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Adat D/A converters


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(Partial resurrection of earlier topic)


Our local theatre uses SFX in its main playhouse & studio, via Echo AudioFire external sound cards. The main & spare 12-channel units in the playhouse have both had PSU issues (as well as a design flaw which puts enough ultrasonic noise on the outputs to light up "signal present" lights on anything they feed) & the 8-channel one in the studio has just died. Echo got out of audio some years ago, so direct replacement isn't an option.


Having failed to find anything equivalent we've just bought a Focusrite 18i20 for the studio. It's massive overkill to just convert USB to 8 TRS jacks, but I'm hoping Focusrite will still be around if or when we have problems.


For convenience we are considering getting another two 18i20s (main & spare) for the playhouse, but would need an ADAT D/A for the 2nd 8 channels. There seem to be lots of A/Ds around with fancy mic preamps, but rather fewer with D/As. The most cost-effective (cheap) & least overkill I've come across so far is the Behringer ADA8200, but ideally we would like an off-the-shelf box with just ADAT in & 8x XLR or jack out. Any suggestions or alternatives people can recommend?

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The Behringer is pretty much the only choice in that price range if you want to buy new. If you don't mind looking at used gear then I've seen Focusrite Octopres go for good prices or you may find an old Firewire audio interface that can be used as a D/A in stand-alone mode.
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I have the Behringer UMC 18/20 and ADA 8200 as my main interfaces in my home studio and they are fine. for less than £300 the pair.


Rumour has it that they all have the same chips inside and it is the name on the front and final finishing that makes the price difference.





Edited by GaryNattrass
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Thanks for suggestions. We've looked at Octopres, but (ignoring all the high-class mic amps that we don't need) we were having trouble working out which of the various versions had ADAT-in &, more importantly, TRS jack or XLR outputs, rather than a multipole connector needing yet another interface box. Price is less of an issue than convenience & reliability. The ADA8200 is good for price & convenience, but having had to mend several cooked power-supplies I'm a bit nervous about using Behringer for anything mission-critical. A fellow BR member is very kindly giving us an ADA8000, which will solve the back-up problem.
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I have an ADA8000 bolted onto the back of my 01v96 desk and I honestly can't tell the difference between the audio coming of that and the desk itself. Even test tones sound fine with no distortion in the waveform.


The only thing that really goes wrong on them like Sandall has said is the PSUs but it's trivial to replace the capacitors.


All the best


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