The one I used when I was interning had been completely revamped from the inside out. It was not stock by any strech of the imagination.
It sounded GREAT but in today's 24/96 technology it would be some what out of date for anything except cutting records which it will still do very well.
There were lots of problems with them in the stock state including low level hum and hiss. The unit also took up at lot of real estate in the mastering room for what it did.
The EQs on the one I used were bypassed except for the elipitical filter and we used SONTEC EQs for most of the mastering that I did. We did not have the dual SONTECs like a lot of mastering houses had so we had to do all the EQ changes in between the cuts on the record since you could not stop the lathe once you started cutting
Hope this helps.
[ January 12, 2004, 04:48 AM: Message edited by: Thomas W. Bethel ]
There are a number of different models of SP consoles. They made sense in a closed system used for disk cutting. If you divide it into processing functions and routing funtions you'll get a sense of what they are good at. Hint:routing. They were fairly a la carte. Most had EQ's. Some had Neumann compressors. Neumann also supplied EMT 251 compressors often.
As with all this old equipment you have to be dedicated to maintaining it. If you can't do it the cost in hiring someone will be prohibative. The later SP consoles used 5532 op amps for gain so at least you don't have to locate exotic transistors for repalcement parts.
I am restoring an older Neumann transfer console. I'm chipping away at it . It is no small task. I have no time frame for finnishing it. It's done when it's done. I could spend a lot of time on it and decide I don't like it. I can live with that. You can see it here.
(Dead Link Removed)
I hope to use it to replace my Ortophon 741 transfer console. It will not be the centerpiece of the studio. It is also a stopgap measure while I build my A/B path console. Mostly it is a fun project.