paulsmusic wrote:There's quite a price difference between that and the Signex Pro series, which has solid palladium contacts, and I wondered what the difference between the two models is, in terms of signal quality?
It's not about signal quality, it's about long term reliability. As Dave says, Palladium contacts won't tarnish and corrode, and they are extremely hard wearing. so the contacts remain clean and functional long after cheaper alternatives are getting scratchy and unreliable. The longevity of a patch-bay depends on how much use it gets as well as the quality of the air in the room -- specifically dust and smoke.
In a pro studio where connections are being made and unmade all the time the better reliability of Palladium contacts can make a real difference. In a project studio with much lighter usage the extra cost may be much harder to justify.
Personally, I'm not a fan of Bantam (TT) patchbays. If you don't have the space for sufficient quarter-inch bays then you have no option, but long experience in broadcast installations tells me they are far less reliable and also much less convenient -- you need a special adaptor cable to plug something straight into the front of the patch bay, for example.
Type A quarter-inch bays aren't as good as the professional Type B (PO316) bays, but they are a lot more affordable, a lot more convenient in a project studio (you can plug a borrowed synth or FX unit straight in the front with standard cables) and -- if you choose wisely -- more reliable than bantams IMHO! As always, you do get what you pay for!
And don't forget to budget for a sufficient number of patch cables of sufficient lengths to span the patch bay! Rean make a range of reasonably affordable and well-made moulded patch cords with nice cable, in A, B, and TT formats. (eg: https://www.canford.co.uk/Audio-patchcords-and-patchcables
TBH I can't make head or tails of the Signex manual, and am not sure how you do swap between the modes!
The different normalling configurations are established by putting blobs of solder on dedicated split solder pads on the PCB supporting the top row of jack sockets. It's a far more reliable solution than switches or reversible cards, and it's very simple to implement during installation (assuming you have a soldering iron handy). On the downside, you do need a soldering iron and solder, and it's slightly more fiddly and time consuming to reconfigure if you change your mind.
Of course, if the installation is designed properly there shouldn't be any need to change the patchbay configuration until the studio undergoes a major overhaul... I use the Signex CPJ48 patch bays and have found them to be excellent. They can also be labelled in a professional way whereas most of the cheaper alternatives are pretty naff in that regard.
Regarding connectors, I've been looking at options from Hosa, such as the DTP-803:
Lots of people make D-sub-jack breakout looms. One of the best value I've found for fixed installations is the CPC one HERE
This is half the price of the Hosa one!
I wondered what the difference might be in terms of signal quality? Many thanks!
Again, it's not signal quality but reliability... and it comes down to the mechanical quality of plugs, mostly. So the cheaper ones may not last so long if constantly plugged and unplugged, but in a fixed installation they're fine. I'd just disconnect one or twice a year and give them a quick wipe over with Deoxit to ward off any tarnishing...