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Old 15th August 2017
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Chances are you will find non-modular construction and surface mount electronics. If the desk goes down, you send the whole desk back to the manufacturer or an authorized service center.
Nonsense, any decent console in the 'moneys no object' sector the OP is looking for will be modular, easy to troubleshoot, and will have replacement channels/PCBS etc. available on an advance replacement basis.
Additionally there is reasonable debate with real audio geeks that the thinner copper circuit traces used on the PCB boards of surface mounted electronics equates to lesser audio quality. I haven't taken a side yet on that debate but I see "wide copper traces" as a marketing point for some of the high end studio DIY projects.
Modern multi-layer PCBs allow for far better shielding of power and ground signals with completely seperate power/groundplane layers than older double-sided through-hole boards. I would be surprised if this didn't make for a lower noise floor and better performance.
There was a very good reason why prior studio desks used modules and through hole electronic components. They were expected to run 24/7 and if something broke you could put in a spare module in a few minutes keeping the session going and then repair the bad module yourself for minimal cost when you had time (or just send the module to a tech).
A basic surface mount rework kit costs $50-100 dollars and a short learning curve. I regularly rework SMT PCBs with no issues. A good tech will not be put off by well designed SMT boards. How does through-hole design have anything to do with the board being more modular. Sure, consoles in the $1k-$5k range will probably be fairly integrated, but the examples mentioned here are all far in excess of that.