Studer 928 Story...

ecc83

Well-known member
I was under the impression broadcast console designs put extra effort with regards to noise and especially crosstalk.
Balanced summing,robust ground schemes and some +8dBu nominal outputs.Maybe just the good ones.

G

Yes, superb desing and quality to be sure but things like balnced summing are used to get THE best noise performance it seems when headroom rules.

D. Self* quotes the Neve 51 series (not so dusty mixer peeps?) as having internal levels down at -16dBu giving a 36dB headroom at the expense of noise which matters little given the limited S/N of even the best FM broadcasts.

*Small Signal Audio Design and Self is a world famous audio designer from way back to Wireless World days. Big contributions for Soundcraft. I am presently working my way through his book on solid state power amps. LOT of sacred cows getting shot in that, I might make an even bigger nuisance of myself soon! (once/IF I come to full grokking)

Dave.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Always wondered why Neve chose voltage summing as apposed to current(virtual earth) summing in the early days.
No need to run at those low levels.Big mistake.
Big fan of Dougie.

https://www.forsselltech.com/media/attachments/summing_buss.pdf

G

I shall read that .pdf soon but I do not get from Self that running at neg 16 was done "lighty"? Broadcasters cannot have mixers "cracking over" if at all possible whereas a bit of extra noise matters little. You cannot have your cake and eat it! DS says the optimum internal level is -2dBu which also gives the common +4dBu from a balanced drive amp.

Balanced summing gives a theoretical 3dB noise advantage but I think its main use is to reduce crosstalk in bigger systems?

Dave.
 

sasquatch

Member
Late 60's early 70's most likely not an issue with a hand full of mics and piss poor gear down stream.
Now with 15-20 mics just on the kit and digitals dynamic range every 2-3dB you can squeeze off the noise floor is gold.
Vintage Neve to track,SSL to mix as they say.
Or Studer for both.

G
 

cyrano

New member
I was under the impression broadcast console designs put extra effort with regards to noise and especially crosstalk.
Balanced summing,robust ground schemes and some +8dBu nominal outputs.Maybe just the good ones.

G

Just the older big ones are different beasts. I think Sweetbeats' Studer was one of the last dinosaurs. Completely analog, very customisable and with lots of routing options.

Mitec was the last manufacturer of that kind. You could get direct outs on every channel if you wanted, fi. Loved by classical music recordists, who wanted an exact set of features and nothing more. Very clean sounding, with sensible eq. And simple electronics. No exotic DOA's...

The newer and the smaller broadcast mixers offer different routing options, compared to their non-broadcast brethren. But these aren't the ones used in studios. They're designed for mobile use, have 8 or 16 channels. Like the Soundcraft 200B. Just a few switches extra, compared to the "normal" 200.

The newest are full digital, of course.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Yes the 928 was among the last generation of Studer analog consoles made from 2000 to 2006 I believe. Mine is an earlier one. All analog, but with a fair amount of logic-based switching, and all input faders are voltage controlled and there are four VCA groups.

I don’t think there is any reason to be concerned about internal level. The nominal input and output level at all inputs and outputs is +6dBu...that is, at the inputs and outputs which don’t necessarily speak to the internal level. Unfortunately there’s no level diagram in the manual, but even the nominal level at the balanced insert points throughout the inputs and master section is +6dBu. I’ll have to look at the gain structure at a couple of the amp stages to see what the lowest level is.

Puttered around last night for awhile getting more familiar with the console and taking some notes...answering some of my own questions.

I pulled the master A buss VU meter assembly out to see if I could figure out why the left meter doesn’t work. What I found out is it’s not the meter itself so that’s good. So I’ll follow the cabling upstream. I suspect there is a bad connection at the motherboard or possibly the ribbon cable is damaged somewhere. But everything is so nicely designed on this console, and the materials and fit and finish is just a joy. I love the modular meter bridge...and all of the connectors are these latching type connectors...gold contacts...nice:

52A9A884-ADD5-4B58-9B5C-16A79489D6AA.jpeg

I also did some troubleshooting for that bad input on one of the stereo modules, and I’ve narrowed down that it is indeed a problem with that one module (the problem moves with module when I plug it in to a different slot in the frame), and the cause of the problem is somewhere between the insert point and where the signal fans out to the different busses. So now that narrows down what to look at on the schematics and test.
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
I think Sweetbeats' Studer was one of the last dinosaurs.

Not sure why you would refer to analog consoles as "dinosaurs"...? You do realize that there still several manufacturers that build analog consoles.
I mean...it's not like they became extinct 15-20 years ago. :D
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Boo-yah...

Like this:

Harrison Consoles

A Harrison 950MX is sort of what I was drooling after, but knew it was way out of my price league. I think the Studer hits most or all of the engineering and materials points featured on the Harrison console, but the Studer has quite a bit more signal flow flexibility...the Harrison doesn’t offer group channels for instance...really designed to be an analog front-end and summing facility with the convenience of traditional control room and studio monitor and aux buss functions...plus, the Studer has cool stuff like the stereo width control, VCA groups, etc...I feel like I got the best of both worlds at a bargain price.
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
I had my eye on a used Harrison a couple of years before the Trident...I forget the model...but it was down in the Washington DC area, which would have been a 2 day ride, plus the guy wasn't able to (or not wanting to) help load it (it was up a flight of stairs). I ended up passing on it.
The other couple of more modern consoles I was lusting after was a D&R Orion...great price on a tip-top used one I found , but it was out in California...and the other one that I've lusted after is a Neotek Elan or Elite...but they were always pretty pricy, even when older, if they were in good shape.

TBH, in the end, I think the Trident 24 London was meant to be for me.
About 2 years before I got the one I know have, I ran across an identical Trident that was pretty close to me (down in NJ). It was in a private studio from the day it was purchased, super-clean. It was being sold by the widow of the studio owner...and I could have had it, but I was having to deal with a middleman, who was a friend of the deceased guy (the widow had asked him to help her unload the studio contents)...and the middleman was just making it really hard to coordinate a time when I could go over to see it. He wanted to be there, rather than me just meeting up with the widow. So we went back-n-forth for a couple of weeks. He ends up calling me one Saturday night, saying if I wanted to meet him in NJ at like 9AM Sunday, it would be good for him. :facepalm: Well, it wasn't good for me.
Anyway...things fizzled out with the communication...and I figured it wasn't meant to be.

FFW a couple of years later, and another model Trident 24 London pops up, and I didn't waste time (if you recall from our conversations)... plus this seller was eager to wrap it up quick (it was in his ex-wife's house). I spoke with him on Thursday and made a verbal deal, sent him a couple of hundred good-faith money, and picked up the console the following Monday. The whole time I kept chuckling how that particular Trident model WAS meant to be for my studio. :)

... VCA groups, etc...I feel like I got the best of both worlds at a bargain price.

Great feature!
 

cyrano

New member
Not sure why you would refer to analog consoles as "dinosaurs"...? You do realize that there still several manufacturers that build analog consoles.
I mean...it's not like they became extinct 15-20 years ago. :D

It’s not analog. It’s build quality and clean sound.

Sure, there still are new analog consoles around. But nothing like a Studer...
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
...FFW a couple of years later, and another model Trident 24 London pops up, and I didn't waste time (if you recall from our conversations)... plus this seller was eager to wrap it up quick (it was in his ex-wife's house). I spoke with him on Thursday and made a verbal deal, sent him a couple of hundred good-faith money, and picked up the console the following Monday. The whole time I kept chuckling how that particular Trident model WAS meant to be for my studio. :)

This really sounds a lot like my transaction...motivated seller...quick to suggest a phone call, flexible with timing, patient with all my questions, helped me load it, took a deposit to hold it for up to a month so I could work out my complicated schedule and making time to make the day trip to get it...and then the whole thing about us having a trusted knowledgeable friend...what are the chances...the Seattle area has a lot of people in it! And then I come to find it had been on the market for awhile...seller had even dropped the price 25% from an already very reasonable starting price. Like I’m still trying to figure out how it didn’t get snapped up. Either it was waiting for me, or I’m just an anomaly and nobody else is really looking for something like the Studer. Reality is probably somewhere in the middle.
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
It’s not analog. It’s build quality and clean sound.

Sure, there still are new analog consoles around. But nothing like a Studer...

Nothing bad about a Studer, would love to have a Studer console...but honestly, there are some top-of-the-line analog consoles still being made, that are substantially better than even the last model Studer consoles, certainly better than my Trident.
Maybe you just haven't noticed. :)

I'm just not sure what it is you're trying to say when you use the term "dinosaurs"...well, I think maybe you're not sure either. ;)
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
[MENTION=94267]miroslav[/MENTION]

For sure, if you can cover your needs with the on-board bay...that's less muss-n-fuss for you. :)

Probably not going to be able to do that. The onboard bay is really focused on insert points...it has the insert send and return for all the input modules, and the group and master modules, the send and return for the four onboard mono compressors and two stereo limiters, and then 12 send and 12 return points for external gear that are accessed at one of the multipin connectors on the backplane. So the onboard patchbay is a handy inclusion, but really only limited to insert points. I wish it was reasonable to try and expand the onboard patchbay to include the aux sends, stereo returns, maybe the direct, group and master outs, and additional points for send effects and tape/DAW inputs, but then we’re into “rarer than hen’s teeth” territory. There’s certainly room for it, and I thought about buying some ADC TT patchbay like I got for my MCI project...they are really like two half-rack modules in one rack unit...and then have some faceplates made up by Front Panel Express so the modules could be dropped right into the Studer frame below the factory patchbay, but the more I think about that the more it doesn’t make sense. I’d have to modify the Studer backplane to get all that cabling in and out...lots of time and unnecessary expense...and logically it makes more sense to rack an external patchbay in the rack with the processors, audio interface, etc. I think I could do it with one 96-point bay in addition to what’s onboard.

Not trying to brag...but I got a shit load of outboard gear (probably twice as much as I really need)...plus I wanted the capability to do at least 24 channels A/D/A so I could dump from my Otari...plus I have another 8 channels, that let's me bring out up to 32 channels from the DAW to mix through the Trident.
Having all that easily accessible and reconfigurable, required a lot of patchbay points.

Look...you can easily expand with the bays down the road if needed...which is how it went for me and where I ended up with the 7 bays x 96 I/O points each.
At this point, I've almost maxed out both patchbay points and rack space...thank god for that...so I would have to do some serious additions to get more. I have one pair of unused I/O points left.

Good gracious that IS a lot of patch points...! :eek:

Oh...I just say a bunch of Studer boards on eBay, I think a pair of 928s and a couple of others...plus Studer decks....but they are all being sold out of South Korea.
I can only imagine it's from some studio/broadcast facility that was introduced the USA at some point. It just looks like it's gear from about 20-30 years back, but in pretty good shape...so it has to be some commercial studio.
Anyway...the pair of 928 consoles are about $5-6k each...and that's because they are in SK. I mean, not too many people will pay to have that stuff shipped so the pricing on the gear is lower than what it would go for if it was here in the USA or over in Europe.
Bottom line...you got a great deal on yours! :cool:

Yeah I’ve seen all that stuff on eBay and Reverb. Those consoles are a bit had, and NONE of them have any group modules...can’t even tell if they have the power supplies and cables...no way to test unless you can get to South Korea...and who knows what might happen in shipping...don’t know the storage conditions etc. and they’re about double what I paid for mine. And I got to shake hands with the seller. Granted that’s what is being ASKED for those 928s, and I think they’ve been listed for awhile, so that’s not necessarily a market indicator what the asking price is...butbthen there’s another very clean complete 8-buss 928 with 49 input modules and the seller is asking $20,000 for that. Again, that’s the asking price. But I do think I did pretty good with mine. I’m happy.

I might eventually pick up a module or two of those ones are still around later for spares and I can knock the price down...
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
Good gracious that IS a lot of patch points...! :eek:

I took every connection on the Trident out to the patchbays...which chewed up about 2.5 bays...then another 2 went to the rack gear...and 1 bay for the tape deck and my A/D/A converters...and the other 1/2 bay for odds-n-ends. My 7th bay is for a pair of old Fostex 5030 line level converters...but TBH, I can't remember the last time I used them. If I ever have a need for more patchbay points...I may pull those units out, or at least one of them.

Once I started expanding with the bays and gear, it just made sense to run every I/O connection to the bays....so they added up. :)
 

cyrano

New member
Nothing bad about a Studer, would love to have a Studer console...but honestly, there are some top-of-the-line analog consoles still being made, that are substantially better than even the last model Studer consoles, certainly better than my Trident.
Maybe you just haven't noticed. :)

I'm just not sure what it is you're trying to say when you use the term "dinosaurs"...well, I think maybe you're not sure either. ;)

Educate me. What's still out there that might end up in a home studio and is of decent build quality?
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
Educate me. What's still out there that might end up in a home studio and is of decent build quality?

Oh...now you're qualifying your comment by narrowing it down to what might end-up in a "home" studio....and even that doesn't mean anything, because "home" studio isn't necessarily always a low budget, limited undertaking. So what type of "home" studio are you talking about, so that we can really narrow it down? :)

There are home studios with $300 all-in-one mixer/cassette recorders...and there are home studios with small API consoles (which would set you back about $50k for a 16-channel model), plus all the high-end gear you could imagine. There are probably more high-end home studios these days than there are commercial studios, because so many have chosen to work at home, rather than pay-up for studio time, and they have the money to buy top-shelf toys....and you don't have to just think API...you can buy some of the new Trident consoles, the D&R and Neotek that I mentioned, Harrison, and a few others...which are maybe like $30k new, but can be had for $10-15k used, and they are all top-shelf.
I mean, that's not really a lot of money, considering that people will buy 4-wheelers and motorcycles for recreation, and pay way more than that.

Anyway...you're now going into different aspects of the console discussion...I was just making the point that having a quality analog console is in no way about finding some "dinosaur".
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Yeah, just to summarize, [MENTION=106439]cyrano[/MENTION] it seemed like you were saying new analog consoles (maybe more specifically larger and higher quality consoles) were not around, and all [MENTION=94267]miroslav[/MENTION] was saying was there are a number current options available, but then you qualified your point by including “home studio” in your scenario, which I agree anymore is a pretty dubious term. “Home studio” can mean somebody with a simple budget DAW or analog setup, or somebody like miroslav with a relatively large setup. I mean, the song “Something Familiar” by Hibou linked earlier in this thread was engineered and mixed in a bedroom using the Studer I bought by the engineer/producer that sold it to me. I guess I thought the point you raised was the days of the high quality mixing console of size is long over and miroslav’s counterpoint was that it’s not, at least evidenced by a number of companies with current offerings. Maybe I misunderstood your point?

On a related note, I was watching the videos on the Harrison 950MX, and particularly the one detailing construction, the “guts”, and the features they highlight as definitive of the construction being at the pinnacle of analog design are part and parcel to my Studer...the gold plated contacts and connections, through-hole components, even the module connectors are the same type...it’s reassuring to know what Studer did nearly two decades ago is still considered best practice in a current product designed to last “a lifetime”. :D

On topic, I may have found a contact in Europe that might be able to help me find sections of the manual more specific to my console configuration that aren’t included in the base manual version still available online...at least I’m hoping to get technical documents related to my power supplies. I’ve only been able to find documentation for the later version of the power supplies...also hoping to find a resource for spares. I got the lead from some Harman support agent in Hungary...apparently the lead is a former Studer factory service manager. Fingers crossed!
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
On topic, I may have found a contact in Europe that might be able to help me find sections of the manual more specific to my console configuration that aren’t included in the base manual version still available online...at least I’m hoping to get technical documents related to my power supplies. I’ve only been able to find documentation for the later version of the power supplies...also hoping to find a resource for spares. I got the lead from some Harman support agent in Hungary...apparently the lead is a former Studer factory service manager. Fingers crossed!

Good luck!

Having the right manual and schematics is important. I went through the same thing, and when I initially was overhauling my console, I had to use a copy of an older Trident 65 manual, which has some similarities, but the group/monitor section is all wrong for my console.
This past spring, after two years of hunting for an original Trident 24/London manual...I saw a guy selling the same console, asked him if he had the manual and if he could make me a copy, and he ended up already having a copy that he made as a saftey (it was kinda beat up, but complete and readable), for which I paid $60...but I finally had the complete manual with schematics.

Nothing worse than using a "similar" manual schematic...and then you're tracing things out and suddenly hit a spot where it doesn't match your actual console.
For minor stuff, you can kinda work it out...but the real deal allows you to work with more confidence.

Of course, the PS section on mine was already heavily modified and ugraded, as you know...so there I'm on my own! :p
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...

Hey thanks much for posting that link. That’s a good resource in general. Unfortunately I already have that version of the manual and then some. It’s basically the 244 page manual you can find all over the place, with about 157 pages of eurocard stuff which is *cool* if you have a console or any Studer eurocard gear or with a eurocard rack...it’s good reading. Mine doesn’t have any eurocard stuff. It was an option. And then there’s another 12 additional pages of meter bridge stuff which *does* apply to my console, making the total 413 pages. My friend in Seattle had that in his library. But you *did* have me pretty excited there for a moment...! :D

[MENTION=94267]miroslav[/MENTION] I agree 150%
 
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