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4056G with what would you replace it ??? --- I need your advice ....
Old 28th January 2007
  #1
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pw8888's Avatar
4056G with what would you replace it ??? --- I need your advice ....

Hi,
I own a 4056G ,vca ,some mods, desk is OK.
I am looking to replace it in a near futur.I need advice.I am sure few of you guys had the same " problem".From january it's difficult (maybe impossible) to get replacement card from SSL.(I know..I can go to other places...).
I am about to go to the SSL factory to try a duality ,but the price is very very high (already discussed here)--(for what it is).But I can't talk before hearing and see it.

Things you need to know :

-I own a private studio
-I mix about 200-250 days a year (major label,big act)
-99% mixing
-They usually travel about 1000 km to mix with me (no WAY I can have some technical problem with something not reliable...and if the computer of my 4000 break down...)
-I do 95% automation OUTSIDE protools
-Don't talk to me about mixes ITB tutt
-I need 56 channels (minimum)


What I have in front of me is :

1-Buy a 9000J or K (second hand) (maybe cheaper than the duality)
2-The duality
3-Another brand (amek 9098i or focusrite console-i) -(I never heard either of them)
4-Neve VR,VX etc....(I am not crazy about those(I used to have a VR))

Thank you !!!


ps : thrillfactor,e-cue,thother.....advice welcome !
Old 28th January 2007
  #2
Registered User
 
Anderson's Avatar
 

Did you have a look at ADT consoles?

http://www.adt-audio.com/

Or Harrissons Series 12?

http://www.glw.com/seriestwelve.html

A few guys on GS could detail their Series 12 experience... All very satisfied.with it!
Old 28th January 2007
  #3
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dlmorley's Avatar
amek 9098i
If I could afford one, I'd LOVE to try one of these out...
Old 28th January 2007
  #4
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My first reaction was to say "If it ain't bust, don't try to fix it!"

When I read what it was you are trying to do, my next reaction was to say 'Amek' - then I got to the bit about automation. Supertrue - not very intuitive! (Esecially if you are used to something more normal!)

S/H Neve? I would call that a step backwards.

Which only really leaves either a used SSL J or K, or to re-cap, up-date etc. what you have got.

I have a friend who has a rather old Raindirk Symphony. He would possibly like to replace this desk with something more flashy and exciting, but when he changed a few things and changed the name of his business, the first thing his biggest and most famous customer asked him was "But you do still have that lovely old Symphony, don't you?"

So, not only do you stand a chance of loosing trade during a refit and re-commissioning of some other desk, but some customers may feel unsettled by the change of equipment and use that as an excuse to try somebody new for a change.

If I were you, I would be tempted to upgrade the desk I have got. Failing that and assuming that the money is burning a hole in your pocket, I would look at a J or K series. Larkings List has two Js for sale at the moment at £120k, but I would bet the farm that they'll take a lot less!

But you have to mix a lot of CDs before you have earned £100,000 clear profit - plus the cost of transport, commissioning, repairing, recapping and down-time.

My first instinct would be to go through the desk with a fine comb and write down every tiny fault, no matter how trivial (e.g. 3dB extra noise on AUX-send 3 on channel 17) and get it fixed, then perhaps recap the Preamps and the EQs. If you can fly a couple of guys out to do it on site, a recap could be done in a week or so and cost just £10,000, depending on the depth of the recap and how much fixing needs to be done.

If you feel that spare cards are a possible future problem, getting some now would be a good idea!

Then with all the money you have saved, look at things like monitoring and possibly adding 5.1 to your range of services. Or whatever you have always wanted to do or improve.

Just my 30 Cents worth!
Old 28th January 2007
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post
What I have in front of me is :

1-Buy a 9000J or K (second hand) (maybe cheaper than the duality)
2-The duality
3-Another brand (amek 9098i or focusrite console-i) -(I never heard either of them)
4-Neve VR,VX etc....(I am not crazy about those(I used to have a VR))

Thank you !!!
I guess a XL 9000K would be best......if you can spare $250k. I haven't messed with the Duality so I can't comment on that one. But it looks a bit to expensive If you ask me.

The Focusrite Studio console would be out of the questions since it's a maintenance hog.

Amek 9098i is an amazing desk if you can find one. I haven't seen one on the used market for a couple of years. My guess is, if you'll find one, that you'd pay around $120-150k for a 56ch.

The Neve's are better for recording IMHO. Even though the VXS sounds wonderful to mix on. They need maintenance every six month.

Harrison Series 12 would give you a cleaner and more high-res sound. Best mixbus on the planet. Deep, wide, smooth. And the automation is just sick. You can ride ANYTHING. And the instant recall is very nice. Harrison offers used ones to your specs at human prices.
Old 28th January 2007
  #6
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

I would service the SSL 4K you already have and keep it in top shape. If spares is your main concern that's really not a concern since it's the most sold large format console in the world. There will always be cards and parts from stripped consoles available. Like already mentioned, get all the spares you might need now.

If you really want to change the console, my vote goes to the 9000 J/K aswell. Keep in mind that the power bill will keep you sweating even more than the heat from the console.

There's a very good condition 9000 J for sale not very far from you if you might be interested.
Old 28th January 2007
  #7
theother
Guest
I had a G+ SE and have the same problem.

To be honest with you, if I still had the G+ I would probably keep it. There is nothing that is a lot better, just different.

So the question is do you want something different?

The 9098i will be the total opposite of a SSL. Could be good or bad.

I was thinking about the 9098i too (I'm sure it's the same you are considering), but I don't think it's what I'm looking for regarding the sonic footprint. The functionality is awesome, but then you can that ITB too.

When I had the G+ I was desperate to get something better, but know that I haven't got it anymore I'm not so sure there is much around.

If I can find the cash I might go for the Duality. The K eats a lot of electricity and is more difficult to maintain & install. Looks impressive though.

From what I've heard you can 'drive' the Duality better than any J/K. Which means it overdrives in a more pleasant way. Also the 2nd/3rd harmonics on the inputs might be a uesful too.

I would recommend to do a little testmix on a Duality and take it home to your G and compare the results.
Old 28th January 2007
  #8
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pw8888's Avatar
Thanks for the reply....

My main concern is maintenance and try to get a better sound when mixing "acoustic" stuff.
Don't get me wrong I like the sound of it ,but I am a bit afraid to keep that desk because of maintenance.right now it works great ! Out of a year I only had one card to change in the power supply.But even with upgrading a LOT in the console I still fing it a bit "small" kind of sounding (compare to the 9k or even VR).
I am a bit concerned with the duality "concept" having the PS in the console itself.What about the low end....really I am wondering...
Other advice welcome....
Old 28th January 2007
  #9
If you want more acoustic detail through a G, dump those Roederstein bipolar electrolytic caps. Replace them with correctly biased low impedance types like Panasonic FM, Rubycon Z or Nichicon HE. Bypass with a small polyprop film cap. The Wima MKP-2 .01 uf 250v fit's nicely on the rear of the pcb.

Then you can move on to those opamps... I found replacing the LM394 with a MAT 02 and the 5534 with a LM6171 in the stereo mix buss really opens up the top end details, sort of like after your ears pop when landing in a jet. Fix the VCA's too.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 28th January 2007
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post
Thanks for the reply....

My main concern is maintenance and try to get a better sound when mixing "acoustic" stuff.
Don't get me wrong I like the sound of it ,but I am a bit afraid to keep that desk because of maintenance.right now it works great ! Out of a year I only had one card to change in the power supply.But even with upgrading a LOT in the console I still fing it a bit "small" kind of sounding (compare to the 9k or even VR).
I am a bit concerned with the duality "concept" having the PS in the console itself.What about the low end....really I am wondering...
Other advice welcome....
There are 10 uf bipolar caps blocking the input of the stereo master VCA. Replace them with properly biased 47 uf 25v Panasonic FM's and that low end will start to come back.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 28th January 2007
  #11
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post
Thanks for the reply....

My main concern is maintenance and try to get a better sound when mixing "acoustic" stuff.
Don't get me wrong I like the sound of it ,but I am a bit afraid to keep that desk because of maintenance.right now it works great ! Out of a year I only had one card to change in the power supply.But even with upgrading a LOT in the console I still fing it a bit "small" kind of sounding (compare to the 9k or even VR).
I am a bit concerned with the duality "concept" having the PS in the console itself.What about the low end....really I am wondering...
Other advice welcome....
KEEP IT... The 4k is much easier to repair than the 9k. A Neve VR is about 5 times as maintenance heavy as an SSL 4k..

Just use some better sounding preamps. It shouldn't sound small in comparison to a 9k, those boards are really pretty good sounding besides the pre's. Are you using the onboard preamps?
Old 28th January 2007
  #12
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doubledecker's Avatar
I see the problem with upgrading.
Only upgrade that i see being worthwhile , from your perspective, is 9000.
Everything else is just too much of a hassle.
But if you really want to relax and forget about maintenance,
just get a D- Command man.
Old 28th January 2007
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post


ps : thrillfactor,e-cue,thother.....advice welcome !
If it were me i would ask myself...

Are people coming to me because of my mixing talent? My console? Or both?

If its both than you have to stick with an SSL.

If not than you can be more adventurous.

If you go with an SSL(which i personally would) at least checking out the Duality is a good idea. Check out the future and get any questions out of your system. Honestly i am in the school of "care more about right now and let the future take care of itself". I mean i haven't heard AW,CLA,TLA,Spike Stent,Bob C all who are the top SSL 4K mixers worrying about future support. If its really an issue than i would start stock piling parts(you should have some on the premises anyway). Also extra power supplies is a good idea. And lastly there are users worlwide that have lots of dough invested in these consoles so i am sure in the future the "SSL pipeline" will continue to flow somehow.

Which one? I also like the idea of the G+SE. It had all of the latest mods and it has the non caps center section. The advantage of a 9000K is that everything is automated(including the small fader which is really cool) and does better in the low end when handling all inputs at once. It doesn't have the balls of a 4K but it makes up in style. The other thing to be aware of is that they generate a lot of heat. I mean i've sat in front of a 4K for days and not felt it but you can forget about that in front of a 9K(which may be a good thing in that it will make you mix faster).

If you want to go in another direction than the 9098i would probably be my first choice. Just that it has 16 auxes makes it a winner for me. Its also very open sounding. As i posted before this point can go either way, i mean if you are used to hitting your head on the ceiling of a board like on an SSL than working on a 9098i may be a shock. To me it was the hardest thing to get used to. I am used to pushing a a board to its limit and adjusting accordingly, but like working on speakers that are so revealing, its easy to over compensate. Once you get used to its openess though you pretty much can mix anything. In my opinion though you will need lots of colored or character outboard when mixing with it(if you mix rock and rap). Also if you are used to the dynamic section on SSL's you might as well throw that away when using the virtual dynamics on the 9098i. One drawback to consider is the name. Lots of people know SSL's and not many know of the 9098i so again if you have clients that feel more reassured because you mix on an SSL(i know it sounds dumb but its the truth) than you have to consider this as well.

A Focusrite console would be cool but you will have to mod it and that can cut into the costs itself.

Against contrary opinions i liked mixing on Neve VR's. I enjoy the sound actually for certain kinds of music(Dance & Jazz especially). Like any console you have to get used to its sonic quirks(mids) and mix accordingly but you can definitely do excellent work on one.
Old 28th January 2007
  #14
theother
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
I mean i haven't heard AW,CLA,TLA,Spike Stent,Bob C all who are the top SSL 4K mixers worrying about future support.
Speaking about Spike Stent, someone whispered into my ears that SSL tried really hard to shove a Duality down his throat, but he decided he'd rather stick with his trusted old G for the time being.

He also heavily complained about missing features like no small automated fader, not enough fx sends, the desk being asymmetrical when you have 72 channels etc.

All this is second hand knowledge, so take it with a pinch of salt...
Old 28th January 2007
  #15
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djui5's Avatar
 

I'll echo what others have said, adding that the 9J would probably irritate you to some extent. It can't handle things like the 4K can. I understand they "fixed" this in the 9K version, but I've never worked on one.

The 9098i sounds amazing, but like thrill said the dynamics in it are far from what you get with SSL. Don't shoot me for saying this, but the waves SSL dynamics sound a bit like the desk, so you could get away with using some plug-ins for that "SSL" sound on things if you had to. Then again, if your picky enough, it might not work.

There's always the 88r option
Old 28th January 2007
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by theother View Post
Speaking about Spike Stent, someone whispered into my ears that SSL tried really hard to shove a Duality down his throat, but he decided he'd rather stick with his trusted old G for the time being.

He also heavily complained about missing features like no small automated fader, not enough fx sends, the desk being asymmetrical when you have 72 channels etc.

All this is second hand knowledge, so take it with a pinch of salt...
I totally believe it especially the way he works. I still don't get how they came to some of the decisions on this thing.
Old 28th January 2007
  #17
theother
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
I totally believe it especially the way he works. I still don't get how they came to some of the decisions on this thing.
When I was at SSL they even told me lots of the ideas for the Duality came from people like Stent. heh

So when I heard he wouldn't buy one afterwards I couldn't hide a mischievous smile.

Sales people will never change...
Old 28th January 2007
  #18
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
I still don't get how they came to some of the decisions on this thing.
One would think trying to save money, but then the price does not reflect that...
Old 28th January 2007
  #19
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pw8888's Avatar
Thanks everybody !
Little things...
My clients don't care about what console I mix on.
The only thing is the result.I like the "upfront" sound of the SSL.I know well the 9j and K but I am not "crazy" about the results.a little bit sterile.but better low end for sure
I love DRIVING my console....puching it to the max.People that use SSL knows what I mean.

-Thrillfactor did you replace your 6000 ? Did you try the duality ?
-Theother : did you have the time to do a testmix on the duality ?

Thanks !

Phil
Old 28th January 2007
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post

-Thrillfactor did you replace your 6000
Nope not yet. I am thinking these days about an AWS900+(got a really bitchin deal on one) with 2 SSL racks(one with(6) of the new 8 input modules). I just moved into a new place in Manhattan with a 5 year lease that goes up 5% each year. I can't afford to have something that's not easy to move especially if during or after 5 years the landlord wants to sell the property or turn the studios into condos(which has happened to my last 2 studios).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post
? Did you try the duality ?
I refuse to sink that kind of coin into something that has no proven record. I'll let others suffer through the initial phase and then see where things stand.
Old 28th January 2007
  #21
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pw8888's Avatar
thrill
ouppps I understand....
How would you achieve the same result ?
The bus and the aux send ? How are you going to manage it ?

Thanks
Phil
Old 28th January 2007
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post
thrill
ouppps I understand....
How would you achieve the same result ?
The bus and the aux send ? How are you going to manage it ?

Thanks
Phil
Well...SSL says they are coming with aux modules for the SSL rack. And in looking at the Tonelux they have some aux modules for their racks as well. One has 8 inputs so i can take the direct outs from the AWS and feed 2 of those and get 16 extra outs. I mean they may not be the ideal solution but they are solutions. Also these days i am trying to use less processing unless its absolutely necessary.

(Yeah in a perfect world i would love to have 16 auxes and 48 busses but i would love to be a billionaire as well so.... )
Old 28th January 2007
  #23
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pw8888's Avatar
I didn't know about those ssl module....
Old 28th January 2007
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post
I didn't know about those ssl module....
Yeah its the biggest request right now so if they are smart(which i am sure they are) they will come up with something.

I figure that with the 24 ins on the AWS 900+ and one SSL rack with (6) 8 input modules i can squeeze out 72 ins which isn't bad. In the second SSL rack i would have 4 mono comps and some aux modules when ready.
Old 28th January 2007
  #25
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pw8888's Avatar
Do you like the sound of it ? (aws)
(i found it not bad...but i only did a quick try....)
did you spend some time on it ? (I suppose...)
My BIG problem with the duality is the nber of aux send....maybe you found the solution I was looking for (external rack).

Thanks

Phil
Old 28th January 2007
  #26
Gear Addict
 

I say keep it, and find a spare for parts. There is no currently made console that sounds anything like a 4K/6K G series. FWIW, the K series has been discontinued as well. At this point, all of SSLs eggs are in the Duality basket.
Old 28th January 2007
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post
Do you like the sound of it ? (aws)
(i found it not bad...but i only did a quick try....)
did you spend some time on it ? (I suppose...)
If i can get used to mixing in PT than i can certainly get used to mixing on the AWS.heh

To me it sounds less than an SSL than a K(less stuff in the channels etc). I've only used it twice but it was pretty easy to learn. I don't like the layout and the knobs but i am getting it for a really good price so i guess its a trade off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888 View Post
My BIG problem with the duality is the nber of aux send....maybe you found the solution I was looking for (external rack).

Thanks

Phil
I know its a big knock but unfortunately the way things are settling out it maybe the last of the SSL large format consoles.
Old 29th January 2007
  #28
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pw8888's Avatar
It seems hard to find a review on the duality ?
did anyone find anything ?
Old 29th January 2007
  #29
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You've answered every question yourself. You don't like Neve, nor the 9k, nor the outboard ssl-stuff. Mixing itb is out of the question, so the only thing left is keeping the 4056 and keep it in good shape. I like all of the above, depending on the material, and I feel the 9k is a big step up from the 4056 in every way. I agree the 4056 sounds smallish, which can be nice sometimes however. If ever you decide to buy a 9k, don't forget to also calculate a new ac.

If I were you I wouldn't be afraid of trying new things. A good mixer is like a good bassplayer; He/she will sound exactly the same on whatever bass. Chops, ears and taste are the dominant factor. If I were to start a new studio now I would buy a PT HD set with some plugins and a lot of outboard, incl. FX, and insert those. To me it feels like the best of both worlds.

A collegue of mine/ours works on an API Vision, and he's raving about it. Maybe that's something for you. Good luck with your choice!
Old 29th January 2007
  #30
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If you're worried about part availability, consider buying another 4k console for parts. There's certainly a ton of them out there. I know it seems stupid to blow 50-60k on console you're not even going to use, but if it keeps you going on the system you know and love, then perhaps its a good long term investment? Ridiculous until you consider the cost of decommissioning/commissioning, refurbing the replacement console, the downtime you'll suffer as a result of this change, the potential difference in cost of the new console versus the selling price of the old, etc. Just find the smallest 4k you can in the crappiest condition, buy it, put it in storage, raid for parts as needed.....
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