I have been asking the same question some time ago with respect to the 8000 series and although Nick responded to some of the questions I raised I never got any straight answer other than they could not diclose what they would be doing in the future.
Actions speak louder than words and as you mentioned the company is totally focused on the H9 business it is so at the expense of everything rackmounted. As much as I like my Eventide Harmonizers you can clearly see that the company has abandoned the rack business. From time to time you get some maintenance release for the OS but thats about it. I believe the problem is simply that the “all in one box” approach is not compatible with the new preset selling paradigm and the app store approach. Harmonizers are sort of a “open source editor” when it comes to presets: once you get hold of a preset you are able to see, understand and edit the algorithm structure via VSIG.
Now who is going to pay for something if the IP is plain to see for everybody? So that is a contradiction to the new business model. With the H9 you need to pay for algos and you cannot create your own other than tweaking the existing ones. And you are totally spot on when you notice that you would need to have two H9s to do the same thing one Eclipse is able to do. I pointed out the fact that you are also doing the ADDA conversion two times when combining two of them as the designers did not add a direct digital I/O link between the H9 units which I believe is a major flaw in the product design. May be on purpose but who knows….In a sense you could say that the H9 is in fact a hardware dongle.
The Eclipse to be honest was never anything I considered because it was clear from the start that it was just a revamped and converter upgraded H3000 on steroids that was only attractive for entry level users concerned with the pricing. I think that you need to come to terms with the fact that although Eventide is committed to support its existing user base for rackmounted units, there will not be anything substanially new in the future for the old units. And if the H9 business really turns out to be profitable enough there is surely no need for Eventide to put new Harmonizers out and risk their money in developing new things when revenues keep coming.
The H9 for me is a pretty good example of how you can recycle old IP in form of presets and match them with ever cheaper up to date hardware to exploit your investments of the past over and over again. That is sort of what everybody is trying to achieve today. Even Apple. The problem is just that you need to have something in the back of your hand once you squeezed out the very last bit of profit out of that business model. How much more flat and faster can an Ipad get until it loses anything that defined the product? I can understand this makes sense from a short to midterm business point of view but I believe that will backfire on the longer term if there is no vision.
So although there is always hope you need to be realistic and do yourself a favor and consider getting rid of the Eclipse. Try to find a cheap Harmonizer that at least gives you more flexibility or consider going native plugins. Anyway, my Harmonizers won’t go anyway for the foreseeable future as you cannot touch the sound quality yet, but I will definitively not buy any Eventide hardware in the future if they stick to recyling their old stuff over and over. I would definitely spend money if they would get their act together and put soemthing out that really redefines hardware based audio processing. Eventide has shown that they know how to do it in the past but I believe the person who would have had the know how left the building in Jersey some time ago, no pun intended. At least I cannot see any real innovation in the H9.
BTW: When you closely watch how customers are currently bashing market leader UAUDIO for their latest unison pream plugin release you can clearly see that the business model is coming to an end. May be people at Eventide have not realized yet, as they came late to the party anyway but the tide is turning. All the best to a company that gave the world those beautiful machines…