SPL has launched its Madison 16+16 Channel Studio I/O System and Crimson USB Audio Interface & Controller. Here's all the details in SPL's own words:
As implied by its full name, Crimson combines a USB interface with high-quality pre-amps and a separate, fully-featured monitor controller, creating a cost-effective, portable package. Play, playback, record, convert, control, and listen with a single device. Add a DAW and you've got yourself a truly professional recording setup with outstanding SPL performance to boot at a hitherto unachievable price point.
How is this possible, though? To create Crimson, SPL redesigned its tried-and-tested circuitries, creating a new, fully- integrated design. This, together with new production methods, enabled the company to break through previous price barriers to create a boutique-level product at a fraction of traditional German manufacturing costs.
So what exactly does this keenly-priced product offer, then? The 24-bit/192kHz-capable Crimson packs an amazing amount of features into its conveniently compact and attractive desktop footprint, that's for sure. With its 30 I/O channels (10 recording and 20 playback); +/-18V operational voltage (for professional levels up to +24dB); two boutique-level, discrete Class A, +/-30V high-voltage mic pre-amps; two Hi-Z instrument pre-amps; two separate headphone amps (individually controllable); dual stereo speaker set connections (and control); monitor signal mix function (from playback and recording paths); MIDI input and output; plus USB 2.0, S/PDIF input and output, Crimson creates professional sound at an incredible price!
Moving more upmarket, broadcast and sound reinforcement professionals have relied on the still-unsurpassed Multichannel Audio Digital Interface (MADI) for over 20 years, thanks to its jitter-free and reliable transmission of multiple audio channels per single wire using low-cost cabling (up to 2km in length); now, with MADI emerging as the new studio I/O standard, the Madison 16+16 Channel Studio I/O System is perfectly positioned to integrate into any home, project, or commercial studio or scoring stage by combining state-of-the-art conversion, ultra-reliable clock, and MADI processing with a simple- to-operate, easy-to-expand, and awesome-sounding system housed in a compact 1U rack-mountable unit offering 16 input and 16 output channels -- hence its full name.
Quite simply, Madison makes integrating professional analogue equipment into larger multichannel infrastructures a breeze, bringing the sought-after analogue SPL sound to MADI-equipped digital consoles, audio routers, or PC MADI cards -- any professional audio routing infrastructure, in fact -- for the first time. Its all-important, built-in MADI port offers pristine and near- zero-latency digital transmission of up to 64 inputs and outputs with galvanic insulation (via four units connected on a single MADI port) making Madison the ideal front end for anyone serious about pure conversion of multiple audio channels.
In true SPL style, special features found in Madison all add up to a price and value per channel ratio that's hard to match elsewhere. These include: 16 superb-sounding AD and DA convertors with a sophisticated 18V analogue section (36V audio rail for +24dBu professional level); 44.1 to 192kHz operation (with ±10% varispeed); SPL clock-shop (for jitter-free operation); ultra-compatible, always-operational MADI I/O (with ultra-low conversion latencies); four directly-selectable reference levels (15/18/22/24); simple operation and setup (directly from front panel controls); ergonomic, distance- readable meters (for clear level status indication of any I/O channel); fan-less, silent lower-power design (30W max); redundant power supply (optional); and four industry-standard (TASCAM) D-Sub analogue eight-channel multicores, making Madison the most analogue digital interface ever produced, perhaps? Possibly, yes!
Pricing and Availability:
The Crimson USB Audio Interface & Monitor Controller (Model 1250) and Madison 16+16 Channel MADI Interface (Model 1260) will be available to purchase worldwide from any SPL dealer with a RRP of €549.00 EURO (including German VAT)/$725.00 USD and €1,499.00 EURO (including German VAT)/$1,899.00 USD, respectively. Availability is scheduled for June 2013.
Prior to our full review, we take a listen you ask the questions