PreSonus StudioLive AR12c Vs. Tascam Model 24: Reviewed & Compared

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: PreSonus StudioLive AR12c 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 PreSonus StudioLive AR12c 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.

PreSonus StudioLive AR12c

Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer: In-Depth Review After Extensive Use

Initial Impressions and Functionality

After over two years of using the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer, I've got a lot to share. Initially, this mixer impressed with its robust features – SD recording, Bluetooth connectivity, and the abundance of free software it comes with. The multi-track software, particularly useful for recording and editing, adds significant value. Its form factor and features like the microphone preamps and USB-C connectivity seemed promising for a range of applications – from music production to podcasting.

Performance and Reliability Issues

Short Lifespan and Quality Concerns

The major downside, however, has been the mixer's reliability. It worked flawlessly for a period, but after 2.5 years, it abruptly stopped working. This was particularly frustrating as the mixer was handled with care and never subjected to any rough use. The lack of durability for a high-end piece of equipment is a significant drawback, especially considering the cost of repair, which can run into hundreds of dollars.

Customer Service Experience

Lack of Support and Warranty Concerns

My experience with customer service was less than satisfactory. When the mixer failed, I reached out, only to be told that it was out of warranty. While this is technically true, the expectation for a quality mixer to last beyond 2.5 years is reasonable. The company's approach to customer service and their unwillingness to provide support or reasonable repair options is a major red flag.

Sound Quality and Features

Excellent Audio but Some Limitations

On the positive side, the mixer's sound quality is excellent when it works. The microphone preamps, while needing to be turned up high for certain mics, provide clear and crisp audio. The multi-track capabilities are user-friendly and the mixer is fairly easy to navigate, even for those new to audio equipment. The inclusion of SD card recording and Bluetooth adds to its versatility, although the SD recording could benefit from more informative display features.

Form Factor and Build

Good Design with Some Build Quality Issues

The mixer's form factor is appealing – it's compact and fits well in various setups. However, the build quality seems to be a concern given the longevity issues I've experienced. The unit feels sturdy initially, but the internal components may not be as reliable.

Overall Experience

Mixed Feelings Due to Reliability Issues

In summary, while the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer offers a range of impressive features and excellent sound quality, its reliability is a major concern. The poor customer service and the mixer's short lifespan significantly overshadow its initial appeal. For those considering this mixer, it's crucial to weigh these factors. The possibility of encountering similar issues and the lack of support from Presonus might be deal-breakers for many potential buyers.

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: PreSonus StudioLive AR12c or Tascam Model 24

PreSonus StudioLive AR12c: A Mixer with Potential, but Longevity Concerns

Alright, let's dive into the world of mixers. As an audio enthusiast, I've had a love-hate relationship with the PreSonus StudioLive AR12c. This mixer initially wowed me with its robust features like SD recording and Bluetooth connectivity. That USB-C connectivity? A dream for modern-day podcasters and music producers alike.

However, the honeymoon period didn't last. After about 2.5 years of tender love and care, my StudioLive AR12c gave up the ghost. This wouldn't be such a big deal if it were an inexpensive piece of kit, but we're talking about a pretty penny here. And let's not even get started on repair costs.

Customer Service: It's a Lonely Road

And what about customer service? Well, that’s where things got a bit sour for me. I reached out after my mixer failed only to be told it was out of warranty. Now I'm not saying every product should last forever, but for something this high-end, you'd expect more than just 2.5 years of service.

Sound Quality and Features: Shining Stars in a Cloudy Sky

But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater – when it works (emphasis on ‘when'), this mixer delivers excellent sound quality. The microphone preamps are crisp and clear – although you might need to crank them up for certain mics.

The multi-track capabilities are user-friendly – even if you're as green as grass when it comes to audio equipment. Plus, SD card recording and Bluetooth add versatility that can come in handy.

Form Factor and Build: Aesthetically Pleasing but Fragile

In terms of aesthetics, the StudioLive AR12c is a looker. Its compact form fits into various setups like a glove. But, based on my experience, I'm not convinced the internal components can withstand the test of time.

Tascam Model 24: The Past Meets Present

On the other hand, we've got the Tascam Model 24. This bad boy oozes nostalgia with its classic mixing desk feel but doesn't skimp out on modern functionality. It's as if you're back in the '80s jamming out with your first 4-track cassette… except now you've got today's tech at your fingertips.

Reliability and Build: A Trusty Companion

Unlike my experience with the PreSonus mixer, I've never encountered any issues with this Tascam workhorse. It feels like it could survive a nuclear apocalypse (metaphorically speaking).

Sound Quality and Features: A Blend of Old and New

The Model 24 offers great sound quality and an easy learning curve – perfect for those seeking to blend traditional mixing with modern recording. The built-in audio interface, compressor, preamps, and equalizers are all fantastic- it's like having multiple pieces of equipment in one.

Now it's not all sunshine and rainbows; there are a couple of limitations. It only has two monitor sends, and the instructions can be a bit cryptic. You might need to turn to online resources or videos to fully grasp all its features.

So after deep diving into the world of mixers, who emerges victorious? Drum roll please…

The winner is the Tascam Model 24.

Why does it edge out the PreSonus StudioLive AR12c? It's simple – reliability. While both mixers offer fantastic features and sound quality, the longevity concerns and customer service issues with the PreSonus mixer make it hard to recommend. The Tascam Model 24, on the other hand, offers a unique blend of classic feel and modern functionality with the added bonus of sturdy reliability.