I’ll try to keep this as short as I can.
OK, so the API 7800/8200 is a great sounding little rack mount summing mixer but falls a bit short on a few options. Before I got my 24 channels, I wondered if you could access all 4 sends with only the 2 send pots on the unit. I hoped it was somehow switchable. Well, turns out that you can only utilize the 4 sends and the 4 busses via the 7600 channels strips. You can only use sends 1 & 2 with the 8200’s. I was a bit disappointed learning this.
I had/have no intention on spending major amounts of cash on the 7600’s. The first thing I did when I got the system (eBay), was to open them up and have a peak. I noticed that the PCB was very clearly layed out and labeled!! Thanks Paul!
I thought I could simply cut the send traces and wire in a 4 gang/ 2 position switch. I only wanted to select either sends 1-2 or send 3-4 per each 8 channels of 8200. I thought that I could work with this. I normally don’t send any of my vocal tracks to my snare or tom verb or guitars to my vocal chorus or delays. Who does? I wasn’t 100% sure that my idea was correct so didn’t quite get started right away. Really didn’t want to f*** anything up!
A week or so passed and I ended up running across a cool guy on the northside of Chicago (fellow gearslut) who use to have the same 7800/8200 system. I felt bad for him because he had to sell all his API summing stuff…to make room for an API 2488. Sucks to be him! Anyhow, he was about ready to start modifying his 8200’s when he found his 2488. He had spent many, many hours and countless e-mail’s with Paul Wolff on modifying the sends of the 8200. This was way back when Paul was still with API. Long story longer, I purchased (for a small fee) copies of his e-mail’s with Paul which included a pdf that clearly shows that my initial thoughts were correct. His mod was more elaborate making the 4 busses also accessible. Quite simple once you study the PCB for a bit. The pdf confirmation was good piece of mind insurance.
Any how, I’ve just completed the 2nd of my 3 units and thought I would share with you fellow 8200 users. So here are a few pics. Pretty simple process if you are a bit handy with a soldering iron. This switches the 2 sends together, to 4 possible outputs. Send 1-2, send 3-4, buss 1-2 or buss 3-4. I could have made send 1 switchable to all 8 or send 2 to all 8 but wanted to keep it in stereo pairs.
By the way my 2488 buddy calls the 8200’s “mini-me”. What a smart ass huh?
Pic 1. The 4 send traces are cut and all 10 jumper pairs are soldered in place.
Pic 2. Elma switch all wired (except shields)and ready for install. Avedis says they are the best and I believe him! Not cheap though!
Pic 3. Switch is installed and redundant Belden shields are wired to chassis ground. I know it's not neccessary but figured it can't hurt anything.
Pic 4. All tested, wired tied and ready to close up. thumbsup
Pic 5. Closed up and ready for action with knob in place. Custom backplate installed over the unused spot for 8200 that has onboard summing amps. I made this at work on my laser engraving machine from 1/16" plastic.
I know, it sucks that the knob is on the back but there is no room on the front. Plus it's better than not having this choice at all! Have fun if you try this. It's pretty simple and well worth the time. Mini-Me's rule the summing world!
Best regards, Jeff