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Ramsa WR-8112 vs Amek/TAC Scorpion 12 channels
Old 5th December 2009
  #31
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Not sure what the WR model of Ramsa sounds like, but the one we are talking about is the WRS series. From the LOOKS of the two models though, the WRS looks newer, it doesn't have those cool leather arm rest in front of the faders. The e.q on the WRS is not fantastic, but the pre's sound great to me, beefy with alot of mojo. I don't mix through it, I did, but now try to capture sounds up front without sending tracks back through. It really seems like a mojo piece to me, everything that runs through it just sounds better, and not being technically savy, I don't know why. Stuff just sounds fatter and warmer, there's SOMEthing there.

WHat is interesting is that people buy , say a new Toft board, maybe for the e.q.... I don't know, but of all the recordings I've heard done on these, they don't have any mojo, or even a distinct sound....maybe that's not what they are geared towards though, I don't really know though. What I do know is that in the mid 80's sometime, these Ramsa boards cost @ $9000.00, which in todays money translation would be quite a bit more, not that this means anything in particular, but is a fact.

For me, someone who is interested in older sounding music, the idea of buying a board that doesn't have any flavor seems fruitless. I guess if you can plug a clean guitar, bass, or keyboard in this thing and things immediately sound better, than I like it. Pushing the pre's DO sound good, but I don't really need to do that since the sound is cool as is, just the machine sound.

Different strokes.
Old 5th December 2009
  #32
Harmless Wacko
 

You guys are not the first people to like making records with Ramsa gear.

The co-owner(bandmate) of the WR-8118 I used a bunch back in the early eighties, went on to start a small studio in central NY based around a Ramsa WR-820. He loved it and used it for 10 years or so to pretty good effect. I tracked and mixed a few indy records in his shop and certainly thought it was an improvement over the very similarly featured TASCAM M-520. A desk I owned and really didn't like much for a coupla years. There is a funny thread on that around here somewhere on GS in which I mistake a Yamaha M520 thread for a TASCAM M520 thread... and go on a little rant about the TASCAM desk, only to have my mistake pointed out in a really funny way in the very next post in the thread. What's even funnier, is some guy DOES start a TASCAM M520 thread looking for opinions a short while later.... So, I put a humorous link to the mistaken Yamaha mess. I don't think he truly got the joke because he then posts something in his TASCAM thread which seems to indicate that he thinks I have mistaken the TASCAM for the YAMAHA instead of the visa-versa. Crash. It's either my legendary lack of post coherency or reader comprehension, but it's like a bad AE version of Abbot and Costello "Who's on First?".

Anyhoo. My pal Dave Derr was banging out AMAZING demos on a pair of WR-820's he had somehow rigged together in his house in Jersey as he was launching Empirical Labs.

In the end: I think when you are discussing sonic merits of audio gear you will find aficionados of MANY inexpensive designs who have found ways to create perfectly respectable work with them.

Best,

SM.
Old 5th December 2009
  #33
After all this coming and going I think is worth trying the Ramsa, see how it goes and then take a decision if it stays or not.
Anyway the TAC is round the corner and is not posted for sail.
Thanks everyone for all the help and info!!! thumbsup
I'll post some pictures when I get the board!!!


Sam
Old 5th December 2009
  #34
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
You guys are not the first people to like making records with Ramsa gear.

The co-owner(bandmate) of the WR-8118 I used a bunch back in the early eighties, went on to start a small studio in central NY based around a Ramsa WR-820. He loved it and used it for 10 years or so to pretty good effect. I tracked and mixed a few indy records in his shop and certainly thought it was an improvement over the very similarly featured TASCAM M-520. A desk I owned and really didn't like much for a coupla years. There is a funny thread on that around here somewhere on GS in which I mistake a Yamaha M520 thread for a TASCAM M520 thread... and go on a little rant about the TASCAM desk, only to have my mistake pointed out in a really funny way in the very next post in the thread. What's even funnier, is some guy DOES start a TASCAM M520 thread looking for opinions a short while later.... So, I put a humorous link to the mistaken Yamaha mess. I don't think he truly got the joke because he then posts something in his TASCAM thread which seems to indicate that he thinks I have mistaken the TASCAM for the YAMAHA instead of the visa-versa. Crash. It's either my legendary lack of post coherency or reader comprehension, but it's like a bad AE version of Abbot and Costello "Who's on First?".

Anyhoo. My pal Dave Derr was banging out AMAZING demos on a pair of WR-820's he had somehow rigged together in his house in Jersey as he was launching Empirical Labs.

In the end: I think when you are discussing sonic merits of audio gear you will find aficionados of MANY inexpensive designs who have found ways to create perfectly respectable work with them.

Best,

SM.
That'll be me then. So who IS on first base? heh
Old 5th December 2009
  #35
Gear Maniac
 
sleepingtiger's Avatar
 

My experience:

I'm taking a break and typing this as I'm happily sitting in front of my beautiful WR-S4416. I have to say that it's one of the best bang-for-the-buck audio purchases that I've ever made. I got it with a nice case for about $300 and sold the case for a little over $100 - hard to go wrong there. I've also owned an 8118 which I passed along to a friend a while back for about $40 or so (I think I paid $70 for it).

In my experience these two boards were very different in many ways, including sound. The 8118 was dark and gritty and "colorful" and the 4416 is very neutral. One of the coolest things about the 4416 is that I've never experienced a single component malfunction on this board - not one scratchy pot, fader or switch - the 8118 was a whole different story. I don't think that it had any components that weren't scratchy.

In other words, to me, the discussion doesn't make any sense when these boards are being refered to as if they are all the same. In my experience they are not.

Here's my deal:

I have a modest but effective professional project studio with a lot of very nice, mostly DIY outboard (SCA, Hamptone, Sytek - homebrew LA2a, Pultec, Federal, etc), and a Pro Tools LE rig with Mytek and Apogee convertors. I use the Ramsa for extra tracking channels, some headphone routing, talkback, some monitor control, and occasional summing of stereo pairs when I want to mix to an external deck and print a higher resolution master.

My findings based on using this board in the manner I've described:

The pre's are very useful and are closest to the Syteks as far as anything i have in front of me on a regular basis. They don't have any particular "mojo" when compared to anything with well-implemented transformers in the audio path (API clone , Neve clone, Hamptone, etc, etc). No surprises there, huh...

When I've compared itb mixes with summed mixes through the line inputs of the Ramsa they sound almost identical and an unscientifically implemented null test confirmed that there's very little difference.

I've used the eq so rarely that I really don't have an opinion. I will point out that they are not switchable. They are always in the signal path.

As far as headroom goes, as a test I once ran a pair of overheads through two Ramsa channels and could not get a decent recording level using the (unbalanced) direct outs on the channels without having them crap out on the transients. All is well using one of the busses or the master outs but I still wouldn't describe this board as having lots of headroom. Like I say, it's useful for a couple of extra channels when tracking a full band - I rarely use it on anything critical and I alway route through the master section.

As far as modding it goes, I don't know why anyone would want to. This board is not fully modular like a big console and therefore is not as easy to work on. The channels are in "banks" of four and I would imagine that dismantling them to a point where the opamps could be replaced would be, in itself, an involved undertaking - and for what? You're not going to turn it into something that it's not by changing out some components and you could cause problems if you install opamps that have a larger power requirement than the ones in use. I believe that the people who designed this board knew what they were doing - they were designing to a price point, not a quality point - that's the difference.

I've had the great fortune to work with a couple of Neves, a Calrec, and several other beautiful consoles and this little Ramsa is never going to be one of those. But for what it is, especially in light of what I paid fo it, I can't help but love it. It's solid as a rock, and it does what I need it to do and to me, it's cooler than a Mackie...

Good luck!
Old 6th December 2009
  #36
Well, I was looking for something colorful.
My BLA 002 has lots of headroom even in the line ins switched to unbalanced and the 4 pres of the digi are kynda neutral now.
I had to buy some pads for recording a SD with a 57.
Imagen that coming out of a digi 002!!!
So if the pres are alright on the Ramsa I'll be tracking drums through it. That's the main purpose.
Basically I'll use the 4 pres on the digi for the SD's and BD's and the rest through the Ramsa, but will see how it goes. Maybe one and one, and the main OH through te digi also.
Anyway thanks again for every post, suggestion and opinion!!!
You've been very helpful!!!
I'll post some photos soon!!!
Cheers

Sam
Old 7th December 2009
  #37
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Hey, maybe the mod. is trying to warn you about something by moving this thread to the lowend forum......why, I don't know. You heard all about Toft's 16 channel board for $6000.00 in every other thread for months when they came out, the Ramsa was $9000.oo is the 80's and the Scorpion might have been more.............
just curious, but what am I mssing here.

Does ebay dictate what's lowend now?

Just trying to understand how it all works.heh
Old 7th December 2009
  #38
AB3
Lives for gear
I had the Ramsa 8118 in the 80s. Nice warm sounding board. Noise floor a little high. But sweet sound.
If it could be modded, that would be really interesting to know.
Great live board as well.
Old 7th December 2009
  #39
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
I had the Ramsa 8118 in the 80s. Nice warm sounding board. Noise floor a little high. But sweet sound.
If it could be modded, that would be really interesting to know.
Great live board as well.

I hear ya. I usually multi track with mine, never had all channels flowing at once, it always sounds fantastic to me. Yes, it has a sound.

It's funny, the word "warm" is always used when describing the Ramsa boards.....warm and beefy. I mean in today's digital era, you hear people complaining about sterile audio and want something to give their tracks some type of sound, some electronics/iron in the signal, yet they go out and spend thousands on something that has NO sound because they don't know better......... then months later you see them looking for that "mojo compressor for the 2 buss" something with character and warmth to fix that sterlie preamp/mixer thing.

It starts with a warm channel strip! If you can't hear anything interesting going on with the audio as it runs through your preamp......it WON'T be there 10 tracks later either, even using the same pre to try and "stack" some type of white noise build up.

Running a single keyboard or bass or whatever through the ramsa, and things sounds different, like music Since the e.q. is not magical, and someone said it cannot be bypassed, I think it has a sound to it, but it's NOT very tweakable, like the charm is just the componets, not the functionality of it.. interesting. I use the hi e.q to add a little hiss to some sounds, after a few of these, the WARmth is there, then I back off of it for the rest of the tracked instruments.

I've experienced no headroom issues at all, I mean ****, if the audio is coming in loud and clear to your recorder, and it's not clipping and sounds nice and smokey/warmly fuzzy even for a cowbell... lol!....then what else is someone looking for in a mixer? I mean for a home studio, and with all todays digital cold equipment the norm.........the Ramsa is a modest prince
of audio goodness with a taste of old school functionality .

And with that, I'm done praising my crackly prince of character.
Old 7th December 2009
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
machineintel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
If you double the values of the 2 tuning capacitors in the low mid EQ you can extend the range down 1 octave. If you halve the values of the 2 tuning resistors you can reach to 6 k hz.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
I might try this on a couple channels, once I can get my hands on a service manual and actually get my ramsa to power up!
Old 7th December 2009
  #41
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by machineintel View Post
I might try this on a couple channels, once I can get my hands on a service manual and actually get my ramsa to power up!

What's up, the chord power cord is built in to the machine right? It's never been turned on?
Old 7th December 2009
  #42
Gear Maniac
 
machineintel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
chord power cord
huh?

Yeah, the power cord is built into the console, if that's what you're asking. There's a problem somewhere in the power supply as I'm not getting any rail voltages on the channels. I haven't had the balls to start troubleshooting without a service manual which I'm waiting to hear back from panasonic on.
Old 7th December 2009
  #43
Here you got!!! Service manual for Wr-8112 and Wr-8118!!!

Cheers!!

Sam dfegad
Attached Files
Old 10th December 2009
  #44
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post

Jim. Are you suggesting that if somebody went into a music store in the 1990's and purchased a TAC Bullet they were buying a desk designed by Rupert Neve?

SM.
Still waiting for Jim Williams on this one.

Ramsa WR-8112 vs Amek/TAC Scorpion 12 channels-mudstirring.jpg

SM.
Old 10th December 2009
  #45
those old (10 years) mackie VLZ boards (the blue ones).. did it for me. fantastic pres for electric distorted guitars from hell, cookiemonster voices, kickdrum-sneap-triggers, bangalore ready-to-replaced-snare-hits, no headroom, ****ty EQ... 400$.

buy one.. you will be disappointed if you record and mix jazz.

still have my mackie 8bus for headphone-monitoring.. it's a bit (Amek) big. you may want to purchase it. I don't know. get me a behringer. talk to Uli and rest in peace.thumbsup

and I have an amek big here with automation, not serviced.. you can buy it. or not. I don't care. mod your RASMA or ask rupert if he drunk coffe during that time at the Langley factory.

YSMV.
Old 10th December 2009
  #46
hahhahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nice one!!! I don't know if Rupe has ever drunk coffee at Langley, but I'm having one now.
I'll have the Ramsa ready for, let's say, March 2010. I'll post a mix.
Thanx!!

Sam
Old 10th December 2009
  #47
Lives for gear
 
rty5150's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
those old (10 years) mackie VLZ boards (the blue ones).. did it for me. fantastic pres for electric distorted guitars from hell, cookiemonster voices, kickdrum-sneap-triggers, bangalore ready-to-replaced-snare-hits, no headroom, ****ty EQ... 400$.

buy one.. you will be disappointed if you record and mix jazz.

still have my mackie 8bus for headphone-monitoring.. it's a bit (Amek) big. you may want to purchase it. I don't know. get me a behringer. talk to Uli and rest in peace.thumbsup

and I have an amek big here with automation, not serviced.. you can buy it. or not. I don't care. mod your RASMA or ask rupert if he drunk coffe during that time at the Langley factory.

YSMV.
awesome, george!

sarcasm is alive and well on GS!!!
Old 10th December 2009
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
Still waiting for Jim Williams on this one.

Attachment 147720

SM.
Back in the 1990's when Rupert Neve was working for AMEK, you could pick up the phone and call him. He was available for custom work. That work included TAC Bullet consoles. So Jay decided he wanted something different on his TAC Bullet and asked Rupert to do it for him. He did as he would have for anyone else.

Sorry if that bursts your Neve bubble, but he did work on the TAC line. Why you would even care is beyond me. It's not religion, it's audio.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 10th December 2009
  #49
Gear Nut
 
WeekendWanker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
PS. On original thread post. I owned and used a Ramsa 8118 for nigh on 10 years back in the early 80's. Great little live mixer for what it was, I must have 50 shows worth of "desk mixes" recorded through that thing that sound just fine. However, the TAC Scorpion is a MUCH better sounding desk overall IMHO. Hardly a dream desk, but better than the Panasonic(Ramsa)in every way, notably Pre's, Eq's and overall headroom issues.
+1

This is exactly my experience having owned and used both consoles back in the day. The 8112 was a huge step up from the 8110 but it wasn't in the same zip code sonically as the TAC. The TAC were less reliable however and I would expect that 20 years down the line this might be even more true.
Old 11th December 2009
  #50
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Sorry if that bursts your Neve bubble, but he did work on the TAC line. Why you would even care is beyond me. It's not religion, it's audio.
Didn't know I had a Neve Bubble.

I do, however, have a Jim Williams Bull****-o-meter with self-aggrandizement probe.

Goes off regularly here on GS.

SM.
Old 20th February 2010
  #51
ESP
Gear Nut
 

i was using a Ramsa 8118 with my digi 002. Gotta go with the general consensus, it is definitely a warm, dark board. I liked to use it to "dirty" up my drum tracks. it worked for me and i got the sound i was looking for. we got the board for free so i couldnt complain.
Old 20th February 2010
  #52
AB3
Lives for gear
I liked the sound quality of the 8118. If it was just a little less noisy. And it was great for hand drums, percussion and the like. I can see why you liked it for drum tracks. I also liked it on vocals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP View Post
i was using a Ramsa 8118 with my digi 002. Gotta go with the general consensus, it is definitely a warm, dark board. I liked to use it to "dirty" up my drum tracks. it worked for me and i got the sound i was looking for. we got the board for free so i couldnt complain.
Old 20th February 2010
  #53
Hi you guys!!! Thanx for the posts.
Here are some pictures of the process. I bit delayed cause my tech guy left me all alone with this project. Seems he has plenty of work now a days.
So it's going to be my first mod by my own.

Slipperman: I should have listen to you. I would be working already with the Scorpion. And certainly is much better board.
Anyway, got the Ramsa for a $100 and the Scorpion was at least $1500, so no complains.

Thanx to you all!!!

Sam
Attached Thumbnails
Ramsa WR-8112 vs Amek/TAC Scorpion 12 channels-img_8430.jpg   Ramsa WR-8112 vs Amek/TAC Scorpion 12 channels-img_8431.jpg   Ramsa WR-8112 vs Amek/TAC Scorpion 12 channels-img_8433.jpg  
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