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Advice on how to go about servicing a mixing console
Old 20th January 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Advice on how to go about servicing a mixing console

I have an Allen & Heath Sabre 32 channel console that is in need of some tlc. Partly it just needs a good clean but there are various problems in particular with the gains, both in the channel strips and the master section. Basically, it needs servicing and I guess maybe recapping. It sounds ok with a tape machine but recording and playing back with a DAW there are definately some issues.

However, I'm assuming to have a large format desk overhauled is going to be pretty pricey, and I don't have a great deal of spare cash at the moment - so what I'm wondering given the modular design of the desk, is whether there is any merit in having the desk worked on in sections - for example initially having the master section and a couple of channels sorted so the desk is up to speed for recording single sources and playing back the DAW, then sorting out group and other channel strips at a later point as and when I have funds for it?

I know it's an old desk and it's never going to sound like a Neve but I like its basic character and I love mixing on these things, so would really like to put some effort into resurrecting it - just hopefully in an affordable manner.

So, overhaul a little at a time, or wait and have the whole thing done further down the line - what do you think?
Old 20th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
These are neat old consoles! I've worked on many A&H consoles and made some nice recordings with them. They are easy to work on and have good, simple circuits.

I would start with the power supply. All the electrolytic filter caps should be replaced after 20+ years. Scope the outputs for noise and other issues, and check the voltages.

After that, I would replace electrolytics throughout the console, starting with the center section, then tacking the channels one at a time.

At this point, you could consider upgrading opamps in the center section or on the channels if you want to take it even further.

Tim
Old 20th January 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks Tim, I appreciate your advice - good to know these desks have their admirers! The previous owner told me the power supply had been rebuilt in the last five years, but no harm in getting a tech to check it.

Is their anything I should be looking for by way of op amps? I'll get a tech to do the work but always prefer to have an idea what the job entails before approaching a tech.
Old 20th January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
A quick Google will probably reveal multiple articles on GS and other sites on this particular model with advice and costs on what you're about to undergo.

You'll have to weigh saving up and having all the work done at once vs. the additional cost/downtime of doing it in sections. If one person can do all the work, they can ensure that it's all done correctly and any ground issues are taken care of holistically.
Old 21st January 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
As said, do the master section first... Clean everything, change out caps, and make sure everything works...
Throwing some BurrBrown chips in, while it's apart, couldn't hurt either!


Having a working and reliable master section makes testing all the channels much easier!

From there, you can start picking away at the channels...

Be prepared to spend $100 to $400 per channel, depending on how complex your strips are to work on... and depending on how reliable and thorough your Tech is!


I'd suggest doing at least 8 channels at a time... Your Tech will prefer doing a bunch of them, rather than 1 or 2 a month...
It takes time to get set up and get into the 'flow' of the work!
Old 21st January 2013
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks guys, appreciated. Google thows up a few threads on various forums, including one that describes one of our main complaints, that the gain seems to lose low end as it is turned up, and suggests replacement caps to fix this. It might as well be written in Russian for all the sense it means to me, so I think it's time to find a tech.

With that in mind, can anyone recommend someone in the North West UK who is experienced in working and Allen & Heaths?

Plan is to get a quote done to check power supply and sevice, recap and replace opamps in the master section, then move on to the first block of eight channels as funds allow.
Old 16th January 2015 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by timstoel ➑️
These are neat old consoles! I've worked on many A&H consoles and made some nice recordings with them. They are easy to work on and have good, simple circuits.

I would start with the power supply. All the electrolytic filter caps should be replaced after 20+ years. Scope the outputs for noise and other issues, and check the voltages.

After that, I would replace electrolytics throughout the console, starting with the center section, then tacking the channels one at a time.

At this point, you could consider upgrading opamps in the center section or on the channels if you want to take it even further.

Tim
Old 16th January 2015
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hey Tim, if you r still overhauling consoles, I just bought a amr 2400 , peavey, and need it gone through. R u available
Old 5th February 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Send me a PM.

Tim
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