old aries analog console vs mackie 1604


New member
Hi there!

I have an opportunity to purchase a 24 track "Aries" recording console. My guess is that is 15 years old and it came from a local professional recording studio. It is true 24*8*2 console with a full meter bridge (19 awesome VU meters). There are 6 sends per channel and a 4 band eq per strip (sweepable mids and highs). 16 channels have phantom power.


As a relative newbie to the recording scene, I recently purchased an ADAT and an ADAT edit card. I bought the Alesis studio pack, so it came with an Alesis Studio 24 board.WILL I SUFFER DEGRADATION OF SIGNAL INTO MY ADAT (OR MY KORG DIGITAL MIXER WHICH IS CONNECTED TO MY ADAT)BY USING THIS BOARD VERSUS, FOR EXAMPLE, A MACKIE 1604 OR THE ALESIS STUDIO 24? Some have suggested it will be "noisy" compared to a Mackie.

ALSO: HAS ANYBODY EVER HEARD OF AN ARIES RECORDING CONSOLE? The person selling it says thet Aries manufactured Soundcraft boards.
I have not heard of an Aries board before. However, I do know that if it came from a local pro studio, it most likely won't be too lound; also consider all of your other gear is digital (no noise introduced). I have a 12 year old 32-channel Soundcraft 200B and it is 10x quieter than my Mackie 1604 VLZ-Pro which I use for live sound applications. Go listen to it; see if you like it!
Thanks for the response. NOBODY seems to have heard about Aries, unfortunately for me. I have seen the board, and heard some finished product (he did demos for local artists by using Karaoke style background music - yech!) and it sounded great. It is always hard to tell with finished product because of effects etc. The faders feel like silk, there are about 19 VU meters, eq galore, aux sends ad nauseum yadda yadda yadda.

You say your soundcraft board is 10X quieter than your Mackie 1604? Everyone (commisioned sales people!)always tells me that Mackie has the quietest boards. I realize that this is not in comparison to a Neve at 100x the cost, but just about everybody I know uses Mackie.

Do you have any tips on pitfalls I should avoid when looking at older gear? I would greatly appreciate it.

Isn't home recording great!

Thanks again.
Hmmmmmm....I would use just about anything over a mackie!!! ok, not really, but, noise is always going to be around! So don't make a decision on a console purely on that aspect alone.

First consider what you are getting for the money. On a 1604, you get a lousy pre-amp with no headroom, yucky eq's, and a lot of plastic knobs.

Having not seen this mysterious Aries console, I can't attest to it's quality, but, you can be assured that it is probably a much higher quality console that anything that mackie has made.

The nice thing about older consoles is that if something breaks on them, it is much easier to fix than todays mini desks that mackie has made so popular. So don't let a consoles age scare you away from it's purchase, just make sure that you check everything out on the console before you buy. It something doesn't work, and you feel that the price should be adjusted because of that, well, offer a cheaper price and go get it fixed.

Funny that everyone uses mackeies now a days. I bought a Soundcraft Ghost console that puts a mackie to shame. It was only about $1000 more than a mackie with the same channels/bus size, but my soundcraft offered mute automation, midi machine control, a meter bridge, more aux sends, better construction, a WAY better mic pre-amp (the Pro Mic pre-amp in the ghost is considered soundcrafts best pre-amp to date by some very big time people)and there is just no way you can compare the eq section between my ghost and any mackie, soundcraft invented that british eq sound, and did not skimp on the ghost compared to there $200k consoles.

Just goes to show that just because everyone is buying something, does not mean that they know a thing about what they are buying. Buy that Aries! Kill Mackie!!!

Ed Rei
Echo Star Studio www.echostarstudio.com
I use a Mackie 1604 VLZ-Pro for live applications with my band. It's compact, reliable in rugged transportation, and it is crisp and clear just the way I want for live sound so you hear every instrument in the mix. However, I say use something else for recording. I bought a Mackie 24-4 recording to ADAT; it was my first mixing board ever. It didn't sound bad, found that all my mixes were extremely steril. I bought a used 32-ch. Soundcraft 200B and my mixes warmed up. I would have never believed it if I hadn't heard it. Now I bought a Tascam TSR8 8-track reel-to-reel and have it synced to my ADAT-XT. I also bought a Fostex M-20 1/4" reel-to-reel to mix down to before I burn to CD-R or go into my computer for 2-track editing. My mixes have now warmed-up and the high-end is plenty, but not shrill. A mixture of the old and new seems to work best in my exprience. By the way, look around using Yahoo using various combinations in order to find any info on an Aries board. ie. aries recording console; aries mixing board; aries mixer; aries console; etc. I found one or two sites selling an Aries console, but I don't remember where.