Crane Song AVOCET IIA Stereo Monitor Controller
The Crane Song AVOCET IIA Stereo Monitor Controller has been widely accepted to be, perhaps, the most advanced, most flexible, and best sounding studio monitoring controller available for any studio. The new AVOCET IIA features designer Dave Hill's new Quantum DAC - a 5th generation design with ultra low jitter/. Additionally, direct subwoofer outputs for each of the three outputs have been added, as well as programmable output levels for speaker level matching.
Crane Song's new, updated Avocet IIA is designed to solve the problems of accurate monitoring and volume control as required by workstation users, studios and mastering rooms alike. It is a stereo controller with three digital inputs, three analog inputs and a headphone system. It's comprised of a rack mounted unit and table top remote control. Avocet has many features including; dim, mute, phase, mono, and 16 bit truncation functions, plus a speaker select switch that sends line level balanced audio to one of three outputs. The six input sources have on the fly gain trim capability and all digital signals are up-sampled and jitter reduced to ensure highest accuracy during D/A conversion.
The Avocet now features the Remote II, as well as a new D/A with optical input. The new Quantum D/A circuit is ultra low jitter in design with less then 1pS jitter. This is achieved by using a new clock source and new logic circuits around the SRC and the D/A converter. The Quantum DAC uses 32 bit a converter and ASRC for jitter reduction up sampling to 211KHz. Avocet has always upsampled to 211KHz. The reference clock has less then 1pS, 0.5pS typical 1Hz to 100KHz and a proprietary reconstruction filter for accurate time domain response. The clock is of the type of circuits used for microwave and space commutation where ultra short term stability is required. The converter board changes the digital input formats on the DAW input. The input can now be AES single wire to 192K, SPDIF or optical Toslink. The input source is changed from the remote control. The new design is more open and transparent, bigger sounding.
Avocet's many features including; dim, mute, phase, mono, and 16 bit truncation functions, plus a speaker select switch that sends line level balanced audio to one of three outputs. The six input sources have on the fly gain trim capability and all digital signals are up-sampled and jitter reduced to ensure highest accuracy during D/A conversion.. An accessory connector has extra functions for the technically minded. They are; buffered stereo output, mono output, talk back mic output, headphone bus output, and several input control functions such as; talk back enable, mute and input selection control that could be used for a pre-listen or solo command. This connector is also used to tie audio boxes together for surround operation.
Direct subwoofer outputs for each of the three outputs have been added. The output levels are now programmable in 0.25 db steps for speaker level matching.
The internal headphone amplifier can be fed from the program source or an external input. Provisions for a talk back function are included. The three headphone sources are;
- The analog AUX input
- Main, meaning the audio source selected by the input button
- Program, meaning the audio source selected by the input button
However the level control, mono and phase buttons also apply to the program source.
All three phone sources have individual gain settings controlled by the green knob.
The talkback mic (not supplied and there is no phantom power) is hooked into the xlr connector on the remote. There is a mic level trim pot next to the xlr connector. The talk back mic signal is mixed into the headphone amplifier along with the selected headphone source.
By sending a cue mix to the Aux input you can use the headphone system for doing overdubs in the studio and have communication to the artist. At the same time the main audio path can operate independently of the headphone system.
Avocet can operate in surround up to 7.1, with the appropriate number of audio boxes in the system. By using 3 two channel audio boxes Avocet will function as a 5.1 system, and 4 audio boxes makes a 7.1 system. See the speaker setup information. This function allows integrating, both surround and stereo speaker systems. A metering system is under discussion. A specially made accessory cable connects the audio boxes when working surround.
Systems that ship surround from the factory have labels on them as to how the audio boxes are configured.
Crane Song AVOCET IIA Features
- Analog and Digital Inputs
- Headphone and Talkback Circuit
- Level Matching Between Sources
- XLR Inputs and Outputs
- AES/EBU and S/PDIF Digital Inputs
- Direct Subwoofer Outputs
- Remote Control
- Up-sampled and jitter reduced Digital Signals to Ensure Highest Accuracy During D/A Conversion
- Functions Include:
- 16 Bit Truncation Monitoring
- Speaker Select Switch that sends line level balanced audio to one of three outputs
- Six Input Sources with on-the-fly gain trim capability for each
- Accessory Connector - has extra functions for the technically minded, which are:
- Buffered Stereo Output
- Mono Output
- Talk Back Mic Output
- Headphone Bus Output
- And several input control functions such as:
- Talk Back Enable
- Input Selection Control that could be used for a pre-listen or solo command
- Tying additional Avocet audio boxes together for surround operation
Crane Song AVOCET IIA Downloads
What We Think
The Crane Song AVOCET IIA - the latest incarnation of Crane Song's long-standing Stereo Monitor Controller, continues to be a favorite choice among our customers for attaining the absolute best and most reliable monitoring chain in their studios. And it's such a familiar monitor controller that for many, there simply is no other alternative for them when putting a monitor controller in their studio. Crane Song's small-batch boutique ethos makes this a hard item to get on-demand as their "built-to-order" production schedules range 4-6 weeks for a new unit. So, just be aware that there's usually a wait... but you'll feel that it's been a wait worth bearing when you take delivery of your very own AVOCET IIA.
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Avocet is absolutely worth every buck you spend on! Built in D/A and headphone amp sound excellent! very smooth transitions between input / output selections. Also great service from Frontendaudio, they have been fast, responsive and very helpful.
The Avocet has become the most useful outboard gear that I have because it is the link between my mixes and what I hear through the monitors. It delivers audio without any artifacts (or noise) while providing my studio with a high-quality D/A link. The "mono" and "phase" functions help when evaluating mix integrity and coherence, while the incremental level control provides for listening repeatability.