TAC Matchless recapping

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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TAC Matchless recapping

Postby mwbsound » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:19 am

Hi guys,

I am planning a recap of my beloved TAC Matchless in the near future. I will probably also make some small mods in the summing busses, mount some Langley preamps and some new opamps in various places.

I am still looking for the right caps for this project and naturally came across the Dubilier caps which Audio Maintenance Ltd is selling. Is anybody familiar with these caps and is anybody able to supply me with some extra info. I naturally contacted Colin Adshead of AML about this but he only says these caps were also used in the Amek 9098 and were selected by Rupert Neve. This is a pre off course but I want to know what I am buying and some extra specs would really help me. Colin doesn't want to supply extra info which is strange off course.

The Dubilier website isn’t informative either because it seems the Dubilier caps AML has, are no longer in production as far as I can see.

So, who is able to help me with some info on these Dubilier caps or does anybody have some good guidelines which other caps I could use. Nichicon, Elna, Panasonic. Who has some good experiences and info on this.

Looking forward to all opinions and info.
Regards,
Marnix

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Re: TAC Matchless recapping

Postby jensenmann » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:08 am

Hi Marnix
When you buy Langley preamps then you will get a bag full of those Dubilier caps for recapping anyway. It´s part of the kit. So why not just use them. I measured a few of these years ago and they seem to be low ESR, in the same range as Panasonic FC and many other quality electrolytics. I´d not hesitate to use them. In fact I did and still do use them.

In general the important specs for electrolytics are: low ESR, 105deg. temperature rating and high life cycle (>2000hrs). From my experience recapping is more important for a better sound than changing chips. Maybe you start here and check the result before you throw out big money for fancy superduper chips.

What I did when I refurbished my ex-Matchless was soldering 0,1uF Wima MKS2 caps parallel to each electrolytic at the trace-side of the PCB. This makes a more natural HF range to me. And I´ve increased all coupling caps by factor 2 to 4. This extended the lowend and lowered phaseshift in the lowmid range. That was a very noticable improvment. I did blindtests with some friends back then to verify what I was hearing, btw.

cheers
Jens
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Re: TAC Matchless recapping

Postby mwbsound » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:34 am

Hi Jens,

Thanks for your reaction. This is very usefull.

Regarding the new chips. What I want to do will be inspired by Jim Williams. I want to using better low noise opamps in the summing amp and better output driver chips. Maybe I will remove some of the coupling caps in placed where they are no longer needed if the CD-offset is low enough wityh the newer chips.

Regards,
Marnix

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The Netherlands
mwbsound
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Re: TAC Matchless recapping

Postby jensenmann » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:19 am

Be careful with superfast chips and DC coupling. If done without knowledge it can ruin your desk. It is not as easy as Jim´s posts make you think it is. In fact it is easy for him because he knows this stuff but if you don´t have an el. engineering/circuit design background then you hardly know what changes are necessary in a given circuit to make it work with a particular chip and/or DC-coupled.
In case you´re brave enough to go for it then always check the result of every step to see if the circuits are still stable.
Jens
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Re: TAC Matchless recapping

Postby Jim Williams » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:49 am

Always check the output pins on any replacement opamp for oscillations. Then check for offset and offset polarity. Some caps will need to stay if offset is above a couple of millivolts. Usually about 1/2 of the caps are inserted the wrong way, always check the polarity of the offset and orient blocking caps properly.

Some opamps will show positive offsets while other parts may show negative offsets, always check and never assume.
Jim Williams
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Re: TAC Matchless recapping

Postby jensenmann » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:26 pm

Thanks!
Jens
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Re: TAC Matchless recapping

Postby mwbsound » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:27 am

Hi Jim and Jens,

Thanks for both remarks. Good to look for when recapping my console. At the moment I am collecting all the parts and tools and I will keep you posted here when I am working on it.

Thanks and regards,
Marnix

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mwbsound
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