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Soundcraft Ghost vs TAC Magnum

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by anonymous, May 18, 2004.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    OK, now its down to 2 consoles as I decided against getting a digital board.

    If any of you have any of these 2 mixers please let me know any comments you may have however trivial you may think it is.

    Now for the good stuff.

    I have another thread going about the Ghost but now another deal comes accross my life. You know how it is, if you don't grab them now its gone and you regret later (sometimes).

    So now I have to decide between:

    Soundcraft Ghost LE without meter bridge
    32 inputs in VG shape as it was demo.
    2 Power supplies (don't know why it has 2)

    Price: $3,750.00 in U.S. funds.

    the other is:

    TAC Magnum 32 inputs with meter bridge and patchbay.
    It comes in a console stand and Power Supply as well.
    The condition is supposedly Good. Some pots are noisy.
    One or 2 connectors are intermittent.

    Price: $4,500.00 in U.S. funds.
    (I am negotiating for $3,750.00 and it looks like it may happen)

    So the gap between both is $750.00 maximum, not enough to use price as the deciding factor here. Not a major part anyway. If I manage to get ot for the same price as Ghost than its going to be the sound that will be the deciding factor.

    The Magnum console was used in a friend's studio and so I can trust the condition before seeing it. I will be allowed to inspect it.
    Its much bigger heavier than Soundcraft and fom what I am told
    sold for 3 or more times the price of the Ghost.


    My friend says the preamps in the Magnum are much better than teh Ghost's but I have no idea about that. Price doesn't always mean better sometimes its just better features or construction etc. But the board does look like a more "professional" board whatever that may mean.
    Also if you factor in the price of a console stand and a 96 point patchbay the Magnum becomes cheaper at that point. Mind you the Magnum is over 10 years old and the Ghost is almost new.

    So is the Magnum in a higher league than the Ghost?

    At this point I am leaning with th Magnum as it has the console and the patchbay (I need a patchbay) as well as a meter bridge which although not necessary is sure handy.

    Also at 32 channels I am hoping that I will be able to sell off some strips. I think the Magnum strips would sell for much more than the soundcraft.

    Pros for Soundcraft: Almost new condition so its ready to go.
    Pres have a good reputation.
    A good clean and useful board.

    Cons for Ghost: Price is pretty well what Ghost LE goes for
    so its not the deal I thought.
    (I thought it had the automation -
    - and came with the meter bridge option)
    No patchbay or console.

    Pros for Magnum: Comes with console and meter bridge.
    Comes with patchbay.
    Pres supposedly better than Ghost? (to be confirmed)
    Original price was much higher so it may be
    claim more if has to be resold.
    Some strips can be resold to recoop some
    cash. (hey my budget was $1,500.00 originally!)

    Cons for Magnum: Older and in need of some maintenance.


    Thanks to all for even reading until here!
    I am looking forward to reading advice and comments from you all.

    Jim
     
  2. huub

    huub Guest

    dunno bout the magnum, but the ghost sucks...
    the pres and eq sound crappy, and everything becomes crackly and even crappier sounding after a couple of years...

    well thats my opinion anyways...
    why not digital??
    tascam dm24?
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I will be trying it out soon when the Firewire card is delivered. Its a rental.

    I think you are being a tad harsh on the Ghost.
    If you think the preamps in the Ghost are bad then you would hate the DM24's. I haven't any rave review of those. On the contrary you are the first person that has a negative opinion of the Ghost pres.

    The DM24 is a budget digital board and as such one must manipulate tons of parrameters before arriving at a final function (read, many steps for one result).

    Right now I am not convinced I need a digital board. What i sthe advantage to me? I am recording to a DAW so I have all and more automation then the DM24. I have all the top Pro plugins.

    An analog console gives me the immediacy I need. I want to work fast. The fastest would be a dedicated hard disk recorder system but there would be no editing.

    I may still end up with the DM24 if the Firewire card becomes real. So far no one has received one.
    I also have a feeling that these low end boards like the DM24 or Yamaha 01v96 are too compromised for what I want to do. Don't get me wrong if they satisfy you great but to me I would get an 02r96 or a Sony R100 but they are both out of my price range.

    There is also the sound of analog. I don't want to start another digital vs analog debate. I prefer the sound of analog consoles so far. That doesn't mean I don't like digital its just I can't afford the ones I think sound good. Its all opinion in the end.

    Also I can't understand why Tascam is the only one that sees the logic of having a Firewire connection instead of us having to buy extra interfaces? Apogee also seems to see that light but it also has not yet delivered any of the Firewire optional cards. So its still young.

    I think this will all sort itself out in a few years.

    I guess you have the DM24? What are you interfacing it to?

    Jim
     
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Yamaha has a new digital mixer with mLAN on it. The FW card for the Tascam DM24 is supposed to ready and shipping by mid June.

    The TAC Magnum is good decent console. I'd likely choose it over a Ghost LE. Just be prepared and know that your going to have to spend the extra bucks on maintenance to get it back up to spec and that things will continue to degrade and go wrong that will require even more money and time. That's just a fact of life and part of the expense for capital equipment.
     
  5. huub

    huub Guest

    noo, i dont have a dm 24, it just seems like a good deal..and digital eq usually is at least acceptable..even on a behringer..but ofcourse u can use plugins for that anyway..
    at work we have 4 ghosts (for p.a. purposes),badly serviced i admit,
    and they all are crappy...cracking pots and stuff, inserts stop working, and the eq i seriously dont like..
    i dont have a mixer for recording myself.. i usually use a neve libra live or studer broadcast console, into my motu 828..Of course i do not own these consoles myself, this is at work..
     
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Everytime I read someone'c comment on the DM24 it seems that after a while (and sometimes sooner) something starts to go wrong either hardware wise or software. But its still in my mind if this Magnum deal falls through. So is a Soundcraft Delta.

    So maintenance could be an issue with the DM24 as well.

    I think the problem is to choose over the Ghost LE, Delta, DM24 or Magnum when all are at basically the same price (give or take 1,000).

    I still maintain that unless you get a high end digital board an analog board "sounds" better (to me). Especially when you start to listen to a mix.

    The advantage of digital is obvious. Automation ect. However I am using a DAW anyway so in a way I already have a "mixing" board for final mixdown if I want. I have ll the Waves plugins as well. I intend to use a combination of both the DAW and the Magnum to mix.

    What I lack is a way to work fast and for me an analog board is simple. You get what you see. Nothing hidden behind fader banks and so on.

    I know myself and I will be more productive with an analog mixer. Its just my gut feeling and also what I'm used to. I also don't have the time to spend learning the digital boards. The DM24 didn't seem too user friendly to me when I checked it out at the store (not an in depth tryout but nevertheless an order of magnitude more complex than something like a Magnum.

    As far as maintenance I will not buy the board if I have to repair it unless its a few channels. I don't mind cleaning the pots and connectors but if it needs a recap to make it function forget it. If its a recap to make it sound better I can wait. I need it to function enough to get me back on track (no pun!).

    Its not a done deal yet in any case but the decision with your help has been made. The Magnum is a superior board and a great deal when compared to Delta, DM24 or Ghost (at the price I am getting it!). So its like I have no choice. I would be happy with any of those if the Magnum had not come across my path.

    The decision is made in my head now I have to persuade the seller to drop his price a bit otherwise I think I just can't justify it. I am very nervous about this because of the money (not a god year) and hence I tread with caution.

    Thanks to ALL of you for giving me things to think about.
    Your opinions are valued.

    Jim
     
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I would forgo the whole mixer concept and use that cash to buy some great mics and pres and be done with it. A cheap Mackie works fine for phone mixes and monitoring needs.

    I used to own a large format mixing desk and I also felt that it would be a major pain to mix in the box. But I have to admit it isn't as bad as I envisioned.. I actually don't mind it at all and I don't see it as a drawback any longer..

    The TAC is the best board out of the bunch mentioned but as AudioGaff says, it's going to require ongoing maintenance. Ask your friend why he is selling it ... most likely maintenance comes into play ... While the TAC has a patchbay, be sure to note how it is interfaced.. Does it use propriety connectors like Tuchels? If it does, keep in mind these connectors are hard to find and pretty expensive.. The patchbay is a nice extra but it most likely is not something you can simply plug your outboard into. It will require some soldering at the least . How good are your soldering chops? Keep in mind these types of consoles were designed to be in facilities where there is usually at least one person doing maintenance all the time..

    The next best choice is the Soundcraft Delta ... much better than a Ghost .. I know people who swear by their Ghost mixers but to tell the truth these mixers have never impressed me.. I don't care for how the mic pres or the EQ sounds..
     
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    This is another great idea and it is still in my mind as an option.
    But I am leaning towards a minimum of 16 to 20 inputs in any case.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [quote="
    I used to own a large format mixing desk and I also felt that it would be a major pain to mix in the box. But I have to admit it isn't as bad as I envisioned.. I actually don't mind it at all and I don't see it as a drawback any longer..
    [/quote]

    I know mixing in the box is possible and I have to admit that it isn't too much of a pain (if you like that) but I do prefer a mixer after having tried both. I can always do one or the other or a combination amyway.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [quote="
    The TAC is the best board out of the bunch mentioned but as AudioGaff says, it's going to require ongoing maintenance. Ask your friend why he is selling it ... most likely maintenance comes into play ... While the TAC has a patchbay, be sure to note how it is interfaced.. Does it use propriety connectors like Tuchels? If it does, keep in mind these connectors are hard to find and pretty expensive.. The patchbay is a nice extra but it most likely is not something you can simply plug your outboard into. It will require some soldering at the least . How good are your soldering chops? Keep in mind these types of consoles were designed to be in facilities where there is usually at least one person doing maintenance all the time..
    [/quote]

    I just got off the phone with the seller. First of all I know him very well. He is willing to let it go for $3,750.00. Also because he knows me he is accepting terms like cash of $1,500.00 and the rest as I can or monthly payments. The terms alone are irressitable. How much less painful can it be? He replaced first by a Yamaha 02r and now a 02r96.

    As far as the condition I will be checking it out this or next week. Its been in storage for 2 years (he said had he known I wanted it he would have stored it in my studio! Damn!). He said there is 1 pot that is noisy and one board connector that is finicky. Also its a 26 input not a 32 like I thought.

    The patchbay is bantam and the board is wired into it of course. He also has 2 snakes terminating to Elco connects for connecting to the outside world. The meter and all else works fine as far as he tells me. We are both aware that 2 years in storage may have changed that a bit. I have no problems wiring my outboard to a bantam tachbay. I have done it a few times with no problems whatsoever.

    Actually I am very good with soldering. I have done mods before on a Soundcraft and a D&R board. That doesn't scare me. What oes is to spend much of my time doing that. But remember my studio is not going to get the use of a commercial facility. This is for personal as well as a few artist friends of mine's projects.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that to forego a mixer completely was my original idea I just needed to do overdubs. All the tracking was done at a friend's studio.

    But it has become awkward to get things done there as time constraints are clashing and it is a pain just to make a booking. Hey it was free so I don't expect anything.

    So I need to do tracking of drums, guitar, bass, percusiion, Hammond B3 ect all at once.

    Otherwise 2 good pres and compressors would be enough for my overdubs.

    Of course the day I get a mixer in here that is the day my friend will call to tell me he is ready to continue with my project! :cool:

    Jim
     
  10. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    What happened? What did you go with?

    Just curoius. The Soundcraft Delta is one that I am going after right now. Then it is going over to Audio Upgrades for some modifications. I plan to use it as a headphone monitor mixer and for remote recording applications.

    That's one BIG issue that I have with mixing in the box. If you want to do headphone mixes for 5 or 6 guys players, it takes a bit to open and collapse fader windows, etc.
     

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