Soundcraft 500 And 600 - what are the major differences?

Mirek

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Hi Guys,

Does anyone know what the difference is between the 500 and 600
series Soundcraft models?

From what I was able to discern is that the 500 is a FOH board while
the 600 is its studio version sibling. Someone had suggested to me
that 500 can be internally switched to mimic the 600 series.

Could anyone in-the-know shed some light on some major differences
between these boards? I can get one in absolutely mint condition for
almost nothing - so, should I even bother? The board was recently
professionally inspected, cleaned, etc.

Some very basic concerns I have is the quality of the mic pres,
headroom, and of course, is this thing quiet enough to pretend to be
a semi-pro monitor mixer? Oh, and of course, is it reliable ?

Thanks for your feedback,

Mirek
 

george

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In article <933507b.0410191859.7a38377f@posting.google.com>,
mirek_kukielka@yahoo.com (Mirek) wrote:

> Hi Guys,
>
> Does anyone know what the difference is between the 500 and 600
> series Soundcraft models?
>
> From what I was able to discern is that the 500 is a FOH board while
> the 600 is its studio version sibling. Someone had suggested to me
> that 500 can be internally switched to mimic the 600 series.
>
> Could anyone in-the-know shed some light on some major differences
> between these boards? I can get one in absolutely mint condition for
> almost nothing - so, should I even bother? The board was recently
> professionally inspected, cleaned, etc.
>
> Some very basic concerns I have is the quality of the mic pres,
> headroom, and of course, is this thing quiet enough to pretend to be
> a semi-pro monitor mixer? Oh, and of course, is it reliable ?
>
> Thanks for your feedback,
>
> Mirek

They have both been out of production a VERY long time
it is doubtful to find a used one that does not need some pots cleaned
or caps replaced
If you are looking at one be sure you can personally test is prior to
purchase
there are still quite a few in service at venues I have toured through
most of them were in "rough" shape
George
 
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In article <933507b.0410191859.7a38377f@posting.google.com> mirek_kukielka@yahoo.com writes:

> Does anyone know what the difference is between the 500 and 600
> series Soundcraft models?

They use the same input modules, but the output modules are different,
as is the metering. The 600 is a multitrack (16-track unless you score
the "Producer" version) recording console and has eight subgroup bus
outputs and 16 tape returns to the "sidecar" mixer, which are
normalled to the line inputs on the main channels. You make the
monitor mix with on tape return section, then when you get ready to
mix, push the Line In buttons and all the tape return signals appear
on the main channel strips.

The 500 has a different output module which is more conducive to
making stage monitor mixes. I don't have a good sense of the 500 since
I don't own one (I have a 600).

> Someone had suggested to me
> that 500 can be internally switched to mimic the 600 series.

Depends on what you want to mimic. One obvious difference is that the
600 has LED meters for the 16 tape returns which can be switched to
read the bus levels. The 500 has analog meters for the bus outputs.

> Could anyone in-the-know shed some light on some major differences
> between these boards? I can get one in absolutely mint condition for
> almost nothing - so, should I even bother? The board was recently
> professionally inspected, cleaned, etc.

If you have the space for it, definitely get it. If you use it in the
typical "record one track at a time" mode, a 500 will serve fine. The
mic preamps are not up to the quality of today's best, but in most
cases I like the sound of mine better than on my Mackie VLZ Pro (the
Mackie is a good way to get a more bright sound from a mediocre mic,
something I rarely do). The EQ fits the "musically sounding"
description, and it has all the headroom you'll ever need.

> is this thing quiet enough to pretend to be
> a semi-pro monitor mixer? Oh, and of course, is it reliable ?

It doesn't have to pretend to be anything. It's just fine. There are
some ground issues that as far as I know nobody has ever absolutely
fixed, so it isn't totally hum-free, but then what is?


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 

user

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mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in message news:<znr1098279418k@trad>...
> In article <933507b.0410191859.7a38377f@posting.google.com> mirek_kukielka@yahoo.com writes:
>
> > Does anyone know what the difference is between the 500 and 600
> > series Soundcraft models?
>
> They use the same input modules, but the output modules are different,
> as is the metering. The 600 is a multitrack (16-track unless you score
> the "Producer" version) recording console and has eight subgroup bus
> outputs and 16 tape returns to the "sidecar" mixer, which are
> normalled to the line inputs on the main channels. You make the
> monitor mix with on tape return section, then when you get ready to
> mix, push the Line In buttons and all the tape return signals appear
> on the main channel strips.
>
> The 500 has a different output module which is more conducive to
> making stage monitor mixes. I don't have a good sense of the 500 since
> I don't own one (I have a 600).
>
> > Someone had suggested to me
> > that 500 can be internally switched to mimic the 600 series.
>
> Depends on what you want to mimic. One obvious difference is that the
> 600 has LED meters for the 16 tape returns which can be switched to
> read the bus levels. The 500 has analog meters for the bus outputs.
>
> > Could anyone in-the-know shed some light on some major differences
> > between these boards? I can get one in absolutely mint condition for
> > almost nothing - so, should I even bother? The board was recently
> > professionally inspected, cleaned, etc.
>
> If you have the space for it, definitely get it. If you use it in the
> typical "record one track at a time" mode, a 500 will serve fine. The
> mic preamps are not up to the quality of today's best, but in most
> cases I like the sound of mine better than on my Mackie VLZ Pro (the
> Mackie is a good way to get a more bright sound from a mediocre mic,
> something I rarely do). The EQ fits the "musically sounding"
> description, and it has all the headroom you'll ever need.

I found it to be a massive improvement over the Mackie-type gear. The
mixes I made were much better, probably due to the EQ being usable and
the headroom being substantially better. It is not ultra-quiet, but
for rock recording it doesn't have to be. It sounds better than
anything else you can get for the price (I bought mine for $800 and
sold for $1000 when I came into money to upgrade substantially, and it
was a bargain at either price).

If you have the room to dedicate as a mointor mixer, then it would do
the job well, but that is kind of a waste of its capabilities.

>
> > is this thing quiet enough to pretend to be
> > a semi-pro monitor mixer? Oh, and of course, is it reliable ?
>
> It doesn't have to pretend to be anything. It's just fine. There are
> some ground issues that as far as I know nobody has ever absolutely
> fixed, so it isn't totally hum-free, but then what is?
 

Mirek

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huwgareth@my-deja.com (5016) wrote in message news:<663e5397.0410201805.14350dca@posting.google.com>...
> mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in message news:<znr1098279418k@trad>...
> > In article <933507b.0410191859.7a38377f@posting.google.com> mirek_kukielka@yahoo.com writes:
> >
> > > Does anyone know what the difference is between the 500 and 600
> > > series Soundcraft models?
> >
> > They use the same input modules, but the output modules are different,
> > as is the metering. The 600 is a multitrack (16-track unless you score
> > the "Producer" version) recording console and has eight subgroup bus
> > outputs and 16 tape returns to the "sidecar" mixer, which are
> > normalled to the line inputs on the main channels. You make the
> > monitor mix with on tape return section, then when you get ready to
> > mix, push the Line In buttons and all the tape return signals appear
> > on the main channel strips.
> >
> > The 500 has a different output module which is more conducive to
> > making stage monitor mixes. I don't have a good sense of the 500 since
> > I don't own one (I have a 600).
> >
> > > Someone had suggested to me
> > > that 500 can be internally switched to mimic the 600 series.
> >
> > Depends on what you want to mimic. One obvious difference is that the
> > 600 has LED meters for the 16 tape returns which can be switched to
> > read the bus levels. The 500 has analog meters for the bus outputs.
> >
> > > Could anyone in-the-know shed some light on some major differences
> > > between these boards? I can get one in absolutely mint condition for
> > > almost nothing - so, should I even bother? The board was recently
> > > professionally inspected, cleaned, etc.
> >
> > If you have the space for it, definitely get it. If you use it in the
> > typical "record one track at a time" mode, a 500 will serve fine. The
> > mic preamps are not up to the quality of today's best, but in most
> > cases I like the sound of mine better than on my Mackie VLZ Pro (the
> > Mackie is a good way to get a more bright sound from a mediocre mic,
> > something I rarely do). The EQ fits the "musically sounding"
> > description, and it has all the headroom you'll ever need.
>
> I found it to be a massive improvement over the Mackie-type gear. The
> mixes I made were much better, probably due to the EQ being usable and
> the headroom being substantially better. It is not ultra-quiet, but
> for rock recording it doesn't have to be. It sounds better than
> anything else you can get for the price (I bought mine for $800 and
> sold for $1000 when I came into money to upgrade substantially, and it
> was a bargain at either price).
>
> If you have the room to dedicate as a mointor mixer, then it would do
> the job well, but that is kind of a waste of its capabilities.
>
> >
> > > is this thing quiet enough to pretend to be
> > > a semi-pro monitor mixer? Oh, and of course, is it reliable ?
> >
> > It doesn't have to pretend to be anything. It's just fine. There are
> > some ground issues that as far as I know nobody has ever absolutely
> > fixed, so it isn't totally hum-free, but then what is?

Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my post. I do have
couple of followup questions though:

1) Can channel modules from 500 be used in the 600 model and vice
versa? So, basically, can I swap modules between these two desks?

2) Someone suggested that Jim Williams offers some mods for either
500 or 600 models. Has anyone upgraded their desk with these mods,
and if so, did they noticeably improve sonic performance of your
Soundcraft mixer?

Thank you,

Mirek
 
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In article <663e5397.0410201805.14350dca@posting.google.com> huwgareth@my-deja.com writes:

> (I bought mine for $800 and
> sold for $1000 when I came into money to upgrade substantially, and it
> was a bargain at either price).

Awwww . . make me cry. I bought mine for $7,600 and still have it
because I can't get anything that even comes close for even five times
what I could get for the Soundcraft 600 today. Of course I've had it
for more than 15 years, something that I doubt that any DAW or digital
console user will be able to say.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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In article <znr1098360585k@trad>, Mike Rivers <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>
>In article <663e5397.0410201805.14350dca@posting.google.com> huwgareth@my-deja.com writes:
>
>> (I bought mine for $800 and
>> sold for $1000 when I came into money to upgrade substantially, and it
>> was a bargain at either price).
>
>Awwww . . make me cry. I bought mine for $7,600 and still have it
>because I can't get anything that even comes close for even five times
>what I could get for the Soundcraft 600 today. Of course I've had it
>for more than 15 years, something that I doubt that any DAW or digital
>console user will be able to say.

Hey, I have a 15-year-old DAW!
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 

george

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In article <znr1098360585k@trad>, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers)
wrote:

> In article <663e5397.0410201805.14350dca@posting.google.com>
> huwgareth@my-deja.com writes:
>
> > (I bought mine for $800 and
> > sold for $1000 when I came into money to upgrade substantially, and it
> > was a bargain at either price).
>
> Awwww . . make me cry. I bought mine for $7,600 and still have it
> because I can't get anything that even comes close for even five times
> what I could get for the Soundcraft 600 today. Of course I've had it
> for more than 15 years, something that I doubt that any DAW or digital
> console user will be able to say.
>
>
not for another 11 years anyway
I have two digitals now
a 6 yo A&H icon and a 1/2 yo DM1K I know the Icon will be with me until
its very end but the DM may be replaced as technology advances
These are tools not lifestyles
there is no romance attached to owning something
I would also bet a o1v/96 with a couple of ada 8000's could easily
replace your 600 at much less than 5x what you could sell it for
George
 
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In article <933507b.0410210432.af55a1d@posting.google.com> mirek_kukielka@yahoo.com writes:

> 1) Can channel modules from 500 be used in the 600 model and vice
> versa? So, basically, can I swap modules between these two desks?

Yes. The same input module is used in both consoles.

> 2) Someone suggested that Jim Williams offers some mods for either
> 500 or 600 models. Has anyone upgraded their desk with these mods,
> and if so, did they noticeably improve sonic performance of your
> Soundcraft mixer?

Someone who used to be around here and used to have a 600 raved about
the improvement that the Audio Upgrades modification to the output
module made to his mixes. Dan Kennedy swapped out some ICs, removed
some coupling capacitors and added some bypass capacitors in a couple
of my input modules which made a small difference. I suspect that it
would be more noticable with 24 modules upgraded this way rather than
two, but I never followed up to modify the others.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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In article <g.p.gleason-56FF74.10052121102004@netnews.worldnet.att.net> g.p.gleason@worldnet.att.net writes:

> I would also bet a o1v/96 with a couple of ada 8000's could easily
> replace your 600 at much less than 5x what you could sell it for

That might just about be right with some judicious purchasing. But I'd
rather have the knobs and the $4,000.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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In article <cl8h2h$oj2$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:

> Hey, I have a 15-year-old DAW!

That doesn't count. It was ten years old when you bought it.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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"Mirek" <mirek_kukielka@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:933507b.0410210432.af55a1d@posting.google.com...
> 2) Someone suggested that Jim Williams offers some mods for either
> 500 or 600 models. Has anyone upgraded their desk with these mods,
> and if so, did they noticeably improve sonic performance of your
> Soundcraft mixer?


Adding a substantial, high-current capability ground buss to replace the one
in the ribbon cable is probably the single biggest improvement you could
make. Once you get that fixed, better combining network chips can make it a
bit more transparent but this requires more than simply swapping out the
chips. There's lots worse sounding boards than a stock 600.

--
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com
 
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In article <CVVdd.733180$Gx4.557641@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net> olh@hyperback.com writes:

> Adding a substantial, high-current capability ground buss to replace the one
> in the ribbon cable is probably the single biggest improvement you could
> make.

I've thought about that a few times. In fact, I have a bag full of
Stakon terminals I was going to solder to the cards as soon as I found
a suitable hunk of copper bus bar. Hamfests ain't what they used to
be, though.

I haven't talked to anyone who's actually done this though. Eddie
Celetti published a modification to the Soundcraft 200 in which he did
something like that, but some of the 600 modules, maybe the
submasters - it's been a while since I looked at it, have a floating
ground, with the audio ground being off the ground plane by a big
capacitor. I'm not sure what it would do to just put a solid ground
connection on it. Maybe trade crosstalk for hum.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 

Mirek

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mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in message news:<znr1098390156k@trad>...
> In article <cl8h2h$oj2$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:
>
> > Hey, I have a 15-year-old DAW!
>
> That doesn't count. It was ten years old when you bought it.

Once again, thanks for the info :)

Mirek
 
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mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in message news:<znr1098367560k@trad>...
> In article <933507b.0410210432.af55a1d@posting.google.com> mirek_kukielka@yahoo.com writes:
>
> > 1) Can channel modules from 500 be used in the 600 model and vice
> > versa? So, basically, can I swap modules between these two desks?
>
> Yes. The same input module is used in both consoles.
>
> > 2) Someone suggested that Jim Williams offers some mods for either
> > 500 or 600 models. Has anyone upgraded their desk with these mods,
> > and if so, did they noticeably improve sonic performance of your
> > Soundcraft mixer?
>
> Someone who used to be around here and used to have a 600 raved about
> the improvement that the Audio Upgrades modification to the output
> module made to his mixes. Dan Kennedy swapped out some ICs, removed
> some coupling capacitors and added some bypass capacitors in a couple
> of my input modules which made a small difference. I suspect that it
> would be more noticable with 24 modules upgraded this way rather than
> two, but I never followed up to modify the others.

The most important "flaw" in these consoles is you mix through the mic
pre's. They can be improved by re-designing them into "trans-Amps"
(kudos to Paul Buff) which will lower distortion some 20 db. Fast
transistors and opamps improve the sonics as does quality capacitors.
Much work involves phase stability to the opamps by adding additional
components to the rear of the pcb. Forget the ground buss bar, that's
a solution to standard opamp summing designs, this puppy uses a
discrete transistor "trans-Amp" distributed grounding scheme which
should not be messed with unless you have the test gear and chops to
use it. One of the best features of this console is it's -85 db stereo
crosstalk spec = wide stereo if you want it. Don't know how much work
DK put into his, but I suspect it's nowhere near what is done to them
here at Audio Upgrades.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
 

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