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Allen & Heath SQ-6 - reviews?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Jay Ashworth, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    My boss at the Big House just whispered SQ-6 in my ear.

    While I'm not sure we'll actually get one, reading the manual certainly makes it sound like an m32 with all the rough edges filed down.

    Anyone got one? Used one? Are they suitable for theatrical work, about 19 off-offs?

    Is there a Master PAFL Cancel button somewhere the manual doesn't mention?
     
  2. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I'm admittedly biased towards the X32/M32, but I keep comparing what's out there.

    The SQ-6 is handsome looking and the touchscreen is nice. Mixing for 48 channels is great for the price, and it's why I did a double take. It looks to me like they compromised on some things to mix 48 channels and give it a 96 kHz sampling rate.

    The lack of PFL cancel is a serious pain on a multi-layer console. One, color changing, blinky light per fader for level monitoring is lame. Multi-track recording for only 16 channels on-board is a limitation. (Granted, the X32/M32 requires an X-Live accessory card, but it does 32 channels.) And there's no studio monitor facility, or an internal talkback mic. It has no external inserts. The surface lights across the top look useless compared to the standard Little Lite.
     
  3. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    You actually can do external inserts, but not with TRS 1/4" plugs, admittedly.

    Master Cue Clear is a major oversight; I've RFE'd that already and I don't even own the board; it's not clear if the Pad app has it, or if it's an assignable softkey target, neither of which would totally make up for it, certainly.

    I gather you can do 32 channels in one direction over the USB, at a time, so you could multi to Reaper or the like.

    There isn't a *dedicated* studio monitor, but the more important missing thing is the dedicated controls for that. As for talkback, I nearly never use a built-in anyway, so the dedicated TB in hole is a win for me, saving a preamp.

    I get your point; it has its own tradeoffs, and you have to compare them pretty strongly against the M32 for your use case.... but a number of them are things the x/m32 didn't do in 1.0 either.

    A few, though, are -- as you imply -- first year stuff, and they're not in their first year at this.
     
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  4. NickVon

    NickVon Active Member

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    I hope to pick one up in about 45 days for use during my summer theater camp season.

    PFL clear can, from what I've seen be set up as a User Defined Key. should it be included by default? maybe, but I like the option.
    For the SQ6 at least you have User Defined Rotary keys that could be set as volume pots for some studio monitor outs.

    And there are a crap ton of UDK's that I (before purchase) can't even remotely imagine using more then half of.

    I thought the single/Duel Led light for channel meter might be lame at first, but they do have an elegant solution. and that meter is mostly for initial visual gain staging and clip check. So i see myself getting used to it just fine.

    Especially for all the features packed in the A&H which are much improved over the M32/X32. namely workflow, and fully customized routing and layout. the A&H SQ has everything the M32 has (hard coded PFL clear cue, and LED metering aside) but expands upon the guts and and backend that M32/x32 limit you to; like patching in/outs in blocks of 8,4. bizarre routing/patch screens. (which I still fight with trying to get a matrix or mix to output out a given output on the local i/o or Stagebox.)

    Ive used both the x32 and m32 twice now, and while I like it's newer features that have become standard for digital consoles, I always seem to have to fight do what I know is so easily done on an Yahama LS9,QL5/A&H GLD system. I'm looking forward to my personal SQ6 and we'll report back once it's in hand has a few shows under it's belt.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  5. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Nick, I went the other way: learning an x32 first, and then the LS9, and my view is exactly the same as yours: my first board makes sense, the second one is stupid.

    So it's probably just The Things We Don't Know. :)

    On point: Yes, you need a Master PAFL Clear, and it needs to be next to (or udner) the "Master PAFL Active" light. I'll take it as a UDK, but I don't like it much.

    I like the UDKs on the Yamaha better cause of where they are; I use them for Sends to Fader, and mute groups.
     
  6. NickVon

    NickVon Active Member

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    So just finished my first show with my SQ6. I really loved working on it. There was a little bit of a learning curve transitioning from a Yamaha LS9 which i use at work to the A&H SQ6. Luckily I've worked in Passing on the A&H, GLD, Ilive and Dlive in passing. I'm going to posta little review here for those care in another thread.

    But to sum up, for it's price point I was super impressed with, it could just be the "new shiny," vibe; versus my usual work on what is now a Dust and Bones console the LS9, in the Digital world :)
     
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  7. macsound

    macsound Member

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    I'm also looking at an SQ-6 and wondering about people's view of the app compared to a Yamaha LS9, M7, or CL app.
    Yamaha always made it a little differerent than the actual console interface, almost like it was a different designer all together. I'm always annoyed the EQ points are numbered 1-4 on the app but not on the board. Things like that.
    Any comments on SQ app as its demo mode is rather useless without a console to connect into.
     
  8. NickVon

    NickVon Active Member

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    I didn't use the app much in my recent 2 outing with the console. Mostly to assist with some room eq, and to walk around and listen. The demo mode gives you a sense of what you can do with it. It does not have the "GUI" for FX racks like the LS9 now sports. It does allow for a number of separate and discretely different fader layouts from the console surface. It also has it's uses as a broader spectrum channel level meter. It's pretty equivalent to the Ls9 mixpad in my opinion
     
  9. macsound

    macsound Member

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    What about an offline editor, like there was for GLD and iLive.
    I thought I heard rumblings that it was on its way but the A&H website is so bad (not as bad as Phillips) that I can't find much official news.
     

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