I replaced the old Mackie 802-VLZ3 with an Allen & Heath ZED14.
It is much larger than the Mackie, due not only to the extra channels, but also the professional sliders. Immediately I experienced much more control when mixing with sliders vs. knobs. I spent a long time researching mixers prior to this purchase, downloading manuals and printing out block diagrams. The ZED14 has more in common with its bigger siblings than does the smaller ZED10. For example, the single input channels have separate preamps for the microphone and the line input. I did not find this on any other mixer in this price range. I like having inputs optimized for line level, because that’s my primary use. A clever feature of the stereo input channels is having two stereo inputs per channel. One comes via RCA jacks (or USB), and the other via TRS jacks. Each has a separate attenuator. The RCA inputs can mix together with the TRS inputs and go through the channel strip, or can be routed directly to the main output bus. Other features that impressed me:
- Solid build.
- No wall wart. AC power cord plugs into the mixer.
- Recessed panel switches for routing options that you don’t want to accidentally press.
- Insert jacks on the six single channel inputs.
- Insert jacks on the main channel out, pre-fader, so you can monitor the effect.
- Four auxiliary buses, two pre-fader and two post-fader.
- Variable center on the mid-frequency equalization.
It would be nice if the USB supported 2.0, instead of 1.1. But I have a firewire interface, as well, so the USB isn’t that important to me. I have yet to try it out.