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I know the majority of echo users are out to annoy the world, but digital echo can be an enhancement rather than a detraction. After all, digital delay, echo, reverb and slapback echo are used in the recording industry as well as in surround sound reproduction. The first thing I spotted was the pink label on the outside of the box. I thought it was only an unrelated promotional gimmick.
After noticing a phone jack on the rear panel of the mic next to a small shaft labeled EAR, I checked the instruction sheet to confirm that the jack is for monitoring yourself with headphones. No need for talkback here. Talkback is almost useless with a desk mic anyway. Most operators want to talk a foot or two from the mic and to do that the mic must be tuned up to be more sensitive causing feedback when talkback is used. Complete documentation is included.
It covers maintenance including cleaning the windscreen, features, controls and their settings, specifications, dimensions and even a schematic.
A word spoken into the mic will repeat and decrease in volume until it fades away. The delay time between each echo is set with the Digital Delay control from a short reverb to a long repeat echo of close to one second. You could easily speak five quick words before the echo repeats itself.
Slapback Echo: Slapback echo works exactly as Echo but only repeats once. A short delay adds fullness to your voice, almost like two people speaking at the same time.
A touch of this effect does make your audio sound full on sideband. One is a single tone and the other is a multiple tone three different quick tones. The tones are generated digitally and are easy on the ears, or should I say nerves.
Headphone Jack: This will drive a walkman type stereo headphone set or an amplified speaker. It has a high quality output and comes from the same amplifier stage that is feed into the radio.
Mic Gain: The Mic Gain is a slide control that sets the level into the digital circuitry. This meter is quite accurate. The setting of this control will vary depending on how far away from the mic you speak. Setting the control to the center position turns off the echo effects. Turning the control counterclockwise activates the Echo effect and sets the echo delay time. Turning the control clockwise activates the Slapback echo effect and sets the Slapback echo delay time.
In either case, turning the control towards MAX increases the delay time. Setting this control completely counterclockwise will act the same as turning off the effects. With this control set completely clockwise, the volume of Slapback and Echo repeat will be at maximum and sound as loud as the original sound picked up by the mic.
At MAX the echo the mic tested repeated approximately 10 times. Around nine seconds. Single is in the out position. Use this control to set the overall level of the mic. This control is set after the mic gain is adjusted as described above. Headphone Volume Control: This is also on the rear panel of the mic. Located next to the ear jack it is used to adjust the headphone or amplified speaker volume. The use of headphones will drain the battery more quickly.
Astatic offers a wall transformer which eliminates that problem. This mic is of heavy steal construction with four soft rubber feet to keep it from sliding around. The base is black with gold lettering and trim. The digital control knobs are black with red inserts.
The ETS buttons are red. The Mic Gain graphic display and Digital Delay area are blue with gold trim. The PTT and Lock bars are blue. The gooseneck is a black flexible type.
The top panel is a tough laminated plastic label that will resist scratches much better than silk screen painted surfaces. The 9 volt battery can be changed by removing one screw from the rear panel. Powering the mic with a 9 volt lithium battery Radio Shack should increase battery life 5 times and only cost 3 times the price of its alkaline counterpart. Ant the shelf life of a lithium battery is about 10 years. If you choose to eliminate the battery its compartment cover has a small hole for the wire of the optional wall transformer.
A look inside the mic and the quality engineering and workmanship is immediately evident. The circuit board is computer generated and glass epoxy not the phenolic boards used in most other mics.
The meter and microphone element are terminated with connectors so when the cover is removed they can be unplugged and the cover can be completely detached from the main body of the mic.
The push to talk and lock bar are rugged and designed in such a way that even pressure is applied to the PTT switch. No switch failures or scratchy transmissions due to side pressure from poor mechanical designs. The switch should last a long time in this mic.
Looking at the schematic I noticed two amplifier stages dedicated to audio tailoring. This is how they got the sound of the D using a electret condenser mic element. In my opinion, the mic sounds better than a D It has more low end audio giving it a deeper tone while maintaining the high tone response that the D is famous for.
On the nest page is a copy of the schematic. Sorry for the poor quality, this is a copy of a copy. The original is no longer made available.
Looking at the schematic in the digital delay control area, it looks as if one might be able to increase the delay by playing with the values of R16 and R On the air results were incredible. Nobody had heard anything like this before. I must admit, I went overboard with the effects and enjoyed it too. For my taste I found that setting the Digital Delay to the first line inside the Slapback effect range and the Effects Gain at 7 on sideband gave a fuller effect without a hollow sound.
On AM I found increasing these setting slightly gave a fuller sound to my audio. Playing with the headphones on, I found that setting the Mic Gain to 5 and the Effects gain to 10 I had a reverse echo.
What I mean by that is that the echo was louder that the spoken word. This is a unique and interesting effect not mentioned in the instructions.
I did notice two minor things. One is inconsequential actually. Using the headphones with the Mic Gain very low some digital noise was detected. This was extremely low and probably should be expected.
Some radios have a half second delay before they transmit audio from the time the mic is keyed. This momentary drop of transmit causes some radios to miss the beep tones. The very popular Sadelta Echo Master Plus has the same problem. It only happens on a few models and is easily corrected. The mic cord is terminated with a RJ type connector like those used on telephone equipment and the new ham radio gear.
This makes it possible for the end user to change the mic cord if it goes bad. It also allows you to have multiple mic cords pre-wired for all you favorite radios in your closet. Want to run a different radio, just unplug the mic cord from the back of the mic and replace it with one wired for the radio of your choice. Whether you like echo or not, this mic has studio quality audio without the effects.
The New Astatic EchoMax 2000 Desk Microphone
I know the majority of echo users are out to annoy the world, but digital echo can be an enhancement rather than a detraction. After all, digital delay, echo, reverb and slapback echo are used in the recording industry as well as in surround sound reproduction. The first thing I spotted was the pink label on the outside of the box. I thought it was only an unrelated promotional gimmick. After noticing a phone jack on the rear panel of the mic next to a small shaft labeled EAR, I checked the instruction sheet to confirm that the jack is for monitoring yourself with headphones.
ASTATIC ECHOMAX 2000 MANUAL PDF
For my taste I found that setting the Digital Delay to the first line inside the Slapback effect range and the Effects Gain at 7 on sideband gave a fuller effect without a hollow sound. Turning the control counterclockwise activates the Echo effect and sets the echo delay time. This push button selects the single or multi tone ETS. Nobody had heard anything like this before. The switch should last a long time in this mic. Astatic offers a wall transformer which eliminates that problem.
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