Behringer Eurodesk MX3282A by Delta Araucaria
I'm thinking of replacing my 16/4/2 Xenyx and locally this is my only option. These older boards don't seem to get much respect; durability and sound quality/QC concerns. OTOH I heard people claim that these are very clean/colorless boards, saw many last over a decade. Last but not least I heard recordings made with/thru 3282A's, they sounded fine. For this review I'm able to compare the xenyx to the eurodesk.
The first release (pre "A"; there's a Jan '98 SOS review) shows yet another Mackie spinoff but the A is op design. 24 pres, 4 stereo channels, 8 mono buses with individual pan, mute, solo, insert points. 6 auxes, two of which can be switched/shifted to 7-8. Big acts which didn't move to presonus/X32 LOVE the MX32 here.
3-band EQ with wide range swept midrange; fixed 4-band on the last 8 ins. 150-watt PSU, the newer SX3282 has it built-in. Sports a TB mic too.
Used a store's random dynamic mic, a bit on the dull side but I thought would suffice for a quick demo. Brought my cans along, didn't manage to test line sources so far. I reckon most people using B mixers would rather skip the pres, but for me it's not an option yet.
The good, the bad, the ugly
The good - price!!! A user-friendly 40-pound patchbay/spaceship. All connectors on top isn't as neat as all on rear but eases connections and putting it against a wall. For the ever-growing space-deprived studio, might be handy.
Quiet PSU, was expecting it to be noisier. Structurally, looks sturdy.
EQ is not flavortown but works as intended; didn't sound harsh at all; LF is a peak/bell curve rather than shelving. Scribble strip under the faders, miss that on the Xenyx. Mono switch on monitor section, a resource I'd see myself using a lot!...
Heaps of headroom (master VU up to +10 on the xenyx, the MX from -40 to +28). Also the VU has a slower, RMS-like response as opposed to peak response on the former.
The bad - unimpressive pres ("clean" on a good day, "bland" on a moody day; xenyx behaves identically). OTOH the trim on the MX3282A is more linear than the Xenyx, the latter jumps in gain (and hiss) past 3 o'clock. Nonetheless they're fairly accurate, honest. Never used high-end pres myself, would be coward to compare, but they get the job done.
VUs on main bus only. There are -20 and peak LEDs on top of each fader, but on this they'd blink when powering but not while operating. Lame!
I think the EQ for such large board might be a constraint. One could really use 4-bands or switchable freq on the fixed hi/lo knobs.
As far as hiss is concerned: I used a gain-hungry mic and had to turn the monitor section all the way up, my phones don't have a lot of output. This way I got to hear bg hiss but nothing obtrusive. Didn't show up on the master VU anyways.
The ugly: altough 60mm faders on small boards are fine, on a big board they're even smaller in proportion. Idk about other MX's, but the faders were coarse, stiff compared to the xenyx.
Aux noise may not be exclusive to B's but this one was sad. Could be my phones's low output/need to compensate on ctrl room volume as well.
Not to be naggy but I find its color scheme hideous; those yellow knobs look even more faded as they age. When comes maintenance time, guess due to its construction (single PCB) it's gonna be a pain...
Possible studio scenarios
Split console array, recording up to 8 simultaneous tracks thru buses (manual suggests even 16-track recording but max 8 at a time). Kinda my case, but I think it's a stop-gap desk. Once you go past 8-bus needs it may become a hindrance. You can record via inserts but imo misses the point of having a analog board...
Useful for ones that have a buncha analog gear, mics, sound modules and synths, fx units and/or still don't own proper patchbays (one more check box and I scream bingo).
Analog summing is feasible as well, the monitoring/aux section might make it worthwhile for you.
I left the store unimpressed sound-wise. Boasts conveniences for recording but better tailored for live/rhsl. My Xenyx is too, a bit of a compromise btw both realms but in different ways.
If I had to choose btw patchbays and this one... Idk I'm divided. Not an improvement by any stretch tho I'd really find use for more channels. None excludes the other.