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Author Topic: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?  (Read 14745 times)

bounce

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What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« on: April 21, 2005, 02:42:26 pm »

(supposed "JapaNeve" pre's from the Yamaha PM1000 consoles)

Anybody have these things alongside some Vintechs or real 1272's or 1073's, etc. And, if they are nothing similar, are they cool anyway? How do they compare to your upper end pre's? I'm thinking of picking up some to try out for drums and more...if they're cool, i may set up an 8-10 channel lunchbox...i think i read one post saying they may be closer to an API sound (i know i have to hear them myself but there's no real return policy on these old mamas)...what's the skinny?

mckay
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McKay Garner
Bounce Inventive Audio
Los Angeles

Phil

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2005, 05:49:17 pm »

 
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Phil Nelson

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2005, 09:23:20 am »

Flashback:
Time:  Early 70's, Southern California

Yamaha had just tried to enter the guitar amplifier market with an amplifier line that just plain sucked.  They were so embarrassed by this line, they actually bought back every one of them from their dealers and destroyed them (over a million bucks worth, I was told).

Anyway, they came to me and hired me as a consultant, and I helped them developed their "G100", etc. line of amps.  Their long range plan was to have at least a 5% share of the American amplifier market.  

As we were finishing up the G line, their American product manager, showed me some pictures of a 4 channel board they were working on and asked if there was a market here for that product.  They were concerned about introducing it here because it would be very expensive, and they didn't want another fiasco by showing the wrong products for an American market.  The pictures were of a prototype PM1000.

Teac, Dokorder, and several other tape recorder companies were already starting to sell 4 track recorders here, and I suggested that the timing would be perfect for the PM1000.

I guess they decided to take my advice, and I believe they used the Neve as their model when they designed it.  They lost money on the PM1000, I believe, by making it literally bulletproof.  Overengineering was important after coming off of a big embarrassment with their first guitar amp line.  It was all Class A design and "overkill" was their watchword.

At the same time, they started to introduce their High Fidelity products as well, with recievers, amplifiers, and tuners; all made to a really high set of standards.

They learned from their first mistake in the American Market, and never repeated it.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

bounce

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2005, 12:52:10 pm »

Very interesting info and stories! Anyone else wanna chime in?

mckay
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McKay Garner
Bounce Inventive Audio
Los Angeles

Phil

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2005, 04:51:30 pm »

 
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Phil Nelson

John Ivan

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2005, 08:15:30 am »

Hi All;

I used to rent a G100 and ended up buying it. It was the first solid state amp I ever thought sounded pretty good. Cool story Harvey. Very cool.
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"Transformation is no easy trick: It's what art promises and usually doesn't deliver." Garrison Keillor

 

josh

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2005, 10:48:10 am »

I have 16 channels worth.  You can read about it http://www.krashjones.com/pm1000/

I don't have a Neve or API or whatever other high-end pres.  We do have Drawmer 2-channel but I have not done a head-to-head comparo because since the acquisition of the studio that got us the Drawmer we have had the studios dismantled while we build out our facility.  

The pres are colored...  hard to describe exactly how, it's not an easy-to-put-your-finger-on kind of thing.  For example, comparing connecting my GigaStudio rig to the recording computer, I can go one of three ways:

1.  SPDIF_out -> SPDIF_in - this should be 100% transparent, right?
2.  TRS_out -> TRS_in - should be nearly 100% transparent
3.  TRS_out -> PM1000_strip -> TRS_in - should be the least transparent

Of the above, #3 sounds best by far.  #2 sounds worst.

PM1000 kind of "glues together" the bottom end... I don't know how else to describe it.  It's kind of like the bottom end is more controlled and focused.  In one spot.  Doesn't crowd the other instruments.  I know this makes almost no sense.

PM1000 also adds some kind of airy, open top end.  It's not any brighter.  It's just airy.  I am sure it's 2nd order distortion.

In all the sound of my pianos (Black Grand, for example) from giga sound more tactile, like you can reach out and touch them, when run through the PM1000.

It doesn't color like you'd expect a "vintage pre" to color.  It doesn't have that midranginess, ultra-lush, warm kind of sound that seems to be popular for "vintage" type pres.  For example, the Drawmer sounds this way.  Larger than life you know.  Hyped. Well the PM1K is not larger than life or hyped at all.  It's more comfortable and familiar.  When I track a lot of instruments through it and then mix together, they all kind of have this "space" around them that makes them play in the mix together much better than what I get from regular console pres like you'd find in a Mackie.

The EQs are very useful, particularly for instruments (never tried them with vocals really).  Drum kit, bass, electric guitar.

FWIW, we have insured my 16ch PM1000 rig at $10K.  I am sure it'd cost at least that to replace it with 16 channels of something coming nearly close.

bounce

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2005, 05:26:08 pm »

hey josh, thanks for your post! i really enjoyed reading your pm1000 project adventure on your web page. i'm picking up a racked pair next week (sans eq) to try out and if i wanna marry them, i'll pick up a bunch more shortly. i'm excited to hear them! thanks to everyone for their thoughts and if there's anyone else, feel free to express yourself ; )

mckay
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McKay Garner
Bounce Inventive Audio
Los Angeles

josh

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2005, 07:41:43 am »

bounce wrote on Fri, 29 April 2005 22:26

i'm picking up a racked pair next week (sans eq)


How do you get them "sans eq"?  EQ is integral to the channel strip.  Not only that, there's no point in bypassing it because it's parallel anyway, put the knob anywhere near "straight up" and it's bypassed.

anyhoo... can't wait to get finished with construction work and do some recording!  I never really got to do a lot of recording with this rig other than preproduction and scratch work.  Got about half of an album done that was sounding very good but the project got abandoned.

bounce

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2005, 10:04:45 am »

i've got a friend who's putting rack pre's together with just the basics of the circuit including the transformers, gain block from the pre, an input and output pot, phantom power and a phase switch on 1 channel (on pairs). i tried one last week and it sounded carnivorous. i can do without the eq (i'll use other eq's or just move the mic a bit). i'll post my findings next week when i get a pair in here : )

mckay
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McKay Garner
Bounce Inventive Audio
Los Angeles

Phil

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2005, 05:14:13 pm »

 
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Phil Nelson

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2005, 07:38:12 pm »

Hi there,

Curious about the "no eq" thing, also.  I saw someone doing this on Ebay... he must have completely redone this on a blank circuit board, or something.  We could find no easy way to extract the pre from the strip without taking out the components and putting them back together on a new board.  We wanted to see if we could get 4 or 8 of them in a 1u or 2u unit for live recording...
Interested to hear the findings on this one.

Seamus
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Seamus
Upstate, NY

bounce

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2005, 09:24:58 pm »

Heya, Phil. I'm also in Los Angeles and should have a racked duo next week. I can probably take some photos and e-mail ya. The tech that is working on these will be making some with instrument inputs as well on the next batch that i get so I'll try to get you a view of those as well. I'm anxious to stick some drum mics into these things : )

mckay
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McKay Garner
Bounce Inventive Audio
Los Angeles

Phil

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2005, 08:46:53 pm »

 
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Phil Nelson

bounce

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Re: What's the REAL scoop on the yamaha PM1000 pre's?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2005, 06:42:29 pm »

wow. got my 2U pm1000's today to check out. so far- wow. i just plugged in a cheap mxl 603 that just happened to be the mic nearest a cable and played a really crappy acoustic guitar and sang a few thingys here and there and wow. this thing's really got AIR! beafy on the bottom as well! can't wait to try some drums into it and an LDC vocal thing...it is in a 1U chasis with 1 input (trim) knob, 1 output knob, 1 phanton toggle and 1 phase switch per pre (2 in unit).

mckay
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McKay Garner
Bounce Inventive Audio
Los Angeles
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