Is the Dirac Research AP20 a SOTA SSP? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 786 Old 01-10-2011, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I neither dismissed it nor ignored it. Due to communication/scheduling problems, I missed it even though I had intended to visit.

Great then request one of the KAD units and let us know what you think.
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post #92 of 786 Old 01-10-2011, 11:21 AM
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Look at the control of that sub region...



This is Christoffer Ahlen from DIRAC in Uppsala- the research is done in association with the university of Uppsala. I summon him to appear in this thread and explain why a system this good is so little known in the home market.


This is the under 3 grand KAD system...



I am not endorsing this analog unit, but the maker claims is as good as the AP-20, all I can say that the ap-20 is the cleanest sounding processor, I discussed in detail the development process by DTS and this thing was designed to not take prisoners in the reference grade specs (including the dacs), there was a 90 day delay in order to have the best performing dacs....
LL
LL
LL
LL
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post #93 of 786 Old 01-10-2011, 11:39 AM
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So they bought the unbalanced audyssey inventory now that unit is no longer being sold

Happy to check this out and see if it really does deliver as you say. Who do I need to call?

Neil Davidson - Visit my facebook page
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post #94 of 786 Old 01-10-2011, 11:46 AM
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Karl Huff (former DTS engineer) KAD Karlton Audio Designs

carl.huff@yahoo.com

805-300-5243
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post #95 of 786 Old 01-10-2011, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

I want the truth, is that much to ask for?

I hope not; that's what I was asking for

It's nice to see that they don't sugarcoat their graphs w/excessive smoothing like Audyssey does.

Noah
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post #96 of 786 Old 01-10-2011, 08:43 PM
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Hello all,

I am the fella that CINERAMAX has been speaking of. The AP20 at THE Show was a stock unit that was not tweaked in any way. The AP20 is a 16 channel device. The DL2 product that he sites is a new 8 channel consumer version that should be ready in the next 60 days or so.

What questions can I answer for you? I know both products very well.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #97 of 786 Old 01-11-2011, 01:39 AM
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Hi Carl, Funny meeting you per chance like that when I already had purchased the AP-20 for our development system.

Please explain why you selected the Dirac when designing the AP-20, explain about the greater taps resolution, the priority system and how is the calibration done in a typical home theater.

Thanks
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post #98 of 786 Old 01-11-2011, 05:12 AM
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Carl, can you describe how the 8 channel consumer unit differs from the outboard Audyssey units; what is the basic approach to correction and how does that differ?
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post #99 of 786 Old 01-11-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Carl, can you describe how the 8 channel consumer unit differs from the outboard Audyssey units; what is the basic approach to correction and how does that differ?

WRT the basic approach to correction, I suspect Carl will point you here. Don't miss the PDFs at the bottom.
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post #100 of 786 Old 01-11-2011, 01:23 PM
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Hello all,

Some 2 plus years ago when the AP20 team at Datasat Digital Entertainment (the old DTS Cinema division) started the development cycle we spent a lot of time evaluating room optimization and correction technologies. Most were either too hard to use or simply not effective enough to merit their use. The exception to that was Dirac Live by Dirac Research. However at that point Dirac Live had not been used in commercial products other than automobiles. As result Dirac Research agreed to grow their product to support rooms as large as the biggest commercial Cinema Theaters. Since that time the AP20 and Dirac Live has been successfully applied to huge rooms containing thousands of seats all over the world. The Dirac Live algorithm in its current form is self scaling. It optimizes rooms the size a hotel suite (ie: our demo at the Flamingo during CES week) as well as it does a major commercial Cinema space.

The Dirac Live algorithm requires a lot of DSP horsepower to run, much more than other room correction products. The AP20 contains 6 'state of the art' 400 mHz DSPs, two of which are dedicated to running Dirac Live. Other room correction products share a DSP with Dolby & DTS decoders. I say this not to knock their products but to simply state that they cannot compare with Dirac Live as they simply do not have the DSP resources allocated to them.

The AP20 is available to purchase today. Street price is $6,500. More information can be found by Googling 'Datasat Digital Entertainment AP20' I invite you to contact me should you be interested in acquiring one.

The DL2 is my product since leaving the employ of DDE. It is an 8 channel device and is the same Dirac Live technology as is in the AP20 but put in a consumer package. The DL2 will be ready to ship in the next 60 days or so. Street price will be $2,300. That price includes all software needed to measure and configure the product. The supplied software from Dirac Research for both the AP20 and the DL2 assumes the user already has a measurement microphone and USB/ ASIO mic preamp to configure. If you don't have them these items can be acquired from a variety of sources. The setup process is pretty simple. You simply take measurements at and near your preferred listening positions using the supplied software and stimulus. Once you have collected several (usually 12 or more depending upon room size) you let the computer crunch away at the data using the patented Dirac Live algorithm. Once finished you simply push the results into the AP20 or DL2 processor. The AP20 uses a wireless connection and the DL2 USB. And that's it! Should you want to make a change the Dirac Live software includes a graphical editor that allows you to alter the resulting filters should you want to 'pull up the bass' or 'add a presence bump' to the center channel. You have complete control of what gets sent to the processor.

The DL2 really has very little in common with the now defunct Audyssey product other than the chassis being from the same OEM.

As we get closer to the release of the DL2 the website 'dl2.biz' will go live and much more information and support will be posted there for both the AP20, DL2 and follow on products that are now in development.

I hope this answers your questions. I will monitor this thread should anyone have something more specific that I can answer.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #101 of 786 Old 01-11-2011, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Carl,

Could you comment on the points raised by Denis in the quote below?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

You cannot, from what information I currently have, do the following:

1. split a side surround input channel into two or three side surround channels. This would be a common application where the single side surround channel needs to be routed to two different side surround speakers and have each of those side surround speakers individually managed with respect to SPL, delays, filters, etc.

2. Split the LFE input channel into multiple output channels. This would be where two, three, or four subwoofers are being used in a room and each of those subwoofers requires independent management of filters, spl, phase/delay. This is a common practice used to manage low frequency response at the seating locations.

3. This is clearly very much a "pro" piece. You are warned, before you run any EQ (including DIRAC) to be certain you have your crossovers correct (for example).

4. The AP-20 provides only three parametric filters per channel to manage low frequency response. This falls way short of what is typically required in a residential sized to room (even a properly treated room) to manage the low frequency response of subwoofers in the room. Three PEQ filters per channel are likely sufficient for very large venues; however, even with that, your multiple subwoofer channels would have to be defined, split and routed prior to the input side of the AP-20 due to the limitation preventing splitting the LFE channel into multiple output channels inside the AP-20 itself. EDIT: What would have been a better approach (in my mind anyway) is to not limit the PEQ filters by channel, rather to have 3x16 PEQ filters available which can be applied to any output channel as required (until the bank runs out of filters).


Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge. Charles Darwin
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post #102 of 786 Old 01-11-2011, 07:33 PM
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1. Split a side surround input channel into two or three side surround channels. This would be a common application where the single side surround channel needs to be routed to two different side surround speakers and have each of those side surround speakers individually managed with respect to SPL, delays, filters, etc.


2. Split the LFE input channel into multiple output channels. This would be where two, three, or four subwoofers are being used in a room and each of those subwoofers requires independent management of filters, spl, phase/delay. This is a common practice used to manage low frequency response at the seating locations.


ANSWER: Both cases are as described. However a software upgrade now being planned will add a 'crosspoint switch' to the inputs. That will allow a single input to be routed to 'n' channels concurrently solving the described problem. The software within the AP20 can be updated via USB memory stick inserted into the front panel or by connecting to the internet.

3. This is clearly very much a "pro" piece. You are warned, before you run any EQ (including DIRAC) to be certain you have your crossovers correct (for example).


ANSWER: Oh yea, no hand holding here! You have complete freedom to run subwoofer tones into your tweeters.

4. The AP-20 provides only three parametric filters per channel to manage low frequency response. This falls way short of what is typically required in a residential sized to room (even a properly treated room) to manage the low frequency response of subwoofers in the room. Three PEQ filters per channel are likely sufficient for very large venues; however, even with that, your multiple subwoofer channels would have to be defined, split and routed prior to the input side of the AP-20 due to the limitation preventing splitting the LFE channel into multiple output channels inside the AP-20 itself. EDIT: What would have been a better approach (in my mind anyway) is to not limit the PEQ filters by channel, rather to have 3x16 PEQ filters available which can be applied to any output channel as required (until the bank runs out of filters).


ANSWER: I didn't want to put parametrics in the box. You simply don't need them when using Dirac Live. Nor do you need 3rd octave filters. However others pointed out that the AP20 would not be accepted by the 'traditional types' installing commercial spaces if they weren't in there. As result we put the industry standard collection of PEQ and 3rd octave filters in the product.

If you are a traditionalist or for whatever reason don't want to use Dirac Live you can apply the AP20 using traditional techniques. The AP20 contains a mic preamp, spectrum analyzer and noise source to facilitate that process. The results will be as good or better than when using a competitors product as we took great pains (and expense) to create the best sounding box possible. However if you install your room using the Dirac Live tools (my preference) you don't need PEQ nor 3rd octave filters. In fact using the PEQ or 3rd octave filters after applying Dirac Live is poor practice and can only degrade performance. Best practice is to make all of your changes using the Dirac Live editor and then push the changes to the processor. The DL2 does not include PEQ nor 3rd octave filters.

I hope this answers your questions.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #103 of 786 Old 01-12-2011, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post

However if you install your room using the Dirac Live tools (my preference) you don't need PEQ nor 3rd octave filters. In fact using the PEQ or 3rd octave filters after applying Dirac Live is poor practice and can only degrade performance. Best practice is to make all of your changes using the Dirac Live editor and then push the changes to the processor.

I'd be interested in having EQ prior to the Dirac, not after, so as to allow user preference for a) taste, b) bass offset for certain recordings with excess or light bass, or c) HF "re-eq" for bright soundtracks. That sort of thing, ganged across all channels. This is not a target curve editor, since changes to that are not audible in real time.
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post #104 of 786 Old 01-12-2011, 07:18 AM
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Hello Roger,

My comment about degrading performance was me expressing concern when deviating from the best possible phase, time and frequency alignments that Dirac Live affords you. However deviating from that frequency alignment is what you are looking to do!

If I were you, I would build a Dirac Live filter that works for most media and then assign different EQ profiles to the buttons that populate the bottom of the 'Home' screen to realize the 'adjusted states' that you are looking for. Doing that would allow you to quickly switch between them as presets.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #105 of 786 Old 01-12-2011, 09:26 AM
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Incidentally,

The AP20 has a VNC Server built into it. You can plug the AP20 into a wireless router ($40??) and then use open source software from your computer or Google phone, IPhone or IPad to remotely see and manage the front panel of the AP20. That is what is happening back in post #92 showing the laptop screen.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #106 of 786 Old 01-12-2011, 10:04 AM
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Carl,

You said 'street price' for AP20 and DL2 are $6,500 and $2,300(?) respectively. I think street price is usually different from MSRP. Did you mean that the MSRP of both units are higher?
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post #107 of 786 Old 01-12-2011, 10:24 AM
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Hello Carl,

Will the DL2 have 8 channels of digital input and output? If yes, what will the connectors be, XLR, RCA, BNC?

Thanks,
George
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post #108 of 786 Old 01-12-2011, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post

Hello Roger,

My comment about degrading performance was me expressing concern when deviating from the best possible phase, time and frequency alignments that Dirac Live affords you. However deviating from that frequency alignment is what you are looking to do!

That's why I stipulated putting the tone controls harmlessly ahead of the Dirac and not after.

Quote:


If I were you, I would build a Dirac Live filter that works for most media and then assign different EQ profiles to the buttons that populate the bottom of the 'Home' screen to realize the 'adjusted states' that you are looking for. Doing that would allow you to quickly switch between them as presets.

That can probably work fine, once those EQ profiles have been created. But the process of doing so could be arduous if they cannot be heard/tweaked in real time, globally across all channels. I'm not sure how the AP20 works in that respect.
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post #109 of 786 Old 01-12-2011, 03:14 PM
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George,
The DL2 is analog IN and OUT. The connectors are RCA phono jacks. There is a consumer product now in the early planning stages (DL3??) that will have a digital toslink/ SPDIF input in addition to the described analog inputs.

Roger,
The digital filters in the AP20 are 'realtime'. You will hear the difference immediately. The AP20 mutes briefly when switching between presets (ie: formats when you are talking Cinema speak) but not long enough to be a problem.

Pricing ...
Since I am the party setting the price for the DL2 I can confidently state the the price for that product will be $2,300 MSRP. The one and only place that you can buy the DL2 will be from the 'dl2.biz' site. However I can also tell you that when the product officially rolls out Dirac Research and KAD will join hands to offer an 'early adopter special' that puts the DL2 complete with the Dirac Live software needed to calibrate at $1,850 for a limited time.

As to pricing on the AP20, drop me an email. I have them in stock.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #110 of 786 Old 01-12-2011, 10:49 PM
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Carl,

Any reason two DL2's couldn't be used to handle an 11.2 system?

The 11 is 7 plus wides and heights, either from Audyssey DSX or the new DTS Neo.

Regarding multiple subs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post


Split the LFE input channel into multiple output channels. This would be where two, three, or four subwoofers are being used in a room and each of those subwoofers requires independent management of filters, spl, phase/delay. This is a common practice used to manage low frequency response at the seating locations.

Are the subs treated as a system, recognizing the dominant effect of room modes in their combined response and all that that implies? Anything like Harman's SFM?

Also, how much frequency resolution and boost/cut range do the filters have?

I'm wondering if they can handle my two subwoofers which have very disparate freq and phase responses; one is a sealed system with two 18" drivers and the other is a Danley DTS-10 tapped horn.

Also, how much boost/cut is allowed in defining target curves? I believe for Audyssey Pro it's only +/- 3 dB.

Thanks

Noah
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post #111 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 10:24 AM
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Noah,

There is no reason to think that using multiple DL2s for a 11.2 system would not work, altho I've never done that myself.

The filters internal to the DL2 are limited to +/-9dB. Steps have been taken internal to the DL2 to guard against digital clipping.

Your sub question is an interesting one. I can tell you that Dirac Live treats each channel as unique. The combined effects of multiple subwoofers would not be handled as a collective. To handle the combined output as a collective you would need to use a single channel of Dirac Live for tuning them and split to the respective subs downstream from the DL2. This of course assumes that you have the same signal going to every sub. Otherwise you have no good way of treating their output as a collective.

I am going to be doing much more work with multiple subs in the coming months. I will be sure to post the results.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #112 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 10:42 AM
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Hello Carl,

This my current setup:

1) Oppo BD83 provides decoding (modified to produce 6 channels of unencrypted S/PDIF)

2) Meridian 568.2mm SSP provides DSP and setup parameters, upsamples to 96k (accepts the 6 channels of S/PDIF because it was originally designed to accept DVD-A from a Meridian DVD-A player)

3) four outboard DACs to accept the 7.1 S/PDIF output of the Meridian, each DAC has an analog volume control that is simultaneously controlled via IR repeaters

My question: Will the AP20 accept the 7.1 S/PDIF output from the Meridian SSP, apply its room correction algorithms, then forward the modified 7.1 to the DACs? Note that the Meridian is outputting a Full Scale digital signal which we would want to stay FS until it reaches the outboard DACs.

Thanks,
George
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post #113 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post

This of course assumes that you have the same signal going to every sub. Otherwise you have no good way of treating their output as a collective.

Yes, there would be only a mono sub signal from the processor; otherwise the summation of acoustic output would be indeterminate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post

I am going to be doing much more work with multiple subs in the coming months. I will be sure to post the results.

Will the results be in the form of changes to the s/w available in the DL2?

Thanks

Noah
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post #114 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Hello Carl,

This my current setup:

1) Oppo BD83 provides decoding (modified to produce 6 channels of unencrypted S/PDIF)

2) Meridian 568.2mm SSP provides DSP and setup parameters, upsamples to 96k (accepts the 6 channels of S/PDIF because it was originally designed to accept DVD-A from a Meridian DVD-A player)

3) four outboard DACs to accept the 7.1 S/PDIF output of the Meridian, each DAC has an analog volume control that is simultaneously controlled via IR repeaters

My question: Will the AP20 accept the 7.1 S/PDIF output from the Meridian SSP, apply its room correction algorithms, then forward the modified 7.1 to the DACs? Note that the Meridian is outputting a Full Scale digital signal which we would want to stay FS until it reaches the outboard DACs.

Thanks,
George

George the ap-20 very easily can accept 8 aes ebu signals (actually 2 x 8) not spdif but I believe this is an easy conversion.

It would then spit em out digitally at 48 96 or 192 (ap-20 selectable) you can have the overall volume handled digitally or leave the ap-20 fixed and the use the meridian speaker internal volume adjutsment.
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post #115 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 02:11 PM
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Noah said ...

"Will the results be in the form of changes to the s/w available in the DL2?"

Yes! if we uncover a problem in the current software. Software upgrades are and always will be free. However I don't expect to uncover problems. The software as it exists is well tested and reliable. What I will be doing is learning 'best practice' when applying it to subs.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #116 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 02:35 PM
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Thanks Peter.

My DACs all have XLR inputs so the AES out is a useful feature, but I will need some elegant way to go from the DB25 output to XLR. And for the input I will need to convert the RCA S/PDIF to AES on DB25.

My volume controls are all at the amps which are spread around the room close to the speakers. The idea being to send an unattenuated signals along long interconnects better S/N.

Will the AP20 decode DD using PLIIx?

Thanks,
George
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post #117 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 04:40 PM
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George,

There is a RCA S/PDIF IN connector on the back side of the AP20

I could sell you an 8 channel DB25 to XLR breakout cable. We custom make them for clients. For $150 (plus cost to ship) you get a one meter cable using quality parts. Other lengths are available upon request.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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post #118 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post

Noah said ...

"Will the results be in the form of changes to the s/w available in the DL2?"

Yes! if we uncover a problem in the current software. Software upgrades are and always will be free. However I don't expect to uncover problems.

The s/w may be bug-free, but for best bass performance it needs to be designed to integrate two subwoofers whose combined response is not the sum of the individual responses because they operate in the room's modal region.

Noah
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post #119 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 05:03 PM
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Hi Carl,

What is the best way to contact you for a slew of questions?

I noticed that one of the Service Centers is in Thousand Oaks CA, which is about 45 minutes from me.

On the website I also saw there is an 8-channel version of the AP20, which may be useful to more people.

Thanks,
George
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post #120 of 786 Old 01-13-2011, 08:08 PM
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George,

Send me a private message and we'll work out the details.

Best Regards,
Carl Huff
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