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My first analog mixing desk - suggestions?

Hi there,

I am currently looking at used recording consoles that could be used to mix down a whole band in rehearsals.

An 8 bus desk would be great, as it will be feeding into my Yamaha AW1600 for the moment. This records 8 tracks simultaneously.

A 24 track desk would be the ideal size and would offer enough inputs for what I'm looking at.

Right now, I'm looking at several mixers and would love some opinions on them:
Soundtracs Topaz
Soundcraft Spirit
Mackie 8-bus
Yamaha RM800

Others like the Soundtracs PC-Midi and Allen & Heath Systems 8 are also catching my eye, but there's not a lot of info about these in the net.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated as well. I have about £300-350 to spend on something used.

Thanks!

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Member for

12 years 6 months
Profile picture for user jammster

jammster Mon, 02/23/2009 - 15:10

Briefly in the mid nineties I owned a Soundcraft Spirit board. It was quite nice other that the fact it seemed too noisy for my taste. I returned it and ended up getting a mackie 1604 vlz at the time.

I'm not sure if they have improved the Spirit's electronics since then. Certainly, I would hope so.

Mackies 1640 Onyx looks quite decent for an inexpensive, small new board. However, I would not know, I've never worked with one.

I have a friend that owns a Soundtracs board, he likes it. Be sure to see if you can have some time to check it out before you put the money down. One part that always seems to wear out fast is the control room / monitor level potentiometer.

Overall I would say go with your gut on this one.

Member for

15 years 8 months

RemyRAD Mon, 02/23/2009 - 22:03

Back in the late 1980s I purchased a Soundtracs 16-8-16, not for its sonic integrity but for features, at the time, others didn't have, that I required. Noise? Rock-and-roll? I wasn't concerned about that. The feature set? Priceless. For everything else there's Mastering Engineers.

I don't care much for the Allen & Heaths. I found those noisy.

Mackie's are impossible to repair You're metric, it's not.

I find the Soundcraft's rather innocuous but functional. Didn't excite me.

I like anything British over cheap American/Chinese. Somehow, DimSum doesn't seem applicable for audio?

I like tasty cuts and sushi comes to mind. Maybe a Japanese console? Don't see many of those?

I'm smelling a little fishy tonight.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

19 years 6 months
Profile picture for user Davedog

Davedog Mon, 02/23/2009 - 23:14

You might be able to swing a Ramsa WR-T820 in there if you look long enough. All the WR series are excellent sounding and built like tanks.

Big sound. Not much for auxs but if you're going to a computer you dont need em anyway.

Member for

51 years 5 months

TwelveGauge-GT Tue, 02/24/2009 - 10:54

Reading more in to it, it seems that people like the Mackie the least out of the ones I was looking at, even though it is regarded as a 'pro' desk.

Even though the Soundcraft (or is it Spirit?) is the least expensive, it also seems to be getting the most consistent reviews and opinions.

Remy - what was the actual sound of the soundtracs like? Better/worse than a Soundcraft? I can accept that an analog desk is gonna have a little noise.
Does the Yamaha count as japanese? Damn, it only has eight xlr inputs.

Also, on the Soundcraft, would I be able to run the tape sends and returns through a Motu 24I/O or similar? This isn't something that I have now but I'm just thinking for the future.

I'll look out for that Ramsa too, thanks.

Member for

51 years 5 months

TwelveGauge-GT Mon, 03/02/2009 - 11:04

If anyone has any answers for the above questions, I'd be very grateful.

"What was the actual sound of the soundtracs like? Better/worse than a Soundcraft? I can accept that an analog desk is gonna have a little noise."

"Also, on the Soundcraft, would I be able to run the tape sends and returns through a Motu 24I/O or similar? This isn't something that I have now but I'm just thinking for the future."

-TG

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