View Full Version : Mackie vs Allen & Heath

11-02-1999, 07:48 AM
Right now we own a Mackie 24x8. We don't like it so we're looking into a new console. SSL, Neve, Euphonics are all way out of the budget so we are looking at the A&H GS 3000.

Has anyone used the A&H and the Mackie. We're trying to determine if it will be a big enough move up to be worth the extra expense. We a especially concerned about the mic pre's. If they aren't considerably better than the mackie we would use that money and buy external pre's. But obviously we can't buy 32 good external pre's for the cost of the A&H with 32 channels. The Valve pre's in the A&H look interesting also.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

11-02-1999, 08:00 AM
i use a small mackie at my studio, and my friend uses a small allen &heath at his studio. I enjoy my mackie immensly, and find the pres to be much better than soundcraft or the allen &heath pres (quiter, less coloration) the allen &heath board is a 16 channel mix wizard. it shines in the eq department. it has a very colorful(if not accurate) british eq. it has a ton (6) aux sends. routing sound back from a soundcard is better with the a&h than the mackie. i don't like the coloration the pres have (low headroom, slight graininess) and i hate the way the board routes sound out of it. i do like the eq better than mackie eq. both are high quality sounding boards for such a dirt cheap price. i use a mackie 24*4 for a live band, and i really dig the board. what don't you like about yours?

11-02-1999, 09:31 AM
I haven't used either board for a few years now, but I do remember that the ONLY thing I liked about the allen & Heath was the eq.

I think the mackies are alot cleaner, they have way more headroom, and I thought the preamps were quite nice. Obviously they wont hold a candle to a fearn or a focusrite, but as far as preamps in a board I don't think it gets much better.

I think the allen & heaths had not enough headroom, they produced a considerable amount of noise, and to me they felt like toys. Sliders and knobs felt cheap and I think they must have been designed by someone with very small hands.

If I were you I would invest in maybe 8 channels of really great preamp (if your on a small budget I have heard good things about presonus) and stick with the mackie.

I dont mean to start WWIII in here, these are simply my impressions of both boards.

11-02-1999, 11:00 AM
Thanks PT1,

I'm wondering if the EQ on the A&H is worth the move if the pre's are going to be decent.

Also has anyone used the Oram Octasonic? Or the Presonus? How do they compare?

11-02-1999, 11:43 AM
I've got Pro Control and a bunch of mic pre's. I need a 24ch desk to do 2" sessions on. here's the deal, mackie have developed new mic pres, they are only available on 16 ch desks (and smaller, NOT bigger!?????)
Same opinions around....Mackies NEW pre's are best, and Allen & Heaths EQ's are better. So...
The realy hip way to go is outboard with Mic Pre's.
I hate mackie EQ for Rock n Roll, I will go A&H or Soundcraft????
All the (cheap) desks I want have anoying cluttered fader paths full of routing buttons! AHGHGHGH!!!!!frustrating!!!!!!


11-03-1999, 02:00 PM

I talked to the guy I knew had an 8 channel presonus mic pre. He sold it, only because
he already has a rack of focusrites that obviously sound better, so he opted for a nice compressor instead.

He said that he was really really impressed
and for the price nothing could compare.

But I would still try to get an opinion on the Oram stuff, because Ihave also heard great things about them.

I'll see If I can't find someone in my area using Oram pre's and get back to you.

11-03-1999, 02:32 PM


11-03-1999, 02:33 PM
I guess the AIM way to do that doesn't work here. http://www.digidesign.com/ubb/images/icons/smile.gif

11-03-1999, 03:53 PM
Sure, I've used both Mackie 8bus and A&H GS3000. Personally I think they both suck, in the case of A&H I find that the ergonomics/layout of the desk is great, but the sonics are just too poor. I've said it before and I say it again: If you want an analogue desk, get a vintage console. Make sure you buy it from a dealer with good support. You can get nice MCI's, Tridents, even Neves, at a comparable price. But the vintage desks that I personally most strongly recomend is D&R desks. They have great sonics & layout, they look beutiful (especially the 1600 series). The only drawback is lack of automation on the older models. However, if you can get someone to install mos-fet automation, you got a jewel.

If you, however, want to go with a new desk, I feel pretty certain you get most bang for the bucks with John Oram's desks. (I think the url is http://www.oram.co.uk )