Originally Posted by Bassmankr
Well I have to disagree with the premise that you have to spend $15k as the starting point for a decent desk or you may as well stay ITB. Frankly a Mackie 24-8 or 32-8 will give you added 3D over ITB at less than $1k if you are willing to put up with their other limitations. There have been plenty of good D&R's and Neoteks under $10k that have been up for sale in the classifieds here to prove that point (wasn't there a nice D&R for under $3k being shopped here recently?). If you go through a middle man or broker there will be plenty of extra cost so the key is smart direct shopping and waiting for the right deal. Of course you would be silly not to factor in other costs like cabling and converters but it's simplier to keep the cost of a desk at the price you pay for the desk to make apples to apples comparisions a bit easier. The bigger questions to answer regarding desks are: How many channels do you need at mix? How many channels do you track at a time and will you be using the desk's pres? How good / usable is the desk's EQ? How many busses will you need? How flexible is the routing - both Pre and Post inserts? Are you looking for a transparent or color desk? It's not just about budget, it's defining your needs then seeing what fits them in your budget range.
Actually, I think the poster earlier was saying $15k total investment (desk + repairs + routing/patchbays + outboard fx). Given that, (and based on my limited experiences), I'd have to agree. The initial price of the console is not the final cost of the system, even if you don't have to sink and time/money into fixing up the console.
Oh - and earlier when I was comparing my Series 70 to the ATB, I was talking about the Series 70 line inputs (no transformers there) not the mic inputs.