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Sound board upgrade from Mackie CFX-20

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by jkowtko, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I'm outgrowing my 20 channel Mackie CFX-20 and, with digital in the back of my mind for future purchase, I am short-term looking at something to give me more capacity at a modest price. What should I look at?

    My needs are as follows:
    * 12-16 mike input channels
    * 2 CD stereo inputs
    * 6-8 Sound Cue PC inputs
    * 6-8 speaker outs (using sub-outs)
    * 2 aux channel outs for recording device
    * 2 aux outs for stage monitors

    I would like to buy something used, and try to keep it under $1000 ... definitely under $1500.

    Right now the Mackie 32.8 analog seems to be a pretty capable board for the price on the used market. The optional meter bridge is an advantage as well.

    Any other suggestions for boards I should be looking at?

    Thanks. John
     
  2. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    A lot depends in how are are planning on using the mackie. That version tends not to move very well.
    I tend to come down on the digital side of things, and these days, you can pick up Yamaha 02r's for the sort of money you are looking at on ebay. It's big and heavy, but certainly had a good reputation, has lots of io options etc

    This item on ebay for instance has a buy it now. You can pick up Behringer micpres/adat units for pretty cheap and they work quite well to expand out your inputs and because of the wierd way behringer made this unit, you have independant adat outs to line level so you can easily turn this into a 32 input mixer with pre's and add 16 additional outputs using the adats. This would allow you to do 16 track recording also if you wanted.
    and the trs inputs can be converted to xlr''s easily, and you can find phantom power units for these additional inputs. Anyway these are build like tanks, just a thought

    120092394340 is an auction for one pretty well setup for 1500 dollars If you do a search make sure you use o2r and 02r since the get listed both ways

    sharyn
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007
  3. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Sorry, I didn't clarify my usage. Community theater, 3 dramas and 3 musicals each year, plus kids conservatory two productions, and misc special events. So all live, no recording studio, although I do like to record the shows. The board pretty much stays in one place, and if I need a portable board for special events I can get something small like a Mackie DFX-6/12 to tote around.

    I didn't realize the digital boards were available at such a low cost. The first ones I looked at were the Mackie TT24 and Yamaha LS9, which are in the $7-10k and up. For under $2k it looks like I may have some options.

    Some big advantages I see for using the digital board are:
    - channel grouping for fader control (is this what VCA assignment is?)
    - dynamic processors available per input channel, to be used as needed
    - scene control with motorized faders

    A few questions I'm hoping you can answer:

    1) Is there any noticable latency on digital boards? Our theater is small and you can hear the voices of the louder actors directly, so if there is a delay in the PA it will be noticable, and that would nix the digital option for me.

    2) Assuming you have a positive response to (1), can you provide a "quick" comparison of the Yamaha 02r vs 01v96? The 01v96 looks a lot newer, so I'm thinking much faster processor inside, etc. But if the 02r has any distinct advantages -- or no disadvantages -- vs the 01v96, then the 02r may be worth the cost savings.

    3) Can you provide a "quick" comparison of these lower cost digital boards to the higher cost ones like the TT24 and LS9? Why spend the extra $8-10k?

    Thanks. John
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Quick 02R vs 01V96 comparison here: The 01V96 is a much newer board, the original 01V (which can be found on ebay for around $700) was in the same series as the 02R. The 01V96 has been updated, and Yamaha has also shrunk the case a bit to help reduce the size of the board, which was rather large when it first came out as the 01V about ten years ago (we have two of the original 01V's for outside calls here, and they've been running smoothly for a long time now). The 02R has fewer mic inputs onboard, but a lot more input capacity overall. The 02R96V2, on the other hand, which is Yammie's up-to-date version of the original 02R, has all the input that you would ever need. 16 mic pre's and 4 stereo channels on board, as well as the standard aes/ebu, s/pdif, midi, midi time code, smpte time code, cascade in/out, and a number of other interfaces. The 02R and the 02R96V2 also have 4 input card slots for more functionality if you need them.

    So basically, the main differences between the 01V96 and the original 02R are these: 01V96 has more mic preamps and a newer featureset and processor onboard, but the 02R has capability for alot more input.

    Once you get in to the 02R96V2 range, you're over the price of the LS9 or tt24 for a new unit, but far under for a used unit off ebay.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007
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  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hijack sideways...

    Reading this thread it just struck me as funny: CFX-20, DFX-12, 01V96, 02R, 02RV692, LS9, TT24...

    Isn't it weird how the Sound consoles tend to use code numbers for their models while the light consoles all have a catchy names like... Congo, EOS, Light Palette, and Hog2.

    I guess the cool thing is that the code usually tells you something about what it can do and where it fits in the product line. But it sure is WAY more confusing than saying, "Buy a Strand Sub Palette"... knowing nothing about it you can guess it's got a lot of submasters.

    Hijack ends...
     
  6. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Thanks Soundlight --

    Fyi, this article clearly distinguishes the 02Rv2 from the 02R96, and can't stop raving about the 02R96, which is claims is a huge advancement over the v2.

    http://mixguides.com/consoles/reviews/yamaha-02R96-console-1202/index.html

    I did find a used v2 for sale nearby (http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/msg/285889025.html) for $1500 ... which sounds like it would be a good deal, except for this article that painted a picture of such a huge gap between the two.

    Can I assume the 01v96 will also be at the level of the 02r96? And if so, should I shy away from the v2?

    Also, a question on the latency. I saw one of their boards had a mention of 2.5ms delay. The 02r's show .8 to 1.9ms delay depending on the sampling frequency. Is the delay simply going to be a function of the sampling frequency or are there other factors that will cause a longer delay in lower end boards?

    Sorry for asking all of these questions -- as of this morning I knew virtually nothing about these boards so I've got a lot to bone up on here.
     
  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    If you run straight from the analog ins on the board to the analog outs on the board, there should be very little issue. If you start adding expansion cards, and more AD/DA conversion than is on the board, things might slow down a tiny bit, but a noticeable bit. That said, we use 01V's here and there is zero noticeable latency in a recital hall with about 100 people in it.

    In terms of the difference between the 02RV2 and the 02R96V2, it's an amazing jump in featureset. The consoles are really in two different classes. The 02Rv2 has only eight mic preamps, whereas the 02R96 has sixteen mic pres and still maintains four additional stereo inputs. The other console that you might want to take a look at is the Tascam DM-24. It's available for about $1000 on ebay. Get it with the meter bridge, if you can, even though it might cost a bit more. The DM-24 will also allow you to get a firewire card and record 24 channels directly to the computer if you want to. It also has 24 channels of TDIF (Tascam Digital InterFace) I/O built in for later I/O expansion with preamp racks or multitrack recorders (not that you'd need any of that for a theater).

    If you only need 12 mic preamps, go with the 01V96. You'll be happy with it. If you need 16 mic preamps, look at the Tascam DM-24. For 24 preamps, well, that enters a whole different price range, and I don't think that you need to go there with the requirements that you stated.

    Definitely look at the output options on each console to see if it will meet your needs. Unless you add more preamps through buying additional cards and preamps, the 02Rv2 will not meet your needs as it only has 8 preamps.
     
  8. soundman1024

    soundman1024 Active Member

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    The sound people think more logically and don't need things to be easy to remember. :p
     
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Sound guys don't think logically...how is LS9 logical? At least the Eos, Obsession, Express, Expression, Pallette, LightPallette, and Smartfade all refer to an operating system and structure, not just a random assignment. </hijack> But, as my username states, I live in both worlds, sound and lighting. I find that many consoles in each world have weird names, each for their own reason.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Actually that may be the worst part. Most Mackie consoles makes some sense. The CFX-20 for example's got 20 channels and it has some on board effects. Yamaha on the other hand makes no sense at all... PM5D-RH. So you are never sure if you are supposed to know what the code means or not.
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    the -rh part makes sense. Remote Headamp.
     
  12. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Getting back to the original topic (I'd be happy to chime in on 'sound vs lights' if someone wants to start a new thread) --

    I've been looking at the on-line info for the 01v96, 02rv2, and 02r96, and have some very specific questions that will help me to determine which of these I can use for our theater.

    First, let me clarify my I/O needs better:
    - Input: My 12 wireless mics have line input to the board so I do not need preamps for those. So, what I do need is 32 input channels total, at least 8 of which can be preamped for stage/pit/god usage.
    - Output: I am mixing live mics from the stage with sound effects, requiring me to be able to control (mix, EQ, effects) 8 separate outputs.

    Questions:

    1) The 01v at first glance looks too small, but can I use the ADAT I/O in addition to or in lieu of an expansion card to get the number of channels I need? If so, then this board is looking like a good moderate-cost option for a new equipment purchase for the theater.

    Otherwise, I have tried to compare the 02rv2 vs 02r96 to see if a used 02rv2 is worth pursuing:

    * In:
    02rv2 has 8 mic/line + 8 line + 4x2 stereo = 24 total
    02r96 has 16 mic/line + 4x2 stereo = 24 total
    * Out:
    02r96 has 8 omni outs
    02rv2 has only 6 aux outs.

    2) If I need 8 outputs total from the 02rv2, can I just use the CR or Studio outs in addition to aux? Or do I have to start buying expansion cards? And in these configurations, will I get full mixing control (using fader groups, etc) for all 8 outputs?

    3) The 02rv2 has an advertised 2.5ms latency vs. 0.8 for the 02r96, presumably the higher sampling rate and faster processors account for the difference. Soundlight, you said your 01v sounds fine in a small auditorium. Is this the original 01v or the 01v96?

    4) The 02r96 review says that the quality of EQ on the newer board is a lot better than the 02rv2 ... am I going to notice a difference in overall sound quality between the 02rv2 and the '96' models, or between the 02rv2 and analog boards?

    5) On any of these digital boards, is EQ available for each of the 8 sub-outs? Is parametric EQ and/or notch filtering available so I can deal with feedback on the center cluster without having to buy additional hardware?

    6) Last question -- if you had $3k to spend would you buy a new 01v96 with appropriate expansion units, or get a used 02rv2 and use the extra money for other equipment and supplies?

    Thanks. John
     
  13. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Here's where I get to throw my curveball! Another console!

    If I had $3K to spend on this project, I'd get the following:
    Tascam DM-3200 Digital Console ($2550 w/shipping ebay)
    Tascam Optical ADAT card ($313 w/shipping ebay)
    2xBehringer ADA8000 ADAT interface AD Converter/Preamp ($215/ea ebay)

    You only need one adat card because there is already an 8 channel adat interface onboard.

    Yes, it's more than $3K. $300 more than $3K. I'd make a fundraising drive or overbudget request for this one, because the DM-3200 is a nice console, and this would make a very, very nice system.

    EDIT:
    The original 01V sounds fine in a small auditorium, we use it for jazz vocalists and piano.

    I really don't know why more people don't use Tascam consoles, I've been researching then quite a bit lately (I want to get the DM-3200 w/tdif preamps and firewire card for recording and live mixing)
     
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  14. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    The digital tascam boards that I have used have generally had HORRABLE user interfaces that were completely counterintuitive. I haven't played with any of their newer boards, but their earlier digital boards / Recording interfaces were a PAIN. Maybe they've improved recently, I dont want to start a flame either way.

    My real point is this: Whenever buying a digital board, try as hard as you can to find somewhere where you can sit and play with it for an hour and see how easy you find your way around on it. If you are always completely lost, try another board.
     
  15. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I did notice a difference in the intuitive nature between the old TM-D series and the newer DM series (3200 and 4800). The new DM series is alot better than the older TM-D series. They've finally got the fader flip, aux send, and eq functions up to standards.
     
  16. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Thanks -- I looked at the Tascam DM-3200. For $1000 over the Yamaha 02Rv2 it looks like I get:
    - 8 extra mic preamp inputs (16 vs 8)
    - 96kHz vs 48kHz
    and it looks like I lose the Aux outs (the Yamaha has 6)

    Did I miss an other significant differences?

    Will it be easy to get my 8 sub-outs through one of the digital interfaces?

    And, again, is it possible to EQ the sub-outs in the board, or do I still have to buy external analog EQs?

    Thanks. John
     
  17. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Nope, 8 aux sends onboard, assignable to any output.

    Pretty darn sure after reading the manual, the signal routing on the DM3200 is very, very flexible. You can assign any input to any channel, and any group, aux, or other buss to any physical output on the board, including those in the add-on card section.

    I don't think so, after reading the manual. This is part of the price difference that you were asking about before between the $3k boards and the $10k boards.

    If you do some fun stuff with returning them through an extra channel and then taking a direct out of that channel and sending it down a TDIF out, that would work. But that would imply that you had 8 extra channels, because the aux returns (there's 16 of them, I think) don't have EQ on them. But this also might also create a noticeable latency because the signal would have to travel through the digital path twice, through two sets of AD/DA converters, and then out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2007
  18. Cooze

    Cooze Member

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    I try to stay away from Mackie at all costs, there are so many other options out there that are better, I am a big fan of Yamaha, because they are reasonably priced, they work well, and they last, not shooting anyone else down but I personally would never purchase a Mackie. Post what you decide on, I am interested.



    John Williams
    Technical Director/Sound Director
    Calvert Theatre, Prince Frederick, MD
     
  19. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Some more information on the 01v96 and the 02rv2

    Typically you add the expansion card to the o1v96 there is an 8 and a 16 chanel version, and then add either one or two of the Behringer adat i/o units. These units are really quite nice and have an oddball feature that works well in this configuration... Typically you would expect that the Preamps in would be connected to the adat out AND the analog out, but basically Behringer has really but two units in a single box, on is a Pre to Adat 8 channels, and the other is adat to Line 8 channels, so you have the flexibility to use these all at the same time. A number of sound companies use this setup as one of the best inexpensive digital consoles.

    On the 02r there is a mis understanding, there are 16 mic pre amp inputs, but to save space yamaha left off the xlr connectors (they use trs) and left off Phantom power on the second 8 inputs, but there are 16 mic preamps. In addition you can add up to 4 cards for options. In my config I have one the extra digital processors with adat io and then two adat ion cards, and a cascade card so that two o2r's can be linked but that is more for recording than pa.

    A lot of the 96 capability IMO makes a lot more sense in recording where you want to use the higher end digitizers than for live sound.

    The 02r's are big heavy, and built like tanks, Personally I think they are an interesting deal these days since prices have dropped so much. If you want a new system then the 01v96 is probably a better way to go but a bit more money.

    What I like about Yamaha is the quality the ruggedness and the support, if you look inside these are well build and repairable.

    For small setups, for instance for some of the video productions where we are just looking for 16 ins, and 8 adat out, I have used the 03d's which are very cheap these days, they have 8 pre's and 8 lines in so you do need to add preamps, and then a single card slot for adat. Smaller setup, not as flexible as the 01v but another alternative.

    Sharyn
     
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  20. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Thanks guys -- I'm getting closer to determining what I ultimately need in a digital board. Here are my thoughts based on all of the input so far:

    * The Behringer ADA8000 looks like a pretty neat card because you can get
    8 mic/line ins and 8 outs all from a single card. So as long as your board
    has a pair of ADAT I/O plugs, this is an easy expansion

    * Yamaha: I think I would prefer the 01v with an ADA8000. That will
    give me the minimum ins and outs that I need, I can add a second ADAT
    expansion card with a second ADA8000 if I need to go further. It's 96kHz,
    has USB for computer control, and has a relatively compact size.
    In comparison, the 02rv2 (not 96) starts out with no native ADAT, no USB
    and is much bigger in size. (my sound booth is tiny with shallow desk).

    * The Tascam DM3200 also looks like a good option if space weren't an
    issue. With the built in mix/line inputs and ADAT interface, it's similar in
    capacity to the Yamaha 01v ... one ADA8000 to handle my min config.
    However I don't know if there are drawbacks to Tascam vs. Yamaha.

    I guess ultimately any one of these three boards should serve my purpose, and it may come down to feature preference and ergonomics.

    However, one other BIG consideration for me is signal delay. I will be using this board for live musical theater, so any discernable delay will kill this digital an option for me. Can anyone comment on this or testify that digital works acceptably well in live theater? (Music Man tech is April 30 so I still have some time to make my decision).

    Thanks. John
     

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