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StudioMaster 16-4-2 Opinions?
Old 8th April 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
chess999's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
StudioMaster 16-4-2 Opinions?

Hello Guys,
I'm thinking of purchasing this board to get some "roughness" to my otherwise overly clean digital tracks. I don't want to sum with it, just use it for passing tracks through and printing to tape and for routing from tape to my computer. Any one with experience with these boards? I've heard everything from they have great eqs, to noisy preamps, to fat bottom, to crappy pots. Were the older 70's ones with VU's better than the later 80's models with leds as I've read on gearslutz before? The one I'm looking at is the scripted logo with Leds meters. Looks to be early 80's. See attached pic.

Thanks so much,
DG
Attached Thumbnails
StudioMaster 16-4-2 Opinions?-studiomaster-16-4-2-1.jpg  
Old 10th December 2011
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I know this is a really old post, but I now have this board and wanted to comment. If for no other reason, to provide info for slutz considering buying the 16-4-2 in the future. My experience is still limited with this equipment, but I do really like the EQ. I do find the low end (bass) freq's to be exaggerated, so you need monitors that get a little lower than most with 5" woofers do. The preamps seem usable so far, but I have only used them on drums, so have not pushed any gain. I think the summing opamps will be my first mod on this board. Overall I am very happy with my purchase.

I would love to hear others' experiences!
Old 9th February 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 
Dan SoundSmith's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey ira_the_mick and chess999,

Thanks for writing as your post has indeed helped someone out. I am just about to buy one of these. It has three add on modules so it's a 28-8-2. I have found it locally for $300 and just can't resist! But being real green and only having ever tracked on a Mackie 24-8-2 going to an Alesis 24 channel ADAT, I'm not quite sure how to marry the board to Pro Tools via my RME FF 400!?! I'd love to be able to mix through it, but assume I need an interface with 28 ins/outs. My RME has 36 I/O, but only 8 analog. Any ideas? Maybe there's something I'm missing with the total mix software?

Also, I don't know how to evaluate it's condition. The guy claims everything was working tip-top, but has not used it in 4 years.

Any help and guidance would be much appreciated.

Cheers, Dan
Old 9th February 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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gravyface's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan SoundSmith ➑️
Hey ira_the_mick and chess999,

Thanks for writing as your post has indeed helped someone out. I am just about to buy one of these. It has three add on modules so it's a 28-8-2. I have found it locally for $300 and just can't resist! But being real green and only having ever tracked on a Mackie 24-8-2 going to an Alesis 24 channel ADAT, I'm not quite sure how to marry the board to Pro Tools via my RME FF 400!?! I'd love to be able to mix through it, but assume I need an interface with 28 ins/outs. My RME has 36 I/O, but only 8 analog. Any ideas? Maybe there's something I'm missing with the total mix software?

Also, I don't know how to evaluate it's condition. The guy claims everything was working tip-top, but has not used it in 4 years.

Any help and guidance would be much appreciated.

Cheers, Dan
Do the channels have direct out? If not, you should be able to route the channels to sub-outs into your FireFace and use it as a preamp. I do the same with with my Tascam M308 80's mixer. I really like the sound I get.

You could sum with them too.
Old 9th February 2012 | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
Dan SoundSmith's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➑️
Do the channels have direct out? If not, you should be able to route the channels to sub-outs into your FireFace and use it as a preamp. I do the same with with my Tascam M308 80's mixer. I really like the sound I get.

You could sum with them too.
There is no direct out, but I was told I could do the same with the Inserts on each channel. I could indeed hook it up to the 8 sub outs, but then will not be able to mix with it, i.e.: sending my audio racks from Pro Tools back to each of the mixer channels...
Old 9th February 2012
  #6
Here for the gear
 
Dan SoundSmith's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm gonna pass on this. It just doesn't make sense for my small appartment. But I do really want to be able to mix through an analog board, and I just don't see how to marry the old mixers with my RME to take advantage of all the channels... I guess I need a new mixer with ADAT???

Thanks anyways, Cheers
Old 15th December 2013
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Back from the dead

I just stumbled onto this thread again and thought I would give an update. I swapped out the summing op amps in the sub groups to LM6171's. To my ears, this was a nice improvement over the 5534's which were there when I got the board. It sounds clearer/cleaner with quite a bit more detail. The exaggerated low end mentioned above seems to have been cured with the mod also. I still have to swap the op amps on the main outs, and plan to recap the power supply (have parts just haven't made time).

I actually monitor everything through the sub group outs because of the improvement. I have started mixing with a hybrid approach, running some tracks back through the mixer, and have been able to get some good results with the stock eq, but i bought some of the newer version of the TL071/72 to try in the eq circuit.

I am thinking of getting a new mixer, as I have some budget for studio upgrades, and wonder if any slutz have a recommendation for a console that would be considered an improvement over this one for $5k or less. I want to compare the 2 to see how much better, if at all, the more expensive console performs. I would prefer the new console have 16-24 channels, balanced direct outs and at least 8 busses. Also prefer good sweepable eq if possible. Thanks in advance for your help!
Old 15th December 2013 | Show parent
  #8
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jimbridgman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ira_the_mick ➑️
I just stumbled onto this thread again and thought I would give an update. I swapped out the summing op amps in the sub groups to LM6171's. To my ears, this was a nice improvement over the 5534's which were there when I got the board. It sounds clearer/cleaner with quite a bit more detail. The exaggerated low end mentioned above seems to have been cured with the mod also. I still have to swap the op amps on the main outs, and plan to recap the power supply (have parts just haven't made time).

I actually monitor everything through the sub group outs because of the improvement. I have started mixing with a hybrid approach, running some tracks back through the mixer, and have been able to get some good results with the stock eq, but i bought some of the newer version of the TL071/72 to try in the eq circuit.

I am thinking of getting a new mixer, as I have some budget for studio upgrades, and wonder if any slutz have a recommendation for a console that would be considered an improvement over this one for $5k or less. I want to compare the 2 to see how much better, if at all, the more expensive console performs. I would prefer the new console have 16-24 channels, balanced direct outs and at least 8 busses. Also prefer good sweepable eq if possible. Thanks in advance for your help!
Wow 5k and below range, will get you some nice boards. Look at the soundcraft ghost, Allen and heath gs3000 (this is what I have), any of the Amek boards would be the top end (sound and quality and build and upgradeability) if you can find any one of them at the 5k mark. There are others but those would be good Starting points.

Jim
Old 15th December 2013
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you for the recommendations! As far as the Amek, is this including the TAC line of consoles as well?
Old 16th December 2013 | Show parent
  #10
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jimbridgman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ira_the_mick ➑️
Thank you for the recommendations! As far as the Amek, is this including the TAC line of consoles as well?
Only the older ones like the matchless and maybe a bullet, not a scorpion or any others from the same time frame as the scorpion. An AMEK Big might also be OK too. Anything with the Langley label on it/langley pres would be good too.

Jim
Old 18th December 2013
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I know the AMEK Angela is regarded as one of their best consoles. I have read that the TAC Matchless is similar to the Angela, but with different mic pre's/line drivers. Can anyone confirm whether or not this is true. I am leaning towards an Angela, if I can find one in my price range, or performing the Langley pre mod on a TAC Matchless.

I'm also still considering the A&H recommended, as well as D&R.
Old 18th December 2013 | Show parent
  #12
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jimbridgman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ira_the_mick ➑️
I know the AMEK Angela is regarded as one of their best consoles. I have read that the TAC Matchless is similar to the Angela, but with different mic pre's/line drivers. Can anyone confirm whether or not this is true. I am leaning towards an Angela, if I can find one in my price range, or performing the Langley pre mod on a TAC Matchless.

I'm also still considering the A&H recommended, as well as D&R.
Good luck finding an A&H GS3000, it took me a long time to find mine, and I stumbled on it by total accident, after a few years of looking and nearly giving up. The Ghost is very close to the same board if you want something like that.
A D&R is very nice, but very, very clean and you really can't drive it hard and get some harmonics out of it.

Yeah the Angela or the Big (it can have the Langley mod done if did not ship with it), is more likely in your price range, but will need some kind of a mod since it can be noisy. They are very nice as well. The matchless is very nice, but don't worry if it is like the Angela or not, they are from 2 very different time periods of the Amek company and TAC was more like the prosumer side of the house at the time, so they really will not be the same, more than likely the Angela was an offshoot of some of the same tech from the matchless but improved upon. Similar to how the A&H GSR24 is the "new" GS3000, and uses/was made to be close to the GS3000.

Jim
Old 18th December 2013
  #13
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JonMiller's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have an older 32 Channel Studio Master desk.

It sounds great on things that are overly "clean" or things that you you do not want to be clean, such as grungy sounding drums.

The EQ is nice.
Old 21st December 2013
  #14
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Well, i just swapped out the summing op amps for the stereo outs. Changed from 5534's to LM6171's. I like what I'm hearing so far, except there is some noise present that was not on the sub groups. Looks like i will need to get some bypass caps in there next.
Old 22nd December 2013 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
jimbridgman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ira_the_mick ➑️
Well, i just swapped out the summing op amps for the stereo outs. Changed from 5534's to LM6171's. I like what I'm hearing so far, except there is some noise present that was not on the sub groups. Looks like i will need to get some bypass caps in there next.
What did you end up grabbing?

Jim
Old 22nd December 2013
  #16
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Nothing yet. I decided to wait until after the holidays, and I haven't seen anything I want yet. Just tweaking on my Studiomaster biding my time.
Old 22nd December 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I modded one of this. Changed every opamp, recapped the whole mixer used some polypropylen on the eq. Made a stargrounding, got rid of the flexicables and soldered them permanently. In the End it was a difference like night and day. But it took a good amount of money and many days or weeks of my time. Difference in sound was that it went from and big bottom raw sound to a clean usable mixer.

but i would not do this again. Leave the opamps as they are maybe recap the whole thing and use it as an effects box, send some stems thru it, which nees some flavor and use another mixer as your main mixer. This desks have some sound to it. But mixing whole songs is too much.

If you have problems with noise, check the flexicables, check the caps, this makes an big difference. Look for tantalums on the psu and maybe you change the diodes for fast switching ones and or the voltage regulators on the psu.
Old 12th August 2018 | Show parent
  #18
Deleted 9d332c0
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Ill buy your Studiomaster is its still available (I doubt it mind)
Old 1st March 2020
  #19
Here for the gear
 
I'm after an old studio master here in the UK for dub mixing if anyone has one going!?
Mikey
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