Allen & Heath GLD console – Hands-On Review

Over the past few years, the small format digital console market has taken some huge leaps.  Before, the Yamaha LS9 kind of had a lockdown on the market simply because it was one of the only consoles in the price range with those capabilities so, naturally, it became popular.  In recent years, that has changed significantly with the release of consoles such as the Presonus StudioLive, Roland V-mixing system, Soundcraft Si compact series, and now Allen & Heath’s GLD series.

I have heard of some people comparing the GLD to the Avid SC48 and honestly, I don’t think that’s fair.  The price range is vastly different and you would be better advised to compare the SC48 to the Allen & Heath iLive T112 with an iDR-48 stage rack as they are way more comparable.

At National Community Church, we already have two iLives (a T112 with an iDR48 and an i112 with an iDR10 modular rack) and our volunteers love them because they are so easy to mix on and sound great.  I’ve been mixing on the iLive among other consoles while I was at Valley Forge Christian College and have almost 5 years of experience with Allen & Heath digital consoles.  When we were looking for NCC’s theater locations to replace our analog GL consoles and Whirlwind snakes which are starting to show their age and the GLD was released, I knew this was the console for NCC.

The Grand Opening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unboxing the GLD, I was impressed by how light it was yet how well built it felt.  The faders have the same feel as it’s big brother, the iLive and the rotary encoders felt way more solid then pretty much any other digital console on the market.  The chasis as surface are made out of metal which I didn’t expect given that the T-series iLive is basically all plastic.  The buttons on the console are now rubber compared to the plastic ones on the iLive.  It feels good- I like it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the back of the console, it has 4 XLR inputs as well as 4 RCA inputs.  There are a variety of outputs on the back of the console which include 4 XLR jacks, 2 RCA, S/PDIF as well as AES.  That’s quite impressive for a console as small as the GLD and should allow the user to easily connect to any speakers or system processor while still having some extra outputs for a CD/Flash recorder, and even that annoying guy that always asks for an audio feed for his video camera at the last possible second.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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