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A&H GL-2800, Onyx, or Soundcraft LIVE

Member for

21 years
Its been a long time since I've posted anything here, but if I remember correctly, you guys are full of good information.

Our church has started to discuss upgrading the sound system. The other sound engineer and I are wanting to purchase a console with plenty of expansion room for the next 15 years. In short, we were able to show that in the last 10 years, we've spent on bandaids about double what it would take to have a system that would be capable of meeting the next 15 years of expansion. I'm also tired of juggling cables during holiday community services.

After browsing around for a bit, I've noticed people noting quite a few problems with the Soundcraft LIVE boards, so I am starting to lean away from them. I don't have any on-hand experience with the GL-2800 series from Allen & Heath, but I assume the 4800's I've used are similar. The major thing nobody who uses the console at our church likes about our Mackie 24.4 is no resistance on the fader. If the aux send on a channel is above 12 o'clock and the gain is brought up above about 1 o'clock, we overload the channel. It's also like there is a threshold there where you barely tap the gain to the right and you went from a 1kHz tone being 0dBu to clipping out. I've found the EQ's to be hit or miss on it also. Also, when I send to subgroups to make the drums and bgv's a bit easier to control, the level drops a bit. However, from what I have read, the Onyx is supposed to be much better. One other thing we are considering is a lot of Christian band tech riders specifically put Mackie in as "not allowed". That's another reason we like the Allen & Heath console... one less thing to rent for a youth function, and we're trying to get away from renting much at all.

We both like the layout of the 2800 best, which is what we are leaning towards. But I would like to hear some things about the Onyx. We've been told about the same price on each of them, so it's really a non-issue there. We just need to know if we should consider the Onyx.

Comments

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Wed, 11/14/2007 - 12:01
RemyRAD wrote: I don't think Jesus would either.


Actually, Jesus uses a Soundcraft (Holy) Ghost and despite his many sermons, he remains rather intolerant of any substitutes.

He does this cool trick though where he turns condensers into ribbons and despite only having 4 aux buses, he can feed an entire stage of people...

Member for

16 years 7 months

moonbaby Wed, 11/14/2007 - 12:31
Jeremy, you are goin' to hell for that one!!! LOL!!!
I am constantly seeing churches competeing with one another over the size of their boards. And some of this is the result of over-zealous sales consultants telling the crew that they have to plan for 10 years down the road. I am glad that I have a good quality used Yamaha 32-channel to use now. I can't see why I would ever need more, even with the choir and occasional horn sections added to the full contemporary band. And the 56-bucket Midas Heritage 3000 at the other church I work at is totally overkill.
I have to laugh, because, while this is in NO WAY a criticism of Brian, it reminds me of a conversation I had with a sound tech in a church in rural Georgia, about 5 years ago. I was asked by a friend to check out what they had because of many complaints about the sound system. Tech:
"We started out with a mixer board (that's what they call 'em in Georgia)
this big", and he holds his hands out about a foot apart, like he's describing a fish he just caught. "Then we got a mixer board this big", holding out his hands about 2 feet apart. Then, with a grin that displayed the fact that he had less teeth now than when he was born, he said, "Now we got us a mixer board THIS big", holding his outstretched hands 5 feet apart. It was an 8-bus Behr*&^&*r.
Addendum: Sometimes we have to remember to un-mute!

Member for

18 years 3 months

sheet Wed, 11/14/2007 - 16:01
bent wrote: The DM2000 does 96 channels on 4 layers...

The DM1k does 48.

Edit> The LS-9-32 does a max 64 channels, I don't have any of them, but they look good.

The Yamahas have that many channels, but you need outboard preamps and extra cards to get that happening. It is a hassle in some cases. I hated mixing through menus. I would rather reach over can grab the EQ on a channel that has a slight ring than hit the layer number 2, channel number, EQ button, then dial, etc.

There is no console in that range that will last 15 years. The average budget console in heavy use church settings lasts about 3 years. So forget that.

Get what you need for the next couple of years.

Now, that said, you might be able to find a real pro console that is coming out of another church or install, that is trading up to the flavor of the month digital console. Keep in touch with the bigger digital dealers in your region. Some times they help move the existing console side-ways to get a sale. Branson, MO has been buying Digi Venues. Call Ozark Pro Audio in MO and see if Danny has info on used analog consoles.

Check with SoundProductions in Dallas. Sometimes they get b-stocks. Full Compass is the king of B-stocks and returns from tradeshows, etc.

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Mon, 11/12/2007 - 11:55
Actually, I wouldn't consider any of those if you want to be capable of functioning with this for the next 10 years. I'd most likely recommend a Yamaha digital console. Handsdown, they're good and virtually a standard across the world. I don't know anybody who hasn't liked using any of their products. And they're not made in China like the Mackie. So if somebody doesn't like your Yamaha, tell them to go and get their own console as that would be a bunch of bunk I wouldn't put up with that. I don't think Jesus would either.

A non-Yamaha owner
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Mon, 11/12/2007 - 13:11
Check out the Yamaha DM1000, It's a smaller version of a DM2K, very good board in a small package.

And can be found on many websites for a very low price used.

Has two expansion slots, you can install a MY16AE card and connect a head unit (8 more inputs, or 16 if you can afford to by two of them)...

The AD8HR is a good head unit for this application.

Member for

16 years 7 months

moonbaby Mon, 11/12/2007 - 13:50
Brian:
How much $$ are you looking at spending? The Soundcraft boards made these days (at least the ones under $20K) are cheaply built and have performance issues.
I have owned A&H since they were first brought into the States in 1975.
I still have (2) GL2s and (2) GL2400s. No more A&H for me. The GL2s are OK, but the newer 2400s are giving me trouble. And a local church that I work for recently tried out an Onyx 32 8-bus board. Out of the box, 8-that's EIGHT!- input channels were dead!
New, budget- priced analog boards are disgusting! Cheap pots and switches, crappy power supplies, flimsy mainframes, no headroom.
There is one brand that stands apart. One company that listens to pro audio engineers and delivers the goods. A company that builds many of their own components, and has developed their own software to work reliably, no matter what the cutomer's budget is. One company that constantly strives to improve on its' own quality and has done so since 1975...Y A M A H A !!!
I just popped for a used M2500-32 from a TV studio because of the Onyx fiasco. That older $3500 board simply kicked the Mackie's ass out the door. And now their digital mixers have been steadily developed to be great-sounding, rock solid, and easy to operate, no matter what the budget is. For not much more than the GL2800, you can get an LS-9-32, and have a solid tool for the next 10 years. I promise you, the A&H won't last you that long!

Member for

15 years 5 months

Boswell Tue, 11/13/2007 - 02:31
BrianAltenhofel wrote: DM1000 and DM2000 both have too few inputs. We currently use 22 channels and are looking to add. I should've noted the boards we are looking at are the 40-channel configurations.
Don't dismiss the Yamaha DMs just because of the number of mic preamps. These are lovely, space-efficient boards, and either of them will mix the 22 channels you have now and have at least as many again spare. What you would need is input expanders in the form of ADAT-equipped 8/16 channel preamps. There is a big choice of these at varying price points and sonic flavours.

Member for

16 years 7 months

moonbaby Tue, 11/13/2007 - 12:55
OK, Brian:
Some things to consider. All of the analog boards you've mentioned are maxing out their power supplies at the 40-input stage. Less headroom, period. I am big proponent of good headroom in a live mixer. It seperates the men from the boys. Yamaha (who always had that designed into their analog PM boards) has learned to build digital mixers with it. Because professional engineers demand it. Not to mention RACKS worth of onboard dynamics processing, all-you-can-eat EQ, effects processing, an OUTPUT MATRIX that can assign and mix to all of the church's venues-the sanctuary, the narthex, the nursery, the youth center, the balcony, the wedding chapel, the choir lofts,...the friggin' bell tower if you want. Planning on future expansions HAS to include more than merely the number of input channels. And remember, you can always submix, say, the drums or the choir or the keyboards on a smaller mixer, then feed that to the big daddy. Two supplies can be better than one...

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 11/14/2007 - 07:46
If I could go with the Yamaha DM1K or 2K, I would be more than happy to. We don't budget any multimedia here. We get our dollars from what's left of the repair/maintenance portion of the budget at the end of the year. Usually, its less than a grand; it just happens to be looking close to six grand this year. Sometimes you have to take what you can get. Some of us don't have a budget like other churchs; I know of churches near here whose budgets for their multimedia systems alone EACH YEAR more than double our entire operating budget.

Don't get me wrong about the Yamaha's. I love them. I've used them. I think it'd be great to have them in our church. But you're still dealing with economics. Six grand would be great, but I'm not even sure we will have that much to spend. I'm trying to keep a little bit of room there.

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 11/14/2007 - 08:46
I've seen them every now and then used for three grand, but it depends on timing. Basically, the amount that we get is use it or lose it. So after we get a purchase approved, then we better be able to find it for that price. I'd really love to have it by December when we have the community Christmas program, children's musical, and all the other holiday stuff. Last year, we used 25 mono inputs during the Christmas program. That's on a board with only 19 mono channels really working (including using aux returns), and two more that are tempermental with settings. In those situations, you put sticky notes everywhere that say "remember to mute".

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Wed, 11/14/2007 - 09:35
I think your church is forcing you into greater complexity than God would approve of. Not sure why everybody in church wants to be so grandiose when Jesus relied on simplicity? It ain't going to get you to Heaven any faster. God would approve of more imaginative simplicity. Less is more. Simple is best as Jesus had to deal with, it requires imagination which people don't seem to have a vision of in church. I don't approve of people like Joel Osteen as he has spent far too much money of his congregations hard earned money. He is a false prophet with all of the prophet going to his pockets and grandiose ego! Haven't people awakened to this kind of religious scamming? Your church should also. No church needs greater than 40 inputs. Heck, they don't need more than 24 inputs. That's ridiculous and over-the-top. Tell your pastor to knock it off and get back to basics. Your pastor is paid a salary and so should the audio people. Most professionals know how to do this in a more sane and reverent manner. Listen to the folks here who know. Many of us have worked in churches before and accomplished great things with 24 input consoles, or less. OK, maybe 32 at the most? Beyond that, all you need is a patch Bay and some better preproduction.

Oh? You want completely inexperienced volunteer people to be able to operate this? Then all you need is an 8 input console and a couple of automatic microphone mixers for the numerous pastors. Use the wasteful money that would have been spent on audio equipment, on people who need help not rock-and-roll production!

A believer, in people and the practical use of peoples hard earned donations. I hope to God you come to your senses along with the rest of the people in your church?
Ms. Remy Ann David
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