I purchased the Allen & Heath ZED-R16 Firewire Mixer a couple of years ago, and I have to say that I am extremely happy with it! I am a co-owner of a small recording studio that is part of the Terra Sounds School of Music & Arts (located in Glenview, IL, one of the suburbs of Chicago); our target clientele consists mostly of local artists interested in recording quality demo CDs and albums on a budget. I focus on doing the best possible work using the highest-quality equipment we can afford, but to put it in perspective, we’re not using Neves & Neumanns over here (although I’ve had previous experience working with high-end gear in pro studios and have an idea for what the pro sound is all about).
Setting up the ZED-R16 on a Macbook Pro was a breeze, not a glitch in the process. Coming from low-end audio interfaces like M-Audio 1814 and Yamaha i88x, I was immediately taken away by the quality of converters and preamps! The device seamlessly integrates its analog and digital functions, allowing for maximum workflow flexibility. The EQ sounds awesome, as promised, and I use it instead of plug-ins whenever possible.
The part I am enjoying the most is that it’s extremely useful in situations when you need to set up live sound and record as well. I’ve had a plug-in or two on all 16 channels, as well as reverb and delay sends, and was still able to run live shows with ~10ms latency or less. Simply amazing! I’d say it’s the ultimate bang for the buck. You can hear a nice recording I made with the ZED right here: Nylon-string guitar with OctavaMod MK-012s going into A&H ZED R16