Anyone recommend a cheap, reliable desk

norty303

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I'm after a desk so that i can provide sound for small bands and live acts if i need to but it's not going to be used very often i shouldn't think (..no vision to the future that boy...) so i don't want to pay a shedload for it. It'll have to fulfill FoH and monitor duties so I recon a minimum of 8 mic (with 48v) plus a smattering of stereo channel would do. 4 Auxs for monitors would be nice with pre/post switching and maybe some sub-groups.

I've been looking at the old Spirit Folio 16/2 as they're nearly the right spec and are nice and compact/light/easy to transport and go for £100 or under 2nd hand. The only problem is they're really nasty feeling with loose (but long) faders and a bit plasticy. Anyone know what they last like?

I'd love a MAckie 1604 but they're just a 'bit' on the pricey side. Behringer do some nice ones but most come lacking enough mic inputs on the channels.

Input required...



Oh, and Plank!, cheers for the advice at the weekend, an Ultracurve 8024 is on it's way :Grin:
 

Reconstructed

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The only advice I can give with the Mackie is that you get what you pay for. I will never buy another mixer that isn't a Mackie. Behringers are generally pretty crappy.
 

norty303

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Souncraft also have a pretty good reputation and they're good at providing diagrams if you need to do a repair yourself, it's just the cheaper boards have a horrible feel.

As i said, this isn't going anywhere near a studio so outright sound quality isn't the issue here (like it would be if you were mixing/mastering off it)
 

Continuum

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I've got a Behringer MX2442A and I always thought it sounded sweet :Smile3: and I believe Ott's got a Behringer too. Build quality is pretty good, its really solid and the pots feel nice and work ok. The fact that I blew up one channel was completely down to pilot-error :Sad:
If you want to make me an offer.... Since I went completely virtual I just don't use it...
 

Abstraction

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ive got a behringer and it sucks ass. the channel faders are quite noisy and the main fader has this horrible resonance in it that makes everything sound metallic if u put it right up to 0.

just my 2p :Grin:
 

Continuum

Throb Farmer
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Double_Helix said:
ive got a behringer and it sucks ass. the channel faders are quite noisy and the main fader has this horrible resonance in it that makes everything sound metallic if u put it right up to 0.

just my 2p :Grin:
which one have you got? sounds broken to me... :no:
For space reasons I put the behringer in the attic and got a mackie 1402 and it doesn't sound as warm to me...the mackie that is, not the attic.
 

norty303

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If you want to make me an offer.... Since I went completely virtual I just don't use it...
It may be a bit big (and a bit rich) for me but if you wanna PM me with roundabouts what you were thinking of (£££) i'll give it some thought...
 

soliptic

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i basically agree with Reconstructed

with Mackie u do get what u pay for, they really do feel like a tank, so solid. in comparison the spirit we had was fragile, no doubt, but still , it stood up pretty damn well and we didnt even have a flight case for it. the folio's are better than they look, i think. similarly, when it comes to sound quality, the spirit isnt at all bad either, altho i still think the mackie is definitely better, its fairly slight.

however the mackie sound quality is leaps and bounds over the behringer i previously had. the preamps are plenty good enough for studio work with condensors, eqs are soo much nicer, noise level so much better, nicer touch to the controls, etc. way way way better i'd say.

mho in summary- avoid behringer, get mackie if u can afford it, spirit are pretty decent in between the two. not owned or seriously used any other makes.

(i usually end up fighting with some die hard behringer fan when i voice these experiences.)
 

Plank!

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Norty, ask the same question over on alt.audio.pro.live-sound. Or maybe the Live Audio Board.

The M@ckie 1604 is one of the least respected mixers on the market; reliability issues with ribbon cables etc exclude it from serious live work. They tend to break far too often on the road.
Even in the US of A the entire m@ckie range is disliked, behringer has recently built up a better reputation, and now finds its products recommended ahead of M@ckie, on both price and performance.

The Behringer products are very good value for money and quality is steadily improving. Do not rule these out.

I've not had much experience with Soundcraft (except for large format live/monitor desks) and without exception; every one of the smaller soundcraft desks I've used has been faulty.

If you can find one, go for an A&H 12 or 16 channel rack mount desk, some even have digital effects, of decent quality built in. A&H build some of the best small desks available, though they may carry a higher second hand value then you looking for.
 

norty303

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Yeah, the problem is the Behringer desks tend to have lots of channels but not many mics e.g. a 16 channel desk but only 6 xlr mics which might be ok for a studio but not live work. I've decided 8 is a minimum but size is also an issue coz of my current transport situation. At least with 8 i can get 3 or 4 vox, 1 kick, 2 overhead drums, plus some line level from amps into the other inputs. the Folio F1 16/2 looks like my best bet ATM coz i can get one dirt cheap, run it for a bit whilst i find my (financial) feet and then look beyond as things happen.

Just had a fuckin nightmare in a small venue with noise issues with the neighbours and the owner was asking me to turn down the drumkit!!!!!!!

Someone i work with gets regular gigs with his band and they've been let down recently by a hire firm. He said if i can come up with a price they'll be looking for a regular rig to go out on their gigs. I'm looking at it as a way to pay for some new kit that i can use how i want to... :Grin:
 

Reconstructed

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Plank! said:
Even in the US of A the entire m@ckie range is disliked, behringer has recently built up a better reputation, and now finds its products recommended ahead of M@ckie, on both price and performance.
Pretty much the only experience I've had is people saying the Behringer desks were built like shit and that Mackies are both reliable and nice sounding. The studio I have been has Mackies, and the Professor that handles it (was an engineer and mastering engineer) thinks Behringers are garbage. Same thing goes for the pro audio people I've spoken to. These are just opinions though. I'm sure you could find a thousand people who would claim either side is the best.

Now that isn't to say you couldn't use a Behringer. It isn't like X desk is going to make you sell a million albums. But I haven't had anything but great pleasure from my Mackie 1402. It even was filled completely with water from a ceiling leak and still works. Imagine I could drop it off the table and it would work too.
 

norty303

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I have to say i spent 2 years on a production course using 32 channel 8 buss mackies and i really liked them, which was one of the reasons the 1604 was appealing, the layout is virtually identical
 
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