8 Channel 4 Out Mixer for $300 or less for 4 Track Reel

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
User avatar
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 747
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:33 am
Location: Lakewood, OH

8 Channel 4 Out Mixer for $300 or less for 4 Track Reel

Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:00 am

I'm looking to get a small format 8 channel 4 buss/out mixer to pair with a 4 track reel to reel. I've searched a lot on here, GS, and other sites and found these options. Has anyone tried a couple of these, and what are the consensus?

Sound I'm going for - Just want it to sound decent, i do early 70's soul/funk/r&B and soul-jazz so a little noise and color is fine. I've used a 388 in the past and liked that, and had a Sony MX-20 (and Ramsa WR-133) with a Teac 3340s that was nice too.

Note: I will be bouncing tracks since it's a 4 track, and doing bounces within the machine itself (not to a 2 track) so i need something that can do that.

Sony MXP-21, 29, 290
Tascam M208
Studiomaster 8 Into 4
Soundcraft 200B

Ideally i'd like to find another Sony MX-20, but they are rare. I'm mostly interested in how those other Sony's compare to the Tascam and Studiomaster unit.

User avatar
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3387
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 5:57 am
Location: Toronto

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:30 pm

I don't know the Sony units but I've had lots of experience with Studiomaster, Tascam and Soundcrafts. My gut feeling is that most 70's/80s soundcrafts will be head and shoulders above the other two in terms of build quality and to a slightly lesser degree sound. I have a soft spot for Tascam tape machines but no love for their mixers. I currently have a later Studiomaster 24x8x2 at home. It sounds nice but not amazing and it feels really cheap.
I've used tons of Soundcrafts - everything from the 1s, 200s, 400s, Ghost, and spirit series. The 70's units are built like tanks and easy to work on.
I'd also suggest keeping an eye out for one of the smaller Yamaha PM series. I've got a PM 400 that pairs really well with my 4 track. Features are limited but it sounds great.

User avatar
buyin' a studio
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:39 pm
Location: in exile

Post by floid » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:41 pm

I have an M208, it's not what you want. Anemic.
Village Idiot.

moves faders with mind
Posts: 2673
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Post by kslight » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:19 pm

I've got an M-308 sitting here..I'm sure there's some secret mojo in there to find...but I'm too lazy to hook it up. :roll:

Zacharia Matilda
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Factory Outlet-Maine

Post by Zacharia Matilda » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:38 am

I've used a Soundcraft 200b. I've also used one of the old Tascam M series mixers (can't remember which one). Both would be in your price point. Of the two I would probably choose a 200b. Better eq (especially if it has the sweepable mid band), external power supply and modular channels (easier to work on). It might even sound marginally better.

I have an 8 channel 200b I'm no longer using. It doesn't have a power supply but those are easily found on ebay. PM me if you are interested.

User avatar
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 747
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:33 am
Location: Lakewood, OH

Post by markjazzbassist » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:37 am

david thanks for the yamaha recomendation, totally missed that one since it doesn't look 4 output at first glance. thanks!

zach i gotta sell a couple things first, i might holler at you later.

User avatar
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 747
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:33 am
Location: Lakewood, OH

Post by markjazzbassist » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:34 pm

ok i got it narrowed down now to

Sony MX-20, MXP-21, 29, 290
Tascam M208, M30
Yamaha PM 400
Ramsa WR-133

The soundcraft and studiomaster are more around the 300+ range and to be honest i'm really looking for cheap as hell, so closer to 200 or 150 is more like it. Those above are in that range. I'll report back if i get something.

Jim Williams
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:19 am
Location: beautiful Carlsbad, CA

Post by Jim Williams » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:08 am

Check out a used Soundcraft Delta 200 8x4x2. Some are made in a 19" rack case. It has the best in class stereo crosstalk and a pad-less mic preamp. Another big difference is it has a dedicated balanced line input, the others run through the mic preamp padded down.

I bought one for $450.
Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

audio school
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:52 am

Re: 8 Channel 4 Out Mixer for $300 or less for 4 Track Reel

Post by hopefulmonster » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:32 am

Piggybacking on this thread from last year, which came up in my search for upgrades to my Tascam M-320B mixer.

Hi Jim — I read that you have modded mixers in this series.. in brief: will upgrading the opamps (mostly NJM5532D) in the master, program and/or channel PCBs improve the sound? And/or replacing electrolytic caps? Sounds nice tonally, but dynamically spongy, lacking depth, punch and clarity. I mainly want to sum stems from my DAW and insert a buss compressor on the master. Here's the manual (parts list on p. 99): https://www.dropbox.com/s/q3nhgm2ulqajd ... l.pdf?dl=0.

..another thought: I could maybe hotrod 10 channels by removing the preamp circuitry, to get as much out of the signal flow as possible between the balanced input to balanced program or master outs, for stem mixing. Line inputs are unbalanced, but (per the manual) you can feed balanced line level signals to the XLR mic input / 30 db pad. Would love to get the pad/preamp out of the way.

Thanks for any advice :)

And, Hi Dave!

Jason Ball

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 33 guests