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Radar 24 Classic vs. Alesis HD24XR
Old 18th August 2005
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Talking Radar 24 Classic vs. Alesis HD24XR

Hi there....

I'm looking to upgrade my current location rig (laptop and MOTU 896HD) and go with a dedicated 24 track recorder. I don't have the budget for a V series Radar, but I was wondering how their Classic 24 model (@48k) would compare (converter wise) with an Alesis HD24XR at 96k?

I can't actually afford a new Classic 24, but I was hoping to possibly find one on the used market. I like the idea that they are upgradable in the future and that IZ corp will probably offer support for a very long time whereas the Alesis unit would be a one time purchase with a finite lifespan.

Any other pros/cons that I should be aware of?


Thanks,

Zak Cohen - The Woodshop Studio

http://www.woodshoprecording.com
Old 18th August 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
"... whereas the Alesis unit would be a one time purchase with a finite lifespan"

The only built-in moving parts on the HD24 are the buttons, the fan, and the two flaps over the drive insert bays. The button contacts can be cleaned with a pencil eraser, the fan can (and probably should - for noise control purposes) be replaced, and if you want to be extra-safe, you could order a dozen flaps.

But the most important, and vulnerable, moving part in the HD24 (or any other similar recorder) is the caddy-mounted hard-drive. And those should be thought of as simply another form of 'tape.'

I've got an HD24 (non-XR), and while I wouldn't mind having a Radar, the HD24 serves me just fine.

best,

John
Old 18th August 2005 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
One thing to be considered is the size and weight of the Radar system and remote/cabling. Also, depending on where you are taking it(I would be concerned taking it to a bar for example), the system is worth way too much $$$ to risk an idiot spilling beer on it or something. I've taken it out a couple of times, and for these reasons, the next time I do a remote gig, I'll be taking something a lot smaller and a lot cheaper. If you have a permanent installation remote rig like a truck, that is a whole different story. If you are set on a Radar, look for a Radar II. They sound great and you won't have a huge investment into it.
Sean
Old 18th August 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Sofa King's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zakco
Hi there....

I'm looking to upgrade my current location rig (laptop and MOTU 896HD) and go with a dedicated 24 track recorder. I don't have the budget for a V series Radar, but I was wondering how their Classic 24 model (@48k) would compare (converter wise) with an Alesis HD24XR at 96k?

I can't actually afford a new Classic 24, but I was hoping to possibly find one on the used market. I like the idea that they are upgradable in the future and that IZ corp will probably offer support for a very long time whereas the Alesis unit would be a one time purchase with a finite lifespan.

Any other pros/cons that I should be aware of?


Thanks,

Zak Cohen - The Woodshop Studio

http://www.woodshoprecording.com

Owning a Radar24 w/classic I/O, and having used an Alesis XR.
The Radar is the only way to go. Unless you are converting before the Alesis.

best
Sean
Old 19th August 2005 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabney
"... whereas the Alesis unit would be a one time purchase with a finite lifespan"

The only built-in moving parts on the HD24 are the buttons, the fan, and the two flaps over the drive insert bays. The button contacts can be cleaned with a pencil eraser, the fan can (and probably should - for noise control purposes) be replaced, and if you want to be extra-safe, you could order a dozen flaps.

But the most important, and vulnerable, moving part in the HD24 (or any other similar recorder) is the caddy-mounted hard-drive. And those should be thought of as simply another form of 'tape.'

I've got an HD24 (non-XR), and while I wouldn't mind having a Radar, the HD24 serves me just fine.
I was actually referring to the fact that the Radar units are fully upgradable if I had the budget/needs for better convertors.

Thanks for the info though...

-Zak
Old 19th August 2005 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
One thing to be considered is the size and weight of the Radar system and remote/cabling. Also, depending on where you are taking it(I would be concerned taking it to a bar for example), the system is worth way too much $$$ to risk an idiot spilling beer on it or something. I've taken it out a couple of times, and for these reasons, the next time I do a remote gig, I'll be taking something a lot smaller and a lot cheaper. If you have a permanent installation remote rig like a truck, that is a whole different story. If you are set on a Radar, look for a Radar II. They sound great and you won't have a huge investment into it.
Sean
Good points, thanks.
I'm having a hard time locating any used Radars period. Does anyone know what the going rate for a Used Radar II or Classic 24 is?
Old 19th August 2005 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
One more question about the HD24XR.....What are the sample rate/ track count limitations for the lightpipe I/O?

-Z-
Old 19th August 2005 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
N.J.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Zak,
We have some demo RADAR 24/RADAR 2 units here.
Give us a call 800-776-1356 or [email protected]

In general lightpipe is single wire 48kHz, and dual wire 96kHz.
Old 19th August 2005 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
t_chance's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The HD24will take 12 in @ 96k (external converters)
Old 1st September 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Well just a little followup.....I'm the new owner of a Radar 24 Project... .
http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

It should be arriving in a day or two. I've got some upgrades I'll be adding immediately (DVD-Combo drive/Gigabit ethernet/Session Controller/meterbridge) and hopefully a couple more down the road (recording engine/96k nyquist AD/DA).

I'd also like to add that I recieved tons of great advice from the guys at iZ tech and also from Dave Sawchuk (a iZ sales rep in BC) in regards to the ebay sale. They were all very helpful and encouraged me to get it, even though I wasn't buying a RADAR from them. Great Service!

-Z-
Old 5th September 2005 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
ClickTrackAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zakco

I'd also like to add that I recieved tons of great advice from the guys at iZ tech and also from Dave Sawchuk (a iZ sales rep in BC) in regards to the ebay sale. They were all very helpful and encouraged me to get it, even though I wasn't buying a RADAR from them. Great Service!

-Z-
I NEED to emphasize how great the IZ team are w.r.t support. When building our truck, I was planning on purchasing the units through HHB Communications in Toronto, and they had no problems with us contacting IZ directly to discuss all the myriad of details that you think of configuration-wise when buying such a product. Dale Anaka was my contact at IZ and I was simply amazed. Here I was, a person calling out of the blue asking questions on the unit, having not spent a dime with them, and Dale spent at least an hour patiently answering my questions and reviewing many configurations with me.

Fast-forward a year, and a few weeks ago we were showing off our mobile at a Trade show in Toronto. Barry was present and popped by the truck to see how things were going for us. When we mentioned a minor annoyance, Barry rolled up his sleeves and went right to work. He went into debug mode and was testing our configuration to see what the problem was and what could be done. Its rare when a president of a company personally comes to see how your install is going and even more rare to see that same president jump in and debug you problem. Any phone call we place through to the tech support line is handled quickly, and professionally. I've worked with Amjay (sorry if I misspelled your name!) quite a bit and he's also provided us with great service when we need it..even if its something basic that we should've known in the first place!!!

IZ has been absolutely phenominal before, during and after the sale. Their support was a huge consideration for me when spending this amount of money on a product and they have not made me regret the decision at all. In fact, when we can afford it, I've already let my business partner know that when it comes time to increase our recorder capability, RADARs are all I'm going to consider!!!

Cheers,
Click...
Old 5th September 2005 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
RADAR

I have a Radar 24 Classic Pro which I generally use in a studio. However, I have done some live recordings with it and it is truly superb. I was able to easily do the whole thing without a computer monitor- it has never once crashed.

Furthermore, Dale, NJ and the owner, Barry are truly as good as you can possibly be when it comes to real-deal customer service. They are receptive to the needs of clients, and take real pride in their products.

I also worked on one project done with the Alesis HD24 and it sounded good- but the converters are not nearly as good as those in Radar- and if I was in your shoes I would buy a refurb unit from IZ and never look back. They work great, sound amazing and having had ADATs I would rather shoot myself in the head than depend on Alesis for customer support.

It is night and day. My 2 cents.
Old 5th September 2005 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Scinx's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Just thought Id note that the Alesis Support Team (Robert Ray and the others) have done an excellent job with the two issues I encountered. It's one of the few companies Ive dealt with that had solid customer support. For instance, he even gave his home phone number to me so that I could contact him on the weekend due to an issue I was having. I still am surprised that this outfit has this solid support.

As for sound, the converters in the XR are different than the original HD24. I think they sound quite good personally. I haven't heard the RADAR so I cant comment there.
Old 6th September 2005 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
GP_Hawk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClickTrackAudio
I NEED to emphasize how great the IZ team are w.r.t support. When building our truck, I was planning on purchasing the units through HHB Communications in Toronto, and they had no problems with us contacting IZ directly to discuss all the myriad of details that you think of configuration-wise when buying such a product. Dale Anaka was my contact at IZ and I was simply amazed. Here I was, a person calling out of the blue asking questions on the unit, having not spent a dime with them, and Dale spent at least an hour patiently answering my questions and reviewing many configurations with me.

Fast-forward a year, and a few weeks ago we were showing off our mobile at a Trade show in Toronto. Barry was present and popped by the truck to see how things were going for us. When we mentioned a minor annoyance, Barry rolled up his sleeves and went right to work. He went into debug mode and was testing our configuration to see what the problem was and what could be done. Its rare when a president of a company personally comes to see how your install is going and even more rare to see that same president jump in and debug you problem. Any phone call we place through to the tech support line is handled quickly, and professionally. I've worked with Amjay (sorry if I misspelled your name!) quite a bit and he's also provided us with great service when we need it..even if its something basic that we should've known in the first place!!!

IZ has been absolutely phenominal before, during and after the sale. Their support was a huge consideration for me when spending this amount of money on a product and they have not made me regret the decision at all. In fact, when we can afford it, I've already let my business partner know that when it comes time to increase our recorder capability, RADARs are all I'm going to consider!!!

Cheers,
Click...
They are truly amazing. I could tell a story but I just bit my tounge and maybe I won't mention it. Anyhow, the IZ team was amazingly patient Maybe someday soon I will be ready for a purchase...........
Old 6th September 2005 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
ClickTrackAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One thing I should mention is that I have used the HD24 extensively for live recording. There are a few issues with it that sullied my experience.

1) The arming buttons are TOO DAMN SMALL when you're in a dark environment.
2) Alesis never did come out with a WORKING remote control. The BRC gets you there kinda, but there are some quirks with it that you need to be careful of.
3) When starting a new project (song), any tracks that you have armed are instantly disarmed.

I got around all of these by using my console to control the HD24 via midi. You couldn't do everything and there was no direct feedback to the console about what the recorder TRULY was doing, but you could arm tracks, start and stop recording and very quickly re-arm tracks when the unit disabled your arming selections. HAVING to get around them, though, was my issue.

I never used the A/D's on the HD24 as I used external preamp & A/D's and went into the HD24 digitally.

In live recording you only get one chance to get it right. If you're thinking about how to work around the gear, then you aren't thinking about your task at hand and leave something to chance. The HD24 had too many little annoyances for me to be satisfied with it as our primary recording source.

Yet another 2 cents brought to you by Click .
Old 6th September 2005 | Show parent
  #16
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Click, your comments are spot on!
Old 10th September 2005 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
yrplace's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Another possibility- Genex 9048

I wanted to offer another choice in this discussion, the Genex 9048- 48 track recorder.

I've had one for two years now and have found it a great solution to recording for Pro-tools without the hassle (and risk) of doing a remote w/ a PT rig.

Plus it does 48 tracks all the way up to DSD, has a builtin second drive bay for mirroring, and most impt the converters sound incredible.

When I recorded Brian Wilson at Carnegie Hall last October using Remote Recording Services, we ran a stock HD rig at 48 K and the Genex at 88.2 mostly as a demo for the truck.

When I got back and began mixing I spent a day using the 48 K pro-tools sessions since they were ready to go. After a day of struggling with the sound, I switched to the Genex and never went back. Oddly both playbacks sounded fine in the truck, but with both playing back out of my Apogee/ PT rig the diff. was obvious and quite stunning.

Not a truly fair comparison I know, but the Genex is also only around 6 rack spaces tall compared to a PT rig.

I guess the price puts it around or above the Radar, but it is 48 track and by the way the company has been just great. Theye even set me up with a loaner in London so I could record Brian's shows at Royal festival Hall for 6 nights with a support tech, all gratis.

Mark Linett
Old 11th September 2005 | Show parent
  #18
Moderator
 
jayfrigo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The HD24XR isn't fancy, nor does it inspire gear lust in those of us with expensive tastes, but what it does do, it does well. They have been bulletproof in the truck, super affordable, and sound good. You may not make your gearslutz buddies jealous, but you'll be able to do quality, reliable work and not spend yourself out of business. This, of course, in no way diminishes how cool the iZ or Genex products are.
Old 11th September 2005 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I have an Otari Radar 2 w/classic converters. You can find them out there used, still supported by IZ for $3-4K. It goes only to 48k, the operating system isn't as slick as the IZ Radar but it sounds the same and does most of the editing stuff. I don't believe the Radar 2 is upgradable to 96k or to the latest OS though I believe it may be possible to put nyquist converters in.

That said, it would be nice to be up to date but I like the system alot. It's very quick doing the basic editing I do, I don't have to mess with a monitor and the sound; well let's just say I don't feel like the recorder is the weak link in my recording train anymore.

It's heavy and a bit of a beast for remote work, probably more than the Alesis. FWIW, I hear Jim Williams does upgrades on the Alesis though I haven't heard anybody talking about that mod or A/Bing it with Radar.

Henry
Old 11th September 2005 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
If I were to go with alesis I would definitely look into getting it upgraded by Jim. I haven't heard the hd24xr mod, but I do own a masterlink upgraded by Jim and I am very impressed with his work and the sound of my masterlink now.
Old 16th September 2005 | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 
Les Issmore's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Getting an Alesis anything upgraded is a waste. The Alesis is very unreliable. We had one before we got our Radar 24 and it was nothing short of a nightmare.

We found our Radar 24 Nyquist at a very reasonable price as it had been a dealer demo/hire unit prior to our purchase. We have had it for 3 years now and it has run flawlessly almost every day without any failures at all.
Old 20th September 2005 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Addict
 
rlnyc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Issmore
Getting an Alesis anything upgraded is a waste. The Alesis is very unreliable. We had one before we got our Radar 24 and it was nothing short of a nightmare.

you had an alesis hd24xr and you found it to be a "nightmare"? i find that hard to believe. mine has run flawlessly for several years. what kind of problems did you have with it? even the hd24 yahoo discussion group hardly ever has anybody with big problems.

best,
rlnyc
Old 20th September 2005 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
My masterlink has been very reliable before and after the upgrade. No complaints here.
Old 20th September 2005 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Addict
 
edyer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My HDXR has been great. Not one problem.
Old 20th September 2005 | Show parent
  #25
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
re: alesis reliability

Hi: I have 2) masterlinks, and an hd24x, and have never had any problems w/ them. I have never heard radar so I cannot compare them, but alesis makes stuff that works quite well for me. (I even use the AD and DA convertors at 24x96k and they sound OK to me). Someday I will buy an Aurora 16, but until then I am going for those elusive "great performances" w/ what I've got.

john
Old 21st September 2005 | Show parent
  #26
LX3
Lives for gear
 
LX3's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey there, just wanted to jump to the defence of the HD24XR as well.

Mine is rock solid and sounds great (a whole lot better than the standard HD24). Loving it, and I'm very likely to buy another in the not too distant future.

Paul
Old 21st September 2005 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
TomΓ‘s Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The HD24 is a great machine. Excellent value for money, and it captures the vibe always.
Old 5th October 2005
  #28
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
I own an HD24XR that I use for weekly live recordings...

The tiny track arming buttons are absolutely no problem.
All you have to do press down and slide your finger across and all the tracks are armed. Takes only a second or two depending on how many tracks you are arming.

My HD24 has been rock solid. I've read stories where people switched over to HD24's BECAUSE of their reliability.

You DO need to get the fireport/firewire transfer for it though. That is an absolute requirement. And by judging from the hd24 discussion group, you DO need to use the correct hard drives. I've put 200+gig Seagates in mine, no problem.

The only thing to be aware of though is that Alesis is just a small group of people now (could fill an elementary school classroom)...and afaik there's no real development going on for the HD24 or like products...etc.etc.

Still though, if I had to do it all over again, I'd buy another HD24XR.
Old 5th October 2005 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Addict
 
rlnyc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by edyer
My HDXR has been great. Not one problem.
well, after i posted that i had no problems, of course, it made a liar out of me.

i have two problems with the HD24XR. first, the remote control has been acting up - it is supposed to go 5 seconds forward or backward but it has started going to wrong direction, and the locates are starting to go to zero instead of their marks. not good, but not the end of the world. second, one of the hardrives has started giving me an underflow error and stops dead in it's tracks. THAT sucks wehn it happens during a take.

any other owners of the HD24XR have these sort of problems, or ideas about solutions?

best,
rlnyc
Old 7th October 2005 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hi rlnyc,

I have not had those specific problems with mine but when I encountered other issues I was told to hold the track arm 9 and 20 buttons when turning the unit on for a full software reset. Then also holding Record and Play while powering up would give it a full hardware reset. Perhaps you already know this but it has always solved my problem (although it also resets all of the setting such as sync source, input source etc).

Best,
Silas
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