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1U Line Mixer Questions (Rane / Ashly / Alesis)


NoahZark

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I'm looking for a 1U line mixer to fill an empty space in my rack and allow me to avoid separately lugging along to gigs my Mackie 802VLZ3. I've read all the good things about the Rane SM82s and the Ashly LX308b, but I'm struggling a bit with shelling out that kind of dough ($500) at the moment (especially after my wife and I did our part to help the economy during the holiday shopping season).

 

My question is this: Can anyone tell me whether the changes from the earlier Rane and Ashly models (SM82 vs. SM82s and LX308 vs. LX308b) are dramatic? I have been able to locate both of the previous models on eBay at fairly significant savings to the current models, and if the specs and performance are similar between the models, I'm inclined to go the used route with the older model. There are clear cosmetic changes from older model to new, but is there anything else that anyone is aware of?

 

Also, does anyone have experience with the new Alesis MultiMix 8 line mixer? It looks like a decent piece of kit, but I just don't know much about the quality of Alesis mixers.

 

Thanks, forum brothers and sisters!

 

Noah

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I'm not a fan of Alesis.

 

The Rane has a wall-wart.

 

The Ashly is $515.

 

I'd borrow the money from a rich uncle and get the Ashly.

 

Don't know the differences between older/newer models.

 

Good luck Noah. :thu:

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I'm typically not a fan of Alesis mixers either, however I borrowed a Multimix 8 Line from a friend and loved it. Contrary to other Alesis mixers, this one was dead quiet and did everything an 8 channel stereo line mixer should do.

 

I bought one and it has been a flawless performer, so I can only say good things about this "particular" Alesis.

 

However, remember even a "blind" squirrel finds a nut once in a while, so YMMV.

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Not a lot of love for Alesis mixers in this thread so far.

 

I've been considering buying one (price point) for the office & NAMM setups, but I'm curious about these objections.

 

What's the Alesis's problem - longevity? quality? noise? other?

 

(On another note, I'm still looking for an M-Audio/MidiMan MultiMix 6. If anyone has one to spare, PM me.)

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I'm using a MOTU UltraLite in a rack. Originally scored this for firewire/Mac usage, but that is secondary. It is my "go-to" live mixer and takes only a 1/2 rack space. I don't know what they are selling for on the used market, but picked mine up 2 years ago for about $350.

 

Regards,

Eric

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About two years ago I had an audio interface by Alesis which broke twice during warranty time. One of the input channels would just start to hiss like crazy for no apparent reason. That's why I don't buy Alesis anymore.
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If you can find the older thread (maybe a year or two ago), someone who had owned both the Ashly and the Rane, gave some reasons why the Ashly is better, but I forget the details now.

 

As for newer/older, the newer version is black so that it is easily recognisable as new. I think they might have pipped the S/N, but you can go to their website as they at least at one time went into details about the differences.

 

There's been no looking back since I bought my greenish-slate-grey LX308B. One of the wisest purchases of my life. The Rane SM82 has slightly different routing, so as long as its audio quality as good (something that was discussed in the older thread), it may or may not meet your specific needs better.

 

The Ashly is so good that it even betters my Bryston .5B preamp. Granted that piece is 25 years old, but Bryston is a worldwide standard in studios and their old stuff is still in demand. But of course I still use the Bryston for my main hi-fi setup. The Ashly is used on stage and even in the studio to avoid having to have a patchbay.

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The Rane has a wall-wart.

 

The older Rane has a "line lump" not a wall wart.

 

Yeah... a line lump with a proprietary connector. :rolleyes::mad:

 

Something you can forget and leave behind. Then, when you're putting everything together on stage you look in your equipment case - and only then do you realize that you left it at home... in your studio. There isn't another one to be found for miles. Either you drive home and get it (if it's not too far) or you try to do without.

 

I'm not a fan of line lumps, wall warts, or anything of the type. Kurzweil did a good thing with the PC3 by replacing the line lump with an internal power supply.

 

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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The Ashly is so good that it even betters my Bryston .5B preamp. Granted that piece is 25 years old, but Bryston is a worldwide standard in studios and their old stuff is still in demand. But of course I still use the Bryston for my main hi-fi setup. The Ashly is used on stage and even in the studio to avoid having to have a patchbay.

 

For anyone who is familiar with Bryston Ltd., that's saying a lot.

 

Noah, save your pennies and get the Ashly.

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I'm not a fan of Alesis.

 

The Rane has a wall-wart.

 

The Ashly is $515.

 

I'd borrow the money from a rich uncle and get the Ashly.

 

Don't know the differences between older/newer models.

 

Good luck Noah. :thu:

 

There's an Ashly on ebay right not that's currently at $199.00 with an hour or so togo on the auction

�Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!�

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I would throw in my vote for the Ashly. I owned the Ashly MX-508 for a number of years. I really hated selling it but I wasn't leading has many large band gigs anymore in addition to dropping out of the two keyboard world. The preamps sounded great, very clean (blew the Mackie VLZ away), tons of headroom, probably quiet enough to do some recording with it--for my purpose though, it was just way overkill for just DP and vocal. I sold it and put the dough towards the Tascam DV-RA 1000HD recorder. I really miss it though.

 

I haven't used the 308b personally, but in keeping with the high standards of the company, I would not hesitate in least to recommend that piece. Regarding the old v.s. new model---I would just call Ashly up, I think they are in upstate NY. I used to have a name of a guy I would speak with but can't seem to find it. Anyone in tech support would be more than happy to help you with any questions in that area. They are a small company with very friendly, knowledgeable folks.

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Very, very happy Ashly owner here.

1st, it is top quality in both build construction and audio.

2nd, the independent control of stereo outs, mono out, and headphone out is very useful. I use the headphone outs to my IEM's and then can send the FOH either mono summed or stereo balanced line levels. Each with with it's own volume control.

When I don't use the IEM's, I send the stereo out to my monitors and mono to the FOH.

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+1 for the Ashly. You can find the specs sheets for both at the Ashly website. A quick comparison shows that the new piece has a slightly better noise levels, is one pound heavier and has an IEC power cord vs. hardwired (I think by the picture).

 

Pete

 

"all generalizations are false" ~Mark Twain

 

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My LX308B mono out goes to my Avalon U5 and then onwards to my Stewart World 1.2 power amp and Aguilar GS112 speaker.

 

Yes, I now monitor keyboards in mono at gigs (for several years now). Stereo was too much extra gear, and I could never set them up in such a way that they gave me a proper stereo image without also visually blocking the lines of sight between band members (from an audience aesthetic as well as the practicality of eye contact).

 

The three separate routings are quite useful, as redKeys mentions. There's also a separate stereo effects return loop which might be useful for other purposes as well (I forget how it is specced and haven't used it).

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There's an Ashly on ebay right not that's currently at $199.00 with an hour or so togo on the auction

 

Yep. I saw that one. It's an older model LX308 (not the LX308b), which is why I was asking the questions about older versus newer. Thanks, everyone for the replies. Looks like I'll be saving my pennies for an Ashly.

 

IT-GIT: I, too, was fairly turned off by the "telephone connector" and line wart on the older model Rane SM82. I didn't worry too much about leaving it behind (because I'd probably just keep it wired up in my rack, which also includes a Furman power strip), but that connector didn't look too sturdy to me for something that'll be traveling around. That's one of the changes they made with the newer model SM82s, but it still doesn't use a standard IEC-type plug on the back.

 

Oh, the wifey's not gonna be happy with me this month....

 

Noah

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I'm using a MOTU UltraLite in a rack. Originally scored this for firewire/Mac usage, but that is secondary. It is my "go-to" live mixer and takes only a 1/2 rack space. I don't know what they are selling for on the used market, but picked mine up 2 years ago for about $350.

 

Regards,

Eric

 

E:

 

This was another idea I had a couple months back (and even started a thread about it), but the consensus seemed to be that trying to use the firewire interfaces as standalone audio mixers wasn't the easiest thing in the world. I'm still intrigued by this approach -- even more so since it seems to be working for you -- because once I'm dropping $500 on something like an Ashly line mixer, it seems a good use of a few additional dollars to pick up something like a MOTU Traveler or 828mk3 to also have a piece of kit that allows computer recording (something I don't currently have). Looks like I need to go back and re-read that old thread again.....

 

Thanks,

Noah

 

 

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Sorry, I thought you were referring to near-older vs. near-newer. The slate-grey "B" is the mid-model. The new ones are black. I forget what colour the pre-B ones are.

 

At any rate, when I was picking out my own line mixer a few years back, I downloaded all the manuals first. This meant also researching the difference between the pre-B and the B model for LX308. My recollection is that the difference is minute, but the specs might still be available at the Ashly website.

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I still have uber-love for the Roland M120 line mixer. No line lump or wall wart, 1 space, super clean, 12 channels, independent mains and monitoring, 2 stereo fx sends, stereo 1/4" and XLR mains, stereo 1/4" monitors. Awesome.
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I still have uber-love for the Roland M120 line mixer. No line lump or wall wart, 1 space, super clean, 12 channels, independent mains and monitoring, 2 stereo fx sends, stereo 1/4" and XLR mains, stereo 1/4" monitors. Awesome.

 

Wanna sell me one of your extras? ;)

 

Noah

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I still have uber-love for the Roland M120 line mixer. No line lump or wall wart, 1 space, super clean, 12 channels, independent mains and monitoring, 2 stereo fx sends, stereo 1/4" and XLR mains, stereo 1/4" monitors. Awesome.

 

Used to have an M120, and at one time an M12E. Both fall into the "What on earth was I thinking when I sold that ?!" file (That file is embarrassingly large). I did replace both with a Mackie LM 3204, which I still have; but it takes up a lot of rack real estate... So back in September, with Ashly dreams but a significantly lower budget, I picked up - as an interim live 1U mixer - a Behringer RX 1602; definitely not a LX 308B by any means, but it's much closer to the M120 than I'd expected. Long term, the Ashly's still on my radar. But I'm also curious about the MOTU Ultralite that Eric is using as a live mixer. I plan to check out the thread that was mentioned...

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  • 2 years later...
let's ressurrect this conversation. Looking for a good used line mixer for live use-----The Ashley has no individual effects sends for onstage use----how do you guys deal with that if at all? I may get a used Rane for that reason, desite the rave Ashley reviews.

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The Ashley has no individual effects sends for onstage use----how do you guys deal with that if at all?

 

Firstly, thank you for taking advantage of an existing thread rather than posting a new one. :thu::D

 

Secondly, effects sends aren't quite as important when we're dealing with modern keyboards that have built-in effects. YMMV. :thu:

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Line mixer with fx sends = Rolls RM65b

 

I like that the volume controls are sliders rather than knobs, too... it's easier to tell at a glance where something is set.

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The Rane SM-82 has one big advantage - it is equipped for expansion.

 

When my rig grew beyond the eight inputs of my SM-82, I bought a 2nd SM-82 and used a TRS cable to chain them together using the EXPAND jacks. This lets you chain mixers together without consuming a channel input. And each SM-82 can have its own effects buss, or you can chain that too.

 

I now have three SM-82 units in my system, the oldest dating back to 1991 and they all have been trouble free.

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I have the Alesis Multimix and it has worked well for me on stage. I looked at the Ashley and others but found the Alesis used for $110.

 

There is no headphone jack. It does have a stereo monitor jack, in the back, which I have used for headphones.

 

The Alesis can also be chained together with another Multimix 8.

 

I have that stupid telephone power plug on a Rane pre-amp. It gives me some grief as the little plastic tab that clicks in to hold it in is busted.

 

 

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