Tascam M520 Story...

flyingace

Active member
Hello all M-520 enthusiasts! Hello Sweetbeats!
I'm back from Tape Camp in Nashville and psyched up... unfortunately due to delays in getting my studio finished, I still have everything in storage and have yet to really get my M-520 with the MS-16 connected and tested any further. I'm hoping to read this entire thread again and glean as much as I can with hopes that nothing much is wrong or needed... HA HA HA jokes on me with vintage equipment!
So stand by, I'm sure I'll have questions.
 

flyingace

Active member
Hey @sweetbeats
In post #326 here you mentioned to Brian that you were "...making a sketch of how to connect all the gear in the control room up"
Did you ever create that chart? Would you be willing to share it? TIA
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Oh wow blast from the past…no I never did generate anything substantial in terms of a studio wiring diagram…I may have made a partial rough sketch or something, but if I did it is long gone…that was about 14 years ago. I recall not long after that time I acquired a project Ampex AG-440B-8 and got engrossed in that for awhile, and had recently acquired the “Tascam M-__” prototype console and became engrossed in that…and a 388 came after…more engrossing…and then I sold the M-520. Interesting post to look back on the rig I was using at the time. I sold the Yamaha gear some years ago…48-OB and 58-OB long gone, although I do have another 58 at the moment…PB-64 long gone…BR-20T gone…In fact I think maybe the only thing mentioned in that post and the preceding post that I still have is the Presonus Digimax FS.
 

flyingace

Active member
Oh wow blast from the past…no I never did generate anything substantial in terms of a studio wiring diagram…I may have made a partial rough sketch or something, but if I did it is long gone…that was about 14 years ago. I recall not long after that time I acquired a project Ampex AG-440B-8 and got engrossed in that for awhile, and had recently acquired the “Tascam M-__” prototype console and became engrossed in that…and a 388 came after…more engrossing…and then I sold the M-520. Interesting post to look back on the rig I was using at the time. I sold the Yamaha gear some years ago…48-OB and 58-OB long gone, although I do have another 58 at the moment…PB-64 long gone…BR-20T gone…In fact I think maybe the only thing mentioned in that post and the preceding post that I still have is the Presonus Digimax FS.
It's funny, I just answered some questions from 2012 of old threads I posted then, and there was a picture of my "recording desk" at the time... oh how I jumped down the rabbit hole since then! So much more complicated.
Thanks for the answer, just thought with your intimate knowledge of the M-520 and set up, a little leg up would help. I'm trying to get my head wrapped around getting it all wired up with patchbays properly soon, honestly it keeps me up at night working out the ins and outs! ha ha
Hope you're doing well. Thank you again for your epic threads on all of this and sharing your knowledge!
 

RRuskin

Rick Ruskin
Oh wow blast from the past…no I never did generate anything substantial in terms of a studio wiring diagram…I may have made a partial rough sketch or something, but if I did it is long gone…that was about 14 years ago. I recall not long after that time I acquired a project Ampex AG-440B-8 and got engrossed in that for awhile, and had recently acquired the “Tascam M-__” prototype console and became engrossed in that…and a 388 came after…more engrossing…and then I sold the M-520. Interesting post to look back on the rig I was using at the time. I sold the Yamaha gear some years ago…48-OB and 58-OB long gone, although I do have another 58 at the moment…PB-64 long gone…BR-20T gone…In fact I think maybe the only thing mentioned in that post and the preceding post that I still have is the Presonus Digimax FS.
PB-64? I have the prototype. It's configured to attach to the side of a table or panel rather than in a rack.
 

flyingace

Active member
Oh wow blast from the past…no I never did generate anything substantial in terms of a studio wiring diagram…I may have made a partial rough sketch or something, but if I did it is long gone…that was about 14 years ago. I recall not long after that time I acquired a project Ampex AG-440B-8 and got engrossed in that for awhile, and had recently acquired the “Tascam M-__” prototype console and became engrossed in that…and a 388 came after…more engrossing…and then I sold the M-520. Interesting post to look back on the rig I was using at the time. I sold the Yamaha gear some years ago…48-OB and 58-OB long gone, although I do have another 58 at the moment…PB-64 long gone…BR-20T gone…In fact I think maybe the only thing mentioned in that post and the preceding post that I still have is the Presonus Digimax FS.
I ended up creating a start to a diagram, and thanks to posting in the studio techniques section here on HR.com I got some great help and I’m finally starting to understand patch bays, what I need and how to do it… of course, all of this is subject to “boots on the ground” review! 😛 We’ll see. If you are interested, here is my diagram so far, still a few things to work out:
studiowiringdia_1d.jpg
 

flyingace

Active member
Sometimes I think about what would happen if I setup an online class regarding the M-500 consoles. It might clear a lot of this up.
I really wish you would do this! I have the manual and have read it, will re-read it again and again, but in trying to do some simple "pre-hookup" testing, I thought I'd run the tone generator to see if all the VUs were working. I get all 8 busses to respond, I get AUX 3/4 to respond in 11&12 but AUX 1/2 is not responding in 9&10. When I switch them to Stereo Master A/B up top, Stereo Master A VUs not responding.
What is a better way to test Stereo Master A? I read in the manual something about how A and B are different (CUE/AUX included in one, not the other).
Screen Shot 2022-04-02 at 8.41.25 AM.png
Screen Shot 2022-04-02 at 8.41.51 AM.png
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
If meters 9 & 10 don’t respond to test tone signal assigned to AUX 1 & 2, then there is a problem with the meters or something upstream. My first assumption is it’s something upstream because the meters wouldn’t typically fail in pairs. Try exercising the meter 9 & 10 source select switch…rapidly flip it back and forth maybe 25 times. See if that makes a difference.

If you’re wanting to test the pathway from the STEREO A buss to the meters the easiest way to do that is connect a line level source to the MON SUB IN jacks (look on the back for the SUB IN section of input jacks and find the pair marked MON), then have MON selected in the monitor source select switchrack, and raise the STEREO A fader.

The difference between the STEREO A and STEREO B outputs is this…the STEREO A buss is intended to feed your control room monitor speakers, and the STEREO B buss is intended to feed your studio feed (speakers or cue monitor system in the recording room for the talent), so STEREO A includes the SOLO/PFL busses for the engineer, but NOT the talkback feed, and STEREO B is the opposite…no SOLO/PFL monitoring there but it DOES include the talkback buss for the talent.
 

flyingace

Active member
If meters 9 & 10 don’t respond to test tone signal assigned to AUX 1 & 2, then there is a problem with the meters or something upstream. My first assumption is it’s something upstream because the meters wouldn’t typically fail in pairs. Try exercising the meter 9 & 10 source select switch…rapidly flip it back and forth maybe 25 times. See if that makes a difference.

If you’re wanting to test the pathway from the STEREO A buss to the meters the easiest way to do that is connect a line level source to the MON SUB IN jacks (look on the back for the SUB IN section of input jacks and find the pair marked MON), then have MON selected in the monitor source select switchrack, and raise the STEREO A fader.

The difference between the STEREO A and STEREO B outputs is this…the STEREO A buss is intended to feed your control room monitor speakers, and the STEREO B buss is intended to feed your studio feed (speakers or cue monitor system in the recording room for the talent), so STEREO A includes the SOLO/PFL busses for the engineer, but NOT the talkback feed, and STEREO B is the opposite…no SOLO/PFL monitoring there but it DOES include the talkback buss for the talent.
Thanks Sweetbeats! So, I connected monitors today and ran something through some channels. Stereo Master A outputs sound just fine, equal volume from A & B. Test tones for all work in A & B. Just no movement on 9 & 10 meters at all.

If there is something wrong with the meters, or just a loose connection (lights are on), where would I start diagnosing? It's not that big of a deal since I'll mainly be using my MS-16 meters for levels, but it would be nice to have it all functioning.

Thanks!
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
When you first power the console up, do the 9 & 10 meters jump at all or the peak LEDs flicker? And if yes, is their behavior any different from the other meters?
 

flyingace

Active member
When you first power the console up, do the 9 & 10 meters jump at all or the peak LEDs flicker? And if yes, is their behavior any different from the other meters?
No jump, no led flicker on 9&10.

Ok, here is an interesting find as I did some testing: Stereo A SOLO/PFL doesn't work, everything mutes. Stereo B SOLO/PFL work along with T/B.
Think someone might have gotten in there and done some custom wiring for their studio?? It should work as you said above AND as the manual states. I guess the only way to know is to open up that section of channels and see if anything looks amiss.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
I’ll get back to you in some detail as soon as I can.

I can’t remember what is easily accessible as far as the meter connections. Tip the meter bridge up all the way and post a pic of what you can see and access as far as the meters. I have what could be a quick test to determine if it’s power or signal related to that meter pair, or an amp failure, but I gotta see what you can access.

I’ll do some research on the STEREO A/B talkback/solo/PFL quandary. I have to look at the schematics.
 

flyingace

Active member
I’ll get back to you in some detail as soon as I can.

I can’t remember what is easily accessible as far as the meter connections. Tip the meter bridge up all the way and post a pic of what you can see and access as far as the meters. I have what could be a quick test to determine if it’s power or signal related to that meter pair, or an amp failure, but I gotta see what you can access.

I’ll do some research on the STEREO A/B talkback/solo/PFL quandary. I have to look at the schematics.
Thanks, I’ll see if I can open that up tomorrow without having to take the console out of the desk. My hope is that I designed it right to allow enough room for the meter bridge to tilt back, but I haven’t tested it yet. :)
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Just be prepared if you want to resolve the STEREO A/B talkback/solo/PFL issue, and possibly the 9/10 meter issue, you’re likely going to have to have the console up on its side with bottom panels removed. Just want you to have that in your sights.
 

flyingace

Active member
Just be prepared if you want to resolve the STEREO A/B talkback/solo/PFL issue, and possibly the 9/10 meter issue, you’re likely going to have to have the console up on its side with bottom panels removed. Just want you to have that in your sights.
Thanks. It's all doable, just a matter of removing the armrest pad on my desk to pull the 520 out. I am doing preliminary wiring now but have planned once I have all cables in place and working to undo and rewire/organize it all, that would be a good time to pull it.
 

flyingace

Active member
Just be prepared if you want to resolve the STEREO A/B talkback/solo/PFL issue, and possibly the 9/10 meter issue, you’re likely going to have to have the console up on its side with bottom panels removed. Just want you to have that in your sights.
So, when I get the unit on it's side, back plates off, what do I need to look for or should I just send some pics? Also, do I still need to tilt the meter bridge back to see if there is something going on there? Since Stereo A is acting contrary to the manual's explanation of what that channel is supposed to do, what would cause that to happen? Someone rewiring/bypassing or faulty components? Thanks Cory!
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Tilting the meter bridge back is the first priority because that’s to work on your dead meter 9/10 issue.

I need to research your solo/PFL assign issue before you put it on its side. It’s likely somebody disconnected that function from the STEREO A buss and jumpered it to the STEREO B buss, but where that might be accomplished is what I need to look at to give you some idea of how much you might need to tear apart to look and what to look for.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Oh wow okay. Thanks for that. I totally forgot how the M-500 meter bridge was assembled…I’m so sorry, I just made you do something unnecessary. I forgot that there is a solid top panel and the meter bridge itself is floating above that on risers. Okay…hang on. I need to pull out the service manual and look at the exploded view…
 
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