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Author Topic: "THE MIX SHOULD BE HOT, NOT THE MIXER" - ICE HEAT MOD For NEVE V Series Owners  (Read 8410 times)

bobby summerfield

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Hi Folks,  I recently bought a Neve VR, and decided to tackle one of the major problems of this series console. . . "THE EXTREME HEAT" causing the need to recap every 7 years and damaging the plastic knobs and buttons, causing cracking  and the need for tooth picks.  :-\    I have come up with a retrofit  and  would like to sell to others Neve V owners  to help pay for my repairs.  The more interest i get the cheaper it will be for all.  This video shows a "very shaky" video of my prototype on my Neve VR, a better video is coming . . .

This heat reduction modification retrofit on my VR,  reduces the operating temperature of the channels by more than 20 degrees F. It does not change the cosmetic look of the console, it uses a ducting system that fits into each 12 channel section and uses new metal parts & panels & air filters that I am making, and is SILENT!

It circulates room temperature air, with a remote fan system and filters the air going through the modules to reduce dust problems.

I have posted a few videos on youtube of the prototype stages. however those earlier videos have a loud electric motor, as I was just measuring heat reduction & air flow at that stage, so disregard them for now and watch this video. The final seen here, is QUIET using remote fan. I like to record in my control room so I need it silent.

I am considering making extra kits for anyone that may want to buy a kit for their V's or VRs The kit will be by the Bucket ( 12 channels ) . The installation is very easy, it involves taking all channels out, swapping metal work, installing filters & replacing metal panels under the faders and the back of the channel buckets. Put 2 days aside to install a 60 input console. The kits should be ready in about 12 weeks. May 2013. I would to speak to each owner and discuss each studios needs before.


The process would involve me sending you new replacement metal hardware that fits inside & under your console, a ducting system and channel air filters. Again this will not change the look of the console. The ducting kit goes into the console buckets. you would then send back your OLD metal parts to me.


If you want to know more, feel free to contact me:

bs1@summerfieldmusic.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCkMyKffoOw

Cheers
Bobby Summerfield
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Fletcher

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So... why would anyone want / need your thing instead of just pulling the belly pans and running some "flex duct" with holes in it that's tapped into the studio's regular HVAC cooling of the control room?

These things are like 15-20 years old... that's the way I've always seen it done in the past.  Minimal cost, highly effective... and let's face it -- its not as good a sounding desk as an SSL 4k [many of which are over 30 years old - or are pushing 30 with two fists and a vengeance].

Neither here nor there [concerning your cooling system] -- but one of my favorite George Massenburg quotes is: "I never thought I'd hear something that sounded worse than an SSL... and then I worked on a "V Series" Neve".

I guess the other question is how many of them that are currently still in use are A) worth the expense of adding your mod; B) don't already need to be recapped from top to bottom [which most owners are loathe to do with the current state of the recording industry].

Sorry if it appears that I'm trying to piss on your lawn [I'm not]... but at the same time I have to ask myself "who cares?".

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

bobby summerfield

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Hi Fletcher thank you for your reply.
From your post i would guess you dont own a VR? ;D

So i'll try to answer all your questions:

Q: "Who Cares"  about my heat mod . .
-  That's a good question and the point of this post. This post is for Neve VR owners, and for me to see if any of them would like to add life to their console. From the response I have received from all over the world after  just one post I would guess there are still VR owners that want them to be cooler and last longer.

I have been mixing on large format consoles for over 32 years.
and Im not here to sell my Mod , it just works so much better than anything Ive seen, i thought I would offer it to any other VR "OWNER"

Q:"how many are still in use".   About 340 world wide.

Q: "why not pull belly pans and slam AC into it" .      Well,  that does not work well at all, it cant get the cold air to the hot parts, and just causes condensation problems inside the console,  and proves that my mod is still needed. ;-)  Not to mention the cost of running the AC all night just try to keep the console cool, which it does not,  talk about a money pit . .

Q:As regards what people think of the sound, well I cant help what people think, or hear,   Have you used a VR yourself?  and as the old saying goes , its not the Toys its the Noise,   the VR and a lot of large format consoles can sound a lot better with some smart mods. That is what "Real Sound Engineering" is about,    rolling up your sleeves.   Having said all that the stock VRs is not my favorite console.

Q: For anyone that knocks  SSL's  , I would guess that most pop records sold , when there was an industry, was done on SSL, so they did something right . . But 4k & 6k did not sound great, but had attitude, and  as regards now, I say do a record on a 8k or 9k and talk then, they have come a long way.

You say, your not trying to piss on my lawn,Thank you,    but you seem to be just asking questions that you hear from others, I say if your not a VR owner this is not for you.   

If you are , you may want to check out my mod as its the best i have seen,  This mod  will be very cheap and just to reiterate,I am not in this to make big profits, and will sell it for as low as i can, depending on how many i get interest in, I  write music for living and just want to share what I have with other owners to get some fresh life from these old unloved consoles.  I will have a working Neve VR in LA, and will be happy to show anyone.

 I hope I answered all your questions.

All the Best.
B-)

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Jim Williams

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Hi, Bobby. Instead of tring to cool a poorly designed console, perhaps attack the heat problem at the source, the hundreds of 5534/5532 opamps. A good part to do this is the fet input Burrbrown OPA16xx series, available in singles, duals and quads. These parts will drive 600 ohm loads with a 20v/us slew rate while drawing only 1.8ma, about the same as a lowly TL071 opamp. They run cool to the touch so that ought to tell you something.

Another good lower power hi-fi opamp is the National LME49725, a bipolar dual opamp drawing about 1/2 the current of a 5532 while still providing the ability to drive 600 ohm loads with very low noise (3nv/hz/sq). Use these parts and internal temps will go way down and caps will stop drying out. BTW, these are also precision opamps so many of those nagging 100 uf crappo caps can be removed, permanently. That solves the cap problems if you don't use them anymore. These are SOIC opamps so get friendly with the guy at Brown Dog adaptors.

Do this and your power supplies will not get as hot nor will they strain. Then you can use the AC to cool your room instead of the console frame. BTW, these chips sound a hell of a lot better than those 1975 era 5534/5532's. It's 2013 now!
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bobby summerfield

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Hi Jim,   Hope you are good Bud,  yes all good points too,  when we spoke a few months back, I said  I want to get you to do a few channels for me, as you did on my other console.  loosing the coupling Caps are a biggy.    John Misgrave is doing his ground mod for me and mic pre mod & recaping too.  once I get them back I'll send you a few channels for some Williams Sauce ;-)  as regards the Heat Mod, for people that want to keep the console as is running well, this mod works really well. pop past sometime to check it out. im still in the same place, and have a few beers too. :-)
Cheers
B-)

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Jim Williams

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Sure man, will do next time I'm in hell-A.

Also check out the brand new BurrBrown OPA1662, a dual bipolar input low noise opamp (similar specs to the National LME49725) that draws 3 ma as well.

Avoid John's recommended BurrBrown OPA134/2134 opamp replacements, there are far better parts that those to use now. You would need to keep the caps with those when you can dump them with the other opamps I mentioned. best cap I ever heard was a piece of wire...
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bobby summerfield

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Wow!  they look Sweet !   I'l send you a few or you take a few when you leave after you visit "HellA"  (aint that the truth) . .  you must be digging our spot now out for this crap hole.

No worries, will see ya soon Bud.
Cheers
B-)
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radardoug

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Looks like a good idea to me, Jims even better.
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bobby summerfield

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Both Good, depends on what sound you want.
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Fletcher

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First off Bobby - welcome to the forum!!  I often play "devil's advocate" around here and your responses were quite poignant -- thank you.  I have indeed worked on many a VR [didn't much enjoy the experience but a check is a check is a check if you know what I mean].

I think its cool [no pun intended] that you've developed this modification -- and sincerely wish you the best of luck with it.  If it were my desk I'd probably check out Jim's suggestions before performing the modification - but that could just be me.  Last desk I owned ran on 24v rails and was discrete... no automation but I generally prefer not to use automation [when I needed automation it was performed in Logic running through iZ converters... point being I'm not really a "compromise" guy].

Best of luck with all you do!!  ...please keep us informed about your progress!!

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

bobby summerfield

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Hi Fletcher, Thank You.  Yes this is a cool forum and I like the fact you play devils advocate,  I say if one cant stand behind what they are touting, then something is wrong, so I welcomed your response.  I like to learn and find out if I have my head in the clouds so debates are good, always. 

I have known Jim for many years, he did a console for me about 16 years ago and helped it greatly ..   getting rid of DC decoupling caps is a biggy .   I will do a few channels on the VR of various mods and see which mods I like, i have a few of my own set too. I have a mat eover at captial, John Musgave, doing mic pres & grounding & recapping,  which will help it a lot,   BUT nothing will sound better than discrete on 24 vDC rail!!!  love that .    It     reminds me , many years ago  we had a bunch of de-secrete stuff running on car batteries , which sounded SO GOOD,  until the batteries started started to go flat . .;-) 

Real quality audio is hard to find these days with the digital world and no budgets for better sounding real consoles, its getting tougher . .
  the only reason I have the VR is for mixing Cues while  cutting live guys, and having good can mixes etc.  its very flexible for that  and instant instead of mousing around. I have so much digital horse power with ALL the plug ins that the VR will be a side show, to the audio path.  I may sum some stuff in it and some ITB .  the beauty of today is USING BOTH Digital & Analogue tools.   I just wish Pop music was better ;-))    I  have a lot of vintage synths & samplers , that I will plug into the VR mic pres,  I have changed to pad to -15 from the dumb -30.  so it should be a good monitor board for me. I run Nuendo as a Digital tape machine & automation, although Dale Manquen built me a new Flying faders computer, so i will use groups on the console.

Thank you for your good wishes on the heat mod. I hope it helps  some VR owners that want it.   

I will keep you informed,
All  the Best.

Bobby

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Fletcher

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If the VR is working for you then its working for you... I've personally never been a fan, nor have I been a fan of the work I've seen from Mr. Musgrave... but what the hell do I know -- I live in NY.

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

bobby summerfield

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If the VR is working for you then its working for you... I've personally never been a fan, nor have I been a fan of the work I've seen from Mr. Musgrave... but what the hell do I know -- I live in NY.

Peace
  Not sure of his past .   But John is doing great work now. saw him at Capital a few days ago.   Anything is better than the guy I paid and got CRAP work & non working channels back from,  I wont mention his name publicly here, but  he has been doing it for years  and has been fired many times, for ineptitude.

Hard to find good people these days.
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Jim Williams

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   BUT nothing will sound better than discrete on 24 vDC rail!!!  love that .    It     reminds me , many years ago  we had a bunch of de-secrete stuff running on car batteries , which sounded SO GOOD,  until the batteries started started to go flat . .;-) 

Real quality audio is hard to find these days with the digital world and no budgets for better sounding real consoles, its getting tougher . .
 Bobby

Discrete designs done on single ended 24VDC rails also have problems. Older Neve stuff is powered that way. It requires the use of electrolytic coupling caps at every stage, in and out to block that 24V. That adds up to a LOT of caps. The operating dyamics are also limited as it's equivalent to running opamps on a + - 12 volt rail = reduced headroom. Neve used 1/2 ratio output transformers to add an extra 6 db on the outputs to attempt to overcome the 24V restrictions. The transistors used can be run on higher rails, if you want to experiment with biasing.

Power supply PSRR is about zero with a single ended power scheme, opamps running on bipolar power rails typically have PSRR (power supply rejection ratio) of about 80 or more db's. I prefer power supply hum harmonics to reside at -125 dbu or less here. That will never happen in a single ended audio design, unless you run it on batteries. Then you still need to listen through dozens of capacitors.

Real quality audio isn't hard to find as long as you contact the right people.

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bobby summerfield

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Thats So true Jim.  Its hard to find good people though.

i'll send you a few channels soon too . .
Cheers
B
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bobby summerfield

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Hi hot Neve Vr users

Here is a quick update to the heat reduction mod progress for Neve VRs i have done.

I am on the final revision, now #5.
I have got it really cool and even better, really cheap to do! I have eliminated all the complicated internal ducting, to where the end user can do it them selves if they can do metal work, soldering and ducting.

I never wanted to make money out of this, so If it really helps, send me a bit of old gear that you dont want " working or not" as a thank you.

I will create a website to show owners how to do this retrofit as soon as i can. it will take about 14 weeks until I will post it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQEc12YVIDI

Cheers
B-)
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