Andrew Bernacki, technical manager ,Bespoke Audio Visual dives in to the AudioPressBox and shares his thoughts on the press units.
When I was asked to evaluate a few AudioPressBox units, I was initially hesitant. I thought, what could possibly be said about a press box other than “yep, it works”? In my mind, a press box is a commodity item…. How much I/O does it have VS. how much it costs.
Well, after about four weeks of trailing the APB-112 SB-D and APB-244 C units, and with some further thinking, let me tell you... These are NOT your average audio press feeds.
Why choose AudioPressBox-112 SB-D ?
The APB-112 SB-D is probably one of the boxes I’ve been the most interested in getting my hands on. For those not aware, this particular unit is a 1-input, 12-output audio feed. But why is that so interesting, you may ask? Well, that single input is Dante. In addition, the box is powered over that Dante connection via Power over Ethernet (PoE), so there’s no additional connections required. Plug it into your Dante network with a PoE switch and you are off to the races. This is a unique feature that totally sets AudioPressBox apart from the rest.
What do you like about it the most?
The unit was up and working in about 3 seconds from plugging it into the switch. Power up was immediate and showed up in Dante Controller and was ready to patch instantly. Boot time is a massive thing I assess anytime I look at equipment, as sometimes, as hard as we try, things get unplugged when they shouldn’t…and how fast they reboot is usually the difference between an unfortunate accident and total show meltdown. It sounds great, and I love that they’ve included a VU meter, for ease of troubleshooting if nothing else.
Is it also for system integrators?
There’s also a sister version of this box, with a different enclosure for permanent applications.
If I was building out a space where I needed installed press feeds, this would be an absolute no brainer. Also, did I mention that it’s built like a brick? I’m pretty sure that you could run over it with a Jeep and it would come out the same… just fine. It’s that robust.
Why is the APB-224 C the most advanced unit?
The APB-224 C is exactly what you’d expect when you think of a press pool; all analog, dual input with some basic level adjustment, and 24 outputs. Same as the 112 SB-D mentioned above, this thing is built extremely tough. They get some bonus points from me for using Canadian made Nanuk cases as the enclosure! What sets this unit apart, and makes it the best-in-class, are the thoughtful features they’ve added.
What are you favourite features?
Features like the High Pass Filter, Phantom Power, and Comp on each input. Features like a Li-Ion battery pack, that charges every time you are connected to AC. (Say goodbye to hunting down 9 Volt batteries when you want to go battery powered!). Features like multiple take off points for monitoring, selectable Mic or Line output PER CONNECTOR, or things like an Oscillator for getting camera audio levels set consistently in advance. One feature that I particularly like on this unit is the ability to use it as two independent feeds, which is useful for us when we provide distribution of simultaneously interpreted feeds to the press.