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Author Topic: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine  (Read 10179 times)

chads

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Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« on: May 25, 2004, 10:37:23 PM »

I have a scully 280 4 track that I picked up some time agao at an auction for $25. It is non functional. The transport doesnt work, the heads are worn, its just not worth fixing. The first pre has had a UTC transformer pilfered. The second pre is dead. The last 2 pre's work perfectly, and I was surprised that they seem to sound pretty good, and figure I must as well use them. I want to put them in my rack tho, not keep in the tape machine. They seem to be a nice addition to my vintech 473, avalon ad2022, and MCI console jh416 pre's. I have a PSU from the tape machine that works. I basicly just need a diagram of the pinout for the large connector on the back of each set of electronics to see where the power connects. Any help is appreciated.
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Bill Park

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2004, 10:12:16 AM »

I'll be back at the studio this weekend.  Send me a private email and I'll look at mine.

 Bill
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j.hall

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2004, 10:17:20 AM »

i have a pretty good chunk of 280 spare parts.  i think we have a manual for them as well.

i'll check for some spare transformers, and that pin out

gimme a day or two to get back to you.
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John Klett

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chads

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2004, 08:53:05 PM »

Thanks John and everyone.
 Looking at the schematic, how would I set up the unit to run on a positive ground? If you can just tell me which pins to conenct to the positive and negative leads of a 24V DC power supply, I will be set, as I am not realy confident in my understanding of that schematic.
  Thanks,
   Chad
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John Klett

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2004, 09:50:35 AM »

a single supply will have a "+" and a "-" output like the terminals of a battery

the power supply (think battery) "-" goes to pin 4 of the "blue ribbon" connector (that's what we called them anyway) and and the "+" goes to any of the pins that go to the power supply common line so...  pins 32, 30, 17, 16, 14, 11, 3, 1 are all power supply common.

If you are never going to use this for a tape recording electronics you can inject signals into the play and sync (record) head inputs - pull out the bias card and disable record.  Those can be converted into D.I. inputs - you'd probably want to have someone cut out or modify the reproduce equalization to make them more special or just plain flat.
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Erik

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2004, 12:17:12 PM »

Has anyone ever had this sound good?  

In the mid-90s it was the Ampex stuff, which was literally falling out of the trees at the time.  Everybody with a recording budget over $500 dragged one into the studio, and it always sounded like shit.

Isn't this 'anything old with gain can be a mic pre' fad almost always dumpster diving for the sake of dumpster diving?

If I'm missing something, let me know.  But so far all I've heard is tooby, unpredictable results in the gain stage with random EQ on top of it.

--Erik
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Erik Gavriluk, Bomb Factory Recording Studios
"The modern trouble is not the use of machinery, but the abuse of it." --Gustav Stickley, 1909

John Klett

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2004, 03:41:25 PM »

I think we have about 25 Scully electronics here.  The amplifiers are decent - the iron is really good...  they don't suck and yet they can't really be called HiFi
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Scully

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2004, 10:00:30 PM »

Hi Chads, I would be interested in some of the transport parts if you're going to dump the deck. I have a nice 4 track that needs a guide roller flywheel and some other odds and ends. Is it in an original case. Let me know. John Klett Can you tell me when they made the twelve track 280 I just got a nice one for a decent price. It has the two stacks of 6 pres side by side.I know people coverted the 8 tracks to 12 but this one was made that way.I'll post a pic of it if it's ok. Thanks guys,  Paul.
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chads

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2004, 12:02:14 AM »

Paul,
I can take some pics of the deck tomorrow. Not sure if Im gonna dump it or keep it for a project on a rainy day. t does have some rollers and stuff missing. Would love to see a pic of that 12 track.
 Chad
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trexrox

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2004, 04:11:15 PM »

Erik wrote on Thu, 27 May 2004 12:17

Has anyone ever had this sound good?  

In the mid-90s it was the Ampex stuff, which was literally falling out of the trees at the time.  Everybody with a recording budget over $500 dragged one into the studio, and it always sounded like shit.

Isn't this 'anything old with gain can be a mic pre' fad almost always dumpster diving for the sake of dumpster diving?

If I'm missing something, let me know.  But so far all I've heard is tooby, unpredictable results in the gain stage with random EQ on top of it.

--Erik

Well, there aren't any tubes in 280 electronics.  I've got a 280 that I'm currently using for its mic pres only (would like to eventually build a tape delay with it someday... you know, one of those weeks when I have nothing better to do...hahaha).  I would agree with Klett about it not being HIFI, but it is definitely useable in some circumstances.  It has a character to itself which can be pleasing on some things.  It's a very simple discrete mic pre with a VU meter.  I hadn't thought of making it into a DI, but that could be cool, too.

These are very easy to work on... just a quick look at the schematic and the record card can tell you that the circuitry is very simple... just a few transistors and caps that would be the most likely component to fail, if it's not passing signal properly.

Now, the Ampex 350 series pres make a great addition to the mic pre aresenal, as long as they are correctly rebuilt and up to spec.  

If you're an engineer who likes variety and knows how to use different mic pres for different "flavors" (for lack of a better word) both the Scully and Ampex pres are a useful tool.  

BTW, John, if you wanted to put phantom on the front end of the 280 pres, how would you go about it?  I have a 48v external supply on my console (an Auditronics 501).  Would I be able to use that for phantom on the 280 pres as well?

Thanks!
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John Klett

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Re: Powering a Scully 280 pre out of the tape machine
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2004, 02:44:33 PM »

48 volt DC supply

"-" side to one of the common pins on the big connector on the 280 electronics or right to pin 1 on the back of the mic input xlr

"+" side to two 6K8 ohm (6800 ohms) 1% (or better) resistors.  The free end of the resistors go one to pin 2 and the other to pin 3 on the xlr that the mic plugs in to

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