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What cheap mixer has the most decent preamps?
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #31
Gear Addict
 
Jay Dee's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What cheap mixer has the most decent preamps?

You can't get there from here.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
just get the soundcraft compact 4 mixer you are looking at. has the same preamps as their higher end consoles.

$90 at Audiolines.com

I have a friend that records an internet radio show on it, the preamp is quite clean.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #33
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AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ohhh here's a good deal on a b-stock epm6
Soundcraft*EPM6*::*Mixing...

talk about low noise preamps... and same ones in their LX7ii and GB series consoles.
Mic EIN @ 55dB gain, 150 ohms source impedance -127dBu
i beleive that tops the Digimax preamps which are also good pre's for low price.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #34
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Obitheincredible's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJay ➑️
just get the soundcraft compact 4 mixer you are looking at. has the same preamps as their higher end consoles.

$90 at Audiolines.com

I have a friend that records an internet radio show on it, the preamp is quite clean.
Where did you hear that?
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #35
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vicenzajay's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
+1.....BUT...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda117 ➑️
Sorry Guy, but we kind of have to ask why.

If you're going to be recording something from a live show, then the Mackie will do you just fine.

If you're using this in the studio, then A&H MixWiz series are more what you're looking for.

(both are obviously dependant on what your budgetary constraints will allow).

Much as I love, and use the Mackie mixers, they just don't seem well purposed for use in a studio setting, whereas the A&H do. On the flip side, the Mackie (particularly Onyx) stuff works great for live shows, and recording those live shows as well.

Overall, I'd give the A&H a nod. For preamps alone, it'd be Mackie first, then A&H (sorry guys), and Yamaha (my experience with quality has been exactly the opposite of what some of the other posters have stated... that said, I've only had two problems with Yamaha mixers out of all the ones I've used or been recorded on, and one was definitely due to user stupidity).

If you're using this for summing, I'd go with A&H and Yamaha. Mackie has never impressed me in this regard.

The only Soundcraft I've got experience with was being recorded on an Ghost. Sounded good to me , but to otherwise speak with authority or experience regarding them would be dishonest.
I agree with all of this except for one point. Bottom line is that I'd also give A&H the nod...but also for the preamps alone...over the Onyx.

And yes, I have both....still use an Onyx 800r unit ADAT'd into the FF800 for 8 very nice outboard preamps....but for "dimensionality", richness, and just a hint of British sweetness/flavor, the A&H MixWiz preamps are very, very, very nice. In addition, as mentioned by the poster above, the entire "package" is a better package (again, IMO). The Allen and Heath EQ, for example, kicks the crap out of the Onxy board's EQ for musicality both live and tracking.

For comparison, I have DAV, SCA, Demeter, etc. preamps to compare these to...definitely not shoddy units....and the A&H pres do very, very nicely in comparison.

Bottom line is that for about $750 (audiolines.com B-stock) you can have 16 of these preamps and EQs, not to mention a very nice mixing desk. Complete no-brainer (again, IMO) for less than $50 a channel...that's crazy good.

Jay
Old 4th February 2009
  #36
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Guy Gabriel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Are you guys serious, suggesting 900$ mixers when i was asking about a 150$ one?
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #37
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badmark's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Gabriel ➑️
Are you guys serious, suggesting 900$ mixers when i was asking about a 150$ one?
Um ... this subforum notwithstanding, does the name of this here website not give you a clue why that might have happened? It's not called GearWalmartz y'know. But if it were, you might get an answer like this ...

I've got a Behringer UB1202 mixer going cheap if you're interested. It features their renowned invisible pre-amps, and I have used it successfully for quite a few gigs and occasional recording purposes. No knobs have fallen off and it's never done anything to annoy or disappoint me, which is more than I can say about some other items of more expensive gear (hello Alessis Micron, hello Yamaha RS7000). The power supply being a bit ugly is the worst I can say about it. People on here disrespect Behringer products by kneejerk reflex, but if you check their catalogue I think you'll see that they're endorsed by some pretty heavy-hitters in the music world. Guys with better things to do than idle their time away on a talking shop like this, because they're busy out there in the real world making real music with real Behringer products. PM me for further details.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #38
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
And now for something completely different.

I recently bought an Alesis MultiMix 12R rack mixer.

The pres are extremely clean. What you plug in is what you get out, plus some gain. I use it with some Earthworks mics and they are super-accurate mics - and the Alesis delivers.

It's $300 new BUT on ebay you can get the older dark-colored ones for around $125. I think these are the best deal on clean, utility pres out there right now.

I also have a couple Yamaha mixers (MG32/14) and they are of course solid performers. Can't go wrong with Yamaha.

I have NOT used either for vocals so YMMV but I would if I had reason to.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #39
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozsak ➑️
I had a VLZ Pro board and thought it was crap.

The pots got scratchy very quickly, the EQ was horrendous, and the pre's were thin sounding.

That being said, I used it for years and years to make some decent sounding demos.


Love posts like this one. "Crap", "Scratchy" pots, "Horrendous" EQ and "Thin" pre's = "decent sounding". The OP wants to spend roughly $150...wouldn't "decent" be the absolute best they could achieve? So should they buy a VLZ....or.......??????
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #40
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iomegaman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The mackies use the same op amps as the behringer and some of the low level yamahas, as well as some Sony's but what I've discovered is the opamp is not as important as the design for the opamp...my suggestion is to look on ebay for some older stuff like the Yamaha Em series or Sony MX stuff...of course it depends on what kind of preamp you like...
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #41
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Yoda117's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Gabriel ➑️
Are you guys serious, suggesting 900$ mixers when i was asking about a 150$ one?
Welcome to the board

And, no... not suggesting $900+ mixers for a $150 need.

Mackie is closer in price range, but more to the point, since you weren't clear on what you were doing, you've made it hard to determine your general needs, so folks shot stuff out. This being gearslutz, folks when up in price.

vicenzajay, think about why I liked the Onyx over the A&H for preamps. I don't need, nor usually want the musicality that the A&H has in spoken word. Onyx preamps are better for that IMO. That's why I preferred the A&H for some stuff, the Onyx for others.

On the flip side, is it me, or do the rackmount Onyx preamps sound a little different than those from the Onyx mixer series?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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Guy Gabriel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ok you guys so i bought the Soundcraft Compact 4 today and I've gotta say a couple of things, 1st the interface is just perfect for me, it couldn't be better, happy with the purchase on that side. the other thing is the preamps are crappy, i've recorded my voice with it and it has a slight distortion even when the gain is below 30 which i think is pretty low. the built in preamps on my 150$ soundcard sound WAY smoother so i'll stick to them, as a matter of fact i've always loved the way the sounded, it's just the interface of the soundcard that i hated.
So do you think maybe i'm doing something wrong when recording using the preamps on the Compact 4?

edit: fixed that, my bad, sounds really good now
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #43
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vicenzajay's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda117 ➑️

On the flip side, is it me, or do the rackmount Onyx preamps sound a little different than those from the Onyx mixer series?
Good point - for my taste, I actually prefer the rack mount pres sans EQ. I found that they had more headroom and actually have a good deal of dimension to them. Please don't get me wrong, I really like the Onyx board....in some ways, as a mixer, the bussing and other features are more extensive than the A&H - I just really liked the sound of the A&H "board" as a whole over the Mackie.

Again, just my .02 - Jay
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #44
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR2XLR ➑️
Until you spend 25 x more per pre the improvements are marginal and you have to decide whether it's worth it (and for the "yes all those small improvements add up crew") yes, so does the price and in these current times I would never advise blowing a shed load on preamps.
I would like to see how a mackie pre compares to my 2.5 k neve clone...ha ha ha ...so I can hear a diffrence to a SPL Channel one.....so there is a reason for high end mic pres.

But anyway I have mixed things tracked with a VLZ and I cant say anything bad about them. But they do not have any kind of caracter .....
Old 15th February 2009 | Show parent
  #45
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audibell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obitheincredible ➑️
ep they have said (and by they I mean sound craft) that they use the ghost preamps in their m series mixers.
This sounds an awful lot like AKG claiming that 414s still have the c12 capsule, without saying that what today they call a c12 is in no way like their 1960's capsule of the same name - marketing monkeys will mention it in such a way that they don't actually state that such is the case but you are meant to be left with the impression that it IS the case, that X contains Y therefore must be the same as Z.
Old 15th February 2009 | Show parent
  #46
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cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by danalog ➑️


Love posts like this one. "Crap", "Scratchy" pots, "Horrendous" EQ and "Thin" pre's = "decent sounding". The OP wants to spend roughly $150...wouldn't "decent" be the absolute best they could achieve? So should they buy a VLZ....or.......??????
no,for $150 you should only by yamaha. return the soundcraft.
and don't push the signal paths on an inexpensive mixer, stop when you see even a little bit of yellow..
Old 6th March 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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taturana's Avatar
 
12 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
i guess i am late... but the soundcraft compact series is pretty awesome for the price... i had two compact 10's here and just upgraded to an soundcraft m8, which is a whole different ballgame.

the only thing i would suggest is not leaving your compact4 on 24/7 because the dc voltage regulator inside the mixer will burn out (one of mine did) and it's not worth it to repair, if outside the warranty.

i've used the mackies and ilike the soundcraft sound more... maybe it's a question of taste.
Old 6th March 2009 | Show parent
  #48
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo ➑️
A and H Mixwiz.
thumbsup
Old 7th March 2009 | Show parent
  #49
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Mark Kaufman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How would you all think about using an older analog mixer like a Tascam M-35...how would these pres compare? Better, worse or the same?
Old 7th March 2009 | Show parent
  #50
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memphisindie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Gabriel ➑️
I find it hard to believe soundcraft puts the same preamps in the compact series mixers as in their high end consoles. Are u sure?
Soundcraft puts fully class A mic pre's in their small format mixers, they are better than the Ghost. The Ghost pre's are class A/B. This from Soundcraft Tech support.

The mixwiz is a better board than the ZED according to A&H, but, $$ vs $$$.
Mackie VLZ are class b, cold pre's. Not sure about the Onyx.

You know you made the right choice.
Old 7th March 2009 | Show parent
  #51
Paj
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
I'll try to keep this in the original price range mentioned:

For my lenders/submixes/utilities I have a number of the budget mixers, including Behri (MX, UB, PMX and Xenyx), Mackie VLZ (orig. & pro,), Yamaha MG, and SoundCraft (Compact). IMHO, the SoundCraft Compact preamps actually do stand out compared to the others I mentioned. You have to check out the features you want/need, because it's set up a differently than the othe three manufacturers offerings. Just using the preamps via the Insert I/O*, I've always found the SoundCraft Compact to be the clear (pun intended) winner in the price range you mentioned.

Paj
8^)

*the lower-priced Behri mixers won't have inserts, so you can't take full advantage of the clarity of the preamps---you'll have to go through the aux and output busses, where the Yamaha and Mackie have audible advantages over the small format Behri mixers.
Old 7th March 2009 | Show parent
  #52
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
A quick correction on misinformation about opamps :

Behringer preamps = 2 transistors and 2 JRC4580 opamps

Mackie VLZ Pro preamps = 5 transistors and 2 JRC2068's

And for the record did I not say that budget Soundcraft preamps crack up way before 0VU ? !!!!!

I say it again :

"That is why they sound like poop then"

oh.... here we go again (rolls eyes).... Class A or Class AB switching does not mean diddly squat, either can very easily be
bad sounding, it's just marketing bull.

oh and
Quote:
I would like to see how a mackie pre compares to my 2.5 k neve clone...ha ha ha ...so I can hear a diffrence to a SPL Channel one.....so there is a reason for high end mic pres.
You know what I tell you how they compare, they sound different, that it, nothing more nothing less, just different.
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #53
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taturana's Avatar
 
12 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obitheincredible ➑️
Just bought a Soundcraft Spirit M4. Great Mixer with A/D Conversion through sdif and 4 awesome preamps! I'm running 4 to my layla 24/96. I wanted the M8 but someone posted a m4 on craigslist locally for 250! I flipped and was like MINE!
just bought an M8 on ebay for 399... i really dig those pres... they can take a lot of gain before cracking...

Quote:
oh.... here we go again (rolls eyes).... Class A or Class AB switching does not mean diddly squat, either can very easily be
bad sounding, it's just marketing bull.
+1... and i have both the compact and the m8... the m8 smokes the compact in any sense. the pres in the compact are good, but can't really take high gain signals like the m8 can. and they m8 sounds much much better, and it's much quieter too.and you can spank them before they clip.
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #54
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just get yourself a secondhand Soundcraft Delta mate. Pre's in that should last you a long time.....definitely no good as excuses for ****ty sound! Plus the whole thing is worth keeping and can be modded further easily aswell....speak to Jim Williams........small thing (although expandable very easily aswell) but more 'man desk' feel that most of the toys discussed here......and CHEAP!!! Good luck!!
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #55
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Obitheincredible's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by taturana ➑️
just bought an M8 on ebay for 399... i really dig those pres... they can take a lot of gain before cracking...

+1... and i have both the compact and the m8... the m8 smokes the compact in any sense. the pres in the compact are good, but can't really take high gain signals like the m8 can. and they m8 sounds much much better, and it's much quieter too.and you can spank them before they clip.
Agreed 100000000% The pres are awesome but the EQ is even better! Over a winner! Glad I paid 250 or 300 dont remember now but it was a steal for sure!
Old 13th March 2009 | Show parent
  #56
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
There have been a few posts here about the mackie compact mixers and the quality of their pres, EQ's etc.

I have heard that the older original Mackies such as the CR1604's sounded better than the later VLZ and VLZ pro versions. Anyone found this to be true?
Old 13th March 2009 | Show parent
  #57
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memphisindie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dialectic ➑️
There have been a few posts here about the mackie compact mixers and the quality of their pres, EQ's etc.

I have heard that the older original Mackies such as the CR1604's sounded better than the later VLZ and VLZ pro versions. Anyone found this to be true?
"Ish", the best sounding of the Mackie's? For sure, anything else? Nope.
Old 13th March 2009 | Show parent
  #58
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
The OP said the Onyx was out of his budget, but for reference I recently did a cut down band demo, I say cut down because I am totally redoing my studio so my large console and outboard are down.

I wound up using the Onyx 1220 to track a full band for basics, then used it for overdubs, I mainly used outboard pres though since I had some good units.

I am using an Onyx I bought mainly for live work for conversion, but for some things I did use the onboard pres.

They do not really compare to the really good stuff (I tracked mainly with some GR, Hardy, True Systems, and Calrec pres) but I was doing some vocal and guitar overdubs and gave them a quick tryout.

I compared them to the Hardy (not very close) but then also to a Focusrite Green series pre/EQ, Presonus DigiMax LT, and a DMP3 I have in my B room.

I recorded the same set of tracks through each one as sort of a shootout, and IMO they were all really close but came out like:

Focusrite Green (trust me, the Platinum stuff is NOT the same)
Onyx Pres
DMP3
Digimax

The DMP3 and DigiMax were really really close but the Presonus had this slight layer of grittiness to it the DMP3 did not.

FWIW I use the Presonus mainly in a live rack to add pres to a rackmount compact mixer that only has 8 onboard pres, it works great for that (Drum overheads and bass) in a live setting.

I think the Mackie pres are very good, I considered buying their 8 pre Onyx rack for a bit, but opted for the Presonus because I got a great deal on it used, and I already had four Onyx pres in my 1220.

FWIW the Onyx 1220 with the Firewire card (I bought mine as a bundle shortly after they came out, basically the FW card was "free" as buying them as a pair cost $529) is a great bit of kit, the drivers are not the best but if you need to get 12 tracks into a computer out of a small footprint and then do some overdubs, you could do a lot worse for $500ish bucks.

If I was in the market today though I'd certainly look at the A&H Zed stuff, seems to be very good and A&H product support is killer, can't say that about Mackie that's for sure...fuuck

Analogeezer
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #59
Lives for gear
 
musicbydesign's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Mixers?
Everyone has their own opinion, so here's mine.
I love Soundcraft.
They are made well and sound great.
Ive never been fond of Allen & Heath's styling
and the Zed series have very mixed user reviews.
I own a Soundcraft EMP-8 which I got
after doing extensive research and love the sound.
Ive recently discovered I need more inputs and
direct outs on every channel, so Ive outgrown it
but will soon get a Soundcraft GB2R 16 Channel Mixer.
Anyway, the EPM series were the only low cost mixers I found that actually have professional features like balanced line inputs and high headroom. It may look like a toy but it sounds great. I use mine with High end stuff and it fits right in.
Old 4th December 2009 | Show parent
  #60
Gear Maniac
 
Edwards's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm now looking for a small format mixer for monitoring, but if I got something good, I would use it live.

1st question: What in the same price range makes a better monitor section than a Soundcraft EPM6?

2nd question: What in the same price range makes a better live mixer with 6 preamps than a Soundcraft EPM6?

The only thing I can think of that comes close is an A & H ZED14. Am I missing something? (Yahama and Mackie are already out).
πŸ“ Reply

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