The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Quick Digimax FS review
Old 29th September 2006
  #1
Gear Addict
Quick Digimax FS review

I thought I would post a quick review of the Digimax FS 8 channel preamp. First off, I was really interested in this preamp because I use a Lynx soundcard and wanted to expand my inputs via ADAT lightpipe. I had researched my options for months and was never quite satisfied with the opinions that the M-Audio Octane garnered, nor was I excited at spending the cash to get TRUE 8-channel w/ Aurora converter. I had pondered getting the Digimax 96k and the Mackie Onyx 800R and was so close to buying either of those units that I could smell the electricity running through them...then I stumbled onto a release announcement that Presonus was going to introduce a new 8 channel preamp with ADAT out and direct analog outs at a price point that wouldn't make my wife cringe (very important if you want a long term relationship). Since I record using Samplitude via Lynx 2C soundcard, I also bought a Lynx LS-ADAT expansion card. Installation of the LS-ADAT card was simple and connecting the Digimax FS was a breeze. It immediately recognized the sample rate and it was within seconds that I was testing the inputs of the preamp. Being that my schedule was "busy" to say the least for a few weeks, I was unable to give the preamp a real test- the real test ended up being a demo session for a songwriter who is shopping some songs in Nashville. I ended up using the preamp for drum overheads, bass drum, snare and also used a channel for background vocals. I found the capability for it to have 4 channels with phantom power and able to leave the phantom off of 4 other channels to be a nice touch. I had a RODE NT4 on as stereo drum OH mic with phantom power, as well as a CAD M179 for BG vox. I used dynamic mic w/o phantom for the snare (Shure 57) and bass drum (AT BD mic). Everything worked flawlessly and the Digimax FS integrated into my system easily. It performed solidly with my Lynx soundcard and sounds great. I also record with a couple Roland VS1680s, so the direct analog outs on the preamp make it even more versitile in my recording world. Instead of dragging a rack full of preamps, I can take the Digimax FS to recording dates that make it logistically impossible to take my DAW. So basically, the Digimax sounds excellent, it was easy to integrate into my systems and comes from a company that stands behind their products. If you have ever used Presonus preamps, it sounds similar to the MP20. I'll probably end up getting a second unit.
Old 29th September 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the opinions, StudioDawg. I've been shopping the sub-$1000 dollar 8-channel lightpipe pre market and obviously am rather interested in this one. Can anyone provide direct comparisons between it and some of the other models in this category (Onyx 800R, Octane, Digimax LT/96K, etc)?

The front inputs on this really turn me off, though.....

Thanks,
Eric
Old 29th September 2006
  #3
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmdundee View Post
The front inputs on this really turn me off, though.....
I had a concern about that feature, but it doesn't bug me as much (now that I have the unit and use it) as when I was comparison shopping...depending on your system and rack configuration(s), it certainly can be a hinderence...look at the picture of the back of the unit on the Presonus website and ask yourself where the 8 XLRs would fit. That's what I did actually looking at my unit. I couldn't find space for them on the back without giving up some of the other features.
Old 30th September 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
valleysound's Avatar
 

What's the difference between the DAC and Direct Outs? On the website they seem to be the same to me. I've got the Digimax 96k and the selling point was the built in limiters, the headroom is great and needs a bit of taming on transients like kick and snare.
Old 30th September 2006
  #5
Gear Addict
 
LaLaFaV's Avatar
 

I would expect that the direct outs are coming directly from the preamp to an analog out, never going into the digital realm. Logically, the DAC should be an output fed from the ADAT lightpipe IN on the unit.
Old 30th September 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 
nathanvacha's Avatar
 

studiodawg, out of curiosity, who are you? that really sounds like a magazine type review... you have no vested interest, i assume...
Old 2nd October 2006
  #7
Gear Addict
nathanvacha thanks for the encouragement about magazine style writing, yikes...i don't have any vested interest. I do have an additional comment regarding the FS though and that is that the unit is well shielded from RFI...we have a small community FM station and many pieces of gear can't handle the local RFI...fwiw, the Grace 101s, ART TPS and Aphex 207s also are clean in hostile RFI environments...I posted the review because when I was researching 8 channel preamps with ADAT, there was no info on this unit from users...and seemed like there wasn't until I posted...I hope it helps.
Old 2nd October 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
celticrogues's Avatar
 

Great post - thans for doing this!
Is there any chance you could post a sound sample or two of those pres?
Thanks!
-Mike
Old 27th October 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Greetings Studiodawg - great review - glad someone's posting something about this unit, cause I'm totally curious about it. Anyhow, I was wondering if, once you've had sometime to put it through it's paces, maybe you could talk more about the pres, particularly how they perform on vocals and acoustic guitars? Also, could you elaborate on how they compare to the MP20 pre - I have a Eureka which I believe has the same pre design as the MP20 - I like it far better than the pres on my Digi002R, but I'm not stuck to it and would readily trade it towards the Digimax FS if I knew the pres on the Digimax FS wouldn't be a huge let down from the Eureka's and that the conversion/clocking would noticably improve. Speaking of which, how is the clocking/conversion? Have you compared clocking from from the Digimax FS and monitoring from it's DAC as opposed to clocking internally on your sound card and monitoring from it's built in outputs? Sorry to ask so much, but there is so little out there in terms of reviews and a lot of it is from publications, which doesn't help much. Clips of any vocal tracks done with the Digimax would be great to hear too, but I'm already asking alot. Anyhow, thanks for posting this!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Studiodawg View Post
nathanvacha thanks for the encouragement about magazine style writing, yikes...i don't have any vested interest. I do have an additional comment regarding the FS though and that is that the unit is well shielded from RFI...we have a small community FM station and many pieces of gear can't handle the local RFI...fwiw, the Grace 101s, ART TPS and Aphex 207s also are clean in hostile RFI environments...I posted the review because when I was researching 8 channel preamps with ADAT, there was no info on this unit from users...and seemed like there wasn't until I posted...I hope it helps.
Old 7th March 2009
  #10
Gear Head
 

A Presonus among us

Yeah, Studiodog must work for Presonus why else would he be so titelated to have only two phantom power buttons on a 8 pre?? Wait, is this your first time you've had +48vdc?
This is what stops me on this one everytime.
If you have that exact set of mic and plan to stick to it for sometime -
meaning, either all or no condensers or a split of 4 each, then by all means, otherwise no no no NO.
Damn it presonus, you had me at 8 then lost me at 4.
Old 7th March 2009
  #11
Gear Head
 

yeah it's an old thread, I know

Ya know I cant find much useful info on the difference in sound quality on these lightpipe 8 pre units. It keeps coming down to how many phantom power buttons and where are they located.
Just in case Preosonus, Mackie, RME and others are listening.
Since you all are always trying to shave off a few thing to save money. Instead of combining phantom power buttons to multi inputs, it might be a good idea to have two channels with noooooo phantom power at all.
Yeah some of us use Ribbons, yeah you heard me right some of us put Ribbons up on these sort of pres too. I hate checking and double checking and triple checking to make sure before I plug an expensive Ribbon mic in.
Old 7th March 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoundrel1 View Post
Yeah, Studiodog must work for Presonus why else would he be so titelated to have only two phantom power buttons on a 8 pre?? Wait, is this your first time you've had +48vdc?
This is what stops me on this one everytime.
If you have that exact set of mic and plan to stick to it for sometime -
meaning, either all or no condensers or a split of 4 each, then by all means, otherwise no no no NO.
Damn it presonus, you had me at 8 then lost me at 4.
?

First of all this is from over two years ago (almost 3!).

Second of all who cares about the phatom power?

Many consoles have only a global phantom power on or off....
Old 7th March 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
?

First of all this is from over two years ago (almost 3!).

Second of all who cares about the phatom power?

Many consoles have only a global phantom power on or off....
Exactly, unless you're using a bunch of ribbon mics the phantom power won't hurt anything so what does it matter. Plus on the new Presonus Digimax D8 they have a phantom power switch for every 2 channels. But if you're using all condensors and dynamics then who gives a crap if there's only 2 or hell even one phantom power switch for all 8 channels.
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
Forum Jump
Forum Jump