My loved QU16 is getting to end of life? What now?

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Mfk0815 Mfk0815 9 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #93189
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    I do smaller gigs mostly.4 piece and 5 piece bands. Often festival style – several bands in succession. I use a Q16. Sometimes I mix for a 14 person band so I expand it with extra analog channels using mixWiz. Its a bit of a PITA working that way but can do it.

    I have a small KV2 Audio system with 12″ tops and their double 15″ sub and play to about 250 people max mostly. It sounds good.
    Its a hobby really: — local bands, charity fairs, helping out at the theatre. 2 gigs / month in summer. Bit less over winter. I prob cover my costs on a koha basis. It is community service really and a bit of fun built up over 15 or so years.

    My QU16 is getting old now..7 years? One of the channels has some noise and I’m worried that the desk may fail at some point and I won’t have a back up.

    I’m wondering between a SQ5 and QU24 as replacement
    SQ5– Pros: More features, significantly better sound (some say?), smaller footprint but can connect with my QU16 (while it lasts).. others? Cons: more expensive than Qu24, somewhat more complex
    QU24- Pros: 24 channel on single layer would be great for larger gigs when I do them, familar desk, cheaper Cons: Bigger and I would need to cart it about if my backup, QU is now close to end of life?

    Is SQ a better sounding desk?
    Where is QU in its lifecycle?..SQ will expand its features with updates most likely..

    QU is easy to use. But SQ has LCD scribble strips and has lot more under the covers (Though it prob has quite a bit more than I need); — Side chaining for example.. do I need side chains for the kind of live work I do? Maybe I do.. maybe I should lift my game…Perhaps learning the SQ would be really good for my mixing..?

    I’m kind of musing.. Would be very interested in people’s comments..

    #93190
    Profile photo of Showtime
    Showtime
    Participant

    sq is a better sounding desk.

    I came from gld80 & qu16 to sq5.

    Also with the 48khz ar2412 the sound is beter.

    Also the screen is beter in bright light.

    The sq range now has dca spil, stereo with 1 fader, every layer is custom, 8 faders less isn’t a problem.

    sq range is in my eyes worth every cent, i am one of the first sq5 users in the Netherlands and with the v1.5 firmware it comes very close to de avantis/dlive range for normal rock ‘n roll jobs.

    #93193
    Profile photo of Scott
    Scott
    Participant

    @rdreiers (Showtime) summed it up quite well. SQ is a fantastic platform and the SQ 5 is very compact and very powerful, and sounds great!

    I have never tried using an AR box with SQ, but can say that the DX boxes sound really good, and are right on par with our dLive.

    #93195
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    +1 for the SQ5
    I used to work with the AR2412 and the AB168 on my GLD80. Then I bought a SQ6 and used the Stageboxes also on the SQ. After selling the GLD with the Stageboxes I switch to the two DX168. Differences? Other sample rate, the old one have more latency because of the SRC and the output relays of the old one works fine on the SQ as well during shutdown, the DX168 do not seem to have such relay. (but I am not sure about that)

    #93197
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @WaihekeSoundie

    What sounds better is 100.00000% subjective.
    There is no best sound just bigger egos yelling louder that theirs is better than yours.

    What is your budget? What do you truly need ?
    Qu24 Qu32 SQ5 SQ7 all worth a look to evaluate for yourself.
    There are many others that could be considered.
    X32 was a small one I have seen groups like yours touring on a bus use at their venues.
    But definite learning curve if you switch to that from AH.

    You listed the pros and cons.
    But only you can decide what they are worth to you.

    If you know the AH gear that is a big reason to stay with it.
    You know the Qu. Do you want to put out the effort to learning the SQ differences and new features?

    #93202
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Showtime pretty much hit on all the key SQ points.

    That said even if there are no more updates to the QU as it is it’s a very
    use able digital mixer platform.

    When the time comes and the QU as we know is gone I’m sure it will be replaced
    with a newer version at the same price point.

    Are you using a stage box with your QU or just the local inputs?
    If you get a SQ your QU would be a perfect back up to have.
    I always have some form of a back up mixer with me along with other mission critical back up items.

    #93205
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Thanks everyone,

    Volounteer- I agree that sound perception is subjective and the differences would be fairly small at this end of the market. That said I don’t take it that people’s endorsement of SQ (or whatever) is necessarily “bigger egos yelling louder”. People are offering their subjective opinion. That’s ok. We all know it’s subjective and dependant on other factors. With my gear and my ability to drive it / hear what is going on I may or may not get a better sound than I do with say my QU. But if experienced people endorse SQ as a step up for them- as they hear it, in their context – that’s at least good to know.

    Mike C– I use my QU locally at the moment. No stage box.
    Yep: I really don’t like not having a backup now my QU is getting on. Agreed. And is a main motivation for asking the question about the SQ.
    One think though- Can you share scenes / set up from SQ down to the QU do you know? If you can then I could save my scenes from SQ at end of sound check so I could create a Hot Standby using the QU. If you can’t then yep, I guess at end of soundcheck you configure the QU by hand to be more or less a mirror of what you ended up with at end of soundcheck .. just in case… yes?

    The other question I have is –
    If I link my QU into an SQ I’m imagining that the QU becomes a smart stage box to the SQ with channels IO mapped but that’s all – as opposed to the SQ controlling the QU?
    Or does the SQ become more like the QuPAD app…? (I doubt this)

    Thanks everyone. Really appreciate everyone’s willingness to make the time to share their opinions.
    Andy

    #93206
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Saved scenes are not transferable between a SQ and QU in either direction.
    Scenes are transferable between mixers in the same model line but obviously will only apply that settings the board can process.

    The SQ and QU can be linked but I have never tried it.

    #93207
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @Waihekesoundie

    I did not mean the folks suggesting an SQ5 were doing that.

    What I do see in many areas are snobs who think their equipment is best and do try to put down folks using other gear.
    Whether mixers or home stereo, cars, whatever; there are just some people who have to think theirs is better, whatever it is.
    Some of the worst were those in Stereophile magazine. [is that still printed?]
    If you did not use pure copper wire that was oxygen free and covered in gold plated litz wire then your speakers would sound like crapola compared to theirs. No matter that your speakers were far better in every spec and that plain old zip cord provides the exact same signal to yours as their $10/foot wire costs.

    I am surprised that AH does not have an ap that converts scenes between boxes to the extent that is possible due to the hardware limitations so as to encourage upgrading like you are thinking about.

    #93212
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    @WaihekeSoundie
    Nowadays the different of the basic sound capabilities of digital consoles are not that relevant.
    And I think that the better sound of inputs and using 96 kHz is not the most relevant difference between the QU and the SQ series, although the marketing would not see it in that way.
    More possible input channels, more possible effects, more mixbusses(each switchable from mono to stereo), flexible layout of more fader layers, extensibility with extra IO cards are some of my favorite extras on the SQ series. And, in opposite of the QU series, where the models do not share the same capabilities, the SQ series models do. You can choose any model and the internal processing power is the same. Only the surface and the physical connections differs.

    For me the QU series was never a subject to think about since it was not that powerful as some competitors especially the most sold digital mixer in the world). But the SQ series has the possibility to be a real replacement for that special mixer. Now with firmware version 1.5 we are closer to that mixer but I personally still miss some features. But that’s not the topic here.
    I am using the SQ6 because I wanted to have more faders on one layer, I want to assign some FX parameter on the soft encoder (which are missing on the SQ5) and the footprint is still very small.

    #93213
    Profile photo of Showtime
    Showtime
    Participant

    Comparing to the competitors, the sq has 48 channels with full processing, has 12 mix busses with full processing and the same capabilities, has 3 matrix busses pre or post.

    You find every were the same screen, stereo with 1 fader and ganging, rta, 8 fx engine’s, on every mix bus an 31 bands geq and 4 peq with hpf and lpf.

    A display that is useable in the sun, own service department in most every country, a factory with engineers that talk directly to the clients.

    i don’t talk 48 or 96 khz, more every day useable features, an easy to use desk, also for guest engineers.

    As told, my first a&h console was a gld80, i had a qu16 witch was quick replaced with a sq5, main reason was that is has group out and cardslot for dante.

    #93217
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    More possible input channels, more possible effects, more mixbusses(each switchable from mono to stereo), flexible layout of more fader layers, extensibility with extra IO cards are some of my favorite extras on the SQ series. And, in opposite of the QU series, where the models do not share the same capabilities, the SQ series models do. You can choose any model and the internal processing power is the same. Only the surface and the physical connections differs.

    Good points.

    I wonder if QU16 has the same processing power as the rest of the QU series, in the descriptions of the processors there all listed the same but they dial it back for physical channel space and size limitations.

    #93226
    Profile photo of BradWalker
    BradWalker
    Participant

    @WaihekeSoundie
    Adding to what @Showtime said…

    The SQ DEEP plugins provide more flexibility control than you can get on the Qu range or any other competitor’s desks in this price range. I find the sonic difference between 48 KHz and 96 KHz is not subtle (dynamic range and lower noise floor), and you’d hear it on your KV2 rig.

    I come from a Midas background, and was looking at M32/ X32 but went with A&H SQ because of architecture flexibility and sound quality. Being able to completely customize the channels on console layers is a huge operational benefit not found on other desks at this price point, very much like POP groups on a Midas Pro desk. The iPad / phone apps were rough at the beginning, but they’re quite good now. I don’t regret the decision to go A&H at all, even though I recently developed a “pop” in our SQ5 after the v1.5 firmware upgrade. The A&H support is better than most, so I know that will be resolved.

    My .02

    #93227
    Profile photo of BradWalker
    BradWalker
    Participant

    I forgot to add, that we have a Qu-16 as well, and it has been a conferencing workhorse with the AMM. A very respectable little desk! But the internal architecture is very different from SQ, so file transfers would not work. If you get the SQ, buy the DEEP dynamics packages even if you don’t have the money to also get the graphic EQ package. The MB3, MB4, and Dynamic EQ are very useful. The compressor modeling are very useable representations of the analog units I’ve used in the past.

    All for well under $4K USD.

    #93233
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    @bradwalker
    For me the SQ is quite ok, but some things you said is imho not right.
    I observed that the Preamps are, hmmm, a little bit complicated. Using Sources with less input, they tend to become noisy, more than I know from the M-Series, as an example. Other new Consoles like the new models of Presonus or Behringer are also equipped with something like the DEEP plugins on the SQ. The new WING gives you also the flexibility to change the processing order or custom layers and stuff like this. The sonivc difference is for me not that significant to avoid you from creating a good sound at 48 kHz.
    Some of the FXs found at the X/M32 series and the WING are still missing, especially expanders and good sounding Wavedesigners. The WING now comes with a TC3000 reverb which is very fine. Reverbs in the A&H world are ok, but nothing more. For me the M32 series is the real competitor to the QU series nowadays while the WING is now the challenger of the SQ. If you compare the QING with the SQ midth 2018 you will see whats the difference.

    And at last just one or two words about the support. You said “The A&H support is better than most, so I know that will be resolved.”. That must be proofed fro me. It took two and a half years that the heavily demanded RTA overlay for the EQ is delivered. And it is confirmed that there is a serious bug related to that (Screen freeze) reported some month ago. It took several weeks until A&H confirmed that it is a bug and must be fixed. Now we are waiting for the bug fix. I know that other companies also introduce bugs with new features (I am personally software developer in my day job and unfortunately know that this can always happen, no matter how intensive your are testing). But some of the bugfixes are released in days or even hours after the bug was reported.

    I do not want to bash the SQ series, I am used to work with the SQ6 for smaller events, while I work with my dLive system for larger events. But I am sure that I will also work with the WING as a replacement for the SQ for the one or the other event since it is a well done and good sounding product as well with some benefits for my kind of work. But it is what it is and I think that we should also discuss standing of the products in the real world in the manufactures forum, to give the manufacturer a glance how users think about it, even if it is hard to read for them.

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