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  • Peavey Autograph / Automate digital EQ system: Anyone familiar with it?

    I stumbled across a great deal today and these two pieces were included in the bundle. I've downloaded the manuals from Peavey ( who has the BEST product support in the world !!!) and will take a look at them when i get a chance.

    With that in mind, i was wondering if anyone has ever worked with any of these pieces? I know that they are quite old and use early technology for this type of product, as they came out circa 1990 or so. From what i can tell, these units are very similar to some of the newer digital EQ's / room correction devices, but probably far simpler and cruder in operation. I saw some comments pertaining to their complexity of use, but that's about it.

    Outside of the Peavey manuals, the only info i can find out about them was that they were reviewed by David Mellor in "Sound on Sound" magazine in March of 1990. I've contacted that mag to see if i can buy a copy of that issue / review, but no response yet.

    Any info or help appreciated. Sean

  • #2
    Well, me of course. I'm quite familiar with them.

    What do you want to know.

    I will tell you one difference between the Autograph and today's units. The Autographs are digitally controlled analog EQ's. That means the signal is never converted to the digital domain. I'm not sure what that means to you, but it is a big difference between the two. I guess the big thing would be the Autograph has a lower noise floor because of this.

    Also, if you just got these, take the lid off immediately and check around the battery for leakage. Those old Ni-Cads were notorious for leaking on the circuit board and eating traces. Get this taken care of ASAP!

    SoundMan

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the info!!! I really appreciate it, especially knowing that the signal remains in the analogue domain. I'm not a huge fan of "digitizing" most audio signals, especially with mass produced gear.

      I'll pull the lids now and take a look. These things were sitting in someone's garage for who knows how long. Other than that, i was looking for tips / tricks on using this unit, as learning shortcuts and what these units can do / can't do from end users would be of great help.

      I'm sure that i'll have some questions about these, so it's good to know that you're out there lurking Sean

      Comment


      • #4
        It was a cute product, I remember them well. For some reason, I recall they used some sort of National Semiconductor analog filter platform, don't recall the digital control aspect though.

        I don't recall the performance or nois floor to be all that great though.
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

        Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not sure what your criteria for performance means, I was comparing it to any modern digital device.

          With a noise floor of -95dBu or so, and a THD of less than 0.005%, I think you'd be hard pressed to find better. Especially in the early 90's for the price the Autograph sold at.

          SoundMan

          Comment


          • #6
            Were there 2 versions? I see a computer controlled version but I recall thatthey were only MIDI controlled. I also remember them being out in the 80's. Am I thinking of a different product? Maybe only 15 bands?
            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

            Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes ... 2 versions. A master and a slave unit, both MIDI controlled
              Don Boomer

              Comment


              • #8
                Actually, before that, there was the original Autograph and Automate. Then the improved Autograph II, CEQ 280 and CEQ280R. The CEQ's were just the install version.

                SoundMan

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's it, the Autograph and Automate. I think it was the original ones that suffered from limited performance. I recall comparing to the Yamaha 2031's and the Yamaha units were vastly superior. Even now the Yamahas are pretty good performers but the costs on everything else came way down around them.
                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                  Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I stumbled across a great deal today and these two pieces were included in the bundle. I've downloaded the manuals from Peavey ( who has the BEST product support in the world !!!) and will take a look at them when i get a chance.

                    With that in mind, i was wondering if anyone has ever worked with any of these pieces? I know that they are quite old and use early technology for this type of product, as they came out circa 1990 or so. From what i can tell, these units are very similar to some of the newer digital EQ's / room correction devices, but probably far simpler and cruder in operation. I saw some comments pertaining to their complexity of use, but that's about it.

                    Outside of the Peavey manuals, the only info i can find out about them was that they were reviewed by David Mellor in "Sound on Sound" magazine in March of 1990. I've contacted that mag to see if i can buy a copy of that issue / review, but no response yet.

                    Any info or help appreciated. Sean


                    Sean

                    Should you happen to use the auto eq when you are done "BE SURE!" to unplug the mic. (Read and follow the manual)
                    I seem to remember them feeding back if you didn't. The auto eq does give repeated results but remember it is time blind and it is what it is. There is a feedback finder that puts a cursor on the freq that is feeding back and you can then notch it out. I seem to remember it working well. You'll need a midi cable between the two if you want to use both. I remember them as a solid quiet unit. On some units the back light failed and there was no replacement for it. At least at the time I checked for one.
                    DO Check the battery. Important!
                    I liked the ones I had.

                    Dookietwo

                    (edit) Should you make a custom curve in the auto rta mode remember this is how you want the system to sound after eqing not what you want to take out/add.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I couldn't really find much info on the Yamaha's, were they digital? Did they have any special features, like auto equalization or being able to save curves?

                      If it's analog, then we certainly made EQ's that were better performers than the Autographs, they just didn't have the other things that made the Autographs cool.

                      SoundMan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Even now the Yamahas are pretty good performers but the costs on everything else came way down around them.


                        When we tested about 40 different brands a few years ago the Yamaha 2031B was one of the poorest performers in the bunch.

                        http://www.roaddog.com/bink/geq_roundup.php
                        Don Boomer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I couldn't really find much info on the Yamaha's, were they digital? Did they have any special features, like auto equalization or being able to save curves?

                          If it's analog, then we certainly made EQ's that were better performers than the Autographs, they just didn't have the other things that made the Autographs cool.

                          SoundMan


                          They were analog eq's. There were many better analog perfromers than the Autographs but true they lacked the features.

                          The interesting thing about the Autographs, the early digital crossover/processors that Peavey made was that it was a glance into a company who LOOKED like they were firmly entrenched in the futire of big pro audio. Lots of really cutting edge technology, clever applications etc. The sad thing is that in hindsight they wasted a lot of great opportunities and fell back to MI audio as to the future of their "pro audio" offerings. I think there is a lot to learn from this... just having the best product or the best ideas isn't going to make you successful in an area if you don't have commitment and long term vision. I'm afraid this may be repeated again with the shedding of Crest Audio's (owned by Peavey) large format mixing consoles, and with the lack of adoption of both the Versarray and the VSX speaker processors. Both appear to be excellent products but lacking some kind of cohesive vision in their overall future of "PRO" audio.
                          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                          Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When we tested about 40 different brands a few years ago the Yamaha 2031B was one of the poorest performers in the bunch.

                            http://www.roaddog.com/bink/geq_roundup.php


                            For some reason they got a bad rap early on and I have not found this to be true at all.

                            I just tested one and did not see any HF boost set flat. Looking at the amplitude/phase plots, I suspect there are some measurement errors as I would expect a leading phase shift accompanying the high frequency boost which there is not. This is most unusual and very difficult to achieve in the analog domain.

                            The "death to 100" test is pretty silly on a unit that comes equipped with a second order variable high pass filter. This test should have been done with the correct feature. Just because most of the other units did not have that feature shows that Yamaha was thinking about high pass applications with inteligence.

                            Many of the other tests are pretty dumb when compared with the real world. Wider filters may be a benefit when using the eq for touching up a reasonably good system, I see nothing in the response curves that jump out as bad.

                            In fact, the aggrigate filter responses were probably close to the most uniform of the bunch. How many of you would find the need to do 12dB of cut with 12dB of boost on either side? Just a dumb excercise IMO.

                            Oh, and as a line driver, +24dBm no problem and stable into .01uF of load capacitance. With the output transformer I hung 1000 feat of wire onto the output with no problem at all.

                            I think perhaps a more real world test of parameters that affect normal operation would show less opinionated results on many of the units present at the test. Some of the response curves on the very expensive eq's suffered way more than the Yamaha's did but my comments apply to those as well.
                            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                            Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Regardless of the "real world" validity of that test, you have to admit, those are dramatically different results between what appears to be on the outside, similar devices.

                              I assume we can attribute some of the stranger results to those being digital devices with strange algorithms.

                              I'm not sure how those test results translate to "real world" results, maybe the more accurate device sounds better, maybe it doesn't...maybe that weirdness is what makes it sound good to some.

                              SoundMan

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