I spent most of my Sunday testing and playing with the Juicedlink DS214, I ran a few test on my Canon 7d and on my Canon t2i with the Magic lantern firmware update. As a small audio amplifier and a device that disables AGC on the 7d it works great. The gain is very clean and the high low switch gives you a lot of range. The on board meters work well, the overall size is very compact, and the gain on the headphone output is good.

I don’t really have anything negative to say about the audio performance of the Juicedlink DS214. It does what it’s supposed to and it does it well. Most of my complaints actually have to do with the design. The included audio cable is about 4 inches to short for most applications, the volume knobs are so small and close together that I have trouble operating them, and the 1/4 20 mount is in a crappy location.

The audio input is a single stereo jack so if you want to brake out the left and right channels you have to use a stereo splitter or combine this with something like the Zoom H4n. The switches on the top of the unit are also almost flush, so you’ll need a fingernails or a pin to select the settings you need.

I don’t want to sound too negative because the Juicedlink Ds214 does a good job, and most of these problems are minor. You can buy a longer cable for about $3, a stereo splitter cable is about $2, and if you don’t chew on your fingernails, you shouldn’t have any problem adjusting the switches. I can even deal with the extra small control knobs if I pinch my fingers together just so.

The major problem is the 1/4 20 mount. I would think a device this small would be designed to be camera mounted. Instead you get a mounting whole that is positioned at the back of the unit which makes camera mounting a pain. I designed a part to correct this problem, but I would think Juicedlink might have something like this ready to roll out when they released the Ds214.

The other thing to remember is that any AGC disabling device has its limits. You can’t actually monitor the audio being recorded at the camera so if the audio being recorded at the camera peaks, you might not see it on the Juicedlink level meter. The problem is Canon’s fault not Juicedlink’s. If you don’t feel comfortable running Magic Lantern Firmware or own the Canon 7d, then the Juicedlink DS214 or Juicedlink DT454 are probably the best way to go.  They aren’t prefect, but neither is filming with a DSLR camera. It seems like these days you have to take the good with the bad.

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