty unit a couple of weeks ago and haven't heard anything since then. They haven't responded to my emails..
Thanks
Old 21st November 2014
  #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gustav82 View Post
Anyone heard from Ross lately?
I returned a faulty unit a couple of weeks ago and haven't heard anything since then. They haven't responded to my emails..
Thanks
I would also like to know. Someone please tell me if they have been contacting Ross Martin. They initially wanted to send me another PCM4222 unit after it malfunctioned by doing nothing(this is the 2nd time it has been malfunctioning!!).

The email in which they said they wanted to send the unit was on 16th November 2013!! Damn, what happens if I get married and migrate to other place only to realize the unit was sent to my old address??

So after half a year(or I should say 7 months) I did sent an email asking them how's it going. Then they replied, asking my latest address. I'm like... "Okay, now you're asking". So I did gave them my address.

Fast forward to today. I'm still getting nothing. I did send an email for their update. No reply. Well I did say that was the last time they will hear anything from me so I don't email them since...

Disappointed with their service, it's not just the waiting part, the unit itself. I got 2 malfunctioning units back-to-back, I was a kid back then and now I'm an adult, the PCM4222 saga still continues!!

Hopefully Ross can live longer to send me my unit. Money is not the issue right here, it is TRUST.

Well one thing I do praise, the sound of the unit, is BEAST! but well, not that it matters if you can barely use them in full function......
Old 23rd November 2014
  #200
Gear Maniac
 

The problem with Ross Martin Audio is that they are in way over their heads. What I mean by that is they got way too much going on. There is a gazillion Products that he's working on at once. Look at the companies Warm Audio, or Great River, etc. They have a few really good and amazing products and they're able to focus. Ross Martin is obviously very talented but it I think what he needs is someone that he can trust to say "Ross, I know you want to make this new design but it's not a company priority right now." He probably is energized by building new gear and it is harder for him to stay focused on the present moment and dealing with customers who have present needs. I hope he can realize this and change they way he does business.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #201
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In some ways Ithink your being a bit generous. His stuff is great no doubt but theyre not that far off the app notes from THAT. So he may have a lot of products but theyre just small various on a couple of bases. Just hire more staff....
Old 24th November 2014
  #202
Gear Nut
 

Got a response from Ross pretty soon after my latest post, and he is quite helpful. Staying polite in your emails will help I think.
Now if anyone is interested (and doesn't want to wait several months) there's a PCM 4222 for sale on their website! (My old one, now fixed, with a little discount as well).
Cheers
Old 24th November 2014
  #203
nms
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I bought a 4222 ADC and returned it for faulty behavior. Later I returned the second 4222 for faulty behavior and opted against a third. One thing which stood out to me was that the unit (by design) could not be clock sync'd to another source. This, along with the faults, build, & lack of QC gave a very amateurish overall impression. Combine this with the excessive delays you guys deal with and it becomes a pretty questionable purchase IMO. I've seen inside these things. The delay is not justified whatsoever and I suspect more a result of poor time & part stock management than anything else.
Old 27th November 2014
  #204
Gear Head
 

I think that Ross has spent a lot of his time in the last year integrating his ADCs and DACs with XMOS boards to bring an 8-channel, bi-directional USB interface to the market. Somehow, I get the feeling that these units are close to production. At $1200 for 8 channels in and out, that's pretty exciting. As soon as can I get my hands on one, I'll be comparing it to my Lavry Blue.

Ross's boards will be manufactured externally, so I imagine the QA should be reasonably good.
Old 27th November 2014
  #205
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Hi guys this is my first time posting ever but reading this Ross Martin post has me feeling very upset I ordered my dual bare beast in march 2014 I got one email from Ross when I paid and that was it,I waited knowing that ross hand builds the units,after a few months i sent ross a few emails just wanting to know the status of the unit and nothing,so finally I wrote Ross a long email letting him know how unhappy I was with the customer service or lack there of he then reseponded in october telling me he was sorry and he'd be upgrading my unit and would be shipping it out asap as of now going into christmas nothing I don't know what to do but wait I guess this is frustrating.
Old 28th November 2014
  #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black kid View Post
Hi guys this is my first time posting ever but reading this Ross Martin post has me feeling very upset I ordered my dual bare beast in march 2014 I got one email from Ross when I paid and that was it,I waited knowing that ross hand builds the units,after a few months i sent ross a few emails just wanting to know the status of the unit and nothing,so finally I wrote Ross a long email letting him know how unhappy I was with the customer service or lack there of he then reseponded in october telling me he was sorry and he'd be upgrading my unit and would be shipping it out asap as of now going into christmas nothing I don't know what to do but wait I guess this is frustrating.
I just got mine early last week. It took 7 months and 2 days from the day it was ordered to the day it was delivered. RM is not good at all at communication. I have yet to hook up the gear and listen to it but I hope it was worth the wait.
Old 28th November 2014
  #207
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandeurloo View Post
I just got mine early last week. It took 7 months and 2 days from the day it was ordered to the day it was delivered. RM is not good at all at communication. I have yet to hook up the gear and listen to it but I hope it was worth the wait.
Let us know how it sounds!
Old 28th November 2014
  #208
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dandeurloo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabasa View Post
Let us know how it sounds!
I'm hoping it sounds as good or better then the BLA modded 002. Its been hard to find something that sounds as good for a reasonable price. Maybe this will be it. I have both the AD and the DA.

I am also working on a new multi channel thing I need to compare.
Old 28th November 2014
  #209
rjx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cserrano View Post
The problem with Ross Martin Audio is that they are in way over their heads.....I hope he can realize this and change they way he does business.
Also, instead of letting people place orders when he's backed up with too many outstanding orders, why not limit when people can place new orders? E.G.- Have no more than 10 outstanding orders at any given time. And once he has 10 outstanding orders he could disable online ordering until he's caught up and all outstanding orders have been shipped. He could have a mailing list and send bulk emails notifying people when they're able to place orders, or have a wait list and go in order.

But I think it's bad business to take on more orders than you can fulfill in a reasonable amount of time.

Also, I believe if a business (especially a small business) is willing to take a person's money, they should have the courtesy to routinely contact the customer with an update. Yes, some customers are impatient and demanding and will probably never be happy. But for everyone else I think they'd appreciate an update every few weeks regarding the status of their order. I feel it's damaging to leave the customer hanging. And I do believe it's the obligation of the business to make contact, not the customer, because it was the customer that made the initial contact by placing the order. IMO not knowing what's going on with their order or when it will be shipped are concerns the customer shouldn't have.
Old 28th November 2014
  #210
nms
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If you guys really want to buy these things despite the issues, maybe Gearslutz members should collectively boycott purchases til he agrees to change his policy to 50% down and 50% on completion. That's how it should be. No other way. Then he has incentive to actually get to work on building them quicker. Otherwise you have the current system, which is pay now and he builds it months later when he gets around to it.
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