Alesis Masterlink ML-9600 Others

Masterlink ML-9600

Hard Disk recorder and CD-Burner

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
paulwbranner   AudioPhile [Mar 02, 2006]
Strength:

Functionality Build Quality Sound Quality Ease of operation Looks Price Point

Weakness:

Having a sync feature would be nice but the 9600 has so much more, the sync is just a qubble

This a follow up for the ML 9600. I am glad I invested more time getting familiar with the 9600. This deck is to be reckon with. No doubt it is a challenge to master and make reference recordings. I suggest to have at least 5 blank cdrs to make mistakes on and get the hang on how this decks really works. The build quality is excellent and it feels great to touch. I grade equipment on how well it performs and how the switches respond. The Alesis is truly audiophile quality. This is not for your typical everyday person who wants to burn a cd for a friend or whatever, nor is this piece of equipment for the entry level audiophile. The Alesis is a professional piece of equipment. I am glad I owned recorders in the past. Now I have a totally different appreciation for recording. Now, I book time to do a session. I put together tracks for critical listening. Which is everyday. Yep I listen everyday. This is part of my lifestyle, I make a point of it... The sound of the 9600 is as good as it gets. It far exceeds my reference sacd player.It is truly hard to see how companies get away with what they charge for their products. I most recently listen to the 10k Linn, and the 9600 sound was so much more. This is without applying the DSP. Not only the Linn but the Krell,Ayre,BAT,Sony, just to name a few, all was out classed! Where the Alesis moves so far ahead of what's out there is the flexibility of recording. Recording on Hard Drive to put your favorite tracks in order or out of order, then a cd is made. A red book cd can even be put on Hard Drive. This establishes a playlist. There are 16 playlists with 99 tracks within each list. The most impressive feature is to be able to apply DSP to each or all the tracks. From more gain to trimming the mid to applying compression. The 9600 delivers.THIS IS A SERIOUS PIECE OF DIGITAL EQUIPMENT! Again the ML/9600 is not for the fly by night hobbyist. This is for one who takes this journey seriously and expects the best always. The ML/9600 is by far way ahead of any recorder on the market today. My listening is on a whole completely different level now and believe me I do expect the best. ALWAYS!

Customer Service

I bought on line. From the time of the order to delivery, there were no hic ups.

Similar Products Used: Pioneer Tascam Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
paulwbranner   AudioPhile [Feb 27, 2006]
Strength:

Build Quality Ease of operation Reference Quality

Weakness:

Too early to tell

I really like this deck. I was looking for a recorder to replace my pioneer. I looked at the Yamaha and the Tascam. Both of which are pretty good and has gotten good reveiws. I went with the Alesis. I like the look and the options. I am just getting started with ML 9600. I made a recording on the hard drive and cd. It is really hard to believe how good the Alesis really is. I didn't expect to consider selling my reference player. It's that good. I will give an update after I really get to know this deck. Stay tuned!

Similar Products Used: Tascam Pioneer Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
monolith   AudioPhile [Aug 15, 2002]
Strength:

great converters. innovative concept. tidy and functional. cheap.

Weakness:

for the money, none. except maybe the inability to burn a cd in real time if desired.

I'm simply shocked at how good the converters are on this thing. I never knew. The Masterlink sounds rich and detailed. The low end extends into the lowest octaves with authority and depth. Even simply playing CD's is a joy. Very involving sound. I'm mixing to half inch analog tape from the Masterlink and the results are gorgeous. I tried the Lucid AD2496 and it sounded hashy and two dimensional. The Masterlink extended nearly an octave lower than the Lucid. Try the test yourself! I'm surprised there isn't more hype about the sound of the Masterlink ... I almost didn't use it and am glad I did my a/b tests.

Similar Products Used: There is nothing quite like it.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mudukwon   AudioPhile [Jul 15, 2002]
Strength:

Editing features, rearranging of playlists, fade in/out, and being able to adjust the record out level, just outstanding! Electronics are top rate as well as ease of use

Weakness:

CD transport is a little shoddy.

The Masterlink 9600 is just great! It makes cds that sound better than the originals in some caese. I t allows me to rearrange and edit many aspects of my music, allowing me vast flexibility. And for $1K, what a deal. Build quality is a little lacking but the rich feature set makes up for that. Only thing si sthe cd doesn't sound that great for playbakc. I bought the 30 gig model.

Similar Products Used: None that compare.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Todd Bates   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 20, 2000]
Strength:

Easy to use, sound quality is outstanding, saves so much time and hassle by letting me bypass the DAT process.

Weakness:

I haven't found a way to dump the hard drive onto another medium once I fill it up. Also, having no keypad is a little inconvenient.

The Masterlink is really easy to use. It has a common sense initial set up. You will need to read the book to use some of the slicker features, but the book is written in a user friendly way. I was making really nice CDs within the first few hours.

I think I would have liked to have seen some way that an add on product could be used to make the access to the controls for the front panel easier. The remote is handy, but I'd rather have some sort of key pad thing going.

Also, a way to dump the entire hard drive into something like a Jazz drive would have been neat. Small prices to pay for such a great unit, though. Maybe on the next version, huh?

Similar Products Used: ADAT LX20 (2)
MIDIVERB
ALESIS COMPRESSER (I think it is the 3060)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 21, 2000]
Strength:

Ability to record two channels of digital audio at up to 24-bit resolution and up to 96kHz sampling frequency; Balanced inputs & outputs; Superb A/D & D/A Converters; Exquisite overall audio reproduction quality; Versatility; Ease of use; Build quality; Audio archivable on inexpensive CD-Rs; Records Redbook standard CD-Rs; Ability to be quickly upgraded with new features via new operating system files from Alesis.

Weakness:

The waiting list was long! No "headroom" indicator. Cluttered remote. A bigger hard drive would be nice.

This is the nicest recorder I've ever used. It's also perhaps the best CD player I've ever heard. And it burns CDs to boot! I have no complaints and am very happy that I bought it. I can not afford (or lift) the analog recorder(& the requisite tape!) which might approach this reproduction quality.

I do live two-microphone recording of our local music groups using a matched pair of Earthworks QTC-1s (omnis) and an Earthworks LAB102 microphone preamp run to the MasterLink. The MasterLink does a super job of capturing & reproducing my tracks--it records and plays back absolutely flat. In addition, I can edit the tracks on the hard drive and then make Redbook or proprietary CD-24 CD-Rs. See Alesis' website for more specific information.

I think this is great solution for those who have been using DAT for live recording and who are looking for an upgrade.

I think Alesis should provide a higher-capacity hard drive, or at least make it easier (i.e., not a warranty-voiding procedure) to upgrade the existing 4.3 GB drive. If I record at 24 bit resolution with the 96 kHz sampling rate, I'm limited to slightly more than 90 minutes of record time--not enough for a live concert. I guess I shouldn't complain, as this size drive does give 5.3 hours at CD resolution.

I might add, however, that the terrific 128x oversampling converters sound great at any bit depth, regardless of the sampling frequency. Increasing the bit depth from 16 to 24 makes a much smaller impact on hard drive space requirements than doubling the sampling frequency, and results in orders-of-magnitude increases in sound quality. As a result, I'm recording nearly everything at 44.1 kHz and 24 bit.

Get yours and enjoy! And don't miss the OS upgrades from the Alesis web site...

r/Bob

Similar Products Used: TASCAM, Marantz, & Aiwa DAT recorders; Cool Edit Pro audio-editing software; Adaptec Easy CD Creator; various CD burners.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MIchael HUbbard   Audiophile [Dec 04, 2001]
Strength:

Professional quality unit, easy to use, great sound quality, ability to record at higher sample rates!

Weakness:

NONE! (ok...maybe a larger hard drive)

I love this thing! It gives the user the ability to edit,re-arrange tracks and improve sound quality while your playlist is still on the internal hard drive. This product is the future of audiophile music storage. The CD's the Masterlink produces are as good as it gets. If you enjoy and appriciate quality professional equipment and can afford it... get one!

ps- check out bpmmusic.com for the lowest price (also very good people to deal with) anywhere on the web!

Similar Products Used: Nothing like it on the market (yet!)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Greg   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 08, 2002]
Strength:

96khz/24bit 2-track recording, full-band compression, limiting, 3-band parametric, other DSP functions.

Weakness:

DSP buffer does seem to fill up rather quickly, otherwise, FLAWLESS.

The Alesis Masterlink ML-9600......one word: WOW. It's basically a no-brainer: you establish a playlist, record tracks into it either through analog or digital inputs (at either 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96khz), with available word lengths of 16, 20, and 24 bits. You can then re-arrange, crop, split, re-join (handy for cutting or adding verses, etc.), add EQ, compress, limit, and normalize (yuk!). Then you can burn either a RedBook compatable CD, or Alesis' proprietary "CD24" which contains AIFF files, that are playable on either Macs, or PCs.

I was more than a bit surprised to see this reviewed here (considering this is primarily a home audio/video site). The Masterlink is aimed more towards the semi-pro to fully professional recording studio environment. But I can see where it would be VERY valuable to DJ's, etc., that re-record, and re-arrange tracks for later playback.

The Masterlink is NOT simply a "CD recorder", per se, but a production tool. It's quickly becoming a standard for mixdown in lots of studios. It's also a wonderful tool for recording live performances. I'm VERY proud to be a Masterlink user; I think we're going to see this little jem around for quite a while.

Similar Products Used: This is a unique product, so far......
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John   Audiophile [Jun 12, 2000]
Strength:

Very easy to use, simplifies the whole process of mixing and creating a finalized, mastered cd.

Weakness:

None that I have noticed. Maybe a more detailed manuel with some basic settings for the DSP controls.

Very easy machine to use and navigate. It has lived up to all the Alesis hype. Sounds great and saves lots of time.

Similar Products Used: None this is a unique product. I do have lots of outboard gear compressors and the like that this unit includes.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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