Please help...Your advice is sought.



Its one of those boring old what console should I buy threads, sorry...I will actually be copying this to some other forums too, so please let me apologise in advance to those of us who like to get around a bit. I very much appreciate any input.

I am selling my Calrec Compact. 12 mono 12 stereo 8 groups w compressors, direct outs. etc etc. I am selling because it requires maintenance that I am unable to perform personally, and I dont want to pay for others to do it for me. It sounds fabulous and would be a good project for someone more technical.

I need a 32 channel in line desk. I want something very nearly or very actually new. I dont want any more maintenance for a while, and I'm prepared to pay to achieve that.

Having spent two weeks reading pretty much everything I can find on this and other forums, studying manuals and talking to manufacturers, I have arrived at the following shortlist...These are all new and cost about the same...

1. A Neotek Elan.

Pros: Apparently excellent sonics (which are the primary concern over features). Mike is going to send me some modules to check out. Seems to have a certain amount of lust factor which should be good for visiting engineers. Good pres and eqs:an absolute must. Simple.

Cons: Limited flexibility...The B path is not quite as useful as it might be on other in lines. Must come to me in London from the US. Will take a while to make.

2. D&R Orion.

Pros: Has a lot of features for the price and reports suggest a nice sounding console. Opinions on the pres and eqs welcome...?

Cons: May not be sonically as good as the neotek. Unbalanced inserts. Looks like a live desk...bit plastic. Slightly less headroom than the others.

3. Audient ASP8024

Pros: Lots of features. Reports of good sound

Cons: Reports of bad sound and lack of headroom. Not modular. Reports of cheap build with a big markup. Reports of reliability issues in one case.

So whats the verdict from you guys? My gut instinct says to go with the Neotek, put up with the wait, and lack of features in order to get the best sonically that I can. I can later increase flexibility by adding a sub mixer like an xtramix, or maybe even something esoteric with high end lust factor...10 channel Neve or something for a bit of charachter.

My decisions are subject to hearing everything obviously, but I'd like to get pros and cons properly worked out on paper before hand.