Thanks for the trip down memory lane! It is funny to me how folks insist that the heavier class A/B amps sound better than the seriously lighter class D. That is a whole can of opinionated worms (including me). In the final analysis, as a die hard class A/B man, I capitulated to all class D. Very light and powerful.
Regarding the SoundCraft UI24R:
About the wireless dropouts. I like to use the analogy of Vodka. If I drink a half pint of vodka, I will begin to feel pretty good, therefore, if I drink a 5th, I will feel great!! The result is a sort of dropped signal (pass out) unless you are Corky.
With wireless mixer users, the above manifests in this way. “My wireless mixer connects via three ways! Hotspot, WiFi AND LAN! If I enable all of them I will have more connectivity, especially if I have all connected!” The conclusion is where the trouble starts. Here is why. You have one Graphical User Interface (GUI) per device. The GUI is reliant on the connection. The connection is varying between enabled protocols (Hotspot, WiFi, LAN) whether disconnected or connected. Why does the HDMI never lose connection, you ask? It is a different source of hardware. Anyway, so if all three connectivity options are enabled the GUI gets “Here I am!” shouted from three directions and it is trying to please them all (sorry for personifying the exchange). GUI says to you who is connected with one of the modalities, “Hold on Dave, I got two other calls. Alright I’m back. Oh wait, someone else is calling, be right back…” The fix? The fewer network protocols enabled, the more reliable the GUI. Can it handle all three at once? Yes. Reliably? No. I always only have one enabled. The Hotspot. No drops. If I choose to use Wifi, or Lan, then disable the hotspot. A common error with users is they think “I will connect the UI24R hard wired to the Ethernet, and leave the Hotspot enabled for the band.” May be okay, but increased probability for lag in fader response and connectivity drops. The worst is when people connect a laptop via ethernet to a router that is transmitting a WiFi signal that the UI24R is connecting to as an access point while the band is using the hotspot to access the wireless mixer on stage. The band will suffer, not the soundman. This is simply a setup for failure, and very poor planning. The range of the hotspot is about 50’ for decent fader response and connection strength. If you switch the UI24R to 5g, your range goes down but your GUI is lightning fast. I use hotspot, disable wifi and LAN, only use 2.4ghz, and account for lag on faders, so I always make fader adjustments smoothly and controlled (as you would with an analog mixer). When setting up, I walk away from the mixer until I see the “connecting” dialogue that indicates it is dropped. Note the distance, account for bodies, then I know my limits, which has always been sufficient, so far.
By the way, another point you brought up reminded me that the UI24R has dbx AFS2!! No anti feedback hardware needed either. It is built in!! I love this thing! It is a great feedback buster. Just turn up the monitor fader while AFS is in “fixed” mode during setup until it tags the offending frequencies, then switch to “live” and it keeps tabs on any changes during the show and knocks out the feedback. Amazing!
If you want a UI24R for cheap, wait for an open box. That is a user who got frustrated due to ignorance, and returned it. That is when you cash in on a great deal, with the benefit of a full warranty!
What does this have to do with C3? C3 integrates fully with the UI24R removing the need for a breakout interface, and it is plenty fast. No performance bottleneck. It handles 32 tracks of audio interface. Your couple of C3 stereo channels are nothing to it. Yes, you will need a long USB cord.