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


NoahZark

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If you're looking for a 1U line mixer - you might want to consider the Samson SM10. 10 Channels of stereo inputs - very flexible outputs (main output, monitor output and an effects output). I run the main to my stage monitor, the monitor output to the FOH and run an IEM via the effects send. Internal power supply - connected via an IEC cable (no wall warts or line lumps). Headphone outputs with the ability to monitor any output (mains, monitors and/or effects send). Current production available at $199. I've been using mine for roughly 10 months and have been very happy with it.

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SM10/

 

The SpaceNorman :freak:
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If you're looking for a 1U line mixer - you might want to consider the Samson SM10. 10 Channels of stereo inputs - very flexible outputs (main output, monitor output and an effects output). I run the main to my stage monitor, the monitor output to the FOH and run an IEM via the effects send. Internal power supply - connected via an IEC cable (no wall warts or line lumps). Headphone outputs with the ability to monitor any output (mains, monitors and/or effects send). Current production available at $199. I've been using mine for roughly 10 months and have been very happy with it.

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SM10/

 

:thu:

I got one of these on a really good e-bay deal, partly on SpaceNorman's information. It does just what I need it to do and is worth a look at for the price.

"I  cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long"

Walter Becker Donald Fagan 1977 Deacon Blues

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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.

 

+1 on the M-120

Built like a tank!

 

 

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My situation is exactly the same as it was four years ago - testament that a good line mixer is a durable tool.

 

Ashly LX-308B in the gig rack, Roland M-120 in the studio.

 

I had a bead on a few Ashly line mixers on debay but just kept getting hosed. I opted for the Samson Sm-10 in the hopes of snagging an Ashly in time! That being said, the Samson works fine for me. Still Searching for the Ashly I can afford! :crazy:

"I  cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long"

Walter Becker Donald Fagan 1977 Deacon Blues

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For what it's worth, I ended up buying an Ashly LX308b after starting this thread and getting the initial feedback a couple of years ago, and I've never looked back. It's just an awesome piece of gear....one of those "buy once and never think about it again" type of items.

 

Noah

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The Rolls sucks -- I borrowed one to try before deciding to spend more on the Ashley. May as well go Behringer at that point...

 

I think the Rane may be the only one of that form factor that has what might be used as an effects loop. Alesis has revised their models recently but I'm not sure if the new version(s) are to market yet. Alesis generally provides fairly good audio quality (not high-end like Ashley and Rane, but acceptable in most gigging situations), and their reliability has improved under Numark (though now they have been gobbled up in a new entity created for the merger with the partial spin-off of brands from the Avid roster).

 

I was torn between the Ashley and Rane when I made my purchase a few years back. Some say the Ashley has better audio quality, but I've only used them by themselves and haven't had the chance for a shootout. I don't think the differences are huge. They differ more on the types of features, which is more how I made my decision as I needed three distinctly different outputs.

 

A headphone jack isn't critical as long as you have one somewhere in your chain. I mostly used it for quick setup without disturbing the audience, vs. during the show.

 

That's a good price on the used Alesis, and a better buy than Rolls or Behringer. It's great that they can be chained.

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Also, Tascam introduced a new line mixer a year or two ago, which got placed either in its own topic or maybe in a NAMM report. As far as I know, no one here purchased one, and there haven't been many reviews.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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A couple years ago, I was looking to upgrade from my Behringer 1602 so I checked out everything that was available. I wanted an fx loop, internal power supply, meters, headphone out, and channel mutes. Turns out the Behringer is the only unit that has them all (Roland has all but the mutes, but it's too deep for my rack). So I'm still using the Behringer live, going on 5 years now.

 

The Samson SM10 wasn't out at the time; now that I'm looking at it online, it would've been a definite contender and I still may get one.

 

I picked up a used Ashly 308B for home use where I didn't need the fx loop, and it came with a busted channel mute, and I've since busted another one. Opened it up, and IMO the channel mute hardware isn't as impressive as Ashly's reputation or the rest of the unit's tank-like build. Maybe the previous user abused those buttons. I also compared Ashly vs Behringer for sound quality and couldn't tell the difference (yeah, it's loud rock 'n' roll and maybe I'm old & half-deaf - but so is my audience).

 

Comparison: Ashly is expensive and has no fx loop. Rane SM82S is expensive, has that odd cable, no meters, no headphone out, no mutes. Tascam LM-8ST is moderately expensive, no mutes, and the outs are XLR & RCA (no 1/4" outs). Rolls models all have wall-warts, no meters, no mutes. Alesis has no headphone out, no mutes. Behringer has everything I want, gets dragged around to gigs & rehearsals several times a week with no ill effects, and is dirt cheap; no contest.

 

I did this comparison a couple years ago and haven't checked to see if any of these specs have changed.

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The Rolls sucks -- I borrowed one to try before deciding to spend more on the Ashley. May as well go Behringer at that point...

Can you be more specific about what sucked about the Rolls?

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The audio quality. There was significant degradation that did NOT require "Golden Ears" to detect. The sound was coloured noticeably, and there was also a lot of noise added to the signal. Could have been an improperly grounded unit, I suppose.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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Another higher quality live piece, maybe even a step up from the Ashly.

 

http://www.apb-dynasonics.com/downloads/ProSpec/ProSpec_1U_2012_with_Specs.pdf

Look like a helluva mixer, for sure....but $1K for a line mixer's just not in the cards

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The one with four mic pre's is $770 at B+H:

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=832188&Q=&is=REG&A=details

 

The one with eight mic pre's is $790 at B+H:

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/832189-REG/APB_DynaSonics_PROSPEC_1U8M_8_CH_LIVE_PERFORMANCE_1_U.html

 

I read the spec sheet and looked at the schematics, and it definitely looks higher-end than the Rane or the Ashly. Neither of those is true pro-audio level but was quite good for live work, but my changing live needs are why I sold my Ashly as I couldn't justify it in the studio (like a patchbay only with normal cables, no pun intended), given that my ears could hear the difference when I took it out of the signal path.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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Another higher quality live piece, maybe even a step up from the Ashly.

 

http://www.apb-dynasonics.com/downloads/ProSpec/ProSpec_1U_2012_with_Specs.pdf

Look like a helluva mixer, for sure....but $1K for a line mixer's just not in the cards

 

I have a connect whose price to me (last time I checked in the spring) put it in the same ballpark as the Ashly. If you're serious about it, shoot me a pm.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

https://www.youtube.com/@daveferris2709

 

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, CP88, P515

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Resurrecting this wonderful thread again to ask a further question:

 

My studio consists of a VAX77 driving a MacBook Pro and several analog synths. My previous audio interface was an Apogee Ensemble, which sounded great but I was having to run my analog synths thru it to go out to monitors- an unnecessary A/D-D/A step, no matter how good the converters are. I sold the Ensemble, and have the idea of getting a Duet2 for the softsynths and running the output to the channels of an analog mixer, as well as keeping the analog synths all analog out to the monitors. For recording I can just plug the hardware into the Duet and record one synth at a time.

 

I have things narrowed down to the Ashly 308B vs the Samson SM10. I like the Ashly because it seems to be very high quality without features I don't need, except it lacks an effects send that I would love to use with my hardware. The Samson has exactly the features I need, but it is a much lower-priced piece of gear and I don't want to compromise the quality of sound. If the Ashly had an Aux send it would be perfect. Note: Rane SM82 is no good because I need a headphone output- my wife works from home.

 

Am I splitting hairs, or is there a significant difference in the sound quality of the Ashly vs the Samson mixer?

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I bought a used Ashly 308 a few months ago. Many of the knobs are static-y and the volume jumps when you turn the knobs -- sometimes I'll turn the knob up but the volume actually drops!

 

Ashy mixers have a good reputation, built like a tank and so on, but I feel like I got burned on this purchase.

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I bought a used Ashly 308 a few months ago. Many of the knobs are static-y and the volume jumps when you turn the knobs -- sometimes I'll turn the knob up but the volume actually drops!

 

Ashy mixers have a good reputation, built like a tank and so on, but I feel like I got burned on this purchase.

Take it somewhere and have it professionally serviced. Doesn't seem like you have any major problems, just might need a little love.
:nopity:
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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

 

+1 to this.

 

I used to have the 828mk2, and now have the mk3 ultralite. I love them. They do everything I need both on the road and in studio.

 

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SM Audio DI8E with built in DI............

 

http://www.smproaudio.com/images/products/diboxes/di8e/DI8E_hires_1.jpg

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Marshall, my solution was to run the expand out of the SM82 into a separate headphone amp. That way it frees the main outputs.
Now that's an interesting idea! Which headphone amp do you use?

 

jumping in here. I have a Rane SM 82 in my stationary rack. I run a TRS cable out of the "Main Expand Output Unbalanced" into an old Peavey HB1 that I have had for 15 years. Works perfectly. I have an Ashley LX 308B in my mobile rack. I like them both just fine, but the Ashley doesn't have the line lump and has the built-in headphone jack, so it moves easier, and most agree that it sounds very good.

:nopity:
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Marshall, my solution was to run the expand out of the SM82 into a separate headphone amp. That way it frees the main outputs.
Now that's an interesting idea! Which headphone amp do you use?

 

I built a circuit from the Rane HC6.

You know, if were an EE I would still own that CS-80..... :D
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