VR Console refurbishment

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VR Console refurbishment

Postby GJC Designs » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:02 am

Here is a link to a story about a console refurbishment that was undertaken in 2009.

http://www.ams-neve.com/NewsAndEvents/A ... tudio.aspx
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Re: VR Console refurbishment

Postby brianroth » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:25 am

Egads! 400 hours labor on the recap....

Best,

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Re: VR Console refurbishment

Postby Jim Williams » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:22 am

Way too many caps in that design. If the 5532 opamps are swapped for LME49860's or BurrBrown OPA1612's most of them can be removed, permanently.

Or, rinse and repeat.
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Re: VR Console refurbishment

Postby GJC Designs » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:52 am

I personally don't do all the re-capping myself - there are a few good people who do most of the cap work.

Regarding the quantity of caps, around 4500 (I have not done an absolute count) are power rail decouplers adjacent to op-amps, which leaves the rest as audio pass-caps. Now, Jim, my questions for you are:
Will a change of op-amp alter the sound?
Will there be a change in performance?

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Re: VR Console refurbishment

Postby Jim Williams » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:20 am

Yes, there should be sonic and measurable differences. The power decoupling caps should be very long life at rated temperature, those 7000 to 10,000 hour formulations are good. The newer low impedance tantalum substitutes are a great choice as they are very long life combined with less than 2/3rd the impedance of tantalum caps for improved decoupling. The Panasonic FM, Nichicon HE and Rubycon ZA/ZL series are those types. I would use the Nichicons as they seem to be the best for long life in hot enviroments. Sometimes you can fit a larger value in the same case size as caps have shrunk in the last few years. If local .1 uf mono ceramic psu bypass caps are not there, I add them to the rear of the el caps or opamps to lower the power rail impedance at higher frequencies.

As for those audio coupling caps, they are removed on a case by case basis as sometimes dc blocking may be needed but usually not. One case is fader coupling to non inverting opamp inputs. Most bipolar opamps will generate too much input bias current to direct couple to a pot wiper without hearing some scratch. The National LME series might be a good choice with their 10 na bias current, otherwise a good fet input opamp will do, a good choice is the AD8512A which is also precison without the output offsets of 5532 opamps.

Noise and THD specs should also improve with those three opamp types. Except for the 6 nv AD8512A, the others are very quiet and the BurrBrown part is 1.1 nv. AD has the .9 nv AD8599 for more critical noise limits, also a dual. In a large system like a console, the accumulation of noise can be reduced when all the parts are quieter. Another benefit is these newer parts have lower THD and faster slew rates for a more open sound. Only the National part, the LME47860NA is 8 pin DIP, the rest are SOIC and require a brown Dog or Aries adatptor. These parts run a bit cooler than the 5532 so the interior should not run as hot either which will help the remaining caps last longer.
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Re: VR Console refurbishment

Postby waltzingbear » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:39 pm

I had to refurb a 5116 a few years ago, there were approx 130 caps per channel strip. got to be able to turn them out in 1.5 hours each. Thank you Pace.

The V series is ridiculously hot running, when they say its a warm console they don't mean the sound. It really does raise a sweat. I know a studio that bought one installed it with its own cooling system into the board directly! good idea.

Alan Garren

ps I also don't like the idea of using VCAs for monitor level control.
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