Audio quality

The most notable part of this device is the quality of its preamps and converters. The outputs can reach impressive volume levels, with high dynamics and an absolutely transparent and always sweet sound. Line inputs are clean and with a huge dynamics reserve. The two guitar inputs, returning a crystalline sound full of resonances, are worthy of a good professional DI box.

The mic preamps have a smooth and clean sound, extremely transparent and never harsh, something particularly suitable for recording acoustic instruments. They can become noisy at maximum gain, therefore to be reserved for emergency situations. The safer level to be used without any hint of noise (about 3/4 of the level knob run) still offers a considerable amount of gain. The headroom remains very wide: it is very unlikely to drive the inputs into distortion during normal use.

In case of very hot level sources, however, you can engage the pad key included on each channel. This is also needed to transform the microphone inputs into line inputs. This also means that the preamps are always active, even with line connections. But they are so transparent not to represent an issue.

Phantom power can only be activated on adjacent pairs of microphone inputs, and isn’t available to individual channels. This is usually not a problem, due to the “transparency” of the phantom power with most dynamic microphones, but it is a good idea to check a microphone’s specs chart before connecting it.

It may be interesting to note that Yamaha has used top-notch components for these circuits - for example, preferring true converters to consumer codecs - and it is the same circuitry found in their professional mixers. The bare number of features having clearly been considered less important than pure sound quality – which is perhaps the best in this price range.

intro | overview | software | effects | quality | conclusion