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Sony DMX R100 Consoles
Old 13th October 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Sony DMX R100

Just looking for some opinions from users of the Sony DMX R100 digital desk? I have a lot of hands on mixing on MCI, Otari, etc... analog desks, and also owned 2 Yamaha 02R's, about ten years ago. I moved away from earning a living from being a full time working engineer, but now I'd like to put a nice "affordable" (2k) console in my home. So many 50-120k desks are now at this price... un-believable! But great for me! A friend lent me a little 24 chan Soundcraft 500, and it was pleasant sounding, easy and loved the fact of having no screens to always have to look at! Another friend told me to find a Sony DMX R100 because of it's incredible EQ's, gates and compressors... because they are going so cheap these days from their orig price. I saw one in person today and was immediately turned off, because of the screen factor again. So, I'm not sure if the EQ's and other dynamics are really worth the "screen turn off", or not to me. Also, the seller said he's already replace the mother board and power supply. Is this common? He sounded like it was? I spoke to another user and he said he had never heard of that being the case. For my own use, the EQ's are more important than the pres but... I don't want something "sterile" either. The Soundcraft had that nice analog sound, which really made me go ... ahhhhhhhh, again. I loved it! Anyways... did you love it / never gonna sell it / hate it / outgrew it - went analog, etc...? Thanks!
Old 14th October 2014
  #2
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Nick Morris's Avatar
 

I had a Sony for a while. Loved the console, eventually sold it. I think it's eqs, gates, compressors were ok, but nothing special. The board sounds good, nice and clean. If you liked analog flavor of the soundcraft, you're definitely going to be disappointed with the baby Oxford. It sounds like Protools basically.
I would skip a digital board if you are looking for a sound. Workflow yes, but analog sound? Nah
Old 14th October 2014
  #3
270182
Guest
Parts, parts, parts, support, support, support.....
Old 15th October 2014
  #4
Gear Addict
 

the sony dmx has a big workflow disadvantage from what i remember: the busses can not be routet to the 2-bus, therefore unusable in mixown situations..
and yes: parts + support is something to consider!
Old 15th October 2014
  #5
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jimbridgman's Avatar
I agree with others that the Sony DMX R100 does not have that analog sound.

I would look for some older analog boards that will impart some of those harmonics.

Here are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Keep in mind I am a console user myself and have been for many a year. I have a Neotek Elan II right now and I think this is the last console I will own (meaning I do not want to give it up).

1) Neotek Series I, II, or III may be in your price range
2) Soundcraft sapphyre
3) Soundcraft ghost (cleaner sounding, but still some analog flare)
4) MCI 400 or 500 series, may have some models in your price range, but they can get large in size.
5) there is a quantum audio labs I think it is 12 channels on ebay in your price range.
6) there is a harrison 790 on ebay now as well for 1K USD too.

These are just a few. You can keep looking for things that fit the bill similar to these.

Without a lot more information though, it can be hard to give more concrete info to help you.

How many channels? Automation? Top end of your budget? Type of sound you might be looking for in a console, as there are different things from clean to warm to dirty to lo fi, etc.?

Jim
Old 15th October 2014
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Morris View Post
I think it's eqs, gates, compressors were ok, but nothing special. If you liked analog flavor of the soundcraft, you're definitely going to be disappointed with the baby Oxford. It sounds like Protools basically.
I would skip a digital board if you are looking for a sound. Workflow yes, but analog sound? Nah
Thanks Nick! Sounds like you hit the nail on the head! I want an analog sound, or at least something that DOES have color to it.
Thanks again for your comment.
Old 15th October 2014
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by androlic View Post
the sony dmx has a big workflow disadvantage from what i remember: the busses can not be routet to the 2-bus, therefore unusable in mixown situations.. !
Hmmm... very good point. Thanks for the heads up on that! This is why it's so nice to get feedback from real users. Thanks again!
Old 15th October 2014
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbridgman View Post
I agree with others that the Sony DMX R100 does not have that analog sound.
I would look for some older analog boards that will impart some of those harmonics.
How many channels? Automation? Top end of your budget? Type of sound you might be looking for in a console, as there are different things from clean to warm to dirty to lo fi, etc.?
Jim
Yes, all very good comments and much appreciated.
My budget is no more than $2k to basically see what I get into, and for something I can live with for the next year. If things kind of go from there... then probably $3k-$5k (a year or 2 from now).
I did buy a ghost 24 chan just to see what the deal was about it. I had heard about the mod upgrades but thought I would only do a few chans, and maybe the master section at the most. Honestly... It took me a whole 5 minutes to set a nice EQ'd sound on a borrowed Soundcraft 500, and really enjoyed the warm/fuzzy sound of the desk. Probably due to old caps and such... but it was way more pleasant to my ears than my digital playback from my PC and a Fireface 800. After doing the same EQ'ing on the Ghost (with the better power supply that makes it sound better than others...)... It's definitely not for me. It took my over a period of a few days (maybe 20 min ea day) to be able to reproduce the same sound from the Ghost. Yes, it is cleaner and the EQ is good but --- No SOUND (color). Not like the older Soundcraft at all. I also was not fond of all the plastic on it (buttons, rotary knobs, faders etc... It may be a nice board for someone else, but it's not what I am going for. I have been looking at other Soundcraft desks, like the Saphyer, the 6000, etc... but they are all pretty far away and even though they are dirt cheap... the shipping would be costly to move 200 - 400 lbs, and most of the owners don't want to get in the picture to ship them. I wanted a Soundcraft 600 but in at least 32 chans. I don't think I'm interested in anything less than 32, but 40 would be great... 48 would be bordering too many but... maybe I will end of buying another Radar 2 and than that would be the way to go! I found one in Burbank but everyone tells me their $2k price tag is rediculous. So I am still waiting for something else to surface, locally. The Neotek is really nice from what I can recall... I don't think I really ever did a whole project on any of them, but for what I've seen, they seem to be a bit more than $2k, maybe closer to $3.5k? MCI? ... I used to work on a 636 and Otari Concept One almost every day for 10 years... I liked the Otari then because it was in better shape than most of the MCI's at that time. The MCI's are not bad, but it takes a lot of $ to get those to be right now, and then keep them there. Usually they all need to be re-capped at this point. Meter bridges, power supplies, etc... = $$$. Craigslist and Ebay is on my daily schedule now... Anyways, I think I'm going to pass on the Sony DMX-R100 because it sounds like it's not going to really get me closer to what I want to be able to do my projects with. My projects will be much of Instrumental music, but on the Big rock stuff, some acoustic Jazz, and some vocal. No post production, multi-media, etc... Yes, I hate giving up automation but I don't see it happening for less than $3k... which I may consider for the right console. Thanks again... All GREAT feedback here.
Old 15th October 2014
  #9
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jimbridgman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihate100bees View Post
Yes, all very good comments and much appreciated.
My budget is no more than $2k to basically see what I get into, and for something I can live with for the next year. If things kind of go from there... then probably $3k-$5k (a year or 2 from now).
I did buy a ghost 24 chan just to see what the deal was about it. I had heard about the mod upgrades but thought I would only do a few chans, and maybe the master section at the most. Honestly... It took me a whole 5 minutes to set a nice EQ'd sound on a borrowed Soundcraft 500, and really enjoyed the warm/fuzzy sound of the desk. Probably due to old caps and such... but it was way more pleasant to my ears than my digital playback from my PC and a Fireface 800. After doing the same EQ'ing on the Ghost (with the better power supply that makes it sound better than others...)... It's definitely not for me. It took my over a period of a few days (maybe 20 min ea day) to be able to reproduce the same sound from the Ghost. Yes, it is cleaner and the EQ is good but --- No SOUND (color). Not like the older Soundcraft at all. I also was not fond of all the plastic on it (buttons, rotary knobs, faders etc... It may be a nice board for someone else, but it's not what I am going for. I have been looking at other Soundcraft desks, like the Saphyer, the 6000, etc... but they are all pretty far away and even though they are dirt cheap... the shipping would be costly to move 200 - 400 lbs, and most of the owners don't want to get in the picture to ship them. I wanted a Soundcraft 600 but in at least 32 chans. I don't think I'm interested in anything less than 32, but 40 would be great... 48 would be bordering too many but... maybe I will end of buying another Radar 2 and than that would be the way to go! I found one in Burbank but everyone tells me their $2k price tag is rediculous. So I am still waiting for something else to surface, locally. The Neotek is really nice from what I can recall... I don't think I really ever did a whole project on any of them, but for what I've seen, they seem to be a bit more than $2k, maybe closer to $3.5k? MCI? ... I used to work on a 636 and Otari Concept One almost every day for 10 years... I liked the Otari then because it was in better shape than most of the MCI's at that time. The MCI's are not bad, but it takes a lot of $ to get those to be right now, and then keep them there. Usually they all need to be re-capped at this point. Meter bridges, power supplies, etc... = $$$. Craigslist and Ebay is on my daily schedule now... Anyways, I think I'm going to pass on the Sony DMX-R100 because it sounds like it's not going to really get me closer to what I want to be able to do my projects with. My projects will be much of Instrumental music, but on the Big rock stuff, some acoustic Jazz, and some vocal. No post production, multi-media, etc... Yes, I hate giving up automation but I don't see it happening for less than $3k... which I may consider for the right console. Thanks again... All GREAT feedback here.
I know this is not what you want to hear, but... I would save up my pennies for a bit and bring your budget up a little bit. You will get 10 fold from what you can afford at the moment. The 2K range is a tough range to find good consoles in decent condition and that are not the ghost, A&H, etc. If you can get up to 3.5-7K at the very highest you can get some absolutely killer desks that fit that sound you want. I also do a ton of rock, Fusion, some metal. I came from an A&H GS3000, and it was very clean with no mojo. My Elan with 32 channels was 7K used, and I asked the broker to find me 8 more channels for, it to max out the frame. So for 11K I got a Neotek Elan with 40 channels, and it sounds killer. It is clean but it sounds like a record just passing audio through it, sort of like an SSL in the way it sounds. It is wide and deep. I get that my situation is way out of your budget, but I can tell you that I got a killer deal for what I ended up with, and I think it really sounds equal the SSL 4K I have at my full time (booked nearly a year in advance), studio that I own. The Elan is at my home studio for doing some mixing at home for clients that make the request for me to do that type of work now.

You need to just keep your eyes open and keep on the look out for what you want, and be very prepared to give the thing some major love, in the range you are looking. Most of the reason these things go for so cheap is they are starting to sound cloudy/loss of low end punch from bad caps and such, and people do not want to deal with the effort or cost to recap or have a tech work on them.

You can find a killer console that needs some love in your price range, but I would get a good desoldering station and good soldering iron and learn how to do the work yourself. It is not very hard to do.

If you do not mind the work, the parts are usually not all that costly, and things can be completed in sections or one channel at a time if you want. And desks like MCI consoles will always have easy to find off the shelf parts. Same goes for neoteks. The Soundcrafts have somethings that you will need to find replacements for them that will work.

And I get having a realistic budget and supporting a family and such, but I would not buy something you are going to use for a year or two to just upgrade again. You will lose a good bit of money doing this. I would advise that you figure what you want within your budget, save your $$ and know what issues you are willing to deal with and not deal with, and how much love you are willing to put into it for the prices you are willing to pay.

I believe you can find a 600 for dirt cheap, but I would take into account that You will need to recap the board and the PS, so I would include that in your budget. A recap will not take away that analog warmth that you are thinking. The recap will tighten the low end and clean up the distortion in the high end that seems a little harsh when the caps are old and dried out.

Jim
Old 15th October 2014
  #10
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by androlic View Post
the sony dmx has a big workflow disadvantage from what i remember: the busses can not be routet to the 2-bus, therefore unusable in mixown situations..
and yes: parts + support is something to consider!
I was able to route the busses to the main LR, or on the sony PGM, no problem. Maybe you had an older OS with the sony?

Parts and support or the biggest problem, I loved using the sony but when it broke down it was a major PITA to get fixed and was pricey too. IMHO not worth it today.
Old 16th October 2014
  #11
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

I had one from 2001 to 2005, but sold it almost the minute I heard Sony was going to discontinue it.

It was great for its day, nice eq's and compressors, good preamps, but honestly, back then a TDM system with a nice controller was essentially a DMXR killer - and today, it's even better, you can go Pro Tools HD Native and a controller and have something better than a DMXR100.

So save your pennies and shop smart.
Old 16th October 2014
  #12
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I agree

I owned one, I agree with all the posts here. I would not buy one since you can have things fail and Sony didn't support me when mine was not working!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ihate100bees View Post
Thanks Nick! Sounds like you hit the nail on the head! I want an analog sound, or at least something that DOES have color to it.
Thanks again for your comment.
Old 16th October 2014
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by s.d.finley View Post
I was able to route the busses to the main LR, or on the sony PGM, no problem. Maybe you had an older OS with the sony?
hmm.. this could be, but i was under the impression we had one of the later or the latest os on the sony and than they eventually stopped developing it further..
Old 1st November 2014
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Samuelito's Avatar
To my knowledge the last soft vesion is 2.23. U can still downloaded it from Sony.
The inside of the console seems really straight forward and easy to repair.
Sony still answers the phone and I believe they still sell parts for this console. not sure though.
I was able to lock mine to PT 10 LE via MTC and the huge sound advantage came from locking everything to a BLA Microclock Mk2.
Busses can be routed anywhere. It's a bit tricky as you also have a 5.1 surround config in place but ones you understand the logic of the routing it's quite easy to work with.
The reason why I changed from analog to digital was that the Sony gave me the possibility of automation plus I could route my mixes through the Matrix and mix in stems.
EQ and compression are ok. Really on the clean side as any digital processor. Still they sound better than some cheap hardware I have around. On the other hand I was impressed by the preamps. I came from a discrete topology preamp on the D&R Dayner that was hard to beat, but the little Sony stood up incredibly.

If it was me on the market for a console, if your main goal is recording, go analog, if you are planning on mixing go digital and the Sony still seems hard to beat in this area.
Just my 2 cents.

Sam
Old 1st November 2014
  #15
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tekis's Avatar
Hey: I owned a DMX for several years. It never broke, didn't "harm" the sound of audio passing thru it. I'm a working engineer, and it paid for itself. If you want to hear some great rock and roll that I mixed on it, then send me a pm? Thanks.
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