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Author Topic: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player  (Read 10803 times)

WayneHarris

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Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« on: September 08, 2013, 04:38:11 pm »

Hi Guys

just joined the forum

i play about 120 - 150 gigs per year in my Bon Jovi Tribute Band https://www.facebook.com/bongiovitributeband

i run all my 2 keyboards and sound modules into my current desk (a Soundcraft ES) in Stereo, then send a left and right XLR from that to FOH, thats it!
done that for years and years, never had any moans or problems with sound engineers at gigs or festivals etc
desk cost me about 280 back in 2008 i think, its served me well!

but now, the ES desk is beginning to play up, slight crackling on a few of the inputs, and when i wiggle the cable gently, sound goes on and off
the pots are all still fine, none of em are giving me issues, just the inputs GRRRRRRRRR

was going to get it repaired, but having for 8 years, probably not worth the cost?
Soundcraft emailed me this, which i think is an OUTRAGEOUS pee take!

Wayne
We could take a look at it for you but there is no standard service as such - we would just test the desk and fix any issues we find while it's here. Our labour charge is 65/ hour + VAT. But without investigating it's difficult to say how much it's likely to cost. Once it's here we would get back to you with an estimate before proceeding with any repairs. A refused estimate would be charged at our minimum fee of 97.50 + VAT.
 
Having said that a very rough estimate would be 3 or 4 hours to strip down the unit and replace all inserts and retest. Obviously, it depends on how many crackly pots there are but a couple of hours on top for those?
 
Let me know if you want to go ahead and I will book it on the system. Turnaround time of 5 days should be possible.
 
Best regards
Dave Bartlett



so,  i have narrowed my choice down to a Soundcraft EPM12 or an Allen & Heath ZED14

have never owned A&H before, reliable? and is the ZED14 a better desk do you think?
have thought about Mackie, but not sure either

obviously want the best sound i can get

i`m no techy sound expert, so go easy on me! lol!  ;D
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 04:41:24 pm by WayneHarris »
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 04:48:18 pm »

It probably has cracks in some of the solder joints connecting the input connectors to a PCB.

If you could open it up and re-flow all of the joints it would probably be fine.


Steve.
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WayneHarris

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 04:52:01 pm »

It probably has cracks in some of the solder joints connecting the input connectors to a PCB.

If you could open it up and re-flow all of the joints it would probably be fine.


Steve.

Steve - i`m not at all technical or DIY enabled lol!

what does what you say entail?  i dont do soldering?

does the repair sound costly  :(
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 05:33:21 pm »

Hi Guys

just joined the forum

i play about 120 - 150 gigs per year in my Bon Jovi Tribute Band https://www.facebook.com/bongiovitributeband

i run all my 2 keyboards and sound modules into my current desk (a Soundcraft ES) in Stereo, then send a left and right XLR from that to FOH, thats it!
done that for years and years, never had any moans or problems with sound engineers at gigs or festivals etc
desk cost me about 280 back in 2008 i think, its served me well!

but now, the ES desk is beginning to play up, slight crackling on a few of the inputs, and when i wiggle the cable gently, sound goes on and off
the pots are all still fine, none of em are giving me issues, just the inputs GRRRRRRRRR

was going to get it repaired, but having for 8 years, probably not worth the cost?
Soundcraft emailed me this, which i think is an OUTRAGEOUS pee take!

Wayne
We could take a look at it for you but there is no standard service as such - we would just test the desk and fix any issues we find while it's here. Our labour charge is 65/ hour + VAT. But without investigating it's difficult to say how much it's likely to cost. Once it's here we would get back to you with an estimate before proceeding with any repairs. A refused estimate would be charged at our minimum fee of 97.50 + VAT.
 
Having said that a very rough estimate would be 3 or 4 hours to strip down the unit and replace all inserts and retest. Obviously, it depends on how many crackly pots there are but a couple of hours on top for those?
 
Let me know if you want to go ahead and I will book it on the system. Turnaround time of 5 days should be possible.
 
Best regards
Dave Bartlett



so,  i have narrowed my choice down to a Soundcraft EPM12 or an Allen & Heath ZED14

have never owned A&H before, reliable? and is the ZED14 a better desk do you think?
have thought about Mackie, but not sure either

obviously want the best sound i can get

i`m no techy sound expert, so go easy on me! lol!  ;D
I would likely want to pick between the two versions with integrated FX to avoid having an external reverb to worry about.

I would go with the Soundcraft EFX12 which has 12 XLR inputs vs 8 on the ZED 14fx.  I think I slightly prefer the efx on the Soundcraft as well (although both are OK).
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 05:34:36 pm »

Steve - i`m not at all technical or DIY enabled lol!

what does what you say entail?  i dont do soldering?

does the repair sound costly  :(

The repair sounds expensive because of the relatively low price of replacing it with current technology.  What they are saying is that they will replace the insert jacks (a common failure point in many mixers, it's due to oxidation or corrosion) and inspect solder connections and re-flow as necessary.  Re-flow can be several things, but it begins with heating the connection until the solder melts and PC trace & component lead reaches a particular temperature.  If that can't be done, the existing solder is melted and vacuumed or wicked away, and the joint re-soldered.

Existing solder connections can fail for a couple of reasons, but mostly the culprits are cold joints and broken solder (physical fractures, often very tiny and usually the result of impact or extended vibration).  Cold joints usually happen when the materials being soldered do not get heated to the melting point of the solder; the solder does not create a clean, solid bond because the base materials are "sinking" the heat from the molten metal.  This can also happen if the joint is rapidly cooled or physically disturbed while the joint cools.  Many times these failing connections exhibit a tendency to not work until a high level signal is applied, and the "jump start" will work until the level drops.

Going through the hundreds or thousands of solder connections with a magnifier or jeweler's loupe, looking for tiny fractures in solder is very labor intensive; many bench technicians will simply re-flow any connection that doesn't look perfect.  Either way involves hours of a technician's time.

There aren't a lot of comments on the PSW forums about the ZED mixers.  Since mostly the unhappy or confused folks post, I take the lack of commentary as a good sign.  While the same could be claimed of the Soundcraft you mention, I don't recall anyone talking about it, good or bad.  Perhaps its a USA thing...

Have fun, good luck.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 05:40:43 pm »

I run an EMP12 at a church I mix at; it's a good quality mixer and as far as I know they haven't had any problems with it. My only complaint is it has only 2 auxes but that won't be an issue for you. I'm sure the EFX12 or the ZED14/14fx are good boards too; I hear lots of good stuff about A&H boards.
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WayneHarris

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 07:04:04 pm »

I would likely want to pick between the two versions with integrated FX to avoid having an external reverb to worry about.

I would go with the Soundcraft EFX12 which has 12 XLR inputs vs 8 on the ZED 14fx.  I think I slightly prefer the efx on the Soundcraft as well (although both are OK).

Definitely dont need a desk with EFX
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 11:14:58 pm »

so,  i have narrowed my choice down to a Soundcraft EPM12 or an Allen & Heath ZED14
Wayne,

Do you use the mixer's EQ section or Aux sends for anything, or do you just use the mixer as a summing device to get all of your signals to a single stereo pair?

If you just use it for summing, you might want to look into a Rane SM82s stereo mixer.

I regularly use an Allen & Heath ZED-14 and find it works well, but it's a rather long/deep little mixer for its channel count.  It probably has a good 4 inches or more in length than a Mackie 1402.

I haven't used the EPM series from Soundcraft, but I generally like their mixers.

Whatever you decide on, "buy once - cry once".  Leave yourself some room for expansion, maybe the flexibility to do solo work (a mic preamp or two), and go with a reputable brand.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 12:18:37 am »

Wayne,
Soundcraft's response to your inquiry seems more than acceptable to me in light of the fact your board see's constant use and is eight years old. To be honest, most companies wouldn't bother with quoting a repair at all, and would have pushed towards the purchase of a new board directly.

As stated above replacing worn jacks or components of that type can be very labor intensive. Your decision now will be to choose between the brand you have had great success with for the past eight years, or a mixer from another company. Soundcraft's name alone stands for a measure of reliability and quality sound. If it were me, I would purchase a new board, and stay with the name that has gotten you this far, Soundcraft.
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RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS

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Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 12:32:57 am »

Quote from: Bob Leonard
As stated above replacing worn jacks or components of that type can be very labor intensive. Your decision now will be to choose between the brand you have had great success with for the past eight years, or a mixer from another company. Soundcraft's name alone stands for a measure of reliability and quality sound. If it were me, I would purchase a new board, and stay with the name that has gotten you this far, Soundcraft.


Can't agree more....you put 1000+ shows on it.  I think you got your money's worth.  Buy anther one and get your money's worth out of it too.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Mixing Desk Opinions for a keyboard player
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 12:32:57 am »


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