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roscoenyc
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Post by roscoenyc » Mon May 05, 2008 9:30 pm

T. T. I. U. W/O P.!!

cgarges
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Post by cgarges » Mon May 05, 2008 9:52 pm

?

CG

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JohnDavisNYC
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Post by JohnDavisNYC » Tue May 06, 2008 5:32 am

This Thread is Useless Without Pictures...

(that took a while to figure out)

John
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mjau
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Post by mjau » Tue May 06, 2008 5:35 am

toaster3000 wrote:This Thread is Useless Without Pictures...
+1. Let's see 'er.

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Post by cgarges » Tue May 06, 2008 7:36 am

Alright, alright!

I was looking for a console for a while and always sort of thought the top contender in our budget was going to be an Amek Angela. We had also considered looking for Sonys, MCIs, Tridents, Quad Eights, and some other more esoteric stuff. After a lot of investigation and consulting other people, I wound up back where I stared, realizing that I just love the way those consoles sound and I love the layout. I also love the fact that there's nothing really weird or esoteric in them (in fact, there's not that much in them at all) and they don't run all that hot, so maintenance wouldn't likely be a big deal.

I started looking for one a few months back, just to see what kind of prices they were going for and I realized that there aren't many for sale these days. I guess people are holding on to them. Anyway, it wasn't a big deal because we didn't quite have all of our budget together just yet. We wanted to try to raise enough to pay cash for it and not accrue some kind of debt or additional monthly payment for a new console.

When we did start getting enough together was when I happened upon this particular console. It was listed on ebay and it seemed really ideal because it was being sold by the original owner who had it installed in a music store. For years, he pretty much used it to demo pro audio equipment, so maybe eight of the channels had about a hundred hours of use on them. It seemed like anything I would have to do to it under those circumstances would be minor.

After some measuring and more measuring, I negotiated a bit with the seller and he agreed to let me send Brad Avenson (of Avenson Audio) down to Laredo to check it out. Brad agreed to go down there for me (for what was a VERY reasonable tech rate) and although he didn't get a ton of time to check it out, he was able to determine that it was in really excellent shape. I worked out a deal to head down to Laredo myself to pick it up and Mitch (Easter) volunteered use of his Dodge Sprinter and excellent "audio adventure" experience to aid me in my quest.

We left North Carolina on a Sunday afternoon and drove to Meridian, Mississippi (home of Peavey), where we spent the night after battling heavy race traffic in Talledega on the way down. The next morning, we got up and drove to Texas.

Here's the liquor store in Hogeye, Texas that has a drive-through window with a giant poster of the ten commandments next to it:
Image

That evening, we stopped in Austin, where we got to drop in and see Brad. Brad was able to get us a peak at the Wunder Audio shop, where we saw two beautiful Wonder Audio consoles under construction. One was a 12-foot long 48 channel model with a 19" flat screen installed in the center section! We also got to see a few of the Avenson Audio and Shiny Box preamp and filter prototypes and then had an excellent meal (including some pretty decent fried pickles) with Brad at Katz's downtown.

I had arranged a travel itinerary before we left, just to ensure that we wouldn't get stuck without a hotel room somewhere and it turned out that Expedia had an AMAZING deal on a four-star hotel in downtown Austin called the Driskill. It was an amazing building, built in the 1800s with incredible rooms and fantastic amenities. It's really too bad we were only there for a few hours.

The next morning, we got up and drove to Laredo.

The console was located right inside the front door of the house. As you can see from the photos, there was a fenced-in front porch, a yard full of vegetation, and a set of curvy and not-very smooth walkways. Because the guy who sold us the console and his wife had both sustained semi-recent back injuries, almost all of the moving was done by Mitch and myself. It took up about five hours to pack up the modules and move the console into the van.

Here's me with the nice folks in Laredo from whom we bought the console:
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Here's Mitch holding up the console in those people's front yard:
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We did get it moved-in successfully and headed back up the road. We spent that evening in Houston after stopping in San Antonio for dinner. The only thing open that late was a Hard Rock Cafe and Mitch had never eaten at one, so we decided to sit outside, but still got to see a John Paul Jones bass.

The next day, we drove to Montgomery, Alabama and the day after that, we returned to Charlotte and delivered the console to Rob's shop with the help of two friends who met us there.

I returned to the shop on Friday to start digging in.


Here's the empty bucket and patchbay on Friday:
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Here are the power supplies powered up yesterday:
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Here are five channels passing audio:
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Here are seventeen channels installed and tested yesterday:
Image


Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Last edited by cgarges on Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:27 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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roscoenyc
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Post by roscoenyc » Tue May 06, 2008 7:43 am

Bravo!

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Post by chris harris » Tue May 06, 2008 7:57 am

dang! that's huge!

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linus
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Post by linus » Tue May 06, 2008 8:02 am

subatomic pieces wrote:dang! that's huge!

There is a really easy joke here but I'm gonna leave it alone...

Nice board. Looks like a blast.
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mjau
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Post by mjau » Tue May 06, 2008 8:31 am

linus wrote:
subatomic pieces wrote:dang! that's huge!

There is a really easy joke here but I'm gonna leave it alone...
Like, "Hey Mitch, is that an Amek console you're holding up, or are you just happy to be here?"

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trodden
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Post by trodden » Tue May 06, 2008 9:13 am

that thing is huge! nice.

The nice people you bought it from, their front yard looks interesting...

*has been spending more time landscaping and gardening the past two weeks than in the studio*

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue May 06, 2008 10:42 am

those green faders are sexeh.

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Post by cgarges » Tue May 06, 2008 8:47 pm

trodden wrote:that thing is huge! nice.
51-channel frame, loaded with 36 channels.
trodden wrote:The nice people you bought it from, their front yard looks interesting...

*has been spending more time landscaping and gardening the past two weeks than in the studio*
It was an interesting front yard. Lots of vegetation and right on an incredibly busy street. Looked like some kind of compound from the street. (I used to live in a house like that in Miami, so I found it endearing. The people really were incredibly hospitable.)

At one point, we thought we'd be taking the console right out on to the street and trying to beat the stoplight (we would have had three minutes-- those stoplights are LONG down there) to roll it around the corner and into the van. Instead, we decided to try to make a go of rolling it over the very uneven, curved brick walkway and through the gate on the side of the house where the van was parked. As it turned out, that was the smarter (although still brutally difficult) move. We never would have made it to the van in three minutes and the idea of stopping traffic on a busy street for ten minutes or more would have been a nightmare. It took a long-ass time to move, but it's here!
MoreSpaceEcho wrote:those green faders are sexeh.
Ain't they? Those are the stereo subgroup faders, which in addition to being able to quickly route busses 1-8 into them, can be patched anywhere. There's a fader input and fader output for each one on the bay, in addition to the usual inserts and whatnot.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Last edited by cgarges on Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JohnDavisNYC
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Post by JohnDavisNYC » Wed May 07, 2008 8:01 am

Awesome!!! Congratulations!

John
i like to make music with music and stuff and things.

http://www.thebunkerstudio.com/

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Post by KennyLusk » Wed May 07, 2008 9:03 am

Thanks for sharing the pics and the story Chris, you must be phreaking excited. More to come I hope. Congratulations!
"The mushroom states its own position very clearly. It says, "I require the nervous system of a mammal. Do you have one handy?" Terrence McKenna

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Post by cgarges » Thu May 08, 2008 12:04 am

Thanks guys!

Showed up today to do some preliminary wiring and removing ELCO pins from some extra connectors I had. When I got there, here's what I saw:
Image

All 36 channels up and running! I checked Rob Preston's fault list (Rob's the tech helping me with this) and he had two additional faults. TWO! Out of 19 more channels! And ready for this? One of those "faults" was some sticky dirt below the EQ on one of the channels!

So, yeah, I could totally do a session on this thing right now, but we'll spend the next few days going after those four issues, rewiring a bit in the patchbay and interconnect panels, making ELCO snakes, building an external talkback remote, and doing one modification to the channels. We''ll also be dropping new caps into one side of the master section to see if there's a noticeable difference. So far, the caps that have been checked seem to spec out okay.

Doing a big Redco order tomorrow for some additional cables and connectors. Will pick up heat shrink and D-sub parts (RADAR connections) from a local store tomorrow or Friday as well.

Did my last session on the old console tonight.


Image

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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