I am a very satisfied owner!
Having recently added a Central Station to my studio, I was specifically interested to see if it would replace the need for the master section of my Mackie 24/8 console.
The short answer is yes – I am actually selling my console now!
What I found is not only did it allow for easy access to (2) independent headphone mixes, inputs for (5) stereo external devices, talkback, dim, mono, mute, nice master volume control and even individual speaker calibration pots (to adjust for the powered speakers that have those detents on the volume adjust on the back of the speaker that are never quite exact) but when using the Central Station’s Digital to Analog converter instead of the DAC of my Mbox, the upgrade in sound quality was immediately noticeable. I was surprised how dramatic the difference was. I am adding a Digi002R to my arsenal in a few weeks at which point I will be curious to see what difference there is between the CentralStation and Digi002R’s DAC’s. Until then, what I am hearing now sounds like someone lifted a heavy blanket off my speakers. The result is that mixes are translating better from studio to other playback systems elsewhere (car, home stereo etc) because what I am hearing in through the Central Station is much closer to what is really in the recording that what the Mbox was allowing me to hear. This is quite an upgrade in sound for me.
Aside from the difference in sound, it is nice to finally have some good metering again. I have been using the digital metering on my DAT recorder which although is better than nothing, is quite a pain sometime because where the DAT deck is located in the rack. The Central Station offers a few ways of metering the signal coming in and even let me easily calibrate the meters to coincide with the levels of various digital devices that differ slightly on what they consider “zero” to be (all you have to do is send the Central Station what you want Zero to be and you hold a calibrate button for 3 seconds and you’re done).
This being the first official review I have ever written on a piece of equipment. I find it tough to describe sound using words. Because of the quality of the build, sound and feature set of the Central Station I felt compelled to at least indicate that I am a very satisfied owner. Even though I have it placed only 3 feet from me, I am very anxious now to pick up the remote (which includes talkback!).