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Title: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Hassan Siddiqui on July 22, 2021, 02:33:15 AM
Hello,

This is my first post and I hope I am doing it right. If not, I will fix it. So I am looking for a mixer that has at least 20 line inputs/direct outs/at least 4 post aux/and 4 subgroup.. I came across many old mixers such as the Mackie 24-8/Soundcraft Ghost/A&H GL2400/Midas Venice 240/Crest Audio XR20 and the APB Dynasonics Pro Rack.

I got a Mackie 24-8 for a few days which looked super clean from the top but started to run into problems just a few days in. Sound leaking into auxiliaries, static on monitor outs and a few groups out, and many more problems. I returned it. It's been over a week now and I still can't seem to find something which is within my budget(sub $2k) and won't give me many problems in the near future. 

I am able to find a Crest XR20 which is at a local store in NYC. It was returned by a customer, a long time ago and has ever since been in a warehouse. Getting almost a brand new open box for $700. I really want to get it as really ticks all the boxes for me, however, I haven't heard great experiences lately about Crest Audios/Peavey customer service recently. So I decided to call a few numbers today to see if I can get any support for the XR20 and all the numbers I got from peaveys website were not able to help me. I basically told them that I am getting this old mixer and is the support, still available for this product and they couldn't say yes or no. Some answered, some didnt. They were like we don't know. It's an old mixer now. Maybe we can maybe we cant. Depends if we still stock on parts etc.

Should i go ahead and get the mixer? Will i really have problems with getting any support later? Will I be wasting my money ?

P.s I would really like to get a APB Pro rack instead but my budget doesnt allow at this point in time. I spoke to the team of APB and they were super helpful which tells you alot about there customer service already. Always answered the calls and replied to emails without any delays.

Thank you for replying.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Dave Garoutte on July 22, 2021, 02:44:45 AM
Hello,

This is my first post and I hope I am doing it right. If not, I will fix it. So I am looking for a mixer that has at least 20 line inputs/direct outs/at least 4 post aux/and 4 subgroup.. I came across many old mixers such as the Mackie 24-8/Soundcraft Ghost/A&H GL2400/Midas Venice 240/Crest Audio XR20 and the APB Dynasonics Pro Rack.

I got a Mackie 24-8 for a few days which looked super clean from the top but started to run into problems just a few days in. Sound leaking into auxiliaries, static on monitor outs and a few groups out, and many more problems. I returned it. It's been over a week now and I still can't seem to find something which is within my budget(sub $2k) and won't give me many problems in the near future. 

I am able to find a Crest XR20 which is at a local store in NYC. It was returned by a customer, a long time ago and has ever since been in a warehouse. Getting almost a brand new open box for $700. I really want to get it as really ticks all the boxes for me, however, I haven't heard great experiences lately about Crest Audios/Peavey customer service recently. So I decided to call a few numbers today to see if I can get any support for the XR20 and all the numbers I got from peaveys website were not able to help me. I basically told them that I am getting this old mixer and is the support, still available for this product and they couldn't say yes or no. Some answered, some didnt. They were like we don't know. It's an old mixer now. Maybe we can maybe we cant. Depends if we still stock on parts etc.

Should i go ahead and get the mixer? Will i really have problems with getting any support later? Will I be wasting my money ?

P.s I would really like to get a APB Pro rack instead but my budget doesnt allow at this point in time. I spoke to the team of APB and they were super helpful which tells you alot about there customer service already. Always answered the calls and replied to emails without any delays.

Thank you for replying.

Soundcraft UI24 are $1150 right now.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Doug Fowler on July 22, 2021, 02:47:10 AM
Hello,

This is my first post and I hope I am doing it right. If not, I will fix it. So I am looking for a mixer that has at least 20 line inputs/direct outs/at least 4 post aux/and 4 subgroup.. I came across many old mixers such as the Mackie 24-8/Soundcraft Ghost/A&H GL2400/Midas Venice 240/Crest Audio XR20 and the APB Dynasonics Pro Rack.

I got a Mackie 24-8 for a few days which looked super clean from the top but started to run into problems just a few days in. Sound leaking into auxiliaries, static on monitor outs and a few groups out, and many more problems. I returned it. It's been over a week now and I still can't seem to find something which is within my budget(sub $2k) and won't give me many problems in the near future. 

I am able to find a Crest XR20 which is at a local store in NYC. It was returned by a customer, a long time ago and has ever since been in a warehouse. Getting almost a brand new open box for $700. I really want to get it as really ticks all the boxes for me, however, I haven't heard great experiences lately about Crest Audios/Peavey customer service recently. So I decided to call a few numbers today to see if I can get any support for the XR20 and all the numbers I got from peaveys website were not able to help me. I basically told them that I am getting this old mixer and is the support, still available for this product and they couldn't say yes or no. Some answered, some didnt. They were like we don't know. It's an old mixer now. Maybe we can maybe we cant. Depends if we still stock on parts etc.

Should i go ahead and get the mixer? Will i really have problems with getting any support later? Will I be wasting my money ?

P.s I would really like to get a APB Pro rack instead but my budget doesnt allow at this point in time. I spoke to the team of APB and they were super helpful which tells you alot about there customer service already. Always answered the calls and replied to emails without any delays.

Thank you for replying.

Find a way to get the APB mixer. Fantastic build, great sound, and supported by a company still in business.

With the others, maintenance lurks around every corner, everything else aside.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Rich Frembes on July 22, 2021, 10:02:15 AM
Find a way to get the APB mixer. Fantastic build, great sound, and supported by a company still in business.

With the others, maintenance lurks around every corner, everything else aside.

I second this notion. APB is the bomb for analog mixers (shy of the big boy touring favorites).
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Hassan Siddiqui on July 23, 2021, 02:39:02 PM
I second this notion. APB is the bomb for analog mixers (shy of the big boy touring favorites).

Thank you for the input. I was able to get a Midas Venice F24 through reverb for a fairly decent price. $1350 with shipping and anvil case with wheels. Ill check it out when it arrives.

If everything works well, thereís a Big cable order to be put through .. makes me always wonder why the sound community canít decide to go with a standard so there is less cable clutter. Anyways, excited about the Midas :) :)
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Mike Pyle on July 23, 2021, 04:34:10 PM
If everything works well, thereís a Big cable order to be put through .. makes me always wonder why the sound community canít decide to go with a standard so there is less cable clutter.

I think they did that already.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Brian Adams on July 23, 2021, 05:13:29 PM
I had an XR20 years ago and used the heck out of it. It was a great mixer for a lot of years, but I don't think I'd buy one these days, or anything else analog. I still see a few out there occasionally that work fine, but it's a crap shoot how long they'll last and if they'll be repairable when they fail. I'd rather use any modern digital mixer, and if it were me, that's where I'd be putting my money. Even an X32 blows the mixers you mention out of the water in terms of functionality, and they're close enough in sound quality that hauling a bunch of outboard with an analog mixer doesn't seem worthwhile. That's just my opinion though.

APB builds nice stuff though. If I wanted something analog, I'd be looking to them.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Brian Jojade on July 23, 2021, 08:19:58 PM
The nice thing about analog mixers is that electronically, they are relatively simple.  If you really want to keep one going, and have a soldering iron, you can generally do most of the service work on them yourself.  But, that being said, there's pretty much no reason I'd want an analog board for road work.  Digital is where it's at.  So much smaller, so much more flexible. So much less cable clutter to deal with.

Even the entry level X32 could be put up against just about any of the big analog boards and be pretty darned close.  Enough so that wanting to deal with the hassle of old analog just doesn't make much sense these days.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Tim Weaver on July 24, 2021, 01:24:06 AM
The XR20 and the APB Pro Rack were kinda the same mixer, right? Designed by the same guy/group?


I used one for a band many years ago and we thought very highly of it. Sounded great, worked great, had zero problems. I've considered picking one up for cheap for my home studio.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Doug Fowler on July 24, 2021, 08:17:42 PM
The XR20 and the APB Pro Rack were kinda the same mixer, right? Designed by the same guy/group?


I used one for a band many years ago and we thought very highly of it. Sounded great, worked great, had zero problems. I've considered picking one up for cheap for my home studio.

My understanding is when Peavey bought Crest, naturally various
people went different ways.

I used Crest consoles a lot for two years, 1999-2001 timeframe.  The Century series were rock solid, sounded good enough, and were affordable.  I did quite a few rider shows with the usual suspects listed and not one time in two years was a console rented in.

Crest 9001 is still a favorite sub amp if it fits the application.

Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Tim Weaver on July 25, 2021, 10:13:44 AM
My understanding is when Peavey bought Crest, naturally various
people went different ways.

I used Crest consoles a lot for two years, 1999-2001 timeframe.  The Century series were rock solid, sounded good enough, and were affordable.  I did quite a few rider shows with the usual suspects listed and not one time in two years was a console rented in.

Crest 9001 is still a favorite sub amp if it fits the application.

Yeah me too. We had a Crest Century GT and a VX. The VX was a massive 56 channel dude. Heavy beast. We took these desks to the B circuit festivals instead of the Midas XL4/XL200 set we also had at the time. Nobody complained. Back in those days we were routinely doing two FOH desks to flip-flop acts on so we had two large frame "nice" desks out front. Usually a Soundcraft SM12/SM20 set on stage.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Steve Payne on July 28, 2021, 10:04:38 AM
The XR20 and the APB Pro Rack were kinda the same mixer, right? Designed by the same guy/group?


I used one for a band many years ago and we thought very highly of it. Sounded great, worked great, had zero problems. I've considered picking one up for cheap for my home studio.

XR20 was designed, built and brought to market post PV takeover and somewhat under duress by the same design team that built the large frame Crest Century consoles.  It was this final project that was the writing on the walls for them for what the future of Crest consoles would look like under Peavey.  The team bid their farewells and started APB (Chuck Augustowski, John Petrucelli (RIP) and Taz Boghal).  The APB Spectra, ProRacks, MixSwitch and others were the pinnacle of their collective years of experience and the desire to start from scratch and build great sounding, bullet proof live mixing consoles.  They largely succeeded. I owned and used all of these various consoles on hundreds of shows.
Personal assessment:  Crest Century=tremendous value for money.  Good sounding, good functionality, well built, reliable.  Slipped in on one off riders time and again where more upscale mixers were speced.  /. Crest XR20=cheaply built.  Spartan but functional layout.  Bought this based on my great experiences with the Century consoles.  So disappointed in it I sold it within 6 months.  Considered it on par with Peavey and Mackie.  /. APB - a delight.  Sounded terrific.  Design was spectacular.  Build quality excellent.  We owned and used everything in their line.  I think that their product and pricing were a center field home run.  Too bad they were crushed by the inevitable digital snowball rumbling down the hill.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 28, 2021, 12:53:25 PM
My understanding is when Peavey bought Crest, naturally various
people went different ways.

I used Crest consoles a lot for two years, 1999-2001 timeframe.  The Century series were rock solid, sounded good enough, and were affordable.  I did quite a few rider shows with the usual suspects listed and not one time in two years was a console rented in.

Crest 9001 is still a favorite sub amp if it fits the application.
Since I was working at Peavey back then I know a little about it. I even spent time up at Crest on the team kicking the tires before the purchase.  Crest was not bought out because they were so successful. Hartley used money that was earmarked for another project but couldn't resist picking up Crest on sale.

XR20 was designed, built and brought to market post PV takeover and somewhat under duress by the same design team that built the large frame Crest Century consoles.  It was this final project that was the writing on the walls for them for what the future of Crest consoles would look like under Peavey.
I can imagine some duress from adjusting to the Peavey corporate design discipline. I will not debate the pros and cons of the two company's approaches. I learned more than I wanted to know about Crest's after the purchase. It is worth note who purchased whom.
Quote
The team bid their farewells and started APB (Chuck Augustowski, John Petrucelli (RIP) and Tax Boghal). 
that isn't the full list but I remained friendly with APB, at least the ones still alive (RIP JP).
Quote
The APB Spectra, ProRacks, MixSwitch and others were the pinnacle of their collective years of experience and the desire to start from scratch and build great sounding, bullet proof live mixing consoles.  They largely succeeded. I owned and used all of these various consoles on hundreds of shows.
Personal assessment:  Crest Century=tremendous value for money.  Good sounding, good functionality, well built, reliable.  Slipped in on one off riders time and again where more upscale mixers were speced.  /. Crest XR20=cheaply built.  Spartan but functional layout.  Bought this based on my great experiences with the Century consoles.  So disappointed in it I sold it within 6 months.  Considered it on par with Peavey and Mackie.  /. APB - a delight.  Sounded terrific.  Design was spectacular.  Build quality excellent.  We owned and used everything in their line.  I think that their product and pricing were a center field home run.  Too bad they were crushed by the inevitable digital snowball rumbling down the hill.
I spent too much time trying to drag them kicking and screaming into the digital age...  I designed the digital meter used inside the ProDesk master section, but I no longer see that console series offered on their website.

I was working on a digitally controlled analog automatic mixer with them but they were dragging their feet on the development no doubt distracted by market shifts. I ended up building my own working prototype of the digital guts to develop the software with. Finally after a couple years in, they abandoned the project as their "analog only" customer base faded (the Prospec 2U6M2S looks lot like our AM project but with the AM features stripped out). I take no pleasure in being correct about the low cost digital tsunami.

JR

PS: JP (RIP) was an engineer's engineer, I miss our discussions about subtleties of console design.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Doug Fowler on July 28, 2021, 08:44:40 PM
XR20 was designed, built and brought to market post PV takeover and somewhat under duress by the same design team that built the large frame Crest Century consoles.  It was this final project that was the writing on the walls for them for what the future of Crest consoles would look like under Peavey.  The team bid their farewells and started APB (Chuck Augustowski, John Petrucelli (RIP) and Tax Boghal).  The APB Spectra, ProRacks, MixSwitch and others were the pinnacle of their collective years of experience and the desire to start from scratch and build great sounding, bullet proof live mixing consoles.  They largely succeeded. I owned and used all of these various consoles on hundreds of shows.
Personal assessment:  Crest Century=tremendous value for money.  Good sounding, good functionality, well built, reliable.  Slipped in on one off riders time and again where more upscale mixers were speced.  /. Crest XR20=cheaply built.  Spartan but functional layout.  Bought this based on my great experiences with the Century consoles.  So disappointed in it I sold it within 6 months.  Considered it on par with Peavey and Mackie.  /. APB - a delight.  Sounded terrific.  Design was spectacular.  Build quality excellent.  We owned and used everything in their line.  I think that their product and pricing were a center field home run.  Too bad they were crushed by the inevitable digital snowball rumbling down the hill.

It hurt me to watch such enthusiastic talented people build basically soon-to-be obsolete top quality gear. 

To J. R.'s comment about digitally controlled analog, I vaguely remember speaking to Chuck about the project at a trade show.  I'm pretty sure I also spoke to M. L. about, and touched, a Showconsole (is that that the right name?)

Those were crazy trade shows.  Meyer rolled out their first line array at a show and it was a disaster (secondhand, I was working elsewhere on site).  This was after John M. published a paper on why line arrays should not be built (V-DOSC was drinking everyone else's milk shake at that time and Jeff was the devil incarnate for insisting on locked down factory DSP and amps),  PM-1D just appeared.

It was a hot mess. You had two new dominating, game changing technologies appearing at the same time.  Crazy times, indeed.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: doug johnson2 on July 28, 2021, 09:02:38 PM
PS: JP (RIP) was an engineer's engineer, I miss our discussions about subtleties of console design.
And a true human being.  Long after he had left Crest, I was rehabbing a Century VX.  I asked a question on this forum and he personally contact me.  We had several email discussions and he helped me immeasurably.  Not only did he point me in the right direction for finding parts, he actually sent a few that he had laying around.
Title: Re: Should I get the Crest Audio XR20?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on July 28, 2021, 09:04:49 PM
It hurt me to watch such enthusiastic talented people build basically soon-to-be obsolete top quality gear. 


I agree, it was painful to watch them go all-in with technology that was becoming less desired by the month.  Exquisite design, great mechanical execution (Olga!), and all the rich analogue goodness one would expect.

But the light at the end of the tunnel was an LED lamp over a digital mixer.  :(