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Just got a new Ghost. Thoughts...!?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by innerbooty, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. innerbooty

    innerbooty Guest

    Hey All,
    So, I just got a new Soundcraft Ghost. Used actually. It was an upgrade from a trusty Mackie 32x8 that has served e well for more than 10 years. I'm running it as a front end to a Pro Tools Mix Plus system with Rosetta 800 converters. When I plugged it in and brough up a mix that I'd been working on in PT, I was expecting to be impressed by the sound quality through the board, as opposed to the Mackie. But I wasn't. This could just be "New big gear purchase that I couldn't afford and was it worth it?"-style paranois. And I'm going to give it time. But I felt that although there was a fuller bass response, which is a good thing, that there was less clarity overall. Is this just in my mind? I'm also sort of scratching my head over the internal I/O levels, or gain structure. (Granted, the dealer has yet to send me the manual...) When I bring up a couple of faders that are pushing 0 db, then do an Aux send to FX1, or FX2, I find I have to CRANk the FX master leve, and the FX channel send level to their max to get the same input reading on my SPX90 & 900s that I used to get by putting the Mackie FX at only 11:00 or so. Hmmm...
    And is it noisier than the Mackie, or have I just not figured out the gain structure, or monitoring levels yet...? There's a not insignificant hum that comes out of the speakers when the master fader is at 0, MIX A is enabled, and all faders and and auxes are all the way down.
    The preamps are fantastic, however, and the EQ seems pretty good, after a little use. Definitely better than the Mackie.
    Gonna' keep working on it. Although I must say, I loved and trusted my poor old Mackie, and if they were to make a 32x8 version that had the XDR pre's I would upgrade to that. Probably...
    Not sure this board is going to allow me to do external Pro Tools board mixes instead of internal PT Mix Bus, the way I had hoped it would. Time will tell...
    I welcome any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks - Steve
  2. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    You should have the board checked out. The hum is defeniatly a problem...not suppost to be there. Also check your connections..maybe you got a bad cable somewhere that you didn't notice with the Mackie. The soundcraft should sound quite a bit better than that Mackie, and if anything your audio should sound clearer than with the Mackie...
  3. Caine Dreiling

    Caine Dreiling Active Member

    Aren't you still hearing the Mackie since that is what the project was recorded on?
  4. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    I should have thought of that...I feel dumb.
  5. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :D I hope you can hold of a manual. When I bought my A&H, the original owner set internal levels to -10 for some outputs to drive some Panasonic VCR's. Only reason I knew there were jumpers was from the manual, they also had a cut sheet of the VCR stuffed in there... HA! So I was certain the jumpers were set.

  6. a33

    a33 Active Member

    Ive seen details about upgrading the power supply wich makes the desk run hotter and improves the overall sound quailty. I will try and post a link if i find it.
  7. a33

    a33 Active Member

    check the link at the bottom

    "Although I have one, I wouldn't buy a Ghost today unless I planned to run it at 130V using a variac (easier than it sounds), and it was sold with the newer (black box) power supply. Powering it this way, the Ghost sounds like a different and much better version of itself.

    The older power supply (blue/gray) box is a piece of crap that doesn't open up the board enough. Basically it almost underpowers it. If you give it more juice as described above, the board actually sings quite nicely. The preamps smooth out, open up, and become less brittle, and the eq becomes about 40% more sensitive and useful. The eq on a Ghost is probably its best feature, btw.

    I heard from someone on this board that there's a reasonably well-known studio tech (in the US) who goes around to Ghost-equipped studios and upgrades them with the easy mod above. Many happy campers"
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Thanx for the link.Yes campers this slightly skewed way of modding a Ghost does work.I have this on mine and it is really quite apparent in the preamps and the sensitvity of the EQ.I would again only recommend this with the large power supply....ie CPS275/250.This is the one I use and I cannot be sure of any other unit nor do I think this will work on any other make or brand of console.It does work on the Ghost.Be sure and get a really good Variac.One with ampere and volt meters and fuses on the inputs and outputs.This does not create a buffered output and should not be used on computers or anything digital.Only the voltage input of the power supply should be involved.Why does this work on a regulated power supply you may ask.....the rails on the power supply for the ghost are only regulated on one side it appears.Someone with a lot more tech skills could look at the schematics and tell for sure, but my limited eye for this suggests this is the case, and with an increased voltage input and a STAEDY voltage to the PS the rail voltage goes up a volt or two and the performance gets a whole lot better.I can only assume that Soundcraft knew this when they built these for worldwide consumption and built in a large amount of headroom for the board to operate at extremes found throughout the world. Anyway, your risk is what you take in attempting this....It works for me as well as my dear cousin over at the Slutz, Mr.Sonic Dogg.peace
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I would like to know more about this. It doesn't make sense to me. If you are creating a high line condition dosen't the regulated supply deal with that thus negating the added voltage? Maybe it keeps the rails up when there is a large load on them? It just seems that it wouldn't make any difference.


    Well I just noticed Davedogs answer. I guess that makes some sense after all.
  10. MPlancke

    MPlancke Guest

    No need to do this, just get a good quality linear supply rated for 6 amps (like a Lambda or Power One) on there and you won't need to do this crazy stuff.

    Take some time and read this.


  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Thanks for the link Mark. That is some great info.

  12. innerbooty

    innerbooty Guest

    Hey guys, thanks for the all the info. Last time I checked there was only 1 response!

    By way of an update, I'm feeling really, really good about the board now. I actually spoke with a Soundcraft certified tech here in NYC for quite a while, and he shed some light on many things. Hum is not a problem. And I do have the bigger power supply, so I think I'm ok in that dept. Also, I finally got the meter bridge and the manual, so that helps me feel like I have a better grasp of what's going on. It sounds fat. Much fuller than the Mackie, with a lot more low end. And in response to some of the earlier posts, none of the tracks I was comparing between the Mackie and the Ghost were recorded on the Mackie. The Mackie has just been a glorified monitor desk for many years now, since everything goes into Apogee A/D, thru either API or Vintech pre's. Although I only have 4 channels of those, so for full band or drum sessions I was using a Mackie 1642 with XDR pres, which I still maintain sound pretty darn good. But I sold that, and now use the Ghost pre's, which sound great.

    I think someone may have done something similar to one of the posts above, and set all the Aux levels to -10, cuz I get a consistently lower level to my outboard FX than I did from the Mackie. All the outboard FX are expecting +4. I don't know how big a deal it is to change that. But that's my only beef at this point.

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