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Thoughts on Crest x8rt

Anyone have any thoughts on these units?
My partner can get a hold of one free, minus the power supply.

We'll have to buy/build a new power supply, and may only end up flipping the console.

Curious on everyone's thoughts, so we can go about planning to integrate it into our current setup or planning to sell it.

Thanks in advance


dvdhawk Fri, 04/29/2011 - 09:18
I'd grab it if I had the chance.

If you've got someone who can build a power supply, I don't see how you could go wrong. In my experience, they're exceptionally friendly on the phone, so I'd also call or email them to see if they have a PSU that will work with it. A new PSU won't be cheap, but the console is probably worth salvaging (even to flip) assuming it doesn't need any further repairs.

Crest makes some very respectable consoles for live venues. That one was available in 24, 32, 40, 48 channel and would be from about the turn of the century. (1999 - 2000) That's about the time of the Peavey acquisition, but the console would have been in production prior to the merger - if that matters to you. In my opinion the merger with Peavey didn't ruin the Crest brand - it only strengthened Peavey.

[=""]Specs[/]="http://www.crestaud…"]Specs[/] and [[url=http://="http://www.crestaud…"]schematics[/]="http://www.crestaud…"]schematics[/] are available at the Crest website.

Good luck with that!

TheJackAttack Fri, 04/29/2011 - 12:32
While in the Corps, my main live rig had both a Crest 40 channel FOH board and a 32 channel MON board. They were both pre-Peavey and served very well. I only replaced two channels on the FOH board the entire time I was Sound Chief and it was rode hard because of the work we did and the humidity levels in SD. Ours weren't the X8RT but the quality ought to be decent enough.

soapfloats Fri, 04/29/2011 - 20:58
Thanks for the input fellas - and I believe you're right, Hawk. It should be a 1999, 40 channel unit.

Now comes the big question - benefits/disadvantages of integrating it into our current setup.
Seems to me we'd have to ditch the FF800/2xDigimaxLT in favor of something that does a lot of I/O conversions - something like the MOTU 2408?

The biggest (only) problem I have w/ the FF800 is limited analog I/O.

The idea would be to use the board as a centerpiece, for both tracking and monitor routing, while still doing the dirty work of mixing ITB.
We'd be keeping the Focusrite and Sytek preamps to feed into the Crest.

Would this thing work as a summing mixer?

Just trying to get my head around how this unit might work re: what we use now.
Again, not sure that's even the route we'll end up going, but I'm the type that likes to plan, chart, re-plan, and re-chart any move I might make a hundred times.

TheJackAttack Fri, 04/29/2011 - 21:11
The 2408 only has 8 analog inputs. In my opinion the analog circuitry of the RME products are superior to MoTU. Regardless, something like the Alesis HD24XR would give you 24 inputs with automatic conversion to ADAT at 44.1k sampling.

In most cases like this, you would digitize the sub groups or a combination of subs and specific primary channels. The rest are simply mixed into the subgroups or recorded at the max analog ADC's you have.

TheJackAttack Fri, 04/29/2011 - 21:59
You'd be taking a step down on the analog wiring on both counts. Otherwise it would work well for half your channels. Of course two 24I/O......

I think you maybe want to hear the Crest board before you go making a decision. It was a good workhorse of a live board in the 90's but I didn't use mine for studio recording at all. I think probably the Presonus Studio Live or the Allen & Heath ZED R16 or GS24 sound considerably superior to the Crest. For that matter, my original Onyx 1640 is quiet by comparison but it is a decade newer.

soapfloats Fri, 04/29/2011 - 22:16
That was my fear/suspicion.
Looks like I'm married to the FF800 for now - the only reason this came up is b/c of the free board.
If I can find a way to integrate it w/ our current setup w/o loss in audio quality, I will.
Otherwise, we'll probably try and flip it.
Of course, this is all dependent on actually getting the board running and hearing what it does.

Thanks again!