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Thread: TASCAM M3500....just picked one up!

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Can you provide some details...why/what/etc...

    I don't use any of the group buses...but then I don't even track through the 3500, since I use all outboard pres.
    I mostly use it for cue mixes...and for final mixing.
    Same here

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    I was just wondering what issues were *known* so far. Just trying to get the thread back on Al's console.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    I was just wondering what issues were *known* so far. Just trying to get the thread back on Al's console.
    Yeah...that's cool. He said he would reach out when ready, so we're just doing some side discussion until then.

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    Oh I get that...I'm just a curious bastard...

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    Hi Guys,

    Been busy tearing down the studio again (just had it all sorted with worktops and racks to accomodate the Soundcrft Ghost I'd been using and then the M3500 comes up on Ebay in Scotland). The missus thinks I'm mad and she's heard it all before ('I've finally got it sorted'........).

    The Tascam is a bit of a beast compared to a Ghost. Much deeper and slightly longer. It was too deep for the depth of worktop I had for the Ghost and the other biggie, is that the Tascam connects at the rear, while the Ghost is a top connecting desk (with the leads often poking above the meterbridge.). Therefore I had to build a 'desk' out of the worktop that I had, which took best part of an evening, another day to tear down the studio and what with teaching, I'm just at the 'connecting stage'.

    I did power the desk up on Sunday evening and found what the seller had said, namely the mic pre on 27 is blown (didn't check the line), the meter I think on 27 is also flickering around the -13dB level, although it lights higher once a signal goes through (like it's initial position is 13dB too high). More worrying was that the 'STEREO' output (the push button matrix selectors above GROUP 6 fader) had a lot of hiss and little signal. At first I thought it was the headphone output that was shot (as I was checking all this just through headphones), but after routing an AUX to the headphones, it provided a normal signal so something was amiss. I had to build the desk to support the console as I can now easily check it thoroughly. I've managed to give it an initial clean to get rid of years of masking tape and also had all the faders dismantled and cleaned. Some are still slightly jerky in spots but I've refrained from adding any lube because the group faders are silky smooth and they don't have any lube on them. Is this just an age thing with this type of fader?

    The desk does look the dog's bollocks though, with the meterbridge towering above the console. The desk also had a new arm rest covering fitted at some time so all in all, if I can get it sounding as good as it looks, I'll be a happy bunny.

    I don't know how long the whiff of smoke and stale air is going to last (anybody got a solution for that other than furniture polish?). The only slightly curious thing is the connecting power lead from the power supply to the console. It's reminiscent of the MS-16 connectors and extremely short (maybe 1.2m tops). Presumably it was designed to sit immediately below the desk as the desk probably stands around 0.8m on the stand I've made.

    Overall, it meets the criteria of a desk that:

    A) Looks good

    B) Is modular, so if it needs fixing, the wiring doesn't need to wholly come apart

    C) Should be a match for the MSR24 and Fostex G24S machines I hope to use with it

    D) Didn't cost the earth

    I'm going to check it out now and I'll get back to you guys.

    Al

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    When you open it up...you'll find a lot of connectors and ribbon cables between boards. Check/clean that on the stereo bus/master section as it might solve the hiss/noise...not to mention the actual Alps faders, which come apart easily, though the two tiny screws that hold them to the surface plate are easily stripped at their top if you don't use the right size Phillips with a snug/precise fit...and also make sure if you clean them that you use the right stuff. Those Alps faders DO NOT require any lubrication or any cleaner that specifically includes lubrication.

    The best stuff (IMO) is the Caig Deoxit, and get the DL100, which is 100% cleaner (no solvent like the 5% spray version. just a drop, and then let the Q-tip do the rest, and don't leave any cleaner residue to help keep it clean, as that will only make things worse.
    I would use that also on all your pots...which are a PITA to properly clean, but get some of those fine injection needles that are used to refill inkjet cartridges, and that way you can place a single drop inside the pots through the small openings.

    AFA the smell...it's a REAL PITA...but the only thing that works is to remove all the knobs and fader buttons...and run them through your dishwasher (or do them by hand with some dish soap and a soft brush)...and then while they are off, use some good household cleaner/degreeser ('cuz tobacco smoke ends up as a sticky/greasy residue on surfaces) to clean the top and the sides, etc. Chances are the inside will not need that level of cleaning, as it's pretty sealed-up when all the faders are in place, only the back jacks provide some opening to the inside of the console.

    The power cable is short for a reason...so yeah, the PS needs to be close as they intended.

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    I have had my M3700 since new, still use it to record and mix on. Love it, and get really peeved off when they get bagged by the guys on that other forum (the one where nothing is good enough LOL). There is a little bit of noise in them, but that can be controlled by muting the effects sends and monitor faders when not in use, that lowers the noise floor for some reason (well on mine anyway) and I also had a reduction in mains hum by running a fat earth cable between the recorder and chassis.

    I also think the eq is fine, some say it's brittle, but I tend to cut eq rather than boost so I don't find that, even when I do boost eq it is a sensible amount.

    Glad to see another M3500/3700 back in use, any questions fire away, oh and they still look good too.

    Alan

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    Some of those jerks at the other place will slag anything. A lot of suits with money, buying bragging rights.
    Some good people there and some pros, but a lot of obnoxious jerk offs.

    Altruistica, congrats on your purchase. Get the little buggers sorted out and may you enjoy it for years to come.


    Lots of folks have done records on tascam gear.

  9. #19
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    I thought I'd give you guys an update after having a full day to assess the desk.

    Mic pres on CH13, 15, 21, 25 and 27 are shot. The others seem ok.

    There is a bigger problem though, which I think maybe cap related, or possibly op amp.

    The console will suddenly 'purr' low frequency hiss and crackle on the Control Room outputs and headphones in particular, but it also has happened on the Stereo Outs too. The L Channel of all outputs is about 1/3rd less than the R Channel. I measured the outputs by taking the signal into a multimeter. When the R channel read about 300mV, the L channel only read 200mV. This difference hasn't gone away, but the noise that accompanied the mixer after being on for a few hours, did go away after I unplugged some leads in the master/group section and then re-plugged them. I also removed the three IC's which are in sockets and re-fitted them. When I turned the mixer back on, the noise was gone. I'm wondering whether I should replace all the caps in this section and the three IC's NJM4580.

    The headphone L output isn't sending out any signal.

    I was a little apprehensive about unplugging too many cables inside the M3500, so I still have to fix the broken pre-amps. I need to probably fully immerse myself in the manual so I fully understand the single path.

    I'll post a bit more once I've got my head round the manual.

    Cheers,
    Al

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Can you provide some details...why/what/etc...

    I don't use any of the group buses...but then I don't even track through the 3500, since I use all outboard pres.
    I mostly use it for cue mixes...and for final mixing.
    It may not be a problem if you don't use it for tracking. When you set a mixer up for tracking, you want the test signal levels from all tracks to be the same when you play back the recorded test tone. It was a problem for me because some channels appeared to be dead or have greatly diminished levels. It turned out that the group cards were the culprit, not the channel cards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    One day I'll make it into somebody's signature line.

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