2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
49 members (dhull100, ando, ChrisGoesPiano, Burkey, Adam Edin, Catlady, brennbaer, 36251, CyberGene, 12 invisible), 445 guests, and 480 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
#2887568 09/06/19 11:04 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Audiophile nervousa setting in......

I use a Shure SCM 262 mixer and am experiencing a not perfect sound transfer. I am not sure it is this mixer or my Adcom amplifier. When I bypass the whole system and just use headphones (Focal Clear) via a Grado headphone amp (not using my RD 2000 headphone jack). The sound anomaly is not there.

The problems:

1 - I have very sensitive hearing which has cost my tons of money over a lifetime of pursuing good sound
2 - The sound I am getting .... in the lower treble, upper midrange, I feel a pressure... so hard to describe... that sometimes makes we want to turn the volume down just a bit. I know from experience, this is an anomoly typically caused by electronics in the chain. I could be wrong, but I don't believe it is speakers or the keyboard. I don't hear this problem via my headphones.

In my research, the "best sounding" small mixers are made by Allen & Heath.... is this so?

I can buy a used ZED-6 from eBay for $100 to $120 so it is a cheap swap. But before I pull the trigger, does any of you folks have experience with Allen & Heath and what is your opinion of their products? Alternatives? I am not interested in value, I am interested in the best sound in a small mixer.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 09/06/19 11:05 AM.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
(ad)
Sweetwater Gifts That Rock
Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2887597 09/06/19 12:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Update.... the ZED-6 won't work, I have to move up to a ZED-10 as I need unbalanced outs. Still can get one relatively cheap.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Peace
Bruce in Philly
Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2887607 09/06/19 01:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
I don't understand your original post.

Why not pull out the mixer and try to isolate the probem?

As you know, older amplifers fail over time without service. Adcom 555 had popular cap issues. If the old amp is running incorrectly, it should be serviced else you risk killing it. Unfortuantely, service will probably cost more than the amp is worth.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2887633 09/06/19 02:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Good point.... I will try that this evening... kinda obvious.

Regarding the Adcom amp, I installed a new power supply kit with all new power caps. Beyond failure, the power supplies were a weak spot on these amps and there is a whole cottage industry out there with mod kits. I purchased one and soldered it up myself. Further, the new supply is designed to support three-prong grounding so I installed a three prong power cable. Wow... the amp is dead silent and that odd Adcom whirrrr during power down is gone. The amp just sounds better.

I will just wire the keyboard directly to the amp. I should find out pretty quickly. The reason I didn't do this was I always suspected the Shure mixer to be "ringy". It comes through nice and clear but until it heated up first time... and the caps all charged and stabilized... it sounded a bit "ringy". This told me it may not be transparent and I was just looking for a reason to replace it. I know... I know... crazy. But 40 some years in the audio hobby, you develop an ear for equipment trouble and this Shure showed some issue from day one. Overall, it is a nice mixer and I can recommend it easily especially since they are so darn cheap on eBay.

Shure does not tout good sound with this mixer anywhere on its website... just its utility. Allen & Heath is one of the only audio mixer companies that tout good sound as well as utility and apparently, have a good reputation for sound quality.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 09/06/19 02:44 PM.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2887671 09/06/19 05:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
Thanks Bruce - let us know how you troubleshoot this and what the root problem is.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2887738 09/06/19 10:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 247
K
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 247
I have a ZED14. It works great for me. I connected my HS80m monitors to the mixer and Nord stage 2 + 2 Korg synths. it sounds great.

it depends on what you are doing. If you are doing recording, you might consider the newer Zed 10i which has 2 track USB in +out at 24 bit 96kHz

Zed 14 and Zed 10 has 2 track USB in +out at 16 bit 44khz


Last edited by Kenny Cheng; 09/06/19 10:16 PM.
Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2887749 09/06/19 11:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,396
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,396
Quote

I will just wire the keyboard directly to the amp. I should find out pretty quickly

The Roland keyboard likely has a +4dBu output level that is hotter than consumer line level and can damage a consumer stereo ampIifier.

If you don’t want to fork over the dough for an Allen & Heath mixer, mixers by Mackie, Soundcraft, or Yamaha will all work fine, and not be a limiting factor for sound quality. I like Mackie mixers, as the dual-bus architecture makes them the swiss army knife of mixers, but if you don’t need that, it does make them more complex. I think the smaller Mackie ones are single bus mixers.

Sound quality assessments of a mixer are usually focused on mic or guitar pre-amps, or effects, if any. When you are mixing at line level, you are just dealing with summing circuits and volume pots, none of which are challenging or expensive to design at a level of quality that will not detract from audio quality.

Does your mixer have a headphone amp built in? Plugging headphones into the mixer would help isolate the problem.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2887997 09/07/19 08:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,396
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,396
A desktop mixer will take balanced +4dBu inputs. Channel Preamps would bring lower line levels up to standard if needed. You would use the unbalanced RCA Tape Out connection available in many of them to attach to a consumer stereo input.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888327 09/08/19 04:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Update: I did the simple experiment by removing the Shure mixer from the equation and connect direct to my Adcom GFA 545 II amp..... and the verdict is? Ready? Argh..... it is my Adcom amp and not the Shure mixer.

I think I will have to live with this.... maybe if I drop the offensive octave down a db or so. One of the really good features of the RD2000 is that is has a really powerful equalizer where I can select a frequency range, expand or shorten its range, and then make small incremental changes.

Keep in mind I am being highly critical and picky here. Overall the sound is just great but as you live with something, you begin to hear some weaknesses. I always knew the Adcom amp sounds sweeter when hotted up a after about 20 mnts or so but this issue is permanent.

The RD 2000 has two MAIN OUT jacks (and an additional SUB out), one set are balanced and the other unbalanced. I used the unbalanced as the Shure takes unbalanced (as does my Adcom amp) so the experiment was just getting on my hands and knees and making the swap.

The Shure does have a "sound" and the good news is that the frequency balance is neutral... but there is a "vail" over the music... very minor the keyboard direct to the amp has a bit more clarity. This is not a big deal at all. The odd character of the Adcom amp is more important and the weakpoint of the sound in my system.

What to do? I dunno..... I am NOT going to spend money at least now. Overall the system as is sound really beautiful and the keyboard sounds come through very very well and accurate... as compared with my Focal Clear headphones via my Grado headphone amp (connected to the other pair of MAIN Outs).

Why am I so nuts about this? I just am... always was. I want equipment that does not get in the way of music or the what the original source presents.... whether a recording from CD or from my keyboard's V-Piano engine.

I will restate one of my altruistic missions here: Good sound comes from good equipment and I want to trumpet that lesson. You will never know how good your keyboards sound until you put them through good equipment... period. It can be very transformative when someone realizes the potential of their keyboards.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 09/08/19 04:51 PM.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888353 09/08/19 05:18 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,670
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,670
I should have chimed in earlier. I have that same mixer. It and the the amp it drives are both as silent as a mouse.

But there **is** hiss ... coming from the upstream EQ.
Memo: I need to find a consumer grade (cheap) EQ that's noiseless.
Or maybe not. The hiss can only be heard during silent passages when the volume knob is cranked up to crazy.
So it's normally undetectable.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888363 09/08/19 05:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
Thanks for the follow up Bruce.

Those Adcom are decent amplifiers and should not be irritating so something is wrong. Why don't you get the amp serviced by a pro or just sell the Adcom and use the funds to puchase a less irritating amplifier?

While at the "store", maybe look at higher quality mixers. That Shure is built to a price so they just couldn't invest so much in sound quality.

I think the RD2000 offers a ton of features and a lot of bang for the buck but I feel Roland skimped a bit on the sound quality but YMMV. I love the concept and like the keybed. Not sure what you can do there as I don't know the Roland line well and don't know what features you like in a digital piano

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888370 09/08/19 05:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,396
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,396
I would add that fine gradations of audio performance of electronics and speakers can only be assessed in an acoustically treated room. Residual comb filtering in the room from when directed and reflected sound mix together otherwise can and will affect frequency response.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888391 09/08/19 06:54 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,670
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,670
None of my rooms is acoustically treated. How many people have such treatment at home? Few I suspect.
So what would be the point of an assessment under conditions that do not exist in the end-user's environment?

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888397 09/08/19 07:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
If your monitors/speakers are left, right and in front of you.... unlike a home stereo where they may be 15 feet in front and "part of the room" ... the room issue is way way mitigated (not irrelevant, just less relevant) as the reflections will be so time delayed as to be processed differently by your ear/brain system. In other words, not that big of a deal. Unless of course you are in a tiny practice room or whatever. YMMV of course, the issue I have with that amp is not related to room induced distortion... it is a problem with a circuit.

I think selling off the Adcom may be a very good idea. I can get a good-quality, low power unit for ...... oh boy, more research, more work.....

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Peace
Bruce in Philly
Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888399 09/08/19 07:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,396
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,396
Quote

None of my rooms is acoustically treated. How many people have such treatment at home? Few I suspect.
So what would be the point of an assessment under conditions that do not exist in the end-user's environment?


The point was to articulate the limitations of making an assessment of the cause of an audio anomaly in an untreated room. Acoustic pianos normally are voiced to a room— why a key/note needs voicing may not be a concern if the instrument is in good condition. If you move the piano to a different room, it may need voicing again. With a digital piano, you can use equalization and virtual piano technician features of some DPs to accomplish voicing, compensating for nonlinearities in the speakers, samples, or room.

Where it becomes complex is if you are recording, because you want what you hear in the room and what gets recorded to be as close as possible. Otherwise, you may play a passage that sounds the way you want in the room but sounds different when listening to the recording in a different room and/or with different speakers, and/or with headphones. For that level of control, a treated room is required, or maybe some closed-ear headphones may be acceptable, though finding flat headphones is not so easy, and the player may be impeded from playing their best when wearing headphones.

I did implement acoustic treatments in my studio, and have over a year of listening experience in the studio both before and after, an apples-to-apples comparison of the same space and monitors with, and without treatment. I can say that going down the rabbit hole of acoustic treatments is not for the faint of heart. The difficulty is that it is easy to damp wall reflections, but hard to trap bass. Wall treatments will lower the amplitude of the mids and highs and make the space bass-heavy until the bass trapping is figured out.

I would never say it is impossible for a high quality amplifier to be the culprit if a digital piano sound is not evenly voiced, but that would an uncommon culprit. The room, speakers, and samples would be the usual suspects.

And not all players are sensitive to voicing of the instrument, but may instead focus on the fullness and presence of the sound when full chords are played.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888410 09/08/19 07:54 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,670
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,670
Too much fuss over the tech. Not enough attention to the art.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Sweelinck #2888425 09/08/19 08:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I would never say it is impossible for a high quality amplifier to be the culprit if a digital piano sound is not evenly voiced, but that would an uncommon culprit.

But this case is a bit special.

The Adcom amp is old so needs a full service for normal age issues. Plus Adcom known issues (I know Bruce installed a DIY kit to address some of these issues but old solid state amps really require a full bench revision at least every few decades IMHO). So the amp's glaring defects may be very easy to hear indeed.

Unfortunately, full service by a tech costs more the the amp is worth.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
MacMacMac #2888427 09/08/19 08:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,601
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Too much fuss over the tech. Not enough attention to the art.

Not helpful.

Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
newer player #2888516 09/09/19 05:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,493
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,493
Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Too much fuss over the tech. Not enough attention to the art.

Not helpful.


But it is accurate.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Mixers - Allen & Heath experience? Shure?
Bruce In Philly #2888554 09/09/19 08:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 458
I am a bit gunshy buying used equipment on Audiogon or whatever. I tried to set up an office system using used well-reviewed equipment from Audiogon and darn, those transistor amps just sound like transistor amps. Bright and hard. I went through a few amps... buying and selling... and threw in the towel and just moved my big good equipment into my office.

We will see.... I will start doing some research.

Regarding getting the Adcom fully refurbished.... there was only ONE GUY outside of Philly who did bench work and he is not responding to my emails. No one does electronics repair anymore. There are a few who do musical instrument amps and such... some have said they would look at my stuff (this was not about the Adcom but another amp) but I was not filled with any confidence.

The market is big and those who have the skills know this Adcom amp was designed my Nelson Pass and will be willing to pick it up. But then what to get? Will it really be better? Bleck....

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 09/09/19 08:55 AM.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
(ad) SWEETWATER Cyber Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Best Headphones for Digital Piano - your experience
by lukasz-zsakul - 12/04/20 05:10 AM
Is the Hailun 218 solid spruce?
by Sonepica - 12/04/20 04:55 AM
Schiff talked about Bartók's style of playing
by symphonicdance - 12/04/20 01:46 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics203,253
Posts3,030,345
Members99,467
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4