Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA – XLR Module for DSLR/mirrorless cameras

July 9th, 2014
Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA - XLR Module for DSLR/mirrorless cameras

Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA 1Just bought a GH4 or A7S? Missing those lovely audio features that large sensor camcorders brought back? Check out the DXA-SLR ULTRA, Beachteks latest audio module that offers professional audio features via XLR and 1/4″ jack inputs.Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA 3

The DSLR revolution was both fantastic and problematic. It brought us fantastic image quality (for its time) but created a whole host of issues with audio. The latter was arguably one of the main draws of large sensor camcorders.

Despite the industry’s immense advancements with camera technology, we find ourselves in a similar position to that of a few years ago. There’s been a surge in popularity with mirrorless systems (thanks to two specific cameras), bringing us some fantastic features and improvements in image quality (compared to most DSLRs), yet we’re back to square one with poor on-board audio. (Having said that, the preamps on the A7S are much better than on Canon DSLR, as Johnnie discovered on his recent review of the camera.)

Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA 4

Manufacturers have listened and learned from last time, both the GH4 and the A7S have their respective audio modules that provide greater audio options, yet both are expensive, and the GH4 YAGH interface specifically has a very poor form factor and tricky power options.

Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA 5The DXA-SLR ULTRA is a third party solution for audio, which will no doubt be popular with owners of the new GH4 and A7S cameras, as well as many other XLR-lacking DSLR and mirrorless systems.

The DXA-SLR ULTRA is designed to sit under your camera (much like a battery grip) and works inline with the 3.5mm input on your camera and professional audio equipment such as shot gun mics, wireless kits and mixers.

It negates the need to record audio separately, offering two audio inputs that double up as both XLR and 1/4″ jack. Each channel is independently adjustable, and along with the monitor volume is controllable via a large analog knob.

Other features include independent limiters for each channel, phantom power, low-noise preamplifiers for better audio recording and gain & mic/line switches for greater versatility with various audio formats.

Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA 2Beachtek has released a host of similar devices over the years, a brand new feature of the DXA-SLR ULTRA is the detachable 15mm rod mount. The rods supplied with the device are threaded on both ends, so providing Beachtek haven’t been obstructive we should be able to use any threaded 15mm rod accessories.

Whilst this won’t fix the issue of poor inbuilt pre-amps in your XLR-lacking camera, it will give me much greater control over the audio going in, as well as proper audio monitoring both coming into the device, and being recorded to the camera.

Here’s a list of the key feature of the DXA-SLR ULTRA

  • Detachable 15mm rod support base. Includes two threaded 3″ rods
  • 3.5mm input to loop back from camera for playback monitoring
  • Built-in headphone amplifier with volume control and 3.5 mm phone jack
  • Switchable 12V/OFF/48V phantom power for both channels
  • Built-in limiters prevent distortion from overly hot inputs
  • High/low gain setting for each channel and MIC/LINE switches
  • Easily replaceable 9-volt battery and low battery indicator
  • Transformer-balanced inputs for isolation and enhanced circuit protection
  • Sturdy die-cast aluminum enclosure

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FocusPulling (.com)
MemberJuly 9th, 2014

Nice write-up; but in the marketplace of ideas, it’s fair to contend that these really simple gizmos (very elementary audio tech from decades-old innovation) are just shifts in form factor from the same duopoly of price-fixers. It’s jaw-dropping that they charge this much for something you can throw together yourself with one semester of electrical engineering!

 Kevin Almodovar
Kevin Almodovar
MemberJuly 10th, 2014

They make great stuff but it’s amazing how small and thin an iPhone is and what it can do yet they can’t make an audio adapter that’s not bulky.

GuestJuly 10th, 2014

The bulk comes mostly from two things. XLR connectors are large as well as the 9V battery for phantom power. This is as small as it will get. This is a bargain compared to the $1,900 US YUGLY interface unit.

Joel Richards
MemberJuly 10th, 2014

Bargain compared to the Panasonic breakout unit but makes the Sony unit almost worthwhile—considering the Sony unit comes with a decent, though not spectacular shotgun mic. If only Sony would drop the price on the XLR unit ~$200 I think they would sell a lot more. Oh, and remove the EU time limit. Sigh.

GuestJuly 14th, 2014

We purchased two of these for use with our DSLR’s. I would encourage anyone considering these to buy the beachtek rechargeable batteries. They really do extend record time twice as long as regular alkelines.

They are xpensive considering the Tascam DR60D is now only $190 but the build/ form factor/ and clean preamps make them so worth it!

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