I am married to the Presonus ecosystem, Studio One, Faderport 8, Studio 192 and I am generally quite happy. But, for the first time I recently upgraded my studio with some serious pro gear and I have run into some weaknesses with some of my Presonus gear. I bought a Neve preamp, Neve Compressor, Flagship studio Mic (Blackspade M250) and some Sennheiser HD 380 pro headphones.
Here are the problems that have developed.
The Studio 192 headphone jacks are struggling to power these 54 ohm headphones. They do it, but I have to crank them much harder than I would like to.
The Studio 192 manual tells me that if I insert my Neve outboard gear into the rear combi-jack with a Balanced TRS connector, it will bypass that channel’s onboard Presonus preamp. And it does, sort of. I find that if I grab the gain on that channel and start to crank it, the supposedly bypassed preamp does in fact begin to amplify the signal at around %75 or higher gain, and it’s an ugly sound. This leads me to believe that it’s not quite as bypassed as I had hoped.
I would like to push my Neve preamp much harder than the Studio 192 seems comfortable with. The Neve overwhelms the Presonus pretty fast. I don’t know if this means the converters are not up to the task, or if it is the 192’s apparently not quite so bypassed preamplifier signal path that is not up to the task, but it clipps much sooner that the Neve Portico 5015 would like it to.
The one other niggling bit is just how much I dislike the built in software “Universal Control” I find it clunky and difficult to use so I would like to get away from it.
All this leads me to wonder if upgrading to a Quantum might not fix some or all of these issues?
I have heard Quantum has improved the headphone amps, I have heard the Quantum used a much improved version of Universal Control and in fact you rarely need to use it. I have heard the preamp bypass is more “real” or “true” than the studio 192, and I have heard the converters a tad better. On the other hand, I don’t have Thunderbolt, so I am wondering if I might be better off upgrading to the Focusrite Clarett system with native USB