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The Amek M3000

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by Gette, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Here is a close up of the patch bay spaghetti,,,, yup 350+ lines to tie in,,,, still have to pull the patch bays out and clean them before any soldier work can be done..... but,,, it will be nice once completed! thumb
    1486687_759548827405773_1885575208_n.jpg
     
  2. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

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    keep it up!
    love seeing what you post: )
    (y)
     
  3. meyerer

    meyerer Active Member

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    Berlin
    cool

    hey mate,
    how cool ist that: I just found your thread and guess what: I also have an M 3000.
    I have the one that was standing in London/Mayfair studios.
    We´ve been working since 1.5 years on it and looks like we are getting to the end. Signal goes through and sounds great! Not really much crackling (more or less just the routing switches but we just need to flush them I guess).
    completed with full recap 24 channels plus aux, master section and buses.Of course the PSU´s too.
    Unfortunately some driver boards 119 are missing so we will re design them. Also 8 DBX VCA´s missing.Also one channel is missing - it was sold to a guy in France some years ago and I desperately try to get in touch with him.

    Very interesting the information you posted on the history of this desk. Thx much for it!

    Cheers,Martin
     
  4. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Hello Martin and welcome to the forum. I am glade you found the thread and that it was helpful to you in some way. It is nice to know that yet another M3000 is being refurbished and brought back to life. One good thing about this particular console is if a part is missing it is not a huge challenge to custom build a replacement. I to am missing a 202VCA or two, but will replacing all VCA's with a quad VCA type replacement. I have 4 additional fader modules with faders that came with the console that wee not loaded (total of 32 vca faders). I am simply going to leave the last four with out them.

    Let me know if I can be of any help in your build and please share pics and any information you may have that has not been presented here in the thread!!!! Would love to see pics your console!

    I will post some current pics of my console when I get back home from NAMM

    Joel
     
  5. meyerer

    meyerer Active Member

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    Jan 24, 2014
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    Berlin
    Hey Joel,
    thanks much!
    Yes we are also rebuilding the driver boards - found out they never were built for more than 24 channels but we will :)
    Regarding the Vca´s: I had to replace a few too and know a guys who sells them. If you need some, let me know. I paid 35 Euros each.
    I have full 36 VCA faders but also a complete set organics that were built in from Mayfair in 1982 but I will stick to the VCAs I guess. I am missing the automation too and we´re already planning to develop our own system for connection via mackie control to the computer. Will update you when we are on it.
    I have one issue: Somehow the schematics for the master section and control room is missing and we need it. Dou have it by chance?

    Have fun at Namm!

    Martin
     
  6. meyerer

    meyerer Active Member

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    Location:
    Berlin
    pics

    AmekM3000Tom.jpg TomSolderingAmekM3000.jpg

    two pics from Tom Wurzbach from Wurzbach Audio - my budy and engineer - working on the desk
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    BC, Canada
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    How cool is this! thumb
     
  8. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

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  9. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    I know I have not been all that active on here lately, been incredibly busy last few months. I will be taking a vacation starting this monday and will be dedicating allot of that time to getting the console frame completed and flipped.

    Martin, I have the complete Schematics set for the console. However, They are large, hand drawn and fragile. My challenge has been finding someone with a large enough flatbed scanner to digitize them. I may have to resort to redrawing them in order to preserve them. Something I may do anyway.
     
  10. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

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  11. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Hmmm… Pics and some updates in the next few days,,, the 3 day weekend is dedicated to this console! I have canceled all other responsibilities……….
    that includes, cell phone off, will not be available for PTHD crash saves, "If the neve/ssl/ICON is on fire" call a fire truck…. ETC…ETC.. ETC…
     
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Well, now you're just being ridiculous. It's one thing to be unavailable, it's another thing entirely to shut off that hi-tech ball and chain that we all commonly refer to as "the cell phone".

    I keeeed of course. Actually, I can't think of a better way to spend a holiday weekend than to work on gear. We are indeed a sick and twisted breed, aren't we?

    ;)
     
  13. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

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    watching!
     
  14. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    DonnyThompson - full disclosure, its not off, just been silenced. Best thing for a holiday!! And yes we are a twisted bunch, but thats what makes us good at what we do.

    pan60 - this is for you first and second row of the patch bay…… you know what they say, once you start…

    patchbay2.jpg patchbay1.jpg
     
    kmetal likes this.
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Fantastic job!
     
  16. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

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    makes me smile ; )~ .
     
  17. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Ok here is the progress up to this point. MT out, MT in, Pre EQ insert nearly done. What is left? One more Insert point (Post EQ/Pre Fader) and then master section… So very close. I am testing all the solder points and verifying the normals, so yeah taking a bit more time then most and this frame is tight to work in,,, The pictures are deceiving in that respect. Would have been a whole lot easier to have done this on a nail board, but all well.

    As you can see by the pics, it is a very tight patch bay pack.

    I will be posting daily, really. I will post daily as I plan to work on every night and weekend till its is done.

    So the pics.
    IMG_2184.JPG
    IMG_2186.JPG
     
  18. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    DonnyThompson - Thank you, always nice to hear compliments when it truly can be a pain in the a$$.. LOL

    Pan60, glade you are liking what you see.
     
  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    I don't know if the following has been discussed yet, I'll take my chances and ask anyway, at the risk of being redundant...

    ( And I'll just go ahead and assume upfront that you prefer the tactile aspect of mixing - the actual pushing/pulling of faders, tweaking pots, connecting up OB gear, etc., so that answer is already a given).

    I've mixed on Ameks before, (Angela) but never on an M3000. To be honest, I can't say that I've ever even been in close proximity to one..

    And so, I'll ask:

    1. Was the reason you got this particular desk because you had worked on one in the past and liked it?

    2. Are there particular features to this particular Amek console that sets it apart from other consoles in its original price class, including other Amek Models?? ... are there certain features that you really like?
    ( For example...Is it the pre's? The EQ? Is there any discreet channel/track level gain reduction built into the channel strips? Something particular on the Master 2-Bus? )

    3. What are you most looking forward to upon this beauty's completion?

    4. Is there a particular "sound" that is signature to the desk? (besides the "British EQ")... let's say you ran a signal through it with all EQ in bypass... would the M3000 still have it's own distinct thumbprint?

    5. With all the modding and repair that you are doing, are you attempting to stay true to the original design as far as electronics/circuitry/amps etc, or are you finding that you are having to use "equivalent" replacements?

    6. If you are using equivalent replacements instead of original components, is there any concern that the console's original overall sonic signature will change?


    Just curious. Inquiring minds would like to know. :)
     
  20. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Las Vegas, NV
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    DonnyThompson, Some has been answered, some not. It is not redundant sometimes necessary to keep the flow of the thread working and remind myself, why am I spending this much time/money on this thing.

    1) I had originally got this console to be a foundation (metal work, pwr supplies, basic circuit design, etc) for a design of my own. I had never seen an M3000 prior to picking this one up nor ever heard one/used one. The console came fully documented, schematics, history etc. The more I dug into it's background and asked around the more it became clear that, I would be refurbishing the console versus destroying it. They are rare, only 8 ever built and in the case of mine, it was the first one built. There are members here who have used a M3000 before to include my very console. Maybe they will chime in.

    2) The M3000 was the first large formate console design by Amek/Graham Langley. It was very expensive for its time, $46,000.00 base price in 1978 (equivalent $172,628. today) I am sure why so few were built. My console in particular was the prototype that was installed into Amazon Studios, UK. The Eq design was the basis of all future consoles for Amek (slightly modified to reduce cost), to include the M2500.

    The most spoke about feature of the console from those who have used one, is the EQ. It's a 4 band fully parametric, variable Q design. They all say the best sounding and most usable EQ they have ever used. Now, anyone can say that, but when it comes from engineers who use other high end consoles (SSL, NEVE, API, Etc) that has allot of meaning. The Mic pre's does use custom Sowter transformers. The Multi-track Bus/Mix Bus summing/driving amps are huge by design, using TIP Transistors. By nature of its design, it will sound huge.

    3) Honestly, just being able to use it.

    4)Well There has been a few huge records recorded on this exact console. the only one of the top of my head would be, Echo and the Bunny men - The killing moon (the full album name escapes me) was tracked/mixed on my console.

    5) staying true to the design, console was in surprisingly good shape other then cabling issues (Hence the total redo) Will be changing the VCA to a quad design, changing some cap values to open up the console a bit.

    6) I am staying as true to the original design as posable, but will update areas that need attention.



    Hope that sheds some light….

    - Joel
     

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