I finally found a CLM DB8000s for sale second hand, and so now have 8 channels of Very High Quality mic preamps with limiters and analogue-to-digital convertors. This is a very classy piece of kit, a marvel of serious engineering and uncompromising quality, handmade in Scotland (from gurrrderrrs!) with a 4mm solid aluminium front panel covered in beautifully sculpted custom designed knobs and LEDs. Alas, the company CLM Dynamics no longer make audio gear, deciding that there wasn't enough money in it, but continue with other electronics endeavours. Their website is no more; here is an archive of how it was.
Good solid kit like this is a joy to use, and Gearslutz quite rightly hold it in high regard. Being so rare, the value should only increase :-) Only you won't pry it from my cold, dead hands! I'd wanted one since reading Sound On Sound's review, particularly since it had limiters on each channel and an ADAT port to interface directly with my RME Hammerfall DSP soundcard. Along with a pair of Frontier Tango24 8-channel 24-bit A/D-D/A convertors, this now brings the studio's channel count up to 26in+18out - I just need to be sure the music computer can handle all that traffic!
Another inspired feature is the M&S decoding/encoding present on all channels. The venerable Mike Skeet explains in the manual a novel way to control the width of any stereo signal by encoding to M&S, widening/narrowing by simply using the gain control, and then decoding back to stereo again. I look forward to making use of this with the M&S recordings I've been making with my Rycote+AKG rig and also some Sontronics figure-of-8 mics I recently acquired.
© copyright Malcolm Smith 2007-02-18 - last updated 2007-06-11 - links verified 2007-02-18