Allen & Heath ZED 12FX Vs. Tascam Model 24: Compared And Rated

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX vs. Tascam Model 24.

We're looking at things like:
  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both Allen & Heath ZED 12FX and Tascam Model 24. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

Allen & Heath ZED-12FX

After using the Allen & Heath ZED12FX for about six months, I think it's a solid piece of gear, especially for those transitioning from basic to more advanced mixing needs. The sound quality is notably clean and clear, making it a reliable choice for both studio and live environments. Working with it, I've found that the preamps deliver a crystal-clear sound, and there’s an impressive amount of gain available, which is a step up from some lower-priced mixers I've used in the past.

Learning Curve and Usability

Although the mixer is fairly user-friendly, I believe beginners might find it a bit challenging at first, mainly due to the underwhelming instruction manual. It's more about trial and error unless you're already familiar with mixers. However, once you get the hang of it, the layout and controls become intuitive. The faders and knobs are smooth and responsive, adding to the overall ease of use.

Effects and Features

The ZED12FX stands out for its effects. The range and quality are commendable for a mixer in this class. It adds significant value, especially if you're into experimenting with different sound textures. However, the dedicated send and returns being 1/8 jacks is a bit puzzling. It's an odd choice considering the rest of the board adheres to industry standards. This might limit some traditional uses, but it's not a deal-breaker.

Reliability Concerns

One of the downsides I've noticed is the question of long-term reliability. I've heard about issues like pre-amps failing just after the warranty period, which can be a major concern if you're planning to use this mixer heavily. While I haven't faced this issue personally, it's something to keep in mind.

Overall Experience

In terms of overall experience, the Allen & Heath ZED12FX has mostly been a positive journey. The sound quality, ease of use (once you get past the learning curve), and the additional effects make it a worthy investment for someone looking to upgrade from a basic setup. Just be wary of the potential long-term reliability issues and ensure you have a backup plan in place.

Tascam Model 24

Classic Analog Feel with Modern Capabilities

The Tascam Model 24 really brings back that classic feel of a mixing desk, blending nostalgia with modern functionality. It's user-friendly, and the sound quality is top-notch. The integration with my Mac for DAW use was seamless, making the transfer of tracks a breeze. It's a great way to step back from a purely digital interface and enjoy the tactile experience of an analog mixer.

Old School Vibe Meets Modern Tech

The feeling of using this Tascam mixer is akin to the experience I had with my first 4-track cassette in the '80s, but with the added benefits of today's tech. It's an excellent blend of the past and present.

Sturdy and Reliable

In terms of build and reliability, I haven't encountered any issues during my use. It's a solid piece of equipment that feels like it can withstand regular use and the occasional rigors of transport.

Pros and Cons

On the upside, the mixer offers great sound quality and an easy learning curve. It's particularly appealing for those looking to combine the hands-on feel of traditional mixing with modern recording capabilities. The built-in audio interface, compressor, preamps, and equalizers are like getting multiple pieces of equipment in one.

However, there are a couple of limitations. It only has two monitor sends, and the instructions provided can be a bit lacking. Some users may find the need to rely on online resources or videos to fully grasp all its features.

Overall Impression

The Tascam Model 24 is a fantastic choice for musicians or engineers looking for an analog-style mixer with the conveniences of modern technology. It's particularly suitable for home studios or small live setups. While it may have a couple of shortcomings, they are outweighed by its overall functionality and performance. This mixer provides a unique and satisfying experience for those who appreciate the charm of analog with the benefits of digital technology.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX or Tascam Model 24

Puttin' the Specs on the Table: Allen & Heath ZED12FX

Let's start off with the Allen & Heath ZED12FX. This audio mixer has been my trusty sidekick for a good half a year now. It's like the Robin to my Batman in my recording equipment arsenal. This mixing console boasts a clean and clear sound, which makes it a killer choice for both studio mixer and live sound mixing console roles. The preamps are like that kid in school who always had his homework done – they deliver, and they deliver crystal clear sound no less. It's like sipping on spring water after a trek through the Sahara compared to other lower-priced mixers.

Straight Up Usability

Now, it's not all smooth sailing with the ZED12FX. If you're new to the world of audio mixers, prepare for some trial and error gameplay before you level up your skills. The instruction manual is as helpful as an umbrella in a hurricane – virtually non-existent. But hey, every hero has to face their challenges, right? Once you've got this beast tamed though, those faders and knobs are as smooth and responsive as silk.

The Bells & Whistles: Effects and Features

The ZED12FX is like that friend who always brings party favors – its range of effects adds so much value to this analog mixer. However, it does have its quirks – I mean who thought it would be great idea to have dedicated send and returns as 1/8 jacks? Not exactly standard-issue stuff there.

A Chink in the Armor: Reliability Concerns

One thing that might make you think twice about this mixing console is its long-term reliability issues. Some folks have reported pre-amps failing just past the warranty period. We all know that's like your car breaking down just after the free towing period is over. So, if you're planning to use this audio interface heavily, make sure you've got a plan B.

Wrapping Up: Overall Experience

All things considered, the Allen & Heath ZED12FX is worth considering as an upgrade from a basic setup. It's got sound quality that makes your ears perk up, once you get past the learning curve, it's a joy to use and those additional effects are the cherry on top. Just be aware of possible long-term reliability issues.

The Comeback Kid: Tascam Model 24

Swinging onto center stage like a rockstar making a comeback is the Tascam Model 24. This digital mixer brings back that old school vibe with modern capabilities – think of it as grandpa rocking out to techno. The blend of nostalgia and modern functionality is truly unique in this studio mixer. It's like using your first 4-track cassette from back in the day but with shiny new tech upgrades.

Built Like a Tank: Sturdy and Reliable

Unlike its counterpart, I've found no hiccups with this audio mixer when it comes to build and reliability. This soundboard seems built to take some hits and keep on ticking.

The Good, The Bad, The Awesome

The good news? Great sound quality and an easy learning curve make this live sound mixing console super user-friendly. Also, having an integrated audio interface, compressor, preamps and equalizers feels like getting an extra scoop of ice cream for free. The not-so-great news? Only two monitor sends and instructions that are as clear as mud can be a bit of an annoyance.

The Final Sound Byte: Overall Impression

The Tascam Model 24 is like a magic potion for those wanting the charm of an analog mixer with the convenience of digital technology. It's ideal for home studios or smaller live setups. Sure, it has a few quirks, but they're dwarfed by its overall performance.

And the Winner Is…

Drumroll please…The Tascam Model 24. This audio interface takes home the trophy for its seamless blend of old-school charm and modern tech. The great sound quality, user-friendly design and reliability make it a clear winner over the Allen & Heath ZED12FX. So if you're in the market for an audio mixer that combines the best of both worlds, give this one a whirl!