Thinking about getting an SQ5 and have a couple questions..

Forums Forums SQ Forums SQ general discussions Thinking about getting an SQ5 and have a couple questions..

This topic contains 18 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Scott Scott 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #105039
    Profile photo of jal
    jal
    Participant

    Hi!
    After a beautiful 20+ year run with my Panasonic Ramsa Da7 I finally need to upgrade.

    I love the idea of an all in one desk so, the SQ5 seems like a perfect replacement for my Da7.

    Im only gonna be using this as a centerpiece for my studio, no live setup.

    I apologize for the long post and questions that im sure have been answered many times. I tried searching for these answers but nothing was very straight forward.

    A few questions:
    1. Does this board have a fan to keep it cool and if not does it use something else? If not has there been any heat issues?

    2. Does it have expansion cards for adat optical or any other choice or is it just USB?

    3. Using words like transparent, warm or whatever, how would you describe the sound of the pres on the SQ5? Does it sound similar to any other pres?

    4. Im not gonna be using any of the onboard effects, eq or compression but, how is the routing? Pretty easy to grasp?

    5. I have 2 high end outboard pres (4 channels) is there anyway to use them with the board? Maybe direct in’s or something?

    6. How are the convertors? Do they sound weird or anything? Mine are from ‘95 and people still rave about them.

    7. Are there any issues with this board? I only care about pres, routing and master/monitor/talkback section.

    Thanks a lot for any help 🙂
    -jal

    #105041
    Profile photo of Scott
    Scott
    Participant

    Hi,

    We use ours for live, but I’ll answer the questions that I am able.

    1. Not sure, but it functions fine in outdoor festivals where it is quite warm.
    2. We use ADAT via Dante. We have a Dante card, then use a FerroFish Verto to go to ADAT format. It works very well.
    3. The SQ sounds fantastic. Very transparent / open, and sounds like the dLive. The preamp models allow you to get a more analog sound if desired.
    4. Routing is easy and very flexible. Much like you would find on some other brands. Inserts are even easier when done from the channel view.
    5. Yes, you would run the outputs to the SQ’s inputs. If it has a digital option like Dante, that could also work depending on what it is.
    6. Again converters / pre’s are outstanding on the SQ. It sound much better than most other consoles in its class, IMO.
    7. None that I have encountered. It’s a workhorse in the live environment, and I’m sure that it would be great in a studio as well.

    -Scott

    #105044
    Profile photo of jal
    jal
    Participant

    Thanks for replying scott!
    Yeah, im not quite sure what Dante is. Sounds like its a whole new type of audio thing like DB25 or something.

    Are you familiar with any high-end outboard pres like Neve or something? Anything like that remind u a bit of the sq pres?

    If i run my ext pres to the inputs of the sq is there a way to bypass the sq pres or??

    Thanks again for the help!

    #105045
    Profile photo of Scott
    Scott
    Participant

    If i run my ext pres to the inputs of the sq is there a way to bypass the sq pres or??

    You can run your outboard mic pres directly into the 1/4″ line inputs, and patch those to go to wherever they are needed. That will bypass any onboard mic pre coloration.

    #105047
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    At the risk of restating info you are already aware of I will try to answer your concerns. I am a 5 decade veteran of both live SR as well as a project studio operator: IMO it is most important to reach a comprehensive understanding of the critical stages of the multi track recording process.

    1) For a starter, The SQ line is primarily a live sound reinforcement tool that offers world class digital processing along with a24/96K operating platform. There are two optional pre-amp up grade choices available: (the DX168 D-Live pres that are a bit better than the very good standard SQ pres & the world class A&H “Prime” pres that offer un-equaled detail and transparency) The up grade to a 16 in 8 out DX168 expansion stage box with D-Live pres will require an additional investment of apx $1,000. and I highly recommend this optional improvement for both sonic and functional reasons. The investment required for the “Prime Pres” is apx 3 times the total investment for an SQ5. The DX32 module and an 8 Prime pre-amp card along with a prime 8 out put card will have a price point well above $6,000. and does not offer universal improvement in every performance capture. Some performers do not fare well when their imperfections are brought up front and center, however for vintage instruments in the hands of highly skilled players there is no equal to the sonic quality of these prime pres.
    2) There is essentially no difference in the front end capture between live sound and studio multi-track recording. The initial element is deploying appropriate mics, pres and A/D conversion. The second and absolute critical next step is customized processing the monitoring shape of the initial capture. It is particularly important in studio work to provide to the talent in front of the mic every enhancement they may require in their head phones. To these ends the SQ5 is a perfect “front end capture tool”
    3) The internal A&H USB recording protocol is a handy and relatively easy to use tool, however a external HD with its own power supply, such as a Glypy Studio HD, will avoid most all of the well known USB problems associated with the use of Flash Drives. The SQ5 offers a port to plug in a Dante or Waves card to open the entire world of direct distribution to most all of todays better high end recording systems of the SQ’s front end capture. I use SQ tie lines thru a Waves card to my Waves soundgrid and DAW recording system. The beauty of this protocol is i can satisfy all of the monitoring wishes of performers while printing only the raw pre amp output from the SQ pres. The ability to start out your two mixing process with absolute clean tracks is what I require for my production standard.
    The most important truth I can offer is that the SQ5 is a fabulous front end tool, but not well suited for multi-track activity beyond the initial capture!

    I had deployed a complete Digigrid/Waves LV1 system in my project studio for several years before I bought the SQ5 and all of the pre anp options I covered in my early remarks. I have several friends with Dante implemented tools that are also very happy with their recording protocols. Please spend the time to read every thing of substance you can locate to see what your best option beyond the front end capture, but IMO you will not find a better quality/value bargain than the SQ5 for what it does very well.
    Hugh

    #105057
    Profile photo of jal
    jal
    Participant

    Thanks for replying Hugh!
    Yeah my setup is super simple. My studio doesn’t need more than 16 preamps simultaneously and mostly only 12, but allowing 4 channels of external preamps to be routed in. Like just plugging them in via 1/4 into the sq5. Then once its in the board i just need to get it to the computer to record on to logic. Once there i dont ever need the tracks to comeback except for left right monitoring. Im completely itb. But i do need talk back and 3 monitors out (for my 2 different monitors and 1 stereo mix for headphones) and a stereo or aux in of some kind for a phone or something. But thats it.
    The main reason im looking at the sq 5 is the preamps and the looks. I need function and fashion. Haha!
    Also, it seems to be the closest thing to my Da7.
    So with all that said, the usb interface on the sq5 should be sufficient enough for me right? I shouldn’t need the Dante correct? And i think the preamps should be fine based on what people have said about them. Also, besides size is there a difference between the sq7 and the 5?
    If you know of any other board that u think would be better for me id love to know. My budget is around 7k. Im not interested in presonus, berhinger or midas though.
    Thanks again and happy holidays 🙂

    #105063
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    I covered the essential info in paragraphs 2 & 3 in my previous post however if you will go to the A&H SQ reference guide firmware V 1.5.0, page 92 thru 97, the full book of SQ’s USB recording options are made very clear. Please understand the full sonic SQ5 embellishments for head phone cueing are not necessarily printed on the USB recordings, the SQ USB protocols can be set up for “pre-amp only” just as I do with my Waves card or some folks do with a Dante card. It is very important to understand the questionable dependability of flash drives when using the SQ-drive on the surface of the deck. Most all of these problems will be avoided if you deploy an external HD that has it’s own power supply. IMO at this point there is no desk with these features at anything close to the SQ5 price point!
    Hugh

    #105071
    Profile photo of ioTon
    ioTon
    Participant

    Hi Jal,

    SQ5 an SQ7 share the same core, the same “DSP-Engine”.
    differences: Faders, A/D D/A IOs, Soft-controls

    #105073
    Profile photo of jal
    jal
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply 🙂
    Im assuming that the sq7 is better with those differences but i also don’t want to assume 🙂
    Are they better on the sq7?
    Thanks again!

    #105074
    Profile photo of jal
    jal
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply Hugh!
    Yeah im thinking the SQ series is the only board for the price that will do all this.
    Thanks again 🙂

    #105079
    Profile photo of Søren Steinmetz
    Søren Steinmetz
    Participant

    Soundwise the SQ5 and SQ7 (and SQ6) are 100% identical, as the only difference are the number of faders and local I/O ports.
    (and the 6+7 got more soft buttons you can program as shortcuts)

    #105080
    Profile photo of jal
    jal
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply Soren!
    I didnt even know there was and SQ6! Haha 🙂

    #105086
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    I have one last piece of advice: If you have no plans to capture more than 12/16 channels simultaneously then the additional investment for pres and faders that you do not need on the SQ6 or 7 would be dumber than a box of rocks!
    However an additional investment of $1,000. to add a DX168 expansion stage box has two primary benefits, 1) The D-LIVE pres, IMO, offer significant improved sonic quality over the std SQ’s.
    2) The ability to place the DX168 in the immediate vicinity of the talent to be recorded and utilizing the 16 pres and 8 out put amps precisely where they are needed is a huge studio management advantage. Also the fact that a CAT6 wire that can span much more than 100ft. back to the the SQ5 desk, is all that is required for connectivity from the tracking capture to the control room.
    Hugh

    #105087
    Profile photo of jal
    jal
    Participant

    Haha! Yeah i know what ur saying but i was thinking about the fader control count 🙂

    #105262
    Profile photo of Sholasleek
    Sholasleek
    Participant

    Hello,

    If i have a stage box with 12 outputs will that give my SQ6 total of 24 output?

    Or is it just going to be extra patching points for the 12 local output on the board.

    Kindly let me know.

    Thank you.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.