Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Graham Langley founded Amek in 1973 with Nick Franks. Since then, AMEK and TAC recording consoles have been the choice of demanding audio professionals for over 25 years.

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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby Jim Williams » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:25 am

Swap to low offset opamps and those caps can mostly be removed, permanently. It will sound more open without running through a few hundred of them. LME49720 duals and LME49710 singles are good for bipolar opamps, OPA1641/2 are good for fet opamps.

I would get fatigued swapping meter bulbs, a incandescent colored led would eliminate that routine.
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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby roadbear » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:36 am

Looks like a work of love. Nice looking console at that…. Nice job HorizonSound.

Where is this console located?
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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby horizonsound » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:12 am

Restoring the Angela was one of the most rewarding tasks ever.

It's currently located in Melbourne Australia, but was originally located at OK studios in Hong Kong between 85 and 2004. Left in a garage in Melbourne until I bought it last year. It is a beauty.
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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby roadbear » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:04 pm

Been side tracked with other project, but now I can spend a little time on this. Back when I first powered up the console, the center section would not pass clean signal. It was distorted, and had many of the opamps blown, surely caused by the negative rail going to -31v when I first got it. I started working on the center section first. After replacing all of the those TL072 with fresh ones, I then knew that the console needed a full recap. I ordered Panasonic FC replacements for the center section from mouser and got started.


LEFT MASTER DECAPPED
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LEFT MASTER RECAPPED
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AUX MODULE RECAPPED
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I put little red dots on the caps to mark which are new.
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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby roadbear » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:27 pm

In the center section, it was very interesting to hear how just caps can make the quality and punch of the sound change, and how important having good caps in the audio path is. Especially when I changed the caps on the stereo bus master card. Magic! It had this cheap small sound, and also had a very slight distortion on the high frequencies of what I knew to be clean CD audio. Caps.... cleaned it right up. Some of those caps must have been really really bad. Either shorted or such a high ESR, that they just killed the quality of the audio.

Center section is now FULLY OPERATIONAL!

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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby roadbear » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:06 pm

Starting in on the channel modules...

While working on the the center section, I fed the tones and audio into the insert return of the stereo master. I moved the source over to tape returns on various channel modules, and started checking them out. Wow, what a mess. Distorted, dead, random problems like solos causing total static, eq kills audio quality, line in doesn't pass audio... most were just dead or distorting really bad. 3 actually worked fully correct, of the first 24.

I bought a load of TL072, NE5532, 4052, and 4053 ICS. Enough to completed the first 24 channels. I didn't even want to try to figure out which OpAmps were bad, knowing that the neg rail went unregulated to -31v. i just changed them ALL. That fixed a lot of the distortion and dead channels. It didn't fix all of the problems, but generally, they all pass signal for the most past. So, now I know I need to do a full recap. All sort of have a personality of their own. Some are bright, some are soft, some sound cheap, etc... Recap time!
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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby roadbear » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:28 pm

CAPS ANYONE!
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Channel Module MZ-11 Decapped
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Channel Module MZ-11 Recapped
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Old vs New Caps
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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby roadbear » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:40 pm

So, as you can see, I didn't go with Panasonic FC Caps for the channel modules, as I did for the center section. I went with the Dublier caps. Dublier caps has a great rep, everyone says they are good to go, sound great, and last. I also like that the red color is very easy to see, to know that the module is completed.

I want to also say that Audio Maintenance Limited, in UK (http://www.audiomaintenance.com/ ) are great to deal with, friendly, and really know about Amek consoles! Fast ship to Nashville, 4 days via TNT, full tracking.... perfect! Thanks Colin Adshead for all the help.

This was the FIRST channel module cap, the start of the channel module recap journey!
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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby Jim Williams » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:41 am

The best sounding caps I've found by far are zero ohm jumpers. El caps eat music for breakfast.
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Re: Rebuilding a 1989 Mozart -- Sharing My Progress

Postby roadbear » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:02 am

It has been a while since I have updated this post. At this point, and many hundreds of hours of work, the console is completed. But, for the sake of this post, I will pick up where I left off. So, here goes.

I was missing a bunch of the little plastic inserts fitted into the bottom of the fader plates. These would probably have been impossible to find. I bought a piece of smokey colored plexiglass (acrylic) that was close to the same thickness and color. The originals are also semi transparent and acrylic plastic.

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Above, you can see the sheet of acrylic plastic with the protective wrap peeled back just in front of the table saw blade. There is one of the original plastic inserts parts sitting on top for reference.



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Each has a rabbeted cut on the bottom edge where it fits inside the smaller rectangle on the fader mounting assembly underneath the plate. I had to get creative with a dremel tool router jig. I created a very small fence out of some scrap wood and some clamps. YES, that is an extreme close up of the bit with my thumb. It was tedious. It wasn't perfect, but with some trial and error adjustments, it worked.



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They are not exactly like the originals, but from the top, you can't tell which are mine and which are the originals. One of my finished ones is tested inside a fader plate that was just returned from powderer coating. Notice, not printing on the plate yet.
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