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Author Topic: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2  (Read 21585 times)

Chuck Simon

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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2016, 11:54:10 am »

After using and owning both, I can not detect any difference in the quality between the Impact and Expression.  I have no experience with the Performer.

I would not be surprised if the Expression is soon to become an endangered species, just like the Compact!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 11:56:50 am by Chuck Simon »
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2016, 03:50:28 pm »

Are you sure about that?  Objectively?  In blind testing?

Soundcraft say that both the Expression and Performer use Vi pre-amps, and I've never seen anything to suggest that the Performer has an audio performance premium over the Expression.  Though, yes, it does have greater mix capability, scribble strips - not to mention DMX  ;)

Which made me look harder at the Impact - can't find any boasts about the mic pres in the Impact - wonder if they've cut corners there, or have given up on the "how good the pres are" line?

Alec,
I didn't say there was an audio quality difference. I said;

" Those of us using the Performer series will probably all attest to a higher level of quality over the rest of the Si series."

I believe the component and build quality to be a bit higher on the Performer models within the Si series. I don't believe anyone is going to hear a sonic difference if the boards are set up and used correctly.
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Steve Payne

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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2016, 05:40:36 pm »

Are you sure about that?  Objectively?  In blind testing?

Soundcraft say that both the Expression and Performer use Vi pre-amps, and I've never seen anything to suggest that the Performer has an audio performance premium over the Expression.  Though, yes, it does have greater mix capability, scribble strips - not to mention DMX  ;)

Which made me look harder at the Impact - can't find any boasts about the mic pres in the Impact - wonder if they've cut corners there, or have given up on the "how good the pres are" line?

 >> Soundcraft say that both the Expression and Performer use Vi pre-amps, <<

Really?  Please show me where Soundcraft states this.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2016, 08:00:29 pm »

I agree Steve. I have read this about the Performer but not the Expression.
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Alec Spence

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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2016, 08:37:08 pm »

>> Soundcraft say that both the Expression and Performer use Vi pre-amps, <<
Really?  Please show me where Soundcraft states this.
I had a good scan round to check this out over the weekend, and found info on Soundcraft's website that said that.  Nothing conclusive about the Impact, mind.  Of course, can I find it again now....?

I believe the component and build quality to be a bit higher on the Performer models within the Si series. I don't believe anyone is going to hear a sonic difference if the boards are set up and used correctly.
Thought so (on the lack of sound difference).  What makes you believe the component/build quality is higher on the Performer?  Soundcraft never made anything of this angle.  If fact, it was *all* about the DMX functionality when it was launched, with a little mention of the scribble strips, and barely anything of the mix capacity.
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2016, 08:45:28 pm »

I had a good scan round to check this out over the weekend, and found info on Soundcraft's website that said that.  Nothing conclusive about the Impact, mind.  Of course, can I find it again now....?
Thought so (on the lack of sound difference).  What makes you believe the component/build quality is higher on the Performer?  Soundcraft never made anything of this angle.  If fact, it was *all* about the DMX functionality when it was launched, with a little mention of the scribble strips, and barely anything of the mix capacity.

Once you have worked on a Performer, you will see very quickly that the build quality is better. The knobs and faders have a much more solid feel.

I own all 3. Compact, Expression and Performer. I can tell you from my experience that the way I run the settings on each (for the same band) is different.

I notice a difference with the mic pre's and the comp's primarily between the Expression and the other 2 models. The Compact and the Performer I usually run virtually the same.

Forgot.

I've worked on the Impact a couple of times. To me it feels just like the Expression.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 08:59:53 pm by Jamin Lynch »
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Branimir Bozak

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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2016, 09:07:52 pm »

>> Soundcraft say that both the Expression and Performer use Vi pre-amps, <<

Really?  Please show me where Soundcraft states this.
First post, so brace yourself...

The early Si series brochure:
https://www.ccisolutions.com/StoreFront/jsp/pdf/SND-SIEXPRESS_SPECS.pdf

"All the mixing power in the world
is useless without great sound.That’s why we gave
Si Expression ultra-transparent, high-headroom,
recallable mic preamps with digital control straight
from our Vi1 console, and DSP performance from
the advanced audio labs of Soundcraft Studer."


I think they wanted to say the Si series has digital controled preamps just like Vi1, but not really Vi1 preamps ;)

And then, there is an another brochure:
http://soundcraft.com.s3.amazonaws.com/downloads/brochures/Si-Expression-Brochure-MR.pdf

"Soundcraft Co-Founder Graham Blythe’s acclaimed microphone
preamps and ‘British’ equaliser still adorn the Si Expression
with signature Soundcraft sound today."


"16/24/32 recallable GB mic inputs with locking
connectors and phantom power indicators"

...

Bought the Expression 3 for touring purposes recently.
Have been working as a FOH/mon sound tech for nearly 12 years now, bands, rental, venues, you name it - have been through most of the stuff, from Si's to Vi6, Midas Pro series, Yamaha's, analogue MH series, Heritage...

Had only experiences with Expression and Compact before buying the Expression (used, but still under warranty).

I needed something that I can fit into the van with full backline, but with at least 24 channels of inputs, of course on a budget.
The new Digico S21 was way out of my budget (actually i think it's a great bang for the buck, but i don't have 5000 euros).
Have tried all the small stuff:
LS9 - seriously - it's 10 years outdated, sounds "okay" - for most of the stuff, undestructible just like any other Yamaha product, but I didn't feel like buying such an old console.
QU series from Allen & Heath - seem cheap under hand, faders and knobs, you cannot route channels, can't remember, but i think you can't even duplicate the input (i use it sometimes for vocals so i can send them to monitors with different eq and compression), and soundwise it's nothing special, nothing to write home about.
X32 - i've been working on this console a lot, it's full of features that mostly work, but generally just mimick the real purpose. The gate is excellent, key filter works fantastic. The on channel compressor is not really that good, and FX are... well nothing to write home about. Overall, a lot of features but mixes are really poor. I rate the old Allen & Heat analog GL2400 sounds better without any outboards connected, straight mixes sound a bit garbled with X32, the M32 does sound a bit better, and mixes don't sound bad even with the same scene loaded (same band).

In the end I chose Soundcraft.
No scribble scripts? I use it for one band only - so I don't care, but personally I think it's a bit outdated without it.
No 4 band eq? Well... most of the mid range analogue consoles did not have full parametric eq on 4 bands, and you could still do a proper EQ, so why not here?
Small screen? Actually the only time I need to look at it is when I change effect parameters (delay feedback for instance), or loading a show. The led's on the eq section do give enough information.
Rotary knobs above each channel - I think it's the only console in this price range with this feature, finally I can do fast pans of guitars during the song.

The Expression sounds very good!
To me - it sounds better than the QU and X32, and I would dare to say it sounds pretty good compared to M32 also.

You can get a proper mix with distorted guitars, and not having problems with differentiating instruments, the X32 sort of masks everything, I cannot explain it, but I think it's the amount of information that's actually been taken after the preamp is way to low to have decent resolution in a mix.

I cannot say the console sounds transparent, it does have it's own voicing - a sound, however you want to call it - and I like it.

The compressor on the Si does really remind of analogue compressors, in the way they operate - or should I say - I expect it to behave in some manner, and it does. A lot of digital boards have compressors that have been programmed by people who never used DBX160 or some other older stuff. I don't expect transparency and precision, I expect it to sound good, and the compressor on the Si does the job done. X32's compressor is not that good.

The EQ is also very good. Dare to say - it's musical - it is, unlike harsh X32 eq, Soundcraft's is usable when boosting highs for instance, and generally, the console sounds a bit "fatter", compared to X32.
FX - Lexicon's engine. I admit - am a fanboy of Vi series Lexicon's and these work pretty much the same, a clear winner.

I needed a console that I could bring to a club venue, or to an open air concert without having doubts that it will sound cheap.
I really like the old MH2 console and DBX160A's for vocals and bass, and classic Drawmer/BSS compressors/gates, and the Si is the closest I get to remind of that sound/the way they operate - in a small package. Having said that - I cannot honestly say that any high grade digital console (Vi6 for instance) compressors remind of the analogue outboards... They work great, but not the same.

First gig was in a sports hall, 3000 people attendance, and I was really satisfied how the console performed.


Next week I had two club shows, 1000 people attendance each day, and the room acoustics where much better, so I could get an even better mix.

Some time - in the future I would like to buy an USB/MADI card to have an option of recording multitrack, and also - since a local rental company has a Compact stagebox, I could rent it for really big concerts since I think the Compact stagebox has Vi1 series preamps, and should sound a bit richer than the Si Expression, maybe better A/D D/A also? More information to process in the mix haha.


I know, the band's popularity and the amount of gigs they play - in some other EU country it would mean much higher level of production, and for a similar type of band (popularity wise) - for instance in the UK or Germany - people would have guitar techs, roadies, foh and monitor guy, and probably more expensive console at FOH, but given the place and region I work at, we don't have guitar techs, roadies or a monitoring guy, so even the console had to be modest.

Once you have worked on a Performer, you will see very quickly that the build quality is better. The knobs and faders have a much more solid feel.

I own all 3. Compact, Expression and Performer. I can tell you from my experience that the way I run the settings on each (for the same band) is different.

I notice a difference with the mic pre's and the comp's primarily between the Expression and the other 2 models. The Compact and the Performer I usually run virtually the same.

Forgot.

I've worked on the Impact a couple of times. To me it feels just like the Expression.
Performer has better quality faders? Right?
Shouldn't the preamps and converters be the same across the whole Si range?
And btw you are not the first person I know that thinks the Compact sounds better than the Expression...

Cheers!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 09:10:16 pm by Branimir Bozak »
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Dan Richardson

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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2016, 09:03:17 pm »

Shouldn't the preamps and converters be the same across the whole Si range?

Yup. If you're using a stage box, it's literally the same I/O and preamps. What's going to sound better? Do they use cheap math in the Impact? Maybe an external clock would make the difference. [emoticon of hilarious laughing]
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Re: Soundcraft SI Impact or Expression 2
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2016, 09:03:17 pm »


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