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iD4 & iD14 MK II - Audient updated their Audio Interfaces

Dreyfus

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Hello everbody,

Audient has just release an update to their audio interface lineup:
iD4-iD14-MKII-Float-Smaller.png

Product Pages:
Audient iD4 MK II
Audient iD14 MK II

I just gathered all the data and compared Gen 1 and 2 side by side:

Audient_MKII.png

(Note: errors excepted due to updating product pages.)

The THD, Noise and especially power capabilites appear to have improved quite a bit.

Regards
Dreyfus
 
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Blumlein 88

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Wonder what gain levels they have on the mic pre's now?
 
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Dreyfus

Dreyfus

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Sorry, I forgot to add that to the table.

iD4 MK I: 58 dB
iD4 MK II: 58 dB
iD14 MK I: 56 dB
iD14 MK II: 58 dB

Not much of a difference, though. Only +2 dB for the iD14. 58 dB appears to be the standard gain for this series now. Plus 10 dB digital gain in the software.

Regards
Dreyfus
 

Feelas

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Since I'm still on lookout for something w/ 2 combo XLR-s and a decent minijack hp out, I wonder whether ID4/ID14 do a better job, or an EVO4.
 
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Dreyfus

Dreyfus

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Since I'm still on lookout for something w/ 2 combo XLR-s and a decent minijack hp out, I wonder whether ID4/ID14 do a better job, or an EVO4.
The iD4 and iD14 have a much better build quality and are now also technically superior to the EVO4 in pretty much every aspect.

Is it still 3 dB per volume strep? Main reason I got a Motu M2 instead.
Good question!

I would also be intersted if they have improved anything on the gain knobs. I had three different iD14s in my hands so far and all of them had very erratic gain curves past 60% on the pots. Not very convient for channal matching and fine adjustments for low sensitivity mics.

Other than that I was pretty happy with those devices in the past.
 

Blumlein 88

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The ID4 and I think ID14 in previous models used 10 db of digital gain on the preamps. I wonder if that is still the case or if it is all analog gain now? Anyone happen to know. Maybe the owners manual will tell.
 

Matias

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This is a significant upgrade in DAC THD+N output and headphone power, making it more competitive. Nice move from Audient.
 

AnalogSteph

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These figures suggest moving from about +/-8 V to +/-15 V supplies... pretty bold for bus-powered interfaces. Wouldn't be possible without Type C, I guess. Still makes me wonder what headphone out distortion performance would be like.

Any guesses as to converters? DAC wise I suspect either something ESS or a CS43198, the amount of DACs that are good for a real-life 125.5 dB(A) is somewhat limited.
 

dfuller

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These figures suggest moving from about +/-8 V to +/-15 V supplies... pretty bold for bus-powered interfaces. Wouldn't be possible without Type C, I guess. Still makes me wonder what headphone out distortion performance would be like.

Any guesses as to converters? DAC wise I suspect either something ESS or a CS43198, the amount of DACs that are good for a real-life 125.5 dB(A) is somewhat limited.
Last I checked they were using Cirrus DACs on the iD44 so likely that again. AKM A/D as I recall.
 

AllanDavidson

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Hello everbody,

Audient has just release an update to their audio interface lineup:View attachment 104743
Product Pages:
Audient iD4 MK II
Audient iD14 MK II

I just gathered all the data and compared Gen 1 and 2 side by side:

View attachment 104745
(Note: errors excepted due to updating product pages.)

The THD, Noise and especially power capabilites appear to have improved quite a bit.

Regards
Dreyfus

Wow! The Instrument Input section got some serious improvement!

The Line/Headphone out also looks like they improve 2 or 3 generations aswell
 

ktingc

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Will ID4 MKii better than Muto M2 for DAC? I'm looking forward to buy either one for DAC.
 

AnalogSteph

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Will ID4 MKii better than Muto M2 for DAC? I'm looking forward to buy either one for DAC.
M2: DR 120 dB(A), 0 dBFS = +16 dBu out
iD4 MkII: DR 125.5 dB(A), 0 dBFS = +12 dBu out

That'll depend on what you want to run them into. The iD4 MkII has output noise so low (-113.5 dBu(A)) that basically every balanced input you'll find is going to dominate it. A great fit for even the most sensitive active monitors with limited or no input level adjustment. If you get audible hiss, it won't be the iD4's fault. (Honestly, I'm not sure why they didn't increase maximum output levels a bit over the MkI, they could have afforded it. +16 dBu easily.)

Mind you, the M2 with its -104 dBu(A) output noise level is still more than decent. And while +16 dBu still isn't exactly big studio level (+24 dBu typical), it still goes 4 dB louder than the iD4, which may be advantageous if you have a mixer or something with a rather noisy line input.

Honestly, in most cases either would be fine. The more interesting differences are found elsewhere:
Headphone amplifier - 5.5 dB louder in the iD4, I suspect they must have internal +/-9 V to +/-12 V rails rather than the +/- 5 V in the M2. (Full headphone output levels in the iD4 seem to require a USB Type C connection.)
Line-in - iD4 just one channel but accepting up to +21 dBu via combo jack TRS, M2 two channels up to +16 dBu each.
Dedicated instrument input with built-in "flavor" - iD4 only (the M2's TRS jacks should make for some perfectly fine "plain vanilla" instrument inputs though).
Mic input(s) - just one in the iD4, which however should still be a hair less noisy than the M2's, though the M2 provides two with noise levels still well in the green.

And of course there's general device operation, UI and drivers.
 
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ktingc

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Thank you for the nice explanation. I mainly use the interface for DAC (I connect it to monitors). I sometimes use 1 mic input for making causal podcast episodes. Do you prefer one against another for my usage?
 

KTN46

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What do they mean when they advertise a "JFET Instrument Input"?

How does this differ from normal inputs?
 

AllanDavidson

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Short answer: Its a more "appropriate" cuircuit to amplify and record guitars.




Long answer: A Guitar (just like a Microphone) is a passive electric device with a very weak signal provided by it's magnetic pickups that needs to be amplified to acceptable levels in order to be understood and recorded.

The thing is, amplifying a Mic is easy, super standard, done by the book, a problem so solved that we have been play with coloring the signal for different tastes and results for the last 30 years.

Now, Guitar amplifying, it's not only a controversial, mystical, complex, unease and very unsettling subject to opinions (to the point of being philosophycal), but also propense to a lot of snake-oil selling and fundamentalism by "Classic Tone" preachers, which demands that the correct way of recording a Guitar is the way they did in the 60s: A very loud tube amp pushing forward low wattage, narrow speakers, with a microphone up-close and a tube pre-amp/compressor between the Mic and the console/tape. "Everything else is utter bullshit, and solid state amplifying is crap" they say.

Since this is most of the public opinion, the industry completely neglected a proper, digital, solid state amplifying method for guitars, and many of the ADCs on the market that deals with Instruments DI (Direct Input) use their Mic circuits for the guitar aswell.

In recent years, home-studio equipment become quite good and accessible to all kinds of wallets, along with VST modelings becoming competent enough to be trusted in serious production, and all this allies to the fact that Youtube and the Internet is making more and more "bedroom musicians". This results in the industry now finally attempting a proper way to amplify and record a guitar signal in a simple device with competent electronics, instead of relying on the traditional methods.

No more using a loadbox to waste into heat the 50w signal of your amp (so you don't break your windows and door away) into a 12" speakers mic'd into a tube Mic Preamp connected to a Mic interface.




EDIT: A picture (from Google) of a Guitar player home setup, for illustration purposes.

SN_06_BassMic-8SSJeVslnc4KzGYiXHXjFOP5rJECvJ.9.jpg
 

KTN46

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Short answer: Its a more "appropriate" cuircuit to amplify and record guitars.

I'm still a bit confused as to the differences between a mic input and the JFET input sonically. How does it physically work differently? Would it produce a different sound?
 

AllanDavidson

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I'm still a bit confused as to the differences between a mic input and the JFET input sonically. How does it physically work differently? Would it produce a different sound?

Another long answer, so I'm just gonna give the short one: Signal tone saturation by applying volume over volume and amplifying the distortion caused by odd harmonics (which is something guitar players want).

eg:
 

dfuller

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What do they mean when they advertise a "JFET Instrument Input"?

How does this differ from normal inputs?
I'm still a bit confused as to the differences between a mic input and the JFET input sonically. How does it physically work differently? Would it produce a different sound?
Simple: It's a high impedance input. Conventional electric guitars have an output impedance in the area of between 8 and 20 kilo-ohms, generally.
The rule of thumb here is you want a load impedance to be at least 10x source impedance (this is what is known as "impedance bridging"). The reason they're using JFETs here instead of bipolar transistors is twofold. 1, JFETs behave lots like vacuum tubes (voltage in controls current out), which makes them "behave like a tube amp input" as it were (it's a bunch of marketing fluff, but... whatever). 2, and more importantly, JFETs are high input impedance devices so they're more suited to high source impedance devices like an electric guitar input. You can use an op-amp like a TL072 here as well as it's a high impedance JFET input device.

Figure it this way: A fairly average DI box instrument input is around 1M Ohm. An average line input is around 10-20k. A mic input is around 1-3k.
 
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