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Tascam M520 or Soundcraft 500?

Hello everyone!

I'm using a Fireface 800 to record, and I need more preamps because I would like to record my band live.

I could buy preamps but as I don't have a console, I would like to buy one to use as premps and summing, and also to practice mixing.

My budget is limited (500-700€) and what I can offer right now is a Tascam M520 in very good shape and a Soundcraft 500 which need an operation in the power supply.
I think that the Soundcraft 500 is a "Live" console and the Tascam, a recording console.

I've never heard any of those two mixers and I know that for my budget I can not have the "neve" or "ssl" quality of sound, but maybe I can have a cool desk with which I can learn and perfect my skills? For what I read on the manuals about routing, flexibility, I would choose the Tascam... but... What do you guys think?

THANKS (sorry for my english...)
(I posted here because I think back in the days, they used to be "pro" console, doesn't they?)


moonbaby Fri, 10/31/2008 - 08:02
Your English is fine !
The Tascam sucked before it left the factory. The Soundcraft WAS a great board, but they are notorious for problems with their...power supplies!
You may be able to get the Soundcraft repaired, and that would be a good thing because the sound of that board is a LOT better than the Tascam's. If you decide to not mess with the Soundcraft, skip the Tascam and look at a Mackie - either a 1604VLZ or a new Onyx. They are cleaner and quieter than the Tascam by a large degree.

RemyRAD Fri, 10/31/2008 - 11:13
TASCAM's reputation is that of affordable. Not particularly well known for its sonic presence in that there is nothing all that desirable about the way they sound.

Soundcraft have a greater integrity of quality sound. But I would be weary of anything that is not currently functional. Especially if it had power supply problems. This could cause other catastrophic failures within and may in fact not be worth the money at all.

You may just want to look into an external 8 microphone preamp device? Especially if your goal is to record into your computer.

If you want to have a mixer for learning & mixing purposes, might I suggest a Beringer? Lots of folks put those down as being something bad. They're not all that bad. There is only so many ways to build equipment in an original manner. It's all been invented already. But Beringer, Mackie and others have adopted lower costs manufacturing procedures. They're just disposable as when things break, they are nearly impossible to repair. But then so are the Mackie's. Anything that contains surfacemount components on a circuit board can only be serviced by highly skilled folks with specialized tools. You cannot effect repairs utilizing your local parts store soldering iron & needle nose pliers.

But then if you are skilled enough, microphone preamps made from a single Signetics 5534AN can provide one with a reasonable input device. Such as was the Sound-Tracs 16-8-16 from the early 1980s. I made many lovely recordings with that piece of crap and those were the microphone preamps. Not only not fancy. But not even enhanced with low noise input transistors, transformers or, current boosting output buffer transistors. None of that. As long as you do not overloa you'll make quality recordings without even the need for equalizer's. But go over the top & overload and you will have less than satisfactory results.

So don't purchase broken consoles nor consoles with less than stellar reviews. It isn't worth wasting your money on. People won't want to record with you if you cannot make reasonable sounding recordings with reasonable sounding equipment.

Please excuse my English. I'm an American. We don't speak English here we speak American. Like George Bush, the decider. Pretty soon we will all decide to be done with the deciders in the Republican Party.

I'm voting for Braque Bomber and his friend who is Bidin' his time.
Ms. Remy Ann David