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Originally posted by Anderton

No, but I should give a full-length explanation rather than a summary. I didn't harvest the thread, and didn't do totals of who liked or didn't like the 400F. And I don't know if my comments about the unsuitable performance with WDM drivers would put me in the "satisfied" or "with reservations" column.


Thanks for your explanation. I counted your response as entirely positive and said so. None of your nitpicks crossed the threshold of what I considered a reservation.

Originally posted by Anderton

The thing is, one tends to see things through one's personal experiences.


Hence the value of the format! Through a number of opinions, expert plus average users, we get a better picture than either side by itself. Yay Pro Review!

Originally posted by Anderton

WDM driver issues aside, I thought the sound was great, the construction was excellent, and I had none of the whine or weird noise issues people experienced


I don’t question your evaluation for one nanosecond. I accept and appreciate it and admire your work chasing down the Mac issue.

I suppose there could be many reasons why, in this unusual instance, the aggregate user experience did not allign with yours, and I understand your point that complainers are loudest. But it seems like the Pro Review is remarkably immune to this, and many participants began with a favorable predisposition. As I see it, this is when the format is at its best - when one side is modulated by the other.

In any case, you may have simply had the good luck to receive a good unit, it may have been pre-selected (I know you get a lot of lemons as well, but we’ll never know), it’s possible that things that do not bother you, with your expertise and “studio hygiene,” might bother less-expert users... again, the value of the format.

For example, and this is only one of several examples of this kind of divergence: the loud pop bothered many users, but with your expertise and studio hygiene (order of turning things on and off), it was a non-issue. So for those users who report this as a real problem, I accept that.

Originally posted by Anderton

Ultimately, my impression after taking in the entire universe of Mackie 400F info that I had -- from this thread, from other threads, from Mackie regarding rates of return and so on -- was that indeed, "although the majority of users reported no problems, a small group experienced weird FireWire 'whines' and some other issues that stubbornly resisted solutions. Oddly, this seemed to be pretty much a Mac-only phenomenon, and only certain Mac models at that." (In retrospect, it may not have been clear when I wrote that sentence that by "this" I was referring specifically to the whine.)


What wasn’t clear to me was not the meaning of “this,” it was the low weight you gave to thread participants in your universe. I feel like I’m a bigger cheerleader of the format that you created than you are! User after user reported problem after problem. I cannot recall a product that has generated so many reports of problems. If that carries less weight than Mackie-reported rates of return (arguably a promotional material), then why have the format?

Originally posted by Anderton

The ultimate indicator of customer satisfaction, I believe, is how many units get returned.

Again, then why not abolish user feedback, and simply post this number? Incidentally, there are a number of ways to manipulate a ‘rate of return.’

Originally posted by Anderton

Mackie told me that had less than 1% returns on the 400F and I take that statistic at face value

Fine. But why not give the participants in your own forum the same face value acceptance? You could just as easily be skeptical of materials provided by a company interested in selling stuff. Instead, you’re skeptical of thread participants, squashing a majority of them into an overal "minority".

Originally posted by Anderton

“The thing is, one tends to see things through one's personal experiences. WDM driver issues aside, I thought the sound was great, the construction was excellent, and I had none of the whine or weird noise issues people experienced (although at the time, I did not have Mac set up, only Windows machines...and frankly, my ADK desktop computer is rock solid and seems to play very well with all other hardware I use with it, from interfaces to camcorders). “


All the more reason to be interested in how this thing works for others. I completely accept your evaluation. But am I deluded for taking seriously all those accounts from regular users reporting problem after problem? Again, I can scrape away the crusaders, but there’s just report after report of problem after problem. To me, this seems vindication for the format, unless all these people are not to be believed. And if they’re not, then what’s the point? Why am I reading this? Why am I writing this? Life has to have some meaning, even on the internet.

Is d. gauss’s post above white noise I should filter away?

Should I disregard the recent post from a working musician who, among other things, describes his terminal brain tumor, admiration for the sound of the 400f, but transmission whine issues shooting into his speakers and a replacement experience? (Incidentally, I did not count him as an unhappy customer, and accept what he says at face value).

Anyway, I won’t belabor this. I’ve made my point. I truly admire all the work you’ve done on this and I accept your opinion, truly, just as I accept theirs. Where we differ is in whether we view the aggregate opinions of participants in that thread as a significant component in the universe of information or not.

-peaceloveandbrittanylips

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I have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that people have experienced problems, the 400F thread is a testimony to that. But what was particularly frustrating for me was that I couldn't duplicate the experiences so I could figure out how to solve them, which I believe is part of my role with as the "moderator" of the Pro Review. I never knew if people were having a computer issue, a something else issue, another FireWire device on the same bus issue, the phase of the moon, or all of the above. It would be possible to argue that you give a disproportionate weight to the people who experienced problems, given the universe of 400F owners. I'm just trying to be fair and take everything into account.


The ultimate indicator of customer satisfaction, I believe, is how many units get returned.

Again, then why not abolish user feedback, and simply post this number? Incidentally, there are a number of ways to manipulate a ‘rate of return.’ >>

Because simply posting the number doesn't explain what the problems are with people who DID/DO experience problems. Ideally, people would explain problems, and others would be able to contribute a solution. To me, THAT'S the value of a Pro Review: One complains not just for the sake of complaining, but to find a solution, which (let me reiterate) is why it was frustrating that I couldn't experience the problems people were having. I feel much better about the Satellite review (which is what this thread is SUPPOSED to be about, not the 400F) because I did in fact encounter the "Mac FireWire whine" issue, did find a solution, and was able to help other people. Hence, anyone who felt negative because of the whine could feel positive upon eliminating it.,

Although I'm sure some problems people experienced with the 400F were due to some design flaw in the 400F that made it incompatible with their system for one reason or another, I'm equally sure that some problems could be solved by something as simple as knowing about some little Apple utility, downloading it, and turning off Processor Nap...

Remember, we're dealing with FireWire here. Some camcorders just flat out won't work with some FireWire chip sets that work perfectly well with hard drives and other devices. Maybe it's a chip set thing. Maybe, like the problem I had with the Inspire, it's a graphics card thing. Who knows?

The fact that people are satisfied means that something CAN work. The goal is to find out what the difference is in the context between those who are satisfied and those who aren't, which is why both sides need to be represented.



Have I ever said anything that even remotely questioned the negative experiences of others? Just because I had a positive experience simply means that whatever was "wrong" with the others was "right" with me. The reason why I mentioned the ADK because it really does seem extremely happy about working with things. I'm not suggested everyone should go out and buy an ADK to see if their problems get solved, but it would be helpful to know if they're doing anything different.

>

Yes, but I'm much less skeptical of a company that allows the kind of stuff that's posted on their forums to be posted, and in fact sends people over to these Pro Review threads., which they know has a mix of positive and negative comments They also freely acknowledge that people have encountered problems, so they just don't seem like the kind of company that's trying to hide stuff.

>

Again...have I ever said anything that even remotely questioned the negative experiences of others? I have no doubt they're real, and in particular, it seems like d.gauss had just about everything go wrong that could. But taking everything into account, and I described my approach to determining that in the previous post, it still seems to me that those having deal-breaker problems are a smaller subset of the universe of 400F users. That doesn't make the people who participated in the 400F thread insignificant; but it doesn't make them the majority, either.
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But really...don't these posts belong in the 400F thread, which is still open and available for posting? After all, the Satellite is a third generation product, has a different chip set, serves a different purpose, and should be evaluated on its own merits. Maybe I should just move the 400F threads to the 400F forum and that particular discussion can be continued there...?

Just because someone doesn't like the 400F doesn't mean the Satellite sucks. But the other side of the coin is just because someone loves their Mackie mixer doesn't mean the Satellite is any good! It needs to be evaluated on its own merits. It's great having someone as thorough as Mike being so involved in the thread, and as more Satellites get out into the world, I'm sure we'll be hearing more Satellite-specific comments.

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Originally posted by Anderton

But really...don't these posts belong in the 400F thread, which is still open and available for posting?


Maybe I should just move the 400F threads to the 400F forum and that particular discussion can be continued there...?/B]

Please do. And you can move the posts about how the Pro Review things works to a general Pro Review discussion.

Do the moderator thing before someone who comes in late thinks that the Satellite has the same problems the Britney has with his 400F.

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Originally posted by Brittanylips

As for Mike Rivers, he makes no bones of his history with the company and appears to be on something of a Mackie crusade. So although I enjoy reading his posts and learn a lot from them, I am much more interested in what Craig has to say, and the views of regular users.

I'm not sure why Woody mentioned me as a reference (I'm still waiting for my dxb ;) ) but please leave me out of your rantings. What you interpret as a "Mackie crusade" is nothing of the sort. I pass on information, I study the documentation, I make measurements and report what I find that's relevant.

I can assure you that if I had a 400F and it had all the problems you say it has, I would have been discussing them with Mackie, not just pounding the pulpit and demanding a fix. I probably would have opened it up and tried to figure out what the problem is, and if I found something that I could modify, I'd pass it along. But I give up much more easily than you do. If the horse is dead, I return it or bury it.

Your experience is a useful data point in the 400F discussion. Your continuous ranting about corporate responsibility and responsiveness belongs elsewhere. Start a new thread. Start a new forum. Start a new company.

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One thing on how the 400f problems relate to the Satellite, or any other Mackie product, is how well Mackie does in the support department, which, of course, when things go wrong, is THE most important issue.

When things go wrong, does the company get you back on your feet swiftly, or do they put you on a merry-go-round of half-truths and empty promises?

So far, my experience has been less than stellar.

I was aware of the 3 main problems with the 400f (control room whine, phantom power whine, non multi client drivers), before I bought the 400f.

I contacted Mackie before I bought the 400f, because it wasn't clear to me that these issues were fixed, or whether they were just random or inherent. The problems had been going on for months and months, but many were apparently happy.

So Mackie told me that these problems had, in fact, been fixed months ago, that drivers were imminent, and I should go ahead and buy the 400f, and I will be one of the many happy 400f users.

Needless to say, I got a defective 400f, and while I should have bailed right then, got a replacement from the dealer , as Mackie told me to do, with the exact same problems!!

Seems odd, doesn't it, that so many with defectve units, also get a replacement that is defective, what are the odds considering most 400f users are so happy. One guy on the Mackie forum has had 4 defective units! And it can't be system related, because I believe it's been pointed out that the 400f doesn't have to be hooked up to a system to have these noise problems.

Also, Mackie has never said anything specific about the problem. Is it inherent or isn't it?

They always say something like "many users are happy". That doesn't mean anything in regard to the problems.

Other than the fix for the one whine on Macs, which doesn't help anyone on PC, I haven't found any specific info on the phantom power issue, nor has there been anything specific about the multi-client issue.

Perhaps insanely on my part, I haven't given up hope. I finally spoke to someone at Mackie who doesn't seem full of it. They were honest about the problem and seemed intent on making things right within this next week.

Luckily for me, if this fix doesn't happen, I still can return the 400f to my dealer and get my money back. Others are stuck on the merry-go-round.

P.S. This is no rant, just my experience so far, feel free to move it to the 400f thread, although I'm not sure that thread is about the 400f or Mackie anymore.

P.P.S. Also, I should point out that the phantom power whine is, in fact, on all 4 channels. Channel 4 is just much louder and more obvious.

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Originally posted by Anderton

I have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that people have experienced problems, the 400F thread is a testimony to that. But what was particularly frustrating for me was that I couldn't duplicate the experiences so I could figure out how to solve them, which I believe is part of my role with as the "moderator" of the Pro Review. I never knew if people were having a computer issue, a something else issue, another FireWire device on the same bus issue, the phase of the moon, or all of the above. It would be possible to argue that you give a disproportionate weight to the people who experienced problems, given the universe of 400F owners.


I’m not weighting their responses, I’m just counting them, pre-weighting (like pre-fader).

I accept that there are all sorts of reasons why some of the accounts of problems may not deserve much weight. But in giving three reasons for the length of the 400f thread, you end by saying “Third, although the majority of users reported no problems, a small group experienced weird FireWire "whines" and some other issues that stubbornly resisted solutions. Oddly, this seemed to be pretty much a Mac-only phenomenon, and only certain Mac models at that.”

In fact, a majority not minority of users reported problems, and the problems were generally not mac-related. So I was baffled and responded. Probably should have kept my mouth shut.

In any case, having read your response, to be accurate, why not say something like “Although a majority of users reported problems, try as I might, I was unable to replicate them with my unit. Furthermore, I have since found a solution to the mac-related whine problem plaguing some users. And given a reported rate of return of only 1%, I don't believe the problems expressed by early adapters in that thread represent overall customer satisfaction.”

Originally posted by Anderton

Because simply posting the number doesn't explain what the problems are with people who DID/DO experience problems. Ideally, people would explain problems, and others would be able to contribute a solution. To me, THAT'S the value of a Pro Review: One complains not just for the sake of complaining, but to find a solution, which (let me reiterate) is why it was frustrating that I couldn't experience the problems people were having.


Understood. I accept that and realize that finding solutions (and having access to someone like yourself for troubleshooting) is fantastic.

At the same time, if a product engenders report after report of bliss or grief, that’s helpful information. As much as the internet attracts complainers, I find that an awful lot of times, there’s wisdom in the sheer number and diversity of actual user experiences, and there’s an awful lot of bliss reported as well.

George Petersen told me a story about how he once published an article about a product from a major manufacturer, I think it was Tascam, that was causing a lot of grief. The company complained to him, but he stood by it and in the scheme of things, even though he explained that that’s not what MIX was about, he felt compelled to do it.

It’s almost impossible to imagine that what happened in the 400f thread would repeat. But the fact that almost every participant in the thread had some problem to report is itself worth reporting. Then, however you account for that, weight it, describe it, debunk it, explain it, put it in context, (post-fader) is however you choose to do it. But IMHO there’s a value in accurately representing the fact that a majority not minority reported problems, even if that’s not what the Pro Review is about.

Originally posted by Anderton

Again...have I ever said anything that even remotely questioned the negative experiences of others?


No, never person to person. But you do not accept their overall experience as a reliable sample (and maybe you're right, post-fader). You explain, for example:

- “a Pro Review thread is definitely going to attract more people who are having problems and are in need of a solution. I experience this every day with magazines: People write when they're upset about something.”

- "Mackie told me that had less than 1% returns on the 400F and I take that statistic at face value"

- "Third, although the majority of users reported no problems"

Originally posted by Anderton

it still seems to me that those having deal-breaker problems are a smaller subset of the universe of 400F users. That doesn't make the people who participated in the 400F thread insignificant; but it doesn't make them the majority, either.


Sure - it may be true that those having deal-breaker problems are a smaller subset of the universe of 400f users. And it may be true that the people who reported problems in that thread do not represent the majority of 400f users. But in describing that thread, it is demonstrably false that the majority of users reported no problems. Most did, however you choose to interpret it.

I guess if there's one thing we can agree on, it's that if you have any extra passes to NAMM, I wont be getting any of them.
:D

-peaceloveandbrittanylips

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Originally posted by Anderton

But really...don't these posts belong in the 400F thread, which is still open and available for posting


I thought about that but decided to respond in this thread since i was responding to something you said (and exists) in this thread.

I apologize for taking the thread off topic and hope that no one thinks my little rant has anything to do with the Satellite itself which, FWIW, looks pretty cool to me.

-peaceloveandbrittanylips

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I decided it was time to get away from the dock and the Mac, and take the Satellite to a new orbit: My Rain Recording laptop. So I pulled out the Satellite part, gathered up the AC adapter (the laptop has a 4-pin FireWire) and driver CD, and proceeded with Windows installation.

Now, a little background: My main laptop interface is the E-Mu 1616m, which is a nifty little guy. But when I'm doing gigs, I bring my PreSonus FireBox due to its small size and because it does all I really need it to do; the 1616m is more like having a portable recording studio.

But in writing this, I had an epiphany: I'm loathe to unplug the FireBox every time I want to use it, which kind of reinforced that the concept of being able to take the satellite away from the dock does indeed make sense if you're not lucky enough to own multiple interfaces.

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Here's a word of caution: Be patient. I don't know if it was just my setup or what, but there were long periods during the installation where nothing seemed to be happening.

I found this out when I ran the installer. There was an initial flurry of activity, then...nothing. I waited, and as there was no indication the installation process was continuing, I double-clicked on the setup file again. Then the screen from the first installation popped up, and soon my computer became a bunch of screens. Ooops.

I figured at that point I'd probably screwed things up, so I did a system restore and started over. This time I just let the installer do its thing. Sure enough, it went through all its steps eventually. You do have to be careful not to plug the Satellite into the FireWire port until instructed to do so, but that's about it.

Anyway, the Satellite drivers and control panel was installed. Here's what the control panel looks like.

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I was a little surprised that the console just gave sample rate and buffers; I expected a direct monitoring switch so I could hear the input without going through the program. The Satellite doesn't have the "from input/from DAW" switch, so you're not going to hear the input unless you boot up a program and monitor through it.

Okay, so I booted up Riffworks Standard and was able to go down to 128 samples, no problem. Riffworks reported this as a total in/latency of 5 ms, and I believe it: The delay didn't bother me at all. In fact, once I got over the "I don't hear any significant delay" reaction, I forgot I was monitoring through Riffworks. Cool.

Next up was a spin with Sonar 6 (yes, that's a 6, not a 5...more on this later). I checked the audio options, and sure enough, the Satellite drivers showed up. So I checked them, closed Sonar, rebooted with the new settings, inserted an audio track, and went for direct monitoring: Yup, worked just fine. And yes, I couldn't resist inserting the Vintage Channel Strip to see what it sounded like with guitar (and it sounds pretty good, BTW).

Only thing left to check for the evening was whether the Satellite showed up in the standard Windows sound devices setup, and it passed with flying colors there too.

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I don't have any mics here in my post-production/mixdown/mastering oriented studio that require +48V power (or as Mike pointed out, +34V from the Satellite). I use either dynamic mics, or condensers that already come with a power supply. But I did find that if nothing's plugged in to the inputs and you turn on the +48V switch with the instrument input selected, it sounds like a shortwave radio on acid. Switching over to the mic input cut the noise down to the point where I had to turn both the headphone volume and preamp up way high to hear anything, but this isn't really a fair test because there really should be some kind of termination plugged into the input jack. And of course, you'd have to be a little confused to be using an instrument input with phantom power...but we like to try weird things around here to see what happens :)

Anyway, it's getting late and I'll need to investigate further tomorrow. Mike, if you have a "pure" condenser mic that needs +48V, I'd be curious to see if you hear any tone or noise when the Satellite is separated from the dock and a mic is plugged into one of the mic pre ins.

I do think that a general rule of thumb applies in this situation as well: If nothing's plugged into an input, turn it down.

Oh, and one more thing before signing off. The Satellite runs extremely cool. I'm used to the FireBox, which runs pretty hot, so this came as a bit of a surprise. I wouldn't be at all worried using the Satellite in a hot ambient environment.

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Originally posted by Anderton

Mike, if you have a "pure" condenser mic that needs +48V, I'd be curious to see if you hear any tone or noise when the Satellite is separated from the dock and a mic is plugged into one of the mic pre ins.

I tried it with a KM84 and a U87, both of which supposedly want 48V, and they both worked, though I couldn't tell if they lost headroom or sensitivity running at the lower voltage. No whines, but of course with a mic plugged in rather than a silent termiantion, there was a little ambient noise. Still nothing resebling a whine.

Incidentally, I plugged in my phantom power tester - a couple of LEDs with 510 ohm resistors in series with them, which draw 5 mA each when connected to a standard phantom power source (48 V with 6.8K in series) - and it didn't light up. It seems that the phantom supply is current-limited at around 3 mA per leg, so there are surely some mics that it won't power.

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Question for Mackie. Are you guys ever going to sell just the 'pod' standalone? I can see buying that for location recording. I already have a 400f at the center of my studio, so the sattelite would be redundant.

Also, the underpowered phantom power is a deal breaker for me, my mics need full 48v. Fix that and sell the pod standalone, and I'll take a look.

Mandoman

PS. Just a quick word on the 400f. I'm going on my 4th unit (1st and 2nd C/R whine, 3rd wobbly pots). Despite all that, Mackie has been good about getting me replacement units despite long turnaround times. If the 4th unit doesn't fly, I'm off to greener pasteurs...

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Hi there everyone, regarding the less than full 48v of phantom power that Mike measured, here's some background info on that:

-This was a design decision, which was necessary to allow the pod, or the pod + dock combo, to be powered from Firewire bus power alone. If we had put out the full 48 volts of phantom, none of the pieces would have ever been Firewire bus-powerable (is powerable a real word?)

-More importantly, you will find, in your real world experiences, that 99.9% of any mic you own, will work correctly, with the same audio specs, at this lesser amount of phantom power, as they would with a full 48 volts. We would not have implemented it this way, if it was going to have adverse effects on people's real world use with their mic collection.

In fact, I can even say that some other products we make (and many others, from many manufacturers) also have less than a full 48v of phantom power, and it is never brought up, because it usually never effects the mics that work with it or their sound quality. And that was the case here too, this issue did not come up because someone's condenser mic did not turn work right, or sound right, it came up because Mike measured it.

It's a good example of how while specs are important, they do not always tell the whole story. For the poster saying the 34v of phantom is a dealbreaker, we encourage you to try a unit from your dealer, take it home, try it with your mic collection.

Thanks!

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Mandoman asked "Question for Mackie. Are you guys ever going to sell just the 'pod' standalone? I can see buying that for location recording. I already have a 400f at the center of my studio, so the sattelite would be redundant.

This was not something we're currently planning, but if there was enough demand, anything is possible.

Mandoman (or anyone else who has an opinion) what is the street price you'd feel was appropriate to pay, for the satellite unit by itself? What do you think the pod alone should cost relative to other boxes like the Presonus Firebox, the Focusrite Sapphire LE, etc. And if you feel it should cost more or less than these, how come?

Keep in mind if sold, it would still be bundled with Tracktion, just like the current pod + dock combo.

Thanks!

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>

What about using a voltage multiplier circuit (or is that what you're doing?). I realize you can't put out a lot of current with multipliers, and the switching oscillator might wreak havoc with the audio, but I'm just curious if there's a reason why a multiplier wouldn't be able to put out 48V.

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Originally posted by Dan Steinberg

Hi there everyone, regarding the less than full 48v of phantom power that Mike measured, here's some background info on that:


-This was a design decision, which was necessary to allow the pod, or the pod + dock combo, to be powered from Firewire bus power alone. If we had put out the full 48 volts of phantom, none of the pieces would have ever been Firewire bus-powerable (is powerable a real word?)

I figued that might have been the case, and I might have even said that. However, the button says "48V." It seems that too may people think that "48V" is shorthand for "phantom power" perhaps along the same line as they think that "phase" is short for "polarity."

I looked at the specs in the manual and, by golly, it says

Phantom Power +48V +/- 20%

You (just barely) meet your own specification, ignoring the fractions, with 38V being 48V -20%. Good thing it's not +20%. IEC also specifies 10 mA available for mic powering, and the Satellite seems to be current limited at 6 mA.

I fully understand about bus powering and its limitations, but to let people believe that it meets a well documented standard because it says "48V" and then saying "well, it'll probably work with your mics so don't worry about it" is just not very good juju. You may be correct, but you're not right.

In fact, I can even say that some other products we make (and many others, from many manufacturers) also have less than a full 48v of phantom power, and it is never brought up, because it usually never effects the mics that work with it or their sound quality.

I have an Onyx 1220, 1620, and 1640, and an 800R. All of them supply 48V (though admittedly all are AC powered). Why should this Onxy (the Satellite) be different?

this issue did not come up because someone's condenser mic did not turn work right, or sound right, it came up because Mike measured it.

Mike measured it because Mike likes to know that his equipment is performing the way he expects it to. In the Goode Olde Days, I never would hav questioned it, but this issue has come up with other contemporary products. The M-Audio MicroTrack, for example puts out about 30V and it was a big deal for a lot of people. They "fixed" it with a firmware update, changing the legend on the soft button that switches phantom power on and off from "48V" to some shortened version of "phantom power." Unfortunately you can't use the same fix on the Satellite. (supply a sticker for the button? ;) )

It's a good example of how while specs are important, they do not always tell the whole story.

It's also a good example (with the +/-20%) of how specs can mislead those who don't read and interpret them carefully. It's also a good example of the difference between a specification and an established performance standard.

Dan, you know I like and support you guys, and I don't mean to suggest that nobody should buy a Satellite because it doesn't provide 48V phantom power. That's an individual choice based on needs. But since 48V phantom power is important for some applications, I don't think it's a good idea to hide it behind a wide tolerance (does it ever get to 58V?) and then say that it doesn't matter most of the time. Your tolerance is more correctly stated as "48V +0 -20%, but that doesn't look very good, does it?

If the actual voltage didn't matter, then the IEC standards for P48, P24, and P12 (yup, all of those voltages are covered in the standards, but not what's in between) wouldn't exist. What's the point of having industry standads if manufacturers don't comply with them?

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Originally posted by Anderton

What about using a voltage multiplier circuit (or is that what you're doing?). I realize you can't put out a lot of current with multipliers, and the switching oscillator might wreak havoc with the audio, but I'm just curious if there's a reason why a multiplier wouldn't be able to put out 48V.

I'm pretty sure that they're using a switching DC-DC converter, and they probably chose one that was the best compromise with the amount of current that the Firewire spec allows them to draw (I don't know what that is) and the output voltage and current. Those things aren't terribly efficient, and they usually have a pretty hefty starting current. Even though once it's running it could run off the Firewire power, it might not be able to start.

Some computers, in an attempt to reduce potential damage from hot-plugging, limit the inrush current, so if its starting current exceeded that limit, it could shut the whole port down. That's what happened when I turned on the phantom power (really 48V - AHEM!!!!) in a TASCAM US-122 connected to my laptop computer. But it worked fine on the desktop computer, which obviously didn't try to protect itself (or had more guts).

So, yeah, I can understand why they designed it for a lower voltage. It's really the label and the speccification (thinking you have something that you don't) that bothers me.

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Originally posted by Dan Steinberg

Mandoman (or anyone else who has an opinion) what is the street price you'd feel was appropriate to pay, for the satellite unit by itself? What do you think the pod alone should cost relative to other boxes like the Presonus Firebox, the Focusrite Sapphire LE, etc. And if you feel it should cost more or less than these, how come?


Keep in mind if sold, it would still be bundled with Tracktion, just like the current pod + dock combo.


Thanks!



Seeing as the pod itself is pretty stripped down (ie, only 2 inputs, no midi, no digi in, limited io) and street
with the sattelite is $400, and based on competing products, I'm thinking $179 would be a good price point. Might not be a market as you said. If you guys revamped your Spike product with the onyx pre's, that would be another nice option, although I'm not thrilled with USB for audio.

Actually, for location recording, I'd like something similar to the new Zoom H4, that can record either to DAW or direct to flash cards, but in a more professional unit with real mic pres. Now that would be something with real market potential. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Mandoman

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with the sattelite is $400, and based on competing products, I'm thinking $179 would be a good price point. >>

I think that's about right, puts it just a little under the Inspire. But at that price, you'd really need a little mixer applet to compensate for the lack of the source/DAW switch and provide zero latency monitoring.

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Originally posted by Anderton

Agreed. I think most people would assume it was really +48V because "that's what the manual says" and "that's what the front panel says."



All fixed:

Satellite_P38.jpg


I did a little poking around to see what the Firewire spec for powering was. I didn't find anything really definitive, but a reasonably authoratative-sounding web site said that it could be up to 30 volts and up to 45 watts. My grant for this hasn't come through yet, so I didn't feel like sawing a Firewire cable in half so I could put a voltmeter on the wires and see what I got out of the off-the-rack Firewire card in my desktop computer, but I did note that the Satellite power supply is 12V. So clearly there's some DC-DC conversion going on in there. For whatever reason they chose it, they just chose one with an output voltage lower than 48V.

The Mackie powered mixers supplied 15V phantom power, but at least it didnt say "48V" on the switch or manual. And I just saw something on another forum about someone with a Brand B mixer that had 24V phantom power and an MXL mic. The mic didn't work with that mixer, but worked with another mixer.

Stand Up for Standards! I think I need a button that says that to wear at the AES show.

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