Thoughts on equipment

SSLWe’ve been going through a lot of interesting discussions and learning experiences over the past several months.  One that stands out is the purchase of equipment, that leads to higher quality art.

There’s a trade off between quality of equipment, durability, and cost.  Sometimes used equipment in good condition is perfrect, other times new equipment is important.  For example we recently picked up a used Allen & Heath GL2200 Series console, which has 24 channels with direct outs.  This thing is in mint condition, everything works, and being an A&H it will last abuse both on the road or in the studio.  Yes it would be very cool to have an SSL AWS 948 (god would that be great) but the cost difference was (literally) 199.85 TIMES more expensive… (The AWS 948 new is $99,925)

SSL AWS 948

Allen & Heath GL2200

So in this case the used option for does what the studio needs and makes sense.

On the other side of this equation are microphones, which are generally something that we try to purchase new, as the frequency response and output of a Neumann KM184 that’s spent 4 hours a day for 8 years over a drum set is probably going to be somewhat different than the output of a new microphone or one that has only been used on strings.

Microphones have a very thin diaphram that is stressed when pressure waves push and pull on it.  Like a drum head gets worn out, the wear on the diaphram can alter the sound of the microphone over time.  Another cosideration is the dust that builds up on diaphrams, especially condenser microphones that are continually sent phantom power, which increases the mass of the diaphram and thus reduces the ability to accurately react to high frequency.

Ryan