SysFlex Dante Endpoints – Guiding You In and Out of AV Network Hell
By Jason Allen.
Ah, Dante. Australian wonder invention and the most successful AoIP product in history.
We love Dante; on our consoles, desks, processors, amplifiers, stageboxes and now even our microphones. But with all the serious bits of the system taken care of, what about all those ‘other’ things we need, that we used to just be able to connect to an analogue tie-line, run a split, or just a cable for? And what about in AV world, increasingly relying on Dante on the corporate network?
Enter RDL’s SysFlex series of compact Dante endpoints. These eight units and associated rack, wall, and surface mounting solutions will get you out of 99% of all tricky audio requirements across your performance venue or commercial install. You can house multiple units in a central rack with the SysFlex rack adapter, mount them on an under-counter bracket, put them on a mic stand adapter or screw them to whatever’s available. Let me count the ways they can get your audio on or off the switch:
> has stereo RCA and 3.5mm jack ins and outs and can either put two line level sources onto the network or output two from it. Is there a sin-gle install that wouldn’t use this? PoE.
> takes 2x AES/EBU on XLRs, 2x SPDIF on RCAs or 2x optical ins and converts them to Dante. PoE.
> takes two Dante channels and can output them as AES/EBU on XLR, SPDIF on RCA, or optical. PoE.
> takes two Dante signals and outputs them to a 3.5mm headphone jack with headphone pre-amp and volume control. Possibly my favourite and astonishingly useful. And yes, it’s PoE.
> two Dante channels to analogue out on XLR, which you can switch from line to mic level if you need to feed media. Protected against accidental +48v and PoE.
> a tiny networked amp! My equal favourite with the SF-NH1. It takes two Dante outputs and runs them through two 20W amplifiers into 4 or 8 ohms. Not PoE, and fair enough.
> puts two USB audio channels onto the Dante network, solving your soft codec and general laptop dilemmas. PoE.
> four mic ins on XLRs, with +48v, switchable gains from 40 dB, 48 dB or 62 dB. 24 bit AD conversion and PoE.
These units are all in solid metal housings, and the only drawback to any of them is that they aren’t available with etherCON (yet…), meaning they’re not suitable for some live or particularly rough install applications.
I honestly can’t think of an audio eventuality that isn’t covered by this range, except conversion between
Dante and specialist formats like SDI, MADI or CobraNet, which, if you’re doing, you have bigger problems. Well done RDL!