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A&Heath GS3.. this board ok or Sux?
Old 20th February 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 
efex's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A&Heath GS3.. this board ok or Sux?

I found a Allen & Heath GS3 in a place sitting in a cardboard box. They would swap me I am sure for something I am not using, I thot perhaps my Tascam da-60 timecode dat (unless someone needs a dat? heheheh...).

But...how is this mixer? Right now I have composer studio, with Yamaha 03d and a promix submixer. People think my mixes sound great but I pine for the days I had an AMR 1600, it just somehow sounded more musical and less edgy. Can anybody compare this mixer to anything else, both in the "music store" board range like the mackies and also compared to stuff a little further up the food chain, say a used soundcraft 6000 or dc2000 or the infamous Ghost? I considered a D&R Orion the other day.

I am really looking here for a summing mixer with eq and fx sends..I have a lot of modules, would typically mix often just to stereo from modules running into analogue mixer. I would also bus audio tracks and vsti's out from logic to the mixer, I have a ton of a/d and d/a already I could use for this.

Should I just wait for a stellar deal on a better mixer? This one is just convenient, might be OK and might not. The physical size is great, not huge, though I would make room for a bigger mixer as well.

Any info appreciated!

ps anybody have any idea of value of a da-60 timecode dat these days?
Old 20th February 2003
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A&H has made a lot of consoles over the years so I don't remember the GS3 off the top of my head so make sure it isn't a live board. I've spent time on a System 8 and a Saber and liked them both. Nothing amazing, but pretty reliable workhorses. Add a few channels of outboard pres and EQ and you'll probably be very happy if you liked the AMR. A Ghost would probably be quieter, but the other consoles like the Orion and DC2000 are much bigger steps up and also cost more. But, your getting a better sounding console that will also require a bit more upkeep.
Old 21st February 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
pounce's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
fwiw, i use a ghost in my space which is much more of a composer space than anything.

until i can pay around 10 - 15k for a nice used big boy, the ghost has been the best compromise for me. really sound decent, and since it's an inline recording board, i use all 64 inputs as keyboard ins. add the fx returns and two track ins and on a normal composing day, i'll have all 72 inputs up and ready to go so i can play any keyboard and hear it without patching.

i know the ghost has it's limits, but knowing what it does well and what it doesn't do well ahead of time, i think it's been a rteat. i'm not sure i know why you call it "infamous", and i'm curious so feel free to enlighten me.
i've also liked the a&h boards in general, but am not sure how well the one you mentions compares to a ghost.
Old 21st February 2003
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by pounce


i know the ghost has it's limits, but knowing what it does well and what it doesn't do well ahead of time, i think it's been a rteat.
Every piece ever made has its limits. You are way ahead of the game for knowing what your gear does and how to use best for your purposes. Pounce gets A+!
Old 21st February 2003
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Often there is a lot of static on the net, and precious little credible information. So in the spirit of things, here is my .02 worth. Was the A & H GS3 the model with the two channels of built-in tube mic pre? I was gently warned off that model by a very credible industry person on account of issues with "grounding". Without saying the board sucked, he did want me to go in with my eyes wide open. When I asked him to compare the A & H with the Ghost, he said no contest, go with the Ghost. I think the Ghost is still being manufactured so I would also bet on greater availability of parts and service. I went with the Ghost and I really enjoy working with it.

That said, I don't think anybody will pay more than a few hundred bucks for a used dat so the A & H might be a screaming deal. Good luck.
Old 21st February 2003
  #6
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by zenfreud

That said, I don't think anybody will pay more than a few hundred bucks for a used dat so the A & H might be a screaming deal. Good luck.
Timecode DAT's are still going for decent money. My opinion - which is not worth a lot in this case - is that both consoles are OK, nothing more.
Old 21st February 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I demo'ed an a&h...before the ghost came here to live...it was okay...i think it was a gs3...that seems right.....it felt...flimsy...the sound was fine and i do believe it had a couple of limiter/compressor circuits though i wasnt all that impressed with those....i bought a ghost because i couldnt afford the upper end consoles....so if budget is a concern the ghost works just fine....i run a variac on the power supply at a constant 125 volts and it seems to make everything 'creamier'...dont ask me why as the power supply is supposedly 'regulated'....
Old 22nd February 2003
  #8
Here for the gear
 
efex's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
here is the mixer in question.

http://www.allen-heath.co.uk/veteran...ts/gs3/gs3.htm

I can buy it for like $500.00 if I want to. It has no compressors, and no tube channels, probably not the models mentioned above. Why not buy for $500.00? Cause if I buy it then I will find it awfully hard to convince myself to get a better model, since I'd have something functional, but I dunno if I would get the sound I'd like. When I compare to my old amr for example, the amr had 4 band eq which swept on all 4 freqs, while the GS3 has much less flexability in the eq. That being true, the GS3 might just have better sounding eq!

Pounce, the ghost is infamous because it occupies the space between the boards right at the bottom, and the beginning of the higher end pro gear. That means the low end guys think it is too expensive, and the guys with the high end boards think it is a less than stellar board. I can say if this was a ghost in the cardboard box it would be in my studio already!

I talked to the guy who turns out actually owns the board, a creditible guy, he says that the was a bit of a grounding issue, some kind of hum when you uses the fx return channels, and otherwise it was fine.

Life is complicated, I am really enjoying the comments to date here, so thanks all! Maybe I should just get a speck xtramix and spend the rest of my life looking for deals on cheap and good outboard eq?

who wants my timecode dat huh huh huh :-)
Old 22nd February 2003
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by efex
here is the mixer in question.

http://www.allen-heath.co.uk/veteran...ts/gs3/gs3.htm

I can buy it for like $500.00 if I want to. It has no compressors, and no tube channels, probably not the models mentioned above. Why not buy for $500.00? Cause if I buy it then I will find it awfully hard to convince myself to get a better model, since I'd have something functional, but I dunno if I would get the sound I'd like. When I compare to my old amr for example, the amr had 4 band eq which swept on all 4 freqs, while the GS3 has much less flexability in the eq. That being true, the GS3 might just have better sounding eq!
**** it, I'd do the trade. There are lots of great outboard EQ's out there to make up for whatever the console EQ is lacking. I've got a Trident but I still love my pair of Dakings, ASC's and Orban 622B. I'd like to add a GML or Ibis at some point along with some API 560's and maybe a Pultec. Not really because the console EQ sucks, it's actually quite good but having outboard EQ opens lots of doors. Hell, it's got mute automation, my desk didn't have that until I added an outboard package.

Anyway, if you decide to pass on it drop me a line. A club I do sound at is thinking about getting a new desk for FOH and that might be perfect for them. At least the price is right for them.
Old 22nd February 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i think my demo model musta been a gs4...it had the mastering in the center...i dont see how you could go wrong at $500 for this thing .....i'm sure they sell for more than that on ebay...is it a 16 or a 24?then theres the hum issue....do ya really want to start life off with a mixer that has a bad habit already?...why dont you find another amr? i know they make them in smaller footprints than the 1600..and they do sound great.....peace
Old 23rd February 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
adam_w's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The GS3 was a derivative/evolution of the an earlier board called an S2 which was sold/badged by a pro audio retailer called "Thatched Cottage" around 1991 - ish in the UK. There are no comps, toob channels, etc. probably cost around 2K GBP back then. The GS4 (the next mixer..) was designed for live use, and so they found a niche in which they subsequently became reasonably successful.

It was one of the first small budget do it all mixers out just before the mackies, etc came along. The build is a bit pants, quite plasticcy and I'm not sure how serviceable it's gonna be as I think its an all on one plate design.

Based on experience in my wilderness years of bottom feeding sucking the scum from ****hole little studios in the uk, I don't think its as good as a ghost, topaz or soundtracs solo, all of which can be found dirt cheap.

FWIW, some of the other desks mentioned are hunks of ****, too. Some of the older soundcraft/A&H/soundtracs stuff is evil, despite its "english pedigree" . I don't think the classic budget desk market will ever take off ! I think budget desks actually got better as time went on, with the exception being in the area of build & reliability. These things have a lifespan, and are built to a budget
at a point in time.

Oh, and is your AMR the "audio media research" ? I've used 'em all, baby !
Old 24th February 2003
  #12
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Messiah's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by sonic dogg
i think my demo model musta been a gs4...it had the mastering in the center...i dont see how you could go wrong at $500 for this thing .....i'm sure they sell for more than that on ebay...is it a 16 or a 24?then theres the hum issue....do ya really want to start life off with a mixer that has a bad habit already?...why dont you find another amr? i know they make them in smaller footprints than the 1600..and they do sound great.....peace
OK, just thought I'd clear some of this up.....

I think SD is confusing the GS3 with the GS3000 that came out later (and was the one that had the valve center section).

A&H desks are distinguished by S and L. Hence, the GS3 is intended for studio use and GL3 for live...

FWIW, I'd jump on the GS3 for $500 if I needed something like that. I think the EQ is quite commendable on the GS3 too.
Old 25th February 2003
  #13
Here for the gear
 
efex's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks again for feedback to date!

Sonic Dogg/Adam...yup, the AMR *peavey*. I really quite liked it, tho I am a composer type who engineerrs rather than a real engineer. I brought in a couple real engineers who liked it too. They thought the eq was pretty good. I thought it was rather noisy, tho that could have been my wiring; I had 35 foot patch bay cables that were really far longer than I needed.

Adam> your point is well taken..the budget desk issue. Right now I have a yamaha
03d, with an assortment of submixers I could use including a mackie 1604vlz, a promix 01, and my ancient but reliable Seck 1882. Seems to me the Seck is pretty representative of the budget desks of this era (unless the GS3 really is a nicer board..) but the main issue is I don't want to buy something that is really not going to sound a lot more musical than my 03d. That probably means to wait for a deal on a higher end mixer, that sound likely?

Now people say some boards are very transparent, and some boards are coloured. My main needs are for modern musical sounds, like techno and derivitives; I don't get much call for rock or country. The other need is good sound for orchestral simulation. I'd like warm and non-sterile...would people call a mixer with those qualities transparent, or coloured? This could be a dumb question but hey so it goes :-)

Could anybody compare the Gs3 to the Seck??
Old 25th February 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i have logged a billion hours on a seck1882...i always trusted it through all kinds of music....its kind of a quaint little board with some of the outs being +4 and some being -10....the eq is very usable though the layout is odd compared to most in-line boards...once ya get used to it though...we used ours with an 8trk tape machine and lots of sequenced tracks and keyboards and samplers...the 'cross-talk' between channels was a little suspect...much like most 'motherboard' mixers...i dont think it had a lot of 'headroom in the mic pres and you could get em to crunch pretty easy.....and 18 channels?? never did get that...and only being able to monitor 16 in the subgroups....ah well i miss it a bit....it was great 'live'.....the A&H will sound better overall..but it is kind of a 'sterile' clean sound...i have a ghost which i held out to buy instead of a 'transition' mixer...i dont regret it at all....through a suggestion by an authority i run my power supply 'hot'..i use a variac on the front end and run the volts up to a bit more than 125ac...now why this works i have no clue but the edginess and brittleness of the soundcraft pres went away...its kinda warm all over now and the eq was good before and now its really good...this in theory shouldnt happen as the power supply is regulated...but hey it does....what can i say...i have recordings from both sides of this add-on and there is a difference...anyway...good luck...you could go for a ghost or something in that range to track with and do your mixes with the 03r....isnt it automated?...if this is the case then look for an LE model of the ghost ..no midi automation but all else the same and they're usually 25% cheaper...
Old 26th February 2003
  #15
Here for the gear
 
efex's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
sonicdogg: a good response indeed.

I would happily use a ghost I think. I don't do the traditional tracking approach at all to date, as it would take far too long within the context of doing music for film and tv ..at least the low budget world I inhabit right now! I run the audio output of logicvia spdif into the 03d, and my synths live analogue to the 03d as well, along with any submixers running into 03d, then record the digital output of the 03d as my final audio recording.

I guess I am torn. Either I go with something like a ghost that would let me run all my synths at once, plus have enuff spare channels to be a summing mixer for my audio tracks, giving me a final 2 track mix which I record to the mac in one pass....

or

wait till I find some stellar deal on something with less channels but high end sound..the broadcast neve or whatever, which could take years to find!

arrrgh. :-)
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