A&H GL-2800, Onyx, or Soundcraft LIVE

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by BrianAltenhofel, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Its been a long time since I've posted anything here, but if I remember correctly, you guys are full of good information.

    Our church has started to discuss upgrading the sound system. The other sound engineer and I are wanting to purchase a console with plenty of expansion room for the next 15 years. In short, we were able to show that in the last 10 years, we've spent on bandaids about double what it would take to have a system that would be capable of meeting the next 15 years of expansion. I'm also tired of juggling cables during holiday community services.

    After browsing around for a bit, I've noticed people noting quite a few problems with the Soundcraft LIVE boards, so I am starting to lean away from them. I don't have any on-hand experience with the GL-2800 series from Allen & Heath, but I assume the 4800's I've used are similar. The major thing nobody who uses the console at our church likes about our Mackie 24.4 is no resistance on the fader. If the aux send on a channel is above 12 o'clock and the gain is brought up above about 1 o'clock, we overload the channel. It's also like there is a threshold there where you barely tap the gain to the right and you went from a 1kHz tone being 0dBu to clipping out. I've found the EQ's to be hit or miss on it also. Also, when I send to subgroups to make the drums and bgv's a bit easier to control, the level drops a bit. However, from what I have read, the Onyx is supposed to be much better. One other thing we are considering is a lot of Christian band tech riders specifically put Mackie in as "not allowed". That's another reason we like the Allen & Heath console... one less thing to rent for a youth function, and we're trying to get away from renting much at all.

    We both like the layout of the 2800 best, which is what we are leaning towards. But I would like to hear some things about the Onyx. We've been told about the same price on each of them, so it's really a non-issue there. We just need to know if we should consider the Onyx.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Actually, I wouldn't consider any of those if you want to be capable of functioning with this for the next 10 years. I'd most likely recommend a Yamaha digital console. Handsdown, they're good and virtually a standard across the world. I don't know anybody who hasn't liked using any of their products. And they're not made in China like the Mackie. So if somebody doesn't like your Yamaha, tell them to go and get their own console as that would be a bunch of bunk I wouldn't put up with that. I don't think Jesus would either.

    A non-Yamaha owner
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. jenifer

    jenifer Guest

    SEE .... there you go agian Ms Remy ..more stiches(not talking about the excellent advice)
  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Check out the Yamaha DM1000, It's a smaller version of a DM2K, very good board in a small package.

    And can be found on many websites for a very low price used.

    Has two expansion slots, you can install a MY16AE card and connect a head unit (8 more inputs, or 16 if you can afford to by two of them)...

    The AD8HR is a good head unit for this application.
  5. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oh, also, I wouldn't go with the Soundcraft if there are going to be a lot of people touching the board, I've seen them wear down pretty fast (of course, I work with a bunch of Samsonite gorillas, so go figure...) :lol:
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    How much $$ are you looking at spending? The Soundcraft boards made these days (at least the ones under $20K) are cheaply built and have performance issues.
    I have owned A&H since they were first brought into the States in 1975.
    I still have (2) GL2s and (2) GL2400s. No more A&H for me. The GL2s are OK, but the newer 2400s are giving me trouble. And a local church that I work for recently tried out an Onyx 32 8-bus board. Out of the box, 8-that's EIGHT!- input channels were dead!
    New, budget- priced analog boards are disgusting! Cheap pots and switches, crappy power supplies, flimsy mainframes, no headroom.
    There is one brand that stands apart. One company that listens to pro audio engineers and delivers the goods. A company that builds many of their own components, and has developed their own software to work reliably, no matter what the cutomer's budget is. One company that constantly strives to improve on its' own quality and has done so since 1975...Y A M A H A !!!
    I just popped for a used M2500-32 from a TV studio because of the Onyx fiasco. That older $3500 board simply kicked the Mackie's ass out the door. And now their digital mixers have been steadily developed to be great-sounding, rock solid, and easy to operate, no matter what the budget is. For not much more than the GL2800, you can get an LS-9-32, and have a solid tool for the next 10 years. I promise you, the A&H won't last you that long!
  7. DM1000 and DM2000 both have too few inputs. We currently use 22 channels and are looking to add. I should've noted the boards we are looking at are the 40-channel configurations.
  8. We're looking at about $6000, and its taken two years of complaining just to get that.
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    The DM2000 does 96 channels on 4 layers...

    The DM1k does 48.

    Edit> The LS-9-32 does a max 64 channels, I don't have any of them, but they look good.
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Don't dismiss the Yamaha DMs just because of the number of mic preamps. These are lovely, space-efficient boards, and either of them will mix the 22 channels you have now and have at least as many again spare. What you would need is input expanders in the form of ADAT-equipped 8/16 channel preamps. There is a big choice of these at varying price points and sonic flavours.
  11. I'm not dismissing the DM1000 because of preamps. I'm dismissing it because in order to get the channels we need, it sends it out of the range I have to work with.
  12. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    OK, Brian:
    Some things to consider. All of the analog boards you've mentioned are maxing out their power supplies at the 40-input stage. Less headroom, period. I am big proponent of good headroom in a live mixer. It seperates the men from the boys. Yamaha (who always had that designed into their analog PM boards) has learned to build digital mixers with it. Because professional engineers demand it. Not to mention RACKS worth of onboard dynamics processing, all-you-can-eat EQ, effects processing, an OUTPUT MATRIX that can assign and mix to all of the church's venues-the sanctuary, the narthex, the nursery, the youth center, the balcony, the wedding chapel, the choir lofts,...the friggin' bell tower if you want. Planning on future expansions HAS to include more than merely the number of input channels. And remember, you can always submix, say, the drums or the choir or the keyboards on a smaller mixer, then feed that to the big daddy. Two supplies can be better than one...
  13. If I could go with the Yamaha DM1K or 2K, I would be more than happy to. We don't budget any multimedia here. We get our dollars from what's left of the repair/maintenance portion of the budget at the end of the year. Usually, its less than a grand; it just happens to be looking close to six grand this year. Sometimes you have to take what you can get. Some of us don't have a budget like other churchs; I know of churches near here whose budgets for their multimedia systems alone EACH YEAR more than double our entire operating budget.

    Don't get me wrong about the Yamaha's. I love them. I've used them. I think it'd be great to have them in our church. But you're still dealing with economics. Six grand would be great, but I'm not even sure we will have that much to spend. I'm trying to keep a little bit of room there.
  14. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Have you considered buying used?

    Edit> I believe I've seen DM1K's online going for around 3 grand used.
  15. I've seen them every now and then used for three grand, but it depends on timing. Basically, the amount that we get is use it or lose it. So after we get a purchase approved, then we better be able to find it for that price. I'd really love to have it by December when we have the community Christmas program, children's musical, and all the other holiday stuff. Last year, we used 25 mono inputs during the Christmas program. That's on a board with only 19 mono channels really working (including using aux returns), and two more that are tempermental with settings. In those situations, you put sticky notes everywhere that say "remember to mute".
  16. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    use it or lose it & remember to mute...

    I can definitely sympathize with you on both points!
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I think your church is forcing you into greater complexity than God would approve of. Not sure why everybody in church wants to be so grandiose when Jesus relied on simplicity? It ain't going to get you to Heaven any faster. God would approve of more imaginative simplicity. Less is more. Simple is best as Jesus had to deal with, it requires imagination which people don't seem to have a vision of in church. I don't approve of people like Joel Osteen as he has spent far too much money of his congregations hard earned money. He is a false prophet with all of the prophet going to his pockets and grandiose ego! Haven't people awakened to this kind of religious scamming? Your church should also. No church needs greater than 40 inputs. Heck, they don't need more than 24 inputs. That's ridiculous and over-the-top. Tell your pastor to knock it off and get back to basics. Your pastor is paid a salary and so should the audio people. Most professionals know how to do this in a more sane and reverent manner. Listen to the folks here who know. Many of us have worked in churches before and accomplished great things with 24 input consoles, or less. OK, maybe 32 at the most? Beyond that, all you need is a patch Bay and some better preproduction.

    Oh? You want completely inexperienced volunteer people to be able to operate this? Then all you need is an 8 input console and a couple of automatic microphone mixers for the numerous pastors. Use the wasteful money that would have been spent on audio equipment, on people who need help not rock-and-roll production!

    A believer, in people and the practical use of peoples hard earned donations. I hope to God you come to your senses along with the rest of the people in your church?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The Audio/Visual of places of worship is getting up there technology-wise with some of the best traveling rigs out there. More if you consider what Moon was pointing at with the many subs that could come into play.

    It sounds like you have a need for a basic PA system with some flexibility in routing but not necessarily a do-all-be-all system.

    Used is where you need to look. You need to get past gear thats going to be a bit on the fragile side and gear that doesnt afford headroom for possible largescale programs.

    Perhaps these brands used are something to consider.

    Crest, DDA, D&R Dayner, Midas, Yamaha PM series, any Soundcrafts older than the series Two boards......

    All of these are available at or below your budget and most come with a doghouse and have been maintained. Most will be secondary systems for big sound companies who are upgrading, and I think you'll find something that has a great sound, excellent routing, and ease of use as well as that industrial hardiness that you seem to be needing. Like was mentioned....a lot of hands in the teacup can spoil the brew.

    Just my buck ninety-nine.
  19. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I'll chime in as a part time praise band director. You have a basic conflict here. Someone wants to do more than you have the budget to do. There are really only two good solutions here - increase the budget or do less. Doing less may mean fewer people in the praise band. It may mean doing a Christmas pageant without sound support. It may mean no feed for recorded services.

    The main thing is to do what your budget allows you to do well with appropriate input of time and effort on your part. Learn the mantra - "Sorry, we can't do that. We don't have the equipment or the budget." If your church really wants a service that requires 40 inputs, they will have to pay for it.
  20. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Actually, Jesus uses a Soundcraft (Holy) Ghost and despite his many sermons, he remains rather intolerant of any substitutes.

    He does this cool trick though where he turns condensers into ribbons and despite only having 4 aux buses, he can feed an entire stage of people...

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