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Author Topic: SSL 4000 G Mods???  (Read 32119 times)

mobilemozart

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2009, 07:59:23 AM »

bump...

About to buy a used refurbished 4000E or G...

Me and a friend of mine whose a pretty good tech are excited about servicing the SSL and possibly improving it.

It would be great to have some people to chime in with some of their experiences.

Few random thoughts:

- signal path of G/G+ Center Section cleaner than E Center Section? True? Why? Can be modded?

- what's to cleanest path for a stereo DAW out? Echo Returns? I like the mojo of the channels but like to be able to have a really clean stereo DAW path that doesn't do much to the signal.

Please, please, share your experiences!

Thanks,
Marc
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zmix

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2009, 12:43:48 PM »

mobilemozart wrote on Tue, 03 February 2009 07:59

bump...

About to buy a used refurbished 4000E or G...

Me and a friend of mine whose a pretty good tech are excited about servicing the SSL and possibly improving it.

It would be great to have some people to chime in with some of their experiences.

Few random thoughts:

- signal path of G/G+ Center Section cleaner than E Center Section? True? Why? Can be modded?

- what's to cleanest path for a stereo DAW out? Echo Returns? I like the mojo of the channels but like to be able to have a really clean stereo DAW path that doesn't do much to the signal.

Please, please, share your experiences!

Thanks,
Marc




The G / + had balanced busses and was quite a bit quieter as a result.  Bus noise is generally pretty low in the E but a bit higher if your console has TR.


compasspnt

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2009, 10:09:53 PM »

What is involved in "removing" TR, and/or removing other computer functions?

With automation today from PT, I would now not mind just getting rid of as much "extraneous stuff" features on my 4000E as possible.
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tom eaton

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2009, 11:04:00 PM »

Hey Chuck-

How does TR add to the noise floor?  Is it just the VCAs in the fader path, or something else?

My Otari has their version of "total recall" and it never occured to me that it could be a negative sonic issue... I just assumed it was measuring a resistance against ground and storing that value for each pot.  I would love a little tech explanation of what's really going on!

Thanks-

t

ps- why can't someone add VCA, fader, eq and daw to the dictionary at psw for the spell checking?  even "psw" gets the old red underline.

zmix

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2009, 01:57:17 AM »

tom eaton wrote on Tue, 12 May 2009 23:04

Hey Chuck-

How does TR add to the noise floor?  Is it just the VCAs in the fader path, or something else?



TR works by supplying a voltage across an extra potentiometer element ganged on the back of each pot and measuring the voltage at the wiper.  This allows the position of every aux send, EQ setting, compressor etc to be recorded and later (manually) reset.


The TR scan is only active during a save or recall and does not usually add any additional noise otherwise.




index.php/fa/12180/0/

Dave Hecht

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2009, 02:19:49 AM »

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 12 May 2009 19:09

What is involved in "removing" TR, and/or removing other computer functions?

With automation today from PT, I would now not mind just getting rid of as much "extraneous stuff" features on my 4000E as possible.



Terry,

 The recall can be removed by removing the multiplex cards from the channels. The entire fader/mute automation can be bypassed by removing the 50 way ribbon cables between the console & computer and replacing them with jumpers at the console end. SSL used to supply the jumpers, I believe they were just a piece of 25 way ribbon looped in the 50 way connector, connecting the computer sends and returns for the vcas

Dave Hecht
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compasspnt

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2009, 02:51:23 AM »

Thanks Dave. Is there any advantage to doing this, or am I "wishful focusing?"


AQlso, related to another previous thread, who has found a good supplier for replacing the many T5.5 bulbs with an LED replacement?

Thanks all.
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ssltech

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2009, 10:09:08 AM »

Speaking for Dave without permission here, but there's no benefit of which I can conceive from pulling TR... -Unless you want to sell it of course. -In fact have a TR buyer waiting, and I'll happily put anyone who wants to swap the necessary TR parts for money in direct contact; -I have no financial interest or vestment. -If you DO remove the TR cards as detailed in Dave's post, you'll also have to re-solder the 611 (channel strip) motherboard jumpers from "mpx" to "non-mpx" -I think it's two jumpers per 611. -Not a big job at all.

TR was noisy when running (you're probably familiar with the "Frrrrrrr-ikka-tikka" noise which pervades the background of TR playbacks!) but didn't add any noise when not activated.

To be honest, you'll likely get a greater noise improvement from removing the in-console CRT screen and replacing it with an LCD panel. I've had some luck in the past picking up screens from http://www.ebay.co.uk (note: British eBay), since the screen connector to the console carries composite video, 12VDC and ground. Any PAL LCD composite monitor which will work in a car should therefore work in an E or G series.

In fact you CAN use an NTSC monitor and get a picture, but the bottom 100 scan lines will be missing, so the last couple of items on mix lists, cue lists, TR lists etc will not be visible... -Workable in a PINCH... but not a doable solution. -IN fact, one time we actually rigged one of those "clamshell" portable DVD players which has an external video input connector, and an external 12VDC connector... and rigged it right on the meterbridge as a swift work-around.

Anyhow, getting rid of the CRT screen has brought benefits, and people have also commented that they've found the LCD image clearer/more stable/more pleasant to look at...

The Jumpers of which Dave speaks are in fact just 8-way ribbons looping the eight "fader send" pins to the
"fader return" pins, but there should be NO audible benefit in replacing the computer with ribbons, since the signal at that point is DC, and I can't hear DC very well! Wink There's no 'scanning' of the faders taking place in the console, so no noise to be removed. Only when TR is active do the eight little buffers in  the center section broadcast their evil little messages down the lateral antennae... -sorry, "TR buses"... which makes the background "fritttta-tikkka" during TR resetting.

Hope this helps more than it obfuscates... (-with my explanations, -you never really know!)

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

Dave Hecht

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2009, 01:18:38 PM »

Terry,

as Keith said, no sonic advantage to removing TR. As for selling the parts, strictly up to you, but it will reduce the consoles resale value and most likely make it far more difficult to sell.
There should be no audible difference in bypassing the computer, as the audio circuitry will remain the same.

Dave Hecht
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compasspnt

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2009, 01:40:17 PM »

Thanks guys.

So why bother then?  I'll just leave it alone.

I just get tired of rebooting the software (we have power dips occasionally that set it off).


Now, to find those LED bulbs...
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ssltech

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2009, 03:08:18 PM »

One local studio has an Ex-BBC 4000. Most of the BBC ones apparently came with the (1 rack-unit) computer bypass module. -You can throw a switch on the front and bypass the computer completely, yet still retain subgrouping and master fader functions, in the event of power outages etc.

-In fact, he's the guy looking to buy TR, since apparently 'auntie Beeb' didn't think TR was worth ordering. -Maybe he and you should trade! Wink

-I kid... -I kid!

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

John Monforte

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2009, 01:48:09 AM »

Terry,

I have chimed in on the past discussions regarding LED replacements. At the time the vendors I had suggested were Data Display Devices (DDP) and Ledtronics. I had used them both as well as SSL (who no longer carries them).

The problem is that these companies want large orders and are generally a hassle. Getting 50 of these and 70 of those etc. is not appealing to them so it can get pricey. They used multiple LED chips to get the brightness they need, but today regular high intensity LEDs are good enough.

Nowadays, I make my own with a 2.2k 1/8 watt resistor and a high intensity LED. I get a dead bulb and crush it with pliers and put the new parts in the base. The benefit is that you can use any of the available colors. Now they even have cyan and pink!

As it happens I am doing two desks right now. I go through one color at a time, harvesting good bulbs to replace the others until its time for their color.

I could whip up a batch for you if you like.
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From conception to posterity through invisible technology.

compasspnt

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2009, 07:01:11 AM »

John Monforte wrote on Fri, 15 May 2009 01:48

I could whip up a batch for you if you like.



Thanks John!

I am now saving my old bulbs.

Wish I had known of this about 500 burned out bulbs ago...
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nicpope

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2009, 02:16:04 PM »

Dave Hecht wrote on Fri, 29 August 2008 17:11

Keith pretty much nailed it. Couple of things to add. I've seen a few mods to the main mix amps, mostly Burr Brown chip upgrades (OPA2134 or OPA604 as I recall). Nothing spectacular - made a slight difference. Could be done fairly inexpensively if you want to try it.

The most common switch failure I've had is the bus assign switches. Back in the days when SSL supported the E/G series, I'd just swap the cards out. Now,I've started replacing the individual switches. If you've got the later type cards, the switches are individual - the older cards need all 4 replaced. Digikey carries a switch that fits for around $1/ea, so pretty worthwhile to keep the old cards working. Last time I had to find NOS cards for a client they were $42/ea

Dave Hecht


Hey Dave,

Any chance Digikey still carries this part and you would have a part number?

Thanks!
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mobilemozart

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Re: SSL 4000 G Mods???
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2009, 02:59:45 PM »

nicpope wrote on Wed, 23 September 2009 20:16

Dave Hecht wrote on Fri, 29 August 2008 17:11

Keith pretty much nailed it. Couple of things to add. I've seen a few mods to the main mix amps, mostly Burr Brown chip upgrades (OPA2134 or OPA604 as I recall). Nothing spectacular - made a slight difference. Could be done fairly inexpensively if you want to try it.

The most common switch failure I've had is the bus assign switches. Back in the days when SSL supported the E/G series, I'd just swap the cards out. Now,I've started replacing the individual switches. If you've got the later type cards, the switches are individual - the older cards need all 4 replaced. Digikey carries a switch that fits for around $1/ea, so pretty worthwhile to keep the old cards working. Last time I had to find NOS cards for a client they were $42/ea

Dave Hecht


Hey Dave,

Any chance Digikey still carries this part and you would have a part number?

Thanks!


+1, yes that would be amazing! Thanks!
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