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Author Topic: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck  (Read 30119 times)

Gold

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Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« on: March 21, 2011, 10:29:39 pm »

I just had this puppy made for me by Daniel Zellman and John French. It is a preview (pre-listen) tape machine for lacquer cutting. I believe it is the only 1" preview deck in existence. If I am wrong about the exclusivity please let me know!

I have three of these A80 preview decks. One set up as a 1/4", another as a 1/2" and now this to complete the collection. This deck was pieced together from what was my "parts" deck and another 1" transport from a layback machine. I realized that most parts could still be bought new. There was no reason to pull anything off that machine.

I sourced a NOS 1" capstan motor so that went in. It has new brake drums, bands and dashpots. The electronics were gone over with a fine tooth comb by Dan Zellman. Each of the Flux Magnetics head sections had widely varying impedance. Dan tweaked each channel to match the heads. He recapped and put in an 8DIP socket for modern opamps. He also removed some unnecessary circuitry for a playback only machine like the bias trap.

There were other nice touches that I wanted. The gain range on the level pots was always to large. I had him tweak it so there is good resolution for common levels centered around 250nW/M. I also had him install a light indicator for CCIR. He found LED lamps that look like the original Studer lamps.

John French made the head stack. He was able to source the extra rollers needed. He ended up with ceramic rollers. It's nice because they won't wear out.

Both Dan and John were very excited about the build. Dan has a test tape (BASF?) that has tons of frequencies on it. It is remarkably flat at 15ips. It was +/- .5dB from 20Hz-20KHz (except the head bump). The azimuth looked rock solid too. He didn't have the same multitone test tape for 30ips. He contacted MRL but he isn't doing custom tapes anymore. No way to check if 30ips is as good as 15ips but he thinks it's probably is.







Here is a look at the A/B path cutting console I'm building. Obviously not done but despite the unfinished look it it well on it's way.
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Paul Gold
Salt Mastering

DOMC

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 10:35:17 pm »

awesome - nice works
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Domc
 
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bblackwood

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 10:54:01 pm »

Wow, that is awesome, Paul. The deck is a work of art, can you tell us more about the new console as well?
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 09:15:08 am »

Wow. . that is genuinely lovely.

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Dave Greenberg
Sonopod Mastering

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 11:33:37 am »

That looks fantastic Paul.  I'd also like to know more about the new console.
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Adam Gonsalves
Telegraph Mastering

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 11:42:42 am »

Thanks guys. I still have yet to hear program on it. I know someone who has some mixes on 1" but he has to dig them out of a storage space. If anyone in NY has some 1" masters and wants a free acetate, act now! I want to take it for a spin!

I've been working on the console for about five years. I have very little time to work on it. The last time I worked on it was January. I estimate two solid weeks of bench time to finish prototyping everything. I'm planning on taking a one week "vacation" to work on it. It's hard to turn down work to do it, but I'm always booked solid. I think it's the only way.

It's an A/B path console. It has two identical transfer paths with a switch at the output. This is so you can set up path A for song one and path B for song two. When you switch to the B path for song two you set up the A path for song three. You keep flip flopping until the side is over.

The transfer path is: source select/input amplifier - high frequency limiter - insert send - pico compressor - barry porter EQ - DAOC compressor - Sontecish EQ - insert return - HPF/LPF - elliptical EQ - Output Amplifier - A/B switch - to recorders.

The monitor is a full H pad. All Inputs and outputs are balanced. I can select 32 stereo sources. There are 16 buttons but they are stacked with a toggle switch selector. 16 preview sources and 16 program sources. I have Wayne Kirkwood's MS board to do a mono sum and difference. I can monitor passive stereo or active mono, mono L, mono R, and difference.
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Paul Gold
Salt Mastering

bblackwood

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 12:06:03 pm »

That's sick, Paul. Def keep us updated as you are abel to find time to work on it...
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Waltz Mastering

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 12:23:39 pm »

Congrats!

Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 02:05:25 pm »

Nice very nice.

I haven't seen a A-80 since I left Nashville. Looks to be in GREAT condition.

Your custom console also looks GREAT!!!

Are you doing the custom metal work and the electronics?

Best of luck! I can't wait to see the final pictures of the console and hear what you think of the A-80.
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Gold

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 02:25:45 pm »

Here are some more shots of console pieces.

Monitor controller. It's a Shallco full H pad. Thirty position switch in 1.5 dB steps. The push buttons control two Broadcast Tools 16x2 relay switchers. The front panel controls are source select, Mute L toggle switch, Mute R toggle switch, and Preview/Modulation select toggle. The rotary switch selects Stereo, Mono, and Difference. L mono is selected by muting R and selecting mono on the rotary switch. The face plates won't look like this.




One of two PSU's. Preview and modulation paths have separate power supplies. This one has two +/- 15v, +12v and +5v. The other one will have two +/- 24v, +/- 15v and +12v. Many of the units can take either IC's which typically run +/-15v and discrete op-amps which commonly take +/-24v. I have a bunch of extra connectors on the PSU's so listening tests and experimentation with different op-amps is easy. I thought long and hard about how best to set up the system for listening tests. I am always frustrated at how difficult it is to conduct them. The barrier strip will be replaced by the Phoenix DIN rail power connector on the edge. The banana connections are there so I can monitor/log the power rails. I've always been interested in what happens to the rails under load.



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Paul Gold
Salt Mastering

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 02:37:43 pm »

WOW @ that Shallco monitor switch - impressive!
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

adamgonsa

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 03:17:49 pm »

Double wow.  Deeply awesome man. 
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Adam Gonsalves
Telegraph Mastering

SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 04:06:37 pm »

Would you be as kind as to explain what "preview" means with the tape deck?

cheers
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

Gold

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 04:20:41 pm »

Would you be as kind as to explain what "preview" means with the tape deck?

It is the signal that feeds the lathe cutting computer that automatically adjusts the groove spacing and the groove depth. The computer needs to see the audio about 1/2 revolution before the program or modulation signal.

There are two playback heads on the deck. The one furthest to the left is the preview head. Depending on the tape speed and the record speed you wind the tape around the rollers on the head stack differently to maintain the correct delay times for the cutting computer at 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm.
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Paul Gold
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Viitalahde

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Re: Studer A80VU 1" 2tr. Preview Deck
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 04:39:41 pm »

Excellent looking stuff, Paul!

Your Shallco is way bigger than mine. Now can I see that in 5.1?
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Jaakko Viitalähde
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