The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Small, unidentified mixer from the UK Consoles
Old 14th November 2009
  #1
Small, unidentified mixer from the UK

Hello all. Some time ago, I purchased a small 8x2 mixer from a member here (who apparently knows nothing about it) in an ebay auction.
I tend to snatch things up sight unseen unheard sometimes, just because they look rare....if they are on the cheap. Like playing the lottery I guess.

Well maybe not the mega millions or nuthin', but you know what I mean. Might be something useable, or have some good parts.

The brand is an "Earthtone". The model is "The Location Mixer". Looks maybe early 1980's, very late 1970's?

It is about 18" wide x 26" deep (front to back, fader to rear connectors), and about 5" high lying face up.

It is built into an anvil case of these exact proportions. It runs either on 120, 220, or on several "c" type batteries.

I opened her up, and it uses "Belclere prototype microphone input transformers". It also has a pair of Audisar 600 ohm to 600 ohm output x-formers stuck onto the meters, and connected to the mix buss outs.
Surely an afterthought.

The IC's are all tl072, 74, 5534's. Whomever designed it, sure did put some sizable caps in there, unless it was modded, but it looks to be original aside from the output transformers. The smallest electrolytic in there is 100uf, the largest is a 470.

All the knobs are stepped/detented etc., and it seems very solidly built.

The PCB's are all stamped with: "Oxglade Electronics LTD."

I can find NOTHING on this manufacturer at all, but I do find an Oxglade in London, and a listing in Manchester UK.

Anybody seen one of these before, or know who built it, or if it ever made production?

Thanks for any info....if there is any to be had. Making a cap order to do my DDA and this little thing at the same time. Save money on qty. order etc.

Maybe somebody in the UK might know who they were?

I can still work on it, and it is not a major deal, but just curious. It would be cool to have schems though, but I am thinking that ain't going to happen.

Thanks!
John
Old 19th April 2010
  #2
Here for the gear
 

The Location Mixer

Have the very same, "The Location Mixer" Mod. No. 8-2 LOC, Serial No.2604 made by Oxglade Electronics Ltd, 53A High Street, Saffron Waldon, Essex. Mine has 2 stickers saying SAFETY CHECK DATE Sept, '86 and SAFETY RE-CHECK DATE Due Apr '94. Also Inventory Sticker 83528 Serial No.2604. Very well build rec. mixer. Looks like custom-built for BBC or other pro user. Also bought through Ebay in 2008. Haven't looked into a re-cap, but surely this is an option. Let me know if you know more.


Kind regards, JCHS
Old 19th April 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Any chance of posting some pics?
Audix was (and is) based near Saffron Waldon and of course the 'N' company was only just up the road with fairly regular movement of staff from one to the other and possibly 'offshoots'.
Audix certainly used some Belclere transformers in their desks around that time.
NE5534 were very expensive when they came out so tended to only be used for mic preamp stages and possibly output drivers. I was at Audix in 1982 sort of time and their 35102 modules only used a couple of the 5534 owing to cost, preferring a football pitch size board full of seperate transistors compared to what would literally have been 6 ICs!
Matt S
Old 20th April 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

Ohh, come on, pictures! dude, I mean like, we need to see the thing talk is cheap man

just talking garbage there.

I really would like to see this as much as the others.

the radio is playing "Plunder my soul" by the Rolling Stones.

Absolutely fantastic. It's ear candy. Love it. bloody Stones, man, they're great.
Old 20th April 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Some decent, in focus pics of the circuit boards top and bottom and we can probably work out the circuit.
Matt S
Old 20th April 2010
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Hi Everybody,

thanks for the interest. Here are some pics:
The Location MIxer

All the best, jchs
Old 20th April 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Perhaps not quite so 'professional', as some of the parts are adequate rather than good but I expect very useable at any rate. Should be pretty reliable and if damaged, quite cheap to fix although the 'magic eye' switch mechanisms are not so easy to find now (ITT Schaddow used to make them). Pots appear to be OMEG and the faders ALPS, both available.
The choices of Phantom and 'T' powering is interesting.
I would expect the circuitry to be very 'textbook' so not requiring much effort to spot what goes where.
The copper bussing makes serious repair work a bit of a pain but if you were into a full 'revamp' not too bad.
Matt S
Old 20th April 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

thank you for the pictures, it's a nice little mixer!

You could check the datecodes on the ICs to have a clue as to when it was made.

A battery pack? talk about versatility...

2N
Old 21st April 2010
  #9
WOW!

Someone else has one?!!! That is amazing. It has been like several years, and no luck in finding anyone else.

Yours looks to be a bit later, and in better condition overall than mine. Also, yours has an extra toggle switch there, that mine doesn't.

Otherwise, THAT IS IT!

Crazy.

I kinda like this thing. It's no Neve, Audix, Calrec etc., but it isn't junk either.

It does some cool things to bass guitar, that I have a hard time getting outta other things for sure. On one cat, I was almost able to bring out that mid heavy Jeff Berlin type tone on his bass track, it sounded cool.

The pres don't have that completely unrestricted, aggressive sound that a good discrete preamp has, but they are still ok. They seem to hold their own against several others I have used side by side with these.

If I get the time, I will snap some photos of mine, but it pretty much looks the same as yours.

And yeah, the ground buss bars are a mofo for sure.

I have already recapped a few faulty caps in the two section, and fixed quite a few solder joints that had taken a beating from the faceplate being taken in and out. The wires just weren't secured /tied down like they should have been, and a couple of solder joints became intermittent from all the jostling.

I plan on recapping everything (damn that ground buss), and maybe looking at a pair of different output transformers. I kinda like the idea of having these 8 mic amps and eq's as a portable rig, even though they are not very small. They are still a bit better than a lot of new stuff out there today that is smaller.

Hey Matt, do you still think it was a BBC spec'd board?
It looks maybe the build quality of a TAC or something...I dunno.

I got this thing from this gentleman, in maybe 2006?:
MILLBROOK SOUND STUDIOS - residential multi-room facility with vintage gear

All he could tell me is he used it a few times, it was ok for what it was, and it was given to him by a non-paying client or something like that.

He is a really nice guy though.

Thanks a million for sharing, you ROCK!
J
Old 21st April 2010
  #10
Gear Addict
 
joe-electro's Avatar
 

Just an idea, but it might be quite easy to replace the copper bussing with some right angle connectors and a ribbon cable. That would make future servicing much easier.

Great looking little mixer. I'm going to keep an eye out for one like this!


Joe
Old 21st April 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Hi
It would probably not be 'BBC spec', certainly not for main programme path but it would certainly be servicable. One of the harder specs to achieve is crosstalk between channels L/R and to some extent between strips. To meet a useable spec you should be able to have 1 channel clipping and with the fader or routing buttons deselected for the clipped signal not appear above background 'hiss' on adjacent channels. This is so that one channel could have a rock band strike up into it's mic at max gain while allowing a quietly spoken presenter to use an adjacent channel and the 'listener' being unaware of the rock band. You usually need a good mix bus and grounding system and either exceptionally well laid out channel strips or metallic screening between channels.
Constuction pretty similar to Studiomaster desks of around that time.
The problem with taking the mechanical construction to a significantly higher level is the extreme cost of the metalwork and if you then have a 'bus' PCB it gets greater still although the TAC 16/4/2 managed a halfway stage by having a busboard that was not fixed into the chassis. Handy in one way but still a PITA to actually work on. To have channel strips that can be unplugged from a chassis/busboard probably doubles the cost of manufacture and this is without changing the actual audio path at all.
Replacing the bussing with connectors and ribbon may not be the best plan unless you are insisting on throwing it around and breaking stuff as the connectors then become another source of unreliability. The resistance of the copper bus wires is also rather less than a ribbon.
If you are intent on 'customising' one of these, work on one channel out of the chassis then mod the lot at once.
Matt S
Old 21st April 2010
  #12
Here for the gear
 

The location mixer

Hi everybody,
wasn't expecting too much as I had paid a measly 58 GPD. I guess nobody knew what it was then.
So far I used it as a back-up mobile unit. It sounds clean enough, EQ is hands-on "british", pre-amps can be driven pretty hard. Nice handy format. Might clean it up (re-cap). One op-amp chip should be changed anyway, as far as I can judge. See what my tech says ($$$) .... if this will be a nightmare, I'll just leave it as it is.
Maybe somebody can tell us more about this ominous Oxglade Company. So far thanks for all your comments .... jchs
Old 21st April 2010
  #13
Thanks

Yeah, I see where you are going with this. Putting the channel "strips" in so that they are removable without desoldering probably does cost a lot more. Way less metalwork.

I have used a few Studiomasters, even owned one, and they didn't sound much like this little board, but I think you are meaning mostly the way the metal work is laid out? I once had a Mixdown Classic 8 by them, and it had a bunch of JRC chips in it I think.


Mackie, Yamaha, Behringer etc. too right? Has to be a cost saving design method like you say.

It is funny to think about though, that back in the day, this would have been the equivalent of a Mackie 1202 or something. The difference in size is crazy. All of that space for an 8 channel mixer heh

We've gone from a large briefcase footprint, to a 8x8 inch square, 2" high.

I guess because of no SMT, and caps were bigger, etc. Plus the input transformers I guess also.

For recording I would rather have this than a Mackie though, even though the new compact mixers have way better specs on paper, and are cleaner and quieter.

It is hard to get a Mackie to sound "aggressive". Shoot, it is hard to get a Mackie to sound anything really. They are just kind of there.

Out on a broadcast location or something though, I think I'd want something newer, maybe cleaner etc. Not sure if I would trust this on the road nowadays, and it's pretty big by todays' standards for the feaures it has.

It's just cool to have around for another type of sound in the studio is all, and I can move it easily to a friend's, take it on vacation if I want, etc.

Thanks for all the info Matt,
J
Old 21st April 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Hi
It is the interaction between circuits which help determine the flavour and a simple, well spaced out circuit with clean power and ground will always sound better than a heap of confused mush. Cramming a zillion functions into a shoe box 'because you can' is not necessarily the way to sonic happiness.
The Studiomaster may have sounded similar but for a completely different mic stage, not using a transformer.
Matt S
Old 22nd April 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
One of the harder specs to achieve is crosstalk between channels L/R and to some extent between strips. To meet a useable spec you should be able to have 1 channel clipping and with the fader or routing buttons deselected for the clipped signal not appear above background 'hiss' on adjacent channels.
If crosstalk is an issue, I'd go with shielded cable on the audio signals. RG-174 with teflon insulator would be great. I don't know if you'd have to leave the shield floating on the channels and tie them together "over the channels"(where you splice between the channels) or if you could connect the shield on all channels.
But shielded cable would no doubt eliminate all crosstalk!
2N
Old 22nd April 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Hi
You missed the point I am afraid.
Pots have an 'end' resistance of a couple of ohms which allows 'resistive' crosstalk, with care this can be -70dB and there are schemes to improve this. Additionally ALL the audio electronics from one channel needs shielding from adjacent circuitry, even prefade amplifiers and those postfade with considerations to any EQ if it is 'switchable' pre or post fade. Isolation between stages should be in the order of -100dB at 10 or 20KHz (lower if possible).
People go on about 'ground' issues without actually understanding some basic requirements for the amplifier stages. EVERY amplifier is a 'differential' amplifier, which simply magnifies the DIFFERENCE between it's 'input' and a reference point at the 'front end' of the circuit block. This reference is usually 'ground' for single ended signals which is fine. If this 'ground' is actually bouncing up and down relative to the intended input then it is effectively signal, so gets amplified. To make life more fun, ALL conductors are aerials so if the circuit block is subjected to EMI it will get amplified too.
Outside the desk you can use for example CAT5 cable for tens of metres and as long as the signals are well balanced and sent from low impedance, say 30 Ohms then crosstalk from this source would be less than almost any channel strip.
Matt S
Old 28th February 2011
  #17
Here for the gear
 

the classical guitar guy in Nashville here! Bought a well worn, “the location mixer” at Trew in ’08. Mine does not say earthtone anywhere on it, but it does Metro Audio as well as THE LOCATION MIXER. It sounds to me the warmest of all my preamps and small mixers. I love that you can bypass eq, turn off or on each input etc. Am I wrong or is this much more full featured than anything new out there today except for the hi$$$$ ones? I need a schematic for mixer and power supply. I think there is a problem in the psu and I want to find out how expensive it would be to have it fixed. Creation Audio here in Nashville is said to be good on PSU work. I took a bunch of pix of this but I am new to GS and do not know yet how to post them.
Got the manual (no schem) with it, when I run across it I will scan & pdf for anyone who is interested.
Mine has the big trans on the meters & output as well so maybe that was original.
I am interested if anyone has some upgrades for this one.
I did an fairly rigid blind ab using great mics. AB with soundcraft folio recpac, yamaha m406, gately prokit ii, mic pre-eminence, ART pro mpa ii, and well to my ear the preEminence trounced everything. All others sounded more like a piece of electronics and the PreEm sounded a little more like being there. However this mixer has me interested in the British thing (not the British eq since I don’t even use eq) I am starting to fancy getting soundcraft delta 200 19” rack model.
Anyway if anyone has any ideas on the PSU for the old location mixer please let me know.
Thanks,
Jerry
Old 28th February 2011
  #18
Here for the gear
 

the location mixer, need schematic for psu

the classical guitar guy in Nashville here! I bought a well worn, “the location mixer” at Trew in ’08. Mine does not say earthtone anywhere on it, but it does Metro Audio as well as THE LOCATION MIXER. It sounds to me the warmest of all my preamps and small mixers. I love that you can bypass eq, turn off or on each input etc. Am I wrong or is this much more full featured than anything new out there today except for the hi$$$$ ones? I need a schematic for mixer and power supply. I think there is a problem in the psu and I want to find out how expensive it would be to have it fixed. Creation Audio here in Nashville is said to be good on PSU work. I took a bunch of pix of this but I am new to GS and do not know yet how to post them.
Got the manual (no schem) with it, when I run across it I will scan & pdf for anyone who is interested.
Mine has the big trans on the meters & output as well so maybe that was original.
I am interested if anyone has some upgrades for this one.
I did an fairly rigid blind ab using great mics. AB with soundcraft folio recpac, yamaha m406, gately prokit ii, mic pre-eminence, ART pro mpa ii, and well to my ear the preEminence trounced everything. All others sounded more like a piece of electronics and the PreEm sounded a little more like being there. However this mixer has me interested in the British thing (not the British eq since I don’t even use eq) I am starting to fancy getting soundcraft delta 200 19” rack model.
Anyway if anyone has any ideas on the PSU for the old location mixer please let me know.
Thanks,
Jerry
Old 2nd November 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Cathedral Guitar's Avatar
There is one currently on eBay: Small, unidentified mixer from the UKHERE
Old 2nd November 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

The one on ebay looks like a blend between StudioMaster and Soundtracs, circa 1980-something. Neither were world-shattering consoles, both were decent for the money but I always had cross-talk issues with that era Soundtracs.

It is not surprising that it has t power if it is intended as a location mixer.
Old 3rd November 2011
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The one on ebay looks like a blend between StudioMaster and Soundtracs, circa 1980-something. Neither were world-shattering consoles, both were decent for the money but I always had cross-talk issues with that era Soundtracs.

It is not surprising that it has t power if it is intended as a location mixer.

Well, it's a little better than all that. I guess looks can be a little decieving. It uses Belclere input transformers, it's all 5534's and 32's (no tl072's or 74's), and all stepped rotary pots. These are the same Belcleres in the 80's Neve stuff...like em' or hate em'.

Somebody modded mine with output transformers.

I'd take it over a soundtracs any day. Studiomaster...not even in the same build quality league at all.

I haven't measured for crosstalk, but it is not an obvious issue with this board.

At it's age, it will need a recap for sure though.

It's not a Neve BCM, it's not discrete, but it's ok. Sounds better than a lot of new stuff to my ears, after recapping it. Pretty darn quiet.

Certainly built WAY more solid than any soundtracs or studiomaster I have ever touched.

john

Interesting, just saw that it was in use by the CBC per the inventory label. I was told they were used by the BBC as well.
Old 27th November 2015
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Anyone ever come across a schematic? I'm trying to reconnect the OPT's. Thanks in advance.
Old 4th November 2018
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Subverter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReRibbon View Post
Anyone ever come across a schematic? I'm trying to reconnect the OPT's. Thanks in advance.
Someone just posted some circuit diagrams in another thread:

Analogue mixer- British made - "The Location Two" - need help on finding information.

Sounds like he has a copy of the manual.
Old 12th February 2019
  #24
Gear Head
 
Antagon1st's Avatar
 

I'm a 2-yr owner of one. Bought it off of a great guy who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts (I think). I love this little mixer. I use it as an insert for my Drum Bus, for every mix...literally. The pres are thick and colourful and the eqs are good. It's not as detailed as a Neve, but it's surprisingly good and sounds huge, for its size.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
They are pretty damn good sounding. Probably the short signal path?

Big bass drum. Mine is pretty aggressive sounding. Usually trying to get that edge out of a 5534 IC based console sounds like poop to my ears. This works....kinda. I just don't push too hard.

Also, after recapping, they sound tons better. Those caps are probably 40 years old now. The b*tch about recapping these is that although the channels are discrete, (not discrete transistor, but seperate) they are connected with long bus wire that needs clipping and desoldering. And you have to take every knob off. Kinda like a SoundWorkshop 1280 or something.

So getting them channels out to work on is a PITA. Time consuming.

Other than that, it's great. Somebody knew what they were doing. Most mid level British boards from that era had tiny coupling capacitors. This thing had 470 uf, 220 uf etc. The bottom end is good. Not phasey and mushy.

Also, a good amount of decoupling caps in there. I did add some .1uf bypass caps for the hell of it on each chips rails.

And although people slag the Belclere transformers, they sound better than a lot of stuff nowadays so...

It sounds cleaner than a Neve 8128 at least Maybe a little similar.

That used the exact same transformers. Probably many of the same chips.

Somebody retrofitted mine with Jensen line transformers on the output.
Not sure if it's noisy without them, never listened.

The power transformer IS right next to the main outs....probably not helping.
Not that I even use the main outs....but you know. The board is too small to mix a record on, so I use it as preamps sometimes when bored of other things. It's not a Neve BCM10, but it's also too cool to sell.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
Gear Head
 
Antagon1st's Avatar
 

Definitely too cool to sell! I'm nearly jealous of your mods, man! Yours most likely sounds much better than mine, which I had sitting for 4 months, after getting a Ramsa WRT820 (but this was back in mid/late 2017 - a yr after I bought it). I noticed, after a while that I was missing some mojo in my mixes, so I decided to hardwire my 'Location mixer' to the outputs of my Apollo, in my home studio and I was much happier routing my Drums to the Ramsa post the 'Location Mixer'. To me, it doesn't have the depth (3D soundstage) of an analog console and is not quite as hifi as any of my Neves (I have 4 pair of 31102s and 2 pairs of broadcast Neve pres at my commercial studio), but it's truly a keeper and I will find a way to get it recapped and it cleaned up. Nothing that I have sounds quite like it, despite all my pro gear, and that's special in this digital era! LOL
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
Get a cheap desoldering gun. You got this man!

It'll sound good as new.

Probably a little better with low esr caps they make nowadays. Panasonics and Nichicon muse are good. It's cheap, but a little time consuming.

It'll be worth it. There are not really any parts that are not replaceable in there. Maybe some those weird pushbutton switches and maybe the meters.

Everything else off the shelf though.
PM me if you decide to do it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Head
 
Antagon1st's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
Get a cheap desoldering gun. You got this man!

It'll sound good as new.

Probably a little better with low esr caps they make nowadays. Panasonics and Nichicon muse are good. It's cheap, but a little time consuming.

It'll be worth it. There are not really any parts that are not replaceable in there. Maybe some those weird pushbutton switches and maybe the meters.

Everything else off the shelf though.
PM me if you decide to do it.
Wow! Thank you! I appreciate that!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
DaveNJ / So much gear, so little time
0
Feromongo / So much gear, so little time
0
matmi / Music Computers
0
matmi / Post Production forum
0

Forum Jump
Forum Jump