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SD A20 Nexus


Erob
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What SD has been teasing for a little bit. Super interesting and the ability to use that ribbon connector on the 8 series to go completely cableless is very appealing. Mentions 8-12-16 channels with plugins, so curious how much extra the plugins will be. Appear to be 8 channels to start then you can get the +4 and +8 to increase the capability. 

 

https://www.sounddevices.com/product/a20-nexus/

 

Edit: They also have a new Antenna to go along with it that looks very similar to a Betso Bowtie. I got excited for a second as this has Dante so thought that might give Dante capabilities to an 833, but when docked the ethernet is only used for control not Dante.....Oh and a price tag of $15,000. 

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8 channels with room to grow. I would guess this is real diversity digital.

Well even though they offer plugins for 12 and 16 channels It says in the specs under Dante AoIP:

Dante Audio-Over-IP
16 input/output channels

 

 those DB25 connectors MIC/LINE/AES OUT .  Hmm If they made one AES in they they could have a AES 8input interface along with 8 channels receiver all remoted to Dante back to the cart. Hmm what about the idea of having remote mic preamps trim controlled by 8-series itself for not only film/TV sound mixers for dialogue but also remote music recordings could use it too. I wonder if they will do something similar or a different model that has mic pres?

Sure you can something like a  Ferrofish Pulse 16DX but that is strictly an interface to Dante. another rack unit and $2100.USD

 

I also wonder how Lectrosonics is going to counter this release with the feature set... half rack, PoE powering with Dante?

 

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I'm sure it works great and has all the latest bells and whistles but yikes, $15k for hardware that is still being sandbagged via software?  If it was $15k and had 16 channels, that would be a great value proposition but I just hate how companies are jumping on this sandbag and/or subscription bandwagon just to make their shareholders happy.  What's next?  8 channels for only $199/month!  Sign up now and we'll throw in Dante for just $49/month extra (taxes/fees not included).

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It’s a great looking product but I don’t think Lectro has anything to worry about, with a price of more the 15k it’s WAY too expensive. 8 channels of Audio TX would be another $18k on top of that…. Charging the extra 2.5k for each additional 4 channels is ridiculous. 

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2 hours ago, Mattias Larsen said:

It looks very nice, but is also kind of heavy at 1.27kg if you "only" use 8 channels.

on my cart, i use 2x A10 racks. the racks weigh 3.6Kg each before i put the receivers in. and one Nexus will replace both of them.

 

i'm not thinking of using a Nexus in my bag rig for the moment.

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It looks cool but expensive! 
for me it would mean switching my whole Rx/Tx 12 channels cart rig and 8 channel bag rig system which would mean a huge investment but i must admit that all the bells and whistles are looking good. If what they say about the nexlink range is true it would solve the issue i had with the battery life of the A20 mini.

I am disappointed though that the dc out are disabled when the nexus is plugged onto a 8 serie. I like to be able to switch the while rig on and off with one power switch and have the batterie in the back of the recorder as backup and hot swap solution…

EDIT: After watching the video from SD i have to correct myself. Yes the 2 Hirose in the back do exactly that.

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There many key points for production sound, which Sound Devices didn't mention in their advertisement - lunch product.

 

1. Waterproof and dustproof performance.

2. Sound quality, there is only one mention in Audio section which says 130> dynamic range with A20 mini transmitter.

3. Can you send a tone for calibration?

4. Direct sunlight performance of screens.

5. What type of class is on the screens and scratching performance. Someone is gonna pay 15K+ for this one, but little-no info about this.

6. True Diversity performance for 16 channels if you unlock it via plug-ins?

 

I really like the advertisement - key features of this product, but other functions is vital to the field. There is so limited information about that fields.

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2 hours ago, rich said:

on my cart, i use 2x A10 racks. the racks weigh 3.6Kg each before i put the receivers in. and one Nexus will replace both of them.

 

i'm not thinking of using a Nexus in my bag rig for the moment.

Yeah defenitely. Looks like a dream for cart work, especially if loaded with 16 channels. Half the size compared to a wisy rack which is already insanely compact.

 

That said, the Wisy or Zax solutions seems to have the edge for lightweight bag solutions if weight is the top priority at a cheaper cost.

 

Exciting to see all of the wireless companies push the boundaries over the last two years.

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I'm with Codyman on this one I think. How much more for an additional 8 channels after spending far more than any other company on a channel basis. I'm not saying I'm not willing to pay a higher price for new and improved technology and prices always have to stay the same. But from a receiver perspective, averaging around $2500 per duel receiver you're paying $1250 per channel of receive, here you are paying almost $2000 a channel (at least you get two bowtie antennas thrown in for the price and can cram 32 channels in 1RU). Thats a mighty large jump. If it came standard with 16 channels for that price, I'm sold. Or if there was a half size version that could do a max of 8 channels for half the price, I may be in. 

 

All that said, I think this looks like a hell of a unit and has a lot of awesome feature. If I was working on shows that needed this many channels I may be tempted. I love seeing all the manufacturers pushing the limits and innovating. Excited to see what else comes in the future. 

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This is looking amazing! Great to see Sound Devices making the most of their Audio Ltd acquisition and further pushing the limits of what is capable with wireless hardware. 

 

12 hours ago, Erob said:

I got excited for a second as this has Dante so thought that might give Dante capabilities to an 833

Would be dreamy if only it was true! Ah well, dreams are free, then you wake up. 

(wonder if there would ever be a "XL-DANTE", a Dante version of the "XL-AES". Doubt it, as there would be no point to it for Scorpio/888 users?? So would only see a very limited number of sales to to 833 users, which would also cut into their 888 sales)
 

12 hours ago, PCMsoundie said:

I also wonder how Lectrosonics is going to counter this release with the feature set... half rack, PoE powering with Dante?

Lectrosonics has the Lectro DSQD, although that's four channels in a half rack. Maybe the DSQDmk2 would be a match for the A20-Nexus? 

 

Or there is the Lectro DSR4 which will ship soon, four of those would fit into 1RU for 16 channels. Maybe Lectrosonics will make their own version of the A10-Rack with extra functionalities for the DSR4?? Or maybe it is time for Lectrosonics to update their Octopack or Quadpack, which have been out for a very very long time. 

 

For many of us (such as myself) the DSR4/DSQD/DCR822 will make more sense, simply because it is backwards compatible with all of existing Lectrosonics transmitters we're already heavily invested in. But if I was starting again from scratch, I definitely would be carefully looking elsewhere, such as Sound Devices Wireless (or Shure Axient Digital, or Sony DWX, or Wisycom). 

 

  

5 hours ago, Erob said:

But from a receiver perspective, averaging around $2500 per duel receiver you're paying $1250 per channel of receive, here you are paying almost $2000 a channel (at least you get two bowtie antennas thrown in for the price and can cram 32 channels in 1RU). Thats a mighty large jump. If it came standard with 16 channels for that price, I'm sold. Or if there was a half size version that could do a max of 8 channels for half the price, I may be in. 

 


I wonder if Sound Devices will consider a quad receiver, with a lot of this functionality, but at a lower price? Would at least allow an easier entry point in.

 

Can't see that happening in a Superslot form factor though, as the A20-RX was a fairly recent release. So I guess the A20-RX will remain the cheapest entry point into the Sound Devices Wireless ecosystem, with a very big leap in initial cost to the A20-Nexus. (although, the A20-Nexus is cheaper on a per channel basis once maxed out!)

 

Maybe if Sound Devices made a quad receiver ("A20-NexusMini"??) in the form factor of a UCR411/DCR822? (would make it compatible too with various accessories, such as from Soundbag Dashboards) As a "middle ground" option. But I presume Sound Devices regards it as more important to release more transmitter options, than more receiver options. And I'd agree!

 

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9 hours ago, IronFilm said:

 

(wonder if there would ever be a "XL-DANTE", a Dante version of the "XL-AES". Doubt it, as there would be no point to it for Scorpio/888 users?? So would only see a very limited number of sales to to 833 users, which would also cut into their 888 sales)

 

If you have the 2 or 3 Lectro DSQDs already there is a 1RU PoE device that will for the 833 for cart-based work:  Sonifex AVN-AESIO8 8 AES3 Input, 8 AES3 Output Dante® Interface, PoE  Powered by PoE.   It is $2050. and the XL-AES is $200. so for $2250. you can have 16 channels of Dante remoted to you and able to use 10 channels feeding AES to 833. (1 on XLR and 4 on XL-AES) That could be 2 wireless booms and 8 wireless lavs.

or for a slightly smaller 1/2 RU size footprint Sonifex AVN-DIO19 Dante to AES3 16 Channel I/O Converter on DB-25 connectors also PoE for $1910. + a DB-25 fanout cable to XLR

 

If you ONLY have 1 DSQD and don't need anything more than 4 wireless channels you can just use a little Tascam AE-4D with PoE or DC in for $600. to feed remoted DSQD via Dante to 2 AES OUTPUTS to your XL-AES.

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Why do people find this expensive? 4 A20 receivers already retail for $12,180 according to Trewaudio. Add 4 SuperSlot plates and an A10 rack to get even half the features of the Nexus and the total gets to $14755, already as much as the Nexus. That‘s still without any spectrum scanner and coordination hardware or the new Nexlink remote control. 
Fully maxed out the Nexus sell for like 20k, whereas with individual receivers you‘re looking at 24k just for the receivers. Add 4 more plates and another A10 rack and you‘re looking at 30k vs 20k. So why does the cheaper system get labelled as more expensive?

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11 hours ago, PCMsoundie said:

you can have 16 channels of Dante remoted to you and able to use 10 channels feeding AES to 833. (1 on XLR and 4 on XL-AES) That could be 2 wireless booms and 8 wireless lavs.

 

Maybe it is time for a "XL-AESmk2"? 😉

Seeing as we know now that the 8 Series accessory port isn't limited to only 8 channels (as some of us mistakenly thought, like me, because the SL2 was limited to only 8 channels in total. But apparently that is a limit of the SL2 itself, not the 8 Series accessory port)

So have a "XL-AESmk2" that can do 16 channels of AES? I'd imagine some 888 & Scorpio owners would like that too, who have lots of AES equipment but not so much Dante yet. (as at the moment, even Scorpio has just four channels natively of AES, so maxes out at 12 with the current XL-AES)

 

2 hours ago, Constantin said:

So why does the cheaper system get labelled as more expensive?

I totally agree with you. And I think the A20-Nexus is priced very reasonably, when viewed at a per channel cost. 

 

Just I think a lot of people get sticker shock at the initial up front cost (which is for sure very high! The very highest of any receiver hardware out there that I know of), rather than thinking about it from a "per channel" perspective. Plus a lot of people don't need to buy 8 channels of receivers all at once! (even fewer need to do 16 all at once!) Those who do buy that many all at once are very much in the minority. Most are buying just two or four at a time.

 

Maybe if Sound Devices was to offer a four channel version of the A20-Nexus for say $8K (with the first "+4" plugin for the quad receiver version costing $6.5K, then the 2nd and 3rd "+4" plugins being the usual $2.5K each) Perhaps that would be a lot more popular, as it is an easier to swallow initial entry point. (that would be a few thousand dollars more expensive than four channels with 2x A20-RX, but a fair enough price I suppose for the "quad A20-Nexus" given all its extra features)

 

But perhaps the hardware costs are far too high for Sound Devices to ever considering selling a cut down A20-Nexus that cheap. I dunno, I have no idea what is the current split for the A20-Nexus of the hardware costs per unit vs the fixed software development R&D costs which have to be covered. (if it is 20/80, then maybe a low priced quad A20-Nexus makes sense, but if it is a 80/20 split then going even cheaper would be a very stupid idea and would lose them too much money)

 

 

2 hours ago, Constantin said:

4 A20 receivers already retail for $12,180 according to Trewaudio. Add 4 SuperSlot plates and an A10 rack to get even half the features of the Nexus and the total gets to $14755, already as much as the Nexus.

 

Very minor correction: $12,180 already includes the costs of the SuperSlot plates.

$10,580 would be the costs of just 4x A20-RX by themselves. 

Your $14755 figure is correct though.

 

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Honestly, this product makes me consider jumping ship from Nova + RX8 + MRX414 x 4

 

The only thing holding me back is waiting for better on body transmitter's - I need an OLED screen and longer battery life. I know the mini has a battery doubler but it just makes it bulkier and not ideal for hiding. I also hate the idea that I can't see whats going on with the transmitter (if ever there was a software error I would struggle to know of it).

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This is an insane amount of receivers in what K-Tek calls their small sized bag.  With the Nova and 4-channel receivers doing what used to require a rolling cart - I think we should be proactive in discussing the future of our department.  It’s going to be very hard talking with a client when the last mixer said they could record 8+ lavs and still have their hands free to boom.

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16 minutes ago, DonovanBomb said:

It’s going to be very hard talking with a client when the last mixer said they could record 8+ lavs and still have their hands free to boom.

In all jest, they've been asking us to do that for years and some of those reality folks sure try.  I remember seeing some of those 788t + 8x 411a setups and wanting to contact a physical therapist just from seeing the photos.

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Having recently gone through a scare with a central piece of hardware in my cart (Scorpio) and coming to the realization that in a small market like Vancouver, BC there aren't great options for renting a spare on short notice I'd say that having one device which is so heavily software dependent seems like putting all of your eggs in one basket. You'd have to have a spare (or have access to one)  @ $15k to reliably put that in your cart as it is an all-in-one solution. If it went down you'd be in hot water awfully quick on a modern film set without another one nearby.   I've come to have a health respect for the modularity of all of my equipment and the safety that offers, when one thing goes down it doesn't sink the ship

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2 hours ago, millar said:

Having recently gone through a scare with a central piece of hardware in my cart (Scorpio) and coming to the realization that in a small market like Vancouver, BC there aren't great options for renting a spare on short notice I'd say that having one device which is so heavily software dependent seems like putting all of your eggs in one basket. You'd have to have a spare (or have access to one)  @ $15k to reliably put that in your cart as it is an all-in-one solution. If it went down you'd be in hot water awfully quick on a modern film set without another one nearby.   I've come to have a health respect for the modularity of all of my equipment and the safety that offers, when one thing goes down it doesn't sink the ship

What happened to your Scorpio? 
 

I have a Scorpio and it’s been rock solid. 
Thanks 

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3 hours ago, millar said:

 I'd say that having one device which is so heavily software dependent seems like putting all of your eggs in one basket. You'd have to have a spare (or have access to one)  


Yes I‘ve been thinking about that, too. With the Nova that’s even more of a potential problem and why I am surprised so many people jumped on the Nova-train

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2 hours ago, Peter Mega said:

What happened to your Scorpio? 
 

I have a Scorpio and it’s been rock solid. 
Thanks 

It's not fully resolved yet, it's at the factory for repair. I managed to limp through the last few weeks of a job without major issue and have redesigned a better redundancy option to more easily replace the Scorpio with my 888 should I ever need to again. 

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1 hour ago, millar said:

It's not fully resolved yet, it's at the factory for repair. I managed to limp through the last few weeks of a job without major issue and have redesigned a better redundancy option to more easily replace the Scorpio with my 888 should I ever need to again. 

Please do let me know when they tell you what happened. 
 

Id like to know in case anything happens to mine. 
Thanks 

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On 11/28/2022 at 11:32 PM, VASI said:

There many key points for production sound, which Sound Devices didn't mention in their advertisement - lunch product.

 

1. Waterproof and dustproof performance.

2. Sound quality, there is only one mention in Audio section which says 130> dynamic range with A20 mini transmitter.

3. Can you send a tone for calibration?

4. Direct sunlight performance of screens.

5. What type of class is on the screens and scratching performance. Someone is gonna pay 15K+ for this one, but little-no info about this.

6. True Diversity performance for 16 channels if you unlock it via plug-ins?

 

I really like the advertisement - key features of this product, but other functions is vital to the field. There is so limited information about that fields.

 

Got some answers regarding these:

 

1. Is not waterproof resistance. "Don't submerged in water", that wasn't my question, but clear need protection. Since when Sound Devices don't know when location sound people asking about waterproof resistance what we mean? Anyway. No word about dustproof.

 

2. -

 

3. No calibration tone if you don't use 8 series recorder. It's on feature request list.

 

4. Sunlight performance has the same as MixPre Series. MixPre costs 2K euros, while this one costs like a new car. Anyway.

 

5. Glass performance (durability) is like Gorilla Glass.

 

6. True Diversity across 16 channels.

 

====

 

Really extreme poor advertisement-communication from Sound Devices for Production Sound Dept. here. Anyway, starting to think that SD want to be in other market - industry since merge, but this is different conversation.

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