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Used Large Format Console Recommendation
Old 18th December 2002
  #1
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digiman's Avatar
Used Large Format Console Recommendation

I've got a budget of about $100K for a LF console In terms of configuration, I can get by with a 56 input unit. For the most part this will be used for an in-house production company with occassional client use, but very little outside use.Here's what I'm looking at so far:

SSL 4056E
Euphonix CS3000
Neve VR Series

How do these units stack up? What's going to give me the most bang for my buck. Are there any other units I need to consider
Old 18th December 2002
  #2
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Personally, here's my order.

SSL 4056E
Neve VR Series
Euphonix CS3000

I'm more of an SSL guy. I notch and carve. Used SSL boards seem more consistent and less likely to have channels that sound different. For years I was a VR guy, and still have great results, especially during tracking on them. I mean, why do you think you see rack mounted neve's all over the place, and not as many SSL's broken out? But I found over time that I mix much faster on the SSL series boards. Either way, with these two, I don't think you'll have a problem booking with your occasional client use. The Euphonix board ain't really my cup of tea. The one's I've checked out at "The Studio" and "Glenwood Place" didn't really impress me. The tracking I did I bypassed the board and went straight to tape as much as possible. I'd rather get a Neve Capricorn, but wouldn't suggest it unless they announce some kind of 96K upgrade. Man do I miss those compressors on the cap.
Old 18th December 2002
  #3
Re: Used Large Format Console Recommendation

Quote:
Originally posted by digiman
I've got a budget of about $100K for a LF console In terms of configuration, I can get by with a 56 input unit. For the most part this will be used for an in-house production company with occassional client use, but very little outside use.Here's what I'm looking at so far:

SSL 4056E
Euphonix CS3000
Neve VR Series

How do these units stack up? What's going to give me the most bang for my buck. Are there any other units I need to consider
$100K?

Probably as a downpayment for a lease on a 9000J.

You can get all of the above for way less than $100K.

The only way I would ever consider a CS3000 is if instant recall(ala PT) is super important. If you are working on 3-4 songs at once the CS3000 recall is indespensable. Still its resale value is zero. A Neve VR comes with its own headaches(both electronics and sound). It sounds great for certain kinds of music, but its a little dark for others. The biggest allure to the SSL is the name and functions. The sound of the old E(I own a 6000E)is now a "sound". Guys seek the older E's(Black EQ's) for a certain quality that it gives the audio. There are times I prefer the older E's over the the J's(so did Teddy Riley), but when I am mixing multiple projects, the functionality of the J sure would come in handy.

By the way, what kind of music will you be producing?
Old 18th December 2002
  #4
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Knox's Avatar
 

Re: Used Large Format Console Recommendation

Quote:
Originally posted by digiman
I've got a budget of about $100K for a LF console In terms of configuration, I can get by with a 56 input unit. For the most part this will be used for an in-house production company with occassional client use, but very little outside use.Here's what I'm looking at so far:

SSL 4056E
Euphonix CS3000
Neve VR Series

How do these units stack up? What's going to give me the most bang for my buck. Are there any other units I need to consider
What kind of music? Live tracking? Mostly Midi? Analog or digital?
Old 18th December 2002
  #5
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digiman's Avatar
I'll be doing primarily R&B/NeoSoul and a little bit of Hlp Hop. The primary purpose of the facility is going to be production and tracking mostly midi gear with a few guitars, basses, and Rhodes here and there. We will also be tracking some vocals, as well. Like I said mostly doing tracking work and then some basic mixes to provide to A&R folks. From there, we'll decide if the final mix will be done in our facility or farmed out to a commercial studio for a final mix.
Old 18th December 2002
  #6
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atticus's Avatar
There are a ton of unique ways to go about this:

1. Sony MXP-3000 loaded with Avalon, Api, John Hardy, or Forressell modules. well under $100,000.

2. Neotek Elite - Underrated

3. Custom Manley mixer - it can be done!

4. GML 9100's linked with external P&G faders, perhaps with some Millennia Mixing suite modules

5. Studer consoles - Also underrated
Old 18th December 2002
  #7
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Knox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by digiman
I'll be doing primarily R&B/NeoSoul and a little bit of Hlp Hop. The primary purpose of the facility is going to be production and tracking mostly midi gear with a few guitars, basses, and Rhodes here and there. We will also be tracking some vocals, as well. Like I said mostly doing tracking work and then some basic mixes to provide to A&R folks. From there, we'll decide if the final mix will be done in our facility or farmed out to a commercial studio for a final mix.
The reason I asked is, as you know . . . . the kind of music you are doing . . the SSL would be more of a "draw" and would be sonically what most of those type acts are used to hearing. Let me know if you need anything, as we are in the same city. If you need some good contacts for people to buy from, installers etc.
Old 18th December 2002
  #8
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digiman's Avatar
Knox,
Thanks for the info. I had already settled on the SSL board but wanted to hear any other recommendations. Know anyone in the ATL selling one of these? Magic Audio used to get these in from time to time. It may be a month or two before I'm ready to buy as we are still finalizing T's & C's of the agreement.
Old 18th December 2002
  #9
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

I think you've gotten some excellent advice.

I'd go SSL E or down payment on an SSL J.

Two major issues are financing and after-sales maintenance service.

I would suggest financing the purchase with a lease to buy package. Paying cash is for fools or rich people.

How many spare channels or faders are included? How many months of warranty service? Three months is NOT enough...I would recommend negotiating for at least one year of warranty servicing.

The one thing I would add is to surround yourself with some experienced advisors, even if you have to pay a nominal fee to 'retain' a good one. When I purchased my first high-end desk, a core group of four audio pros, at least one of which you all know (), really walked me through the process over a period of several months. You need that kind of objectivity.

And whatever you do, don't get desperate to close a deal. Always be ready to walk away.

Jon
Old 19th December 2002
  #11
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Oh, one major point...

If you go for an SSL and would like the desk to be installed properly and the after-sales warranty to be worth anything, I would recommend buying from SSL. Get into their network and build a personal relationship with the SSL people at the nearest office. They frequently have used SSLs in stock as trade-ins against newer or larger models. My experience has been that their people take care of you and are there for you in a hurry if the desk develops a problem, which may happen one or more times during the post-install breaking-in period. If you buy from a broker, you are much more on your own.
Old 19th December 2002
  #12
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digiman's Avatar
Thanks for all of the replys. I think I'll look at going the 9000J Route with a lease to purchase option. That's probably the safest option. We had already planned on bringing in a seasoned consultant to help with the technical aspects, but wanted to do my own homework to make sure I'm able to make a somewhat educated decision on the purchase.

At any rate, I think I'm armed enough at this point to at least be able make the final call.
Old 19th December 2002
  #13
Quote:
Originally posted by digiman
Thanks for all of the replys. I think I'll look at going the 9000J Route with a lease to purchase option. That's probably the safest option. We had already planned on bringing in a seasoned consultant to help with the technical aspects, but wanted to do my own homework to make sure I'm able to make a somewhat educated decision on the purchase.

At any rate, I think I'm armed enough at this point to at least be able make the final call.

Good luck Digiman.

The 9000J is a great choice.
Old 19th December 2002
  #14
Quote:
Originally posted by Kent
Riley has a 3000 in his truck thoughheh

Yeah that's because at the time he needed a console he could flip from song to song real easily(he was working on 4-5 tracks a day). The reason he did not like the J is because he couldn't "cook it" like an E(cook it by the way means push it really hard).

The way a J distorts is different than an E.
Old 19th December 2002
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by jon


And whatever you do, don't get desperate to close a deal. Always be ready to walk away.

Jon [/B]
This is great advice in all dealings!

Thanks Jon.
Old 19th December 2002
  #16
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Knox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by digiman
Thanks for all of the replys. I think I'll look at going the 9000J Route with a lease to purchase option. That's probably the safest option. We had already planned on bringing in a seasoned consultant to help with the technical aspects, but wanted to do my own homework to make sure I'm able to make a somewhat educated decision on the purchase.
Again, if you need help in any way . . let me know. I know a guy in town that has done many major installs. Very good . . . not super cheap, but worth it. Knows SSLs well. Knows the SSL people . . . I'm sure they would recommend him as well. Good luck with it.
Old 19th December 2002
  #17
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digiman's Avatar
Hey Knox,
The guy (can't remember his name) who set up Collective Soul's new studio in Atlanta is supposed to be pretty good. Have you heard anything about him?
Old 19th December 2002
  #18
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Knox's Avatar
 

Yes . . there were a couple of people involved. Give me a call when you are ready and I will tell you what I know. Gladly, any help I can give . . ok?
Old 22nd December 2002
  #19
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 

API Legacy

I'm the first to admit that the Legacy is way out of my price range, but I still regret that they chose to develop new, narrower modules as opposed to utilizing their standard 500 series size. An old API has room for adult size hands, the new Legacy has everything scrunched together like a cheap desk. 1.5" or 40mm should be the minimum module width on a pro desk, especially a $1/4 million plus desk!

steve
[email protected]
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