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Ramsa WR-8112 vs Amek/TAC Scorpion 12 channels
Old 2nd December 2009
  #1
Ramsa WR-8112 vs Amek/TAC Scorpion 12 channels

Hi everyone!!!
I'm about to buy a small board for getting 16 channels inside a modified 002 (BLA). I already have the converters for the ADAT in/out (ADA8000 modified).
I don't have a big budget ($1500) but I found out some interesting boards.
I have two options in mind.

1- RAMSA WR-8112 (12x4x2)

2-AMEK/TAC Scorpion (12x8x2)

I know the TAC has nice british eq's and pre's and also that was design by Mr. Neve, if I'm not mistaken.
But I also read here that the Ramsa boards are really good aswell, specially the old one like this one.

Opinions?

Thanks!
Old 2nd December 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

I know the Amek BC3 has Neve preamps, but I don't remember Mr Neve having anything to do with the TAC Scorpion.......

Can't really help other than that, as it has been too long since I heard a Scorpion to still speak with a valid opinion, and never heard the Ramsa. Curious what people will say though......
Old 2nd December 2009
  #3
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sleeper1400's Avatar
 

i have the TAC scorpian 2 in my studio, the one with 32 channels and 8 auxs

it sounds fantastic and is built like a tank.

i dont mess with ramza, bad experiences with their 90's digital boards (ya,ya, i know)
Old 2nd December 2009
  #4
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rty5150's Avatar
 

for mixing or tracking?

can't speak for the tac's pres, but ramsa's pres are pretty darn impressive. i have the wr-s series consoles and they sound incredibly good for the price. hell they sound good period.

can't speak about mixing, i run a hybrid rig, but mix mainly ITB. i know that i wouldn't trust the eq on my particular ramsas. there is a dead spot for low end control. the lows are a 70hz shelf and the mids sweep from 200hz-6.3khz. this leaves a gap between 70 and 200hz. this area is pivotal for me for eq'ing.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #5
These is an analog Ramsa board. I couldn't find much info but to me it seems to be built in the 80's. Has shelvings in both ends. 60hz & 100hz fix in the lows and 6khz & 12khz in the highs. Don't remember the mids, but goes something like from 500hz to 6khz.
Heard, they have really clean versatil eqs.

I'll use it for tracking. I do all my mixing ITB.

From other side, Rupert Neve worked for Amek when they started making the TAC boards, as I read somewhere. Could be an incredible combination. Neve pre's with british eq's!!!

???
Old 3rd December 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
The Ramsa is full of 4558 or 4560 opamps. High end dies quickly. Had the Wr8118 back in the 80's. Unless you plan on replacing all the opamps, I would go with the Amek.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Didn't stop Nirvana recording some classic stuff on one though. High end is over rated anyway heh
Old 3rd December 2009
  #8
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrebes View Post
The Ramsa is full of 4558 or 4560 opamps. High end dies quickly.
THAT is why the Ramsa must be sooooooo damnnnnn warmmmmm sounding!

Thank you for that!

Being on the non-technical side of things, that's a great fact to know. I know that Ramsa doesn't get much love around here cause this place can be a sales floor sometimes, but I have the Wrs4424.........and it is a most joyous piece of machinery. Just running a keyboard or bass through it and fiddling with it's hardly capable e.q. makes the sound SO nice. This board has a sound, a good one.

The preamps on mine are incredible sounding, not that it doesn't start to giveway if abused, but they definately sound good being push more than most highend pre's I've heard......yes, even fancy ones.

cheers MAte!

Steelyfan



YEA YEA YEA! Ramsa's got the juice!
Old 3rd December 2009
  #9
Harmless Wacko
 

If I see one more ebay auction featuring some hillbilly moron from Arkansas selling a "Rupert Neve designed TAC Bullet" for $300, I'm going on a 3 State killing spree.

RUPERT NEVE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DESIGN OR MANUFACTURE OF ANY TAC BRANDED PRODUCT.

EVER.

He DID do the following for the AMEK company from (approx) 1990 to 2002

First he designed the AMEK Medici rack Eq.

Then he designed an "after the fact" input strip for the existing Graham Langley designed AMEK Mozart. It was called the RN-15. You could order a Mozart desk new with them or have them field retrofitted on an 'a la carte' basis.

He then designed the channel strips for the AMEK 9098 "split" console.

He then designed the channel strips for the AMEK 9098i desk.

He designed the pre-amp and the Eq. for the AMEK Media 51 console

He then Designed the AMEK CIB(Channel in a box) Pre/Eq/Comp rack device.

He then failed to come up with something either he or(new AMEK parent company Harmon) found workable as a future design/business arrangement and he started RND.

As a minor note of interest: AMEK used basic variants of the Neve designed TLA pre-amp for the AMEK Galileo, The AMEK Recall/RN and the AMEK BcIII


THIS MEANS RUPERT NEVE DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH:

The TAC Bullet
The TAC Magnum
The TAC Scorpion.
The TAC Scorpion II
The TAC Matchless.
The AMEK APC1000
The AMEK G2520
The AMEK G2500
The AMEK M1000
The AMEK M2000
The AMEK M3000
The AMEK Rembrandt
The AMEK Hendrix
The AMEK Einstien
The AMEK Angela
The AMEK Angela II
The AMEK Classic
The AMEK BcII
The ORIGINAL AMEK Mozart(MZ-11)
The AMEK "Langley" Big

NOTHING.
NADA.
ZIP.

Legend is... You CAN hear his voice on the "vocal recall" feature of the Langley Big.

Matt Syson can probably correct some small details in this but... this is basically the Neve/AMEK thing in a nutshell.

Funny thing is: From a practical record making standpoint... Some of the GRAHAM LANGLEY(and pals) designed stuff is as good or better than some of the "N word" products.

Case in point. Mozart-RN vs. G2520. Maybe not an exact "apples to apples" comparison due to the difference in the new purchase prices and feature set, but if you had to have one or the other for "record making", from a sonics standpoint the G2520 CRUSHES the Mozart-RN. Not even close. I have made HUNDREDS of records between these 2 desks. I beg for your acceptance as a bit of a minor expert on the subject.

Best regards,

SM.

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.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
rty5150's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=steelyfan;4849372]
Quote:


THAT is why the Ramsa must be sooooooo damnnnnn warmmmmm sounding!

Thank you for that!

Being on the non-technical side of things, that's a great fact to know. I know that Ramsa doesn't get much love around here cause this place can be a sales floor sometimes, but I have the Wrs4424.........and it is a most joyous piece of machinery. Just running a keyboard or bass through it and fiddling with it's hardly capable e.q. makes the sound SO nice. This board has a sound, a good one.

The preamps on mine are incredible sounding, not that it doesn't start to giveway if abused, but they definately sound good being push more than most highend pre's I've heard......yes, even fancy ones.

cheers MAte!

Steelyfan



YEA YEA YEA! Ramsa's got the juice!
yup, i own 4 ramsa boards. 2 of the 4424, a 4416, and a 208.

the 4424's are my workhorses. one sits in my CR and the other in the live room for the room PA. the 4416 is for parts and the 208 for sidecar duties or lending(addicting people who are using low end boards like behringer...)
Old 3rd December 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
rty5150's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
If I see one more ebay auction featuring some hillbilly moron from Arkansas selling a "Rupert Neve designed TAC Bullet" for $300, I'm going on a 3 State killing spree.
i am from arkansas... until i acquire a TAC bullet, you can sleep safe knowing that i won't plan on trying to sell it on ebay...

lol
Old 4th December 2009
  #12
Gear Nut
 

TAC.
Old 4th December 2009
  #13
Thanks slipperman for the info on the Neve / Amek theme.
Now it's clear.
The thing is that the Ramsa is about $500 with shipping!
And the Amek is about $1500.
With the extra $1000 I could mod, or start modding, the Ramsa. Thing that I look with interest, cause it gives you choices.
mbrebes, what do you think about changing the opamps in the Ramsa. Do you have some experience on this???
Is there someone modding this boards?
Thanks for all the responds already. They've been of much help!!
thumbsup
Old 4th December 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuelito View Post
what do you think about changing the opamps in the Ramsa.
But we've already established that's why it sounds so good!

More highend, just to cut it out later? NO NO NO.

Think Fleetwood Mac -- Dreams.
It's the built in Ramsa sound.
heh
Old 4th December 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 

The IEM monitor board I have been playing out with is a Ramsa. It has a cool "Character" grit and tone but is week in the high frequencies and maybe headroom. It also could be considered muddy around 200-400hz. It's an 840 with all the aux sends. You can get one on ebay for about $3k. I would think something that sounds just like it with 8 or 16 inputs would be a great deal for less than $1,000. It sounds better than any digital board I have ever worked with. Competition with similar character pres and eq might be "Toft" and maybe "Soundcraft" for more clarity. Never had any experience with Amek boards though.
Old 4th December 2009
  #16
I'm looking for a fuller sound. Something that adapts to every style of music.
I'm planning, or trying, to build a small but powerfull recording studio.
I know I cannot compete with bigger studios recording 40 to 64 tracks at once with hi-end material, so the idea is to have less simultaneous tracks but as pro as I can get them.
Old 4th December 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuelito View Post
I'm looking for a fuller sound. Something that adapts to every style of music.
I'm planning, or trying, to build a small but powerfull recording studio.
I know I cannot compete with bigger studios recording 40 to 64 tracks at once with hi-end material, so the idea is to have less simultaneous tracks but as pro as I can get them.
Yeah, aren't we all. Nothing will ever adapt to "Every" style of music. Especially until you start spending money on API, NEVE, Millenia etc. You're better off buying something that specifically matches the style of music you are trying to record. Vintage rock, modern metal, hip hop etc. Otherwise, adaptation is up to you and your techniques. You can learn to "adapt" with mics and tweaking on a decent thousand dollar board. Pro results are a matter of you getting lucky or using your ear, more than the gear actually being able to "adapt" to the material. The crappier the gear the more you have to know what you are doing. You haven't even heard what you might be buying so you probably have no idea what you will have to compensate for or tweak. When you spend $50,000 on a board is probably the day you stop really having to do much "adapting". Everything will probably sound pretty good to tape without much work.

Look up a thread about building a studio with $10k Then start building DIY mic pres and bass traps. SCA preamps and OC703 insulation. Buy one awesom mic and a bunch of popular cheap utility mics and outboard stuff. Buy some nice plugins for mixing ITB.
Old 4th December 2009
  #18
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuelito View Post
With the extra $1000 I could mod, or start modding, the Ramsa. Thing that I look with interest, cause it gives you choices.
Has anyone seen my hemlock?

No really.

You can't script this stuff.

SM.
Old 4th December 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
Forget about it Jake, it's gearslutz town...
Old 4th December 2009
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Orrow View Post
Yeah, aren't we all. Nothing will ever adapt to "Every" style of music. Especially until you start spending money on API, NEVE, Millenia etc. You're better off buying something that specifically matches the style of music you are trying to record. Vintage rock, modern metal, hip hop etc. Otherwise, adaptation is up to you and your techniques. You can learn to "adapt" with mics and tweaking on a decent thousand dollar board. Pro results are a matter of you getting lucky or using your ear, more than the gear actually being able to "adapt" to the material. The crappier the gear the more you have to know what you are doing. You haven't even heard what you might be buying so you probably have no idea what you will have to compensate for or tweak. When you spend $50,000 on a board is probably the day you stop really having to do much "adapting". Everything will probably sound pretty good to tape without much work.

Look up a thread about building a studio with $10k Then start building DIY mic pres and bass traps. SCA preamps and OC703 insulation. Buy one awesom mic and a bunch of popular cheap utility mics and outboard stuff. Buy some nice plugins for mixing ITB.
You missed the part that sais "as pro as I can get them". I know what I'm try to buy, I 'm just lisenning to opinions, cause I think, after 10 years of working in this, that here there are people who know more than I do.
I was original looking for a Chilton or a Sound workshop, but as the money is here now, and I couldn't find one, I have to start with something.
Do you know BLA? Adapting is what I've been doing since the beginning, cause I was leaving in Argentina before. I already have some plugs, probably I could get the UAD cards later for more power, but with the Waves mercury I'm doing just fine now. I like character of old mics, don't have much, but tactically I bought some for recording cabs and voxs. And if I need something different I just rent it. Luckily I'm working live too, so I get a discount.
So tell me. I last recorded a and Orchestra in a church, and now I'm recording a metal band in the studio. What board do you think we'll suit me best?
Maybe I should have said, that I'm looking for the most versatil board between these two.
So the answer is modding the Ramsa or just going for the TAC?
If I had 20k I would shurely go for an API or a Neve, but is not the case. (If you look around you'll find them at this price).
And just for you too know my last post was after hearing the stuff that steelyfan is working on.

Now slipperman, what's the problem on modding the Ramsa? Definitively choosing the gear you use gives personality to your system. Is not the same working an API eq than a Pultec, or even a modified custom vinatge eq with differents parts from differents companies. I think before adapting is choosing so you can have a compensated sound. I'm still not a pro, but I inform myself and I work really hard to become one.
If there is a mod on the Ramsa that suits me then I would go for it, but for the moment I'm leaning on the TAC.
Cheers, and thanx for the help!
Old 4th December 2009
  #21
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FreshSkweez's Avatar
 

Cool

I'm with Steely on this. I don't see a point in modding the Ramsa. It's a great sounding desk for the money and from my experience with TACs I'd choose it any day over a Bullet or a Scorpion. The presumed lack of high end strikes me as odd. Ramsa is anything but 'dull'. It's very open-sounding but has plently of beef in the 100-300Hz region and one thing that I consider the selling point - it's got the roundest 600-900Hz I've ever heard. And the above-mentioned headroom problem could only be stated by someone who's never touched one in his life or is doing all his work on an 80 series Neve. This board's got a TON and if you manage to drive it in the 'red' it sounds even better. I use a larger (and older) Ramsa at my commercial facility and not only am I happy so are our other engineers.

'For the money' is the key word though. If you're going for the high end Pro path with a limited track count I don't think either of them is an option you wanna consider. Neither Ramsa nor TAC are in 'Highest End' category. But be ready to cough up 30-50 Gs for a 10-channel Neve BCM.
Old 4th December 2009
  #22
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rty5150's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshSkweez View Post
I'm with Steely on this. I don't see a point in modding the Ramsa. It's a great sounding desk for the money and from my experience with TACs I'd choose it any day over a Bullet or a Scorpion. The presumed lack of high end strikes me as odd. Ramsa is anything but 'dull'. It's very open-sounding but has plently of beef in the 100-300Hz region and one thing that I consider the selling point - it's got the roundest 600-900Hz I've ever heard. And the above-mentioned headroom problem could only be stated by someone who's never touched one in his life or is doing all his work on an 80 series Neve. This board's got a TON and if you manage to drive it in the 'red' it sounds even better. I use a larger (and older) Ramsa at my commercial facility and not only am I happy so are our other engineers.

'For the money' is the key word though. If you're going for the high end Pro path with a limited track count I don't think either of them is an option you wanna consider. Neither Ramsa nor TAC are in 'Highest End' category. But be ready to cough up 30-50 Gs for a 10-channel Neve BCM.
i agree with this post 150%


Old 4th December 2009
  #23
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuelito View Post
And just for you too know my last post was after hearing the stuff that steelyfan is working on.
Please don't judge the Ramsa by my recordings! lol..
That wouldn't be fair to the Ramsa, it deserves better. I personally have been chasing an older sound for years.
Listening "into" the music rather than it being projected out to you like modern radio is what I'm after.......a little flatter sound.
I'm a 60's and 70's nut......not there yet though.

The Ramsa is more than capable achieving what you're after, give it a listen with your own material and tracking style......and then decide if anything needs to be modded.....if you do decide on one.
Old 4th December 2009
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rty5150 View Post
for mixing or tracking?

can't speak for the tac's pres, but ramsa's pres are pretty darn impressive. i have the wr-s series consoles and they sound incredibly good for the price. hell they sound good period.

can't speak about mixing, i run a hybrid rig, but mix mainly ITB. i know that i wouldn't trust the eq on my particular ramsas. there is a dead spot for low end control. the lows are a 70hz shelf and the mids sweep from 200hz-6.3khz. this leaves a gap between 70 and 200hz. this area is pivotal for me for eq'ing.
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
Old 4th December 2009
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
If I see one more ebay auction featuring some hillbilly moron from Arkansas selling a "Rupert Neve designed TAC Bullet" for $300, I'm going on a 3 State killing spree.
RUPERT NEVE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DESIGN OR MANUFACTURE OF ANY TAC BRANDED PRODUCT.
EVER.

The TAC Bullet

Best regards,
SM.
Jay Rando in Glendale, CA had Neve custom design and build his TAC Bullet 16x8 console. He had the EQ daughter thick film pcb's made to sweep the hi mids to 20k hz. Stock versions went to 15k hz. Even the console nonclemature was custom silkscreened to show the new EQ frequency points. His special requests were heard and incorporated by Mr. Neve personally. He had everything to do with the design and manufacture of that console. Not that it really means anything...

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 4th December 2009
  #26
Thanks Jim!!

What do you think about modding the Ramsa?
With the proper changes, do you think it could become a nice versatil board?
I liked the mods you mentioned on the eqs.
Someone here was talking about changing the opamps.
Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks again!!!
Old 5th December 2009
  #27
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Jay Rando in Glendale, CA had Neve custom design and build his TAC Bullet 16x8 console. He had the EQ daughter thick film pcb's made to sweep the hi mids to 20k hz. Stock versions went to 15k hz. Even the console nonclemature was custom silkscreened to show the new EQ frequency points. His special requests were heard and incorporated by Mr. Neve personally. He had everything to do with the design and manufacture of that console. Not that it really means anything...

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades


Langley Design: The story of Amek and Total Audio Concepts (TAC)

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.

Last edited by Slipperman; 5th December 2009 at 06:20 PM.. Reason: Lie down with dogs yer gonna get fleas.
Old 5th December 2009
  #28
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshSkweez View Post
And the above-mentioned headroom problem could only be stated by someone who's never touched one in his life or is doing all his work on an 80 series Neve.
I owned and used a Ramsa WR-8118 as a little remote monitor/recording rig for the better part of a decade. Made about 50 live recordings with it during that time. I still have every one of them here somewhere. I have no recollection of the desk having an abundance of headroom. It DID sound better when you drove it hard.

Best regards,

SM.

Last edited by Slipperman; 5th December 2009 at 06:24 PM.. Reason: Internot pissing match with a guy whose running a Ramsa shop. I'm thinking no.
Old 5th December 2009
  #29
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FreshSkweez's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
I owned and used a Ramsa WR-8118 as a little remote monitor/recording rig for the better part of a decade. I had to touch it some during that time. It hardly had a ton of headroom. It DID sound better when you drove it hard. Ya kinda HAD to drive it hard. The pre's sounded like COCK AND BALLS. Did I say COCK AND BALLS? 'Cause I meant to say ****ING COCK AND BALLS. Eq. was cheesy Jap bull****. TERRIBLE TOP END. TERRIBLE. Did I say TERRIBLE? 'Cause I MEANT TO SAY GOD-****ING-AWFUL. The mids and lows weren't much better. I don't what kinda Ramsa you guys got, but it doesn't sound distantly related to the one I used more than a bit.

As for the 80 series Neve thing. There was a Neve 8048 in my shops "B" room for 8 years. Somehow, I managed to track a few records on it.

These days, I work every day on a AMEK/NEVE 9098i. A desk which SHAMES the 80 series Neve's in the headroom department.

Every other conceivable spec as well.

Anyhoo.

Anytime old JimboJum wants to come over with his AP custom abacus, I'll be happy to give him all the time he needs to measure his heart away. So I can make him a nice steaming hot cup of STFU and kick his ass out the door, then I can get back to work on that final mix gig he's been telling me about.



SM.
Ok, you know what? Here's what I'm gonna do. In a few days I'm gonna bounce some of drum, guitar, acoustic and bass tracks I've been recording over the last few months for my main client at the moment and start a new thread (that you're most welcome to join). Those will be the ones I used Ramsa pres and EQs for exclusively (I have a number of outboard pres in my arsenal and use'em quite a bit as well... those will not be included).

All of that hoping that whenever one of our fellow slutz decides to do a search on 'Ramsa' trying to decide whether he should get one (not that I really care but I believe truth must be heard) he'd hear actual samples of work in progress rather than read stories about someone using the board in a remote monitor/recording rig at some point in the past and HAVING to drive it hard... (btw why?).

I do acknowledge the possibility you may have not liked the sound of your Ramsa. (Furthermore I believe all desks sound different to a degree depending on their condition, predominant application, as well as operator's techniques and workflow). As I acknowledge that most of us take great pride in our experience and knowledge gained with it and tend to get pissed off when we hear statements we consider absurd. (Kinda like you reacting to my post). In a greater scheme of things none of this means ****. There's gear capable of delivering a certain sound if used right and there're engineers looking for gear that would deliver it.

So keep your eyes peeled yall. I'm working like a madman but I swear I'll find the time to do this.
Old 5th December 2009
  #30
Well. Anyone with suggestions for modding a Ramsa board?

Sam
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