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Soundcraft Analog Mixing Console
Old 29th December 2004
  #31
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Before y'all go out and buy variacs to up your mains voltage to the console's psu, keep in mind that these British transformers don't have enough current reserves to last very long doing that. If you insist, keep that Soundcraft service # around as you will need it.

Rather than polish the turd, why not just replace it? A Power One HDD-15-5 will provide 5 amps bipolar power without switchers and fans and only costs $150 from digi-key. Add the little 48 volt, $45 supply, connect them up and guess what?, clear punchy audio without the current starving that occurs when large mixes are done.

If you elect to replace the opamps with BB OPA2134's, you will need this extra current as the TL072's draw about half of what the BB's do. While at it replace the EQ caps with either Wima or MIT polyprop film caps, the 47 uf coupling caps with 220 uf/25v and bypass with a .01 wima poly cap. Then this console might start sounding pretty good.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

New Address:
6982 Mimosa Dr.
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Old 29th December 2004
  #32
Lives for gear
 
beechstudio's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Williams
Before y'all go out and buy variacs to up your mains voltage to the console's psu, keep in mind that these British transformers don't have enough current reserves to last very long doing that. If you insist, keep that Soundcraft service # around as you will need it.

Rather than polish the turd, why not just replace it? A Power One HDD-15-5 will provide 5 amps bipolar power without switchers and fans and only costs $150 from digi-key. Add the little 48 volt, $45 supply, connect them up and guess what?, clear punchy audio without the current starving that occurs when large mixes are done.

If you elect to replace the opamps with BB OPA2134's, you will need this extra current as the TL072's draw about half of what the BB's do. While at it replace the EQ caps with either Wima or MIT polyprop film caps, the 47 uf coupling caps with 220 uf/25v and bypass with a .01 wima poly cap. Then this console might start sounding pretty good.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

New Address:
6982 Mimosa Dr.
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Thanks for the info Jim..........You da' Man!!!
Old 30th December 2004
  #33
Gear Nut
 
stuntmixer's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Thanks for the kudos there Hud.. I rather wish I had the Ghost out there instead of that Tridant that day. Although I think that has more to do with the many many miles that board had on it.... And perhaps your skills vs. mine.
Since I guess I'm the guy who drove both my and Hud's Ghost to Nashville to have them modded, I'll try to dig up the engineer's contact #s there as well as my notes on the specifics if anybody wants.

From loose memory: an older engineer at Soundcraft who had been a part of both earlier console designs there and at Trident noticed that a stock Ghost can handle more on the rail than it comes set up for stock. I think they keep it a little anemic so the never blow(maybe?).

What was done: I think 7 new chips in each strip, more in the master section, and a simple power supply mod to get the rail voltage to 17v. In essence making it sound more "Tridenty" (sorry for the language abuse, there) as he put it.
I must say the pre's with their new faster slew rates are better, and the EQ's are actually much better. But most of all, my favorite thing about the Ghost, its master section, is even more fun to drive into the red.

Now, this ain't no Nev or API but at it's total $5000 price..........
Old 30th December 2004
  #34
Lives for gear
 
HudHudson's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Back atcha, Charles. Thanks for passing on the history of the Ghost mod - Nick couldn't remember all that had been done to it, we just know it sounds much better after the mod. Now if we can ever get that 16-channel Wunder sidecar financed, we'll be in high cotton.
Old 31st December 2004
  #35
Gear Nut
 
stuntmixer's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Hey Steve, good to hear/see/ from you. Yeah, Nick had the channels all done on yours but not the master section and I had the master section and two "super channels done.
Night and day, huh?

Is that the chopped Harrison sidecar thing you are talking about?
Old 31st December 2004
  #36
Lives for gear
 
HudHudson's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Charles, I was having fantasies (delusions? ) about a sidecar of Wunder PEQ-1s after spending some time with Wunderkap listening to his "new" 1930's-era Telefunken CMV-3A thru the PEQ a couple weeks ago. Did Nick recall correctly that you'd picked one up? I sold all the Harrison modules on eBay for Nick this summer so won't be attempting to build a sidecar. I did not know the master section of our Ghost hadn't been modded. The board is going to San Antonio early next year (hoo boy that's tomorrow!) for some repairs during our control room rebuild but I doubt the Soundcraft tech will do such a mod...I may have Gary Greer do it after watching him replace all the ICs in his Trident earlier this year (and if you're watching this thread, Gary, Happy New Year!). Can you share details on what components went into the Ghost's master section? Hope to see you soon and hope all is well at Stuntmixer Central.
Old 21st March 2005
  #37
Here for the gear
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Delta Ghost Saphyre

Hi everone,
I just read Jdunn's posts on Ghosts and Delta mods. Very helpful, I'm curious about how the two compare in sonic terms.
I'm also wondering what the extent of the Ghost's automation capabilities are beyond midi muting.

I have a delta 200/ 24x4 w/18 mono and 6 stereo modules. Do you know if the mixers are expandable?
If a purchased an 8 chanel delta could I expand my delta chassis making it a 32-36 input mixer without too much electronic fuss ?
Also curious about various mods to get peak performance from my Delta otherwise it may be time to start shopping
for a Sapphyre other similar console to feed my
"pre owned" (1986) Mtr90 mkII


Thanks,
GM
Old 21st March 2005 | Show parent
  #38
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Big differences there. Ghost = -60 db crosstalk, Delta = - 90 db crosstalk. Ghost = inverting opamp summing, Delta = discrete differential balanced summing.

Ghost = tan pcb material. Delta = g4 glass epoxy pcb's.

Ghost = cheap oriental pots. Delta = Alps pots.

You can add on an extra Delta frame by just cutting a hole between them, bolt them together and connect the ribbon cable. One customer bought an extra 16 frame from me and extended the console to 80 inputs, quiet and clean.

Because of the grounding and buss design, extra inputs don't degrade the THD specs like what happens on Tridents and Ameks, they can't sum these large numbers without running out of sum amp loop gain.

This is why a Trident mix can sound clean with 4 inputs but falls apart when you exceed 24 inputs assigned.

BTW, the Sapphire uses the same mic pre, line in, fader amp, pan buffer, filter, phase reverse, sum amps, output amps etc. as the delta. The EQ differs as does the routing. It's also BIG!

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 21st March 2005 | Show parent
  #39
Gear Maniac
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
i've got a grey power supply for my 32channel ghost le ... it reads"psm 300". is that an older power supply or the "good one"?
Old 22nd March 2005 | Show parent
  #40
Here for the gear
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
thanks Jim

Thanks for your swift response Jim, now I won't have to sell my house!!

Ps. Is there a list of upgrades for this board that you are aware of.
It may have had some done to it already....
Thanks Again,
Gary
Old 22nd March 2005 | Show parent
  #41
Here for the gear
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
GB4 vs Ghost?

Does anyone know the difference sonically between the Soundcraft Ghost and the Soundcraft GB4? Thanks.
Old 22nd March 2005 | Show parent
  #42
Here for the gear
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtrockDeluxxe
Hi everone,

I have a delta 200/ 24x4 w/18 mono and 6 stereo modules. Do you know if the mixers are expandable?
If a purchased an 8 chanel delta could I expand my delta chassis making it a 32-36 input mixer without too much electronic fuss ?
Also curious about various mods to get peak performance from my Delta otherwise it may be time to start shopping
for a Sapphyre other similar console to feed my
"pre owned" (1986) Mtr90 mkII


Thanks,
GM
I don't know much about Soundcraft desks but I'm surprised no one has mentioned grounding or power distribution mods.

Upgrading opamps and sticking variacs onto power supplies can open up a can of worms and reduce reliability and lifespan significantly.

One of the biggest shortfalls in cheaper consoles is their grounding and power distribution. Often they are well designed and spec'd consoles, but have fallen short in their implementation (read: beancounter interference). If you have ribbon cables running down the console connected to daisy-chained buss PCB's, then you can improve your sonics hugely without compromising reliability or lifespan.

Here's what I've done:

- Ground every channel to a central star ground point, preferably a copper bar using the thickest wire you can comfortably solder. Add spade connectors so you can still remove modules without a soldering iron. Also ground Master, Aux and Group PCB's.

- Do the same with both voltage rails, but be careful with where you put the live buss bars. You don't want to make it a wiring nightmare or a shorting risk.

- I put in 2200uF reservoir caps on each module across the + and - 16 V, and 5000uF on the master PCB.

- I bypassed the stereo buss insert (which allowed me to bypass 8 DC blocking caps and 4 NE5532's)

- I upgraded the summing amps and master trim opamp to OP275's.

- Upgraded the cable between the power supply and the console - used 3 x 3 core 10amp mains cable for each ground, +16V and -16V.

- Recapped each channel, leaving stock amps (JRC4560's & NE5532's) and using film caps in critical places.

The difference is stunning. Noise floor so low, the console is now by far the quietest thing in the studio (I realise now how noisy outboard stuff is). Depth, bottom end, high end clarity has increased tenfold. It's like someone has lifted a blanket off the monitors!

I can turn every channel on (min gain), channel faders and master up full, volume control pot on max, and I hear zero hum. There's alot of noise, but it's electronics noise and far far below the signal to noise of the tape machines and outboard i'm using.



Chris
Old 22nd March 2005 | Show parent
  #43
Here for the gear
 
BjoernB's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Variac and so on...

Variac and so on...

I asked a soundcraft-technician therefore. A change of the input voltage with a Variac will never produce a change at the output voltage on the Ghost-PSU.

If you mod the PSU to deliever the higher output-voltage to the Ghost, it gets broken in shortest time. That is, what I have been told...

The only thing that is bad with the old PSU is the loud fan. But this is very easy to change, there are lots of quiet ones out there....
Old 22nd March 2005 | Show parent
  #44
Gear Addict
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I'll sell my ghost

I have a Ghost 24 rails , for sale with the 290 PSM power supply , I'll give you .... great console!!!
give me a shout......

[email protected]
Old 22nd March 2005 | Show parent
  #45
Gear Addict
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I did'nt mean give I meant give you a great deal on .... sorry
Old 22nd March 2005 | Show parent
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadworld
i've got a grey power supply for my 32channel ghost le ... it reads"psm 300". is that an older power supply or the "good one"?
i'm hearing a mention about every power supply except the one that i have.... trying to figure out if it is an upgrade or not? anyone...?
Old 23rd March 2005 | Show parent
  #47
Here for the gear
 
BjoernB's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadworld
trying to figure out if it is an upgrade or not? anyone...?
That's the same PSU I have with my Ghost 24LE. The fan is loud, everything else is OK. Just get yourself a low-noise fan, running at 24 V and replace the one in the PSU.

I got mine from http://www.papst.de/. After sending them a description of the one installed in my PSU, they knew which one would be a good replacement. Took two minutes to change the fan, and the PSU is quiet. I can't hear it anymore.
Old 23rd March 2005 | Show parent
  #48
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Forget the fans. How can anyone hear low level details with those things spinning around the control room. Dump the Soundcraft supplies and get some Power One open frame supplies. The HDD-15-A gives up 5 amps a side and costs $149 at Digi-Key. Add the little 1/2 amp 48 volt to it and never hear fans again!

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 24th June 2005 | Show parent
  #49
Here for the gear
 
JonathanAniston's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I wanted to resurrect this informative thread once again because I'm now seriously considering putting my ghost under the knife, but being in the UK I can't get Jim to work his magic on our ghost as it'd be to much hassle to get it to the States....

I have a few questions that it would be great if someone could answer before getting our reliable local techie to tweak under the hood. Though he is perfectly capable, I obviously want to get the mod right.

I know very little about op amps etc, so please forgive any naivety on my behalf!

1) Should all op amps be replaced with BB OPA2134s? How many of each chip do I need to order?

2) Should I be looking at having the caps replaced too? A friend in our studio told me they dry out over time, and the board is now about 5 years old...

3) Is it an absolute must to get a better power supply once the burr browns have been fitted? The power supply Jim mentioned seems to be only available in the States and we're on 240V here.... I have the CPS275 black power supply which I understand is better than the earlier version. I don't tend to use more then 20 channels when mixing down if this effects how much power I'll be drawing....?

4) How long should an "operation" (!) like this take? Days? A week?

What I'm hoping to acheive from this upgrade is a little more focus and clarity - I find the depth and stereo image good (much wider than ITB mixing to my ears) but I find the sound of the preamps a little "slow" if that makes any sense? I also find the bottom end a touch flabby.

If anyone with the upgrade could let me know if it's really worth it, given my needs, that would be great.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Old 25th June 2005 | Show parent
  #50
Here for the gear
 
Hallirs's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I have for sale 28 chanel soundcraft Sapphyre Mixer for sale.
Located in Reykjavik Iceland

Haraldur Ringsted
ICELAND
[email protected]

More info here
http://www.soundcraft.com/product_sh...?product_id=63


In-line architecture with 60mm fader on channel path, 100mm on monitors
Patented Padless Mic Amp, with up to 70dB gain
Noise gate on every channel with variable release, threshold and filter
4-band EQ with shelving HF and LF and two swept mid bands
EQ is splittable between channel and monitor paths
6 Auxiliary sends, including 1 pre or post-fade stereo send for cue mixes
Routing to 8 buses with โ€˜floating busโ€™ system
Tape sends selectable to feed from channel direct or bus 1-8 outputs
4 mute groups
Silent FET muting
Patented โ€˜Active Pan Potโ€™ circuit, giving very high left/right isolation
Full meterbridge with bargraphs for tape send/return and VUs for stereo o/p
Old 26th June 2005 | Show parent
  #51
Here for the gear
 
JonathanAniston's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Maybe one of the mods could delete or move the above post to the correct area of the site....

I hope someone can answer my questions above - I'd really appreciate it. Thanks,

J
Old 2nd July 2005 | Show parent
  #52
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanAniston
I wanted to resurrect this informative thread once again because I'm now seriously considering putting my ghost under the knife, but being in the UK I can't get Jim to work his magic on our ghost as it'd be to much hassle to get it to the States....

I have a few questions that it would be great if someone could answer before getting our reliable local techie to tweak under the hood. Though he is perfectly capable, I obviously want to get the mod right.

I know very little about op amps etc, so please forgive any naivety on my behalf!

1) Should all op amps be replaced with BB OPA2134s? How many of each chip do I need to order?

2) Should I be looking at having the caps replaced too? A friend in our studio told me they dry out over time, and the board is now about 5 years old...

3) Is it an absolute must to get a better power supply once the burr browns have been fitted? The power supply Jim mentioned seems to be only available in the States and we're on 240V here.... I have the CPS275 black power supply which I understand is better than the earlier version. I don't tend to use more then 20 channels when mixing down if this effects how much power I'll be drawing....?

4) How long should an "operation" (!) like this take? Days? A week?

What I'm hoping to acheive from this upgrade is a little more focus and clarity - I find the depth and stereo image good (much wider than ITB mixing to my ears) but I find the sound of the preamps a little "slow" if that makes any sense? I also find the bottom end a touch flabby.

If anyone with the upgrade could let me know if it's really worth it, given my needs, that would be great.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Use the 220 uf /25v Panasonic FM caps in place of the 47 uf caps, this will fix the low end roll-offs. Use MilliMax machine IC sockets from DigiKey. DigiKey will export to you. The Power One supplies can be wired 240 v. Instructions are included with them. The BB's should help the mic pre, consider trying OPA2604 for a darker sound. Fast opamps are a no go there due to crosstalk in the ribbon connector to the rear jack field. Add some .1 uf mono ceramic caps from the opamp's power pins to ground.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 5th July 2005 | Show parent
  #53
Here for the gear
 
JonathanAniston's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Thanks a lot for the input, Jim. Will speak to my techie next week about this! Much appreciated.
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