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APHEX Systems 188 8-Channel Remote Controlled Mic Pre
Old 22nd January 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
NQJason's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Talking APHEX Systems 188 8-Channel Remote Controlled Mic Pre

Saw this at Namm. $1299 street. Sounds nice. They were controlling it
at the show via a custom fader layer of a LS9. It also has it's own Mac and PC control software.

APHEX Systems 188 8-Channel Remote Controlled Mic Pre

Not the same transformers at the 1788, and no mic lim circuit.
Old 22nd January 2009
  #2
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videoteque's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
That's an intelligent product!!! ADAT out and remote control!!!
Old 23rd January 2009
  #3
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NQJason's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
that's what I thought! A little birdy told me they were using some in the trucks for
the Grammy's
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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tuRnitUpsuM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
very intelligent product indeed.... an affordable Aphex 1788a , Grace m802 whats not to like?

now if only we could get a manufacturer to make an Expresscard/ADAT interface to go with it.
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuRnitUpsuM ➑️
very intelligent product indeed.... an affordable Aphex 1788a , Grace m802 whats not to like?

now if only we could get a manufacturer to make an Expresscard/ADAT interface to go with it.
Motu 2408 in some form with the newer Pcie card? Maybe?
I bought a 2408 mk2 for $235.00 on Ebay I plan to use for my
digital transfer to my computer. Not for the a-to-d though!
opp's you said expresscard.Never mind, I'm an idiot!

TT
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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waveterm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
RME cardbus + Digiface perhaps ?

WT
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Thanks for the link. That's now my top pick for a new rig. Much better feature set than the Digimax type setup that was previously in the running. I wonder how it sounds...
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 10 years
I'm assuming the software is included, right?
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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tuRnitUpsuM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
trevort

Quote:
Motu 2408 in some form with the newer Pcie card? Maybe?
I bought a 2408 mk2 for $235.00 on Ebay I plan to use for my
digital transfer to my computer. Not for the a-to-d though!
opp's you said expresscard.Never mind, I'm an idiot!


plenty of options for sure in a desktop setting... but would be nice having an adat option much like the RME madiface except adat inputs. Then all u'd need is a couple aphex units...some mics...laptop...and the interface unit (similar to Madiface and wouldnt require an external powersource) and ur rockin n rollin...great for a remote gig or those times a get together happens and u just wanna record it on the light.
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Maybe I'm confused as to what you're looking for, but it seems like the MAudio Profire Lightbridge might work for you.
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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tuRnitUpsuM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Lightbridge:

is firewire , requires another socket on the power source, expresscard remains inside the computer out of the way(unlike Lightbridge) and RME drivers id trust over M-audio any day.

i guess closet thing to what i had in mind would be... aphex188 (multiple units depending on channel count needed) d-d converter (adat to madi) RME madiface , laptop. Just is a few unnecessary items to power up thats all... if there was an expresscard adat unit...much simpler.
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
RME cardbus + Digiface perhaps ?

WT

Course! now lets get rid of the big breakout box and place those adat connections on the card
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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waveterm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuRnitUpsuM ➑️
Course! now lets get rid of the big breakout box and place those adat connections on the card
Like that would be a big problem. YouΒ΄re going to haul 3 pieces of 19" rackmounted preamps around so one extra small 9,5" little box shouldnΒ΄t matter too much

WT
Old 1st March 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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tuRnitUpsuM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry to hi jack..first off :( never intended to discuss expresscards on this great units thread , but...

Yeah, i know it doesnt make much sense if having rackmount preamps to carry and power ...what difference does a half rack make...

well these aphex units most likely wouldnt be around the recording destination (ie...the computers) as they would most likely be placed near stage or recording space to cut down mic cable lengths and with the remote software just makes sense. The engineers/recordists space is usually off to a cramped space (least most ive seen outside recital halls) ... so with an expresscard unit all ud need in that area is computer (which powers itself) and phones/cans (which need a DA converter (again one more thing u have to externally power ..in most cases) why not cut down on units needed? especially ones u have to power up when you can (expresscard interface enables just that).

tis only a need i suppose most others dont share.... hence why no units as such.

cheers
Old 2nd March 2009
  #15
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The bigger question in my book is why they did not include an AES output in addition (Or in place of.....!) the god awful ADAT outputs.
All the best,
-mark
Old 2nd March 2009 | Show parent
  #16
LX3
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🎧 15 years
I'm definitely appreciating some more remote preamp options. But what I need to know is... will the 188 sound as good as my current mic pres? (Audient ASP008). Because if it doesn't, it makes no sense to me to take a step backwards.

$1299 is really cheap for a remote pre - cheaper even than the Yamaha AD8HR. The Audient is about $1000 more, and obviously, not remote controlled, and while very respectable it's still far from being the most expensive mic pre around. I suppose we should congratulate Aphex for hitting such a low price point, but if the phrase "You get what you pay for" is anything to go by...

So I have a feeling any future remote control system for my preamps will be an assistant with a radio! The difficulty in finding 48 channels of respectable affordable remote preamps is one of the things that's stopping me going MADI.

Then again, I realised recently that I've done only ONE gig in the last five years where running MADI would have been much of an advantage (and even then, it was for a really silly reason). Doesn't stop me thinking about it far too much though.
Old 2nd March 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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huub's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
But the difference in soundquality with madi compared to long analog cable runs is significant!
The sound is muuuuuch cleaner (no buzz or hiss even with the monitor turned to 11)
and the sound is more detailed and just nicer...
I do not know if the difference is significant when using short analog cables..

huub
Old 2nd March 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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The other thing to consider about MADI is the cost savings. When you price out 500ft/150m of good 32 pair multicore with boxes and tails, MADI all of a sudden becomes MUCH cheaper. Add to this the cost of transport of another couple of hundred of pounds of copper and the long term benefits of MADI become very clear.
As to the sound issues, running mic level signals down a couple of hundred feet of mic cables and through a couple of patchfields causes a significant degradation in the sound. On a gig I did at the Manhattan center last summer we ran parallel systems, both using the same converters and fed from the same mic preamps. One was feeding a Madi pipe and the other was located in the machine room at the end of about 300ft of good Mogami multicore. However the multicore feed a TT patchbay that fed an ELCO distro panel that then fed a set of tails that fed the converters. When we went to listen to the multitracks after the gig, we found that there was a clearly audible difference between the 2 systems and that the MADI system sounded MUCH better...

All the best,
-mark
Old 2nd March 2009 | Show parent
  #19
LX3
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🎧 15 years
You get buzz and/or hiss with analog cables?

For the shows you do, I'm sure MADI is the way forward. But for me, I rarely need more than 20m of cable from stage to my rig (load-in system, no truck). When I start regularly needing over 30m, I'll be going MADI I expect.

BTW, I agree, when you need to run mic signals looonnnnggg distances, MADI (or some other digital multicore system) is a no-brainer. Before building my latest rig I did some calculations on the HF loss from the new multicore I was about to build, added to some hypothetical lengths of multi to FOH and monitors. There's a definite upper limit to the total cable run that I wouldn't want to go over. But on the gigs I do, I'm well under. (should be flat to about 40kHz).

Anyhow... new remote pres. That's good. :-)
Old 4th March 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
The bigger question in my book is why they did not include an AES output in addition (Or in place of.....!) the god awful ADAT outputs.
All the best,
-mark
Hi Mark,

id be willing to bet Aphex wanted to and did meet a price point they targetted for... adats allowed them to do so... and should one need AES outputs...makes em think more about the 1788a instead of the 188. ?

the 188 appeals to the adat crowd... anything greater and id imagine you'd get the suggestion to move "up" to the 1788a.

Quote:
the god awful ADAT outputs
eyes of the beholder?

cheers
Old 4th March 2009 | Show parent
  #21
LX3
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🎧 15 years
Wasn't the 1788 discontinued? Or was I imagining that?

The upside to ADAT, as you say, is price. And not only on the transmit end... RME's ADAT to MADI is quite a bit cheaper than their AES to MADI. And 1U smaller!

I'd still rather have AES myself though. A lot easier to make custom connections, and they can't get yanked out like TOSlink can.
Old 5th March 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuRnitUpsuM ➑️
Hi Mark,
id be willing to bet Aphex wanted to and did meet a price point they targetted for... adats allowed them to do so... and should one need AES outputs...makes em think more about the 1788a instead of the 188. ?

the 188 appeals to the adat crowd... anything greater and id imagine you'd get the suggestion to move "up" to the 1788a.
cheers
I understand that it is much cheaper to throw an ADAT IO instead of an AES IO (About $15 per unit....) but a remote preamp that has a maximum cable length of 15 feet? Even the Presonus and Mackie non-remote preamps have AES IO's. What's the point of being able to put the preamp a long way away if the digital output only reaches to the bottom of the rack! In reality, I would have rather them delete the digital IO and save us a couple of bucks or offer a unit with AES for a small premium.
To be honest the step up will not be to the 1788a, but rather the Yamaha or Millennia/Grace. The 1788a is a nice piece of kit, but a little overpriced.

As always, YMMV.
All lthe best,
-mark
Old 5th March 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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jslevin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue ➑️
I understand that it is much cheaper to throw an ADAT IO instead of an AES IO (About $15 per unit....) but a remote preamp that has a maximum cable length of 15 feet? Even the Presonus and Mackie non-remote preamps have AES IO's. What's the point of being able to put the preamp a long way away if the digital output only reaches to the bottom of the rack!
I can appreciate that it seems silly, but despite the distance limitation, there are still advantages to having remote preamps. One would be the ability to automate and/or save settings in session files and templates. Another would be the qualitative advantage of any design that implements digitally controlled analog circuits. A third would be the lack of a bunch of front-panel knobs on the front, which no doubt helps drive the price-point down with no attendant degradation of audio quality.

Quote:
In reality, I would have rather them delete the digital IO and save us a couple of bucks or offer a unit with AES for a small premium.
I don't see what the point of the product is without built-in conversion, but I too always like to see AES/EBU. Someone else said liking/hating ADAT is in the eye of the beholder, but there can be no real question that AES/EBU connections are physically better and more reliable, and that you don't have to think about any kind of dual-wire or S/MUX nonsense to work at 96K.

JSL
Old 5th March 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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NorseHorse's Avatar
Question

How do these preamps compare to the standards in classical recordings (like the Grace 802)? How's the noise?
Old 5th March 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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tuRnitUpsuM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
mpdonahue
I understand that it is much cheaper to throw an ADAT IO instead of an AES IO (About $15 per unit....) but a remote preamp that has a maximum cable length of 15 feet? Even the Presonus and Mackie non-remote preamps have AES IO's. What's the point of being able to put the preamp a long way away if the digital output only reaches to the bottom of the rack! In reality, I would have rather them delete the digital IO and save us a couple of bucks or offer a unit with AES for a small premium.
To be honest the step up will not be to the 1788a, but rather the Yamaha or Millennia/Grace. The 1788a is a nice piece of kit, but a little overpriced.


Also Mark its much cheaper for the end user (in terms of cabling costs)... who this unit is aimed at... the more budget conscience. One cable is all thats needed for 8 channels of audio...just one.

I can't argue that AES isnt a better digital distribution format...of course it is for reasons stated already.... but this units price would jump enormously if it included AES...and not just the price for admission but Total Cost of Operation.

Quote:
To be honest the step up will not be to the 1788a, but rather the Yamaha or Millennia/Grace. The 1788a is a nice piece of kit, but a little overpriced
i agree here ... but when i mention 1788a im coming from Aphexs point of view when asked about the 188 and why it doesnt have AES. Personally the Grace unit with remote would be the way to go...IMO.
Old 5th March 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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tuRnitUpsuM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
LX3

i think its still being made... but im not certain on that. In any regards all the vendors ive seen that are carrying 1788a's havent yet mentioned its discontinuation.

NorseHorse

i havent yet heard the 188... so im not sure how close it is to their 1788a... but i have heard a 1788a and a grace m801 the one with the knobs on front of unit. I did prefer the Grace...but the Aphex held their own.
Old 9th April 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LX3 ➑️
Wasn't the 1788 discontinued? Or was I imagining that?
The original was. But, they still have the 1788A.
I thought about one for my recording but, A little steep
and no way to try out.

TT
Old 10th April 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I was on a job with a stack of these the other day in conjunction with a PM5D and found the noise was a problem - shame as I wanted to like them at that price but same old lesson - you get what you pay for

Matt
Old 10th April 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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waveterm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Compared to what ?

WT
Old 10th April 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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Jimbo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewd ➑️
I was on a job with a stack of these the other day in conjunction with a PM5D and found the noise was a problem - shame as I wanted to like them at that price but same old lesson - you get what you pay for

Matt
Could you tell us a little more about the noise? Were you able to isolate it to the Aphex unit(s)? Was the noise appearing just the preamps or after conversion?

I'm really interested in this unit.

Thanks!
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