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Best 1-2K vintage console?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by kelly644, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. kelly644

    kelly644 Guest

    Hi, new to posting on here, but I've been reading your posts for round a year now....

    Anyway, anyone have a suggestion for a vintage console with atleast 12 channels in the 1000-2000 range?

    Features dont really matter (Buses and the like), as long as it has decent mic pres and EQ, and an acceptable noise floor. All I plan on using it for is a front end into a PC recording system, so I'm looking for tone (Rock/blues flavors) over features.

    I've learned that I really dont like the sound of pure digital, and buying an old console appears to be much more cost effective than buying a rack of Pres and EQs.

    Thanks

    - kelly
     
  2. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    I don't know.
     
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Is the 1K-2K range your entry price?

    Most consoles in the genre that you describe may need that much in recapping, fixing switches, etc...

    How many channels will you need at once? You said 12 as a round number, but when you begin the search for that tone monster, you're going to be limited on the number of units available. High quality consoles in a sidecar configuration are hard to come by unless you have a load of dough to spend on one that has been gone through.

    Do you really need EQ other than one or two channels at a time?

    If not, then perhaps a broadcast console may be something to look at.

    Or a small footprint Yamaha PM1000/2000...the 1000's dont have direct outs whereas the 2000 does. The Ramsa/Panasonic boards are really solid sounding. There are many models still around and the numbers may be similar, but a lot of em were live FOH boards and also dont have direct outs.

    Have you considered a lunchbox setup? The initial investment for the power supply and some pres drives the price up a touch, but the parts after that are quite reasonable.

    If you have the room for a large footprint console, then you might find one in decent shape thats been sitting awhile. I personally like the Sony/MCI consoles. Theres a lot of aftermarket mic pres you can add.....Hardy for one...they have a lot of parts still in the system.They sound really good...................best of luck
     
  4. kelly644

    kelly644 Guest

    "Is the 1K-2K range your entry price?"

    1K is the entry, 2k is tops :p

    "How many channels will you need at once? You said 12 as a round number, but when you begin the search for that tone monster, you're going to be limited on the number of units available. High quality consoles in a sidecar configuration are hard to come by unless you have a load of dough to spend on one that has been gone through."

    12 channels is the minimum I'd like to have....

    "Do you really need EQ other than one or two channels at a time? "

    I intend to run use my PC like a multi-track and run the recorded channels through the EQ both durring tracking and mixing. There havent been than many digital EQs that I've really liked. I could probably get by fine without the EQ durring tracking and just use software EQs, but I would *atleast* want something like 30hz HPF on each channel.

    "Have you considered a lunchbox setup? The initial investment for the power supply and some pres drives the price up a touch, but the parts after that are quite reasonable. "

    I have, but not extensively. I'll look into it more.

    "If you have the room for a large footprint console, then you might find one in decent shape thats been sitting awhile. I personally like the Sony/MCI consoles."

    Funny you mention that, because I was considering grabbing a bunch of MCI JH-600 channels strips and boxing them up, but they seem really hard to find...

    I had the opportunity to try some MCI and Protools HD based systems... I really didnt like the digital stuff, which is one of the reasons why I'm considering a vintage front end.

    I'm not even close to being a Pro in this, so any more help would, well, help.

    And yes, I know a lot of people would laugh at trying to get a good sound with only 2K spread across 12-16 inputs, but it's better than 800....

    thanks

    - kelly
     
  5. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    You'll find lots of MCI JH600's to pull channels from at blevinsaudio.com.

    Vintageking.com has some very choice small format consoles usually but you're still talking $1k per channel. I say that because it sounds like you're fishing for MCI, Neve, and API channels on the cheap. I could be wrong.

    Seventh circle audio has some very interesting kits if you're interested in building cheap lunchboxes.
     
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    $1-2K?!
    I think that someone needs a "reality check" here. I am a "boomer" who was bitten by the recording bug in the late 60's.
    I currently have a Neve Melbourne (analog broadcast), a pair of Tascam DM24s (digital), and a pair of A&Hs(analog rack-mounts) for live. On Sundays I stand at a Midas 3000. I love analog, but digital keeps getting better and cheaper. My experience with the MCIs even when new, was a bit "hairy" at best. The PM2000 was pretty decent, and I absolutely fell in love with my "new" (in 1985) Ramsa. But a lot of those boards are no longer supported, and , when they are, the parts are an arm and a leg. At the price point you have indicated, I dunno about an entire desk...
    It seems to me that with the material you have cited wanting to do, if you track it right, you shouldn't need that much EQ in the final mix. I think that the right "front end" would benefit you to the point that you WILL be able to mix it digitally.
    I agree with the suggetions that you look at a "lunchbox" rig to track with. Maybe a Brick or two. A Portico. A couple of API modules will help you get ballsy, rockin' drum tracks ahelluvalot faster than a dozen old and tired channels will.
    But if you insist on it, look at the Japanese (Yamaha and Ramsa) boards hard. The British desks out there in your price range (Soundcraft 200/400, old A&H Sabre, Studiomaster,etc) tend to be trouble. To the point where "craft" becomes "crap" and "master" becomes "bastard", if you get my drift...IMHO
     
  7. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    I agree, if you spend $2k on an older board you'll get something which i can only desvribe as 'a bit of a dog'.

    Your best bet if you insist on a board for that price would be an A&H GS3 - not too old, and a nice enough sound.

    You aint gonna get enough MCI/API/Neve/SSL modules for that price (unless they're f****d, or 3rd party kit) - a 12 channel Neve v51 bucket costs about $6-10k. A neve 44 series (baby Neve), about $5-8k.

    Digital, well Yams 01v96 aint bad. Tascam DM24 either. Neither will give you the sound quality of a good preamp, but it's horses for courses. Want 12+ inputs. Get a desk - even a Behringer. Then start saving.
     
  8. kelly644

    kelly644 Guest

    Points taken.

    I'll either be looking at lunchbox set-ups now, or I'll go for one of the entry desks and move on up to 5K worth of strips if I decided to make money off of tracking/mixing.

    Any lunchbox suggestions besides API? I know a few other companies have them, but I cant remember who they are....

    Thanks

    - kelly
     
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Check out AtlasProAudio site. And Little Dog Audio....
    BTW, I have used my twin Allen&Heath GL2s in a couple of pop-up racks for live blues and rock recording with pretty decent results. That suggestion about the GL3 is a viable option, too...
     
  10. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    I actually suggested the GS3. Same format but studio version better suited to recording.
     

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