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Thread: Bgw amp plus eq for free!

  1. #31
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    Choosing the mixer




    The Allen & Heath Z-14 mixer was chosen. Simply because of its better quality construction than similar ones and that size fits my requirements. Only a little more expensive than a somewhat comparable Soundcraft EPM 12 for example. I went for manufacturing quality first instead of ideal functions. I also considered the purchase of the larger Z-18 but its simply more of the exact same thing, no real need for this, plus I still have Mackie to use as sub-mixer if need be. If the Z-18 had different useful or better features I would have purchased it. The Soundcraft MPMi 12-2 is a serious contender, thought I had found one but the retailer's Web page was not truthful, the mixer was discontinued, while retailer said it could be ordered...

    With regards to on-board effects, no real need for that at this time, since I still have a fine working Alesis reverb/delay/etc. unit, and I like the fact it has the settings written right on the front panel with the knobs : easy access, simple and fast to make any modification. 256 programs sound more than enough for me now.

    Newer effects devices often require to enter and navigate menus, scroll down, select a setting, and exit, etc. which I tend to see as a hassle, taking more time when trying different settings on the go or even to make a small change to the sound. For these same reasons I stayed away from digital mixers, more so when they're usually much more expensive (e.g. QSC Touchmix-8, 8 channels, about double what I paid for Z-14).

    Analog mixers are getting more out of fashion with the Pros, as I was told by a quite surprised Senior audio sales/integration rep seeing me requesting an analog one. Well, I'm not in the fashion business, and don't choose audio equipment on the basis of it being a hit with the crowd, it has to meet my own criteria. If others prefer the more trendy digital units, great I respect their choice. Mine is analog for the time being even if they take more space than comparable digital ones, probably caused by repeated hardware for every channel and more vs virtual stuff on screen. For me, everything is right where I need/like it: at my finger tip, no menus navigation, scroll, etc. Btw another fellow working there, younger guy, surprisingly agreed with me! So, that makes us at least two from different generations...

    The Z-14 mixer has genuine Neutrik connectors and 100 mm Alps faders instead of cheap imitations, individual circuit board on each channel like more expensive units have, easier to pull-out and service than one large circuit board in case of problem, nicer potentiometer knobs and the pots are nutted to the top panel for sturdiness. Nice fader and pot feel too.

    On the other hand, that mixer remains a compromise on some features. Not as flexible mixing board as I would have liked. e.g. No dedicated 1/4" connectors for stereo aux return(s), one must use the stereo channel(s) for this purpose, like too many other mixers these days... It does have four aux sends on 1/4" outputs, but only a single stereo return input on RCAs!! That logic is beyond me on Pro gear. Alt Out (alternate output) is also on RCA connectors!, another one where they dropped the ball. So two pairs of RCA that should have been 1/4" connectors for flexibility... Like good old Greg Mackie taught us. If one requires more RCAs then the adapter RCA to 1/4" is so simple, low cost and more robust than the other way around...

    As for Record Out and Two-Track return on RCA connectors its pretty standard in this mixer category and does make sense for project studios. The mixer's USB features can also be useful to record music to a hard disk.

    With regards to the latter two RCA out/in, I still have in the rack a relatively expensive cassette deck with 3-head, Dolby S noise reduction (S/N ratio 84 db), HX Pro, extended response, tape calibration, etc. that could use these connectors (or as a CD player input). Better yet, I also have two MD digital recorders (Sony's Mini Disk format), one in the rack, the other a pricey portable unit Made in Japan!

    Richard

  2. #32
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    Opening some of the new gear boxes




    I opened some of my new gear boxes to get actual serial numbers for online warranty registrations. On the other hand, I'm still far from installing all the new gear, more so when waiting for a new rack ordered.

    Though some have a serial number sticker on the outside of the box, the DBX EQ box contains a clear mention, at the beginning of the manual, to verify the serial number on box sticker VS the actual such number on the unit for discrepancies. I guess that type of problem occured in the past and would mean hassles to get warranty service if you registered # 12345 (box sticker) instead of # 54321 (on the unit) for e.g.

    At the same time, I looked at box content (six out of ten done), two amps, mixer and CD player to follow. While being there I took some pictures to be posted, plus have seen a few interesting things. I haven't removed all packaging material yet, these units still being stored temporarily. Box protection is best.

    In the Ashly crossover box there's a little surprise: two brand new AC power cord models, one for Canada (like the US) and another one which may be for Europe. First time I get two different ones in the same audio gear box. Manual says unit is good for 100-240V, 50-60hz, this explains why they put two cords in the box??

    However, manufacturers usually throw in the box the AC cord type for the country where it is shipped, saving the cost of giving a useless second one. The connector on the left of the picture with two round pins seems familiar (for Europe), but it also has a small metal plate with a hole in the middle of it, never seen that aspect before, for some ground pin? Could be newer European connector type not familiar with?

    If anyone knows please confirm that it is for these countries or not. The connector on the right side of picture I keep to power the device. If the one on the left is in fact a newer European type of plug as I suspect, I will probably never use that, therefore it may be available for free, let me know If interested, otherwise recycling? Seems like nice quality, equipment side connector rated 250V/10 amps and AC side connector rated 250V/16 amps. No indication of an AWG wire size (looks 16-18 gauge outside), but I do see on the cable 1.0 mm^2 which may be the European equivalent of AWG... BTW the manual doesn't talk about two AC cord options.

    More will follow soon with the gear pics mentioned above. Regards,

    Richard

    P.S. RE shipping: If, for example, a cable like this costs 10 Euros in Europe but it costs only the equivalent of 5 Euros to ship it there, then its a good deal.

    The Euro is worth about 50% more than the Canadian dollar. Today my bank purchases Euros at 1.46 CAD, but sells them at 1.57 CAD, high margin! Local currency exchange office may do better. This would mean in practice close to 50% discount on shipping cost to Europe, which should be low since its a small and light package (my packaging is free).


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