A brand-new, unannounced Antelope Audio product briefly appeared on Gearslutz’ New Product Announcements page – but the thread was swiftly pulled! Luckily for us gear nerds, the thread surfaced in the Google cache, and as a bonus, the Antelope Audio Amari – a high-end desktop format audio interface – showed up for pre-order in two webshops. Thus, we have all the official information available for this exciting new Antelope Audio interface before its debut – which is likely to line-up together with the AES 2017 expo in New York.
So, what’s special about the Amari? Antelope says (or should that be “will say”? Ed.) this is a mastering-grade USB interface that packs most of its latest high-end technology, as seen in its flagship pro-audio interfaces, in a desktop format. Typical Antelope specialities are represented, like a full-sized touchscreen display, exemplary clocking and conversion, and FPGA DSP-based virtual simulations of vintage equalizers and compressors.
Looking as slick as expected from Antelope, the Amari is abundant with connectivity – there’s a stereo pair of Combo-XLR analog inputs & outputs and another stereo pair of unbalanced RCA analog inputs & outputs. Digital connectivity is ensured with AES/EBU, S/PDIF, and TOSLINK ports. There’s a Word Clock input and an Atomic clock input, too. The USB connection happens over the fast 3.0 standard. Analog and digital conversion is handled by Antelope’s ESS and AKM chips that offer the full 24-bit, 192kHz hi-res audio experience. Finally, the clocking in action is Antelope’s fourth-generation 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking techology. Great stuff all-around!
To top things off, the Amari features a pair of headphone outputs with individual volume controls and selectable output resistance. They can automatically adapt to your headphones’ impedance and power limiting settings so everything operates at maximum efficiency. Finally, control over the unit is established with dedicated knobs and buttons for the most frequently used controls. The full-color touchscreen panel and the software control panel handle the rest – including volume level measurement and engaging Antelope’s FPGA FX suite.
Overall, the Amari sits nicely on top of Antelope’s new range of mid and upper mid-range interfaces, started with the Discrete 4 and 8 units. It’s a premium interface for studio owners that have the bulk of their connectivity and recording needs handled elsewhere, or simply don’t require the tens of inputs and outputs offered by rack-format interfaces. It’s a sensible addition to Antelope’s range of products that’s sure to catch interest among spend-happy gear enthusiasts.
Price and availability
The Antelope Amari is selling at some American and European web stores, priced at 1,995 USD and 1990 EUR, respectively. That’s certainly a lot of money for what essentially is a 4-in, 4-out audio interface. But in the end, this is the price you pay for Antelope product design, sound quality, and FPGA simulations. For some audio professionals, this ought to be money well-spent.