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Allen and Heath Pres Class A???

Hey guys, just visiting a local studios website (a competitor of mine) and noticed he said his A&H Mix Wizard 16 is class A. (pre amps) I have that board and like it a lot but is it class A? Just wondering. Also, anyone know of a good place to rent nice mic pre amps? How bout finding a good used one other than ebay? Thanks guys.



golli Fri, 10/17/2003 - 19:21

Yeah, I would love to know this to.
Is there a way to find out for your self??
Like in the manual or by opening the desk up??
I have a suspicion though, given the price on those desks that its solid state pres.

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Fri, 10/17/2003 - 19:50

I've never used one so I can't speak from expierence. Rick Hamming is always talking up the AH stuff though.

As far as the pres go, my impression is that AH pres are better than a Wackies but not as good as a vintage, clone, repackaged Neve or boutuque type pre.

It unrealistic to expect a quality pre in a compact mixer. A really good pre is going to retail for at least $230 or more, per channel. Add in the eq's, aux sends and aux masters and returns, submix bus' master bus and it's easy to see why these mixers that are under 10K often fall short of the mark. I'm not knocking Allen Heath, they make a good product for the price but it ain't an MCI or a Euphonics, D&R, DDR, Neve, SSL, etc..

I would purchase good pres and completely bypass the mixer on the way to the recorder. This is the least expensive way to record the highest quality tracks on a limited budget. Use the mixer to mix phones and monitor on while you track, but don't ever run anything through it on the way to being recorded.

golli Fri, 10/17/2003 - 20:41

Thanks Kurt.

It unrealistic to expect a quality pre in a compact mixer.

I've read so many of your posts that this has sunk in. That explains the suspicion I had :c:

realdynamix Fri, 10/17/2003 - 21:57

Originally posted by Kurt Foster:
I've never used one so I can't speak from expierence. Rick Hamming is always talking up the AH stuff though.

:) Kurt is correct about the compact mixers, my old A&H has decent pre's, workable pre's. Not in the class of SSL, but better than a Wacky pre by far. Mine is a vintage console, and I wish I could explain the pre circuit, perhaps the Tech guy's can. It is also able to be moded to another level. I can't vouch for a more recent A&H of similar build. Because I have not worked with one. But then a board like mine, built today, would be too expensive to grab a good market share. It is a Mid to Low intermediate board that could go as high as 25k to remanufacture. Soundcraft, Neotek range. I think kurt had an MCI, how were the pre's on that board? They had to be useful. I do want a Seb 4 channel pre, but I use the A&H for mixing many midi tracks, and creating stereo tracks into my DAW. I also have a Mackie in storage, because it is no where even close.


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Kurt Foster Sat, 10/18/2003 - 00:57

Originally posted by Rick Hammang:

[ I think Kurt had an MCI, how were the pre's on that board? They had to be useful.

The pres and the eqs on the MCI were wonderful. Much the same type as a Hardy 990 op amp type. In fact you can slip the Hardy 990 into the 600 series MCI strips. You can also throw the Jensen transformers in them.. I have 2 of the channel strips from my MCI left over here and I have been looking for a couple of years now for someone who could mount / adapt them for rack mounting.
Great pres, it's just that those consoles required so much maintenance and real estate. I was spending about $1200 a year to keep it in shape. Otherwise I would have hung on to it. Sat, 10/18/2003 - 02:45

I could be wrong, but I believe "class A" and "class B" are classifications that don't necessarily refer to quality. David

timstoel Mon, 10/20/2003 - 16:33

I own an Alen & Heath GL2200 and it isn't bad for the price and what it is. I paid $2,800 for the 40 input/32 channel version and I have it teamed up with a Tascam MX-2424. Overall this rig performs nicely for being so affordable. The pres beat the Mackie 32*8 pres. Eventually I plan on buying a used MCI or Trident, but I doubt I will get rid of this board because of its usefulness and quality. Overall, a great value.

sdevino Mon, 10/20/2003 - 19:31

Class A and Class B refer to the amplifier design one is not necessarily better than the other.

Class A means the entire signal is amplified by a given gain component, i.e the whole signal passes through a given tube or transistor.

Class B means the positive half and the negative half of the signal are amplified separately then recombined,

A purist will tend to go for the class A, because they worry about differences between the positive and negative half amps. The advantage of class B is extra head room and gain. An engineer will consider what is needed and choose the appropriate topology for the application. A well designed class A amp will sound great, but class A is tough to execute if you need a lot of quiet gain. A well designed class B amp will sound better than a not so well designed class A ( and vica versa).

I have an Allen & Heath GS3 24 channel recording console (which hangs on the wall and looks nice but does not get used for recording). The pre amps are almost identical in design to the SSL pre-amps (dual transistor stage followed by NE5534 preamp IC's) EXCEPT, the power supply and ground are supplied via 18 gauge ribbon cables from a nowhere near SSL quality power supply. So mine are a little noisy and a little hissy. They have a very nice characteristic sound which I use on occaission for drums. But they have almost no head room and don't break up very nicely.