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Mixer recommendation

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by rschultz, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. rschultz

    rschultz Member

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    Hi,

    We are buying a new mixer for our new church building, currently have Mackie 1604. Probably need 24 channels minimum, 32 would be better. So for the sake of this discussion, I will compare three boards, all 32ish channels.

    A&H 2400-32 - $2500
    A&H ZED 436 - $2000
    Yamaha MG32/14FX - $1100

    Biggest concern with the Yamaha is the lack of individual phantom power for condenser mics, and the pre-amps look weak (require a pad key). USB on the ZED is nice, lots of inputs. How often would the polarity switches and noise generators be used on the GL2400?
    I highly doubt I will get the Yamaha. The 2400 and ZED share the same EQ, pre-amps are different. Is the 2400 worth the money compared to the ZED?

    Any other thoughts?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    The pad control isn't a sign of a bad mic pre. It's simply there to knock down line level to go through said pre.

    The only board of the three you've listed is the GL2400. If you go with it, I think you'll be happy. It's very easy to get around on, and I think once you have the extra features (polarity reverse, oscillator), I think you'll start using them. I can't speak to the Yamaha or the ZED.
     
  3. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    I used the Yammie board at a community theater gig once. Noisy old thing, lots of hiss when we open things up and tried to get some gain out of it. It wasn't my system so I couldn't get into detailed troubleshooting, just patched a gate after the board and set the threshold just high enough to gate off the noise without losing the program. It worked but.....Another thing to watch with Yammie boards is the channel count. Yamaha counts stereo channels as 2 of the total number of inputs on most of their consoles. A 32 channel board has 28 mono full function inputs and 2 each stereo inputs that are often less capable.
    No experience with the A&H Zed series, but from looking at them they seem they seem like they have a pretty good feature set for the pricepoint.
    Looked at a 2400 as a possibility for my church a couple years ago. A&H has a good reputation and the GL line has been a real workhorse for a number of years. Polarity switches, oscilators, and matrix outputs are features that you tend to find on the "better" consoles. They're not something that manufactures put on "entry level" stuff and that should tell you something about what you get for the extra money. The polarity switch is one of those things that you may not use very often but when you need it, there isn't anything else that will get you by. The matrix outputs are an excelent feature for churches since most churches fill up the outputs faster than the inputs with sends to nurseries, fellowship halls, overflow seating, recording, etc. etc.
    It's not on your list but have you looked at the Soundcraft line yet? They've had an LX7 of some sort or another for year that I used to see in lots of churches and school auditoriums. The GL may have it beat with features but it may be worth a look. The LX7s that I used to work with were sweet little boards and they took a beating out on the road without ever causing us grief.
     
  4. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    The LX7x and the GL2x are comparable series, both in price point and featureset. For me, I'm an A&H guy; I got accustomed long ago to how they lay things out .. so the little oval buttons on the LX7 that are in the wrong places are cumbersome to me .. but for a Soundcraft guy the big square buttons on the GL that are in the wrong places would probably be equally cumbersome. But yes, LX7 and GL2 are competing product lines, so either should be equally a good fit.

    Beyond that, I'll shut up, since this is getting beaten to death on the other board. :)
     
  5. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    Allen & Heath - even a used GL2200 would be good. That the low mid sweeps to 35 is VERY useful, both for cutting mud and boosting sub-lows.

    The SC LX7 is good, but I don't care for the routing or master section layout. I believe it lacks the A&H's individual PCB construction, meaning that repairs on a SC would be more difficult and expensive.
     
  6. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    I've got a 2400 for my daily driver and I've installed three in churches in the last year. The signal routing is good, the matrix is indispensable, and I actually like the EQ section better than some Soundcrafts I've used. The white noise generator is useful for troubleshooting when you're in the room alone. I could go on and on about the merrits of this desk. The only drawback that I've ever come across is that the power supply runs hot, hense the case fan. I've heard of people having trouble with this, but quite often the grille has been blocked, preventing airflow. As I said, I've just put three in and haven't heard a bad word back about them.
     
  7. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Good point on the power supply. I haven't checked to see if the LX7 or the Zed do, but I know the GL series can use an outboard power supply .. so you could use two RPS11s and an automatic changeover unit in the standard redundant-outboard-supply setup if you wanted to. I haven't seen many GL2x internal supplies die, but if one did, you could use an outboard supply. That, and many other features, are all very good selling points about all things A&H GL.

    Things I wish the GL2x had (and this is like wishing that a Honda Civic had heated leather seats) are sweepable high-passes (they're fixed at 100, which isn't bad), VCAs, sweepable high- and low-shelf, and adjustable Q. Note that those are GL4x features, so I wouldn't expect to see them on GL2x anyhow .. and that's my bias to GL4x showing.

    But despite its "limitations", GL2x is very useful, and it's my go-to low-budget console choice. Sounds good, works like it should, and has all of the things you really need.
     
  8. rschultz

    rschultz Member

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    Thanks for all the help. I am going with the GL2400-32. A&H even has a $100 rebate until the end of the year on that model.
     
  9. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I'm not trying to sway you to one product or another. Having phantom power on lines with dynamic mics should have no affect on anything. That's the theory and it works in practice. The only time it might create a problem is if someone connects an un-balanced source (something other than a mic) straight into a channel. That's a no-no for so many reasons anyway. That's why God invented direct boxes. Manufacturers put switches on every channel mostly because they can and it sells.

    The only time I sweat turning phantom off is when I'm using a ribbon mic. Some ribbons, like the famous RCA 77DX, will be destroyed if once side of the circuit makes or breaks before the other as it is plugged in, because the mic coil is center tapped to ground. Rather than take the chance, the phantom gets turned off. Never blow into a ribbon either, but that's another story....
     
  10. Shillyer

    Shillyer Member

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    After using a A&H GL-2800 as well as a ZED 24 I would have to say I am extremely happy with the performance on both. Alan and Heath make great products. My experience with Yamaha boards on the other hand has not been so great. My vote is for either A&H board, I don't think you will be disappointed.
     
  11. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    Then there's the option of a 01V96 with some outboard preamps. More power in a smaller package. And except for the preamp gains, the whole thing can be saved - great for multiple ensemble use.
     
  12. crossingcenter

    crossingcenter Member

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    Might check out the Peavey 32FX, street price about $1,250 USB, FX Effects, and speaker management built on
     
  13. AdamC

    AdamC Member

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    Another time un-needed phantom can be a problem is when you have a mic cable go bad. Running 48V through that mic cable fault can turn your "mic that is cutting out" into a "mic that is making HUGE POPS". Not so good in the middle of a show. This also shows up with loose XLR connections that occasionally make intermittent contact.

    Of course, no one plans on having a bad cable or loose XLR connector in use on stage, but unfortunately, they sometimes break while being used. Especially with handheld vocalists. So I always turn off phantom on channels that don't need it.
     

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