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Old 09-04-2003, 10:28 PM
dbrunell dbrunell is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 193
Default Digimax preamps noisy?!? Tell me it ain\'t so!

I am looking to expand my system, and I just got a Digimax 96 and hooked it up to my 001 using an ADAT cable. I plugged a Shure SM57 into the PreSonus' channel 1 and spoke into it while I adjusted the gain. I couldn't believe that with the Digimax's gain control ALL THE WAY UP, I was only getting about a half-scale reading on the Pro Tools channel I had record-enabled. What's with the low output level?

That's bad enough, but the output of the Digimax has a lot of hiss in it. What the?!? For a $1200 box, I would think that the mic pres in it would be less noisy. For comparison, I plugged the SM57 into channel 1 of my $350 Mackie 1202-VLZ Pro mixer, and cranked up the gain. I had plenty of output, and almost no hiss!

But wait! There's more!! When I plugged an Oktava MC-012 condenser mic into the Digimax, and recorded some voice into Pro Tools, I noticed that there was more waveform on the lower side of the centerline than the upper. Would this be because of a DC offset being output from the Digimax? The Oktava has a higher output than the SM57, so I was able to get a reasonable level into the Pro Tools channel. When I heard clipping, I noticed that the lower side of the waveform was flattened, but the upper side peaks were not. This unbalanced waveform did not occur with the SM57, nor did it with the other dynamic mic I tried, an AKG D790. This is unacceptable..

Anybody know of an eight-channel mic pre with dynamic range and noise levels comparable to the Mackie XDR mic pres? I am disappointed with the performance of the Digimax, to say the least. I'm gonna take it back to the store.

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