You know where the manual is so I’ll not reproduce that here.
Actually, this is the best manual I’ve ever seen, is only three and half pages :-))
In short, you get 8 mic/line analog inputs and 8 analog outputs. There is no internal hardware mixer, so you get all the inputs converted to ADAT and all 8 outputs converted from ADAT. You will need some optical fiber in order to play this toy 😛
Now, if you don’t know yet, ADAT is only 44.1 and 48Khz sample rate compliant, so if you want to record some 96 or 192Khz freaky rates, this toy will not help you out.
Got your attention? ‘Cause most of people are happy to get extra 8 channels for 200 bucks, but, when they realize they can’t record at 192Khz, they feel like they are cheated :-))
Well, if you record for audio CD or for movie audio track, this should be enough. However, if you have large hard drives and you feel like they are so, so empty inside, look elsewhere.
There are some online reviews telling you that the pre’s suck. Well, why don’t you try to listen to them and have your own opinion? I’m sure you will find one ADA8000 available for demo on your favorite shop. If you want to “see” some A/B graphs (with and without preamps), read this.
However there are two negative things I’ve observed on my ADA8000:
1) The “CLIP” led is lighting way too late (from my tests, when you see the red light, you are already clipping +5dBFS. This is lame. There are two reasons: first, the red led is lit by “analogical” means and is visible only when the current is high enough (too late). The other reason is bad design (see 33R, 2K7 and 12k resistors on the diagram). Hopefully I managed to fix this easy and you will see how in my mods post (I’ll publish that one in the next days).
2) The input potentiometers are way too coarse in the last half (exactly where you will use them all the time with microphones). In my tests, around 3 o clock, one “click” on the potentiometer will raise/lower gain by 6 dB, and this is NOT funny. Unfortunately there is not easy fix (the potentiometer mechanics are not easy to be modded), so your only option is to replace all of them. I think there are 5K log potentiometers, but double-check.
Hint about the clock sync: buy two optical ADAT cables and link both your in’s and out’s to your interface. Use your interface as master clock and your DA8000 as slave “ADAT IN”. No need for an extra coaxial cable. Also optical cables don’t give you ground loops, don’t they? 😛