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Author Topic: $500 analog mixers  (Read 13468 times)

Craig Smith

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$500 analog mixers
« on: April 29, 2017, 07:52:47 pm »

I'm looking for a sub-$500 mixer with 6-8 mic channels, effects, and a computer interface.  I mainly do small amateur theater and need something with real faders.

The Presonus AR12 caught my eye, but I couldn't find any discussion on it here.  I like the SD slot, the channel signal lights, and the multi-track capability, although I must admit that I hate the look of Presonus.  But I'm mainly wondering about quality.  I found some user comments on store sites that said the faders were really cheap, but then a found a magazine article that said they really good.  A local store sells it, so I plan to go in and see if they have a demo model.

Here are some of the other ones on my list:
A&H ZED-12FX - best quality of the bunch, 100 mm faders
A&H ZED60-14FX
Mackie ProFX16 - level set light, not sure if that works as a signal light
Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK - multitrack, some negative comments here
Yamaha MG16XU - not sure if these are different, but I've been using an MG124CX and the fader knobs keep coming off in the middle of shows

The Presonus 16.0.2 has more of the features I want, but not sure I can justify it.  And the old Firewire interface ...

Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks.

*Edit (basically a summary of comments below):
I need a post-fader aux, so the Presonus, A&H 14FX, and Mackie are out of the running.  So is the Peavey PV 14, which otherwise has a lot of features I'm looking for.  I'm learning towards 8 mic inputs, which puts pressure on the 12FX.  After researching Presonus digital mixers I'm leaning away from them as well.  I like the features of the Soundcraft over the Yamaha, even the basic Sig 12 at $100 less, but am mainly interested in quality at this point.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 01:18:43 pm by Craig Smith »
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Brian Charbobs

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 06:27:17 pm »

I'm looking for a sub-$500 mixer with 6-8 mic channels, effects, and a computer interface.  I mainly do small amateur theater and need something with real faders.

The Presonus AR12 caught my eye, but I couldn't find any discussion on it here.  I like the SD slot, the channel signal lights, and the multi-track capability, although I must admit that I hate the look of Presonus.  But I'm mainly wondering about quality.  I found some user comments on store sites that said the faders were really cheap, but then a found a magazine article that said they really good.  A local store sells it, so I plan to go in and see if they have a demo model.

Here are some of the other ones on my list:
A&H ZED-12FX - best quality of the bunch, 100 mm faders
A&H ZED60-14FX
Mackie ProFX16 - level set light, not sure if that works as a signal light
Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK - multitrack, some negative comments here
Yamaha MG16XU - not sure if these are different, but I've been using an MG124CX and the fader knobs keep coming off in the middle of shows

The Presonus 16.0.2 has more of the features I want, but not sure I can justify it.  And the old Firewire interface ...

Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks.
I just purchased the SoundCraft 12 MTK and so far seems to do what I need it to do. I was looking for a small format mixer for a DUO i play in and this fits the bill for me. My main issue was getting (2) Auxs on a small format mixer, this was the only one that I found that did it for me. Owned Presonus, but it gave me a lot of repair issues, but lots of good folks use them. Never tried to record yet, but will tackle that next.
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Dave Scarlett

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 10:38:09 pm »

I owned a Presonus for a short while and it felt cheap. Every time this question comes up I recommend a Peavey PV mixer and the new PV AT 14 gives you a ton of features and 8 channels for only $399.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PV14AT
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Craig Smith

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2017, 01:04:27 am »

Thanks.  Yeah, after reading more on here I'm hesitant about Presonus.  I forgot about the Peavey mixers; they used to look kind of cheesy but those look nice.  And some really nice features -- both signal and clip lights, headphone jack and control in a sensible place, XLR on the aux send, media player, and a mono switch!  I've been waiting for someone to offer that for years. 

But unfortunately the aux is hardwired pre-fader, and I need a post-fader aux.  I see that also rules out the Presonus, Mackie, and smaller A&H anyway.  I'm leaning towards the Soundcraft, mainly because of its two extra channels vs the A&H.  A few negative notes but mostly positive.  Leaning away from the Yamaha at this point.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 01:36:32 am by Craig Smith »
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Scott Slater

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2017, 07:42:06 am »

A&H ZED-12FX

It feels cheaper than its bigger brothers (Mix Wiz & GL), but compared to the others, it is very solid.
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Steve Garris

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 12:58:39 pm »

A&H ZED-12FX

It feels cheaper than its bigger brothers (Mix Wiz & GL), but compared to the others, it is very solid.

Yes. After looking around I've decided on the 10FX for my talking head, small mixer needs. Note that is has a variable mid control on each channel. Also nice that it has a standard IEC cord - no power brick.
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Brian Charbobs

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 01:35:28 pm »

Yes. After looking around I've decided on the 10FX for my talking head, small mixer needs. Note that is has a variable mid control on each channel. Also nice that it has a standard IEC cord - no power brick.

What about the SoundCraft Signature Series?
I just bought the 12MTK and it had 2 Aux sends along with built in effects.
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Brian Charbobs

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 01:36:22 pm »

OK
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kel mcguire

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 02:10:47 pm »

Personally the look of a mixer means very little to me. I've owned the little Peavey, still have a 4 channel PV. It's built like a tank, steel frame, solid knobs, fixed EQ..crappy power supply.  The AH ZED are quite nice too. Better EQ, IEC cable internal PS.

I like the idea of the Presonus SD Capture two track, and the interface. You could sort of do a virtual sound check but without the ability to adjust anything in real time.

I still love my 1602 and use it all the time. Presonus has hinted at a replacement, but when it dies I'll probably go to a QSC Touchmix 16.
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Craig Smith

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Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2017, 01:38:51 am »

Thanks everyone.  I had a chance to play with a 10FX and it felt good but of course it was just knobs, not faders.  I'm glad most have an internal power supply.  I would really like 8 channels, so I'm a bit discouraged.  If I didn't worry about USB it would open up some of the better mixers, but it would be nice to have.

Between the Soundcraft and Yamaha which would you recommend?
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Presonus StudioLive AR Mixers
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2017, 01:38:51 am »


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