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I'm looking to buy a used mixing console, but I'm trying to find out which one is warmer or better sounding.

Is it: Soundworkshop, Soundcraft, or Soundtracs ?


KurtFoster Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:17

yeah, i wouldn't wast my time or money on a GHOST... cheeso construction. an old Spirit would be better but be sure to get the big power supply and be ready to get it re-capped. all in all, not really worth it unless it' all been done already. Better off to get a new Toft disposable. not really a pro large console but useable as long as you don't push the master section ... good eq though.

check out what audiokid is doing ... maybe go with a summing mixer like the Great River thingie he has been talking about ....

Boswell Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:47

On Time Recording, post: 413843, member: 48011 wrote: I'm looking to buy a used mixing console, but I'm trying to find out which one is warmer or better sounding.

Is it: Soundworkshop, Soundcraft, or Soundtracs ?

Besides the "warm" specification, do you need it for mixdown, live use, recording or something else? How many channels do you want? Do you need microphone inputs or just line-level? What sort of budget do you have for the console? Does it have to start with "S"?

anonymous Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:03

kmetal, post: 413847, member: 37533 wrote: you migt be referring to the soundcraft ghost console, which is about 20yrs old.

Or a Sapphire, or, maybe even a DC-2020... I personally mixed many times on that desk. Great pre's, EQ, and a master section that loved to be pushed by tracks and subs. (of course, back in those days, we were tracking to tape).

I think Richard Dodd used a 2020 on several albums... can't recall which.

The automation and recall computer in them sucked, though. It had a reputation (from personal experience I'd say a well-deserved rep) of freezing up, crashing, and even dumping mixes.

audiokid Wed, 04/16/2014 - 21:46

Ya, I owed soundtracs years back too. After 2 weeks one side died. Crap build.

I wouldn't do the GR either, Kurt. I doubt those are even selling and as much as I love my 2NV, the box looks like a disappointment to me that is missing the mark.
I have know idea what to suggest but it would be a full hybrid process similar to what I am doing (at least the core to get started in the right direction) or something definitely without an interface and 24 channels. You ( me at least) need 8 for stereo processing (verbs, effects, special master send out) and 16 for the basic stems. Think 8 stereo bus send, 4 stereo aux sends from the DAW. Thats 24 DA into the console. = Deadly.
Use the console for the inserts of hardware. Keep going one way towards a capture mixdown DAW and you are golden.
Do the uncoupled thing for sure. No looking back.

What's the budget? Pro is a big word. Are we talking $7000 or $70,000?

What about Toft, I'd be starting here.

audiokid Wed, 04/16/2014 - 22:17

I'm trying to get Toft to give me one of these. So far, no answer. I don't think they think we are serious here :)
But, if this does what I think it will do simply by inserting this into my existing chain ( bypassing the Neos (love my Neos though), I bet it will kick serious ass. Then, we will know what to talk about next.
2014 = is about moving past all this bloated emulation code and getting back to sound and making music. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY DAW! , in fact Sequoia is better than ever. Mono outs are coming.
Analog EQ's, faders, and mic pres, its a no brainer what I would be doing.

I have a feeling this, or similar and two DAW's would be unreal. EQ EQ EQ. That's what the DAW needs.

Source> Toft > AD > DAW1> DA> Toft (added hardware bonus) >AD >DAW2.

KurtFoster Thu, 04/17/2014 - 00:23

does it have to start with "S"? lol!

actually if i were shopping for a newer mixer i would be looking at a gently used Midas Venice. I would be looking for one that was made in Germany prior to the Behringer take over.

the Toft has a nice EQ but that's all. the ones i have laid hands on the build was a bit flimsy and there have been lots of complaints online regarding reliability (look it up).

add to that they are Chinese built and the parent company ( i just don't like the exploitave business model) is plenty reason for me not to buy one (if i were looking).

Boswell Thu, 04/17/2014 - 04:58

I've done a lot of mixing on Midas Venice (original type) and Verona consoles, and I really like the sound. I also more recently assisted in a session that used the newer Venice-F, and I'm sorry to say I was not impressed. Based on that, my recommendation would be to check that a used Venice is the original all-analog model and not one of the newer -F or -U types. Whether that corresponds with original German manufacture and the move to far-eastern manufacture I don't know.

pcrecord Thu, 04/17/2014 - 05:46

A disco company hires me 2-3 times a year to mix live bands on outdoor shows. Last year, the owner bought a Soundcraft K2 to replace an old Yamaha. WOW, I was suprise of the difference. My mix had more punch yet smoother on hi frequencies, I've enjoy myself that day. Some people in the croud and the band told me the sound was amazing.

Why am I saying that ? Because I like Soundcraft !! ;)

DonnyThompson Thu, 04/17/2014 - 06:13

As Kurt asked, does it really have to be one of the three that you mentioned? Does it have to start with an "S"?

I would think that there are many choices out there on the used market... Harrison, MCI, maybe an old Trident?

Everything depends on what you want to spend... you didn't give a price range.…

You could also cruise the vintage audio broker sites to see what's available - but know that the inventory changes frequently, so what you might see and be interested in today could be gone tomorrow.




One word of advice: If you are looking at buying a used console, you should make sure that parts are still available AND you should be adept at repair and servicing, because sooner or later, a used console is going to need some kind of servicing - maybe a power supply goes bad, contacts can tarnish and fail with age, or any number of problems can occur, so you should have a basic working knowledge of schematics and repair, unless you know someone who is good at it - because trust me, you're not going to want to ship a big desk to a repair facility. ;)

Hope this helps


RemyRAD Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:29

Well, really, today, ya have to think carefully about whether to go the hybrid, mix and match, high variety, quality control room? Or the older fashioned ones with the big behemoth analog consoles? Or combining both in some manner shape or form? I'm an old-school person. I like the old-fashioned stuff. Though the computer still plays an extremely important role regardless of your control room design concept.

I like the idea of the mix and match because of its versatile diversity. But then there is also more chances of differences in phase consistency between these rather different items? When ya have an old-school console, like the ones ya read about, the old SSL 4000's, ATI, Neve, Harrison, et al., that's pretty much the only thing we used to make a record with. And the consistency in the overall phase timing really glues things together better than succotash. Teeny tiny timing differences register, differently in the brain. That's not to say that I am not an avid player of phase and timing. I am. But this is what I talk about when I talk about the " focus ", of what one perceives.

So when you're tracking the rhythm section, all together, at once, in the studio (Or in my case, live, somewhere), I want it through all the same console. No differences in transformer windings. Everything summing all at the same time and not one picosecond off.

So if you're looking for control room with a real console? I purchased a Soundtracs 16-8-16, back in the mid-1980s. This was a purpose, purchased decision. Not one of superior fidelity. I schlepped it out on lots of remotes, for a couple of years. It performed admirably. It was the metering, the LED metering, that pooped out. I also found it to be one of the more versatile of those mentioned selections you have. Yeah but what about the sound? I'm getting to that. It offered features that no other comparably priced console like Soundcraft, Sound Workshop, Tangent, offered. Sure, some had 16 track monitor mixers. And on your 16 input board, you might get 32 on mix down? But they won't have any effects sends nor EQ. The Soundtracs did. In fact you got a high and low frequency equalizer on each one of those tape returns. And the microphone preamp's? For what they were? They were stellar. What were they? A single, 5534 IC chip. That's all. No transformer input. No low noise input buffer transistors. No output, high headroom, swing output transistors. Nope. And I made some hot recordings on that board. The most god-awful cheapest microphone preamps I've ever used that worked well. I still listen to and enjoy those recordings today I made, back then, on that thing.

Later, Pete Townsend of the WHO, endorsed that board in our trade journal recording publications. So I don't know what that says? It worked well for me. Did what I needed it to do and quite well. And in spite of its lacking, I also used Soundcrafts. But I was always happy I had that 16-8-16. And even the equalizers didn't exactly suck. Never cared much for those Soundcrafts. I can say they were smooth. They did nothing for me?

Though some of the later Soundtracs, I'm not so sure about? Some of them look rather intriguing, I thought? Their conceptualization rather appealed to my thoughts.

Why not try to get yourself an old MCI, JH-400 series? They're out there. While I was trained and authorized as a service tech for MCI, I love their recorders. The consoles never did much for me. And particularly that one. However... newer integrated circuit chip technologies, available today, I think make this a very viable contender? Those old Harris IC chips, what were they the 910, 900's? I forget? They were awful sounding. The 5534's later, became their staple IC chip. Does run on ± 15. And I think the older Harris IC chip based JH-400's rant at ± 24? I forget? It's been a long time. Nevertheless... that's a real recording console, old-school style. One of the first of the in-line types that I think Daniel Flickinger was making popular around the same time? Up until that time, most all recording consoles were known as split/consoles. Recording input side and mixing on one side. Tape return monitoring and additional inputs, at mix down, on the other side. 8 feet away. I actually prefer split/consoles. You could get more usable recording inputs crammed together with an in-line console. But where the microphone input channel that you are recording on that module, was not the track you are currently listening to coming back from the multitrack machine, could get a little confusing at times. Ergo, Split/Console. Where the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.

I can't find mine?
Mx. Remy Ann David

Davedog Mon, 04/21/2014 - 21:41

I recorded on a Ghost for about 10 years. It was excellent when it was newer but it wore down. Repurposed ones are better. The Williams mods worked excellent but the real Soundcrafts like the 600's and larger frame consoles were always better sounding. I replaced mine with a Toft. I've had it for a while now. They are really quite surprising in how punchy and clear they are. I do mostly drums through my little 8 channel. Whatever the problems were at their inception, and there really isnt ever NOT problems with any initial release, things are as they should be at this point. The company DOES listen to their customers. As for the build, it is one of the heaviest built consoles for its size I have seen. I wouldn't use flimsy in any description of its mechanical parts and frame quality. And the pots and sliders are all high-end. Plus you can do 32 ins/outs with the way its set up. +1 on the K2 Soundcrafts. Also the live Allen-Heath boards are not bad for the buck. English people seem to know where the musicality is in the EQ's.

KurtFoster Tue, 04/22/2014 - 19:30

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades RE: TOFT ATB

All tests except where noted were done on stock channels ......... What was interesting to me was first the noise floor on the master. I didn't do an unweighted signal to noise test as the time was too short. I did notice the noise floor remained constant whether channels were assigned or not, whether the faders were up or not. The noise did go away when the master fader was attenuated. This I don't notice in other designs including the 80B. My similar sized Delta 200 24 channel console is silent in comparison.

The other item was the stereo crosstalk. -58 db as a straight line is unusual. Most consoles show better crosstalk at lower frequencies, falling off at higher frequencies like 10k hz. -60 db crosstalk at 10k hz is common, but most with that spec will show better than -70 db at 1k hz. That requires further study to determine the cause but one is I suspect the pan pot design. This console uses a single pan pot with the wiper as ground and the left/right bus feeds at the other pins. Most consoles use a dual pan pot with each one wired as an attenuator for better channel cut off. My Delta uses that type of pot in the feedback loop of an opamp pan buffer. It gets -90 db at 10k hz crosstalk.

Alan Hyatt
Maybe the Toft console is or is not what some are looking for...As long as you have the extra money to spend, there are consoles out there that will offer better spec and headroom for more money ....... The ATB started out being designed for a guy in his bedroom!! It is what we intended it to be. Nothing more...and nothing less.

Davedog Tue, 04/22/2014 - 20:44

I suppose if we were to continue to quote reviews of the V1 of the console from 2006-2008 it would be a shameful example of build quality. A lot of mechanical and build problems from that era. BUT a lot of people liked their purchases of them at that time despite the negatives. There will always be negatives with anything relating to gear. Owning and living with the gear tends to bring the weaknesses and strengths into focus a lot clearer than reading about them.

However, Toft is on V3 at this time and most, if not all, of the problems with the first releases have been solved. I don't find any crosstalk, noise, or poor performance in the master section. Mine is a V3. This is NOT an SSL or API etc nor is it intended to be. However, for the money, it is lightyears past most consoles in its price range. Using it as an Eq-able hybrid mixing platform might be something it would excel at. The EQ is very musical and can be surgical if needed. I have no problem using the EQ going in, which is something I would NEVER do with the Ghost. It has a world of routing, much like a high-end console, which, of course, its patterned after. Its greatly improved my recordings in a very specific way.

But I'm not here to convince anyone to buy one. I'm just here to relate my personal experience and ownership of the one sitting on my desk right now. As I have said, it works really well for me and sounds better than anything in its price range.

I'll add this....In a perfect world I would add another desk as my main piece but keep the Toft because of the sound it imparts to the source and because it is so easily assimilated into studio full of gear. But the main board would have to be really special.

audiokid Tue, 04/22/2014 - 20:54

well, the Toft ATB is exactly what I want to prove to myself. I believe a modest console like this would surprise the hell out of us through a hybrid workflow like what I have. I bet it would blow out minds how musical it would sound.

Toft never responded to me so we won't ever know. I'm not about to buy or beg for one. So, I move to the next one which is?
We have a Midas at the playhouse theatre, just like the one you mentioned Kurt, its really nice. I want to try something that people have better access and affordability on.

KurtFoster Tue, 04/22/2014 - 22:46

i agree with Dave re the Audient or the Harrison 950.

again if Dave is happy then i'm happy for him too. rock on.

as hard as i look i can't find anythnig regarding a fix on the TOFT regarding the weak 2-bus and isn't this exactly what we need? something with a beefy 2-bus? hey, i would like it if the TOFT was a solution. but even Hyatt says it's bedroom mixer. an expensive one at that. and you never get around the exploitation of labor issue as long as they are manufactured in China or any other far east nation. I guess if you don't care about pay and working conditions for people who live in totalitarian countries that's not an issue.

audiokid Tue, 04/22/2014 - 23:07

true enough.
price comparison, back in the day there were a bunch like this with nice knobs maxing out at 80db and noise.
I would put this between the DAW and the Dangerous Master - (could leave the DM out, and Jam it up at the end with a comp and EQ in line. I'd use something like the STC-8 and the pultecs right out the door to DAW2. Capture that with a smile.
I need one to try.

The magic happens between the console and DAW2. I normalize the master from -18 up so there is plenty of room to use daw(2) where it counts. The idea is to take DAW one OTB, add space around it and capture it swinging again. No clock quantizing nonsense. Know what I mean?

eg: wave swinging like a piano tuned by a tech, not some electronic tuner perfectly boring.
To me, analog vs DAW and coupling and uncoupling the analog matrix arriving at the capture is the another way of explaining what goes on between DAW1 and DAW2 with the waves and phase.

Lately I've stopped linking stereo and transients together. I'm obsessed with keeping it real. Just have to watch the phase and that's easy if you hear it starting.

Thus, always comes back to monitoring. Hearing is believing. Hearing is knowledge, empowerment.

kmetal Wed, 04/23/2014 - 00:21

For about the same as an equivalent toft we got a trident 24 series, and rebuilt the power supply too, I guess it's a common upgrade w those consoles. I guess the under powered stock supply limits headroom in the console. It sounded pretty sweet before the upgrade, looking forward to hearing it. its gonna be a nice tracking console, prob not the first choice for a hybrid system but the trident stuff does sound nice in general

Davedog Wed, 04/23/2014 - 01:08

I guess I just don't need someone else's proof to confirm what I hear in person and daily use. What AM I thinking?

I also don't buy gear based on political or any other value system not related to equipping my business in a decent way in order to record at some level of expertise.

I have never personally visited the supposed 'sweatshops' nor have I seen the exploitation of some labor pool. I also have never seen a Yeti, and while they may exist, I find it difficult to believe that to the point of trying to convince others of their existence. I only believe half of what I see and none of what I read on the internet.

But each to his own.

KurtFoster Wed, 04/23/2014 - 03:39

Davedog, post: 414042, member: 4495 wrote:
I have never personally visited the supposed 'sweatshops' nor have I seen the exploitation of some labor pool. I also have never seen a Yeti, and while they may exist, I find it difficult to believe that to the point of trying to convince others of their existence. I only believe half of what I see and none of what I read on the internet.

i find it hard to believe you would equate slave and forced child labor issues in the far east to the existence of bigfoot let alone question or deny the conditions exsist. if labor isn't significantly less expensive (at who can guess at what price) then why would guys like Hyatt move their production offshore? it isn't because the quality is better ....

add to the price of manufacture the shipping expense and it's still cheaper. you know why? because they have children or slave / forced labor working 12 hours a day for .20 cents an hour. but i guess it's ok ?

People can bury their head in the sand or plug their ears and say "la la la la, i'm not listening", but there is no doubt there are unfair labor practices in place in China. i'm not making this stuff up.

i myself try as hard as i can to not buy Chinese products when ever possible and i think people who exploit the savings the use of child / union busting / slave labor affords are the lowest of the low. if the boss's rolled back your wage from $40 an hour plus beni's to $2.50 for a 12 hour day, you would not be such a happy camper. well if it's ok in one sector of a market place, it won't be long until it permeates the whole labor market. workers need to hold the line somewhere. we vote with our dollars. we have debated this issue since manufacturers sent work offshore to China in the early 2000's. what happens in China does affect the Western work force. that is a fact.

after all, i too wonder why it is such a big deal to you as to what i think? i have said over and over if you like it, good for you. bottom line, it's a table top mixer, that is admittedly by the CEO / owner of the parent company, made to a price point and intended for the "bedroom studio" market.

Davedog Tue, 04/29/2014 - 09:24

Alan Hyatt's opinion means nothing to me nor apparently to the engineer and developer, Malcom Toft, according to the video interview with him. His take on it is a bit different. As for my wages, I'm retired and I'm the boss so I really do only make $2.50 an hour! But I do things I love. I'm glad you are passionate about the child labor problems of the world and its always good to remind people about these conditions of our fellow humans and to be diligent in our help towards making these things disappear from the earth. Good on Ya!

The wages in China are coming in line with others in the international community. The manufacturing is China has become heads above most industrialized nations with their building of these new plants. The automation and efficiency of these places are a marvel. There are sites on the net where they propagandize these innovative and creative places. Most of them are electronics plants. Most of them were developed in conjunction with German and American engineering. I'm not sure that any offshore electronics manufacturing is done in the traditional sweatshop scenarios any longer. It would not make sense physically or efficiency wise. Yes, the wages of the workers at these plants isn't the same as a German plant, a Swedish plant, or an American or English plant. Its probably higher than a Mexican plant but a lot of these things are relative to the cost of living as well as the social structure of the country involved. The Chinese people have a whole different socio-eco way of living than we do. These differences are built in to their lives from the cradle. I have friends who have visited there recently and they all have said that they expected this pall of repression to be over everyone and found it to be quite the opposite.

I don't mean this as a defense of their practices as a whole. I'm sure that other parts of their industrial rise is placed squarely on the backs and blood of peasants and children to the point of applying the whip on a daily basis. I do not condone these things in any way. My point is, the old days of hundreds of people chained to a long desk hand dropping components into PC boards and then solder-bathing them together is long gone. Its way more efficient to simply have a trained worker pushing a button at the top of the line of machinery and then inspecting every 20th piece coming out the other end. Those companies who go to market directly from this point are the ones with the lesser quality control and have the inherent problems found in their products. Most higher end companies that employ offshore manufacturers generally only have certain parts of their products manufactured in this way and assemble and inspect in their own on-shore assembly plants.

As to my continued interest in these kinds of has nothing to do with own choices of gear and everything to do with answers posted on this website. (see:moderator)

Glad to have you here!

DonnyThompson Tue, 04/29/2014 - 09:52

Lest we forget - there's still plenty of "slave labor" right here in the free world. The U.S. is by no means innocent in this regard. There are plenty of menial jobs right here that pay next to nothing at which immigrants work every day.
(And I'm not even speaking of those terrible sitiuations of forced sex workers, girls as young as 7 who are forced into the underground sex trade).

You can see them everywhere - Mexicans working landscaping jobs or produce/crop picking, immigrants from Eastern Europe working on cleaning crews at big department stores at night after the stores have closed; Koreans, Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants working in the dead of July heat on litter pick-up crews and roofing jobs, and all of these jobs pay an average of around $15 per day...and in most cases, cash under the table.

Perhaps not quite as bad as China, but not all that much better either, certainly not what one would expect to earn or how to live in "the Land Of The Free".

The difference, I suppose, is that no one is forcing them to do it. But, they are forced into it by the conditions that surround them, and the fact that most of these people are sending half (if not more) of what they make back to relatives in their countries of origin. Plenty of people holler about these people taking jobs from Americans, yet, none of the Americans who are hollering would even consider doing any of those jobs and making that low level of pay anyway.

We are spoiled. We are fat and lazy. And it's all because we've never known hunger, or homelessness, or have been forced into living in conditions that would make most people cringe. We've had it too good for a very long time. The last generation to have actually known and lived through hunger - those who were living during the depression - are dying off at a rate of nearly a thousand per day now... leaving behind them a spoiled generation who's mantra is "entitlement".

IMHO of course.

DonnyThompson Tue, 04/29/2014 - 10:06

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

The thing that concerns me most about older consoles is the possibility of not being able to get parts, and, you have to know that with age, at some point, these desks are gonna develop issues.
And it's not a question of "if", it's a question of "when".

If you are planning on something older - "vintage" or not, you do need to take into account that something is gonna need to be fixed on them at some point... and you won't be able to fix it with a driver update or program patch, either. LOL

All I'm saying is that if you are hell-bent on buying an older console, then good on ya! Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. But, you should be fairly adept at reading schematics and electronic repair, or, you should know someone who is. ;)


KurtFoster Wed, 04/30/2014 - 00:12

i would stay away from an old console unless i was opening a "real" facility ... that is a large studio with pro clients paying pro rates. big consoles require a full time maintenance staff. it was intended to have these behemoths serviced regularly from inception of design. as Donny put it, .... "you should be fairly adept at reading schematics and electronic repair, or, you should know someone who is."

imo the answer for the "personal studio" owner is one of the summing solutions or the small desks offered by SSL / NEOS / Dangerous / Manley. .... the key is hi volt rails and a power supply capable of proving lots of high headroom joules.

my last word in this thread re China, they are not only guilty as charged for exploitation of labor but they are also raping the planet for resources and polluting it with chemical waste. the fact that they are being overseen by "American and German Corporations" for the most part is of no comfort. these are the very same companies who collaborated with the Nazis forcing the Jews into slave labor. BASF /Farber made Zyklon gas for the death camps and i could go on for days about American companies who supported the Nazis.

the problem with big corporations is they are run by entities who have short term scale of life who care not what sins are committed for the sake of profit.

Hyatt is a exploiter of far east manufacturing. one of the basics of his business model is the profit to be extracted by exploiting cost differences in the labor and manufacturing in China. if Rupert can build them in Texas, why cant PMI?

one of the reasons Hyatt and his cronies send production offshore is because it's cheaper and it's cheaper because they don't have to account for how they dispose of industrial waste among other things as in labor exploitation, price dumping, subsidies from the Communist Dictatorship .... there's just not enough lipstick in the world to put on that pig to make it appealing to me. still i understand it's next to impossible to not buy and use products from the far east. perhaps the cat is out of the bag. but i still try. done.

audiokid Wed, 04/30/2014 - 14:29

I agree with Kurt.
but hey hey, you forgot the SPL Neos or MixDream, they are high VRails, higher than the mentioned . Nothing bigger than the Neos rails to my knowledge. lol. :) but I do also think there is something special when I run a DAW through analog eq's that adds something right, so, maybe even a bedroom console might be pretty cool too.

KurtFoster Wed, 04/30/2014 - 16:21

i did mention the Neos.

yes at some point even a new API or a Neve or any other will need maintenance. it's the nature of the beast and the demands put upon a console .... constant use / wear, hi heat (because of the high volts) it just eats them up. these things were (are) designed that way. just like an esoteric race car they need love. some more than others. and not all consoles will need the same type of maintenance as others. it all depends on what you have.

as far as buying a board just for the eq, why not just buy a summing network and the supplement it with outboard eq's? that way you can have a variety of choices when you work. plus they will be worth more, to a wider range of buyers, when you decide to sell .... lots of Tofts for sale but not so many API , Neve , Manley or other high end EQ's ... because when they do hit the market, people snatch them up quickly. mic pres, eq's and dynamics processors ... that's where to put the cash.

the problem with all these "bedroom mixers" isn't in the eq. in fact with the Toft you are getting the real deal as far as the eq's go ... it's just the rest of the console that is not up to snuff. the ones i've seen, the knobs and faders wiggled all over the place. they just felt cheap. also the mic pres are not x former balanced, the summing section (2-bus) is reported as weak and not capable of being pushed hard. this puts it in the catagory of the mic pres we were dicussing earler ... sound fine as long as they are not pushed too hard ... (i/e; cheap). i would guess the power supply is weak too but i am not sure of that. can you say what volts the internal rails run at? the design has sub bus's running at full tilt and adding noise regardless if the faders are up or not. that's a lot of issues for a board that costs 6 to 8 grand. yes, they are through the board construction, so you can buy one and send it to Jim Williams for improvement but $8k for a board that needs work? idk .... :rolleyes: if they sold for half of that, (especially considering the off shore labor issues), i would be more inclined to be a bit more receptive. (me thinks PMI is exploiting both cheap manufacturing and the legacy of the original Trident reputation as a licence to print money.)

i'm not saying the Toft isn't heads above a lot of what has come before ... i'm sure they are far better than an old Tascam 3700 or a newer Allen Heath or lot of other mixers available but they are not the solution they are touted as. they are not as good as the namesake 80B or even a 65. you can find a gently used Midas Venice in vgc is listed on E Bay for under 2k "Buy It Now", have more features and save $6K... and it will be a better summing solution than the Tofts.

audiokid Wed, 04/30/2014 - 17:40

I'm going blind and dense lol.

Can't agree more. Personally, I wouldn't change my workflow, I love it, modular is great. I could sell the whole works way easier than trying to find someone specifically looking for a console so that is indeed another reason I did go this route. Consoles are hard enough to sell at the best of times.
I have a great front end for tracking and then it all lends itself as a mixing and serious mastering system.
Not cheap doing it like this though, so, as a way to help others, if i ever do get the opportunity to test one of these consoles out, I'm keen on seeing what it would do going OTB to a second DAW.

Thanks for updating me on the "heat factor".

DonnyThompson Thu, 05/01/2014 - 02:42

I understand the allure to consoles. There's a part of me that's never been able to let go of the console era. Truthfully, I miss working on one almost everyday. It's not just the sound, it's the tactile thing too...and I suppose, to a large degree, it's because it's how I came up, what I learned on, so there's a soft spot in my heart for them. There are downsides too, of course. Space is a consideration, as is maintenance, heat, wiring/bays, etc., all of those things can be a bit overwhelming at times.

But if I had the budget to do it right - and the room - I think I'd probably go back to a console pretty quickly.

Davedog Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:35

If your need these days is to push a consoles pres to get the sound you want then the Toft does have a collapsing limit to this. Anything below that will be fine for most things.

I have been using mine now for almost two years. As in all things audio and electronic, hours of usage reveal many more aspects than reading specs or websites might.

I don't advocate any purchases from anyone who might use children for slave labor. I have children and grandchildren and nothing would be less pleasing to me if their worlds were controlled or hurt by anything. But I'm not an expert of PMI/Toft manufacturing practices. Maybe asking Alan about this would clear it up. I'm sure he would respond.

I bought mine at a time I was looking for channels for my little drum room. I HAD the money for something more and when I started looking I was going to spend 10K on a vintage short-frame console or high-end 4/8/2/1/channels mic pres. I pursued this. What I found was a console with very decent usable pres, quality EQ you could track with without a lot of phase shift, and a robust construction. Yeah, its heavy like a brick house and I haven't found any problems with it. Mine is a V.3 release and they are on V.4 by now. Most of the early reviews indicated deficiencies in the pilot release and these things have been resolved without a huge increase in costs. This was proof to me that Toft owner services pays attention to their owners/users. Plus the construction allows upgrades without a lot of trouble. If you know what you're doing or you're willing to pay for this.

I will upgrade mine but not because it doesn't work well enough but simply because I want to.