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Author Topic: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals  (Read 779 times)

Chris Eddison

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Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« on: November 19, 2022, 03:39:58 AM »

Hi All
Am starting to see a need for a personal monitor mixer within my setup. Largely musical theatre pits of up to 12 musicians. Lots of click track etc.
My console is a Roland M480 (at the minute - upgrade possibly coming in next 3-4 years). M48's would therefore be the most logical option, but they hold their value remarkably well in the used market, and there's not tonnes of options for cross rental near me (northern UK). Also with a move away from the Roland REAC family upcoming at some point, it seems logical to look elsewhere.

I'd need an analogue input box of some kind, and i'd passive split my pit channels before they head off to the PMM system and the front of house desk stagebox. Vocal groups etc. can come out of the Roland stagebox and straight in to the PMM system.
Behringer P16's are the budget new option, and i've got a reasonable quote from a friend who works for a distributor. However i'm seeing lots of Aviom a-16ii's going second hand for hardly anything. The feature sets look remarkably similar to the Behringers.
So here's the question, how does an older system like Aviom compare to the modern budget alternatives? I don't need any more feature set than the P16's or Avioms give me.
From what I can gather, there's some cross compatibility between Allen & Heath's ME1 range and the Aviom system. Given that an Avantis is a prime contender for my new console, i'm possibly leaning towards Aviom at the minute.
Clearly with an older product like Aviom, reviews are all a bit dated. Have searched the forums here and seen the usual smattering of issues and problems, but nothing more than other systems. Some comments that the system doesn't sound too great, but it's hard to know if that's true or just an older thread from something new to market that musicians didn't quite yet know how to set up and use, and weren't quite ready to accept yet. So here's the question; in 2022, would you buy a second hand a-16ii system if you were on a budget and the other choice was behringer? Do they still stack up? Any gotchas to watch out for?
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2022, 08:31:17 AM »

If you pick up a used Aviom system and intend to use it stand alone with a split snake you will need to get the input unit that has mic preamps they are the AN-16i-M. Those actually have pass through inputs and will take the place of a splitter, I worked with a band that carried their on system using that unit.
The more commonly found AN16i input unit is line level only.

The Behringer P16 stand alone input does not really have enough input gain to be used with mic inputs.

The A&H M1's will operate in 16 channel Aviom mode but will be much more expensive than
used Avion A16's

The Behringer system will not intermix with an Aviom system.

Maybe get a used Aviom system and start adding ME1's to as you get close to doing the mixer upgrade.

Chris Eddison

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2022, 11:41:07 AM »

Thanks Mike
That's pretty much my plan. The pass through's are really useful but will still be racking the AN-16i-M with some Behringer MS8000's (in link mode) in order to sum stereo sources to mono before hitting the system - I have lots of inputs that don't need to be stereo for IEM purposes but do at Front of House. Might put a small analogue rack mixer in there too so I can do a latency-free drum submix. Feel like submixing in my front of house desk will be a touch too much latency for a drummer (A-D, D-A, A-D, D-A).
I'll probably be buying and importing the mixers from a US seller, and getting the AN-16i-M from a seller here in the UK. US-UK postage is going to be the final piece of the jigsaw though. If it's not prohibitively expensive then I think it'll work out well. 

The compatibility with ME1 is probably the big news for me. Doesn't feel like i'll be building a system to just throw away in a few years time.
Talking to a few musicians over the years, they seemed to rate Aviom as being the industry standard, which they judged the P-16's against. Personally my favourite is the Roland M-48, as it ties in far better with my current Roland ecosystem and I like a lot of the additional features on it, but it's just not futureproof enough for me, and the mixers are still too expensive second hand.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2022, 01:09:08 PM »

If there is any way you can convert to dante I may have a deal for you. I'll have to look through my bin of orphan toys again, but I think I have the Dante hub and a good handful of the musician panels with mounts. I also have one of the an16i units I think.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2022, 02:11:11 PM »

If you're thinking of going Yamaha w/ the MY Aviom card, make sure to get the 16-II version. 

Any of those mixers may well need new pots and/or encoders by this point.  The parts aren't expensive, but
the circuit boards are a little difficult to work with (thick and with ground planes, tight component holes).
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Matthias McCready

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2022, 07:43:43 PM »

Hi All
Am starting to see a need for a personal monitor mixer within my setup. Largely musical theatre pits of up to 12 musicians. Lots of click track etc.
My console is a Roland M480 (at the minute - upgrade possibly coming in next 3-4 years). M48's would therefore be the most logical option, but they hold their value remarkably well in the used market, and there's not tonnes of options for cross rental near me (northern UK). Also with a move away from the Roland REAC family upcoming at some point, it seems logical to look elsewhere.

The Roland M48's are a unique product. It is the only IEM mixer I know of, where you can control it remotely (recall mix presets, routing etc) such as on an external computer (or a Roland console). It is a great product, and I was really excited (overally hopeful?) for it to be updated (as nothing else can do what the M48 can do).

Unfortunately as you are realizing they killed the product line off.

And at this point I would stay away, it is pretty end-of-life. We are still using them where I work, but every single Roland system is having problems, and getting repairs done or replacement units at this point is nigh impossible. I have 3 S-Madi (Madi to Reac convertors) that are acting up (to the point they urgently need to be replaced), and they have been scarce on the used market.

---

Avioms (while also old) are quite trust worthy in my experience, and they can often be had for pennies on the dollar. In my experience they sound better, have more headroom, and are much more durable than Behringer P16 units.

For what it is worth, if you happen to find an A&H GLD console used, it communicates natively with Aviom, which is pretty cool! That is not a bad monitor setup.Please note that QU, SQ, Avantis, and D-Live do not work with Aviom natively (from what I was told).
« Last Edit: November 19, 2022, 11:38:26 PM by Matthias McCready »
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2022, 08:25:30 PM »


For what it is worth, if you happen to find an A&H GLD console used, it communicates natively with Aviom, which is pretty cool! That is not a bad monitor setup.Please note that QU, SQ, Avantis, and D-Live do not work with Aviom natively (from what I was told).

Yep the GLD will let you easily select ME or Aviom, no such option on the others.
Maybe some is out there working on standards converter box!!

Matthias McCready

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2022, 11:40:28 PM »

Maybe some is out there working on standards converter box!!

To be fair there are plenty of options for protocol conversion, just the solutions can cost just as much as the IEM systems to begin with.
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Chris Eddison

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2022, 04:41:09 PM »

Thank you everyone for your responses. I think Aviom is the way to go. Especially with the link outputs on the mic input unit, which really helps me out.
The seller has a number of "as is" faulty units too. Many look to have missing buttons but some look pristine, suggesting electronics issues. I'm considering opting for these units rather than fully working ones - I'm an electronics engineer by trade and am quietly confident I can make a good number of working units out of the faulty ones. I've missed my deadline for them arriving for my next show (being in the UK, Thanksgiving had completely passed me by) so may as well take more time to fix them up and spend a bit less money.
Final question; anyone repaired these before who can give me an idea how straightforward they are to work on? I won't be able to look inside one until they arrive, by which point it's a bit too late! Button swapping, encoder replacement, common electronics issues would all be really useful to know about.
Thanks
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2022, 11:04:29 AM »

Final question; anyone repaired these before who can give me an idea how straightforward they are to work on? I won't be able to look inside one until they arrive, by which point it's a bit too late! Button swapping, encoder replacement, common electronics issues would all be really useful to know about.

They're a bit finicky to work on, because they have a multilayer circuit board with ground planes and rather tight component holes. Generally when I replace an encoder or pot I'm just cutting all the leads so that I can pull them separately.  Pre-heating the circuit board helps a bit, though.  The button switches are pretty common tactile switches, surface mounted so they are pretty easy to replace.  You can buy a kit of replacement knobs and buttons for the exterior stuff, and you can also still buy encoders, pots, and the jacks and such. In some cases Aviom will just give you a Digi-Key link for a part.

As far as getting one open, it's pretty easy.  Just remove all the screws on the bottom, including the one hidden under the label, and the back comes right off.  Then you just pry the circuit board up to pop all the buttons off from the front side.  Remove the knobs first, of course.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Aviom a-16ii purchase Vs newer rivals
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2022, 11:04:29 AM »


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