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  #1  
Old 05-16-2006, 04:05 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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What's Formula Sound Like??

Hi, it seems to me like evreyone has forgoten about formula sound...They are a great little british company that make DJ mixers and custom studio mixers, these used to be the bees knees when I was younger. Check out the site: www.formula-sound.co.uk
They were the first company who put per channel eq's on mixers (Love them or hate them) and are well known for theyr great build and sound. Fact is I have just got an Formula Sound FSM-600 and can't wait to get my hands on it, there will be a review when i get it.
Has anyone had experience on them here??
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2006, 04:23 PM
root root is offline
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I have the PM-90 and it definately beats the 1620LE (which I also happen to own) in terms of sound transparency and distortion. The minus is that the pots tend to become scratchy over time, where the ALPS faders remain good as new. The PM-80 is said to sound even better, but it lacks the internal configurations and the cross fade. There are also no MIDs in the EQ section. Bass is on top of treble which can be quite confusing.

So far the PM-90 has sounded the best of all the mixers I have used at home or on gigs. (Urei LE, Rane 2016, A&H 62, DJMs, Cloud, not to mention the Geminis and Numarks..)

Best of all, you can sometimes find these dirt cheap in Europe. A while ago an 8-channel PM-90 was sold for 58 euros. The PSU was missing though which costs 200 pounds.

Regarding the fixed format Formulas, I have not heard too good comments on them. Many Djs don't seem ike the layout (which is not very different from the PMs)

edit: Daniels on this board has a good knowledge of Formulas
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2006, 04:40 PM
grizz grizz is offline
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also michel van de beek has experience with the ff-6000 mixer. but he doesn't seem to be too active in here lately. maybe you can send him a mail. but formula has been mentioned in here quite a few times.

Last edited by grizz : 05-16-2006 at 04:43 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2006, 01:15 AM
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daniels daniels is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by root
The minus is that the pots tend to become scratchy over time, where the ALPS faders remain good as new. The PM-80 is said to sound even better, but it lacks the internal configurations and the cross fade. There are also no MIDs in the EQ section. Bass is on top of treble which can be quite confusing.

edit: Daniels on this board has a good knowledge of Formulas


Yeah, it's sort of an obsession of mine

The PM80 actually had a three band eq the last couple of years in production. Also there was a crossfader option available, but it wasn't very common so you hardly see them available on the second hand market.

The PM90 pots changed over the years, so if you have an early model you probably have open carbon pots. Mine is a later model that has sealed Bourns pots and they last a lot longer.

I also have the System 2000, which is a big MoFo It's an 8 rack units mixer with 100mm faders, which is nice for smooth mixing. It also has the same pots as the PM80 and the early PM90, so I had to change them to new ones since they got scratchy, but that is no big deal.

Both models I have sound very nice and never show any sign of distortion. Out of the two, the System 2000 is probably the one with the moste accurate sound. It's very open and the frequency response seems very flat. The PM90 is has a very open sound as well, but it seems to color the sound more, since it is a little bottom heavy.

I have never done a direct comparison against a UREI, but from my experience they sound just as good, although a little different. It's like comparing a Klipsch speaker with a B&W, both sound good, but there are differences, altough it's hard to tell which is the better.

The FSM600 is more like a fixed format version of the PM90 and should probably serve you good. May I ask how much you paid for it?
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2006, 01:30 AM
michelvdbeek michelvdbeek is offline
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I indeed have experience with Formula-Sound mixers. The soundquality is absolutely excellent.

About the FF-6000 ... the layout of the master/FX section is a bit confusing for some DJs. But this is easily explained. Formula-Sound is said to be working on a 4-channel version, hope they will 'fix' this.

Last edited by michelvdbeek : 05-17-2006 at 01:50 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2006, 06:22 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Hi, and i must say thank you for the replies. If you want to know how mutch I payed then ok but it's peanuts! £250!!! I also saw a PM-80 a few days ago go for £80!!! If they are as good as you all say then wow
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2006, 07:33 AM
darrylfunk darrylfunk is offline
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red fsm 600

hi there,
i have 2 of these mixers they sound great.
i am thinking of selling my backup one and any offers will be considered.
it is about four and a half years old and has only been used for a couple of months in its lifetime.
it has no box and is a uk model.
the only problem with it is cosmetic as someone put black dots on the levels and eq knobs in a permanent marker pen on the red front panel but only on one channel otherwise its a mint mixer.
offers over £250 will be considered and i can post it by boxing it up carefully with bubbble wrap etc.
pdf manuals available online too.

cheapest new price for these mixers is £900 in the uk.

pm me or contact me on .....

darrylmbutcher@hotmail.com
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2006, 02:42 AM
Digitalis Digitalis is offline
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I just had the opportunity to pick up a very lightly used FF-6000. I am impressed with every aspect of this mixer.

The master/FX section is really flexible and with that comes too many controls. Personally, I like the flexibility. We will see what happens when I bring it to a gig for the first time, next month.

The build quality on this thing is amazing. For the "If it don't weigh enough, it won't play enough" crowd, the mixer is almost as heavy as my Bryston3. It is fixed format but every channel is on an individual card, through hole construction with sockets for the ICs. The linear faders have a really cool custom mount to prevent spill damage. The rotary kit is all ALPS blue RH27 pots.

Formula Sound also got the fader curves right unlike so many other mixers coming out lately (notably A&H and Ecler).

The sound quality is excelent. Comparing it to my Biamp7600 this has better bass and midrange fullness and clarity. The highs seem more flat and natural on the FF-6000 whereas the Biamp has a little brightness added like a UREI. Again, I can't wait to try it playing out.

The FF-6000 is even better than I hoped it would be. The only issue is the steep price (though looking it over, I am suprised it is as inexpensive as it is). If Formula Sound can build a 4 channel version of this mixer in the same price range as a xone92, they should have a winner.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2006, 12:43 AM
BigCat BigCat is offline
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Thanks Digitalis,

I've seen very little actual user response regading the FF-6000 on line, it was nice reading something other than speculation or the initail press release info.

How are the individual channel EQ's I noticed they are'nt full cut (-26db)? And how does the knob spacing compare to the Xone 92's, from the pictres it looks spacious enough?

I contacted FS regarding the FF-4000 and was told that it may be released by the end of June.

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  #10  
Old 05-24-2006, 04:27 AM
Digitalis Digitalis is offline
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The lack of information made me nervous about getting the mixer. After taking the plunge I am happy that I did. The FF-6000 is often compared to the xone92 because it is one of the few mixer sold in the US anywhere near the price and features. Make no mistake, the Formula-Sound is in another league.

I have never had a mixer with full cut on the EQ so it is not an issue for me at all. For me, full cut is not very usefull because the rest of the track still wont match no matter how much of the bass you remove. When I have had the opportunity to play on full cut mixers, I find that my mixes sound much more choppy with the bass fully removed. At -26db you can mix smoothly without having the bass lines run over one another but you will hear a little of the EQed track during quiet passages. The EQ is smooth and has very progressive slope between 0 and -26db which takes some getting used to by allows it to be usefull for small adjustments as well as large ones.

The knobs are much larger and better spaced than the xone92. All of the controls seem much more solid and well executed than the xone. To my eyes the pictures made everything seem smaller. In real life, this is a big honkin mixer (similar in size to the xone3D) and there is plenty of room.

I am, perhaps, somewhat biased. I am not a fan of the xone92. I have owned and used a xone32 for several years now and while it was fundamentally sound there are some problems with the design. Andy Rigby-Jones at A&H was really nice and showed me how to modify the mixer to meet some of my needs which is a step above from a company. However, I was not excited about drilling cases and reworking circuit boards on a new mixer.

The xone92 has many design problems that are even more of a problem for me. With the mixer being built using surface mount components, modifications and reparis are much more difficult. The deal killer for me on the 92 is the cue section. The first time I got to use a 92 was at a gig and after mixing a couple of records, I joked with my friend that the club installer just saved me $1600.

Anyway.. there are deals to be had on the xone62 which is down on features but seems like a better piece of equipment. If you have the time and the money wait for the FF-4000 it should be better.

Oh.. and if I start into my opinions about most surface mount electronics in audio equipment this is going to drag on like the vinyl/cd argument in so many other threads.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2006, 06:10 AM
der geile ami der geile ami is offline
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reliability issues about smd is moot. plenty of military technology is smd because the components have less room to wiggle, resulting in fewer vibration related failures.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2006, 06:33 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by der geile ami
reliability issues about smd is moot. plenty of military technology is smd because the components have less room to wiggle, resulting in fewer vibration related failures.


Don't forget they (SMD) should have a better sound because of the shorter signal path, quality wise they are supposed to be the same as through hole devices.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2006, 12:23 PM
Digitalis Digitalis is offline
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The 92 does sound pretty good and I do not think they could have made the mixer at the price they did without SMD. A&H are the exception in adopting SMD without really damaging the sound. My conversations with Andy Rigby-Jones about the xone32 show him to be very careful with the designs he releases and left me with a lot of respect for him. I would not count on the same care from other manufacturers as they move to SMD. The real killer for me on the xone92 had more to do with features and layout than anything else. The SMD thing was just another worry to add to the pile.

The reliability issue with most club mixers has more to do with beer than vibration. I have not opened a xone92, but the xone32 was designed reasonably from this respect. Repair, however is another thing. The xone32 was really nice with seperate channel boards with each board using the same design and soldered jumpers to select the channel assignment. If there was an accident on one of the channel boards you can move the jumpers in about 10 minutes and keep going. Given more time, real fixes and component replacement is pretty easy to do. I would be less likely to do this on an SMD board. Most SMD boards are junked for a new board if anything goes wrong. Any chance for "hot rodding" by changing chips, caps and resistors or features will also be much more difficult.

There is a reliability issue with the mounting of potentiometers and other controls on SMD boards. Even if the pot is bolted to the face plate, some flexing can occur which will pull the traces off the circuit board. Most buttons cannot be bolted to the faceplate. I think this is why, for example, the cue buttons have those awkward illuminated rings around them. The ring helps stabilize the control and prevents you from bottoming the button too hard.

As for sound, most SMD components are not of the same quality. Signal traces on the board tend to be smaller negating some advantages of the shorter run. Setting up good ground planes and spacing parts of the circuit that might interfere takes much more care on SMD equipment because the components are so close together. Claiming that the SMD is better because the signal path is shorter is like claiming that CDs sound better because the noise floor is lower. Both statements are true but do not tell the whole story. Good SMD designs using good SMD components will sound good and good CDs using good recording techniques will sound good... but there are a lot of more opportunities to screw up along the way with both technologies. Listing the one obvious advantage and ignoring the pitfalls all around does make a good sales story for a much cheaper technology.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2006, 04:07 PM
der geile ami der geile ami is offline
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I stand behind the xone mixers when talking to potential clients about systems. There is a western themed outdoor summer spot here that bought a xone 62 after dealing with too many pioneer 600 problems hte usmmer before. This palce was open everyday and djs played virtually nonstop friday to monday morning last summer (and always fully in the red - long story, but the sound stayed reasonable), and the mixer had been in use at many, many afterhours (long and messy) parties in the winter, and the only thing that could be goign wrong is a dirty pot for the filter cutoff. The 92 is a different beast, but A&H seemed to do their hw for more discerning fader djs.
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2006, 08:16 PM
BigCat BigCat is offline
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Found this image and thought it gave a better perspective on the size of the FF-6000 compared to some of the other images I've seen floating around the web. Maybe a nice visual reference for anyone reading this thread.

e.
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2006, 02:01 AM
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daniels daniels is offline
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Oh yeah, I forgot to tell one little detail about the Formula Sounds. In my experience there are few mixers out there that integrate CDs and vinyl as good as the PM90. I don't know if it's because the phono preamps are more accurate than on other mixers or if it's the line ins that are inaccurate. Anyway, whatever it is, I hope they carried the same characteristics through to the FF6000 as well.

BTW Vinyl Junkie, did you receive your mixer yet? Let us know what you think of it once have played on it for a while.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2006, 04:34 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Hi yall, the fsm600 i said i got a while a go was a scam (long story) but the good news is that I got another one for a bit more. Here is the link: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...B:EOIBSA:UK:31

I will let you know what it's like when I get it.
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2006, 08:20 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Oh yeah, Iím not too sure that I can say how the mixer sounds with the 890's cos Stanton now say the needle only goes up to 17khz! Instead of the quoted 20-20 and I had a listen to them on a very cheap phono stage and they sounded shit! But the phono stage is a very cheappy unit (Borrowed it of a friend) But when I look at the signal in wave lab it dose plop off at 17k! While if I analyze the recordings made with the night clubs they are much better and sound fuller and more rounded. The rest of the system is very good though, I use B&W DM602 S3 speakers with some chord company cable (Canít remember what model but it cost me £140!!) and the amp is a Talk Electronics Cyclone 1.2 I will try to sell the crappy stantons and get orts.
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  #19  
Old 05-26-2006, 01:21 PM
Digitalis Digitalis is offline
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Try out the ATP2xn needles. Even though I did not like them with the Biamp, the ATs mated really well to the Formula Sound. My old Orts seem to have the extension in the high end, but not the bass. The Audio Technicas have everything covered.
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Old 05-26-2006, 01:48 PM
clubman5 clubman5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitalis
Try out the ATP2xn needles. Even though I did not like them with the Biamp, the ATs mated really well to the Formula Sound. My old Orts seem to have the extension in the high end, but not the bass. The Audio Technicas have everything covered.
The Audio Technicas worked well with my Urei 1620 too. Nice full mid bass and bottom, nice top end, clean and clear mids, not aggressive. I was very surprised, I mean really surprised at just how good those AT,s sounded, because of their inexpensive price. But they do sound nice, and you cant beat the price!

Orts are just too damn bright for me, and I dont care for their bottom.
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  #21  
Old 05-26-2006, 05:23 PM
allen allen is offline
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When i switched away from ortophon's i realized how high the output was. To high for urei or bozak. With lower output carts the level between your phono and line is much more matched.

allen
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  #22  
Old 05-31-2006, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniels
Yeah, it's sort of an obsession of mine

The PM80 actually had a three band eq the last couple of years in production. Also there was a crossfader option available, but it wasn't very common so you hardly see them available on the second hand market.


There's a PM80 crossfader module for sale on ebay at the moment. Here's the link:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/FORMULA-SOUND-VCA-CONTROL-PM80-DJ-DISCO-NIGHTCLUB_W0QQitemZ9733473260QQcategoryZ48459QQrdZ 1QQcmdZViewItem
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File Type: jpg FSPM80VCA.JPG (24.8 KB, 430 views)
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  #23  
Old 06-02-2006, 08:19 AM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Got my FSM-600 few days a go but....Oh the joys of ebay here goes..
The mixer was mint but.. the headphone amp was badly distorting so I called Tony at Formula Sound and as the main output is ok we nailed it down to the Headphone op amp (L272M) I have just ordered a new one (I hope its the op amp). As the mixer goes it's fantastically built! And has a torodial transformer (Same make as my £700 amp! Uk made) Alps pots and faders etc but those Stanton needles suck I have never heard anything as bad in my life! So as sound quality goes I couldnít say right now.
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  #24  
Old 07-05-2006, 12:45 AM
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The FF-4000 is a 4 channel version of the FF-6000. In response to requests for a smaller version of the FF-6000 we removed one Mic input and one Line/Phono input to produce the FF-4000.

Same performance as the FF-6000, the width is now 350mm 13.78" but still offering linear or optional rotary faders.

There are two versions, one with a standard cross-fader and the other with the PRO X cross-fader. I believe the FF-4000 is the first mixer available with the PRO X fader factory fitted.

The PRO X fader is adjustable by the user to achieve optimal setting, the FF-4000 allows easy access for adjustment through its removable fader panel.

Ebsel Pro Audio have the first FF-4000 with PRO X fader on their stand at the LONDON CALLING show.

[www.formula-sound.com]
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  #25  
Old 07-05-2006, 09:15 AM
BigCat BigCat is offline
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A little more info, as I have been looking into the FF4000

The mixer(FF4000) ships with rotary or linear faders for the same cost, an additional panel of either is $150.USD

The mixer itself is $1895 actual cost, I believe theirs no tax if you buy outside of California.

I'm happy they didn't condense it, at 13.78" it appears spacious and not too cramped.

Digitals, any more musings on your FF6000 now that you've had some time to play with it and maybe bring it to a gig? Do you still consider the AT carts ideal for the FF4000/6000 mixers?
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