Juicedlink Riggy RM333 (2 of 5)

I’ve used all kinds of XLR adapter boxes over the years both on video cameras like the now antique Canon GL1 to modern day DSLR like the 5d mark III. There hasn’t been much innovation with these devices and companies like Beachtek, Studio 1 productions, and Juicedlink still make audio devices almost identical to devices they’ve sold in the past with few improvements. The only interesting leap forward in this type of device can be found in the Fostex DC-R302, but with a price tag of almost $1000 it’s out of the price range of many.

Juicedlink has managed to make a few more improvements then some of it’s competitors in this price range. They were one of the first to add a pre-amp to their adapters and managed to offer up a few more audio routing options then some of the competition. However the Riggy RM333 isn’t a major step forward from Juicedlink’s much earlier CX431 model. Basically they’ve removed an XLR input, and a bunch of LED indicators, while adding a little more gain and the overload protection (you can find out how to do that with any audio adapter here). All this adds up to a price drop of about $70 and a small over package.

Juicedlink Riggy RM333 (4 of 5)

Juicedlink still insists on using these tiny little switches for all of their settings. It’s nice to have all of these options but its a pain trying to find something small enough to make a change to settings. If you you’ve owned any Juciedlink products in the past you’ll know that these switches can be broken pretty easily so be careful when setting them (i.e. try not to use your car keys).

Juicedlink Riggy RM333 (3 of 5)

The Riggy RM333 still requires a tool in order to attach it to your camera, unlike the much nicer thumb wheel used on beachtek adapters. If you don’t have something secured to the 1/4 20 stud on the other side, the unit will rattle while mounted to a rig.  Juicedlink has a added a few more cold shoe mounting options, but they’ll over charge you $25 a peace for each of these little C shaped brackets.

Juicedlink Riggy RM333 (1 of 5)

The XLR inputs are all pretty standard and you can see that the case is just big enough to support them. It would have been nice to see combo jacks, but again you see that lack of innovation. Also the RM333 is still using those minuscule volume knobs for all 3 of these inputs. On most audio devices you can keep a hand on the fader to adjust for volume spikes, but the tiny little knobs on Juicedlink devices make that pretty hard to do.

Of course for a price of $399 you would normally expect to see a manual with your device, but as usual Juicedlink gives you a crappy little business card that instructs you to visit their website in order to find a PDF file. They may still have one of the best audio amplifiers in this price range, but as usual the rest of the package is lack luster at best.

Juicedlink Riggy RM333 (5 of 5)

Don’t get me wrong I still use 3 juicedlink units on a regular bases and the audio quality is great. It’s just that these problems have been around since their very first release and they still haven’t addressed them after 6 years. Beachtek might not spend as much time as they should on their audio circuits but at least they’ve spent a little bit of time thinking about ergonomics.

I still think the RM333 is a decent buy if you need more then two XLR inputs, but if you already own an earlier Juicedlink model I don’t see much reason to upgrade. It’s a little more compact but other then that, it’s business as usual. I’ll post a full review once I’ve get a chance to take it out on a few more shoots.

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