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Soundcraft Analog Mixing Console
Old 1st May 2003
  #1
Gear Addict
 
Bernd G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Soundcraft Analog Mixing Console

Hello Ladies, Gentlemen,

Does anyone have good things to say about Soundcraft consoles ("soundcrap" ?). I am looking for a DAW frontend and I am particularly interested in the GHOST, Delta 200 and 200B (400B) models. How do they relate to the new A&Heath stuff? Any comments pertaining to these would help.

Cheers

BG
Old 1st May 2003
  #2
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Although I have one, I wouldn't buy a Ghost today unless I planned to run it at 130V using a variac (easier than it sounds), and it was sold with the newer (black box) power supply. Powering it this way, the Ghost sounds like a different and much better version of itself.

The older power supply (blue/gray) box is a piece of crap that doesn't open up the board enough. Basically it almost underpowers it. If you give it more juice as described above, the board actually sings quite nicely. The preamps smooth out, open up, and become less brittle, and the eq becomes about 40% more sensitive and useful. The eq on a Ghost is probably its best feature, btw.

I heard from someone on this board that there's a reasonably well-known studio tech (in the US) who goes around to Ghost-equipped studios and upgrades them with the easy mod above. Many happy campers.
Old 1st May 2003
  #3
Gear Nut
 
stuntmixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Who is this masked board modder? I have a GHOST and like it OK but have been trying to find someone who does this. I didn't think anyone did.

If anybody knows who this is I would love to know.

Thanks,

Charles
Old 1st May 2003
  #4
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sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Stuntmixer....buy a variac...plug in the power supply....be sure its the big supply.....now drive the ghost like its some old neve or an MCI....theres now a nice fatness to the pres and they sound good driven.......just my $.03....

So you took the plunge eh jackson?.....It works...why? But it does.
Old 1st May 2003
  #5
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by sonic dogg
Stuntmixer....buy a variac...plug in the power supply....be sure its the big supply.....now drive the ghost like its some old neve or an MCI....theres now a nice fatness to the pres and they sound good driven.......just my $.03....

So you took the plunge eh jackson?.....It works...why? But it does.
Sonic (er should I just call you Dave on here?), I didn't do mine yet but I used an 'upgraded' Ghost at buddy's studio. It's SO worth it.

Can't thank you enough for the tip!

Yeah and stuntmixer, you don't need to call in a tech cos you can bascially DIY (easily). The roaming tech probably does this 'mod' in addition to other studio stuff -- 'while he's there' kinda thing.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #6
Gear Nut
 
stuntmixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks y'all. I am interested but confused. Are you saying this "mod" is nothing other than driving the PS with 130v?
Is that all there is to it? I've got the big black power supply (that came out weird). This sounds dangerous. Doesn't this shorten the life of the desk or any internal componants (like the PS)?

Thanks much
Old 4th May 2003
  #7
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Stuntmixer, those are good questions. As it turns out, the voltage required is actually closer to 125, not 130. I suggest you look up Bill Roberts over at recording.org (although he may be around here somewhere, also). He has his own mastering forum there and has apparently done this mod on many installs. He's a good guy and I'm sure he'd be happy to give you the 411.
Old 4th May 2003
  #8
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stuntmixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanx Jacks.......um....Thanks Jax. I will.
Old 4th May 2003
  #9
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sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Stuntmixer...I sent you an e-mail to the southwind studios address detailing the particulars....hope you got it..........dogg
Old 5th May 2003
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
can you do this with any board? even a wackie?
Marshall
Old 5th May 2003
  #11
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🎧 15 years
when the mod is added to the soundcraft...does it make the board...dare i say it....'sound good' or at least good enuff to be presentable
Old 5th May 2003
  #12
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ajcamlet's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Can someone compare the Ghost to the Midas Venice? Sonically that is, not bells and whistles...
Old 5th May 2003
  #13
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sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi ya'll...
I run my Ghost's PS with a variac set at 128 volts.Its been a couple of months now and no problems. The sound is much better than before. As far as other models or makes of boards I cannot say. I have the larger of the two power supplys...PS275...I cannot say or recommend any of this usage ofthe variac past this setup. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this. I have the factory book on the PS and it does state in there that the power supplys (PS275,PS250) are capable of being run at +10/-15% of the rating of the voltage setting...ie @ 115 volts a line in voltage of 98-126volts rms is acceptable. I tend to run mine a touch hotter and have my PS well vented top and bottom. There doesnt seem to be any extra heat coming from this unit or the board so I can assume its safe. As far as shortening the life of the components in the console I assume my own risk with that. However it does sound better so on we go..... ymmv

sonic dogg
Old 5th May 2003
  #14
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Mario-C.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by ajcamlet
Can someone compare the Ghost to the Midas Venice? Sonically that is, not bells and whistles...
if i remember right the midas venice is a live sound console, the ghost is for recording...
Old 5th May 2003
  #15
Rab
KMR Audio
 
Rab's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Soundcraft Analog Mixing Console

Quote:
Originally posted by Bernd G
Hello Ladies, Gentlemen,

Does anyone have good things to say about Soundcraft consoles ("soundcrap" ?). I am looking for a DAW frontend and I am particularly interested in the GHOST, Delta 200 and 200B (400B) models. How do they relate to the new A&Heath stuff? Any comments pertaining to these would help.

Cheers

BG
If you're looking for a new console, you haven't got a huge choice at this level. I think the Ghost is a perfectly respectable desk for the price, nobody's going to pretend it's a great console, but I'd certainly rather have one of these then a Mackie... more flexible and "musical" EQ.

I've seen a lot of quality-control issues with this desk... nothing major, just stupid little things which should have been spotted at the factory (dry joints, ribbons not pushed in properly etc.) It's definitely worth going through every function of the desk before shelling out if you're buying new.

If this is mainly being used as a front-end, why not look at something a bit more interesting like a TLA M3 Tubetracker? You could also use this as an 8ch summing desk. Depends how many channels you're looking at..?
Old 7th May 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Mario-C.
if i remember right the midas venice is a live sound console, the ghost is for recording...
well if you haven't heard..the word around the net is the midas is the best recording mixer in its price range...lots of headroom good pres and a good eq...for that price...
Old 7th May 2003
  #17
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Mario-C.'s Avatar
thanks Teacher I am aware of those comments, just thought it would be relevant to mention what it's designed for

Old 28th December 2004
  #18
Here for the gear
 
JonathanAniston's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I have a ghost in the UK and though I like summing the mix through the desk as opposed to in the box (for all the usual benefits - improved stereo width etc), I find the bottom end a bit flabby and rumbly. I found someone elsewhere complaining of this with the ghost and was wondering if running the power hotter will help improve this?

The Power supply is the later CPS275 black version - is it worth considering a variac, and how would this work given we already operate at a higher voltage here in the UK? I assume it's a switching power supply (not in the studio right now but I'll check tomorrow....) and I could still run it at 125V?

Thanks in advance for any input.

J
Old 28th December 2004
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hi....I inquired recently about buying a used ghost then having it modded by Creation Audio Labs out of Nashville..... A guy by the name of Sarge does the modds. He's worked for Soundcraft for a number of years, and now specializes in rebuilding consoles. Says he puts in Burr Brown IC's and does some other things to the mix bus and says the console will sound much cleaner improving the mic pre's , EQ and mixing bus. Here's his e-mail if you wanna get your ghost modded.... [email protected] He said it will make your ghost in the 40k dollar sonic range !! Check out the web site at www.creationaudiolabs.com
Old 28th December 2004
  #20
Here for the gear
 
JonathanAniston's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the tip - I'll definitely look into that, but I'm in the UK so the idea of shipping a ghost across the ocean puts me off a bit....

I'm hoping for the time being I can improve things a bit with the power tweaks.
Old 28th December 2004
  #21
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HudHudson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My studio has a 32-channel Ghost that's had all the IC's replaced with Burr Browns and has the newer beefier power supply and it sounds great - plenty of punch and headroom. I don't know who did the mod.
Old 28th December 2004
  #22
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beechstudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Great Info guys........Thanks!!
Old 29th December 2004
  #23
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🎧 15 years
I have a couple Soundcraft Deltas that I'm refurbishing, so I'll chime in here. The Ghost is a surface mount console, as is the DC 2000 series. The Deltas, Sapphyre, the 600, the 6000, etc.... are modular with real (non-surface mount) components. The 600 is not as good as the 6000 because it doesn't have the active pan buffers, which the later Deltas also have. Gives you a wider stereo spread.

These can be modded to sound very good. The circuits are discrete I believe, and they are very well constructed. Jim Williams often posts here, and he is an authority on Soundcraft mods. I'm pretty sure he would laugh his ass off at the idea of that Variac power mod. He'll be back after the new year.

An idea I've been considering lately is mixing from the channel direct outputs and/or group busses into one of the summing boxes, such as the Phoenix Audio Nicerizer or SPL Mix Dream, etc... This way you have analog faders, panning, and auxes, etc... combined with your favorite flavor of mix bus.

[Edit] I should add that surface mount components are much smaller and tightly packed on a PCB. This makes them a bit more difficult to mod, though obviously it can be done. You just need an expensive surface mount puller tool, surgical hands, and lots of patience. I like the old style modular consoles with real components much better myself.
Old 29th December 2004
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by HudHudson
My studio has a 32-channel Ghost that's had all the IC's replaced with Burr Browns and has the newer beefier power supply and it sounds great - plenty of punch and headroom. I don't know who did the mod.
*********************************************
Could you say it now sounds like a 50,000 dollar console ? that's what I heard they sound like after the mods....... is it that good ?anything to compare it too ? thanks !!!
Old 29th December 2004
  #25
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HudHudson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Naw, I think it sounds like a good $10K console like it should. We replaced a Trident 80C with the Ghost, and the Trident sold for $40K. They sound totally different and the Ghost is not the least bit slutty, but for the money I think the modded Ghost is a great value. Good mic pres, summing bus sounds nice, plenty of auxes, nice English EQ, small footprint (more room in the CR!).....
Old 29th December 2004
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Hud.. one question about the modded Ghost's mic pre's...or the trident's mic pre's..... I have a Focusrite Octopre mic preamp, and am wondering how they stand compared to pre's in consoles under $ 50,000 . Have you ever heard the Octopre, and can you give your opinion as to what type of console mic pre's they would be comparable too ? I'm debating whether or not to buy a used ghost and modding it, if my mic pre's are already better than what I'd get from a modded ghost.... any advice , anyone ? Thanks
Old 29th December 2004
  #27
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HudHudson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have access to an OctoPre and could do a shoot-out with the Ghost this weekend and post the results for you. BTW, I just finished tracking a band yesterday that had also tracked on the Trident and they said the new tracks cut on the Ghost (except bass, which I cut with a Millennia TD-1 direct) were punchier (it was a live demo session, but the band thought the drums were the best they'd ever heard in their limited recording experience). I know the engineer who did their Trident sessions and he's a good one with as nice a mic closet as mine, so the preamps could be a factor in why they liked the Ghost's sound over that of the Trident, at least on drums.
Old 29th December 2004
  #28
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🎧 15 years
Thanks Hud... that would be great ! I'm building my studio now, and am considering buying a modded ghost, mainly for extra mic pre's and being able to mix out of the box. My other alternative is buying a combo of the new Audient Sumo summing box, and an Aurora Audio GTQ2 mic pre ( I'm planning on passing my mixes through this GTQ2 at unity gain to get some Neve'ish eq combined with an SSL like compressor from the Sumo) . If the summing on the Audient is better than a ghost, then I'll probably just get a summing box, and some new mic pre's... any ideas ? thanks !!
Old 29th December 2004
  #29
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HudHudson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
We've considered going the summing box route but given the ease of patching inserts/auxes, doing multiple headphone mixes, etc. with the Ghost we'll probably stay with that for a while. We do a lot of tracking dates with full band (up to 16 inputs at a time) and are still building up an inventory of outboard mic pres, so the Ghost comes in handy when our input needs exceed out outboard pre inventory. We'd be upside down if we sold the Ghost and tried to replace all those channels after buying the summing mixer. If you don't need that many channels of preamps at a time the summing mixer route might be best for you.
Old 29th December 2004
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
If you want your mixes to sound more Neve-ish, the Nicerizer is the ticket I think. The Aurora does get a lot of high praise here though, so I'm sure that would work too. It's just that the Nicerizer is made for mixing into. I still like my idea of using an analog console AND an external summing box(s).
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