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Orban Optimod-FM 8400

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Item #:EQ518402U
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Model Details

Competition is good. It keeps you on your toes. It makes you better at whatever you do, whether your business is running radio stations or making audio processors.

That's why we created the OPTIMOD-FM 8400. We know our competitors have made some good audio processors recently. But by building on the Orban OPTIMOD legacy, we knew we could do better. So, if your goal is not just to compete but to dominate your market ratings, take a close look at - and a careful listen to - the new OPTIMOD-FM 8400. It is a significantly better digital audio processor.


  • Powered by the latest generation of Motorola DSP chips
  • All-new proprietary processing algorithms
  • Two processing structures: Five-Band, Two-Band (AKA Two-Band Purist)
  • Two modes of stereo enhancement: Orban 222A emulation or "Max" type
  • Three-band parametric EQ based on classic Orban analog studio equalizers
  • Improved, highly transparent AGC
  • Three levels of bass clipping (soft, medium or hard) for "pure" bass or enhanced effect on smaller radios
  • More factory presets with a greater variety of sounds and styles
  • "Intelligent" program-adaptive peak limiting for optimum loudness and brightness
  • Program-adaptive high frequency enhancement
  • DSP-based stereo encoder with 70dB separation
  • Anti-aliased clippers operating at 256kHz sample rate
  • Improved overshoot compensation
  • New composite processor (patent pending) protects pilot tone and RDS/RBDS subcarrier
  • Front and rear PC card slots for software upgrades, modems and network cards
  • New, easy-to-navigate user interface
  • Large full-color LCD display
  • Three levels of control: Basic, Intermediate and new Advanced (same access as factory programmers)
  • Remote control via computer network or simple contact closure
  • TCP/IP protocol support for "Internet age" compatibility
  • Easy, plug-and-play installation using Quick Setup wizard
  • Can control average multiplex power to ITU-R 412 standards while allowing you to freely adjust the sound and texture of the processing

  • Specifications:

    It is impossible to characterize the listening quality of even the simplest limiter or compressor on the basis of specifications, because such specifications cannot adequately describe the crucial dynamic processes that occur under program conditions. Therefore, the only way to meaningfully evaluate the sound of an audio processor is by subjective listening tests.
    Certain specifications are presented here to assure the engineer that they are reasonable, to help plan the installation, and make certain comparisons with other processing equipment.


    Specifications for measurements from analog left/right input to stereo composite output and to analog left/right output.
    Frequency Response (Bypass Mode): Follows standard 50 microsecond or 75 microsecond pre-emphasis curve ± 0.10 dB, 2.0 Hz –- 15 kHz. Analog left/right output and Digital output can be user configured for flat or pre-emphasized output.
    Noise: Output noise floor will depend upon how much gain the processor is set for (LIMIT DRIVE, AGC DRIVE, TWO-BAND DRIVE, and/or MULTI-BAND DRIVE), gating level, equalization, noise reduction, etc. It is primarily governed by the dynamic range of the A/D Converter, which has a specified overload-to-noise ratio of 105 dB. The dynamic range of the digital signal processing is 144 dB.
    Total System Distortion (de-emphasized, 100% modulation): <0.01% THD, 20 Hz -– 1 kHz, rising to <0.05% at 15 kHz. <0.02% SMPTE IM Distortion.
    Total System Separation: >65 dB, 20 Hz –- 15 kHz; 70 dB typical.
    Polarity (PROTECTION, TWO-BAND PURIST, or Bypass Mode): Absolute polarity maintained. Positive-going signal on input will result in positive-going signal on output.

    Analog Audio Input

    Configuration: Stereo.
    Impedance: >10k ohms load impedance, electronically balanced.
    Nominal Input Level: Software adjustable from -9.0 to +13.0 dBu VU.
    Maximum Input Level: +27 dBu.
    Connectors: Two XLR-type, female, EMI-suppressed. Pin 1 chassis ground, Pins 2 (+) and 3 electronically balanced, floating and symmetrical.
    A/D Conversion: 24 bit 128x oversampled delta sigma converter with linear-phase anti-aliasing filter.
    Filtering: RFI filtered, with high-pass filter at 0.15 Hz.

    Analog Audio Output

    Configuration: Stereo. Flat or pre-emphasized (at 50 microseconds or 75 microseconds), software-selectable.
    Source Impedance: 50 ohms, electronically balanced and floating.
    Load Impedance: 600 ohms or greater, balanced or unbalanced. Termination not required, or recommended.
    Output Level (100% peak modulation): Adjustable from -6 dBu to +24 dBu peak, into 600 ohms or greater load, software-adjustable.
    Signal-to-Noise: ³ 90 dB unweighted (Bypass mode, de-emphasized, 20 Hz –- 15 kHz bandwidth, referenced to 100% modulation).
    Crosstalk: £ -70 dB, 20 Hz -- 15 kHz.
    Distortion: £ 0.01% THD (Bypass mode, de-emphasized) 20 Hz -- 15 kHz bandwidth.
    Connectors: Two XLR-type, male, EMI-suppressed. Pin 1 chassis ground, Pins 2 (+) and 3 electronically balanced, floating and symmetrical.
    D/A Conversion: 24 bit 128x oversampled.
    Filtering: RFI filtered.

    Digital Audio Input

    Configuration: Stereo per AES/EBU standard, 24 bit resolution, software selection of stereo, mono from left, mono from right or mono from sum.
    Sampling Rate: 32, 44.1 or 48 kHz automatically selected.
    Connector: XLR-type, female, EMI-suppressed. Pin 1 chassis ground, pins 2 and 3 transformer balanced and floating, 110 ohms impedance.
    User Bits: Input user bits are optionally passed through to the output.
    Input Reference Level: Variable within the range of -30 dBFS to -10 dBFS.
    J.17 De-emphasis: Software-selectable.
    Filtering: RFI filtered.

    Digital Audio Output

    Configuration: Stereo per AES/EBU standard. Output configured in software as flat, pre-emphasized to the chosen processing pre-emphasis (50 microseconds or 75 microseconds), with- or without J.17 pre-emphasis.
    Sample Rate: Internal free running at 32, 44.1 or 48 kHz, selected in software. Can also be synced to the AES/EBU SYNC input or the AES/EBU digital input at 32, 44.1, or 48 kHz, as configured in software.
    Word Length: Software selected for 24, 20, 16 or 14-bit resolution. Dither can be optionally added, dither level automatically adjusted appropriately for the word length.
    Connector: XLR-type, male, EMI-suppressed. Pin 1 chassis ground, pins 2 and 3 transformer balanced and floating, 110 ohms impedance.
    Output Level (100% peak modulation): -20.0 to 0.0 dBFS software controlled.
    Filtering: RFI filtered.

    Digital Sync Input

    Configuration Used for synchronization of the Digital Output signal to an external reference provided at this input.
    Sampling Rate 32, 44.1 and 48 kHz automatically selected.
    Connector XLR-type, female, EMI-suppressed. Pin 1 chassis ground, Pins 2 and 3 transformer balanced and floating, 110 ohms impedance.
    Filtering: RFI filtered.

    Composite Baseband Output

    Configuration: Two outputs, each with an independent software-controlled output level control, output amplifier and connector. Output 2 may be configured in software as a pilot frequency reference.
    Source Impedance: 0 ohms voltage source or 75 ohms, jumper-selectable. Single-ended, floating over chassis ground.
    Load Impedance: 37 ohms or greater. Termination not required.
    Maximum Output Level: +12.0 dBu (8.72 Vp-p).
    Pilot Level: Adjustable from 8.0% to 10.0%, software controlled.
    Pilot Stability: 19 kHz, ± 0.5 Hz (10 degrees to 40 degrees C).
    D/A Conversion: 24-bit.
    Signal-to-Noise Rati £ -85 dB (Bypass mode, de-emphasized, 20 Hz – 15 kHz bandwidth, referenced to 100% modulation, unweighted).
    Distortion: £ 0.02% THD (Bypass mode, de-emphasized, 20 Hz – 15 kHz bandwidth, referenced to 100% modulation, unweighted).
    Stereo Separation: At 100% modulation=3.5Vp-p, > 70 dB, 30 Hz – 15 kHz. At 100% modulation=1.0 – 8.0 Vp-p, > 60 dB, 30 Hz – 15 kHz.
    Crosstalk-Linear: £ -80 dB, main channel to sub-channel or sub-channel to main channel (referenced to 100% modulation).
    Crosstalk-Non-Linear: £ -80 dB, main channel to sub-channel or sub-channel to main channel (referenced to 100% modulation).
    38 kHz Suppression: ³ 70 dB (referenced to 100% modulation).
    76 kHz & Sideband Suppression: ³ 80 dB (referenced to 100% modulation).
    Pilot Protection: -60 dB relative to 9% pilot injection, ± 250 Hz (no composite processing).
    57 kHz (RDS/RBDS) Protection: -50 dB relative to 4% subcarrier injection, ± 1.0 kHz (no composite processing).
    Connectors: Two BNC, floating over chassis ground, EMI suppressed.
    Maximum Load Capacitance: 0.047 microfarad (0 ohms source impedance). Maximum cable length of 100 feet/30 meters RG-58A/U.
    Filtering: RFI filtered.

    Remote Computer Interface

    Configuration: TCP/IP protocol via modem or Ethernet interface. Modem (either external or PCMCIA card), Ethernet PCMCIA card, and other external equipment not supplied.
    Connectors: RS-232 port (2) DB-9 male, EMI-suppressed. Ethernet or Modem card supported with PCMCIA rear-panel slot.

    Remote Control Interface

    Configuration: Eight (8) inputs, opto-isolated and floating.
    Voltage: 6-24V AC or DC, momentary or continuous. 9VDC provided to facilitate use with contact closure.
    Connector: DB-25 male, EMI-suppressed.
    Control: User-programmable for any eight of user presets, factory presets, bypass, test tone, stereo or mono modes, analog input, digital input.
    Filtering: RFI filtered.


    Voltage: 100-132 VAC or 200-264 VAC, switch-selected on the rear panel, 50-60 Hz, 50 VA.
    Connector: IEC, EMI-suppressed. Detachable 3-wire power cord supplied.
    Grounding: Circuit ground is independent of chassis ground’ can be isolated or connected with a rear panel switch.
    Safety Standards: ETL listed to UL standards, CE marked.


    Operating Temperature: 32 degrees to 122 degrees F / 0 degrees to 50 degrees C for all operating voltage ranges.
    Humidity: 0-95% RH, non-condensing.
    Dimensions (W x H x D): 19" x 5.25" x 16.5" / 48.3 cm x 8.9 cm x 41.9 cm. Depth shown indicates rack penetration; overall front-to-back depth 18.75" / 47.6 cm. Three rack units high.
    Shipping Weight: 40 lbs. / 18.1 kg

    Additional Detailed Information:

    Loaded with Motorola's latest DSP chips, the 8400 comes equipped with more than five times the raw processing power of its predecessor. This vastly augmented digital horsepower enabled Orban engineers to implement sophisticated new processing algorithms (seven years in the making) that extend virtually all performance parameters.

    The 8400 retains many proven OPTIMOD-FM 8200 features, such as the five-band and two-band processing structures. But with supercharged processing power, the improvements are clearly audible. For example, the 8400 allows a louder signal with lower distortion than ever before achieved with any processor, analog or digital. Orban engineers accomplished this feat by using a combination of "look-ahead" compression, new distortion cancellation and overshoot compensation techniques, an improved peak limiting system, and breakthrough 256kHz anti-aliased clippers that can be pushed hard without generating audible artifacts. The result is a noticeably louder and brighter signal, yet with the smoothness and pristine clarity needed to hold listeners for extended periods.

    The 8400 also offers new features for crafting a signature sound, including two stereo enhancement modes-one emulating of Orban's "musical" 222A and the other generating a more aggressive "max" effect. A new 3-band parametric equalizer shapes sound with the smooth curves of vintage Orban analog units, while a program-adaptive HF equalizer maintains consistent brightness without overemphasizing already-bright material. And three levels of bass clipping (hard, medium and soft) allow tailoring of bass for natural smoothness or enhanced effect on smaller speakers.

    With the 8400, three levels of password-protected control allow as much (or as little) control as is desired for station staff. Basic control uses the familiar Less/More knob, Intermediate accesses some low risk parameters, while new Advanced allows power users the same access as factory programmers. Set up is quick and easy, thanks to a large full-color LCD display and a built-in software set-up wizard. Commonly used remote control functions are available through contact closure, with full remote capabilities (including preset programming) accessed via dialup using the included Remote Management Software. Support for the TCP/IP protocol opens the door to future network-wide control and upgrades via the Internet.

    In every respect-sonic performance, sound-shaping flexibility and control options-the new OPTIMOD-FM 8400 is poised to become the industry's dominant FM audio processor.


    *An "N" after the item# denotes a NEW item. A "U" denotes a USED item.
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    *Lease Prices are based on a 36 month lease
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