Analogue Console Options 15K or less

Member for

9 years 5 months
Profile picture for user ChrisH
Submitted by ChrisH on Fri, 07/11/2014 - 13:19

Hi friends!

I'm in the market for a console.
- Price point 15K or less.
- 16 channels or more
- At least 4 bus'
- Automation

Ive been searching the market and have found a couple contenders..
We have...

1. The Audient ASP4816

2. Allen & Heath GS-R24

I'm open to a used console but would rather start new/gently used to minimize maintenance.

I plan to sale some of my outboard pre's to help fund this purchase.

Would love to know my other options that I'm not aware of and any problems with any of the contenders. Something that holds it's value is paramount.

Or do I save my pennies?


I know where Bos is going with his questions... LOL... but they are very valid questions.

I'm looking into my crystal ball....Ope! There it is... I see it clearly.....Wait for it... you're about to hear the benefits of the A&H Zed 16 in ....3....2.....1..... (y)

And FWIW, I'm looking at the same console. ;)

for around 2 grand you can get a really nice used Midas Venice. the Venice / Verona line is very well respected and generally considered to be the best table top mixers available. try to get an earlier one that was made in Europe there are several on E Bay right now. if i were shopping for a console a Midas is what i would want.

that is not what i was talking about. the f series is a new version built by Behringer .... (eccch!)

go to ebay ... plenty of used Midas Venice's 160's or 320's ... be sure to get one that was made before Behringer (eccch!) took over.

Are you looking for a tracking mixing or summing type thing? Or something for all of the above? If I were going new, for my own personal studio I'd look very seriously at this one.

My reasoning, again, if it had to be new, is a bunch of quality eq, plenty of clean pres/channels for almost any size basic tracking session, and a clean enough path to mix thru, and again take advantage of that much eq. I think eq is the number one thing overlook I as far as equipment goes right now, and it's very expensive to have a lot of OB eqs. It's got talkback.
W the extra money I'd get some color full pres/compressors.

Besides the atb, I'd consider the one like Kurt suggested, and also a soundcraft ghost, just cuz I've seen them a couple places. Other than that to me it's, a vintage maintenance pig/project like an amek, or a used trident.

Kurt Foster, post: 417067, member: 7836 wrote: that is not what i was talking about. the f series is a new version built by Behringer .... (eccch!)

go to ebay ... plenty of used Midas Venice's 160's or 320's ... be sure to get one that was made before Behringer (eccch!) took over.

I had no idea whatsoever. My apologies.

No apologies necessary. I simply typed "Midas Venice" into Google, and Sweetwater came up first (of course)... and this is where I saw the info and pricing. ;)

I had no idea that the newer Midas consoles are being made by Behringer. I wouldn't have ever thought that anything from Midas would be. Seems a bit odd to me, that this U.K. based company, with such a rich history in console design and manufacturing - would eventually end up being made in China. o_O ??

Now, on the other side of that coin...and playing devil's advocate just for a minute....

While I do realize that Behringer doesn't exactly have the highest level of respect in pro audio circles - I'm not entirely sure that it's right to completely negate them either, just because it's made by Behringer.

Without having actually worked on one, it's hard to say. Couldn't it be remotely possible - assuming that Behringer is following the original Midas design and using original parts - that they might actually sound good?

I guess I'm asking if there is anyone here - or perhaps someone who knows someone - who has had actual hands-on experience with these newer Behringer-made Midas consoles?

It seems to me that it's pretty hard to form an opinion about it, without having had any actual experience with it.

I dunno... just thinking aloud, I guess. I've never worked on one, so I can't comment either way.



Strictly, both those two companies along with Klark Teknik, Turbosound and Bugera are independent entities under the Music Group holding company (chairman Uli Behringer). However, they share much commonality in component supply and manufacture, including most of it now taking place in the Far East. The F and U (FireWire and USB) versions of the Venice are these days exclusively Far Eastern manufactured.

Ironically, the original Midas consoles were designed and prototyped in the UK but production manufacturing was done in Germany by Dynacord, a Bosch company. The all-analog Venice and Verona from that vintage were lovely to work with.

Funny, I didn't know that Uli Behringer's middle initial was "S".

the Dynacord Midas has a great reputation and many users have said it actually compares with large format boards like API's and even Neves. the pres sound great and the EQ is quite good.

it's insane in my opinion to go out and spend 8 k or more on a TOFT console when you can pick up a used Midas Venice 160 or 320 or even a Verona for chump change on EBay.

if i were in the market for a console for a home studio a used Dynacord Midas or Verona is what i would be looking for. a bonus is most the ones FS on Ebay come with a road case so shipping is a breeze. it's a no brainer.

I'd like to know what sort of music you intend to be mostly recording? As mentioned, I've had no issues or qualms with Midas Venice consoles, which I found quite nice. Though I've never owned one of my own. I've used plenty. And they are musical sounding. My utmost important criteria. Not what the specifications indicate which I really don't give a damn about. Since anything that should be considered professional, should be able to provide professional results within any professionals hand. Which is how Donny makes such great recordings with his TEAC converter thingy. He most assuredly understands gain staging. Which eludes a lot of folks. To me, gain staging is paramount.

Unfortunately some equipment that doesn't really possess the headroom that actual pro equipment possesses, frequently will indicate how to set your gain trim. Not taking into account that its output headroom capability doesn't go beyond +18. Which is where I think a lot of people get into trouble? So when you tweak according to their directives/instructions, your product ends up sounding rather compromised. Because it completely misses out on any headroom. And it's that headroom that separates the men from the toys.

Now what to do when you can't afford that kind of good stuff? That's where education and technique take precedence. That's when it is helpful to understand what the specifications actually specify. And how that impacts what your recordings will sound like, more so than the converters involved. Because this is like adjusting the color on your TV set. Some folks like their colors pastel. Some like them normal. Others like them vivid. But within each one of those descriptors, we're not talking transparency, we're talking color. Do you like black and white or do you like IMAX? I like both. Where, both are appropriate. So, I couldn't possibly own a single piece of equipment, brand, type. I might choose a slightly mushy converter with Zippy sounding microphone preamps? Or I might utilize a more articulate sounding converter with a smoother sounding microphone preamp? And what do you end up with? Virtually the same thing either way. It all comes out in the wash. Because I use springtime fresh smelling Gain laundry detergent, staging.

Wax on. Wax off.
Mx. Remy Ann David

Of course, if you wanted something that was classic analog? Too bad you didn't talk to me when I was selling my double Auditronics 501's. Mike preamps nearly indistinguishable from API's. With air core inductor equalizers that sound a bit like a Neve. With all of the 5534 IC chip factory recommended upgrades.

So that might be a console you might want to look at, if you can find one? Because I would have sold my complete double 501's for only $10,000. Which was 46 total inputs and 92 at mix down, if ya need that many. I never did but I had it. And in virtually perfect condition also having been re-Capped & new IC chip sockets and chips. It had built-in TT patch bays and Dean Jensen input and output transformers. Easy inexpensive upgrade to actual API 312 style microphone preamps, by swapping out the 5534 for the API 2520 and voilà. So that's a real god damn console! And not some desktop poof. No real difficult maintenance required. And real 100% analog made in the USA, in Memphis, Tennessee, console. Without any silkscreening to wear off, ever.

Finding those today are rare because of their intrinsic quality level. If you think that maintaining a few switches and volume controls are beyond your capabilities? What the heck are you doing in this business anyhow? And talking about old analog consoles? If you want a new analog console? Pick one.

You either want a real analog console or a Toy analog console? An upgraded PA board? Or when people actually built professional recording consoles? I mean you can even find a nice Siemens Neve, 55 series, within your budget. And then you're in the big league.

What's important to ya?
Mx. Remy Ann David

"Which is how Donny makes such great recordings with his TEAC converter thingy."

Except I don't really believe that I am making great - or even good - recordings anymore.

Since treating my room, I'm now hearing things - both good and bad - that I hadn't heard before. The good things are imaging, depth, space, accuracy. The bad things are a harshness in the top end - over 2 k or so - that I'm convinced are the result of the "Teac thingy"... (Tascam 1641).

I've had my hearing tested by an audiologist (I'm good up to around 18k and then everything attenuates pretty quickly past that, but at 54 - and having played loud stages over the last 35 years, I'm not really complaining)....My mics are all good, (Neumann, AKG, EV, Shure, Sennheiser) which only leaves one thing left : I need to upgrade my pre and my converters.

Now, whether or not I look for a model that gives me both in quality, or whether I end up getting separate pieces, remains to be seen, and will be totally dependent on the money I have on hand to spend.

Right now, I'm stuck with the Thingy.

I'm gonna post one of my latest mixes later today. You'll definitely hear what I'm talking about.

it's more likely the pres in your thingy that are the problem , not the converters. i'm not saying there isn't room for improvement in the converters but i would bet if you had a couple of really good pres that top end harsh wouldn't be so bad. just a guess.

in many cases, it's actually more the analog part of the converters that's crap out. when you get into the high end you get better analog circuitry in and out with higher headroom and i think that's what we hear as improvement more than the actual converters themselves. if you look into it, you may be surprised to find some high end converters use the same chips as some less expensive ones.

So far, from what I've researched, I'm pretty convinced that my best bang for the buck in terms of I/O - as well as having a nice analog chain - is either the Presonus SL or the A&H Zed16.

You do hear what I'm talking about in that mix I sent you, right?

it does sound digital Donny. and it does sound as if you could use better converters and pres but you are working wonders with what you have and that's really what it's all about.

but i don't think the PreSonus or a ZED would be the answer. maybe the ZED more so than the PreSonus. I see the SL more as a good live mixer or a mixer for those who already have good pres or as an "all in one" solution to a DAW set up ... SL / Laptop / monitors / GO! i still think you should take those funds and get one of those Midas's.

....btw i liked the song, sent you some remarks about it. i can't get very critical because i don't have a great listening system at the moment. i think the studio gods are going to bring me a set of monitors for my bday so maybe soon i will have a set up going. at the moment, i'm still struggling to keep the property tax paid .... lol.

We have a Venice at the Playhouse and although its really nice, it not very quiet. This could be the way its set up in the building but it doesn't seem like the best way to go for both SN and integration with the DAW. Its really really hard to see everything at a glance but that could also be I'm just not used to it.

The quest continues...

there must be a problem in the way the console at your Playhouse is set up. these boards are notoriously quiet, like all faders up / no hiss quiet. either the operator is not gain staging properly or there is an issue with how the console is routed to the mains. noisy eq's? overuse of a drive rack? have you yourself ever run the thing? it's not inconceivable that a person running sound at a community Playhouse would not be well versed in the [[url=http://[/URL]=""]ART[/]=""]ART[/]. i wouldn't make a hard judgement based on only that.

Technical Specifications Input Impedance
Mic: 2k&8486; Balanced
Line: 20k&8486; Balanced
Input Gain
Mic: Continuously variable 0dB to +60dB
Line (Mono Channel): Continuously variable -20dB to +40dB
Line (Stereo Channel): Continuously variable -10dB to +20dB
Line Level Inputs: 0dB
Maximum Input Level
Microphone and Line: +22dBu
Line Level Inputs (Mono): +42dBu
Line Level Inputs (Stereo): +22dBu
CMR at 1kHz
Mic (Gain +30dB): > 80dB
Line: > 40dB
CMR at 100Hz
Mic (Gain +30dB): 70dB typical
Frequency Response (20Hz-20kHz)
Mic to Mix (Gain +60dB): + 0dB to -1dB
Noise (20Hz-20kHz)
Mic EIN ref. 150&8486; gain +60dB: -129dBu
Mic EIN ref. 150&8486; gain 0dB: -107dBu
System Noise (20Hz-20kHz)
Summing Noise (12 channels routed faders down): -90dBu
Line to Mix Noise (12 channels routet at 0dB): -84dBu
Distortion at 1kHz
Mic to Insert (+30dB Gain. +20dBu Output): Typ 00007%
Mic to Master (+30dB Gain +20dBu Output): Crosstalk at 1kHz
Channel to Channel: Mix to Mix: Channel to Mix: Fader Attenuation: > 100dB
Switch Rejection: > 100dB
Output Impedance
Line Outputs: 75&8486; balanced
Headphones: to drive 32&8486;
Maximum Output Level
Master Outputs: +25dBu
Line Outputs: +22dBu
Headphones: +22dBu / 600&8486;
Nominal Signal Level
Microphone: - 60dBu to 0dBu
Line: 0dBu
Equaliser Mono Channel
Hi Pass Filter: 2nd order Butterworth 80Hz
Treble: +/-15dB at 12kHz (Shelv)
Hi Mid: Continuously variable 100Hz to 2kHz (1 Oct) +/-15dB
Lo Mid: Continuously variable 400Hz to 8kHz (1 Oct) +/-15dB
Bass: + /-15dB at 80Hz (Shelv)
Equaliser Stereo Channel
Treble: +/-15dB at 12kHz (Shelv)
Hi Mid: 3kHz (14 Oct) +/-15dB
Lo Mid: 300Hz (14 Oct) +/-15dB
Bass: +/-15dB at 80Hz (Shelv)
Size (mm/inch)
Width: 906 / 35.7ô
Depth: 568 / 22.4ô
Height: 194 / 7.6ô
Weight (kg/lb)
258 / 56.9