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In-depth Feature:  Presonus Central Station
Albert Potts writes: .

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The Sound
Ins And Outs
Digital Inputs
  • 24 bit/192k digital inputs. Automatically reads and locks to sample rate of incoming digital stream. Can receive and lock to sample rates of 44.1, 48, 96, and 192k.
  • TOSLINK ? optical stereo digital format. NOT THE SAME AS ADAT FORMAT.
  • SPDIF INPUT - Stereo digital input format via digital RCA TS connector.
    Speaker Outputs
  • L/R (A, B, C) Left (L) and Right (R) stereo balanced line level 1/4 TRS outputs to connect to powered monitors or speaker power amps.
    Line Outputs
  • MAIN (L/R) Left and Right stereo balanced line level 1/4 TRS outputs to connect to recording device. There is no attenuator (volume control) on this output.
  • CUE (L/R) - Left and Right stereo balanced line level 1/4 TRS outputs to connect to headphone distribution amplifier. Front panel CUE OUTPUT LEVEL adjustment controls volume level.
    Analogue Inputs
  • TRS 1 (L/R) Left and Right stereo balanced line level 1/4 TRS inputs.
  • TRS 2 (L/R) Left and Right stereo balanced line level 1/4 TRS inputs.
  • AUX (L/R) Left and Right stereo unbalanced line level RCA TS inputs.
    Console Remote Control
  • ACTIVATE Activates CSR-1 optional remote control. When ACTIVATE is pressed, MAIN LEVEL control on CENTRAL STATION IS BYPASSED. (All other controls function.)
  • CONSOLE DB9 9-pin connector for connection to optional CSR-1 CENTRAL STATION remote control.
  • PEDAL Unbalanced 1/4 TS cable for connecting momentary normal open type footswitch.
  • ACTIVATE Activates external dynamic microphone to be the TALKBACK . Onboard CENTRAL STATION MIC is bypassed when ACTIVATE is pressed.
  • MIC Connect dynamic microphone for external TALKBACK microphone via balanced XLR connector.
  • Ideally, a source/speaker switcher has no sound of its own. The least amount of coloration is the best thing. It is safe to say that the Presonus is clean, very clean. I doubt anyone would make wrong mix decisions based on coloration coming out of this unit, because there isn't any coloration coming out of it that I could hear. The Central Station uses an entirely passive signal path, with no op amps or IC's. As you press the buttons on the front panel to select different routings, you can hear the relays click inside the unit as the physical connections are being made on the military grade 1% tolerance metal film resistors. It's a clean, quiet signal path.

    One of the most useful features of the Central Station is its inclusion of two digital inputs and 24/192k DA converters. I use those converters all the time, even though I have a Benchmark DAC-1 as my primary DA converter. On a recently recorded soundtrack for a commercial demo, I wanted to do some analog processing to the mix.

    Thanks to the Central Station, I was able to dedicate my DAC-1 to DA conversion, sending the mix out to my Distressors then back into the DAW through my Waves L2, and finally monitoring via the DA converters in the Central Station. Sweet and easy.

    In direct comparison with the DAC-1, I would have to say that the converters in the Central Station are not quite up to that level. The CS converters are clean and neutral sounding, but sound a bit less smooth and subjectively slightly less pleasing. But remember, the DAC-1 cost more than the Central Station and CSR-1 combined. The Central Station converters are on a par or better than any of the other converters in my studio, and I listen through the CS conversion all the time now. In truth, you would have to spend considerably more money on a dedicated DA converter to beat the converters in the CS. That says a lot.

    More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Central Station PDF manual
  • Presonus WWW

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