Cadac LIVE1 mixer

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Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Sun Jun 20, 2021 4:55 am

I learned about Cadac, and in particular the Live1 1642, only in the last week. It seems that for a high-end mixer, it's actually kind of affordable at US$5200. A lot more affordable than, say, Zähl. However, I have contacted Cadac directly and gotten no answer, as well as a former US distributor of Cadac, and there appear to no longer be any distributors in North America at all. It appears to be unobtanium here at this point.

To me, it seems that Cadac might be up there in the same class of mixer as Solid State Logic, Toft and Zähl. (Some of you might quibble with my putting those three together; by all means, enlighten me. Consider that not long ago I thought Allen & Heath was basically in the top tier of mixers.)

Any ModWigglers out there have any experience with a Cadac? Could you compare and contrast with Solid State Logic, Rupert Neve Designs, Toft, Zähl, etc.?

---

Here's the overview.



And here's a Dutch producer, Joris Voorn, using it in a live-in-the-studio setup. I'm sure it's not just the mixer but this sounds great to me.


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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Dave Peck » Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:07 am

I don't know about that model specifically but Cadac analog mixers were often used in a lot of high end live theater environments (like Broadway shows here in the US) but have largely been replaced by digital mixers. They were built like tanks and sounded really good.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by flashheart » Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:21 pm

Caddac mixers are all over the broadcast world (BBC has used them forever - though now their digital ranges of course). Highly regarded and as Dave Peck says, built like tanks.
BTW of those brands you mentioned Toft doesn't really fit in the same league as the rest.
I'm not buying a maths though, not my idea of fun...

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:02 pm

flashheart wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:21 pm
Caddac mixers are all over the broadcast world (BBC has used them forever - though now their digital ranges of course). Highly regarded and as Dave Peck says, built like tanks.
BTW of those brands you mentioned Toft doesn't really fit in the same league as the rest.
Re: Toft, how so? Just not used as much by pros, or noticeably worse performance, or both?

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Dave Peck » Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:20 pm

Toft gear is not as good as the high end pro stuff like SSL, either in performance or construction. But it is also nowhere near the same price range. It's a step up from a lot of pro-sumer gear, the EQ sounds quite good, and it is good value for the money. Nothing wrong with it at all.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by bobbylandry » Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:22 pm

metamorphmuses wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:02 pm
flashheart wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:21 pm
Caddac mixers are all over the broadcast world (BBC has used them forever - though now their digital ranges of course). Highly regarded and as Dave Peck says, built like tanks.
BTW of those brands you mentioned Toft doesn't really fit in the same league as the rest.
Re: Toft, how so? Just not used as much by pros, or noticeably worse performance, or both?
Look at Trident which I still find super affordable for what they offer. The Toft stuff is good but built to budget versions of Trident circuits by the same guy. They’re still making new consoles that, assuming they sound like the originals, are amazing value.
Last edited by bobbylandry on Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:11 pm

Dave Peck wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:20 pm
Toft gear is not as good as the high end pro stuff like SSL, either in performance or construction. But it is also nowhere near the same price range. It's a step up from a lot of pro-sumer gear, the EQ sounds quite good, and it is good value for the money. Nothing wrong with it at all.
Good to know, thank you. The only SSL gear I've been looking at is at the lower end of their price range, though, which is to say the X-Desk. The price of the X-Desk is $2800, although it has a $2000 hidden cost in that it's not really worth it unless you get (to my mind) at least 4 channels of EQ of commensurate quality.

So, in this roughly $4K-$6K range, I could get a Toft ATB-08M, and it looks comparable to the X-Desk + outboard EQs, except...
bobbylandry wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:22 pm
{...}

Look at Trident which I still find super affordable for what they offer. The Toft stuff is good but built to budget versions of Trident circuits by the same guy. They’re still making new consoles that, assuming they sound like the originals, are amazing value.
The problem with Toft, for me, is their weight. For a ATB-08M, B&H has archived specs that list it at 77 lbs (although other sources say much lower). That is far too heavy for me; I keep my gear on shelves and bring them out to my work area when I need them. For comparison, the Cadac Live1 is a very manageable 28 lbs.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by bobbylandry » Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:14 pm

metamorphmuses wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:11 pm
Dave Peck wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:20 pm
Toft gear is not as good as the high end pro stuff like SSL, either in performance or construction. But it is also nowhere near the same price range. It's a step up from a lot of pro-sumer gear, the EQ sounds quite good, and it is good value for the money. Nothing wrong with it at all.
Good to know, thank you. The only SSL gear I've been looking at is at the lower end of their price range, though, which is to say the X-Desk. The price of the X-Desk is $2800, although it has a $2000 hidden cost in that it's not really worth it unless you get (to my mind) at least 4 channels of EQ of commensurate quality.

So, in this roughly $4K-$6K range, I could get a Toft ATB-08M, and it looks comparable to the X-Desk + outboard EQs, except...
bobbylandry wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:22 pm
{...}

Look at Trident which I still find super affordable for what they offer. The Toft stuff is good but built to budget versions of Trident circuits by the same guy. They’re still making new consoles that, assuming they sound like the originals, are amazing value.
The problem with Toft, for me, is their weight. For a ATB-08M, B&H has archived specs that list it at 77 lbs (although other sources say much lower). That is far too heavy for me; I keep my gear on shelves and bring them out to my work area when I need them. For comparison, the Cadac Live1 is a very manageable 28 lbs.
Oh yea the Toft and Trident are absolutely not meant to be portable. That’s a whole different thing.

Check out APB maybe?

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:28 pm

bobbylandry wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:14 pm
{...}
Check out APB maybe?
APB - oh yes, I have looked at the ProRack House H1020. Would you say it is closer to SSL or Toft or Allen & Heath in terms of quality? My fallback is a A&H MixWizard WZ4 14:4:2, but I'd prefer a higher-end mixer so as to more or less future-proof my setup.

That's why, if I could get my hands on a Cadac Live1, although it's quadruple my original budget, at this point I think I can justify $5K on a mixer I know I will be satisfied with for the duration.
bobbylandry wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:14 pm
{...}
Oh yea the Toft and Trident are absolutely not meant to be portable. That’s a whole different thing.
Tell me about it. A couple of years ago, I thought I had my mixer situation all sewn up as I bought a Tascam DM-3200. I was actually pretty happy with it except that I couldn't carry it from one side of my room to the other. I got a rolling stand for it, but in actual practice it stayed in its corner of the room and I would end up using my older Tascam TM-1000 because I could just put the TM-D1000 on a table next to me and get to making music like :snap: that. So, last year I sold the DM-3200.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Dave Peck » Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:12 pm

If you want portable, that would be things like APB Prorack, Crest X20 (almost the same thing), D&R Vision or Speck SSM if you can find one. But there are several others that are really almost as good and are more affordable and more readily available, like a A&H Mixwizard or a Mackie Onyx 1640.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:50 pm

Dave Peck wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:12 pm
If you want portable, that would be things like APB Prorack, Crest X20 (almost the same thing), D&R Vision or Speck SSM if you can find one. But there are several others that are really almost as good and are more affordable and more readily available, like a A&H Mixwizard or a Mackie Onyx 1640.
Yes, my fallback is a A&H MixWizard 14:4:2, and I currently have a Mackie VLZ3. The Mackie is just adequate, but I can't complain as I got it like new for $325 shipped.

When I look at something like the SSL X-Desk or the SiX (too bad it's only got EQ on the first two, mono channels), the sound quality is pretty self-evidently in a higher caliber.

I've looked at the Crest X18RM, however it doesn't hold much promise to me (it's basically a Peavey). The APB could be an option, but I am not sure about the sound quality; I'll keep looking. At least the Prorack H1020 is still in production.

I can't find the Speck SSM (I've looked). I will look into D&R Vision... that's a new one to me. Thanks.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by transistorresistor » Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:37 am

I cant speak to this exact mixer, Ive never listened to it, however if you research the history of how British recording studios transitioned from having to design and fabricate their own consoles for in house use to taking that model into small manufacturing and offering commercial consoles to third parties, CADAC was in the first class of consoles to come out of this lineage with Trident and Helios, predated by Sound Techniques. They were the in house brand at Morgan and involved some of the Audix engineers who at the time were securing the identical BBC broadcast contracts as Neve and Calrec. CADAC might not have the name recognition in the US as other brands, but regarding the company's history, they are as vetted as is possible to be and were one of the very first companies in history to offer a commercial console to a pro audio marketplace that hadnt yet really been formed. A few years before CADAC existed as a brand, if you wanted a console similar to it, you were more or less building it yourself.

Were I in the market for a board and this satisfied my needs and I had the list of brands to chose from that you mentioned, I would bend over backwards and move the earth in an attempt to audition this before heading down any of those roads as I suspect it is very likely to be nice. An SSL will be easier to resell, but one thing is almost guaranteed to be certain- on the first day SSL decided to go into business, when they looked at the marketplace and did a canvas of what they would need to compete with, live up to or out perform, you can be certain that they looked very closely at what CADAC was up to at the time.

Like any 40 year old company, theyve gone through changes and none of this of course really speaks to what that exact thing is, it could very well be a box of junk. But the lineage that that company comes from is full on British Console Royalty. Just some background on the brand to help you frame things.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:58 am

transistorresistor wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:37 am
I cant speak to this exact mixer, Ive never listened to it, however if you research the history of how British recording studios transitioned from having to design and fabricate their own consoles for in house use to taking that model into small manufacturing and offering commercial consoles to third parties, CADAC was in the first class of consoles to come out of this lineage with Trident and Helios, predated by Sound Techniques. They were the in house brand at Morgan and involved some of the Audix engineers who at the time were securing the identical BBC broadcast contracts as Neve and Calrec. CADAC might not have the name recognition in the US as other brands, but regarding the company's history, they are as vetted as is possible to be and were one of the very first companies in history to offer a commercial console to a pro audio marketplace that hadnt yet really been formed. A few years before CADAC existed as a brand, if you wanted a console similar to it, you were more or less building it yourself.

Were I in the market for a board and this satisfied my needs and I had the list of brands to chose from that you mentioned, I would bend over backwards and move the earth in an attempt to audition this before heading down any of those roads as I suspect it is very likely to be nice. An SSL will be easier to resell, but one thing is almost guaranteed to be certain- on the first day SSL decided to go into business, when they looked at the marketplace and did a canvas of what they would need to compete with, live up to or out perform, you can be certain that they looked very closely at what CADAC was up to at the time.

Like any 40 year old company, theyve gone through changes and none of this of course really speaks to what that exact thing is, it could very well be a box of junk. But the lineage that that company comes from is full on British Console Royalty. Just some background on the brand to help you frame things.
Yes, very nice background information, and it confirms much of my research. Thank you!

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Dave Peck » Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:28 am

metamorphmuses wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:50 pm


I've looked at the Crest X18RM, however it doesn't hold much promise to me (it's basically a Peavey).
Crest was building really good mixers for quite a while before they were bought by Peavey. That gear is quite a bit better than the Peavey product line. Also, the X18RM is a monitor mixer and is probably not configured for your intended use (note the "M" and the lack of faders, replaced by a matrix of rotary pots for creating multiple monitor mixes). You would want to look at the Crest XR20, which is very similar to the APB Dynasonic ProRack H1020.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:13 pm

Dave Peck wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:28 am
metamorphmuses wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:50 pm


I've looked at the Crest X18RM, however it doesn't hold much promise to me (it's basically a Peavey).
Crest was building really good mixers for quite a while before they were bought by Peavey. That gear is quite a bit better than the Peavey product line. Also, the X18RM is a monitor mixer and is probably not configured for your intended use (note the "M" and the lack of faders, replaced by a matrix of rotary pots for creating multiple monitor mixes). You would want to look at the Crest XR20, which is very similar to the APB Dynasonic ProRack H1020.
The issue, in any case, is that I can't find either the X18R or the X20R for sale. I can find both the X18RM and the X20RM, but as you say, the channels don't have faders, just the group and aux submasters. There is a refurbished H1020 I could buy.

The real question for me is whether the audio quality of either Crest Audio or APB surpasses that of the Allen & Heath MixWizard. Edit: From what I've been reading on various forums, there seems to be a consensus that APB tops A&H.

Part of me thinks I should remain patient and wait for some opportunity to buy a Cadac Live1, or barring that, to pony up for a SSL X-Desk and get outboard EQs to complement it incrementally over time.

---

Edit #2 - Well, I took the plunge with the APB H1020. So if a Cadac Live1 does become available I'll have to pass on it and cry in my beer.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Bobby » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:41 pm

Please feedback how you like the apb. I bought a newish A&H zed 428 last summer and literally bought a APB within months as I didn't get on with it. Really like the APB tho.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:59 pm

Bobby wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:41 pm
Please feedback how you like the apb. I bought a newish A&H zed 428 last summer and literally bought a APB within months as I didn't get on with it. Really like the APB tho.
Sure thing, I will report back on it. I myself just bought a mint used Mackie VLZ3 1624 literally just one month ago. It arrived, I tested it and assessed its usefulness: adequate but meh.

Like doing my due diligence, I just needed to confirm that certain features really did matter to me, like direct outs, inserts, group / aux busses. If I had been able to check this Mackie out from a gear library, I would have, but the reality is we generally have to buy them to try them out.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by sinfunc » Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:00 am

Bobby wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:41 pm
Please feedback how you like the apb. I bought a newish A&H zed 428 last summer and literally bought a APB within months as I didn't get on with it. Really like the APB tho.
this is interesting, as i've been considering a zed 420 as an upgrade from my current mixer. can you elaborate on what it was about the 428 that had you looking elsewhere so quickly?

obviously finding an APB might be motivation enough, but it sounds like there might be something inherent in the 428 which caused you to even look at other options in the first place.

sorry for hi-jacking, as i'm quite aware that the zed 4XX series is not on the same level as the other mixers being discussed (except for perhaps the mixwiz briefly mentioned...), but this is such a great discussion overall!

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Bobby » Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:18 am

sinfunc wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:00 am
Bobby wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:41 pm
Please feedback how you like the apb. I bought a newish A&H zed 428 last summer and literally bought a APB within months as I didn't get on with it. Really like the APB tho.
this is interesting, as i've been considering a zed 420 as an upgrade from my current mixer. can you elaborate on what it was about the 428 that had you looking elsewhere so quickly?

obviously finding an APB might be motivation enough, but it sounds like there might be something inherent in the 428 which caused you to even look at other options in the first place.

sorry for hi-jacking, as i'm quite aware that the zed 4XX series is not on the same level as the other mixers being discussed (except for perhaps the mixwiz briefly mentioned...), but this is such a great discussion overall!
I didn't feel like it had any magic in the eq which is the main reason I wanted it. I've kept it as a back up but it just didn't speak to me. The apb on the other hand did plus filters on each channel are ace.. I used to have a mixwizard in the 90s and swear it was better, it's a shame as I really wanted to love it because the mix wizard was my first decent mixer. I'll dig it back out one day and give it another go i think tho.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Bobby » Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:19 am

Don't get me wrong the apb eq isn't total magic but for the kinda magic I'm talking about is generally really expensive or old in my experience. The eq is nice tho, just not full facemelt lush. Mixers are such a huge spectrum of lushness and cost.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Thu Jul 01, 2021 1:44 am

Bobby wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:19 am
Don't get me wrong the apb eq isn't total magic but for the kinda magic I'm talking about is generally really expensive or old in my experience. The eq is nice tho, just not full facemelt lush. Mixers are such a huge spectrum of lushness and cost.
So, I just got the H1020 today. Mind you, it's a used one — serviced and cleaned, but still used. The retail is something like $4500 new and I paid $2600, which is a great deal considering. Now then, leaving aside the fact that there are a few minor issues that you wouldn't have to deal with on a brand new mixer (e.g. low frequency band on channel 12 EQ cuts out past the 3 o'clock position), overall I'd say I can give you my assessment of the H1020.

I agree with you, Bobby. The EQ is quite nice and definitely better than that of my Mackie VLZ3 1642, but it's not magic. There are other issues that are clearly attributable to the device and not its second-hand condition. When I engage and disengage the EQ on any channel, it's "clicky" and that means don't ever turn on or off the EQ when in a live or tracking performance scenario. Fortunately, you can set the knobs to center detent and that's the same as off, and turning the knobs of course produce no scratchiness (except for channel 1 high pass filter, but that's attributable to its second-hand status).

How it handles line-level gain is good but not stellar. Again, definitely better than the Mackie or my older Tascam, and I notice that the "pad" button really does make a difference (those other mixers don't have a "pad" button, but my Arturia AudioFuse Studio does, so my experience with it is pretty recent), but I can still hear room for improvement on the headroom. If I turn up the gain and just barely start to clip, I still wish the response was more forgiving. Make sense?

So, I'm happy with it and it's worth the money I spent on it, but I would need to spend time with something like a Cadac or a Solid State Logic (like a SiX, just to hear how the EQ and onboard compressor sounds, whether turning on EQ is "clicky" etc.) to say whether spending even more money makes a difference. My experience with mixers of that caliber is zero, but my ears apparently are fussy discriminating.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Bobby » Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:25 am

Yeah the cipping is rarely nice on the box. The new a&h are the same. Miss the old days where cheaper mixers clipped nicely.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Bobby » Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:35 am

I leave my eq permanently on buy I'll check for clicking on mine next time I get a chance.

If you ain't using it live or in a hot environment I highly recomend unplugging the fan. Best move I ever made, got the instructions if you need them.

Also the eq card can be swapped dead easily from what I remember, I modified the direct out on mine to post fade, been meaning to buy some spares but you may wanna consider that if you got a few bugs.

All in all its the best "cheaper " still available modern mixer I've come across though. I highly rate APB, really nice but not face-melt lush.

Face-melt lush costs tho.
Last edited by Bobby on Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by metamorphmuses » Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:42 am

Bobby wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:35 am
I leave my eq permanently on buy I'll check for clicking on mine next time I get a chance.

If you ain't using it live or in a hot environment I highly recomend unplugging the fan. Best move I ever made, got the instructions in you need them.

Also the eq card can be swapped dead easily from what I remember, I modified the direct out on mine to post eq, been meaning to buy some spares but you may wanna consider that if you got a few bugs.

All in all its the best "cheaper " still available modern mixer I've come across though. I highly rate APB, really nice but not face melt lush.
Oh, yeah, that fan is whiny and annoying. Are the instructions for turning it off in the manual? Because I've got a PDF of it. (Edit: the instructions are not in the manual. Can you PM them to me? Thanks!)

Good advice on the spare EQ cards; I might want to do that eventually / soonish.
Last edited by metamorphmuses on Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cadac LIVE1 mixer

Post by Bobby » Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:45 am

metamorphmuses wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:42 am
Bobby wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:35 am
I leave my eq permanently on buy I'll check for clicking on mine next time I get a chance.

If you ain't using it live or in a hot environment I highly recomend unplugging the fan. Best move I ever made, got the instructions in you need them.

Also the eq card can be swapped dead easily from what I remember, I modified the direct out on mine to post eq, been meaning to buy some spares but you may wanna consider that if you got a few bugs.

All in all its the best "cheaper " still available modern mixer I've come across though. I highly rate APB, really nice but not face melt lush.
Oh, yeah, that fan is whiny and annoying. Are the instructions for turning it off in the manual? Because I've got a PDF of it. Good advice on the spare EQ cards; I might want to do that eventually / soonish.
I contacted APB and they sent me a pdf of instructions and some warnings about how hot was too hot. Again it was well easy, you just unplug the connector.

If you get any spares let me know how you get on please, like I say I need to get around to it.

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