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Soundcraft Ghost vs Speck LiLo vs Toft ATB Summing Mixers
Old 19th August 2007
  #1
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Soundcraft Ghost vs Speck LiLo vs Toft ATB

Soundcraft Ghost
vs
Speck LiLo
vs
Toft ATB

Would love to hear some opinions, comparisons, etc regarding the SUMMING PATH only. Don't care about the pres, eqs, etc... would only be using for SUMMING.

If YOU had to choose between these three for SUMMING / MIXING only, which would YOU choose? And why? Or would some or all of these not be adequate for you (in terms of audio performance)?

I'm just trying to find a good summing mixer with FADERS that is well matched to my existing top-end outboard (API, GML, Neve, etc) in terms of overall audio performance.

Thanks.
Old 20th August 2007
  #2
pan
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For mixing, the Ghost's MIDI-automation is a plus! - For opinions on the sound and sonic differences do a search...
Old 20th August 2007
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan View Post
For opinions on the sound and sonic differences do a search...
Thanks.

I've searched but have found no direct comparisons of these three mixers in terms of sonics. If you know of a thread that contains useful info, please post a link... thanks.
Old 20th August 2007
  #4
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Wes Kuhnley's Avatar
 

I'd go for the Toft...
Old 20th August 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Kuhnley View Post
I'd go for the Toft...
the toft looks quite appealing//just for the eq alone
Old 20th August 2007
  #6
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Fletcher's Avatar
Having used the LiLo as well as the Toft I would think that if you're looking for maximum flexibility with an exceptionally clean signal path for doing "out of the box" summing that the LiLo would be the way to go... if you're looking for something more like a traditional console then the Toft will more than cover the job in an incredibly musical manner.

Peace.
Old 20th August 2007
  #7
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666666's Avatar
Thanks for all responses so far.

I should have clarified originally that I am most concerned about the overall sonic performance of the summing... I already have racks and racks of great outboard eq, pres, comps, etc and thus do not need any in a mixer.

Main goal: to obtain stellar summing with FADERS... period.

I currently use lots of API and GML outboard, and want to make sure that whatever summing I use will not become a "weak link" in this otherwise very strong chain. In a perfect world, the summing would "match" the sonic quality of the outboard. I know there are other high-end summing options, but very few have FADERS... and FADERS are a requirement at this point.

I do highly respect the Speck as being an incredible piece for the money, that's no doubt, great design and feature set, great swiss army knife, overall I'd say Speck gear is absolutely outstanding, I own and use some even now... I'm just trying to figure out if the LiLo specifically is the right thing for me in this particular application.
Old 20th August 2007
  #8
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Thanks!
Old 21st August 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Having used the LiLo as well as the Toft I would think that if you're looking for maximum flexibility with an exceptionally clean signal path for doing "out of the box" summing that the LiLo would be the way to go... if you're looking for something more like a traditional console then the Toft will more than cover the job in an incredibly musical manner.
Peace.
Thanks Fletcher
Old 22nd August 2007
  #10
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post

How would a Speck LiLo summing path compare to that of say a typical API summing path or a GML mixing suite, etc? In a blindfolded listening comparison test between these, please predict the outcome in terms of all-out sonic performance. Do you think the Speck would be able to "hang" with the others, or would there be a noticeable, even if very slight, sonic shortcoming?
Is there a fader option for the GML mixing suite?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #11
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Fletcher's Avatar
One thing I found with the LiLo [and I mentioned this to Vince more than a couple of times] is that the faders don't feel very good. They "feel" cheap. Now I realize that the "feel" of the fader in it's throw has nothing to do with the sonics of the summing route... but it does have quite a bit to do with how YOU [as an engineer] feel about the hardware.

From a purely sonic perspective... the Speck is far more "neutral" sounding... the Toft more "exciting" in the presentation of the audio.

Peace.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
One thing I found with the LiLo [and I mentioned this to Vince more than a couple of times] is that the faders don't feel very good. They "feel" cheap. Now I realize that the "feel" of the fader in it's throw has nothing to do with the sonics of the summing route... but it does have quite a bit to do with how YOU [as an engineer] feel about the hardware.

From a purely sonic perspective... the Speck is far more "neutral" sounding... the Toft more "exciting" in the presentation of the audio.

Peace.
Hi Fletcher,

I remember our conversation about the LiLo faders. It was just after Mercenary took delivery on one of the first units. The conversation was one of those tough-love new product debriefings that you and I have had on many occasions. [By the way, that's one of the reasons I like doing business with you.]

Soon after our converation we showed the LiLo at AES 2004. On the unit we took to AES, I installed four different brands of faders. One of them was the fader you told me was cheap feeling. When folks stopped by our booth to check-out the LiLo, I asked them to rate the faders according to "feel". Most of them agreed with you - that the fader was "light" and "easy" to move which they perceived as cheap.

We stopped using those sliders (the one's you called cheap) right after the 2004 AES show. Most LiLo customers are happy with the current slider that offers more resistance when it is pushed.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #13
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contempo's Avatar
 

what about build quality and durability/service? i'd guess that speck is way ahead of the curve there followed closely by soundcraft. not sure about the ATB yet, too new...but i have real doubts about anything & everything coming from the pmi camps, not to mention anything made in china. seems like the chineese can't even make a barbie doll correctly, and you want to mix a record? not for me thanks. i guess time will tell.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #14
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Contempo, I agree with your assesment of the Speck stuff. I have used it on occasion and I think he does a great job.

I also own and use the Toft ATB and feel that until you have worked on an ATB and put it through it paces... only then you can decide if it works for you..

Otherwise, you just assuming...

Btw, most of us are using things in our evyday life that were designed here and manufactured overseas..

So get off your high horse...
Old 23rd August 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
Btw, most of us are using things in our evyday life that were designed here and manufactured overseas..

So get off your high horse...
so i have certain beliefs and view the world & it's workings in a certain light, you'll hold that & dig against me?

not very cool.

must be some hell that you live in my friend.

i'm sorry for you.

i believe in quality and equality, two things which ARE NOT happening in china right now. not to mention the pollution that's running rampent there, litterally destroying the planet and peoples ways of life... factories dumping chemicals into farmers fields for instance,

to say nothing of they're use of antifreeze as a "sweetner" in some products because they deem sugar too expensive...

how is THAT good for ANYONE?

sorry to go off topic. just something i believe in strongly.

personally i wish the ATB was made anywhere else even if it came with a higher price tag. how about $10k and made in japan? south korea? hungray? yugoslovia? there are LOTS of other countries in the world that treat people fairly and make good products.

peace.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contempo View Post

i believe in quality and equality, two things which ARE NOT happening in china right now. not to mention the pollution that's running rampent there, litterally destroying the planet and peoples ways of life... factories dumping chemicals into farmers fields for instance,


peace.
Well, they've had quite a fine model with our western world...

But I agree with you, if you buy some chinese-made product, you'd better be aware that you're feeding their whole industrial, political and social concept...

Olivier.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #17
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Wow, Contempo , um, I was responding to what you wrote...

You know the part about If it was built in China? , the part about how they cant build barbie dolls correctly..?

The part about the fact that you never have even tried out the TOFt console..?

That's what I was responding to..

Now you take it to a politcal/moral level.. !? ..I wasnt responding to a political question.. !

Was that to shy away from the fact that you were talking out your ass?

This was a question about the sound of a console. You have every right to go spew your politcal views in another forum.
tutt
Old 23rd August 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
Wow, Contempo , um, I was responding to what you wrote...

You know the part about If it was built in China? , the part about how they cant build barbie dolls correctly..?

The part about the fact that you never have even tried out the TOFt console..?

That's what I was responding to..

Now you take it to a politcal/moral level.. !? ..I wasnt responding to a political question.. !

Was that to shy away from the fact that you were talking out your ass?

This was a question about the sound of a console. You have every right to go spew your politcal views in another forum.
tutt
you tell me to get off "a high moral horse" or something. whatever. hippocrits abound. hard to look in the mirror somedays eh? go f-u-c-k yourself in the ass if you wanna go that route...talking about asses & what not. i personally don't have the time, nor the energy to go there.

personally, no i haven't used the atb. haven't come across one in either my daily work or travels. i'll be doing overdubs on an 8068 next week, how about you? after that i'll be back in my little homestudio with my british made a&h desk.

jsut been reading the reports on here about the ATB & quality seems dubious. i don't know know about you but i investigate all angles of a major purchase and a console would be a major purchase. if the build, support and other thigns aren't in place then I really don't give a rats ass about how good it may sound.

why are any of these in "high-end" anyway. is a ghost or ATB really "high end" these days? that's sad if it is.
Old 24th August 2007
  #19
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Wow, Contempo ... what a class act...
thumbsup

Now back to what this thread was about.. you know... the LiLo, the Ghost and the Toft..

and to the people that have actually used one or are honest and genuine about trying one out.. you have my apologies for having to read thru this garbage..
Old 24th August 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contempo View Post
...but i have real doubts about anything & everything coming from the pmi camps, not to mention anything made in china.

So, what are your "real doubts" with the stuff coming out of PMI? I've seen them go above and beyond to help customers out and a lot of their stuff seems to be pretty good bang for the buck. But seriously, if you have doubts and voice that fact then I think you should at least tell people what your doubts are. It would be more helpful than just making a generalization about everything made in China.
Old 24th August 2007
  #21
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
what about build quality and durability/service?
Indeed something to be considered, no doubt.

Thanks

Quote:
Now back to what this thread was about.. you know... the LiLo, the Ghost and the Toft.
Yes, let's please get back to the focus here - thanks!

Old 24th August 2007
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
So, what are your "real doubts" with the stuff coming out of PMI? I've seen them go above and beyond to help customers out and a lot of their stuff seems to be pretty good bang for the buck. But seriously, if you have doubts and voice that fact then I think you should at least tell people what your doubts are. It would be more helpful than just making a generalization about everything made in China.
without getting into gory deep details, i had a really horrible experience with pmi & those studio projects microphones back in the early days when they were first available. delivery dates were missed, promises weren't kept and things were generall just "not right" with the whole situation. i ended up speaking to alan after sifting through way too much bullcrap and was less then impressed with his 'people skills', not that i should speak much... raised in the middle of east coast aggro but i'm trying! when things finally were about right and we ended up with the mics that we were supposed to have gotten in the first place, everyone at the studio decided that the whole horrible ordeal was just NOT worth the amount of effort involved.

beyond that i'm looking at the joe meek line. there's a really huge difference between the sound & build quality of those early units when ted fletcher was still involved and what they've been making in the last few years. i think ted's been pretty open about the decline which led to his leaving the orginization, check out his tape op interview for instance. how about the stephen paul audio mic that's what, 7 or 8 years in the making? funny how the stepen paul logo was a triangle with "SP" on it, now the redesigned studio projects logo is an upside triangle with "SP" too! weird huh???

so no, having not worked on an ATB i can also safely say that i'm not going out of my way to find one either. if i come across one while working i'll gladly try it but i'm spending NO amount of time chasing it down. i've followed the threads on here about the build quality, weird gain staging, lack of facilites in the master section & the like. seeing alan post on here repeateldy that it was "built to a price point" doesn't encourage me either. it should be the other way around, build to a quality point, then figure out what to sell it for. the other way doesn't exactly inspire long-term confidence. for that kind of money go get a trident 24 or a REAL soundcraft and refurb it with a few hundred bucks in caps & chips. they'll run forever and probably most likely sound a whole hell of a lot better too!

peace.
Old 24th August 2007
  #23
pan
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Ouch - and I thought me were being rude in the first response to this question...

peace!
Old 24th August 2007
  #24
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Ok, so you had a bad experience.. We are sorry to hear that.. If you have read thru the threads , this was the target market that they were shooting for.

Yes, they could have built a Console at 2-3 times the price. They didnt. This is what they are offering. Nothing more, nothing less I think it is great little console and the Eq itself is worth the price of admission. Alan and PMI have been upfront about any issue and have been quick to address them.

"for that kind of money go get a trident 24 or a REAL soundcraft and refurb it with a few hundred bucks in caps & chips. they'll run forever and probably most likely sound a whole hell of a lot better too"

So what are you going to pay for a used Trident 24? or a used Soundcraft ghost ? About the same as a toft console, then you have to have it refurbed.. If it breaks, who is going to fix it?
Old 24th August 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
So what are you going to pay for a used Trident 24? or a used Soundcraft ghost ? About the same as a toft console, then you have to have it refurbed.. If it breaks, who is going to fix it?
just about anyone who can fix a TV, guitar amp, stompbox or any other electronic device. and actually, i'd assume that the tridents & old soundcrafts are gonna be a lot easier to fix when & if something goes wrong. fully modular vs. 8 channel buckets, lots more room inside to work inside those too. besides, those tridents new were in the $30-50k range and that was 10-20 years ago!

i've seen all the pictures of the atb, i'm a little surpised they didn't even use nuts on the 1/4" jacks. so they're probably all mounted on a pcb...very easy to flex and break traces since there's no chassis support. even cable strain will do that after a few years!

so "this" (forum) was the target market... groovy. they built & are selling consoles to the home hobbiest camp. nothing wrong with that. but it's NOT 'high-end' at all, nor is it really "pro" either. pros don't settle for "good enough" at any stage.
Old 24th August 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contempo View Post
without getting into gory deep details, i had a really horrible experience with pmi & those studio projects microphones back in the early days when they were first available. delivery dates were missed, promises weren't kept and things were generall just "not right" with the whole situation. i ended up speaking to alan after sifting through way too much bullcrap and was less then impressed with his 'people skills', not that i should speak much... raised in the middle of east coast aggro but i'm trying! when things finally were about right and we ended up with the mics that we were supposed to have gotten in the first place, everyone at the studio decided that the whole horrible ordeal was just NOT worth the amount of effort involved.

beyond that i'm looking at the joe meek line. there's a really huge difference between the sound & build quality of those early units when ted fletcher was still involved and what they've been making in the last few years. i think ted's been pretty open about the decline which led to his leaving the orginization, check out his tape op interview for instance. how about the stephen paul audio mic that's what, 7 or 8 years in the making? funny how the stepen paul logo was a triangle with "SP" on it, now the redesigned studio projects logo is an upside triangle with "SP" too! weird huh???

so no, having not worked on an ATB i can also safely say that i'm not going out of my way to find one either. if i come across one while working i'll gladly try it but i'm spending NO amount of time chasing it down. i've followed the threads on here about the build quality, weird gain staging, lack of facilites in the master section & the like. seeing alan post on here repeateldy that it was "built to a price point" doesn't encourage me either. it should be the other way around, build to a quality point, then figure out what to sell it for. the other way doesn't exactly inspire long-term confidence. for that kind of money go get a trident 24 or a REAL soundcraft and refurb it with a few hundred bucks in caps & chips. they'll run forever and probably most likely sound a whole hell of a lot better too!

peace.


I appreciate your honesty and the situation you were in. I just thought more clarification was needed when making such a strong statement. I feel your situation is important for people to hear since dropping a few grand on a companies product isn't anything to sneeze at. Some people may not appreciate it but I do and thanks for an honest post.
Old 25th August 2007
  #27
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Quote:
so "this" (forum) was the target market... groovy. they built & are selling consoles to the home hobbiest camp. nothing wrong with that. but it's NOT 'high-end' at all, nor is it really "pro" either. pros don't settle for "good enough" at any stage.
Tchad Blake bought one and he's posted here on GS that he thinks it's great. He's a pretty "pro" guy IMOheh

Oh and PS, a Trident Series 24 is a bitch IMO - your better off with an ATB.

Oh and another PS - the MTA console that you recommended to someone else uses the same preamp as the ATB
Old 25th August 2007
  #28
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why do you say a trident 24 is "a bitch"? i've worked on a few over my years and generally like 'em for the rock & heavy stuff i produce. two records ago with my band, we cut on a trident 24 & some outboard pres, mixed on an api 3224 & that sounds great.

lets see, made in uk with modular construction & lots of room to repair/mod channel strips... or made in a foreign land to a price point with 8 channel modular strips? real deal alps faders vs. whatever they stuck in there? i can't even begin to think that the build quality & parts are similar between the two.

and anyway, i happen to dig malcoms designs a whiole lot. the mta 900 consoles are really super, but even if the ATB has the same pres you can't even begin to compare them to each other. the mta 980 is more like a series 80... a "real" console in every sense.

unless you like comparing a honda civic to a corvette & have been deluded into thinking that yes, they are indeed similar in every way. but i guess that's what marketing is for eh?
Old 25th August 2007
  #29
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First off, I don't want to be argumentative with you - I just enjoy the back and forth

But you used external pre's and mixed on something else. So it doesn't say much about the series 24. Having said that, they're fricken noisey, bad headroom (unless seriously modded out) and high maintainance (and good luck getting parts).

Now I'm not going to sit here and say the ATB is the next best thing since sliced bread - I actually bought one for a bar (FOH). But due to construction delays I bought it to the studio "just to see". The only problems were a couple of cold solder joints (took 5 minutes to fix) and that was it. Decent pre's, very good EQ, decent noise floor and decent headroom. It's socket mounted (not surface mounted) so you can swap the chips on the master section if you want a more "open" sound easily and cheap. It's seriously a good value. A Series 24 would cost you double and not sound better.
Old 25th August 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kats View Post
But you used external pre's and mixed on something else. So it doesn't say much about the series 24. Having said that, they're fricken noisey, bad headroom (unless seriously modded out) and high maintainance (and good luck getting parts).
be careful about assuming there! we tracked at a studio outside of dallas tx because the producer wanted to be close to home and we wanted to get away from "home" distractions for recording. we ended up mixing on the api because i like api's and a friend outside of boisie (yes, idaho) made a very generous offer. being in the midwest it was an easy if not a long drive but well worth it! where and what we mixed that record on had nothing to do with the tone of the consoles involved. i could've mixed it at home on the allen & heath if i wanted, i've mixed PLENTY of other indie records here, but i wanted to get away. i really hate "working" on my own music. i'd rather play & leave the worry about knob turning to others as much as possible.

i still say the 24 is probably a better made console then the ATB. it's also a different beast. 24 buss or 8 buss? 8 auxes or 6? full meter bridge? how about balanced inserts with seperate send & return, mutes & solos on the tape return/jukebox section... sweepable hi-pass, a MONO BUTTON for the control room outs?!? how could toft/pmi leave THAT out?!

do the micamps on the ATB have transformers? if not, then it's NOT the same pre as the old series 80s and mta 980/990 which DO have transformers. be curious to know the answer to that one. the toft looks like its several steps up from a mackie 8buss for sure, but not on the level, or even close to the level of an old series 80 like the marketing claims. maybe the eq design is the same, maybe it even sounds good, people seem to say it's better then most plug-ins but i've never thought plug-ins sounded all that great to begin with.

btw is tchad mixing records on his atb? i was on the road & just too busy to read his guest thing.
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