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Author Topic: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?  (Read 9897 times)

Paul Shahinian

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I am the guitarist (and sound man) for our 5 piece classic rock band and I'm shopping for a good small board for sound reinforcement. We've been using a Yamaha 16 6FX, which has one pre-fader aux send and a second post-fader aux send. We play live with 4 stage monitors and we all want to have something a little different in our monitor mix, so I'm looking for a 16 to 20 channel board that has 4 pre-fader aux sends so that when we tweak the volume of the mains we don't disturb the monitor mix. Whenever we adjust a fader to raise the volume on somebody's mic, we also cause the monitor to feedback because its volume gets raised too. Any advice for an affordable simple board that has those 4 pre-fader aux sends? It doesn't need to be fancy or have a lot of other features. thanks for responding.
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Steven Gustafson

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 04:49:59 pm »

I am the guitarist (and sound man) for our 5 piece classic rock band and I'm shopping for a good small board for sound reinforcement. We've been using a Yamaha 16 6FX, which has one pre-fader aux send and a second post-fader aux send. We play live with 4 stage monitors and we all want to have something a little different in our monitor mix, so I'm looking for a 16 to 20 channel board that has 4 pre-fader aux sends so that when we tweak the volume of the mains we don't disturb the monitor mix. Whenever we adjust a fader to raise the volume on somebody's mic, we also cause the monitor to feedback because its volume gets raised too. Any advice for an affordable simple board that has those 4 pre-fader aux sends? It doesn't need to be fancy or have a lot of other features. thanks for responding.
Check out the Presonus mixers.  Clean pre's, comps, gates, it wouldn't take long and you will improve your bands sound overall.  Plus, if everyone has a iPhone, you can mix your own monitors onstage!  Definitly worth a look.
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Mark Long

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 05:01:13 pm »

You don't state what "affordable" is, but the venerable Allen and Heath MixWiz is one of the most touted small work horse boards around.
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Paul Shahinian

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 05:33:03 pm »

You don't state what "affordable" is, but the venerable Allen and Heath MixWiz is one of the most touted small work horse boards around.
thanks for the responses. The band decided I have $500-, but I might be able to stretch that a bit. I was looking at the Yamaha MG206USB which is available under $600-  new, but only has 3 pre-fader aux sends. I was also looking at the Allen and Heath, which you can buy used for that amount of money. The Allen and Heath appears to be a no frills board and has no group sends, if I understand correctly. Is it unreasonable to buy a board with 4 aux sends and rewire any of the post fader aux sends to be pre-fader? I can pick up a Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro for around $300- used and it has 2 pre fader and 4 post fader aux sends. Would it be reasonable to have at least two of the post faders changed to pre-fader or am I opening a can of worms?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 05:51:48 pm by Paul Shahinian »
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 06:05:40 pm »

I believe the Allen & Heath 16:2 WZ3 can do four monitor mixes without modification, but it also has a lot of internal jumper options.

Mark Long

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2012, 07:06:52 pm »

thanks for the responses. The band decided I have $500-, but I might be able to stretch that a bit. I was looking at the Yamaha MG206USB which is available under $600-  new, but only has 3 pre-fader aux sends. I was also looking at the Allen and Heath, which you can buy used for that amount of money. The Allen and Heath appears to be a no frills board and has no group sends, if I understand correctly. Is it unreasonable to buy a board with 4 aux sends and rewire any of the post fader aux sends to be pre-fader? I can pick up a Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro for around $300- used and it has 2 pre fader and 4 post fader aux sends. Would it be reasonable to have at least two of the post faders changed to pre-fader or am I opening a can of worms?
Some thoughts:
  • I'm not sure what you mean by no frills, but the MixWiz is a well made, good sounding board with very good EQ for the price range. It may not have a ton of features, but I tend to go with good quality features rather than quantity.
  • What are your needs for group sends?
  • Some boards do have internal options for pre/post fader, you'll have to do your research. If you are suggesting rewiring it internally, forget it.
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Tim Perry

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 07:33:10 pm »

thanks for the responses. The band decided I have $500-, but I might be able to stretch that a bit. I was looking at the Yamaha MG206USB which is available under $600-  new, but only has 3 pre-fader aux sends. I was also looking at the Allen and Heath, which you can buy used for that amount of money. The Allen and Heath appears to be a no frills board and has no group sends, if I understand correctly. Is it unreasonable to buy a board with 4 aux sends and rewire any of the post fader aux sends to be pre-fader? I can pick up a Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro for around $300- used and it has 2 pre fader and 4 post fader aux sends. Would it be reasonable to have at least two of the post faders changed to pre-fader or am I opening a can of worms?

Not exactly in your price range but you did say "best"... I think you would be happy with a Soundcraft LX7-16.   

Closer to your budget the Soundcraft GB2R-16 is worth a look.
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michael sveda

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 07:56:34 am »

Yamaha MG206C Mixer CAN DO 4 pre-fade aux sends which leaves no auxes for external effects.  12 mic channels + 4 mic/line channels.

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Jordan Wolf

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 08:34:44 am »

Paul,

The mixer is the one point of your system where EVERYTHING comes together.  You can find a used MixWiz 16:2 for around your budget, and I'd highly recommend it - as would many others.

I am actually using a Mackie 1604VLZ-Pro right now (literally…right now) and am REALLY wishing that I had another mid sweep on the channel EQ.  I am utilizing one subgroup on the mixer to bus a few panel mics to one channel of a graphic EQ (so that I can use the channel EQ more for tonal changes than feedback fighting). 

Subgroups are a nice thing to have, but not always necessary.  If you can adequately "get by" without them, go for a MixWiz 16:2; if not, there are some other options.  Also realize that you can always use another mixer as a submixer for similar instruments (keyboards come to mind).
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Jordan Wolf
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"We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds... Cause there are so many sleeping people." - Jimi Hendrix

duane massey

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Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 10:41:30 am »

+1 on MixWiz, especially in your budget. Learn to live without the sub-groups.
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Duane Massey
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: What is the best small board for small club sound reinforcement?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 10:41:30 am »


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