Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Call for Help! - Mixers: NRV10 vs Zed-14?

All right!

I'm kinda stuck, and some opinions from my faithful readers would be very helpful.

I need a new mixer.

More specifically I'd like to replace both my mixer and my sound card in one fell swoop, so I'm looking at Firewire and USB mixers. I've gone through Alesis, and Mackies, and Phonics, and I think I've got it narrowed down to 2 units in my price range. I'm completely torn, so on to the comparison.

The two I'm stuck on are the M-Audio NRV10 and the Allen & Heath Zed-14. I need four or more phantom powered XLR ports, and individual channels sent to computer. Both units do that, so what's bothering me?

The Allen & Heath (typically about $450) is, well, an Allen & Heath. That already makes it desirable. Six mono inputs, 4 buses, USB interface, and 100mm faders round out an impressive feature set. I've always enjoyed the build quality of A&H, and those extra buses are awesomely flexible.

Next up, the NRV10 (Usually around $700) comes from a company I'm VERY familiar with, having used M-A soundcards for YEARS now. I think I like Firewire better than USB (especially when I have to use my dog tired laptop). The NRV10 has fewer inputs, no alt buses (so less routing flexibility), but each channel has individual send selectors, giving it some good (but not great) channel flexibility. Lastly, while the mixer itself isn't quite as flexible as the A&H, it comes with one powerful advantage for me. It will play with the copy of Pro Tools M-Powered I picked up for my FW410.

So there's the question. Do I go with the more expensive less flexible mixer because it uses PT, or do I go with the more flexible less expensive mixer and use another program (I like Sound Forge and Audition, but I do need PT from time to time)? PLEASE leave me some comments with your thoughts!

I need some help guys!




***EDIT 03/24/08***

You can check out some unboxing pics, and my first impressions here!


  1. Pick the black one! It looks way sweeter!

  2. Go A&H. Those things are built like tanks


  3. Go with which one SOUNDS better!

  4. @CHRIS

    I know right.
    I wish there were an easy way to try out mixers. No place I know really lets you get hands on...

  5. You know that while I use and rely on Digidesign stuff, I have an issue with their software being so proprietarily hardware dependent.
    However, their hardware works perfectly well with a number of good and serious apps.
    The primary question seems to be, will the A&H interface at all with Protools...say with a Digidesign compatible card and the Heath console?

  6. Since you are a PC guy and don't need to run Pro Tools regularly, he thinks the high quality A&H would be a great choice for you. You can always use some M-Audio equipment such as a mobile pre-usb when you need to run Pro Tools.