Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX Vs. Tascam Model 16: 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 ZEDi 10FX vs. Tascam Model 16.

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 ZEDi 10FX and Tascam Model 16. 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 ZEDi-10FX

Tascam Model 16

I picked up one of these used to review for a few hundred. Here's the lowdown:

Initial Impressions

Right out of the box, the Tascam Model 16 felt like a good deal. Even though I got it ‘Used-Acceptable', it appeared brand new and functioned perfectly, saving me a significant amount. It's a testament to Tascam's build quality that a used unit can still perform like a fresh piece.

Usability and Versatility

The Model 16 is incredibly user-friendly. Its intuitive design blends low-tech ease with high-tech versatility. For someone who finds computer software a flow-breaker while recording, this Tascam is a dream. It allows recording directly to an internal SD card and then mixing on a computer, offering the best of both worlds.

Quality of Sound and Inputs

The sound quality is fantastic, making it perfect for both recording and live sound. However, I was initially taken aback by the “virtual” tracks 15/16 and the designated Bluetooth channel, limiting its effective input channels. It's a minor issue but something that should be clearer in the product description.

Recording and Playback Experience

When it comes to recording, the Model 16 shines. The process is straightforward, and playback quality is impressive. I especially appreciated the analog summing and HDDA preamps, which add a warm, rich tone to the recordings. The unit’s simplicity in recording makes it ideal for capturing live performances.

Software and Connectivity

A drawback is the mixer's limited software side. Unlike its smaller sibling, the Model 12, the 16 lacks MIDI connectivity, making time syncing with external gear a bit of a hassle. Additionally, the absence of FX return means using external effects requires sacrificing tracks, which can be limiting.

Overall Performance

Overall, the Tascam Model 16 is a solid performer with great sound and build quality. Its drawbacks are mostly in the finer details of software and input/output flexibility. It's a great piece of gear for those looking to record live performances or who want an easy-to-use interface for home recording. Despite its limitations, the Model 16 offers enough features and quality to justify its price.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX or Tascam Model 16

Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX: A Sound Investment

If you thought your old Behringer Xenyx 302USB was the cat's whiskers, then the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is going to blow your socks off. The audio interface quality is like comparing apples and oranges. The 24-bit audio support delivers a sound quality that will make your audio recording sessions feel like a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard.

Not Just for Show

This unit isn't all about good looks; it's as versatile as a Swiss army knife and as user-friendly as your favorite barista. Whether you're into podcasting, voice-over work, or video production, this USB mixer has got you covered. It gives you more than just a standard stereo track over USB; it's got additional I/O and tactile control that makes mixing faster than making instant coffee.

Bang for your Buck

When it comes to studio recording equipment, this mixer is worth its weight in gold. It might not have all the high-end features like individual channel mutes and channel faders, but hey, who needs a Bugatti when you've got a Mustang? This mixer is perfect for small live setups, home studios, podcasting, or streaming.

A Little Quirkiness Never Hurt Anyone

The ZEDi-10FX does have some quirks when it comes to the USB interface with iOS devices. But let's be honest here – what doesn't? And while the routing of USB audio output into the FX channel might be confusing at first, once you get the hang of it, it'll be smoother than butter on bread.

Tascam Model 16: The Underdog

The Tascam Model 16 is like the Rocky Balboa of multi-track recorders. Right out of the box, it packs a punch. It's user-friendly, versatile, and has a high-tech versatility that makes audio engineering as simple as flipping pancakes.

Sound and Fury

The sound quality on the Tascam Model 16 is mind-blowing. Whether you're recording or handling live sound mixing, this unit delivers a knockout punch. However, be prepared for a little surprise with the “virtual” tracks 15/16 and the designated Bluetooth channel – they tend to play hide and seek.

A Little Short on Features

The Model 16 slips a bit when it comes to software features. It lacks MIDI connectivity which can make syncing with external gear feel like threading a needle in the dark. And if you're into using external effects, be prepared to sacrifice some tracks.

The Final Round: Who Wins?

After an intense face-off between these two heavyweights of mixing consoles, it's time for me to declare a winner. And the winner is… *drumroll please*… the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX! Its exceptional sound quality, flexibility, and value for money make it the heavyweight champion in my book. While the Tascam Model 16 put up a good fight with its fantastic sound quality and ease of use, it fell short due to its limited software side and input/output flexibility. So there you have it – whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro in the world of audio engineering, the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is your ticket to audio nirvana.