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APHEX Systems 188 8-Channel Remote Controlled Mic Pre
Old 6th May 2010 | Show parent
  #61
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well said, Michael!
Old 10th May 2010 | Show parent
  #62
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
There are entire 100-post threads where not a single positive comment is said about some of the most respected multi-channel preamps in the industry, and yet only a single person has something bad to say about this pre- is it really that good?

P.S. Michael, what's that box in the bottom of your rack? It looks like a UPS, but it's not one I've seen before.
Old 10th May 2010 | Show parent
  #63
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Yes, that's an APC UPS battery backup unit in the bottom of the rack. Pretty much the norm these days for us to lose power at some point on TV shoots. We have it's big brother on the truck in front of all of the critical recording gear. If we lose power, I have about 20 mins to hit save and safely power everything down.
Old 10th May 2010 | Show parent
  #64
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Careful if you intend to record at 96k

Aphex did encounter some problems with the 188 making noise when recording at 96k. They originally thought it to be a faulty set of chips so they order a whole new batch and installed them. Did not fix the problem...

They have since discovered it to be a software issue which will be fixed by a simple firmware update. But it does not look like the new firmware has been released yet...

I have been yanked around by Aphex and told a few different things so maybe they have discovered it is not a software issue at all... Who knows what they are up to now. All I know is that I have experienced terrible customer service from them in regards to this issue.
Old 18th July 2010 | Show parent
  #65
LX3
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LX3's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I still need to try and recover from a painful bout of spending this year already - but a rack of remote preamps is definitely on the agenda at some point... possibly soon.

Any updates from the 188 owners? Now that you've had the preamps for a while, have you had any further thoughts about sound quality or reliability?

My concern is that buying a rack of relatively inexpensive remote preamps might be a step down in quality from my Audients.

If only I had the cash (and space in the van) for a rack of Grace pres... But ouch, Β£30,000 only just gets you started with Grace. With the way budgets are going, that isn't an option.
Old 18th July 2010 | Show parent
  #66
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
As I type this...I'm finishing up day three of a radio station festival here in Philadelphia. 40+ bands & 100 degree heat. Everything goes out live to air & is also tracked into ProTools.

Our rack of 188s (48 channels) have been performing perfectly - knock on wood 3 more bands to go. My A2 now has a very easy gig, he used to man the pre rack wearing a set of headphones - now I can control everything from the truck.

I don't have any first hand experience with other remote pres mentioned in this thread, but I have no regrets about my Aphex purchase. The sonic performance of these units keeps me happy, and they did shine at this festival with a number of great acts: Roseanne Cash, Robert Randolph, Edward Sharpe, Cowboy Junkies. No complaints here.

FWIW I live pretty much in the 48k world tracking for video, have not tried these at 96.


-Michael
Old 19th July 2010 | Show parent
  #67
LX3
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LX3's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the feedback. All sounds fairly positive. I suppose the thing is, at this price point, the options are limited (i.e. Aphex 188 or nothing).

Maybe I'll try and borrow one and organise a shootout with my current non-remote preamps. Not this month mind you. I've been so busy, I just want to sleep until August.
Old 19th July 2010 | Show parent
  #68
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Looking forward to hearing the results.
Old 6th June 2011 | Show parent
  #69
116589
Guest
The 188 pres sound full, bright and detailed.
The 1788A pres sound creamy, balanced and sweet.
To my ears the 1788A sounds MUCH better then the 188,
but that being said, the 188 sounds better then anything else anywhere near its price range.

Obviously there are many functional differences between the two units, but the only important "sound" issue to consider is the MicLims that come on the 1788A. These work amazingly well. They limit "before" the preamp making clipping just about impossible and you get tons more headroom.

The Aphex 1788A is actually much less expensive then the Millenia and Grace Design solutions. Especially considering the price of the A/D and available analog and digital routing options. The new A/D card for the 1788A has 24-bit/192kHz conversion and offers two (8-ch) AES/EBU outputs. One on a DB-15 connector and the other on 4 BNC connectors. Two ADAT outputs are offered for SMUX 96kHz.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #70
Here for the gear
 
Gustavo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ok how does the aphex 188 sound? can any one tell as about that?
Old 11th February 2012
  #71
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hi everybody,

we have used the 188 for almost a year now, 6 units in 48k setup sometimes acting as an active splitter and they have worked well with no faults. I found the recorded sound to be excellent and a big improvement over our previous passive split setup.

- The remote control software is total garbage both on Windows and OSX and it does not even run on Lion since Apple dropped ancient rosetta support. Especially, the software does not show meters and controls for all units in a system on one page, so one has to switch to each unit to monitor levels... it's like combining the disadvantages of hardware (one set of controls for multi unit) with the discomfort of software (controlling everything with mouse)

- Daisy chaining the WC is not recommended since the WC out will stop working if a unit loses power.. I wonder what's the point of featuring it then instead of a 'WC through' type connection... maybe it has something to do with some AES standard?

- No midi port on the unit, if you want to control via midi, it seems, you require an apex 5200 converter... yet another piece of hardware that could fail and needs to be wired up inside the rack... infact why not provide a virtual midi driver via network?

Overall, hardware is very satisfactory, but software implementation is really cumbersome and ancient... hope there will be development although aphex told me not to get my hopes up...

Another thought, it would be great if the unit had dedicated phantom power switches on the front. In an active split setup the monitor guys would like remain in control of phantom power and they don't like to search the switches in the ****ty software interface or scroll through menus on the unit itself...

I'm still undecided if I should order more units, I guess it depends on what's going on with aphex on the software side


Kind regards,
Loz
Old 11th February 2012
  #72
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
how does it sound?

for those who would like to hear how it sounds:

the attached recording was made using the aphex 188 with two C414 in an XY stereo configuration. The recording is normalised but otherwise unchanged.

Cheers,
Loz
Attached Files

ST-NORM_31-07.wav (8.97 MB, 1160 views)

Old 11th February 2012 | Show parent
  #73
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I've been trying to find a way to make these pres work in our rig (24 channels to a 01v96), but it's not going to happen. I didn't want to use the software and am reliant on the MIDI implementation for remote control. However, the folks at Aphex recently confirmed to me that you can't control more than one 188 via MIDI (with the 5200, of course). Pretty useless, to me.

These units come pretty close to being ideal in many regards - 1U, run cool, decent sound, good price - but they seem either not completely thought out or the bean counters decided to limit the feature set to force you to go to the 1788A. Due to this experience and the lack of support from Aphex, I will not be considering either.
Old 20th February 2012
  #74
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Can't you control them with the 1788a remote? If so, seems like that will solve all your problems.
Old 20th February 2012 | Show parent
  #75
Lives for gear
 
mpdonahue's Avatar
I think that it would be an interesting exercise for someone that was a decent flash programmer to try to massage the application to control these preamps. To be honest, it would be great if we could just open up all the available preamps into a single window and have better grouping, scene recall and actual number key and scroll wheel entry rather than rely on mouse click and drag. Funny enough, the Millennia software has a striking resemblance to this and has most of these features included.
Also, let's not forget that this software was originally written for the 1788 back in the days when dinosaurs with Pentium 3's roamed the land.
Unfortunately, this is a piece of software that will probably sell a total of 50 copies. (Which is why I use the term exercise above)
I suspect that the company could sell the software for a modest fee to a small group of multi-track location guys, but for Joe six-pack, the kludgy free one is typically more than adequate.
All the best,
-mark
Old 20th February 2012 | Show parent
  #76
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bishopthomas ➑️
Can't you control them with the 1788a remote? If so, seems like that will solve all your problems.
You can, but my goal is to NOT add another piece of hardware to my rig.

And am I the only one that's bothered by Aphex's ability to have their website accurately reflect their product line? The page for the 1788a doesn't even render the text properly in my browser (Firefox 10 on a 10.6.8). It just doesn't instill confidence.

Anyway, I've got two RME Micstasy pres in house for demo, will be playing with programming them (and the 01V96) tomorrow to see if they'll play nice. I'm happy with the other RME gear I have, I hope this continues!
Old 20th February 2012 | Show parent
  #77
Lives for gear
 
Richard Crowley's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bixby ➑️
And am I the only one that's bothered by Aphex's ability to have their website accurately reflect their product line? ...
If you think that is bad, check out companies like BlackMagic Design (Australian maker of video equipment). Their website is really pretty, but very low on hard content and horrid to navigate. They make really innovative, cutting edge products, but their "manuals" read like extended sales blurbs and "video for idiots" tutorials with almost zero hard technical information of the kind you would need to install and operate the gadgets.

At least BlackMagic Design publishes API (application program interface) specs and drivers to allow end-users to write their own control code. (If you can figure out exactly what they do, that is.) Of course, you could reverse-engineer the code used by the Aphex products to allow us to roll our own control software (and/or hardware).

Some companies are very open about this and understand the value it adds to their products, while other companies (with low apparent "computer-age" experience) are very proprietary about this.
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