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Author Topic: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?  (Read 78314 times)

Geri O'Neil

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #90 on: January 05, 2013, 08:00:50 am »

I haven't worked on the PM5D's or any Yamaha boards in that range, but everything I've used from their MG analog series to LS9's and M7CL's all have a noticeable tinge of mud in their preamps. And I consistently see engineers use them and fuss with the parametric eq on the speaker system for correction, when I hear it in the boards. 
 Gotta strongly disagree with some posts regarding the lack of love for Presonus, a company founded on preamp design.  Their preamps have so much more usable headroom than anything else in their class, very similar to the Midas XL3's I was accustomed to in the Venice series--a very different sound, more neutral than the Midas, but lots of range.
 Yamaha has other problems with the intent of their designs, and you can see how they're classified as "commercial products".  Nowhere in their own literature are their digital boards described as music or pro audio products.

Wow...on several fronts...just...WOW.

Geri O
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #91 on: January 05, 2013, 08:24:49 am »

I haven't worked on the PM5D's or any Yamaha boards in that range, but everything I've used from their MG analog series to LS9's and M7CL's all have a noticeable tinge of mud in their preamps. And I consistently see engineers use them and fuss with the parametric eq on the speaker system for correction, when I hear it in the boards. 
 Gotta strongly disagree with some posts regarding the lack of love for Presonus, a company founded on preamp design.  Their preamps have so much more usable headroom than anything else in their class, very similar to the Midas XL3's I was accustomed to in the Venice series--a very different sound, more neutral than the Midas, but lots of range.
 Yamaha has other problems with the intent of their designs, and you can see how they're classified as "commercial products".  Nowhere in their own literature are their digital boards described as music or pro audio products.

You indict a product range you've never used.

How do you separate the preamps from the rest of the mixer's circuitry to make your evaluations?  How is it the rest of the console magically removes itself from the signal path?
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #92 on: January 05, 2013, 09:32:57 am »

Silly Tim,

All you have to do is carry a signal generator, power supply, an O-scope and a few hand tools. Then if you hear a muddy mix simply ask FOH if you can pull a few channel strips during a break. No magic at all, as I ROTFLMFAO.
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Peter Morris

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #93 on: January 05, 2013, 09:42:31 am »

How do you separate the preamps from the rest of the mixer's circuitry to make your evaluations?  How is it the rest of the console magically removes itself from the signal path?

Exactly ! 
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Jim Baron

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #94 on: January 05, 2013, 11:03:22 am »

You indict a product range you've never used.

How do you separate the preamps from the rest of the mixer's circuitry to make your evaluations?  How is it the rest of the console magically removes itself from the signal path?

As I said in my post, I have used them.   Mind you, there are loads of shortcomings with Yamaha consoles I could go on about, like the poor use of "real estate" or layout, etc., but the topic of this forum refers to sound, and I've noticed a common problem with the sound of Yamaha consoles, from analog to digital.  I noted that the range of Yamaha consoles I haven't used are their top of the line range. And a rep from their company admitted the difference in preamp designs to me and assured that the PM's have a better Class A preamp in them.  Wow, now that Midas' XL42 has been discontinued, Presonus is the only pro mixing console manufacturer who sells the preamps from their boards separately.
  Of course, "commercial" products are for professional use, but what kind of professional use?  Compare what's acceptable gear for corporate work (JBL EON's, Samson DB500a's, Yamaha LS9's) against what's acceptable for music applications. For years, Midas boards big and small had (and maybe still have) 2 preamps in them: XL3 and XL4.  Like Allen & Heath, they're a company that built designs, keeping professional artists and engineers in mind.   Yamaha has always competed with them on price, not musicality, and it shows.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #95 on: January 05, 2013, 11:13:54 am »

As I said in my post, I have used them.   Mind you, there are loads of shortcomings with Yamaha consoles I could go on about, like the poor use of "real estate" or layout, etc., but the topic of this forum refers to sound, and I've noticed a common problem with the sound of Yamaha consoles, from analog to digital.  I noted that the range of Yamaha consoles I haven't used are their top of the line range. And a rep from their company admitted the difference in preamp designs to me and assured that the PM's have a better Class A preamp in them.  Wow, now that Midas' XL42 has been discontinued, Presonus is the only pro mixing console manufacturer who sells the preamps from their boards separately.
  Of course, "commercial" products are for professional use, but what kind of professional use?  Compare what's acceptable gear for corporate work (JBL EON's, Samson DB500a's, Yamaha LS9's) against what's acceptable for music applications. For years, Midas boards big and small had (and maybe still have) 2 preamps in them: XL3 and XL4.  Like Allen & Heath, they're a company that built designs, keeping professional artists and engineers in mind.   Yamaha has always competed with them on price, not musicality, and it shows.

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury.  Signifying nothing."

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Jim Baron

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #96 on: January 05, 2013, 11:18:14 am »

Exactly !


When you hear mud, yes, you check the strip.  A very easy way to pinpoint the preamp is to listen to the signal's pfl on a good set of cans, before the signal hits the strip.   Hearing the difference between two really good preamps is tough, but spotting a commonly poor preamp from frequent experience is pretty easy.
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Mac Kerr

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Separate mic preamps
« Reply #97 on: January 05, 2013, 11:48:08 am »

Wow, now that Midas' XL42 has been discontinued, Presonus is the only pro mixing console manufacturer who sells the preamps from their boards separately.

Midas still sells preamps separately, the xl48. Yamaha does as well, the AD-8HR. Behringer also sells their preamps separately, like these.

For ballpark pricing,  the Behringer ADA8000 is $30/ch and not remote control, the Presonus Digimax D8 is $50/ch and not remote control, the Midas XL48 is $200/ch and not remote controllable, the Yamaha AD-8HR is about $300/ch and is remote controllable. I would be interested to know how much difference there is in construction quality, and audio quality between a $30 preamp and a $50 preamp. I wouldn't expect it to be too much.

If the xl48 truly is 8 xl4 preamps it is the bargain, too bad it cannot be controlled remotely so it could live onstage. Moving up in price the Aphex 188 is about the same price as the xl48, although the more fully featured 1788a is 3x the price, and the Grace 801 is a litle more than the 1788a, and probably the best of the bunch.

I only mention the Aphex and the Grace to give a little perspective on the mic pre packages from the console manufacturers.

Mac
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #98 on: January 05, 2013, 11:50:21 am »


When you hear mud, yes, you check the strip.  A very easy way to pinpoint the preamp is to listen to the signal's pfl on a good set of cans, before the signal hits the strip.   Hearing the difference between two really good preamps is tough, but spotting a commonly poor preamp from frequent experience is pretty easy.

All the consoles I am familiar with the PFL is Pre Fade Listen not pre channel strip listen. Adjusting the eq is heard in the PFL, ergo you are listening to the channel strip.

Mac
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Jim Baron

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #99 on: January 05, 2013, 12:12:20 pm »

All the consoles I am familiar with the PFL is Pre Fade Listen not pre channel strip listen. Adjusting the eq is heard in the PFL, ergo you are listening to the channel strip.

Mac

Yes and, obviously for comparison reasons, you can turn the strip on or off on most consoles.
  Good to know about the other separate preamp products on the market, didn't know Midas came out with another one, but there are very few that actually have a demand for the exact preamps that are in the boards.  Mac, do you know which Yamaha boards have the preamps from the AD-8 in them?
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #99 on: January 05, 2013, 12:12:20 pm »


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