Antelope Audio Goliath HD Problems, Fixes and Outstanding Issues


Squawk

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#1
Some of you from GS may have been following the rather extensive ordeal I've had over the past year with my Antelope Audio Goliath and Goliath HD units. Currently, I'm on my 5th unit, and 2nd Goliath HD unit. I had previously had 3 non-HD Goliath units here that were returned. Antelope were very good about issuing RMA's.

I decided to start this thread to let people know the current status, what's working well, and what's still outstanding. I also wanted to document the issues with previous units that were either resolved, or RMA'd before a resolution could be found.

CURRENT STATUS:

Currently I have a Goliath HD, the 2nd unit I've had here now. There are still outstanding issues with the AES/EBU connection. It seems to me that the internal firmware is not correctly detecting when there is signal present on the AES/EBU OUTPUT ports. The result is that in order to get your device to "engage" with the Goliath HD, you need to physically unplug and plug back in the AES/EBU connections. I've tested this with external hardware (Bricasti M7), as well as a round trip AES loop in the Goliath. Tested with Cubase 9/9.5 and Logic Pro X.

It appears to be just AES/EBU coming out of the Goliath that is the issue. Incoming AES/EBU appears to have no issues. I've got a keyboard coming in via AES/EBU, and does not have these problems. I suspect that is why Antelope has been seemingly confounded by this issue, as there's probably not a lot of people using the AES/EBU outs, or at least using both in a loop for external hardware. Either that, or it's just a lack of thorough testing on their part, or both.

Below is a quick video I made for the Antelope techs showing the problem. Note the lack of meter activity on the Bricasti FX channel, until the unit is unplugged and plugged back in. (This is not a Bricasti issue, as it doesn't happen when connected via AES/EBU to my RME MADIface XT).


As of Dec. 25, 2017 this video and description of the problem I am told has been forwarded to one of their main engineers.


OLDER ISSUES:

The first unit I had was having issues with AES/EBU not functioning correctly. I contacted Antelope in January 2017.




The original unit was remote tested and RMA'd by Antelope. The 2nd unit that was sent was unfortunately not working correctly at all and had to be sent back. It was dropping communication continually (computer, wordclock signal, USB, etc.)

I lived with the original unit (several golden boots seemed to make things better) for a time before eventually getting another RMA on it.

After one of the firmware updates (March, 2017), the unit ceased to be able to power down on its own, and required a manual shutdown from the back of the unit. The screensaver and dimmer control also didn't work.



I reported this issue on March 27. According to my notes, it was fixed on or around June 24th. So 3 months later. However, in the same firmware update that resolved the screen issue, my AES/EBU ports were now D.O.A. After some back and forth, it kind of worked, but ultimately was RMA'd again for another unit in July.

3RD UNIT:

I received a 3rd standard Goliath unit in July. Unfortunately upon testing, things were not a lot better with AES/EBU.




From my notes at the time:

Other strange things are also happening that I didn't document with photos, such as channel 1-2 loop test getting no signal back. Same with 5-6, or meters 3-4, 5-6 showing when 1-2 and 5-6 are looped, etc. Meters also "sticking" halfway when channels are disconnected, instead of dropping to zero.

At this point, I'm just not sure what to make of it. I've reinstalled the most recent firmware, and did a factory reset again. Strange things happening testing with 4 different AES/EBU snakes, either brand new or close to new.

At this point, I decide to cut my losses and instead of getting another Goliath, I'd bump up to the new Goliath HD, in hopes that things would somehow be better. Either an incredibly brave move, or incredibly stupid...

4TH UNIT:

The 4th unit was still giving me grief with the AES/EBU connections. Intermittent, metering anomolies, etc. On this unit, in an attempt to secure the DB25 end as tight as possible, I ended up snapping off one of the two cable connection pins on the Goliath unit.

At this point I decided to bump things up to the HD unit, and see if things were going to work better for me. After some back and forth, Antelope and my dealer were good about facilitating a return on this unit, and sending out an HD unit.
 
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Matty6Strings

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#2
Good luck mate, glad to hear Antelope is treating you well. Seems you are their guinea pig. LOL kidding. I had an Antelope Zen, could not bond with it, THE Goliath is in another league I believe.

I ended up with the Prism Sound Atlas, only 8 mic pres but does my just fine.

Looking forward to your updates here.
 

Squawk

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#3
This flu season has kicked my ass, but I'm trying to get back to updating the story here. I have to go through my notes again. I did some sessions recently and am still having to physically connect the AES/EBU a few times to get things working, but it's not a work stopper.

Antelope have been in contact since the holidays, so they are still looking into it for me. :agree:
 

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#5

Squawk

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#6
ugh, not acceptable imho.
What's particularly annoying about that one is that the app is always on top when it's open, so you can't even tuck it behind your DAW window! :shock:
 

Squawk

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#7
I'm just waiting to hear back from Antelope. It appears that my case has been assigned to another support rep. Hopefully we can get things moving again.

I've requested a fix for the issue, or an RMA and the replacement of this unit with one that's been thoroughly tested with AES/EBU connected hardware on AUX's or inserts.

We'll see what happens. To be continued...
 

Squawk

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#8
I'm skipping the timline with things, but I do have an update.

I just heard back from my Antelope support person this morning. I guess they were waiting on hearing from management before contacting me (which I wasn't aware of). Looks like we are going to do an RMA on this unit, and I'm hoping we can also maybe try exchanging AES/EBU cables, just to rule out any variables.

I think there's maybe a slight language barrier that accounts for some miscommunication (my Bulgarian frankly is terrible :cowbell:), but I appreciate that they've come through for me here.
 

Squawk

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#9
Just walking back my previous post. I just got another email this morning from Antelope. Apparently they will not do an exchange, so I have no idea what's going on now. I'm getting one sentence replies with no details. Communication seems to be as clear as mud.
 

Squawk

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#10
I just want to give a quick public thank you to Andrew at Antelope, who was kind enough to reach out and call me yesterday. We had a very productive and friendly conversation, and they are going to send me a loaner while they go through and test the unit I have here.

Andrew was extremely professional, responsive, and a great listener, and we were able to talk through the steps I've taken to troubleshoot, what I believe the issue might be, and a path forward that helps both of us work together to resolve the problem.

This is the type of support response and customer service that I'd expect from a company, and I'm glad that he has picked up the case and is handling things for me now.

So thank you very much again Andrew @ Antelope! :agree:
 

Squawk

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#11
Hi guys, just a follow up on this. The latest firmware update seems to have resolved the AES/EBU issues with my Goliath. So far it's been a smooth two way signal flow over AES, with no workarounds, no intermittent connection issues.

Thanks again to Andrew at Antelope, a true gent and very helpful and considerate during this process. If you run into issues with your Antelope unit, I highly recommend talking with him.

:agree:
 

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#12
Awesome, Mr.T!

Say, did you keep the loaner or end up with that 5th unit?
 

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Awesome, Mr.T!

Say, did you keep the loaner or end up with that 5th unit?
Funny enough, I was about to pack up the unit for them to pick up, and decided to boot it up first. When you launch the app it checks for updates, and there was the new firmware update that day, so I figured I'd better just test it first. And to my surprise, it seemed to resolve the problem! So I phoned up Andrew and let him know that we should hold off so I can do some more testing.

So I'm glad it all finally worked out. Andrew was very understanding and great at listening to the details of this whole situation, and he was very good to deal with.
 

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#14
I'd be tempted to hang onto it even if it's a little "shop-soiled" or whatever.

Been in similar situations so many times (I've had terrible luck with tech), and have regretted not quitting at the point you're at right now. If it works, OK, maybe it's just the firmware, but on the slight off-chance it's related in some small way to anything else hardware-related, I'd personally not want to risk returning it.

That's just me, mate, but as I suggested, when you've been burned enough times... you know how it goes.
 

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Yeah, I didn't want to take the chance with another unit! Thankfully it's all working, but man, that was a long road!
 

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#16
I totally feel ya mate. Kudos for having the balls and good sense to hang onto the one that's working properly right now.

It'll be my turn next. I've had a lay-buy going for a MOTU AVB system since they hit the market. Even had the money stolen (the dude went out of business (MOTU wholesaler in Oz!) and refuses to give it back; there's nothing I can do - long story) and had to start the lay-buy again (with someone I trust). There's still a nasty catch 'though - the store cannot accept returns 'cause the new wholesaler's too much for them to deal with; they'll buy from him, but that's all. How MOTU managed to pick the only other bad apple in the bunch, I'll never know. Sometimes a small world isn't what you want; the dude already cost me a decade and a half (another long story!).

Oh well, wish me luck, bud. I love my PCI-424 (MOTU) system; it's always been rock-solid, but the AVB line is a serious step up in A/D / D/A quality. What makes me nervous is I'm gonna have to go USB (can't put Thunderbolt on my cheese grater Mac), even selling a couple o' synths to fit with the max-allowable input-count. After a glitch-free 18 years using PCI-324, PCI-424 and PCI-424x, you can imagine the nightmares I'm already having. Only option, should it prove too-glitchy, is to sell on eBay and lose a packet.
 

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#17
Oops, spoke too soon. The issue has come up again, but I'm just going to let it go and deal with it. I'm suspecting it may be something to do with how the Antelope is sending clocking info over AES/EBU. I also suspect it's a firmware/software issue. I just don't feel like going through another unit. For now, I just have to disconnect/reconnect the Bricasti at the start of each session.
 

Squawk

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I totally feel ya mate. Kudos for having the balls and good sense to hang onto the one that's working properly right now.

It'll be my turn next. I've had a lay-buy going for a MOTU AVB system since they hit the market. Even had the money stolen (the dude went out of business (MOTU wholesaler in Oz!) and refuses to give it back; there's nothing I can do - long story) and had to start the lay-buy again (with someone I trust). There's still a nasty catch 'though - the store cannot accept returns 'cause the new wholesaler's too much for them to deal with; they'll buy from him, but that's all. How MOTU managed to pick the only other bad apple in the bunch, I'll never know. Sometimes a small world isn't what you want; the dude already cost me a decade and a half (another long story!).

Oh well, wish me luck, bud. I love my PCI-424 (MOTU) system; it's always been rock-solid, but the AVB line is a serious step up in A/D / D/A quality. What makes me nervous is I'm gonna have to go USB (can't put Thunderbolt on my cheese grater Mac), even selling a couple o' synths to fit with the max-allowable input-count. After a glitch-free 18 years using PCI-324, PCI-424 and PCI-424x, you can imagine the nightmares I'm already having. Only option, should it prove too-glitchy, is to sell on eBay and lose a packet.

Damn, sorry to hear you lost a deposit!!! That sucks big time.

I love the Motu AVB stuff. As you know, I've had it before and it was great. The browser interface takes a bit of getting used to, but it's straightforward and logical once you understand it.

Good luck! :agree:
 

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Thank you so much, Torry!

Getting to the point where I'm going to have to grab the AVB interfaces now; the vendor's losing patience. I can only hope they work as a trio over USB without any fuss, else I'm gonna have to sell them straight away.

So sorry to hear even this unit's playing up now, man. Not worth considering reverting to the MOTU gear?
 

Squawk

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#20
I'm a bit too invested at this point. I'm also just tired of trying to resolve it and stressing about it. I'm at the point where, while it kind of sucks, it a relatively minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Everything else about the Goliath I like and it works well (although I haven't used it with HDX or Thunderbolt). I'd rather just do the workaround, and hope that it eventually gets resolved. If I were to pickup a Motu unit again, it would be the 112D, which would allow me to then connect AES over ADAT for the Bricasti.
 
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