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Author Topic: Soundtracs topaz 24x8  (Read 14098 times)

meverylame

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Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« on: June 12, 2004, 12:08:41 pm »

I've looked around at several budget consoles (A&H 16*2 DX, Soundcraft ghost, Yamaha PM-1000, even some mackie and unbearableringer), and I've decided that the real winner in the price/features list is the Topaz. My only real hang up is that I've never actually heard one. One of my instructors told me that the the pre's and eq suck on it. However he's also well know for talking out of his ass. He suggested the A&H, which is pretty decent, it just doesn't quite have all the features I'm looking in a board. So Harvey, I know you own one. What do you think of it? What are your thoughts of it compared to other consoles in its league? And in particular, what you think of the pre's and eq?  
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Jason Kingsland

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hargerst

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2004, 12:52:50 pm »

It's not a particularly rugged board, but the Topaz is probably the best board in that price range that I've ever seen.  The pres are very useful and good sounding, and the eq is great.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

meverylame

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2004, 01:11:58 pm »

Then my mind is made. I just sold my Ken Smith 5 string to finance it. Thanks loads Harvey!

Jason
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Zoesch

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2004, 03:05:36 pm »

The Topaz is probably my least favorite board in the Soundtracs range due to its reliability and ruggedness, but provided you treat them with care they will last you a lifetime. At least they sound good, close to the larger PC Midi and Megas desks.

Tim, from Studio Systems in the UK is probably the last major Soundtracs repairman in the world...

His Topaz page is here in case you need more info.

I've just got a Soundtracs MRX modular split/in-line desk after three years of being mixerless (in the analog way Very Happy) since my Tascam M3700 bit the dust, and I chose it over a couple of Solo Logics (Which are good, but not modular) and a Quartz (Which was unfortunately in VERY bad shape and would've cost me a fortune to bring back to spec). What you'll find with these desks is lots of headroom and solid EQ, they are quiet, maybe not as quiet as current desks, but quiet enough for studio work... the pres and the EQ are indeed the highlights of the desk and worth the money.

Make sure you get spares for buttons, faders and knobs... they are getting hard to come by.
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meverylame

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2004, 05:32:57 pm »

Zoesch wrote on Sat, 12 June 2004 15:05

The Topaz is probably my least favorite board in the Soundtracs range due to its reliability and ruggedness, but provided you treat them with care they will last you a lifetime. At least they sound good, close to the larger PC Midi and Megas desks.

Would you reccomend anything else?




BTW: anyone reccomends a SSL,  I go to their house and club them like a baby seal.
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hargerst

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2004, 06:18:38 pm »

He's just saying that it's at the very bottom of a great range of Soundtracs boards.  Get the 32 x 8 if you can.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

meverylame

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2004, 07:14:52 pm »

hargerst wrote on Sat, 12 June 2004 18:18

He's just saying that it's at the very bottom of a great range of Soundtracs boards.  Get the 32 x 8 if you can.

Thanks for the post back Harvey, though I did get the point of Zoesch's post. Why do you reccomend the 32x8, besides the bigger is better?

My current setup is a 001 with an alesis ai-3(yes its sad, I know.) and an eight track tascam reel. Thus only 24 tracks. Should I plan for upgrade? Or maybe some other reason I don't see cause I'm a newb.
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hargerst

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2004, 07:50:22 pm »

meverylame wrote on Sat, 12 June 2004 18:14


Thanks for the post back Harvey, though I did get the point of Zoesch's post. Why do you reccomend the 32x8, besides the bigger is better?

My current setup is a 001 with an alesis ai-3(yes its sad, I know.) and an eight track tascam reel. Thus only 24 tracks. Should I plan for upgrade? Or maybe some other reason I don't see cause I'm a newb.

When you have all the effect sends routed to the different effect units you plan to use, where do the return signals come back? Returning the effects to channels 25 thru 32 lets you play with eq on the effects, and inserts on the effects as well.  Adds a lot more flexability and the used price on the 32 channel Topaz isn't all that much different than the 24 track (and it looks cooler too).
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

meverylame

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2004, 08:26:46 pm »

hargerst wrote on Sat, 12 June 2004 19:50


(and it looks cooler too).


Cool looking nibnob? Hell yeah. Because thats really what matters...Laughing

Yeah I'm really a dumbass. If I had stopped and thought about my  question the answer would have been right there. So excuse me while I kick myself in the backend for a while.

Jason
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Jason Kingsland

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Zoesch

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2004, 09:45:55 pm »

Yeah, don't think for a sec that I think the Topaz isn't a good desk, it is. Soundtracs desks are like the larger Tascam desks, few people know them and thus few people buy them... those who know about them and about modding them never let go of them.

Good purchase either way, but as Harvey said... get the 32 channel version, regardless of how many tracks you record on your facility.
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weihfool

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2004, 03:58:44 pm »

I have one of the 24x8's and I love it.  If you need help with any analog Soundtracs service (i'm noticing you're in the U.S.), the guy to speak with is Steve Magalnick.  If you need any information or just want to speak with him, he's the Soundtracs authorized U.S. tech.  PM me and I'll send his info your way.  

The cool thing about the Topaz line is that there is a little mod you can do that's outlined in the owner's manual that'll convert all of your I/O (with the exception of the inserts) to +4dB balanced, where as most ship from the factory with the direct out, tape returns, etc. set to -10dB unbalanced.  Steve can help you with that as well.  Let me know if there's anything else about the console you'd like to know and I'll do my best to help you.

-Sean
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hargerst

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2004, 05:46:14 pm »

Steve is absolutely great.  He talked us thru some changes over the phone when the board crapped out just before a session, and we were up and running in time for the session.

Yes, we did the +4 mods.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

bigfurry

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2004, 08:28:03 am »

meverylame,
your advisor has just discredited himself by saying the eq sucks. One could complain about the pre's not having enough headroom, one could bitch about reliability, but the eq- you would have to spent many, many more dollars to get to that level in another board.
The pres sound good, just that they cant be slammed.  The weak point is with repairs-a major hassle.  I have a problem that will require a pilgrimage to Long Island to deal with.  
Harvey, Zoesch, you've got me totally intrigued now about mods for the Topaz.  I did the -10 to +4 thang, but I wasn't aware of other ones!? Could you describe them, and who does them?
Thanks!
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covert

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2004, 09:10:19 am »

weihfool wrote on Mon, 14 June 2004 15:58

I have one of the 24x8's and I love it.  If you need help with any analog Soundtracs service (i'm noticing you're in the U.S.), the guy to speak with is Steve Magalnick.  If you need any information or just want to speak with him, he's the Soundtracs authorized U.S. tech.  PM me and I'll send his info your way.  

The cool thing about the Topaz line is that there is a little mod you can do that's outlined in the owner's manual that'll convert all of your I/O (with the exception of the inserts) to +4dB balanced, where as most ship from the factory with the direct out, tape returns, etc. set to -10dB unbalanced.  Steve can help you with that as well.  Let me know if there's anything else about the console you'd like to know and I'll do my best to help you.

-Sean


Are you sur it gives you balanced outs?  The impression I got from the manual was that it only changed the level.
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hargerst

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Re: Soundtracs topaz 24x8
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2004, 11:43:21 am »

As I recall, there are two jumpers per channel that must be modified.  If you modify one, it's unbalanced; two to have it balanced.

But I wouldn't bet money on my memory being 100% correct.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
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