... i do like the look of the soundcraft mixers. Especially the direct outs on each channel which would come in handy as i would love to record some gigs in the future and they would allow me to record separate tracks for later mixdown. Being as i will more than likely buying second hand are they sturdy reliable units? Cheers
I'm a bit confused about your reference to 'direct outs' as the EPM/EFX/MPM range don't have them. I guess you must be looking at other Soundcrafts such as the FX8/16 or maybe the M series. or the Folio SX.
I have a secondhand Soundcraft F1 which does me well for small gigs and small recording set-ups - I use 'sniffer' leads in the inserts for multitrack recording. The F1 produces good results for live and acceptable for recording. I wouldn't call its construction 'robust' though and I do treat it with care. The one BIG downer with some of these earlier Soundcrafts is the very fiddly/flimsy connecton for the mains unit - I know "grab" has upgraded his to something more 'industrial' and it's somewhere on my 'to do' list. The giveaway to identify which of these is affected is the 'carry-handle' across the top of the mixer.
The EPM/EFX/MPM are much more robustly constructed - both in terms of surface controls and the mains connector - which I believe is an IEC socket.
For life on the road, whatever you get I suggest you rack it or case it.