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  • Versatile console around $2K

    Hi all. I've done a bunch of research but at any rate, I'm starting to look for a new console to pull both project studio and recording duty...I realize this is hardly an ideal way to approach it, but to justify the expense I want it to be just as versatile as possible. This means nice, clean pres, musical EQ section low noise, lots of channel options--switchable phantom power on channels or in groups, direct outs on all channels, lots of inserts, 6 or 8 bus (preferrably 8), ability to flip channels etc. I want to be able to have I/O for recording and then FOH and monitor duty for live if possible. Something that has or accepts a meter bridge is a huge plus. Admittedly this console will likely spend plenty more time in the project studio than out gigging, but for the money I'd ideally like this board to do as much as possible. 16 channels would barely be enough, 24 would be better, and the ability to axpand and add channels later would be great, though I'm assuming no frame at this price point will be able to do this?

    I'm thinking the budget is "aorund" $2K and I can't justify going over $3K, so considering my budget I'll be looking for used (and taken care of) consoles. The Allen&Heath GL3300 looks promising spec wise, though pricey for what I've got, and I've heard something about reliability issues. Can anyone elaborate? also Crest and Midas Venice are in consideration, though at this price I don't think Crest offers what I'm looking for. Can anyone recommend a good place to buy used consoles, particularly online unless you know a good place within a few hundred miles of Oshkosh, WI...

    I was going to get a very nice pre and a couple channels of good compression for the studio, but we realized that we need a competent mixer before we add more outboard gear, and that the benefit could be felt in live sound work as well, making it a much more worthwhile expenditure. We're not professional in any way nor do we expect to be. We do, however, plan to upgrade our studio as needed and I'm looking at this mixer as something to grow into.

    Thanks in advance for the help, and please do be blatanly honest--if you think I'm going about this the wrong way completely, then say it...I could an ass kicking of needed

    DR
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  • #2
    If you want to keep compact, the Crest XR-20 (16 mono) or 14 mono and 2 stereo or any combo from 12 mono and 4 stereo all the way to 16 mono.

    Stereo inputs are dual XLR and are mic/line switchable. Great sounding consloe, VERY quiet, good reliability record and rack mountable.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by agedhorse
      If you want to keep compact, the Crest XR-20 (16 mono) or 14 mono and 2 stereo or any combo from 12 mono and 4 stereo all the way to 16 mono.

      Stereo inputs are dual XLR and are mic/line switchable. Great sounding consloe, VERY quiet, good reliability record and rack mountable.


      much thanks for the reply! I'd taken a good look at those XRs...they look nice though smallish, missing a few "bigger console" features that I'd really like, but I'm certainly keeping them in mind, especially considering what I've got to spend. Incidentally, wha't the MAP on them? all I can find are list prices. I've also noticed there's not even a trace of crest or midas mixers on ebay, and the A&H stuff seems to be GL2200's or mix wiz. probably a good thing considering how skanky ebay seems to be getting

      I'd been considering heavily modding my Kelsey, but realized that it wouldn't work for all the crazy schitt I'll end up doing with a new desk. Besides, the Kelsey is a great bar console!

      Thanks, and keep em coming
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      • #4
        Also looking at the allen&heath GL2200 24-channels...fits into my budget and looks like it's got some versatility....I'm curious what you all have to say about the reliability of these. I've heard mixed things-
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        • #5
          Originally posted by dirtyragamuffin
          Also looking at the allen&heath GL2200 24-channels...fits into my budget and looks like it's got some versatility....I'm curious what you all have to say about the reliability of these. I've heard mixed things-

          Mixed results. They're British after all!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by agedhorse

            Mixed results. They're British after all!


            LOL I hear that...I'd guess the same with Soundcraft? I'd not considered them so much since I really have heard very mixed things, though there are a few boards that might work for me. Sadly I've also been considering Mackie 8-buses, they're really cheap used, have the recording configuration I'd be into, and easily expandable....but then I've really never cared for mackie, and something with a higher resale value appeals to me..also more rider friendly, if that issue were to come into play. It's tough to plan for what *could* happen in the future!
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            • #7
              Buy once and cry once? (sorry Phil!)

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              • #8
                You know that Crest was originally Kelsey... you had good luck with Kelsey...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by agedhorse
                  You know that Crest was originally Kelsey... you had good luck with Kelsey...




                  I did...still do. In fact if the thing had lotsa inserts and four times the aux/bus routing, I'd be using that.

                  As far as the mackie stuff, buy once cry once was what I was thinking. I was mainly waiting for someone to say "don't bother" so I didn't feel like the elitist brand nazi that I am J/K

                  I'm also open to recommendations on lesser known makes of boards...but so far the allen & heath GL3300 look sthe best and the GL2200 looks like the best mix of price and performance...however I'm concerned about reliability, and I'd really miss the meter bridge to be honest...

                  I do like the bigger crest consoles, but the price thing is jus too much. The XR line would be easily within my budget, but I'm thinking they're not quite up to what I'm looking for (I'll check the specs again).

                  Can anyone compare the Midas Venice to the allen&heath GL line, interms of reliability and more important, sound? The bigger venice boards out a bit out of reach to be honest, but who knows, I could get a deal....I hear the Venices are made for Midas by a different manufacturer...are they still worth the dough they command?

                  BTW agedhorse, do happen to know where I cold find a deal on Crest mixers? (I'll also still be inquiring about some Kelsey parts sometime...if I have cash left after the new console, we'll be in touch )
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                  • #10
                    Crest and Allen & Heath mixers are available from one of this forum's regulars at:

                    www.audioeast.com

                    While there are some Yamaha products that might fit into your budget I don't think you'll be able to touch a Midas. The A & H products have had their problems but so has just about everyone.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dirtyragamuffin

                      BTW agedhorse, do happen to know where I cold find a deal on Crest mixers? (I'll also still be inquiring about some Kelsey parts sometime...if I have cash left after the new console, we'll be in touch )

                      E-mail me and I will get you a price. I am a dealer.
                      agedhorse@aol.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by J the D
                        Crest and Allen & Heath mixers are available from one of this forum's regulars at:

                        www.audioeast.com

                        While there are some Yamaha products that might fit into your budget I don't think you'll be able to touch a Midas. The A & H products have had their problems but so has just about everyone.


                        Well...I've seen used Venice 320's for around $3500 and GL3300s as well...that's close to my budget, though really about 500 or so too much, but that's why I've been pursuing them. For about $3k I need the console, couple hundred worth of cables and some repairs done to our computer which won't be so much. Let's put it this way, if I found a Venice used for 3K i'd strongly consider it, though its routing abilities, like the Crests, fall a trifle short of what I'd *really* like. That said, I'd sacrafice some versatility for a better sounding and reliable board. I'm still having a hard time getting much feedback or info on the Venice stuff, LOL I keep finding websites on them that aren't in english!

                        Thanks for the link; I'd been on audioeast already, actually. The new consoles that are in my reach right now are the Crest XR24 or the AH GL2200 24...everything else I'd of course be looking to buy used.

                        I'm making features and sound take somewhat of a priority over the cost at this point in my research--if spending more would be really, really worth it, then I'd do it, in other words. I'm starting to regret putting $2K in my subject heading, because I'm relatively flexible to be honest. I do think that going over 3K would be a bit much for the projects I'd be using for (low-budg project studio, and occasional live work)...but then, either of these jobs *could* get more serious in the next couple years...frankly, I just don't know yet...but I do know that we're at a point where we do want to start upgrading a bit

                        All the advice so far is greatly appreciated guys, you're helping me pare down my options--please keep it coming!
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                        • #13
                          Souncraft spirit live 8. Eight buss, meter bridge etc. $3000 ad up depending on how many channels.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by billiam
                            Souncraft spirit live 8. Eight buss, meter bridge etc. $3000 ad up depending on how many channels.


                            I'd been wondering about the Spirit 8's...I've read some pretty mixed things...what do you like about them? Good sound, good flexibilty? Reliable?

                            Have to admit right now I'm looking carefully at the Allen&Heath GL series. I'd really like a used 3300, but the 2200 is much easier on my budget. Wondered about a comparison of these to the Souncrafts...what makes this a tough decision is that I'm trying to find a board that can easily pull recording and live, but will be reliable. So far it's pretty daunting!
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                            • #15
                              Well I just typed a big edit to the above post, then HC got all snippy and erased my post...guess I took too long to type and it logged me out, taking my post with it

                              So here I go again, at any rate

                              I've been looking into the Spirit 8 some more, but aside from audioeast and the Soundcraft website (not the most impressive site IMHOFWIW), searches take me right to a purple plastic behemoth which niether looks nor is priced like what I'm looking for, that is, the Spirit-8, in 24-channel frame, has standard meter bridge, "UltraMic+" pres, 6-aux, four group, 10x2 matrix, and so-on. So my question is, can anyone give me differentiatons between what I've just described and the aformentioned plasticky purple box. I know there must be some forum members who use the Live 8's, and I'd like to hear their thoughts...also those who bought a different console over it It looks like I could have one for a bit over $3K...well where can I find B-stock...is there a good place to go to for that? 'Cause if I could have one for under $3K, that would be mighty swell.

                              And since I'm already typing, I must say that I've gotten really caught up in the whole "must get best sounding, versatile, and not-totally-trash console possible!" thing...but I got to thinking, in this class, would it be reasonable to say that any difference in sound and build quality would be quite subtle? I mean, would I notice an audible difference in, say, the GL3300's pres and EQ over the Spirit 8 or GL2200? My guess is no, and please correct me if I'm wrong. Is it more fair to say the differences in these mixers, and their prices, lie in the frame and bus configurations and routing options? In terms of the GL2200 vs. 3300, am I mainly paying the extra grand and a half for the extra couple aux buses, more versatile routing, and that big purty analog VU bridge, or will the cost reflect sound and build quality as well? Like I said before, I'd pay more for a notably and justifiably better board, but if it's little details...then I won't worry about it. It's not like I'm talking a $3,000 mixer compared to a $70,000 after all!

                              So I know I'm running this into the ground, but there are so many options, it is kind of confusing to me and a big purchase to boot! Don't wanna screw it all up, if you can dig it! I have to admit that this forum really helps me understand what gear belongs in what niche, and it helps me understand what will work best for my broad needs, both now and in the future...so any fedbakc is again very much appreciated. I'll shut the f*ck up now!

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