Skip to main content

In my quest for a cheap but decent mixer I came across an old
Soundcraft Spirit Studio for about $600 US at a local store.
It's bigger than I need but how does it sound?

As I mentioned in another post...
I'm looking for a stop gap solution while I'm saving for a "higher end" Preamp.
Likely the Seb 4000 or maybe even the JLM TMP8.
I usually use only 2 ins at a time for tracking but need 8-10 for drums.

So back to the Spirit Studio.
It's dated 92. How are the pres on these things?
I'm mainly looking at the pres in comparison to the Mackie/XDRs or the newer Soundcraft M8-E8 or A&H Wizards.
Is the EQ better than the Mackies?
The rest of the features are cool but not really needed.



anonymous Sat, 05/15/2004 - 12:59

Hey Sean, I like the way you spell your name:

I didnt really like the Spirit line of consoles. I used a Spirit Studio for years and it had a bad tendancy to get thin and harsh real quick.

As a solution, "stop gap" i believe you called it, I would try and find anything by Allen & Heath. For the money those are great little pre amps. They beat Mackie Hands Down. The EQ is warm also. I would definitly sacrafice Quantity for Quality, go for fewer channels if you need to. I have used the smaller GL2200 and the larger GL4000 and both are quite good for the price range.

Hope this helps you - Sean

anonymous Sat, 05/15/2004 - 16:22


I dont know if price is an issue, but you might want to consider the MixWizard series. I have been looking to buy a small format mixer for quite some time now and have done much research on it. So far, it seems like the MixWizard serries really fits the bill. They are extreemly functional, which sold me. I am going to invest in the 1442. I needed at least 8 pres... which it has 10, i needed groups... it has four, and it even has a handy little tone generator on it. Let me know what you think.

anonymous Sat, 05/15/2004 - 22:04

The Spirit Studio has pres and EQ that are quite usable...........much more so than comparable Mackie desks and I'll leave BellRinger out of the equation.

While I agree that A&H are a good alternative to consider, personally I don't understand Got2's comments re the S/craft getting thin and harsh..........maybe it was his specific desk rather than being the norm.


anonymous Wed, 05/19/2004 - 12:51

Sorry HiString, I didnt mean to offend. To be honest I am biased, I usually like a very 3 dimensional full sound out of my audio gear so that makes me predisposed to that kind of gear and I think the A&H comes the closest to that. I realize that that bigger sound is not everyones choice, nor is it always a good idea. But, 99% of the time for the style of music that I work with (pop, rock, hip-hop...) that is waht I like to hear, and my experience with the soundcraft never yeilded that.

I have used their spirit line in a few different environments and personally I believe they had a tendancy to get thin especially if you had to use the hi shelf eq or do any subtractive equing. I will concede that the preamps only got harsh when run hard, so this may not be a problem in different environments.

Just something to take into consideration. Sean, i suggest you take a listen to both and see if you like one over the other - Sean

anonymous Thu, 05/20/2004 - 00:02

"Is the EQ better than the Mackie?" Virtually any EQ is better than the Mackie.
I work with a Spirit Monitor board every week. I find it to be very flexible, good sounding, and full of the features which work every night. The EQ is very useable (AND defeatable!, ie you can switch it out of the siganl path.)
I can't really comment on the mic pres, as I have not recorded with this board. However, I have noticed that Mackie pres tend to oscillate if one must turn them up past 1 o'clock. This can lead to 'feedback' without overdriving anything in the system.
I do know that the soundcraft pres have a hell of lot more headroom than the Yamahas. When you hit red on the Yamahas, it's too late, it already sounds like shit.

anonymous Fri, 05/21/2004 - 22:44

Thanks for all the posts guys!
Still researching.

I'm at the point now where I'm wondering if I should just hold off &
get what I really want, the Seb 4000 or the JLM TMP-8!! Arrgh :?

My biggest fear is that I fork out for one these small
mixers then still being unhappy with the quality.
I don't need the bells & whistles, just the Pres.
Even the EQ would be a bonus not a necessity.

I'd like to rent the Soundcraft M series or the Allen & Heath to see/hear for myself but I haven't found a store that rents them.
A friend of mine loves his Wizard & totally recommends it.
BUT the CD he made with it has that harshness to it. I mean that could be anything, maybe he used C-1000's!
I just don't want to shell out a big chunk & be disappointed especially considering they're getting up to almost half of what I really want.
I just want to get a great full tone that's big & not harsh.
If I can do it with the preamps in one of those boards & have the EQ to boot I'd be a happy camper.
In the mean time, still saving!! :)


anonymous Sat, 05/22/2004 - 21:29

I know this isn't a thread for reviews or comments, but seeing that people have obviously listened to the mp3 in the last 24 hours, I would be interested in any responses.

BTW, As I said, the mix was never finished but it clears up a bit if you pull some low mids (around 300 Hz) out when you listen.


Rod Gervais Sat, 06/05/2004 - 18:54

HiString wrote: I know this isn't a thread for reviews or comments, but seeing that people have obviously listened to the mp3 in the last 24 hours, I would be interested in any responses.

BTW, As I said, the mix was never finished but it clears up a bit if you pull some low mids (around 300 Hz) out when you listen.


OK.......... as far as the quality of the board itself goes......... i thought it was just fine......... i didn't hear any noise....... much more than i would ever expect out of a mackie or a B.........,

I could have shot the V-Drums........ yuck doesn't even begin to describe that - but then again - as a drummer I'll always say that no matter how good they sound anyway......

For the song itself - drums not withstanding......... damn - I loved it........ it has a good vibe and moves nicely........ well done to whoever the writer and artists are......... and the singers voice fit very well with it.......


anonymous Sat, 06/05/2004 - 19:54

Thanks Rod,

The "band" isn't together as such any more although it is likely that they will come together here to continue recording the singer/songwriter's material, initially just as a "recording project", if anything promising turns up well they may take it further.

The quality of that song is typical of the material they had and the fact that 3 of the guys (my son being one of them) had worked together for 5 years ensured a tight sound.

I'll possibly PM a link or two to a couple of other tracks for your listening pleasure :D

ChrisO 8)


Not trying to be funny, but I totally forgot that PM's were out of my loop, so I hope it is OK to put these links here.....