Upgrade Time for our church mixer

Help us decide what to go for

Hi there !

We have outgrown our trusty old Peavey 16 channel mixer and is looking for an upgrade.

Taking into account that this is South Africa and choice isn’t really an option, we have narrowed it down to the following 3:

1: Yamaha MG32FX14
Price 8800 ZAR (South African Rand)
Nice options plus onboard effects

2: Berry MX3282A
Price 8200 ZAR
This one has 8 sub groups and (according to the web) better preamps than the average berry

3: Soundcraft LX7ii (24 channel)
Price 18000 ZAR
This one is clearly in a different league, and we don’t totally have the money for it, but it is a serious contender, and we will make a plan if we decide that this is the one.

The question is then if anyone has any more info about any of these - quality (build / sound) wise, and pro’s and con’s of working with them.

Then the other question is about the LX7. Is it so good that it is worth the price being more than double ? What do you get for the extra moolah ?

Thanks all !

Wihan

Well, you know the variability of behringer stuff. Never can tell if or when it’s going to break down.

Hi Wihan:
You have a monumental disicion to make … I’d hate to be in your shoes… If you decide on one and IT doesn’t fill the BILL… so-to-spaek at some later up-grade time somewhere down the road you’ll be the one that gets the attention for offering your mixer opions… now… ???

You know… Nobody ever regretted buying quality… But quality comes at a MONEY Price… 18.000 beans is a quite a "Spread’ from the average of the other two, that you are considering…

I have to ask? What’s not right about the OLD Peavey you are going to replace? Or… What model is that Peavey… anyway?

What’s not working on IT … that you have decided to do away with the OLD Peavey?

Something to keep in mind when upgrading… You have to spend 4 x’s the value… in money to double the quality… In My Opinion… That is…

Bill…

Yeah Bill, you’re right. If it was MY money it would have been easier.

The old mixer only has 16 channels and two prefade ‘aux’ sends, and no inserts.

At the moment we only have about 3 channels open.
We are moving towards two things that need a better mixer:

1: An in ear monitoring solution where we need more busses / inserts for individual signal returns to the stage

2: We are going to be spending some time/money on a booth/dampning for the drums. Then we’re gonna need more channels to mic it properly. More channels on the mixer and extra subgroups would make that easier on the sound people.

So the Peavey (although about 15 years old) is still an awesome mixer (we had him properly serviced about 2 years ago with them replacing all the dodgy pot’s and sliders), but we are now at a point where every single upgrade that we consider for anything sound/music wise in our church is dependant on more options in the mixer.

Thanks for replying

Wihan

Hi Wihan,

Can you get Peavey products without much trouble? I just recently seen an ad for their “Sanctuary Series” of mixers designed for houses of worship. Initial looks indicate some really great features for church use. Check the Peavey web site.

D

PS I have NO idea what the price range is on those things though…

I’d look for a used Mackie 24/4 VLZ too. You can get them for about $600-800 USD used and yhey are tanks. I love mine.

Thanks Tim.

I remember end of last year when I 1st found out about those as well.

Had all the functions that we could only dream of (and some that made a hellova lot of sense in a church environment).

And then we saw the price…

This is the 24 (21 effective) channel model:
http://www.sanctuary-series.com/mixers/s24.cfm

<!–QuoteBegin>

Quote
Another feature unique to Peavey Electronics is a new type of mid-equalization control called the Mid-Morph™(patent pending). This control is actually two mid controls in one. When cut, it pulls out low-mid frequencies that causes the sound to be thick and muddy; when boosted, it shifts to an upper-mid frequency that brightens the vocal range.

All channels have three band equalization, assignment selection, mute and post-fader sends to Monitor 1 and Monitor 2. The first 18 channels also have sends to the internal effects.


For 2000 US $

This is the yamaha MG3214FX for 1099 US$:


<!–QuoteBegin>
Quote
14 Buses in All for Flexible Signal Routing
In addition to lots of input channels, live sound reinforcement applications usually demand a number of additional mixes – usually in the form of group sub-mixes and aux sends for external signal processing and monitor mixes. In both the MG24/14FX and MG32/14FX you have a total of 14 mix buses: the main stereo program bus, four stereo group bus pairs for convenient channel grouping, six auxiliary busses (four configurable for pre-or post-fader operation and two set up as effect sends), and two internal effect busses that feed the dual high-performance built-in effect processors.

Insert I/O
All mono input channels feature insert I/O patch points so you can insert compressors, EQ, or other extra signal-processing gear into the channel signal path as required.

3-band Mid-sweep Channel EQ and HPF
The 3-band equalizers with sweepable mid band provided on all input channels are designed for exceptionally smooth, intuitive response that can help you to create cleaner, tighter mixes. All microphone input channels also feature a switchable high-pass filter that can be used to cut out unwanted low-frequency noise.


Only 2 post fader sends on the peavey, no sweepable mid and only 21 inputs for about double the price …

Sheez …

I also thought we had a winner 'till I started comparing prices.
The higher models have more options / functions, but then also a waaaay higher price…

W.

I’d hold out for Soundcraft or Allen & Heath. I’ve seen some on ebay lately at attractive prices.

I currently have the Berry MX2442 (little sister to the MX3282 - which btw is no longer in production) and would NOT recommend it to anyone anymore. Although the faders are made by Alps, they are really cheap (rails are really, really thin). Within a year or so, I hope to retire mine and have my eye on the Yamaha MG line to replace it. The Yamaha is well built and has almost all the features that I love on the Berry unit, except for Solo on each channel. And the cost difference (at least here in Canada) between the Berry and the MG line is very slim. That’s the direction I’m heading (once I can convince my bookkeeper wife of the need).

Paul

Another vote for Soundcraft here.

We’ve used 2 Soundcraft mixers at our church for the last 10 years - sound great and have never given us any problem. In fact when we upgraded the mixer about 5 years ago I bought the old one from the church (for a song) and it’s still going strong in my studio.

Hi again Wihan:
How many “Ear” sends/groups/busses are you contemplating? What system/brand are you leaning toward? Is IT a wireless setup? Will some of the “Ear” sends be duplicated? As in… will more than one EAR Group be tied to… or hearing the same “Send” ? Those sorts of questions//

Bill…

Soundcraft or Mackie, ya can’t go wrong with either. :D

Thanks for the replies so far !

Bill, to answer your question, what we are gonna have for in ear’s will look as follows:

- Wired for now - no money for wireless :(
- We have about 8 people at a time in front: Drummer, bassist, accoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, and 3 singers.
-Berry (4 channel) headphone amps (x2). They have a ‘master’ input for all the channels, and a seperate input on each channel as well, and you can mix between the two. I’ll get to this later.
-We will send a master mix (or a submix through an aux bus depending on what works the best) to the ‘master inputs’ of the two headphone amps, so everyone will have that in their ears.
Then (probably through the inserts) we’ll send every channel seperately into the channels on the headphone amps, so that each person can mix the master mix with their own input (‘more of me mixing’).
This takes the load of the sound engineer to not have to worry about the monitors as well.

The subgroup busses will be used for subgrouping of the drums, and possibly the singers and the other instruments depending on how the soundguy works. It will also be used for different feeds to other areas in the church (the mother’s room and some other rooms where they need to be able to monitor what’s going on in the church).



So to answer your question, we need enough prefade aux’s to have (possibly) two monitor submixes, sends for a recording feed, inserts (wich is pretty much standard) and submix groups, as well as parrallel outputs…

The more aux’s and busses the better we will be future proof.

Wow

I think I have confused myself now …

W

Hi Wihan:
What a nice set-up you’ll have…

On “Stages” that I’ve had expirence with and “Wired” ear monitors, the guys had “Single rack Space units” that would hold (4) pieces… Then they each had a Belt unit. that they could control the level of each “Ear”… In each ear was a Copy of the Main Mix… in one side and a Copy of themselves… in the other side. In the copy of themselves was … if they were vocalists and players… they could, from the rack unit adjust their voices and their instrument… Then from their belt pack they could mix their one ear to whatever level they wanted to set… along with the Main Mix in the other ear… Then… the overall level of Both Sides… Well… they each had control over how and what they wanted to hear… Who knows what they heard??

In each “Rack Unit” was four inputs… A stereo L/R input for each ear… with a switch to make them four mono inputs… ??? whatever… with a level and pan… Or… four level controls… On the Belt pack there was two level controls. However… I don’t remember the Brand Name, of this stuff…

Bill…

I’m tellin ya… Mackie SR24.4 used: 6 aux sends, 4 bus…

link

Funny thing about Mackie mixers. Not long ago I was visiting our local pro audio repairman and asked about Berry versus Mackie. He pointed to a huge pile of Mackie mixers (literally! they were all over). There weren’t any Berries there at all. He said "Need I say more?"

No doubt part of the reason is that Berries are so cheap you don’t bother to fix them, you buy another. Still, I found it rather interesting and contrary to what I expected.

The Soundcraft gear there had been dropped. Badly. :;):

I’ve used a lot of Yamaha gear over the years and am very impressed, though I haven’t had or used their mixers. They look like excellent feature sets. I have a pair of Yamaha power amps I’ve used regularly since 1978 and I had to take them in to get a few capacitors replaced (which was why I was talking to the repairman). And now they’re back in service. 30 years on a power amp is pretty good. Especially, since they’re passively cooled, I left them on all the time. Well, I used to – now my 1982 Bose EQ is starting to die so I turn 'em all off when I’m not using them.

I’ve also had great luck with TASCAM mixers, of which I have 4 and all are still in use with never any defects except for meter lights going out. This includes the ones where I learned how and why NOT to patch in a direct feedback loop (a lesson I “learned” quite a number of times). No idea if today’s models are any good, though.

Hey that is a way low price on that link, Bubba. You can’t find a 16-channel that cheap – at least, I couldn’t when I was looking a year or two ago. Maybe the 16-channel boards are more popular? Hard to figure.

Oh – reserve not met. We’ll see how it ends.

a lot of people don’t recommend berry, but here’s my opinion, many of the people who buy a cheap berry mixer also only get the very little ones, the most cheap of the bunch. they are then upset that it doesn’t work well and something breaks. I had a 8 mic pre, 18 channel mixer of theirs and was always very impressed by it. the mic pres weren’t very noisy at all, everything felt pretty smooth and I never had ANY trouble with it. in fact, I’ve got a ada8000, had one of their mixers, have a headphone amp (had another 8 channel one as well, but realized that the impedance on that one was higher than my headphones-which for guitar amps is a bad thing, so I bought the 4 channel version instead) and have even had a compressor for a little while. I NEVER had a SINGLE problem with ANY of the items I had. I also didn’t buy the lowest end model one they made, so back to my original point, that MAY be part of the problem.

I really like behringers stuff so far. they’ve all sounded great for the money, have all been reliable for me, and have been worth the purchase every time. just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions :)

I’d like to get one of thier larger mixing consoles some day for live shows as well.

Quote (learjeff @ Feb. 17 2006,14:14)
Hey that is a way low price on that link, Bubba. You can't find a 16-channel that cheap -- at least, I couldn't when I was looking a year or two ago. Maybe the 16-channel boards are more popular? Hard to figure.

Oh -- reserve not met. We'll see how it ends.

You just need to wait long enough. I scored mine at $579 or so about 4 months back.