Upgrade to a Yamaha MG20XU Mixer?

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bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
Hi

I'm looking to replace my ageing PV14 mixer and I'm considering a Yamaha MG20XU. I play guitar and do sound in a 4 piece band and am looking to branch out into doing sound/PA hire too.

My requirements for a mixer are:

12 mic inputs minimum
2 monitor mixes
Basic built in FX (simple compressor is a massive bonus)
Phantom power
Max £500

Other than the above, I want quality sound over anything fancy or gimmicky.

Does anyone have experience with the MG20XU? Am I missing a trick by not going digital? 90% of the time I do the sound from the stage, but I do have a quality multicore and a friend keen to learn to ropes. Also, I want reliable control over the equipment and work on the basis of keeping it simple...and I don't want to have to buy an iPad!

Thanks

Ben
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Comments

  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 2313
    Imo you should look at going digital - you don’t need to spend a lot on an iPad - plenty of people use cheaper android tablets and something like an x18 plus tablet won’t be far of that budget with a massive increase in quality over an analog desk. 
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  • Completely disagree with @John_P  you are correct in watching the bottom line, I would suggest a mix wizard fx over the Yamaha and if you think you really need a compressor get a Dbx one (all though everyone suggests a compressor is the key to superior sounds it isn’t).  The mixwiz will give you a good basic sound, learn how to make it better using what is in front of you, get a few gigs unde your belt then work out the next step. It is very easy to throw a couple of grand into gear with all the bells and whistles and end up with all the gear and no idea
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 2313
    edited April 2018
    Apologies to the OP if I misunderstood- for anyone starting out and wanting to get used to mixing, then an analogue desk and gradually adding extra tools like compressors as you gain in Confidence and expertise the way to go for sure - alongside my own PA hire I occasionally do gigs for other bands using their gear - last week I set up for a band with a digital desk and he had gone way over board with the features and it just needed stripping back to get a good sound.  
    The old mixwizards are great desks - sound good and are reliable while being easy to use.  

    If you are confident with a desk and eq though, and know how and when to use compression and gates properly then I still think a digital desk makes life a lot easier - but for sure they aren’t for everyone.  
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    edited April 2018
    Thank you for your replies. 

    I'm by no means an expert, but I do know my way around a desk. There are a few reason for the upgrade. Firstly, we're nearly maxed out on mic inputs, I'd like some basic compression for the drums and vocals, I can only do one monitor mix currently and I'd like to rackmount the mixer without having to buy overpriced rack ears for the PV. 

    Although I only recently bought the multicore (good price used) I can already see it being a headache in certain venues. I'm also in the process of upgrading to active Yamaha or RCF speakers with a view of reducing the amount and weight of gear we're carting around. Buying more rack gear is something I'd like to avoid if possible. Saying that, quality rack gear is very cheap now with everyone converting to digital. 

    Going digital is very tempting and I'm going to download the Behringer app to play with the interface. 

    Any additional thought? 

    Thanks

    Ben
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1289
    We had that same Yamaha desk and very good it was too, albeit massive. We went digital a couple of years ago though with a Behringer XR18 and really haven’t looked back.
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    Thanks for your input Simon. Have you had any problems with it? Is the wireless connection reliable?
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 2313
    bennyg85 said:
    Thanks for your input Simon. Have you had any problems with it? Is the wireless connection reliable?
    No, you will need to add an external router imo.   A cheap dual band one will be fine and give a sold connection and faster response that allows using the rta properly. 
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1289
    We had a few Wi-fi niggles using the XR18 to broadcast, and have since added an external router to the mix and it’s rock solid now.
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    Thanks again!

    Slight tangent - what's the consensus on tens or twelves for tops. I'll always have at least one sub.
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1289
    We have both 10’s and 12’s and pair them with a 12” sub, all Yamaha. The 10’s are great for smaller venues, the 12’s when a bit more kick is required.
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    This is the practical, real-world advice I need. Predictably, I have a couple more questions!

    I also want to do away with wedge monitors. Using the XR18, what are you doing for monitoring? I was planning to stay wired and send the auxiliaries out to a headphone amp on the stage. Thoughts on wired/wireless? Cost and complexity are my concerns. 
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 2313
    I don’t have a strong opinion on 10’s vs 12’s - I’d go with whichever was from a better quality brand - I only have 12s but as I’m always using subs I could live with 10s on top.  

    If youre going to venture into doing the sound for other people you might find you still need wedges - it’s rare I work for anyone that has in ears.   They are great though - just run a bus out to either a wireless transmitter or a headphone amp.  I really like using iem’s.  
    There might be a follow up question about mono or stereo - I just use mono mixes but a lot of people like stereo and some form of ambient mic blended in.        
    If you did go digital then each person can do their own monitor mix and that’s a big step forward imo as they are happier and it’s one less mix for you to sort. 
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    Thank you John
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1289
    We’re all using modelling so no amps on stage just our individual wedges. So for example, my QSC K8.2 gets a direct feed from my Helix, plus an aux send from the XR18 which has my vocal plus whatever else I want in my mix, and that mix I can control from my phone.
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    I think I'm sold
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1289
    And just to flesh out what PA speakers we’re using as I saw you nattering about it in another thread... we’ve got two DBR10’s, two DXR12’s and a DXS12 sub, all Yamaha. It’s all been excellent and done hundreds of gigs without missing a beat.
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    Cheers Simon. 7 year warranty too!
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1289
    bennyg85 said:
    Cheers Simon. 7 year warranty too!
    Yep, it implies confidence in their product. I think it’s 5 years on the DBR line.
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    Are there any other similar mixers I should be considering at this price range? The RCF M18 looks good, but has limited mic inputs.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3811
    We have an MG20XU in one of the bands I'm in.... the best bit about it is the compressors on every channel which are very useful and the fact you can turn the effects on and off vai a footswitch
    Not a fan of the rest of it though, faders are awful, really cheap and there's a lot of crosstalk through the whole desk. I don't like the "on" button rather than the traditional mute buttons either. It's the opposite way of traditional desks. It's also quite a dark sounding desk compared to anything else I've used recently. 

    Personally for me the desk is probably the most important piece of kit a band has ... as intelligent use of a good desk is needed BEFORE you can get the best out of any PA system. Because of this the other 3 bands I'm in have been on digital desks for the last 6 years or so. The dynamic processing, available aux sends, quality of effects and remote control of FOH and IEM mixes make digital the only way to go now. 
    There's a lot of ways you can go down the digital route. I don't like surface-less mixers so I tend to favour things like the QU16 rather than the X18 or DL1608 etc. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I've looked at the A&H stuff, but for the time being my budget won't stretch that far.

    The RCF is simpler and has a better router; if only it had more mic inputs!
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    edited April 2018
    bennyg85 said:
    Are there any other similar mixers I should be considering at this price range? The RCF M18 looks good, but has limited mic inputs.
    Can anyone help with this? Thanks
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  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 37
    I just started out with RCF m18, our drummer just got his own 12 channel mixer, so his 6-7 mic inputs are now 2,we're still using an analogue desk + snake, and I just use RCF for the band, vox and backing vox are into the desk. RCF has 6 monitor mixes, but I havent got into that yet, but its definately the way to go, having the traditional desk and snake is just a safety measure, until i get used to being digital full time, it does have a lot going for it-for the money, and the app is free to try out.
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    Thanks for your input Andy. I’m still trying to decide between the Behringer and RCF. Off to the shops this weekend to try them out. 
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  • Don’t forget about the Soundcraft UI16. Seems like it might tick all the boxes for you. A few places you can grab them for £360.
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  • bennyg85bennyg85 Frets: 30
    edited April 2018
    I'll take a look. Thank you for the suggestion @kennedydream1980
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