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"Sleeper" Analog consoles - Consoles that are untraditional and low cost

Discussion in 'Backline' started by guitarguru777, May 7, 2012.

  1. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    Anyone have any good resources or information on analog consoles. I really want to put an analog console in with some decent pres and some EQ's I am jut so tired of being restricted inside the box. I have a few new things coming in the next few weeks but I don't have $40k + to spend on a quality analog console or even more to go full on SSL.

    I have seen a few Jade consoles going for around $10k, or some older Soundcraft stuff.....

    Lets discuss.
     
  2. BLUElightCory

    BLUElightCory Member

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    I've been really impressed with both the pres and ESPECIALLY the EQs in the Toft ATB consoles. The EQs alone are worth the price, and the pres were a runner-up in a blind shootout I set up for a class I teach (which also included pres by Great River, Universal Audio, and API) - almost indistinguishable from the big boys. I'd be fine with using them as my only pre if I had to. A couple of my analog-or-die peers gripe about some of the ATB's routing options, but as I've been using it (in conjunction with Pro Tools) I've had no complaints.

    The Soundcraft Ghost is also a decent low-cost board, I have a very good friend who used one for years and turned out great work.
     
  3. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    I recently picked up a 16channel soundcraft K1 in great nick and a flightcase. I like the EQ on it and the pre's seem solid. I'm using it to fill out the extra channels on my Fireface800 and I've been happy. 200€

    I've also used an allen and heath gl2200 a few times for recording and the pre's are not bad either. These go for 500/600 euro alot around here.

    I picked up a Hill audio concept 4400 32 channel desk for 125 in not great condition too. phantom doesn't work and a few channels have problems but I only use a few at a time on it anyway so it doesn't affect my use of it. Really nice EQ, and the pres sound nice when pushed into the red. I've used it on guitars with a few bands and been really happy with the results.

    I think alot of older desks have plummeted in resale value over the last few years, you see decent consoles going for peanuts as they're being phased out for digital desks in rental companies and plug ins in the studio market. They go for a fraction of what they would have been new.

    You should be able to 32 channels of something very nice for under 10k, especially if you keep your eyes peeled on classifieds, ebay, forums etc... and can wait a while.
     
  4. LoftMusicRob

    LoftMusicRob Member

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    Ebay! You can always find an amazing console in driving distance. I picked up a Neotek Elite II from a church in Chicago for $5,000usd and I got a Trident Vector 432 from Toronto for $8000usd (I just saw another Vector on ebay several weeks ago for $4000usd) The most difficult part of the equation is finding enough manpower willing to help move a 2,000lb console into a building.

    These days it is almost cheaper to buy a new (used) board than to fix an existing one.
     
  5. C-Martin

    C-Martin Member

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    Do you need it to have motorized faders? What about the Allen Heath GSR-24? I don't know the unit personally but everything i've read and heard about it makes me think that this would be a solid center piece for a small studio in need of a board with automation at an affordable.

    If not that one then the Toft would be my second choice if you only need the analog I/O.
     
  6. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    If you're looking at the $10k used market, keep in mind you'll easily find yourself spending another ten grand (or twenty) in commissioning and actually getting the board up and running. There are a lot of great desks available for what is relatively dirt cheap, but they're getting older by the day and thus more expensive to keep running.

    Anyway, good luck! There's nothing like a cool desk with lots of soul in it!
     
  7. Uros

    Uros Sonic Incision

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    +2 (for both consoles, they kick ass). I have personal experience with the Ghost (and I think that Andy has also done a few albums on it), while I've heard clips done with ATB and a lot of positive feedback (the console designer M.Toft also did the famous Trident 80).
     
  8. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    I'm surprised about the love for the ATB's. They're not bad by any means, but somehow I just wasn't all that impressed. A solid, cheap console for sure, but not really anything to write home about IMHO. And yeah, the routing was somehow ass-backwards... Can't really remember why, but I do remember the routing and the control room connections gave me quite a bit of trouble on that particular session.
     
  9. LoftMusicRob

    LoftMusicRob Member

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    Yes, some boards will need a little love, but research and ask questions. The Neotek I spoke of needed all new snakes because the assholes in the church cut off the cables. The Trident came with everything and then some. Most people will give you everything you need. You will find that most need a good cleaning and lube job but the boards are still in decent, if not great shape.

    I think it is worth it even if the board never turns on. Being in the room with a console sparks a whole new life in the player. People light up around those things and it can really enhance a performance just sitting next to it.
     
  10. hsnyder

    hsnyder Harris Snyder

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    Just something I'd like to throw into the mix: how do people feel about the Midas Venice? Specifically the new line, the Venice F series. The whole built in firewire interface thing is pretty cool...
     
  11. amarshism

    amarshism Member

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    theres a nice jade 56ch with dynamics going near me for under 10k, apprently its a very nice console
     
  12. colonel kurtz

    colonel kurtz Member

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    i've only heard good shit about the older venices, but from what i understand they got bought out by the "B" guys a couple years ago, so i'd beware of the newer offerings...
     
  13. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    If you keep your eyes open tridents pop up on vintage king for around $10k fairly often.
     
  14. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    They're noisy too. Great EQ's for the money, but they otherwise feel and sound typical for that price range IMO.
     
  15. Blacklight_Studio

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    I had an old soundcraft ghost 24ch desk with meter bridge which was realy nice and had a cool "wow" effect on clients ))) It was a good board actualy pre's are decent but EQ is great it was difficult to achieve that ITB later but it was in the year 2000, in 2010 I sold it with the complete outboard analog rig that I had (some not very expensive but decent devices) and I am happy with my PT HD setup now and mix completely ITB ) But when I get chance to work with old soundcraft's they always do their job well! But be ready to spend extra fee on their maintance, faders are always nasty and go off)
     
  16. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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  17. Mikaël-ange

    Mikaël-ange Member

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  18. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    To OP.

    Why is it that you want a console? They are all about maintenance, expensive electric bills etc. Why don't you buy 2 full racks of 500 series eq, comps etc. That would give you allot of mojo and coloration to your mixes.
     
  19. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    Mojo factor as well as color / eq. I have had quite a few people come in to look at the studio, see we dont have a console, and walk out. Initially I thought ok how about just a control surface and a few lunch boxes to save some cash, then I thought about routing and being able to use more external outboard via a nice patchbay bla bla bla and a console just made more sense.

    I only need 24 ch at the moment.
     

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