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Author Topic: Allen & Heath QU24 or Soundcraft Expression Si 3?  (Read 20562 times)

Jeff Fessler

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Allen & Heath QU24 or Soundcraft Expression Si 3?
« on: March 02, 2014, 02:26:38 am »

I'm helping a church decide on a sub $5,000.00 digital console in the next several months. The A&H QU24 and SndCrft Si 3 are two items high on the list, but I'm looking for some individuals with professional opinions to offer.

Any takers?
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Allen & Heath QU24 or Soundcraft Expression Si 3?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 07:51:19 am »

Any takers?

Nope.  From the Forum rules and policies:

 "Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums"

Sorry, but until you're in compliance with the Full Name policy, we're unable to answer.
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Scott Wagner

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Re: Allen & Heath QU24 or Soundcraft Expression Si 3?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 10:47:40 am »

I'm helping a church decide on a sub $5,000.00 digital console in the next several months. The A&H QU24 and SndCrft Si 3 are two items high on the list, but I'm looking for some individuals with professional opinions to offer.
Both of those options are certainly worth being on your short list. I would also add: Midas M32 and Behringer X32 (and variants).

In order to provide more that a list of possible choices, it would help to have a better understanding of the church's needs. Step 1 is to define the problem that you are trying to solve. After that, I'll bet you get all sorts of opinions.
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Scott Wagner
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Sammy Barr

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Re: Allen & Heath QU24 or Soundcraft Expression Si 3?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 09:42:49 am »

We have been very happy with the soundcraft. It is the easiest of the compact digitals to operate, in my opinion, sounds great, and has a small footprint.
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Jeff Carter

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Re: Allen & Heath QU24 or Soundcraft Expression Si 3?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 10:09:39 am »

If they have (or want) in-ear monitors, you also need to figure out how any personal mixers would integrate with the console. Digital consoles tend to have a limited number of analog outs, so running a bunch of analog direct outs to your Avioms (or whatever) isn't likely to be an option.

These days, if in-ears are involved I'd say decide on that system first and then pick the console to match.
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Samuel Rees

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Re: Allen & Heath QU24 or Soundcraft Expression Si 3?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 02:03:50 pm »

How many inputs currently using at the church? You are comparing a 24 channel console to a 32 channel console - that's not exactly apples to apples.

The Soundcraft's are very easy to use, and the A&H QU have also been reported as very user friendly around here. The Midas M32 seems to have the most features per dollar of the <$5k market, but that is (normally so) followed by some additional complexity. Each of these desks have pretty clear ups and downs... Try to define your goals more clearly and I imagine the choice will become pretty easy.

For example, if you are using. 23 inputs right now, getting a 24 channel desk probably isn't an excellent long term investment. Or, if it will primarily be used by volunteers or non-professional operators, ease of use might be very important and the simpler desks might be ideal.

Each company has their own personal mixing system.
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Adam Cooke

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Re: Allen & Heath QU24 or Soundcraft Expression Si 3?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 08:22:48 am »

I'm helping a church decide on a sub $5,000.00 digital console in the next several months. The A&H QU24 and SndCrft Si 3 are two items high on the list, but I'm looking for some individuals with professional opinions to offer.

Any takers?


You might want to add the Soundcraft Si Performer 2 to your list. I managed to find one for under $5000 and it has been a pleasure to use. I also use an Expression 3 and I realized I don't miss the Exp 3's additional 8 faders so much since the Performer 2 includes LCD scribble strips and VCAs. It makes effectively using all 4 layers even easier.


Both the Si Expression and Performer allow each fader layer to be totally custom, so you can put any input, output, fx, or VCA (on the Performer) anywhere you want on each layer. That's something that sets the Si series apart from most (all?) of the competition in the less expensive consoles and it's very important to my workflow. Also, having 66 input channels available, and soft patching of I/O - which allows running a FOH layer and a MON layer on the same board. The expansion card slot options are great too... for a digital snake or for recording. I'm using an Ethernet snake with a Mini Stagebox 32 on tour. The Performer 2 w/dig. snake's small footprint has made it possible to carry a console on a van tour with no trailer.


Both the Si Expression and Performer sound great, and are very easy to use. I haven't yet gotten my hands on a QU series.
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John Halliburton

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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 10:39:46 am »


You might want to add the Soundcraft Si Performer 2 to your list. I managed to find one for under $5000 and it has been a pleasure to use. I also use an Expression 3 and I realized I don't miss the Exp 3's additional 8 faders so much since the Performer 2 includes LCD scribble strips and VCAs. It makes effectively using all 4 layers even easier.


Both the Si Expression and Performer allow each fader layer to be totally custom, so you can put any input, output, fx, or VCA (on the Performer) anywhere you want on each layer. That's something that sets the Si series apart from most (all?) of the competition in the less expensive consoles and it's very important to my workflow. Also, having 66 input channels available, and soft patching of I/O - which allows running a FOH layer and a MON layer on the same board. The expansion card slot options are great too... for a digital snake or for recording. I'm using an Ethernet snake with a Mini Stagebox 32 on tour. The Performer 2 w/dig. snake's small footprint has made it possible to carry a console on a van tour with no trailer.


Both the Si Expression and Performer sound great, and are very easy to use. I haven't yet gotten my hands on a QU series.

I've done both.  Got to mix on a QU-16 over the weekend for The Clay Hess Band.  Clay is a Grammy winning bluegrass guitarist, FYI.

The concert series promotor knew I was looking into getting one of these, and had just purchased one last week.  He called and asked if I'd come down and help him make sure he had sound coming out of it for their last show of the season.  Nothing like a trial by fire, as I'd not been on one yet, only researched them pretty thoroughly.

Had some emails with Dick Rees during the week which were a nice help too.

Got down a few hours to soundcheck and unpacked the mixer and set up FOH.  The room is in an American Legion Hall, almost square, all plaster and tile-the curtains on the few windows are almost sheer and no help.  The stage is built into one corner, only a step tall, and carpeted.  FOH is in the opposite corner behind an unused(for these gigs anyway) bar.  You do want to step out from it to double check the mix.

One pair of Mackie powered 15" flown in line just off the front edge of the stage, about 12' apart.  Not the worst.  Unfortunately, a second pair on stands is set up about 5' wider than the flown units, and a couple of feet lower(ceiling is 12').

They have one Mackie sub on the floor.  One main xlr feed and daisy chain hookup for the speakers-if the sub fails, you'd have to go re-patch. ;>)

The trickiest thing we had to figure out is the menu screen for FX send level on a given channel-the manual wasn't super clear on this  one item.  I found the faders on sends quicker and more intuitive than an LS9.  Working around the board is pretty easy.  I did not set up any custom layer stuff, nor did we have any monitors on the floor for this gig.  The eq/processing power is impressive-four band overlapping parametric and 31 band graphic on each output, along with comp, gate, and delay.

A nice little "RTA" display of bar meters is available.

So I messed around with some eq for the house speakers, started barking into a mic from the mix position to see how channel setup feels, then we went on to setting up the band and soundchecking them.

The show went very well, and sounded pretty nice, even though the speaker deployment was causing some noticeable cancellations in the room.  Wasn't going to worry about that for this situation though.

One of the other promotors set up the recording feature, and took a two track recording of the show.  Looks very straight forward(I was occasionally looking over his shoulder as he set this up).

I've got my QU-24 on order.

Best regards,

John
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