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Studiomaster 16-2 1970's mixing desk?


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Well, I found a few simular consols made by them on Ebay. Most of its worn out live PA mixers. Depending on the quality, you could use it for some kind of recording application I suppose like mixing drums or something, but alot of junk made back then was pretty piss poor for quality. It may harm your stuff more than help. You also have possible issues with worn pots, weak channels, hum from old power supply caps, etc etc.

 

You could wind up spending money on a piece of junk thet would remain a piece of junk even with a complete service done. For 300 or so you could get a decent 16~24 channel mixer with all kinds of recording busses and channel sends. I'd get something like a new behringer or good used mackie and get 10X the features and adaptability for recording.

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Do you have a picture of the desk you're talking about?

 

I had a Studiomaster Mixdown 16-8 for a while back in the day... must have been late 80s or early 90s. It wasn't a bad board - at least not at first. Not for the day anyway... but the EQ is a bit limited, and the noise specs are not that great by today's standards. Most troubling though, was a tendency for the knobs to "freeze" and "grab". If you didn't move them regularly, the knobs would practically lock up and require quite a bit of force to get them rotating again. I've noticed that on several Studiomaster boards over the years.

 

Personally, I wouldn't really recommend them. Look for a used Soundcraft or something like that instead.

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"Most troubling though, was a tendency for the knobs to "freeze" and "grab". If you didn't move them regularly, the knobs would practically lock up and require quite a bit of force to get them rotating again".

 

 

Old Tapcos had the same issue, I got a few of those too I've restored. They used to pack the pots and sliders with conductive grease to give the sliders a plush feel vs using a dry pot/slider. If someone tries to clean those things with alcohol based cleaner it will lock them up like you explained. They used to make stuff called wep that made them work for awhile, but by that time they were usually history. To fix the smooth sliding issue properly you need to re-liquify the grease in there with a light petroleum machine oil or mineral oil. Sometimes it makes it fairly functional again. If not you need to soak them and completely remove all the old grease then repack them with conductive grease. A nasty job with questionable results. If the carbon contacts are worn its useless, replacing all the pots is the only option. (In the case of the tapcos, the pot shafts were plastic and snapped off when trying to remove the knobs, another great product from the 70s that didnt age well) This is why I give cautious advice about buying older stuff. Besides battel damage, some of the parts are difficult to find too. I'm an electronic tech by trade and I'm able to do the repairs myself including taking the pots appart to clean. Some mixers will cost more for the pot replacement these days than the things worth. I would say for new sliders your talking about $5~10 each, and a couple of hundred to replace them all, if they are not PC mounted. If they are PC mounted I wouldnt touch it for at least $400. Its an easy 8 hour job with no short cutting. If you're going to do it, you need to do them all. One may be bad to start but the others are sure to follow.

 

This is why I say spend $300~500 and get something new. You have much lower noise, and at least 5~10 years troubble free running plus the newer options the old stuff didnt offer.

 

Maybe try posting in the Live sound forum and see if you can get some more input on them. Alot of those guys have used all kinds of live mixers and can let you to know about them.

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Many thanks guys ive decided against the dicy option. I did have a limited picture from the Studiomaster website but its so low res you cant tell what's on the board. I have been spending alot of time looking for an analogue mixer to come out of protools with mainly for the analogue EQ's "characteristics" and 2nd for the client appeal thats created just by having it sitting their. At the moment Im pretty content with mixing in the box as it keeps the signal path cleaner but like i say mixers are a big visual stimulus for some people.

 

I think Im going to buy a hard disk recorder like the Fostex vf-16 instead and possibly inter-great it as a external digital mixer. Does anyone have any experience with good hard disk recorders or any they would recommend?

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  • 3 months later...
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I've 2 old 16 channel studiomasters and they both perform ok, sure, you can get probs with the pots, but that applies to all desks, the sliders are ALPS which are pretty much standard, at the price of these old desks, they can be a good buy for little money (I also have allen and heath and soundcraft) and I personally think all the older desks are miles better build quality than such as beringer and other far eastern products which simply fall to bits after 2 or 3 years use. (on the road)

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  • 10 years later...
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The Studiomaster mixers are excellent and far better than the prices indicate. The inputs are discrete designed with a set of high gain and low noise transistors forming the balanced input gain, later fed to an op-amp in balanced mode, from here and on the Eq section with fixed treble, mid and bass quasi parametric sweep by gyrators and to the sends with furter amplification after output faders. Early 70-models had one or two effect sends and a monitor send depending on model.

The later model Trilogy has 6 cue sends, 2 pre fader, 2 sets of 2 switchable pre/post fader and comprehensive routing for signals return for effects. Furtermore routing facilities with 4 subgroups. It will be too much to mention all the features ! This is really a fine mixer !

The mother company was RSD : Recording Studio Design, their “luxus” brand was Studiomaster with more facilities. It was originally designed and produced in England and had during some years an American department. They still manufacture everything needed for professional sound equipment : analog and digital mixers, a series of amplifiers and speakers all under the Studiomaster name under the “umbrella” of Soundking.

Should anyone have troubles about the RSD or Studiomaster mixers I might help with technical advice and schematics too. 
I have used RSD and Studiomasters for many years and always maintained them myself. I also had RSD electronic crossover, but later on I designed my own 4 ch in stereo for PA use.

For exchange of hints and schematics I prefer mail correspondancy.

Edited by pianisten
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