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Author Topic: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?  (Read 18877 times)

Michael Kim

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Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« on: June 20, 2013, 01:09:31 pm »

Hi all,

I was wondering if anybody had experience with the new QU-16 from Allen and Heath. I currently have the A&H ZED420 and I was looking to upgrade my setup with personal monitoring and with some better DSP.

I'm not at all an expert in digital mixers, but this seems like a bargain since it eliminates the need to purchase:

  • Aviom AN-16/i
  • ME-U
  • Driverack 260
  • Individual channel compression

My biggest concern at this point is the quality of the DSP on the main mix. My guess (uninformed) is that the Driverack 260 might have an advantage, but I'd love to be told I'm wrong, so I can go ahead and purchase this sweet piece of gear without reservations. If the onboard DSP isn't up to snuff, there isn't any way to augment it, so I'm sure you guys can understand the shyness. For what it's worth, the official line is that the DSP is the same as the GLD line, although I'd rather hear it from you guys. As we set up and break down every week (shared space), having the rack mount would actually be a huge convenience.

Product description page here: http://www.allen-heath.com/uk/Products/pages/ProductDetails.aspx?catId=Qu16&ProductId=Qu16&SubCatId=
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Corey Scogin

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2013, 01:56:43 pm »

Hi all,

I was wondering if anybody had experience with the new QU-16 from Allen and Heath. I currently have the A&H ZED420 and I was looking to upgrade my setup with personal monitoring and with some better DSP.

I'm not at all an expert in digital mixers, but this seems like a bargain since it eliminates the need to purchase:

  • Aviom AN-16/i
  • ME-U
  • Driverack 260
  • Individual channel compression

My biggest concern at this point is the quality of the DSP on the main mix. My guess (uninformed) is that the Driverack 260 might have an advantage, but I'd love to be told I'm wrong, so I can go ahead and purchase this sweet piece of gear without reservations. If the onboard DSP isn't up to snuff, there isn't any way to augment it, so I'm sure you guys can understand the shyness. For what it's worth, the official line is that the DSP is the same as the GLD line, although I'd rather hear it from you guys. As we set up and break down every week (shared space), having the rack mount would actually be a huge convenience.


The main mix processing on most boards will not be adequate as a system processor.  The Driverack 260 and any other system processor will have a crossover with steep slopes of various types and it will also include a limiter.  If you don't need a crossover, you may not need a system processor in the first place.  The compressor on that board can be set up as a limiter though I wouldn't recommend using it that way. 

If all you would be using the Driverack for is a system EQ then any digital board will do.

How will the QU-16 replace an Aviom system?   You'll still need to buy the Allen & Heath personal monitoring system to use with the QU-16 if that's what you plan to do.

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Josh Hana

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2013, 02:06:07 pm »

Apparently the release got pushed back, they won't be delivering new orders until late september
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Michael Kim

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2013, 02:57:05 pm »

The main mix processing on most boards will not be adequate as a system processor.  The Driverack 260 and any other system processor will have a crossover with steep slopes of various types and it will also include a limiter.  If you don't need a crossover, you may not need a system processor in the first place.  The compressor on that board can be set up as a limiter though I wouldn't recommend using it that way. 

If all you would be using the Driverack for is a system EQ then any digital board will do.

How will the QU-16 replace an Aviom system?   You'll still need to buy the Allen & Heath personal monitoring system to use with the QU-16 if that's what you plan to do.

Re: crossing over, couldn't a similar effect be achieved by using the graphic eq on different sets of mixes (auxes)? I will be using two mains and two subs, so this is relevant.

Re: in-ear monitoring, definitely understand that I would still need to purchase ME-1's, but being a digital mixer, there's direct out to ethernet, which eliminates the need for any analog->digital unit.

Apparently the release got pushed back, they won't be delivering new orders until late september

So there may still be units in stock in some places, but no new ones coming out from A&H?
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2013, 03:13:27 pm »

Re: crossing over, couldn't a similar effect be achieved by using the graphic eq on different sets of mixes (auxes)? I will be using two mains and two subs, so this is relevant.

No. The console will not replace the need for speaker processing. You can use the built in graphics as your house and monitor eq, but not as a crossover and speaker optimizing system.

Mac
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Samuel Rees

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Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2013, 03:18:56 pm »

Crossover processing definitely can not be done with a graphic EQ. How were you suggesting you would do that?

For simple output EQs, relying on the on board graphics and parametrics is no problem. For crossovers, like filters between subs and tops or between woofers and high drivers, you need special crossover filters, especially if you are trying to follow manufacturer suggested processing (they may suggest LR48 filters, or BW24, etc etc). The only digital console I'm aware of that has filters like this is the X32, and that's a novel feature.

What speaker system are you using, so we can figure out what your real crossover requirements?
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Corey Scogin

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2013, 03:23:20 pm »

Re: crossing over, couldn't a similar effect be achieved by using the graphic eq on different sets of mixes (auxes)? I will be using two mains and two subs, so this is relevant.

From the A&H QU-16 manual:
The following processing is available:
Mono input CH1-16= Source, Preamp, HPF, Gate, PEQ, Compressor, Delay, stereo Linking
Stereo input ST1-3= Source, Trim, HPF, Gate, PEQ, Compressor, Delay
FX Return 1-4= FX parameters, PEQ
Mono Mix1-4= Graphic EQ, Compressor, Delay
Stereo Mix5-10= Parametric EQ, Compressor, Delay
Main LR= Graphic EQ, Compressor, Delay


The parametric EQ cannot be configured as a High or Low Pass Filter as far as I can tell.  A High Pass Filter exists on the inputs but not outputs.  The Graphic EQ certainly cannot be used as a Low/High pass filter.  If each output had a high/low pass filter, it would work but it's likely you'd want the option of using a steeper slope (ie 24db/octave) than would be provided in a basic high/low pass filter.


On a slightly different topic, I was hoping to find that the QU-16 or Expression 1 would be on par with my LS9-16 but so far I have not found that to be the case in regards to flexibility. As shown above, it seems a bit arbitrary to include a parametric EQ on some outputs and a graphic on others.  Why not both or at least give the option.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2013, 04:08:24 pm »

On a slightly different topic, I was hoping to find that the QU-16 or Expression 1 would be on par with my LS9-16 but so far I have not found that to be the case in regards to flexibility. As shown above, it seems a bit arbitrary to include a parametric EQ on some outputs and a graphic on others.  Why not both or at least give the option.

From what I've read about this "new" crop of digital mixers the x32 seems to be the most flexible; it has a lot of routing options and parametric(or if you want to use an effects slot graphic) EQs wherever you need them. Also it has the built in speaker processing and enough outputs for that to be usable. I'm really looking forward to the new smaller x32s; they'll have much more processing than the QU-16, not to mention the higher channel count. The only bad thing is that it says "Behringer" on it....
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Michael Kim

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2013, 01:40:35 pm »

Thanks for all the comments. Thought that digital graphic eq's would give full range of cutting and boosting, but makes sense.

Working with a consultant to retrofit, but I'm doing additional legwork on the personal monitoring situation.

Proposed system is

2x EV Sx100+ (currently owned)
2x JBL STX818S
powered by 2x Crown 3500

I know the JBL's don't come with crossovers. If there are any other suggestions for a model with crossovers that's as universally liked, I'm game to suggest it. The main issue we have in my space is clarity, as it's quite echo-y. I don't think we'll be driving anything hard, as the goal is to have plenty of headroom (the current system without subs actually pushes out good enough volume, although it's being pushed a little hard I think).
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2013, 02:27:22 pm »

Why don't you ask the consultant what his suggestion is...that is what you are paying him for right?
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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2013, 02:27:22 pm »


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