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Allen and Heath System 8 opinions
Old 24th December 2007
  #1
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alexp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Allen and Heath System 8 opinions

Just curious as to what everyone thinks of these things. I have one, but am thinking of getting another one for 32 channels.

I havent quite gotten my head around this thing yet. Whats the pros and cons of it?

Alex
Old 24th December 2007
  #2
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ryanojohn's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I had one of the 24 channel MKII models. It was great, I loved summing protools mixes through it, the eqs were pretty usable, and it even overloaded pretty nicely. I never actually used its mic pres though, so I can't really say much for tracking with it. I installed a switch to turn off the VU's 'cause they burned out too fast. The power supplies was a bit noisy to me, but the signal path was pretty clean... i liked the switches to change the freq on the LF and HF, much nicer than just a shelf... can't really remember much more... lol
Old 24th December 2007 | Show parent
  #3
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alexp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey Ryan!

Thanks for the response. I just have the 16 channel. All my VU lights are out... Dont really need to replace them as their big enough that I can see whats going on in a dimly lit place.

I guess my main question is, how it compares to other stuff, as I really havent had the chance to listen to other pre's, eq's and all that. I really love the eq on it as well, and to my ears, seems very musical. But are the pre's useable enough for tracking. I have had no problems with it, and I like the fatness of the console overall. Seems to be a great front end for a daw. Did you mix on it from protools?I'm trying to do that myself but need all 16 inputs for synths and samplers. I thought of just wiring up the 8 outs of my Echo Gina into one of my patchbays, and then simply using the front panel to override my synths on the board, so that I can group 8 channels together within my DAW ( I use Cubase), and then sum them in the console on 8 channels. I would love another 24/96, so I could get 16 outputs out of Cubase, and then be able to mix on the A&H and then feed it all back into Cubase with the monitor section. Is that possible?

Alex
Old 24th December 2007 | Show parent
  #4
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James Meeker's Avatar
I had one in my basement studio for awhile and they're great. One of the best values on the market. Built pretty solid, preamps are decent, the EQ is decent. Good board.
Old 24th December 2007
  #5
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alexp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the reply James.

So you think its worth getting another one to try and make a 32 channel monster out of it?
Old 24th December 2007 | Show parent
  #6
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allencollins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have one.It's in storage I havn't used it in years. I bought in new in 87 or so
I love the low end on that board. I listen back to some of the mixes I did in the late 80's and love the bass gtr sounds I got with it. Very 'English' sound to it. I also got some really sweet acoustic gtr sounds with it. I think some of the gtr and vocal sounds I got with it stand up too. My drums sounds were weak, but I doubt that was the board. Maybe just due to bad mics and my inexperience.

I may hook it up and record a track with it just to see how it stands up today.
10X better than a mackie. I will guarantee that. I remember a/b ing with a buddy of mines TAC board and the A&H was sweeter. Overall it has a warm sound to it and fairy quiet board. Built like a tank too.
Old 25th December 2007 | Show parent
  #7
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alexp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey Allen thanks! Do you remember offhand what they were worth new? I am very curious.

If you dont like the board, and you want to sell it let me know I am trying to put a pair of them together for a really nice 32 channel setup.

Alex
Old 25th December 2007 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 15 years
There was a 32 channel of the System 8 in the Mark 3 series. I had one for a while when I worked for Allen and Heath. I forget the price, although 6kish sounds right when they were new. As you probably have already seen they are modular internally, so they are easy to work on. Much more robust than the Mackies et al that followed, which were probably quieter but with less kick. I made lots of records on it in my first home studio....a System 8 and a JH16 MCI.

Its also a pretty easy board to mod. There are lots of outdated TLO72s that can be replaced with better BUT the power supply is pretty marginal so make sure you are aware of what the draw is on the updated chips. To be honest, if you REALLY want to make what you are doing work a better power supply is in order.

That being said, I think its a great board to experimant on and there is a lot of room to improve it if you get into it. Just be aware of the PSU issue before you get too far in.

By the way there is one in my kitchen that my roomate was restoring but seems to lost interest in. If you are interested I will find out what the status of it is and what he wants for it in its current state.

I'd love to get it out of the kitchen....lol.
Old 25th December 2007 | Show parent
  #9
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James Meeker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp ➑️
So you think its worth getting another one to try and make a 32 channel monster out of it?
Yeah, if you can do the work and make it cost effective I'd say go for it.

I debated selling mine... I had thought about having some of the preamps and EQ's racked at one point.
Old 25th December 2007 | Show parent
  #10
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allencollins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp ➑️
Hey Allen thanks! Do you remember offhand what they were worth new? I am very curious.

If you dont like the board, and you want to sell it let me know I am trying to put a pair of them together for a really nice 32 channel setup.

Alex
hey yeah I paid 4500. ouch!! But I look back and it was worth it
Old 25th December 2007 | Show parent
  #11
jdg
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24 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
had one for a while.. it wasn't the cleanest sound.. i dont remember it having too much headroom either.. but the EQs were awesome, and easy to work with... and replacing the VU bulbs is a nightmare.

dont pay too much, unless its been recapped recencetly, and pretty minty
Old 25th December 2007 | Show parent
  #12
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ryanojohn's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp ➑️
Hey Ryan!
I thought of just wiring up the 8 outs of my Echo Gina into one of my patchbays, and then simply using the front panel to override my synths on the board, so that I can group 8 channels together within my DAW ( I use Cubase), and then sum them in the console on 8 channels. I would love another 24/96, so I could get 16 outputs out of Cubase, and then be able to mix on the A&H and then feed it all back into Cubase with the monitor section. Is that possible?

Alex
That is totally possible... I used to do most of my mixing in PT, and send stems to pairs of channels on the AH, give them a touch of EQ, and take the group out pair back into PT...

Last edited by ryanojohn; 26th December 2007 at 06:09 AM.. Reason: spellinnnnnnng
Old 26th December 2007 | Show parent
  #13
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alexp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo ➑️
There was a 32 channel of the System 8 in the Mark 3 series. I had one for a while when I worked for Allen and Heath. I forget the price, although 6kish sounds right when they were new. As you probably have already seen they are modular internally, so they are easy to work on. Much more robust than the Mackies et al that followed, which were probably quieter but with less kick. I made lots of records on it in my first home studio....a System 8 and a JH16 MCI.

Its also a pretty easy board to mod. There are lots of outdated TLO72s that can be replaced with better BUT the power supply is pretty marginal so make sure you are aware of what the draw is on the updated chips. To be honest, if you REALLY want to make what you are doing work a better power supply is in order.

That being said, I think its a great board to experimant on and there is a lot of room to improve it if you get into it. Just be aware of the PSU issue before you get too far in.

By the way there is one in my kitchen that my roomate was restoring but seems to lost interest in. If you are interested I will find out what the status of it is and what he wants for it in its current state.

I'd love to get it out of the kitchen....lol.
steffmo I will totally take it if the price is right! Thanks tons for the comments. I wasnt aware of the ps situation so its something I need to look into for sure!!!!

Alex
Old 31st December 2007 | Show parent
  #14
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do-ob's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi, just wondering if any of you guys know whether modding the PSU of the system8 in any way can help reduce the noise from the desk?

I just got one to replace my soundcraft M12 (haven't done any comparison yet, but I'm sure someone out there would like to know so I'll post again as soon as as I do).

cheers!
Old 20th March 2008
  #15
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gillanthedrummer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
allen & heath system 8 (mark I) for sale....

i have one for sale in the UK if anyones interested?

[email protected]
Old 11th April 2010 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
alex, I think their awesome, I've got one for my recording studio, and I LOVE the pre amps and eq's, mine is a MKI so it's the one of the first , has an early serial number, but man, pre amps seldomly heard these days, it's the old-skool english style, i'd love to have another one
Old 18th April 2010 | Show parent
  #17
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rajprods's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
That's great to hear.... I just picked up the 2416 MKIII. I dropped it off at the shop to have a couple of minor things fixed and checked out. It seemed to be in great condition for the age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinNCR ➑️
alex, I think their awesome, I've got one for my recording studio, and I LOVE the pre amps and eq's, mine is a MKI so it's the one of the first , has an early serial number, but man, pre amps seldomly heard these days, it's the old-skool english style, i'd love to have another one
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Allen and Heath System 8 opinions-ah-system-8.jpg  
Old 18th April 2010 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 15 years
The mark !!! had an exta switch in the monitor section. I'm trying to remember exactly what it did, but it made it easier to use the monitor section as additional returns in mix. For one thing you could get the group out faders to be the first eight return faders in mix.

Counting the dedicated FX return in the master you can source 42 ins on that board.

I took the meter lights out of mine. It looked better with none and they constantly blew out.

I'm willingto bet that those boards will sound fabulous in the slightly too bright digital realm.

AND, they are made of metal. Lots of metal.
Old 21st April 2010 | Show parent
  #19
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
wow that's a very mint new one! is it 24 Channel nice!:D where've you got it and how is it working?
Old 21st April 2010 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I have one of these. Several of the channels have gone intermittent (cutting in and out depending on the volume of the signal coming in). It;'s a pain in the ass because it seems to happen randomly...overheads will disappear and then come crackling in on a snare hit. Anybody know what could cause this? I don't really wanna drop a ton of dough on a tech to fix it...
Old 21st April 2010 | Show parent
  #21
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do-ob's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
In case any of you were interested I did a rough quick pre comparison with the ones on this desk, + an amek, spectrasonics, and an old tascam. Not terribly objective but it gives you an idea of the quality. Use search function

I've had the desk now for a few years. The faders are built to last forever, the pre's are more than usable, in fact they are quite lean and I prefer them on a number of sources, and more than fantastic when all your regular outboards are used and you still need to add drums. Only gripe is the power supply buzzes but it's a minor thing. Seems to handle everything. Nothing's failed yet (since servicing) and I got all the VU bulbs turned off cos they burn out quickly.

If you can find one, it's an awesome vintage desk on a budget!
Old 22nd April 2010 | Show parent
  #22
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rajprods's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, it's the Mark III 2416 (24 channel). After I bought it, I took it directly to the shop to have a pot fixed and checked out thoroughly. I haven't heard it yet. It was used for recording recently, so it's definitely in decent working condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinNCR ➑️
wow that's a very mint new one! is it 24 Channel nice!:D where've you got it and how is it working?
Old 22nd April 2010 | Show parent
  #23
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5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by do-ob ➑️
In case any of you were interested I did a rough quick pre comparison with the ones on this desk, + an amek, spectrasonics, and an old tascam. Not terribly objective but it gives you an idea of the quality. Use search function

I've had the desk now for a few years. The faders are built to last forever, the pre's are more than usable, in fact they are quite lean and I prefer them on a number of sources, and more than fantastic when all your regular outboards are used and you still need to add drums. Only gripe is the power supply buzzes but it's a minor thing. Seems to handle everything. Nothing's failed yet (since servicing) and I got all the VU bulbs turned off cos they burn out quickly.

If you can find one, it's an awesome vintage desk on a budget!
I saw that post did you ever post your results?
Old 22nd April 2010 | Show parent
  #24
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5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SittinIdol ➑️
I have one of these. Several of the channels have gone intermittent (cutting in and out depending on the volume of the signal coming in). It;'s a pain in the ass because it seems to happen randomly...overheads will disappear and then come crackling in on a snare hit. Anybody know what could cause this? I don't really wanna drop a ton of dough on a tech to fix it...
bad or really dirty gain pots can cause it. did you clean them with a quality pot cleaner?
Old 22nd April 2010 | Show parent
  #25
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vicenzajay's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
This is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SittinIdol ➑️
I have one of these. Several of the channels have gone intermittent (cutting in and out depending on the volume of the signal coming in). It;'s a pain in the ass because it seems to happen randomly...overheads will disappear and then come crackling in on a snare hit. Anybody know what could cause this? I don't really wanna drop a ton of dough on a tech to fix it...
Usually some solder joints going bad or intermittent. Unfortunately, with this type of desk, it usually means an overall trip to the tech to clean and reflow connections, etc.
Old 4th May 2010
  #26
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rajprods's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I noticed the System 8 only has one 1/4 output for control room monitors. What would be the easiest way to setup 2 monitors and a subwoofer?
Old 4th May 2010 | Show parent
  #27
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ddageek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajprods ➑️
I noticed the System 8 only has one 1/4 output for control room monitors. What would be the easiest way to setup 2 monitors and a subwoofer?
Coleman LS3!
Old 4th May 2010 | Show parent
  #28
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rajprods's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek ➑️
Coleman LS3!
Old 4th May 2010 | Show parent
  #29
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rekloos's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajprods ➑️
I noticed the System 8 only has one 1/4 output for control room monitors. What would be the easiest way to setup 2 monitors and a subwoofer?

i use the 'monitor' out for main speakers and 'cue' for sub.....
Old 7th May 2010 | Show parent
  #30
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rajprods's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Okay, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rekloos ➑️
i use the 'monitor' out for main speakers and 'cue' for sub.....
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