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Used mixer preamps

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by White Rose, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. White Rose

    White Rose Guest

    I am looking for a used mixer ($500 or so) with good preamps.

    For example, does anyone know anything about the preamps on the Soundcraft Spirit 1682 mixer?

    Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I am assuming this is a Spirit recording console. Spirits have a good reputation as a mid level home studio console. Not as bad as a Mackie but not as good as any real large format console. I used a Spirit for a couple of years in the early 90's doing midi rap and some rock work (mostly rap) and sound and performance of the pres was fine. I had a little trouble getting a good kick drum sound with the eq's as I recall but other than that, I liked the board. Clients seemed to like it and I never heard any complaints about it. This would be a great buy for $500!
    I would like to say something however, It appears that a lot of people that are setting up studios are getting on this pre amp wagon. They have all heard that the pres in their Mackies are a weak point and they feel a need to replace them. I say If you have a nice mic and a decent DAW interface, use the Mackie or other cheapo pres. Do they sound alright to you? If they do use them! To my eye, this is becoming a cart before the horse situation. If there is a problem with a piece of equipment in your studio, you should wait until you perceive the problem before you replace it. Don't react just because someone else told you their assenwiper sounds better because it uses double push pull, load lightened technology at the front end of the output. Wait until you perceive the problems associated with given piece of gear. This is part of a learning process and you should experience and enjoy it. If it sounds good to you, use it! …..Fats
    :w:
     
  3. White Rose

    White Rose Guest

    Fats,

    Thanks for your response. I have been away from studio work since 94' and the itch to get back in has just become too much so I will be investing about $7000-$8000 in the next few months into an entirely new system. My plan is to go with the Digi 002 and supliment it with either an Octopre or a mixer + an ai-3 to use the lightpipe I/O. The Octopre would give me some compression and limiting from what I understand, but the mixer would give some tactile advantage. Which is the better of the two options?
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I have heard that the Presonus pres are alright but I'll bet they are not any better than the Soundcrafts. I don't personally care for the mic pre converter combos. No good when the converters become obsolete ( in a few months). The AI3 is a good choice, 24 bit, real ok but you can't beat the price. It's the clock speed that makes the biggest difference. Two AI3's taped together will make a great wheel chock in a year or two. The limiters on the Octopre are just soft clip limiters and you can get waaaay better compression than that. I'd go with the Spirit and a couple AI3's with a Frontier Dakota card. 24 bit 18 in and out. Cheap! (under $1000 for all 3) Converters and soundcards can come and go with new formats but if you have a decent dedicated analog front end, later updates can be much less expensive. I think you have an excellent opportunity to but a nice short loaded (smaller footprint, good!) Spirit for 500 clams. Jump on it! With the extra $500 you can get some RNC's or some other comps. The 002 looks to be a great system but it's 96 k I think. AI3's are only 48k. You can up sample the 24 /48 to 96 and it supposed to sound almost as good! Once again, clock speed. The thing is in a short while the 002 will be a piece of the past tied to 96 k and it will be worth nothing. It will work good to hold the tarp down on the yard clippings on the way to the dump. Fats
     
  5. White Rose

    White Rose Guest

    Fats,

    Thanks,

    I went ahead and picked up the spirit. It should be here tomorrow. I am going to run it along side the 002.

    I have a question. I don't have an adat. I don't want an adat. But would that be a better choice than the ai-3 in that if I had an adat I would have an avenue for those who have recordings on adat format as well as giving me the extra 8 I/Os. Am I making any sense?

    Brian
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    If you think that is something you need to do then it makes sense. However I don't know of anyone who is running ADAT's anymore. It's like we all got rid of them at the first opportunity! ADATS suk, I hate them, they don't work well. Lots of problems with the transports and keeping the heads clean. Plus they chew tape like there's no tomorrow!
    An ADAT will only be able to give you either 8 in or 8 out at a time. With an AI3 you will be able to use both the ins and outs at the same time. Plus an ADAT XT is 20 bit system, while the AI3 will provide you with 24 bit conversion. I have a pair of these and I think they sound very good considering what they cost. You should be able to pick one up for about $350. US.... Fats
     
  7. White Rose

    White Rose Guest

    Thanks,

    That's what I will do.
     
  8. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    I am also looking to replace the mixer in my studio, and don't want to spend an arm and a leg since I don't plan on sending any recording signal thorugh it unless I am recording something where I need more than 8 mic pres at once (I have the PreSonus Digimax unit, which I love, btw!). I will mainly use it as a monitoring unit, and also to generate multiple headphone mixes, etc.

    But since I am investing in a mixer, I want to make sure the mic pres are at least acceptable if I really need to use them someday.

    My first consideration is signal routing capabilites and flexibilities (i.e. extra pre-fader aux sends for headphone mixes, etc.), *then* second is the quality of the mic pres.

    Here are a couple of choices, and if anyone has any comments on them, let me know:

    1) Soundraft Spirit M12

    2) Alesis Studio 32 (believe it or not, they've got some pretty good reviews)

    3) Allen & Health Mix Wizard 16:2DX

    I guess if there are any comments, compare these with the Mackies if possible.

    Thanks!
     
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    DH,
    IMO
    Soundcraft Spirit 12 :td:
    Alllen Heath Mix Wizard :tu:
    For everyone else, my opinion on small mixers. If I could afford anything on the market right now, the two small format mixers I would consider for the pre amps and sound are the new Crest line and the TLA 8 channel tube mixer. I have heard some exelent things about both of these pieces. Down side? $! Around $2K ..... Fats
     

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