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Home » Hardware » Interfaces » Breakout box for ADAT ports on 2882 (is there a best ADAT breakout box available?)
Breakout box for ADAT ports on 2882 [message #86478] Sat, 04 February 2017 15:17 Go to next message
drkam6 is currently offline  drkam6
Messages: 4
Registered: February 2017
Location: Canada
Junior Member
Hello,

I've been a happy owner of my MH 2882 +DSP for several years already. Now I want to make use of its ADAT ports, especially its 8 extra inputs.

I am looking for the best suitable breakout box, something that will still allow me to use the 2882's mic preamps.

I've just tried a MOTU 8Pre and while it connects fine to the 2882 via ADAT, it already has mic pre's which supersede the 2882's.

Could you please recommend an ADAT breakout box for this purpose? I've read about the Alesis AI3 (20-bit only), and the Frontier Tango24. Both these units do not have mic preamps, but have already been discontinued. Any other suitable boxes out there? Which one is the best?

Thank you for your replies!
Re: Breakout box for ADAT ports on 2882 [message #86479 is a reply to message #86478] Tue, 07 February 2017 00:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
bj is currently offline  bj
Messages: 388
Registered: July 2011
Senior Member
Quote:
I am looking for the best suitable breakout box, something that will still allow me to use the 2882's mic preamps.
I've just tried a MOTU 8Pre and while it connects fine to the 2882 via ADAT, it already has mic pre's which supersede the 2882's.


It doesn't supersede the preamps in the 2882 -- it augments them.

So with the 8Pre, you have 16 mic pres - 8 on the 2882, and 8 on the MOTU. You might need to have the MOTU connected via USB to set up the routing, but you can definitely use it as an expander for the 2882.

Lots of folks make converters with ADAT outputs. You could also just add another 2882...
Re: Breakout box for ADAT ports on 2882 [message #86480 is a reply to message #86479] Tue, 07 February 2017 14:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
drkam6 is currently offline  drkam6
Messages: 4
Registered: February 2017
Location: Canada
Junior Member
I connected the 8Pre to the 2882 via their ADAT ports, which gave me 8 more analog inputs. Then I connected one of my analog synths into the 8Pre's TRS/XLR combo ports.

Because the 8Pre is the analog connector, the signal passes first through the 8Pre's preamps, then goes into the 2882 via ADAT. Just to check thereafter, I connected the analog synth back into the 2882 directly.

The difference was notorious. The analog synth direct into the 2882 sounded clear and detailed, and going through the 8Pre it lost clarity.

I do not want to use another audio interface, I'm quite happy with the 2882. With that said, buying another 2882 is out of the question. The 2882 has those ADAT inputs which are currently wasted, and just a simple breakout box (without mic pre's) would do the correct job.

My question is, which breakout boxes without mic pre's are still available out there? Because ADAT is pretty much dead, these breakout boxes are now rather obscure and esoteric.
Re: Breakout box for ADAT ports on 2882 [message #86481 is a reply to message #86480] Tue, 07 February 2017 17:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
bj is currently offline  bj
Messages: 388
Registered: July 2011
Senior Member
The thing is that the drop in quality that you experienced is not just because there were mic-pre's in the signal path. It has to do with all of the analog and ADC circuitry. I think you will be hard pressed to find an A/D -> ADAT that sounds as good as the 2882 for less money. There are plenty of devices that do A/D -> ADAT but the cheap ones sound cheap.

An example of something you can try would be:

https://www.amazon.com/BEHRINGER-ULTRAGAIN-PRO-8-DIGITAL-ADA 8000/dp/B000GEPC44

or

https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-ADA8200-BEHRINGER-ULTRAGAIN -DIGITAL/dp/B00E87OLFQ/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

It is cheap enough -- $199.

But it is not going to sound like a 2882. Other than that, everything else I can find is more expensive than a 2882, and most of them don't sound as good anyway...


Re: Breakout box for ADAT ports on 2882 [message #86485 is a reply to message #86481] Sun, 12 February 2017 13:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
drkam6 is currently offline  drkam6
Messages: 4
Registered: February 2017
Location: Canada
Junior Member
Thank you for the info. Yes, I read about the Behringer and knowing about its quality I didn't take it as a candidate for the ADAT breakout box.

Which leads me to another question - What was the original aim for MH in adding the ADAT ports on the 2882? Back in the day there may have been more options; it would have been great if MH had created a dedicated ADAT breakout box with the suitable quality compatible with the hardware interfaces - I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

About the A/D -> ADAT conversion, I read that a company called Black Lion offers a mod for the non-pre's breakout boxes - Alesis AI3, Frontier Tango24 - which improves the conversion and audio quality. Again the posts found date from 10 years ago.

For the moment I'm using an Ashly LX-308B as submixer, connected to two of the 1/4" analog inputs of the 2882. The Ashly's pre's are surprisingly clearer and better than the MOTU's, and blend decently with the 2882's. Thus in theory, the 2882 could be upgraded to 40 mono/20 stereo inputs if using two LX-308B's on the 2882's 1/4" inputs plus the suitable ADAT breakout box. All that and still have the 4 XLR ports freely available on the 2882. This is huge, and I'm more than interested.

[Updated on: Sun, 12 February 2017 13:53]

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Re: Breakout box for ADAT ports on 2882 [message #86905 is a reply to message #86485] Fri, 04 January 2019 17:44 Go to previous message
drkam6 is currently offline  drkam6
Messages: 4
Registered: February 2017
Location: Canada
Junior Member
Two years later, I want to add a solution to my original question.

After a long investigation, I found out about the Swissonic/Sonorus ADAT converters. These units seem to be pure breakout boxes and use the 2882's mic preamps. I just needed the AD24 Mk2 for the balanced analog inputs, and it was a perfect match for the 2882, working with full clarity and detail of sound, zero noise. I also have the DA/24 just in case I ever need extra analog outputs.

These Swissonic/Sonorus boxes are extremely rare nowadays, so they are worth gold for me. Got them about a year ago, couldn't be happier.


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