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New SM Pro Audio AB-8
Old 25th January 2009
  #1
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
New SM Pro Audio AB-8

New product coming from SM Pro Audio. Part of my life long quest for the greatest and cheapest gear. Think it'll be any good?

SM Pro Audio: AB-8 - 8 Channel Analog to ADAT Konverter
Old 25th January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I wonder how it behaves in terms of musical distortion when a hot signal with accesional peaks enters its transformer balanced input stage.

It should sound alot more musical then convertors with "peak limiting".
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Looks interesting. Wonder if the pres suck? I'd like to see their specs. Any price?
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It doesn't really have pres, just inputs. It's an 8 channel analog to ADAT converter. SM Pro Audio is usually low price stuff. It would be great if this thing turns out to be decent and cheap. We'll see, here are the features:

  • 8 x Balanced and line inputs (combo)
  • 8 x Passive level attenuators
  • 8 x Transformer isolated inputs
  • 24-bit 96kHz Delta Sigma converter
  • Internal and external sync
  • Word clock I/O
  • 44.1/48kHz operation
  • 1 RU rack-mountable chassis
  • Rugged metal construction
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Oh, I saw XLR inputs and a gain/level knob and assumed it had pres.

Oh well. I guess it depends on the price if it's worth it.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 10 years
Thats cool. Their old one was unbalanced inputs.
I hope they have good transformers. Transformers usually add color for better or worse.

I have their TB202 tube pre/comp and its pretty good.

BTW their old 8 ch converter was in the low $200s. Not bad.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
This is actually very interesting. A while back Joe at jlmaudio.com was about to offer a product or a kit that used his transformers, some resistors and the SM Pro PR8IIA card (which is used to add ADAT to their own microphone preamp units) to make a transformer balanced input to ADAT.

The transformers were wired backwards to step down 4 to 1 and the OPAMPs on the ADAT card were bypassed. Essentially, less some resistor padding and impedance matching - this would have been a transformer to AD converter directly.

Sure the transformer would colour it a little - but likely in a nice way. The argument was also had that Tape machines sounded great because of the ton of transformers in them.

Although I was relentless in asking about it - the project was on hold because of the availability of the PR8IIA cards. These cards were being sold really cheap though for about $100 US. The 8 transformers from JLM would have been about $350 and the resistors essentially free.

When I saw this box come out, I asked Joe if they had stolen his idea but I didn't hear back from him. I think Joe may have some loose association with SM Pro - although Joe's stuff is super pro as opposed to SM's just being pro in language.

CC
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
wirenut's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have had the A08 adat a/d converter for more than a year on my mobile setup and I have to say it is not bad at all. The converters are pretty clean into a tascam 1804. It was very easy to hookup too!
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
The last SM pro audio 8 schematic I saw looked an awful lot like a mackie XLR10

Bill
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Sorry to dig this up, but I am unable to find any information about this converter apart from this thread.

Has anyone any experience with this one, is it anywhere decent?
Does anyone know the price? (shouldn't be too expensive)

Thanks in advance!
Phybeau
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #11
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Blinddot's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm very interested in this unit, I'm thinking about modding it by changing transformers and bypassing the input pots, I wonder what kind of power supply it has, and also if the analogue section before the AD chip is just the transformer or it has more electronics to it.

I believe it costs 320USD

Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
According to the German supplier, which I contacted yesterday, the unit will probably be available within a few months and it will cost app. around 200 Euro.
So we have to wait for any user reviews for a little while more.
Hopefully worth it.
Old 6th January 2010 | Show parent
  #13
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Blinddot's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
200€?? that is cheap!! nice!

was that german supplier thomann or musikstore?

thanks man!
Old 6th January 2010 | Show parent
  #14
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rty5150's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
anybody compared the audio quality of this against the digimax d8?
Old 6th January 2010 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rty5150 ➡️
anybody compared the audio quality of this against the digimax d8?
AFAIK digimax d8 is a preamp + converter unit, AB-8 is converter only unit, no preamps in it

Old 6th January 2010 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinddot ➡️
AFAIK digimax d8 is a preamp + converter unit, AB-8 is converter only unit, no preamps in it

yeah, but looking for a head to head a/b. i am using my d8's as conversion only, but would love to see an alternative. what i would really love is an 8 channel adat i/o like the digimax fs with no pres for a cheaper price point. here's to wishing for that one.
Old 6th January 2010 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I contacted the supplier since it's not available at this point.
So it was more of an estimate of price and availabillity.

Here's what he wrote (in German)

vielen Dank für Ihr Interesse an SM Pro Audio. Der AB8 wird voraussichtlich in diesem Quartal lieferbar sein und wird ca. 200 Euro kosten. Bitee kontaktieren Sie unseren Vertrieb in Holland unter M Works um Ihren nächsten Fachhändler zu finden
Old 6th January 2010 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Hummm..interested indeed...If we are lucky......, maybe BLA Audio had something to do with the design/component choices..I remember sometimes back hearing they were in talks ( SM-Pro/BLA) about caloborating with future products..
Old 7th January 2010 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Seems the unit is already available in the US. ($ 309)
I guess/hope it won't be long until the first user reviews...
Old 13th January 2010 | Show parent
  #20
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ScoolED's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Very Curious

Anyone?
Old 15th January 2010 | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Bump... anyone?
Also very curious...
Eddy
Old 28th January 2010 | Show parent
  #22
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Blinddot's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
anyone?

Old 9th February 2010 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
anyone, anything?
Old 9th February 2010 | Show parent
  #24
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rty5150's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
dammit, at this rate, looks like a possibility that SMPA will end up discontinuing this product! sadness!
Old 9th February 2010 | Show parent
  #25
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ArnauTS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
hope i can buy one before they do
Already no one have this unit?
Old 9th February 2010 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
dammit, at this rate, looks like a possibility that SMPA will end up discontinuing this product! sadness!
That would be too bad...!

If I didn't need every single penny on building materials right now, I'd buy one and just put it on a shelf...
Old 9th February 2010 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by conleycd ➡️
The transformers were wired backwards to step down 4 to 1 and the OPAMPs on the ADAT card were bypassed. Essentially, less some resistor padding and impedance matching - this would have been a transformer to AD converter directly.
CC
I missed this comment!

thanks for you're comment about the mod, Im thinking about doing it my self, I believe I can buy some PR8IIAs. Do you have any tech info about this mod? a link on prodigy or something?

many thanks!


It looks like AB-8 is based on the PR8IIA, I'm wondering if they bypassed the opamps on the card as the suggested mod.

Looks like this other new AD conversion unit could be based on the PR8IIA card as well

SM Pro Audio: Q-ADAT - Analog to ADAT Converter

Old 10th March 2010 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Nut
 
ScoolED's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Huh

So the Q-Adat is the same as the AB-8 but unbalanced/no transformers?

I like the idea of balanced inputs but am curious about the quality/make of transformers...

Very tempted but I cant decide between these and the Aphex 142.
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Addict
 
erosconpollo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoolED ➡️
So the Q-Adat is the same as the AB-8 but unbalanced/no transformers?
It seems to be a repackaging of the AO8 to match the rest of their "Q" line of products.
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