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Testing a Calrec preamp? Problems....
Old 15th May 2006
Gear Head

Testing a Calrec preamp? Problems....

Hey guys, I have 2 Brent Avreill racked Calrec PQ1081 Preamps here. They were in great condition with no noises coming from the knobs, switches, etc.

Ok, well you know when you get a ghost in the studio and 3 things go wrong at once? Well that happened. And when I got it all sorted out, one of my Calrecs was not working right.

Im using one of them for a DI track for guitars so I can Reamp later. Im going from the guitar into a Countryman DI, then into the Calrec Mic input, Using about 10 db of gain and then into the computer. The other Calrec is recording a scratch guitar from the amp.

Ok well I tripped over the DI box and when I got it working again, I noticed that my DI track didnt look as loud as it was before. I swapped DI's, cords, everything. Then I switched over to the other Calrec and the problem went away.

So, what I have is that one Calrec sounds very transparent and dynamic. Good extended lows and highs. The 'bad' one is less dynamic now, less peaks and some of the low lows and high highs are gone. Its more midrangey and compressed sounding.

I honestly dont thing that me tripping over the DI broke the preamp. It would have just put a tiny bit of stress on the input jack. And the jack seems to feel tight and makes no noises.

I am not a tech, and am not so good at diagnosing electronics. But can you guys suggest a way I can do some tests here to determine weather or not I have a frequency response deficiency or something like that?

The only tech I have access to is quite expensive and I wanted to see if there was any way I could avoid the costs.

Any suggestions you might have would be appreciated!

Old 15th May 2006
Lives for gear
Geoff_T's Avatar

Hi Colin

A easy test is whether the non-functioning module works fine on the mic input but cruddy on the DI.

If it's fine via the XLR then you have damaged the jack or the cable feeding it.

If cruddy both paths then the module has had a minor failure that occurred at the time of the incident... it need not be associated with that... old modules do go wrong now and again!

I'd put even money on you damaging the jack... just because it's tight on the panel doesn't mean the contacts are all connecting... that jack is a little more complicated than you think.

Old 15th May 2006
Gear Head

Thanks Geoff! Well I wasnt clear. I am actually going out of the DI XLR out into the XLR Mic imput on the back of the module. But I can try to test this by using an XLR to 1/4 cord and going into the DI input on the front and see if there is a difference.

Old 15th May 2006
If you're in L.A., head out to the valley and drop it off at the Averill shop.
Or call them up. I'm sure they'll get everything back and better for a reasonable rate.
Old 15th May 2006
Gear Head

Im in the S.F. Bay Area. But youre right, I should just call him up. In fact I will.

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