We need a mini Avantis

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Hugh Hugh 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #109588
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    This general discussion forum has not had amy new activity for a week so to keep Keith employed I will float a new cover on an old plea.

    1) The A&H Avantis offers a 42 bus processing controller for expansion stage boxes. It features 24 faders but reduced the internal XLR I/Os to 12. With two ancillary ports along with connections to accommodate more than one expansion box: it is a perfect fit for todays SR protocols.
    2) For those of us that function very well with the SQ’s 36 bus architecture, a smaller footprint, scaled down version of the Avantis processing controller, IMO, has a much bigger market than the current Avantis. Reduce the XLR I/O count to 4 in & 4 Out with D-Live pres and keep the balance of the Avantis back end. The SQ5 face for the desk will keep a small footprint that is real important to maintain.

    There is a huge potential demand for a small format desk that is specifically designed to accommodate todays preferred front end stage and studio capture protocols. The Avantis is the first A&H offering to accommodate todays expansion stage box preferences and it needs to be extended to those of us that do not need 64 stage inputs but function very well with 48 or less. This is where the biggest market really is.
    Hugh

    #109592
    Profile photo of AdamsFlys
    AdamsFlys
    Participant

    Rather than an sq format with Avantis feature set, I would rather see an Avantis with one screen, and 12 faders. I’m okay with the 4in/4out like you mentioned, as long as I can keep my two card slots and all the other I/O that comes on the console. The biggest thing that I miss from the Avantis when I step up to an sq, is the large touch screen, and so I would rather keep the format of the Avantis, even if it’s a smaller console that could fit in the width of a standard rack.

    #109594
    Profile photo of IraBob
    IraBob
    Participant

    Hugh,
    I’m not familiar with “SR protocols” or “preferred front end stage and studio capture protocols”. Can I learn more about these somewhere?

    #109603
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Thank you IraBob for asking for a clarification of these terms.

    1) SR protocols is a short reference to ” established sound re-enforcement practices” (the work we do when at a console controlling the Front of House speaker stacks for live performance sound distribution)
    2) Front end stage and/or studio capture protocols are the various gear and processing elements necessary to deliver usable audio signals to speaker stacks or recording systems. The mics, converters, processing and monitoring needs are essentially the same process for both live performance or studio recording work.

    Today, for several reasons, expansion stage boxes, on stage or out in the tracking room, have replaced internal console XLR inputs for most professional protocols. Locating the pre & Output amps along with their A/D & D/A converters at the source, on stage, is pretty much a no brainer.
    1) Analog consoles required individual wiring between the mics and the console, (when the copper wire was bundled into snakes of various lengths the weight, expense and the effort to manage was considerable) they have been replaced today with the subject expansion stage boxes that require only one very small cat 6 cable for connection to the digital console.
    2) Another factor that has increased the use of A&H DX expansion boxes is that a DX168, featuring D-Live pres and converters, are a strong up grade from the stock SQ pres. The “prime” I/Os that require a DX32 housing require a considerable investment, however they offer a new world sonic standard for detailed transparency.
    Hugh

    #109606
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    AdamsFlys and I agree about double I/O card slots. I am not able to render an opinion about a single Avantis large screen since I have never worked with one, however I do use two 24 inch touch screens in my studio control room for Waves and DAW mixing activities. Given the small track count, generally less than 8, I could get by with 8 faders however I think it will be important to maintain a 36 bus limitation in order to clearly separate the lower channel count needs of a mini class Avantis. The unknown critical factors about the elements a 42 bus design offers, prevents for the most part much speculation about the increased processing options the Avantis offers over the SQ, and for that matter the degree to which they will be important to small channel count users Like me.

    My SQ5 offers more than I need for my live and studio capture needs. My primary complaint with the SQ is the fact that the internal pres, outs and converters are not up to par with my DX168 sonically. In the event A&H will recognize the importance of up grading the internal pres to the DX168 D-Live standard, a small footprint mini Avantis will be a marketing home run. Ultra high sonic quality at approachable price points has become the A&H standard and it needs to be retro fitted to fit the small channel count, discriminating user market.
    Hugh

    #109611
    Profile photo of Tobi
    Tobi
    Participant

    Hi Hugh,
    I am a but confused… I thought the sonic quality of the SQ is to such an excent outstanding great, that no improvement of any kind is needed?? You are really confusing me right now…

    Also I would be interested what data you have analysed regarding the needs of the market.

    Best Regards,
    Tobias

    #109614
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Tobi,The A&H SQ5 that I own and use offers “World Class Processing” and good but not the best Pre/Out amp and converter system that A&H offers. (The DX168 with D-Live I/O system & DX32 with the “Primes” are much better) This has consistently been my posted opinion since my first posts several years ago in this and other forums. Apparently I have not worded my post in this thread with enough clarity: or, you have difficulty comprehending the English language. In either case read my posts in this thread again, a bit more carefully.

    The fact that A&H DX expansion boxes are not available for immediate purchase and a 6 month up to more than one year waiting list exists is a very strong premise for assessing their market demand. For those of us that have, or will, purchase the subject DX expansion boxes, wasting the “A” level of faders on the internal I/Os that we do not use is far less than ideal. The deductive reasoning inference is that a comparable market for a “Mini Avantis” processing controller, (Such as the one I have described) will have a similar, if not greater, market potential especially if the D-Live pre system is featured in it’s limited number of internal XLR I/Os.
    The assumption that I am making is that a high quality, small footprint, 36 bus mini Avantis will have a market potential well beyond the existing SQ5. I will welcome any well thought out and clearly worded opposition to this premise.
    Hugh

    #109675
    Profile photo of Tobi
    Tobi
    Participant

    Shortage of things is currently not something for the market-analysis… maybe you have heard, that there is something called “chip shortage” around for some time?

    So — If you just want a DX32 with PRIMES, then no Mini-Avantis is needed. Get some and use with SQ.

    -1

    #109708
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    I can see the advantages of a “half size Avantis.” It could fit nicely between the SQ5 and the DLive with a C3500 – just like the regular Avantis fits well between the SQ series and DLive.

    I doubt Allen and Heath has any interest in building one. It seems like it would only take sales away from existing consoles and not create any new demand, but that is just my personal opinion and I have no idea what motivates A&H.

    #109717
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Thank you Brian for your thoughts about the possibility of a new mini Avantis. You correctly assessed the reality of uncertainty pursuant to A&H new product development, however the fact remains that they do endeavor to address gaps in their product line up. The Avantis is a clear testament to this fact as it offers a much bigger foot print with bigger double screens than the SQ line however the primary difference is, it introduced a dedicated processing controller for expansion stage boxes. My plea for a mini Avantis is centered around the following observations.
    1) A&H currently is the industry leader in offering world class XCIV FPGA processing and optional D-live pres in their DX168 or even better cutting edge detailed transparent capture with their new “prime I/O system”. These sonic wonders are delivered with approachable price points.
    2) The second consideration is the reality of scale as related to demand for a mid sized, 42 bus, 64 input processing console as opposed to a much smaller footprint 36 bus desk that would be a better fit for most project studios and the live performance needs of most week end performers. Think about the market potential of a mini Avantis that could be optionally ordered with either 16 internal D-Live pres (Like the DX168) or 8 Prime I/Os or, preferably, even smaller configurations of these wonderful pres that A&H might choose to offer.
    None of us should ever under estimate the market demand for world class sonic performance in small format packages and the buyers ability to pay for it.
    Hugh

    #109762
    Profile photo of Tom
    Tom
    Participant

    I like AdamsFlys idea of the mini advantis with the beautiful screen. i’m currently in the market for a digital mixer and would jump at something like that if priced right. Happy to use stage boxes rather than drag cables back to the mixer anyways.

    Tom

    #109765
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Tom, We are all pretty much fishing in the dark trying to land the perfect desk to accommodate our work. A scaled down version of the Avantis will need to offer a footprint half, or less of the original and obviously fewer functional features. The touchscreen that is more than twice the 7 inch version offered in the SQ enables the new “continuity UI” processing controls A&H has developed. I have not had an opportunity to work with this system but it looks very promising; perhaps Keith could bring us up to date with relevant data about it’s reliability &/or performance track record. I think it could be a very big improvement over the SQ’s older processing screen system.

    Reducing the inputs from 64 down to 48 with a 36 bus design is a no brainer but maintaining the ability to reach 48 inputs with expansion stage boxes will need two I/O ports. One for a DX exp. card and the other for either a Waves or Dante card. If we cut the Avantis in half we will still have 12 faders with 6 layers assignable for 48 inputs, 8 DCAs &/or other groupings. The stereo single AES in with two out seems about right and I manage quite well with the SQ’s 8 soft keys. Identical multiple point metering & peak detection, the existing HP circuit with a talk back XLR along with the A&H internal USB recording protocol will be needed. It must also be said that the remote WIfi control has become a ubiquitous necessity for trolling the room after the crowd is seated and the concert begins.

    I am totally convinced a secondary factor needs to be deployed with a mini Avantis for discriminating small channel count users. We already have an entry level SQ5 so a mini Avantis will not be a competing entry level desk with it’s technological feature up grades and to that end: Offer 8 internal DX I/Os with the stock Mini and a 2K up grade to 8 “Prime” I/Os for world class sonic delivery in either a project studio or for live concert work. For performers that control their own SR from the stage this feature option will be a home run. This will put the mini in at about the 6 to 8 K MSRP price point range that is about half of the Avantis 14K. Pricing speculation is always a shot in the dark, but it sure is fun to talk about it.
    Hugh

    #109799
    Profile photo of Mr. knobs
    Mr. knobs
    Participant

    “My primary complaint with the SQ is the fact that the internal pres, outs and converters are not up to par with my DX168 sonically.”

    Are there any measurements showing the difference in performance? Back when the M32 came out there was a decent review and write up in one of the European magazines showing some performance differences between the X32 and M32. I’m wondering if there is something like that available for these AH products?

    Given what I know about human perception, I tend to need some kind of quantifiable differences on paper to show that it’s not just my wishful (or remorseful) thinking that is driving my dissatisfaction with a given product.

    #109831
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Thank you Mr. knobs for your post: The need for an internal linear front end capture capability is the primary reason I have been requesting a revised small footprint processing controller for several years. Unfortunately the detailed info you require is most unlikely to come from A&H, the only source that would be credible. There are several factors to be considered;

    1) The SQ line is a bold entry level product that introduced FPGA/XCIV core world class processing at an entry level price point. IMO it never was intended to sonically be a small entry level D-Live. Several years ago when I ordered my SQ5 and DX168, the official A&H line pursuant to the SQ I/O system was “it is a new design specifically for the SQ, it is good but not the same as the D-Live I/Os in the DX168”. Adding a DX168 EXP Stg Box pretty much brings the SQ up to the D-Live sonically for limited channel counts.
    2) Another factor to consider is the fact that A&H is always actively exploring improved elements that can have major effects on product performance. Case in point is their 32 bit “Prime”converters in their new “Prime” I/O system. It is optimized to be a perfect match for their FPGA/XCIV core processing. It stands alone as a new sonic world standard for detailed transparency: however much of todays music production will not be improved with this level of clarity or for that matter a DX168. The 24/48K Behringer world is testament to that fact.
    3) The variables involved between measurable VxS perceivable have often been debated in these threads but IMO “If it sounds good, it is Good” is my mantra. I placed one of my KV2 EX10 wedge monitors 16 ft. from a Flea 47 next mic and found I could get a cleaner, and considerably hotter out put with the DX168 as opposed to the std SQ I/O system. After adding a DX32 loaded with Prime I/Os, the increase in detailed transparency was instantly obvious.

    I use the primes for about all of the recording in my project studio but for several reasons I prefer the DX168 for live concert SR and recording. I have been working with high level acoustic performers for more than 50 years and the brutal irony is I did not have this quality of gear to record Doc Watson, Tony Rice or J D Crowe in their best, most productive years. It is abundantly clear to me that A&H is establishing a strong foothold in the discriminating acoustic music world and given the fact that this activity seldom if ever requires more than 48 channels their best future market potential is in high quality, small packaged options. A small mini Avantis with 8 “prime I/Os” will be a no brainer for Symphony recording or high end project studios. Discriminating week end acoustic performers may prefer A DX168 and possibly as few as 4 internal I/Os on their mini deck, either way the ability to optionally style their mini desk to their needs already exists in the A&H product line Quiver.
    Hugh

    #109996
    Profile photo of Tom
    Tom
    Participant

    I suppose a mini aventis would be directly competing with a Yamaha QL1. Similar form factor.

    Tom

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