Tascam M520 Story...

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Well folks, the M520 is sitting right behind me in the car. We are headed South on Interstate 5. :p

I am closing out a couple other threads and moving the topic completely here regarding the M520 and the PS520 power supply, so for those of you just joining this topic, you can get some background in this thread, as well as this thread.

The console appears no different than in the pics I had received pre-sale, which is to say good. All the knob caps and knobs are indeed present, connectors look good in the back...just missing two fader knobs. It'll clean up nice.

I was actually able to get ahold of the radio station from whence it originally came, and stopped by the station. They searched for the PS520 there and to know avail. The station manager contacted their chief engineer in Seattle and he didn't know of its whereabouts either, but reminded the station manager that before going into storage, it was loaned to an accountant with an office in the same building as the radio station who had a moonlight broadcast operation. From there it was donated and moved into storage. The station manager called the accountant who looked briefly and also could not find it, but he is doing an extensive cleanout of his offices in a couple weeks and is going to keep an eye out for it, so here's hoping. Made some good contacts though. Very nice people on today's journey.

The manual is indeed original, and though not in an original binder it is in 9/10 condition. There is a scratch-paper note inside the binder about signal on channel two making it to the master buss and seen at the meter, but signal is not present at the direct outputs. Cross that bridge later. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I'll keep this going over time as I make progress, and hopefully the original power supply turns up or it will be time to learn how to fab one (with a lot of help from wherever I can get it! :D)

Here it is as I look behind me...
 

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cjacek

Analogue Enthusiast
I'm getting that warm and fuzzy feeling again....:D Man, that mixer looks mighty nice. Almost a freebie. You just can't do better than that. Now the search goes on for the power supply....;)

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Herm

Well-known member
Take a close up of the fader knobs when you get a chance. I am pretty sure I have those here if you want them.

And I hate to mention this but there was one of those power supplys on ebay a month or two ago.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Take a close up of the fader knobs when you get a chance. I am pretty sure I have those here if you want them.

And I hate to mention this but there was one of those power supplys on ebay a month or two ago.

Awesome, Herm! Hope you've got a match! Picture below.

On the eBay power supply, cjacek caught that too...ARG! :mad::(

Patience...:o
 

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sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Wait!

Herm,

I just got it unloaded and took a closer look...the two missing white-striped fader knobs were down on channels 1 and 2 to replace missing knobs there, and there are two other damaged channel fader knobs so I need 4 of the knobs with the orangestripe.


Let me know if you might have those, and thank you.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Um...wait, again.

Make that 8 of the orange stripe fader knobs, and one of the channel selector switch knobs.

Peeled all the stickers/labels off and checked the physical function of all the switches, knobs and faders. One buss assign switch is stuck latched. The aux master faders are smooth but have a lot of resistance. This goes for the stereo master faders as well. All the stacked pots are also smooth but have a lot of physical resistance.

Aside from the above mentioned issues, everything is there and functional.

This is a cool console...big VU's, with the ability to patch external signals direct to the buss 1 - 8 meter...so much simultaneous control in a compact frame with the stacked pots...feature-packed.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
I pulled all the knobs off of channel module 1-4 and removed the faders and dress panel so I could clean 'em and have a look inside. ;)

I'm really enjoying this mixer, even without a power supply! :D

I've had most of my experience with the entrails of a medium-sized console on an Allen & Heath GL3300. The M520 is built really nice...I can see the advantage to a frame-style mixer for access, and the rails that the modules attach to are really nice heavy-duty aluminum extrusions...I don't know why but I didn't expect to see that. Its pretty dusty inside but not uncommonly so. Six easily accessible screws to remove and the the entire meter bride and I/O panel tip open for full access to the backside of all the jacks and connectors to the channel strips. Slick. So slick I shot some video telling you the same thing. I live for redundancy. :rolleyes:

You can download it here if you are interested. Its about 15Mb.
 

cjacek

Analogue Enthusiast
Hey Cory, I took a look at the video and I'm impressed by the M520. Never seen one nude before.:D Yeah, I love the way they made it to be easily serviceable. Nothing like that on lesser boards. Look man, we really need to score the PS, to power that baby up!:D;)

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Richard King

New member
Interesting video. Did you ever figure out what that extra set of wires is for? I can't recall if the M520 had phantom power (its been well over 20 years since I used one), but it could be that a previous owner added his own phantom power to the board. The company that I used to work for used to have a custom option of phantom power that they offered on Model 5 (and other) consoles. They added the power in the engineering shop and I guess it was a pretty simple mod.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Look man, we really need to score the PS, to power that baby up!

YES.:)

Richard,

Did you ever figure out what that extra set of wires is for?

They go to the channel "ON" traces on the channel #1 PCB. I'm pretty sure it was a setup for remote activation.

I can't recall if the M520 had phantom power

It does.

TASCAM M520 MYTH-BUSTER:

Regarding the antagonistic statement "Try pcb-mounted RCA connectors for all gozintas & gozouttas" found here

The RCA jacks on the M520 are not PCB mounted. All the channel PCB's connect to the I/O jacks via ribbon cables and multi-pin connectors. The jacks are housed in a per-channel socket that is fastened to the body of the board. The conductors are much heavier duty than what is found on more contemporary gear, at least what I've seen. They look like they are built for professional service. ;)
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
M50 vs. M520...

Anybody know the difference??

Actually, let's compare the M50 and M512. Lookit this...isn't that almost identical to an M512?? :confused:
 

hilltop studios

New member
Sweetbeats,
Good luck with your M520 :) Hope you can find a power supply. I owned a M512 years ago. Bought it used around 85 I think. I loved it ! Pre's were sweet, eq's musical, loved the mute buttons on the aux sends, quality connectors, it was rock solid. I only sold it because I needed more channels to handle 16 tracks. I used it with a Fostex M80, 8 track, recorded some really great stuff I think. Check out these mp3's Remember this stuff is from the 80's.....big reverbs etc :) http://www.hilltopstudios.com/ftp/Always.mp3 and
http://www.hilltopstudios.com/ftp/It Ain't Love.mp3
I now own a Tascam M2600mkII and while both boards sound similar the old 512 blows away the 2600 in build quality. I remember considering finding a 520but I think the physical size scared me a little cause I had a really small room at the time. Best Regards, Dave
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Correction!

TASCAM M520 MYTH-BUSTER:

Regarding the antagonistic statement "Try pcb-mounted RCA connectors for all gozintas & gozouttas" found here

The RCA jacks on the M520 are not PCB mounted. All the channel PCB's connect to the I/O jacks via ribbon cables and multi-pin connectors. The jacks are housed in a per-channel socket that is fastened to the body of the board. The conductors are much heavier duty than what is found on more contemporary gear, at least what I've seen. They look like they are built for professional service.

Okay...read the manual before you bust myths...the "sockets" to which I referred are PCB assemblies, so there you go. They are PCB mounted, but I guess what I can still clarify in defense of the M500 series is that the jacks aren't mounted to the channel card, but are independent.
 

ethyrvalve

Norman Nanoweber
Hey sweet-beats,
to answer the question you asked in my b-67 thread--
the balance amp in the m520 is pin 3 hot.
it's a really great feature.
i emailed tascam a while back and they let me know there's no problem in --say-- running the 8 bus output through the balance amp into the 58-ob's xlr inputs while using the the rca outputs in the 58 to go into the 520's 'tape in' jacks.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Check out these mp3's Remember this stuff is from the 80's.....big reverbs etc http://www.hilltopstudios.com/ftp/Always.mp3 and
http://www.hilltopstudios.com/ftp/It Ain't Love.mp3

Dave...The M80...is that a 1/2" 8-track?

I'm shocked. There's a lot of clarity and that is coming through in spite of the mp3 yuck. I can't stand mp3's but those sound really good and I believe it to be the source material. What is the bitrate on those mp3's?

Was the bass recorded direct to channel 1 or 2?

Can you remember anything alse about what mics were used and what outboard processing gear was used during printing and during mixdown?

What did you mixdown to?

Sorry for all the questions...

There is a lot of space in the mix (speaking specifically of "It Ain't Love") considering the music style.

Really cool. Definitely 80's sounds, but in a good way. Everything sounds really good.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
i emailed tascam a while back and they let me know there's no problem in --say-- running the 8 bus output through the balance amp into the 58-ob's xlr inputs while using the the rca outputs in the 58 to go into the 520's 'tape in' jacks.

Are you using noise reduction though?

So did you get that b67, and did you ever get an answer to your question about the pin cinfig on the XLR's?
 

ethyrvalve

Norman Nanoweber
Are you using noise reduction though?

So did you get that b67, and did you ever get an answer to your question about the pin cinfig on the XLR's?

nope no noise reduction for me. it came with a pair of dbx150x but i've never bothered to use them. i use sm900 tape. i just came to realize that the 58 uses iec equalization so my efforts to align it with a nab mrl tape probably up-ed the hiss a bit. it's isn't enough to bother me though.
my friends recorded their songs here with the m520/58ob combo:
http://www.myspace.com/expo67

yep i got the b-67. i love it. the tape path is soooo smooth. all the guides spin. it's turns out that it's pin 2 hot. i just phase flipped the wires i hooked it up with. my little basement dungeon studio scoffs at the AES's pin 2 hot standard.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
my friends recorded their songs here with the m520/58ob combo:
http://www.myspace.com/expo67

Wow. Same thing. There's a suprising amount of clarity in the mix with regard to instruments running into each other.

I'm really curios now what my setup will do.

yep i got the b-67. i love it. the tape path is soooo smooth. all the guides spin. it's turns out that it's pin 2 hot. i just phase flipped the wires i hooked it up with. my little basement dungeon studio scoffs at the AES's pin 2 hot standard.

Cool. I've often wondered if there was an easy way to retro-fit roller guides on the 58.

Yeah you've got a lot of pin 3 hot gear huh?

Hey, did you ever have a chance to look at the video I uploaded here regarding the 58 tension arms? Thought it would be easier than trying to describe it in writing...
 
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