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  #1  
Old 05-08-2006, 10:19 AM
spectrum spectrum is offline
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Urei 1603, 1605

Hi, this is my first post, I've been lurking for a while and enjoy reading your very knowledgeable posts.

Have any of you used these mixers, what are your opinions?
They seem perfect for me with all the features that I've wanted in a mixer and if the sound quality is anything like the original Urei (is that possible?) then i'm sold.
What say you?
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2006, 10:34 AM
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No.

It's repackaged Soundcraft mixers made in China.

Original UREI is made in Southern California and original UREI sound comes from this era. The new Soundcraft "UREI" has almost nothing to do with this time and is only a way for Soundcraft to expand into the DJ market by using the UREI name as a way to pry the door open. Note that the 1620LE is also made in China and uses a whole new generation of low-cost parts.

Just to give you an idea of how cheap it is: Universal Audio (original name of UREI and still owned by the founders family) estimated a production cost of $400 for building *exact* replicas of the original 1620 using the same techniques and components. This would have been hand made in California by skilled assemblers. Now, take that labor across the ocean where people live off of $50 or less per month and you're talking about a production cost of less than $100 once you factor in the lower cost components involved. This just shows you the kind of quality that comes with a low priced mixer.

Packed in features + high sound quality won't come at less than $1500. There's a good reason why people pay a premium for the original 1620's that are built with minimal features.

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Edited to stay on topic.

Last edited by dancindave : 05-08-2006 at 10:40 AM.
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2006, 11:14 AM
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Thanks for the reply, although I thought the general consensus on the 1620 le was that it sounded pretty good and close to the original.
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2006, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Packed in features + high sound quality won't come at less than $1500.


I agree but for the money, the 1603, 720 Euro seems alright.
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2006, 11:25 AM
mattytko mattytko is offline
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The 1620LE sounds just as good as the old. Just because it was built in China doesn't mean the design sucks. People are just fanatics with the old one.
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2006, 12:22 PM
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I'm drunk off Haterade when it comes to the Soundcraft 1620LE.

Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate....

When it comes down to sounding "like" something, or even coming close; there has to be a strict guideline followed by adhering to not only the original circuit and components, but the methods for construction of both the unit and the parts involved.

I'll keep from picking at all the various differences in components. It is not just that they build them in China, but also that they cut corners with the components and construction. Some people are fanatical about these kinds of things and I apologize if I come off as a troll on the forum today. I think dance music DJing has been around long enough where it's safe to parallel the UREI to the Fender Stratocaster and the Bozak to the Gibson Les Paul. Each existed in their respective time periods and held with them a unique sound and feeling for the music. They can still be found today, but both originals and exacting replicas are still the prize. Other similarities can be said for historic cars (e.g. Shelby Cobra). My point is that if you're going to make a replica of an original, then do it right.

The sonic signature of vintage equipment is at the core of their value. To make something respond flat and be accurate is no feat today (and also not always fun for listening) thanks to the advances in measuring instruments. People continue to buy vintage UREI mixers and recording equipment because of their unique imprint on the music.

Here's how far Universal Audio went to replicate the original UREI LA-2 and 1176 units:

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2003/august/index4.html

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2003/october/index4.html

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2004/november/index4.html

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2003/november/index4.html

All this effort was put into preserving the sonic character of the original units. Sadly, Universal Audio doesn't see the potential for a replica reissue of the 1620 Music Mixer even though they have the legal right to build them, but not with the "UREI" name since Harman International now owns the right to it; hence the Soundcraft venture into the DJ market.

Mentally, I have disconnected Soundcraft from Universal Audio/United Recording Electronics Industries. As a native of Southern California, I take great pride in the audio heritage of the area (JBL, Altec, UREI, Westlake, George Augspurger, Doug Sax, Rat Sound, etc..). Thus I feel that it's been undermined by Harman International's company, Soundcraft. They not only changed the unit, but cheapened it and spearhead the project from the UK and manufactured in China.

The new run of mixers from Soundcraft with the "UREI" name are no different than any offerings from Allen & Heath, Pioneer, Vestax, Rane or any other bells & whistles mixer companies. Choose any $800 mixer that suits your needs and get a nasty compressor to beef up the sound. Should be fun and it's an easy way to get big sound without selling a kidney.
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2006, 12:29 PM
spectrum spectrum is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dancindave
I'm drunk off Haterade when it comes to the Soundcraft 1620LE.

Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate....

When it comes down to sounding "like" something, or even coming close; there has to be a strict guideline followed by adhering to not only the original circuit and components, but the methods for construction of both the unit and the parts involved.

I'll keep from picking at all the various differences in components. It is not just that they build them in China, but also that they cut corners with the components and construction. Some people are fanatical about these kinds of things and I apologize if I come off as a troll on the forum today. I think dance music DJing has been around long enough where it's safe to parallel the UREI to the Fender Stratocaster and the Bozak to the Gibson Les Paul. Each existed in their respective time periods and held with them a unique sound and feeling for the music. They can still be found today, but both originals and exacting replicas are still the prize. Other similarities can be said for historic cars (e.g. Shelby Cobra). My point is that if you're going to make a replica of an original, then do it right.

The sonic signature of vintage equipment is at the core of their value. To make something respond flat and be accurate is no feat today (and also not always fun for listening) thanks to the advances in measuring instruments. People continue to buy vintage UREI mixers and recording equipment because of their unique imprint on the music.

Here's how far Universal Audio went to replicate the original UREI LA-2 and 1176 units:

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2003/august/index4.html

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2003/october/index4.html

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2004/november/index4.html

http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2003/november/index4.html

All this effort was put into preserving the sonic character of the original units. Sadly, Universal Audio doesn't see the potential for a replica reissue of the 1620 Music Mixer even though they have the legal right to build them, but not with the "UREI" name since Harman International now owns the right to it; hence the Soundcraft venture into the DJ market.

Mentally, I have disconnected Soundcraft from Universal Audio/United Recording Electronics Industries. As a native of Southern California, I take great pride in the audio heritage of the area (JBL, Altec, UREI, Westlake, George Augspurger, Doug Sax, Rat Sound, etc..). Thus I feel that it's been undermined by Harman International's company, Soundcraft. They not only changed the unit, but cheapened it and spearhead the project from the UK and manufactured in China.

The new run of mixers from Soundcraft with the "UREI" name are no different than any offerings from Allen & Heath, Pioneer, Vestax, Rane or any other bells & whistles mixer companies. Choose any $800 mixer that suits your needs and get a nasty compressor to beef up the sound. Should be fun and it's an easy way to get big sound without selling a kidney.


I understand where you are coming from and agree with your sentiments but can't afford them
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  #8  
Old 05-08-2006, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spectrum
I understand where you are coming from and agree with your sentiments but can't afford them

I seriously think a compressor with a cheap mixer wouldn't be such a shabby move. Getting extra gain and the controlled grit of a compressor can work quite favorably.
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2006, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dancindave
I seriously think a compressor with a cheap mixer wouldn't be such a shabby move. Getting extra gain and the controlled grit of a compressor can work quite favorably.


It does sound interesting.
While on the subject of the 1620, I'd be intersted to know how you deal with not having a gain control, is this much of an issue.
Having only ever used budjet mixers with vertical faders, EQ and gain controls, does it lend itself to a particular style of mixing?
Thanks
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2006, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spectrum
It does sound interesting.
While on the subject of the 1620, I'd be intersted to know how you deal with not having a gain control, is this much of an issue.
Having only ever used budjet mixers with vertical faders, EQ and gain controls, does it lend itself to a particular style of mixing?
Thanks


The gain control isn't much of any issue if you've got some DUO Line Pre-Amp cards to boost the CD players Had to say it, sorry. But on it's own the gain is a minor issue between using phono and line. Contrary to all logic; the phono on the UREI 1620 is much louder than the line. Some people just deal with it by learning the levels that work while some will use 2 channels for the line at the same time to get more sound.

I think that there is definitely a certain style of mixing associated with certain mixers. It's not so much rotary vs. fader I think as much as it's the features and interface. Having a minimal set of features not only allows more signal to run free, but also forces the DJ to have an optimum musical selection. Without EQ on each channel; the tracks must compliment, or blend well with each other. One could take the route where all tracks that have the same sound/BPM like Jeff Mills. The DJ can be lazy and use this to make the mix like one big track, or they can take advantage of the mixer's features to have an engaging experience.

Another route (my favorite) is to use records that vary in style, but select them so that they can "dance" with each other when you mix them. Just check out The 3 Chairs sometime and you'll get this where they get dirty acid house right in with some coked out polyester disco, or some James Brown. To me, this is more involving and fun.

Rick "The Godson" Wilhite & Theo Parrish Live in Seattle 12-03-05:

http://www.oseao.com/streaming/offwo...ite_120305.mp3

They used a Pioneer mixer that night, but their style is based on the experience of more minimal mixers. So, there is little, or no EQ for transitions. (Both of them have old Numarks at home without EQ/channel). You will find many transitions that are blended smoothly between similar songs, or complimentary tracks, some abrupt changes, and even some downright dirty-ass blends. I love it, and hopefully you can enjoy it too.

Some DJs are all about the EQ/channel like Los Hermanos:

http://www.loshermanosdetroit.com/artists.html

The sound is more banging (they, but you can hear how the EQ is used to make the cuts blend well with each other.
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2006, 01:35 PM
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Insteresting Thread.

While the 1620 LE is not as good as the original, it does sound MUCH better than the RANE, and they did a good job with this release. Having a mixer without 100,000 turns on it has some advantages.

All inputs have grounding terminals not just phono 1 and 2. The POTS are tight and wonderfully weighted. The main board can be switched from PreAmp to Phono with the flick of a switch. 4 XLR inputs, Gold plated connections. The mixer is amazingly quite

WEAKNESS - The EQ but this of course can be added

I beleive they did remain true to the original design and am very happy with mine. I think its funny because I was never a fan of the Original and always prefered the Bozak.
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2006, 02:09 PM
spectrum spectrum is offline
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I checked that Theo and Rick mix before and it is excellent, right down my street.
Personaly I like both styles of mixing, where the music speaks for itself and its more about programing and then again I really like to work the mix and bang shit out
So I'm kind of torn between the purer 1620 route and the bells and whistles 1603.
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2006, 02:30 PM
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did you have the rane too James?


PS
send me an email when you get a chance... are you back home yet?
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2006, 02:48 PM
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Hi David. Yes I am back, the job in Arizona did not work out but now NYC is calling. Very excited about the possability of returning to new york. Sent you an email with tracking data, thanks again, those cards were great.

I did not own a RANE but a freind of mine did and I played with it a few days and was thinking about it. Overall did not care for the sound was a bit flat for me.

As I see it the the Bozak has a FANTASTIC bottom end and the original UREI has a better higher end but the LE is good enough for home and I enjoy the improved sound with the new Phono Cards !
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  #15  
Old 05-08-2006, 03:53 PM
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thanks James...

I used to have the Rane... and while the flexibility was nice... i don't have it in my console anymore
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2006, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LuvLatins

As I see it the the Bozak has a FANTASTIC bottom end and the original UREI has a better higher end but the LE is good enough for home and I enjoy the improved sound with the new Phono Cards !


Hi LuvLatins / James,

For my benefit, could you please give me your opinion on what the DUO Audio phono cards have done for your sound? I can tell you are happy/impressed with them as you say they improved your sound. I was just wondering if you could try to expand on this and provide me with some insight. Have they given more detail and warmth for example?

I have a 1620LE and have been seriously contemplating ordering me some DUO cards for it. At home with my 1620 I have passive B&W speakers which I recently changed from having one integrated Arcam amp driving them, to bi-amping the speakers with a second Arcam power amp. The difference to my ears has been much welcomed! So much more detail and clarity. This has now set a precedence for me that I want to keep improving on.

Many thanks

Jay
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2006, 04:57 AM
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Hello Jay

I love my new UREI LE Mixer but the Phono cards were a disappointment.

I received a test pair of the DUO cards From Louped on this Forum and immediately noticed a great improvement. I love the fact that you can change the IC Chips on the main sound card and change the sound. All you need is a chip puller and you can change the chip on the Phono card and get a new sound. Duo sanded off the "OPS" chips he uses currently so that others cant duplicate the sound he has created. I was told the Silver OPS are the best but I have not tried them. When you buy from David, just ask for a complete set of OPS. You pay more but its worth it. Some place on here I took some pictures of the Silver OPS which they say are the best but I have not changed the ones that came from David Stock and I love the difference. Fuller Bass, and it just sounds Much Better.
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Old 05-09-2006, 05:04 AM
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One last point, the fact that you can change the IC chips is worth the cost of the card alone. You cant go wrong.

Hope he still has some left for you.
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Old 05-09-2006, 05:07 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply man.

Thanks for explaining that but I'm afraid I haven't quite understood you fully. I was under the impression that I would buy the replacement phono cards from Duo and I would simply pull the old cards out of the mixer and push the new ones in. Is that correct?

When you mention IC chips are these the phono cards themselves or a seperate chip on the phono card?

What is a chip puller exactly?

And if I ask David for a full set of OPS what will I be getting exactly?

Thanks in advance for your patience!
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Old 05-09-2006, 10:35 AM
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recently (I think)David (DUO) has been putting IC sockets on his phono cards so that ppl can screw around with different chips (OPAMPS), previously if you wanted to swap out chips -- you would have needed to break out the soldering iron...
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  #21  
Old 05-11-2006, 10:50 PM
Acidtension Acidtension is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dancindave
The new run of mixers from Soundcraft with the "UREI" name are no different than any offerings from Allen & Heath, Pioneer, Vestax, Rane or any other bells & whistles mixer companies.


Well.. Allen & Heath is still manufactured in the UK, and is known for really good sounding products
you may not like that 'english sound', though...
Many of the A&H mixers' features are also quite innovative & useful.

I think it's not fair at all to put A&H in the same category.
...
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  #22  
Old 05-12-2006, 03:06 AM
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You got it Jaysoul. Here is a picture of a DUO audio card. The OPS are small chips. See the little black chip on the DUO card. These can be removed and replaced to change the sound.

They say the silver ones are the best. Hard to find. I just used the defualt ones that DUO sells. He is smart, he filed off the identification so only he know what they are. Clever. Anyway the silver are supposed to be the best. Then search this site there is a debate about the 074 vs the 084.

The chip puller is a tool you can get from radio shack to pull out the chip to replace it.

Hope these pictures help
Attached Images
File Type: jpg card1.jpg (64.4 KB, 606 views)

Last edited by LuvLatins : 05-12-2006 at 03:22 AM.
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  #23  
Old 05-12-2006, 03:13 AM
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here are the famous silver chips
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  #24  
Old 05-12-2006, 03:27 AM
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That is quite a range. I say we all kidnap him and then blind fold him and go through a sample. It would really be something if he could really tell the difference. I would submit that he cant. His list contains far too many mixers IMO. While I can tell the difference between a Bozak and URIE I could never lump all of these mixers into one category.

Grin
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  #25  
Old 05-14-2006, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spectrum
It does sound interesting.
While on the subject of the 1620, I'd be intersted to know how you deal with not having a gain control, is this much of an issue.
Having only ever used budjet mixers with vertical faders, EQ and gain controls, does it lend itself to a particular style of mixing?
Thanks


The pots are the gain control. You listen to your records and see where they need to be, in relation to the level. I like to use 7 as the standard when I play. Some records need to be at 6 others need to be at 8.
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