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Cranborne Audio 500R8
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angelie angelie

« compact ( 4 HE ) USB multi channel Interface with 500 series slots  »

Published on 07/20/21 at 05:39
Value For Money : Excellent
Audience: Advanced Users
Note : This review is after 10 days of use so i expect more options or tricks to find.

I got this machine with eight camden preamps and four N22 breakout boxes as a gift because my previous audio interface broke down after many years of service.
They knew i love the small build of the 500 series and if done correctly you can stack a lot of equipment in less space which in the end cleans up your studio.

This unit is mainly the replacement of my audio interface and thus for recording purposes with the extra 500 series which can be used as both input device as well as an effect device .

I think this unit is one of a kind in the pond of 500 series racks. The standard option to use breakout boxes or standalone preamps with CAST ports is game changing. No clutter and millions of cables to make a connection with these preamps or breakout boxes and you got two channel in and two channel out at the same time over one CAT 5/6 cable. So you actually need only 4 CAT cables to handle 8 channels and some return channels.

Due the adat interface inside you can add up to two multi mic preamp interfaces like focusrite octo preamp giving you 24 inputs and 16 outputs. ( note : 16 because the 500r8 does not have multi outputs only the stereo daw out ( ** I think that you also can use the direct outputs of the camden mic pre amp but i did not test that yet )

The rack is build according to very high quality standards. Nicely done and very heavy for what is inside.
The sound is clean ( maybe to clean but i think my previous interface was not ... it was also a lot cheaper )

The monitor section with talkback is very nice and made me take out the monitor / talkback rack i used because it was no longer necessary. It supports dynamic mics as well as condensor mics ( don't use Ribbon mics on that port because their is 48VDC on that port all the time )
It has 2 monitor outputs and the ability to switch between them.

There is so much more to explain and tell but i guess it would be more like a book than a review :facepalm:


So the machine it self is a big plus. And even do it is a wonderful machine i have some pointers to make.
these pointers are not pros and cons but just my opinion what i like and what i like to see
( so basicly this last past is more for Cranborne Audio :clin: )


I think the rack unit is very solid . It is more like a tank than a rack.
It is also very clean without big logos that will distract you while working with it.
Good job Cranborne Audio

The toggle switches :

I have my doubts about the switches. They look cool and shiny but feels a bit fragile. they toggle and i can't help to think if it was better to use push buttons. but like i said i work with this for 10 days so they still can prove me wrong.

Indicators :

I actually mis some indicators of the chosen slot function for example : red for cast , orange for DAC etc
In the dark you can not see which function is chosen.
VU meters are a bit to bright but that is just personal taste ( a smal switch on the back of the machine that can set the brightness would be great as a future option as well as dimmable status/ slot function leds. )

- The following has nothing to do with the rack but with the Camden modules. -
The stand-alone preamps have nice small indicators . The Camden modules have none.
And this hurts me to say.

In the dark you can't see the status of anything . no indicators for phase inverse, 48v or the the selector for mic, line or Direct. ( this is really a downside : Sorry guys )



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