Allen & Heath SQ-5 48-Channel / 36-Bus Digital Mixer with 16+1 Motorized Faders

Allen & Heath SQ-5 48-Channel / 36-Bus Digital Mixer with 16+1 Motorized Faders

Allen & Heath SQ-5 48-Channel / 36-Bus Digital Mixer with 16+1 Motorized Faders

B&H # ALAHSQ5 MFR # AH-SQ-5
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Product Highlights

  • 16 Microphone Preamps
  • 7" Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 96 kHz FPGA Processing
  • Eight Stereo FX Engines with Returns
  • 32 x 32 USB Audio Interface
  • AES Output
  • 12 Stereo Mixes + LR
  • Channel LCD Displays
  • 8 Assignable SoftKeys
  • SLink Port for Remote Audio & Expansion
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Allen & Heath SQ-5 overview

  • 1Description

The Allen & Heath SQ-5 is a 48-channel, 36-bus digital mixing console well suited for live sound, corporate A/V, recording studios, and houses of worship. The SQ-5 features 16+1 motorized faders and 16 professional-quality microphone preamps. There are also eight stereo FX engines with dedicated return channels and access to the RackExtra FX library. The mixer's 12 stereo outputs (configurable as groups or auxes) are well suited for in-ear-monitor setups, while the Auto Mic Mixing function offers quick and easy operation over multiple microphones for conferences, panel talks, and more.

At the heart of the SQ-5 lies the 96 kHz XCVI Core FPGA engine, which delivers professional, high-resolution audio quality, ultra-low latency (less than 0.7 ms), variable bit depth for precision and noise performance, mix coherency down to the sample, and the power to handle high channel / mix counts and ample FX processing. The SQ's DEEP processing architecture allows you to hand-pick boutique compressor and preamp emulations and embed them directly within the mixer's inputs and mix channels, all without adding system latency or setup hassles.

The front panel is centered around the mixer's 7" capacitive touchscreen and framed by an array of high-grip, illuminated encoders, which offer clear visual feedback and quick, hands-on control. You can drag-and-drop channels and mixes to any strip with custom naming and color coding on the strip display, allowing you to build a mix environment that mirrors your workflow. The SQ-5 offers softkeys, which can be freely assigned to any function for a customized and advanced workflow. The on-board recorder uses a USB Type-A port to record stereo and multitrack sessions to a flash drive. The recorder can also playback stereo and multitrack files, making it well suited for virtual sound checks and studio mixing.

The SQ-5 offers expansion options via Allen & Heath's stage box expanders, or install an optional Dante or Waves card to adapt and expand using the latest digital technologies. SQ is fully compatible with the ME Personal Mixing System, allowing performers to take control of their own monitor mixes. Any number of ME-1 and ME-500 personal mixers can be daisy-chained from the mixer's SLink port, or from a connected remote expander. The Allen & Heath SQ-5 ships with a power cord.

  • Compact digital mixer for live, studio, and installation
  • 48 input channels
  • 16 local mic inputs (XLR)
  • Two 1/4” stereo inputs (TRS)
  • One 1/8" stereo input
  • 36 total busses
  • 12 stereo mixes (Aux or Group) + Main
  • PAFL bus
  • 14 assignable local outputs (12 XLR + two 1/4” TRS)
  • AES digital output
  • Dedicated talkback mic input (XLR)
  • 1/4" TRS headphone out with dedicated control
  • SLink EtherCON connection for remote audio using dSnake, DX, or gigaACE protocol (64x64 channels)
  • I/O port for option card (including 3rd party protocols – Dante/Waves)
  • 8 mute groups
  • 8 DCA groups
  • 8 stereo FX with dedicated FX returns
  • DEEP processing ready
  • RackFX effects suite
  • 7" color touchscreen
  • 8 assignable SoftKeys
  • Dedicated physical controls for channel processing (Gain, HPF Frequency, Gate Threshold, Compressor Threshold, Pan, EQ Gain/Frequency/Width)
  • 16+1 faders with 6 layers for 96 assignable channel strips
  • Motorized faders for sends on faders, GEQ fader flip, and mix recall
  • 16 backlit LCD channel-strip displays
  • Single-point metering
  • Integrated surface illumination
  • Single/dual footswitch control
  • Input channel linking for stereo sources
  • Patchable insert points
  • Input processing – Preamp, HPF, Gate, PEQ, Compressor, Delay
  • Output processing – PEQ, Graphic EQ, Compressor, Delay
  • Automatic mic mixing
  • 31-band, real-time analyzer (RTA)
  • Quick copy/paste/reset for parameters
  • User permissions to restrict operator access
  • 300 scene memories per show
  • Channel safes, global and per-scene recall filters
  • FX, processing, and channel libraries
  • SQ-Drive for stereo and multitrack recording/playback direct to USB drive
  • USB transfer of scenes, libraries, shows
  • 32x32 channel USB streaming to/from Mac/Windows
  • DAW control driver for MIDI control via USB or TCP/IP
  • Wireless remote mixing apps for iPad and Android
  • Compatible with ME personal-monitoring range
In the Box
Allen & Heath SQ-5 48-Channel / 36-Bus Digital Mixer with 16+1 Motorized Faders
  • Power Cord
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Allen & Heath SQ-5 specs

    Mic/Line Inputs Mic/Line Inputs: Balanced XLR, fully recallable
    Input Sensitivity: -60 to +0 dBu
    Switchable Pad: -20 dB
    Analog Gain: 0 to +60 dB, 1 dB steps
    Maximum Input Level: +30 dBu
    Input Impedance: >5 kOhms
    THD+N, Unity Gain (0 dB): 0.002% -92 dBu (20 Hz - 20 kHz, AES direct out, @ 0 dBu 1 kHz)
    THD+N, Mid-Gain (+30 dB): 0.003% -91 dBu (20 Hz - 20 kHz, AES direct out, @ -30 dBu input 1 kHz)
    Phantom Power +48V (+3V / -2V)
    Stereo Line Inputs ST1, ST2 Connectors: Balanced, 1/4" / 6.35 mm TRS
    ST3 Connector: Unbalanced, stereo 1/8" / 3.5 mm
    Input Sensitivity (ST1, ST2 / ST3): Nominal +4 dBu ST1, ST2 / 0 dBu ST3
    Trim: +/-24 dB
    Maximum Input Level (ST1,ST2 / ST3): +22 dBu / +18 dBu
    Input Impedance: >7 kOhms
    Analog Outputs Outputs 1-12: Balanced, XLR
    Outputs A and B: Balanced 1/4" / 6.35 mm TRS
    Source: Patchable
    Output Impedance: <75 Ohms
    Nominal Output: +4 dBu = 0 dB meter reading
    Maximum Output Level: +22 dBu
    Residual Output Noise: -90 dBu (muted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz)
    AES Digital Audio Outputs AES Digital Output: Balanced XLR, 2 channel
    96 kHz sampling rate (default with SRC bypassed)
    Switchable Output Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2 (96 kHz)
    2.5 Vpp balanced terminated 110 Ohms
    Network Connections Connection Neutrik EtherCON (RJ45)
    dsnake mode (48 kHz devices)*: 64 channels assignable, compatible with AR2412, AR84, AB168, ME
    dx mode (96 kHz Devices): 32 channels assignable*, compatible with DX168
    gigaACE (96 kHz Devices): 128 channels assignable, compatible with dLive, SQ and DXHub*
    Inputs: Fully patchable
    Outputs: Fully patchable
    Sync/SRC: Assignable as master audio sync for all modes

    *SRC 64 channel
    I/O Expansion Module Multichannel IO option module
    Inputs: Fully patchable
    Outputs: Fully patchable
    Sync/SRC assignable as master audio sync
    Audio Specifications Measured balanced XLR in to XLR out, 0 dB gain, 0 dBu input
    Dynamic Range 112 dB
    Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+0/-0.5 dB)
    Headroom +18 dB
    Operating Level Internal Operating Level: 0 dBu
    THD+N THD+N, Mic/Line Routed to Main L/R Out: Unity gain faders @ 0 dB, 0.006%, -84 dBu (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
    dBFS Alignment +18 dBu = 0 dBFS (+22 dBu at XLR output)
    Metering Accuracy Meter Calibration: 0 dB meter = -18 dBFS (+4 dBu at XLR out)
    Metering Main Meter Type: 2 x 12 segment, fast (peak) response
    Channel Meter Type: Single point metering, fully programmable color/brightness
    Peak Indication: -3 dBFS (+19 dBu at XLR out), multi-point sensing
    Sampling Rate 96 kHz
    Bit Depth Uses XCVI core custom bit widths in algorithms, up to 96-bit
    Latency <0.7 ms, local mic input routed to main L/R. (direct, no EQ/ effects)
    Faders 3.9" / 100.0 mm
    Touch Screen 7.0" / 177.8 mm, capacitive, 800 x 480 resolution, 24-bit RGB
    Softkeys 8
    Groups Mute Groups: 8
    DCA Groups: 8
    Network TCP/IP Ethernet for MIDI and control
    MIDI TCP/IP and USB Type-B
    Footswitch Single or dual, momentary or latching
    Source Channels 1-48: Fully patchable
    Global Source: SQ-Drive or USB Type-B streaming
    Polarity Normal/inverted
    Trim -24 to +24 dB
    High Pass Filter 12 dB/octave 20 Hz to 2 kHz
    Insert Insert (Pre EQ/Comp): Fully patchable
    Delay Up to 341 ms
    Gate Gate: Patchable sidechain
    Sidechain Filter: Hi-pass (20 to 5 kHz), Band-pass (120 Hz to 10 kHz), Lo-pass (120 Hz to 20 kHz)
    Threshold / Depth: -72 dBu to +18 dBu / 0 to 60 dB
    Attack / Hold / Release: 50 μs to 300 ms / 10 ms to 5 seconds / 10 ms to 1 second
    Parametric Equalizer PEQ: 4-band fully parametric, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, &plusmn;15 dB
    Band 1, Band 4: Selectable shelving (Baxandall), bell
    Band 2, Band 3: Bell
    Bell Width: Variable Q, 1.5 to 1/9th octave
    Compressor Compressor: Patchable sidechain
    Sidechain Filter: Hi-pass (20 to 5 kHz), Band-pass (120 Hz to 10 kHz), Lo-pass (120 Hz to 20 kHz), Q=1
    Threshold / Ratio: -46 dBu to 18 dBu / 1:1 to infinity
    Attack / Release: 30 μs to 300 ms / 50 ms to 2 seconds
    Knee: Soft/hard
    Detector Response: Peak/RMS switchable
    Parallel Path Compression: Dry/wet -infin to 0 dB
    Channel Direct Out Follow fader, mute, mute group, DCA (global all channels)
    Source Selection Post-Preamp, Post-HPF, Post Gate, Insert Return, M Post PEQ, Post Comp, Post Delay
    Trim: -∞ to 10 dB per channel
    Insert Insert (Pre EQ/Comp): Fully patchable
    Delay Up to 682 ms
    Graphic Equalizer 28 bands 31 Hz to 16 kHz, ±12 dB gain, constant 1/3 octave
    FX Internal FX: 8 x RackFX engine, Send>Return or Inserted (4 dedicated fx bus)
    Types: SMR Reverb, StereoTap Delay, Gated Reverb, ADT, BlueChorus, Symphonic Chorus, Flanger, Phaser
    8 x Dedicated Stereo FX Returns: Fader, Pan, Mute, Routing to Mix/LR, 4-Band PEQ
    PAFL PFL or stereo in-place AFL, 0 to -24 dB trim, PAFL
    Delay up to 682 ms
    Talkback Dedicated input, assignable to any mix, Gain, Pad, 48 V, 12 dB/oct HPF
    Signal Generator Assignable to any mix, (sine/white/pink/bandpass noise)
    RTA Real Time Analyzer 31-bands, 1/3 octave 20 Hz to 20 kHz, follows PAFL source
    Recorder SQ-Drive: USB Type-A
    Stereo Record: 2-channel, WAV, 96 kHz, 24-bit, source fully patchable
    Stereo Playback: 1/2-channel, WAV, 44.1, 48, 96 kHz, 16-/24-bit, source fully patchable
    Multitrack Record: 16-channel, WAV, 96 kHz, 24-bit, track sources fully patchable
    Multitrack Playback: 16-channel, WAV, 96 kHz, 24-bit fully patchable
    USB Audio USB Audio Streaming:  USB Type-B, Core Audio compliant, ASIO/WDM for Windows
    Send (Upstream): 32-channel, 96 kHz, 24-bit
    Return (Downstream): 32-channel, 96 kHz, 24-bit
    Power 100 to 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz
    Maximum Power Consumption:
    Operating Temperature 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
    Dimensions (W × H × D) 17.3 x 20.3 x 7.8" / 440.0 x 514.9 x 198.0 mm
    Weight 23.1 lb / 10.5 kg
    Packaging Infobuawusqwwsdurtbsvtdscsrfxzddy
    Package Weight 33.0 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 27.0 x 24.0 x 14.5"

    Allen & Heath SQ-5 reviews

    SQ-5 48-Channel / 36-Bus Digital Mixer with 16+1 Motorized Faders is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Future proof console This console is by far the best sub $5k console out currently. I own an M32, and take this SQ5 desk out 100% of the time unless a band specifically requested the M or X series. Completely future proof with its DSP power, plugin options, full 96k, all in a 19” rack is very impressive. It’s physical design borrows some things off Digico and it’s user interaction takes some notes from Avid’s S6L line (touch anything on the screen and it moves onto the rotary encoders). Very fast and fluid console with a great option card selection already available, and a great plugin package for those in need. Porter over from the flagship Dlive consoles, Allen & Heath really has a winner with this desk.
    Date published: 2018-11-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really nice board The SQ-5 is really well laid out. For a 48 input frame (16 local mic inputs, all the rest via digital stage boxes) that fits in a 19" rack space this board is packed. Its on screen features, functionality and software are very similar to the Midas M32. Unlike other rack mount mixers this one has a full 7 inch touch screen. The knobs are laid out symmetrically and the faders are very fast and responsive when switching between layers. The software's intuitive layout makes it easy to navigate complex mixes. I almost bought a Midas, but like the layout, additional channels and the built-in light bar on this unit better. The only issue I've noticed is the screen rotary knob (which adjust the values of the on-screen parameters) isn't as responsive is the rest of the rotaries. For example, if you scroll it too fast, the numbers will hiccup and skew. I've asked around in groups and have found this problem seems to be inherent in other A&H digital boards. It's likely a fix that can be accomplished via firmware upgrade. If you don't want to hard mount in a rack, but prefer a foam lined case like I do, B&H sells a ProX rack case for the M32R that will also fit this board...but you'll have to save the hard packing Styrofoam that comes with the SQ-5 to adapt to the case. I also notice B&H now sells a ProX rack to fit the SQ-5. The cost of this rack case is nearly double the M32R case, so if you have the skillsets to cut foam and fit, you can save some money. I've uploaded a picture guide for the foam conversion in my review of the ProX M32R case (XS-MIDM32R) on B&H. Overall, I am very happy with the SQ-5. Small, lightweight, full size screen, affordable. You won't be unhappy.
    Date published: 2018-10-22
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