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Author Topic: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?  (Read 18876 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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Samuel Rees

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Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2013, 03:19:48 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).

Why don't you just get a real crossover and speaker processor like a drive rack? It's unusual to do the crossover in the board. It seems downright silly to choose a digital mixer based on this.

What do you mean you thought the graphics would give the full range of cutting and boosting?
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 03:42:55 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).

Now that you have listed the speakers it's clear all you want to do is high pass the mains and low pass the subs. This is a situation where you could get away with an analog crossover. The use of a dedicated speaker processor will give you much more control over the speakers and allow you to fine tune their response much better. If you are planning to use the subs in an "aux fed" setup you can just use the crossover on the aux out that feeds the subs, and leave your mains full range. If you want to run the subs and the mains as a biamped full range system use it to both low pass the subs and high pass the mains. If you use something like the Behringer DCX2496 ($350) you will then be able to optimize your speaker systems with eq specific to the speakers and set the delay offset between your subs and mains. You will also be able to set limits to provide some degree of protection for the speakers.

Mac
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Sean Hennessey

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2013, 12:34:29 pm »

dbx driverack PA plus has about 7 days left on the 100 dollar rebate.  can get it for cheaper than the behringer this way if you go through a good retailer.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2013, 03:20:49 pm »

dbx driverack PA plus has about 7 days left on the 100 dollar rebate.  can get it for cheaper than the behringer this way if you go through a good retailer.
The PA series are very limited in features - especially delay time and routing options. It would probably be OK for the OP today, but if he ever upgrades to more gear or does a permanent install of his gear, it will not be adequate. The Behringer would actually be a better buy.
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Samuel Rees

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Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2013, 04:30:35 pm »

The PA series are very limited in features - especially delay time and routing options. It would probably be OK for the OP today, but if he ever upgrades to more gear or does a permanent install of his gear, it will not be adequate. The Behringer would actually be a better buy.

Also has AES input so he can skip the conversion.
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Keith Holmes

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2013, 08:41:27 am »

Hi - I received my QU-16 last week and used it over the weekend for a youth Summer Camp. Being used to analogue it took a while to get my head round the layers and different mix combinations but eventually got it working with Mix 1 feeding the FX3 and Mixes 3&4 being the stage monitors. I was running the original firmware and unfortunately the board locked up so that although there was still audio coming from the person speaking through the system - none of the controls were responding which was particularly concerning as the band were on a group mute so they wouldn't be live.

The compere noticed I had an issue and the board rebooted in a commendably quick time. 3 more 'shows' went like clockwork. I even did multitrack recording to a Samsung S3 portable 1TB drive which worked well. You just have to factor in time for arming the recording but once thats done hit play and forget about it till the end. I noticed the freq and width parameters were reversed in the GUI compared to the physical knobs but thats been fixed in the firmware released this week.  Looking to get a suitable rack case for it but Thomann are quoting circa 300 for one which is a bit rich at this time for me! I plan to take it to church the next time I'm on sound to see how we get on - looking forward to see the reaction and not having to peer through a rack of compressors/gates/GEQ's to see the person speaking!



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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Samuel Rees

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2013, 10:59:30 am »

Haha that reversed GUI / knob Q control thing has been bugging me on LS9s for years!
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Duane David

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2013, 12:12:56 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=

This looks like a great board! I've played with the GLD series and was impressed with the ease of use and sound quality. I've always liked Allen & Heath products, good quality and decent prices. As for speaker processing, IMHO I would suggest a higher end model DSP with a digital input.That would keep the ADC and DAC to a minimum. I always recommend keeping the signal chain digital as long as is practical and stick with the higher end brands EAW, BSS Lake Systems, and the upper end Driverack systems.  I also like the ability to connect to a wireless AP and play with the system settings while walking around the room. They are pricey for sure, but you can't put a price on great audio!
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Mac Kerr

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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2013, 12:16:52 pm »

This looks like a great board!

Please go to your profile and change the "Name" field to your real first and last name as required by the posting rules displayed in the header at the top of the section, and in the Site Rules and Suggestions in the Forum Announcements section, and on the registration page when you registered.

Mac
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2013, 01:31:40 pm »

This looks like a great board! I've played with the GLD series and was impressed with the ease of use and sound quality. I've always liked Allen & Heath products, good quality and decent prices. As for speaker processing, IMHO I would suggest a higher end model DSP with a digital input.That would keep the ADC and DAC to a minimum. I always recommend keeping the signal chain digital as long as is practical and stick with the higher end brands EAW, BSS Lake Systems, and the upper end Driverack systems.  I also like the ability to connect to a wireless AP and play with the system settings while walking around the room. They are pricey for sure, but you can't put a price on great audio!

Although if your digital mixer's snakes don't have digital I/O, having digital inputs on the DSP is worthless. And a shocking number of digital snakes don't have digital I/O.
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Samuel Rees

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 02:18:56 pm »

Although if your digital mixer's snakes don't have digital I/O, having digital inputs on the DSP is worthless. And a shocking number of digital snakes don't have digital I/O.

A surprising number of DSPs don't have them either. I had a thread a while back about it and they are few and far between in the medium price class. Bummer. Same deal with amps with DSP with no digital in. Most notably Crown XTI 2 amps,  dbx driveracks 260 and below, bss minidrive.

For me, I didn't have a big need for a processor, so I chose to go without because I didn't like any of the <$1000 processors with AES. Soundcraft seems to be the first low end digital console manufacturer to embrace lots of AES outs on their stage boxes.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2013, 11:00:21 pm »

Many consoles, and most of the mixpersons  know, start with the first aux as the first monitor mix, and the last aux as the last FX send.  If you do this, you won't have to change the existing configuration when you expand.  Plus, it just doesn't make sense IMHO for monitor 1 to be on other than aux 1 - it's much easier on the brain if it's 1-1, 2-2, 3-3......
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Anybody have thoughts on the Allen & Heath QU-16?
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2013, 11:00:21 pm »


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