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Allen & Heath SQ5/6

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Allen & Heath SQ5/6

Postby Driller » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:55 am

These fantastic looking consoles have been around for a good few months now but strangely enough there doesn't seem to be much forum discussion about them at all.

Having got back to music after some years away, I've been using a Mixwizard WZ4 with the USB option for band rehearsal which was my first "proper" mixer and it really is a lovely bit of kit. It feels so solid and real somehow, the pots don't move at all laterally compared to some cheaper products (which comment will surely sound naive to all the veterans here!) and it's all logically and clearly laid out.

I'll keep mine forever but if anyone's looking for an analogue desk I wholeheartedly recommend the Mixwizard.

I wanted to avoid digital at first, to get a good handle on what a mixer really does but now its time, especially to get a few more aux outputs for monitors. Having been so impressed with the quality of the WZ4 and having been comfortable with its layout, it made sense to stick with A&H.

Obviously the QUs have been around for a bit but the lack of scribble strips bothered me and I was sure that they would sort that out due to the competition (X32...), so hung around for a while. Sure enough out came the SQ.

I haven't seen one in the flesh but on paper and in pictures it looks like just the thing. So bearing in mind the lack of discussion on them, does anyone have one and if so could they share their experiences? Anyone moved from an analogue mixer to an SQ and how was the transition?

Thanks for your comments
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Re: Allen & Heath SQ5/6

Postby MarkPAman » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:06 am

I'm fairly sure I'll be getting one sooner or later. I love my Qu-16 & Qu-Pac, but find I'm picking the Pac over the 16 more and more these days for the things like matrix & groups that if offers.

An SQ5 would give me all of that (and much more) without being much bigger than the Qu-16.

However, at the moment, I think the SQs are still in their early stages, and need a firmware update or two, before I'd be fully happy with it. Some things I use on the Qu, do not (yet) work on the SQ. It also (for me) needs the promised Dante and Slink cards to be available.
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Re: Allen & Heath SQ5/6

Postby Driller » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:41 pm

Hi Mark, thanks for sharing your thoughts, I waited a bit before replying hoping that a bit of debate would start.

I agree that the firmware will get surely get better with time but otherwise they seem like great machines at all levels.

I still don’t get why they’re not talked about more.
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Re: Allen & Heath SQ5/6

Postby Dave Rowles » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:13 pm

We've just got an SQ6 in the venue near my house. Haven't used it in anger yet, but it's pretty good just on the little mess around I've had. Will update when I've managed to get a gig under my belt with it.
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Re: Allen & Heath SQ5/6

Postby Driller » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:38 am

Thanks Dave, I’ll be watching with interest!
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Re: Allen & Heath SQ5/6

Postby MarkPAman » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:53 am

Driller wrote:I still don’t get why they’re not talked about more.

There's quite a lot of discussion on A&H's own forum of course!
https://community.allen-heath.com/forums/forum/sq

If you've any specific questions, I'll see what I can remember form there.

I'm sure it's a great desk right now, but the feature request part of that forum is big! There are things I'd like it to do that are not ready yet:

At the moment, you can connect a Qu (which must be the master clock) to an SQ and get all the local inputs on each each desk to appear on the other. An additional stage box is not supported in this setup, though some people have reported that the AR2412 works.

The iPad app for the SQ is not what I'd consider a finished product yet. On a Qu, all functions are controllable with an iPad, but many things are still missing from the SQ's app.

The promised extra plugins do not seem to be appearing yet - though the tube pre-amp is said to be very good.

Having been bitten, at much expense, by my first digital desk*, I'm only going to be buying something that already works as I want it to.

* A Roland which was "supposed" to get updated, but then they brought out a new one instead, and it was cheaper, so the S/H value of mine disappeared overnight. :thumbdown:
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Re: Allen & Heath SQ5/6

Postby Driller » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:31 pm

Thanks for all that info Mark, didn’t know there were forums on A&H, I’ll head over there.

No specific questions but it’s always interesting to read discussions on products one is interested in buying. By the sounds of it I should stick with the mix wizard until there’s been a software update or 2.
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