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Upgrading transformers in Neve 51 series channel strip
Old 8th July 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Upgrading transformers in Neve 51 series channel strip

Hi.

I have a Neve 51 series console and thought it might be fun to do some mods. After doing a little research, it seems one of the sonic shortcomings of the desk is the Beclere input transformer (tf10015). I know these are interchangeable with the Marinair/St.Ives 10468 in the 33069 compressor...so would they be interchangeable in the channel strip as well? Carnhill currently makes a mu metal version of the 110468:

Audio Maintenance Limited CA-18-VTB9045M - Transformer: Audio Input (Microphone Level) - MuMetal Can

This looks like it will fit on the pcb... Would this work as a replacement for the tf10015 in the 83049 module (schematic included)?

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Upgrading transformers in Neve 51 series channel strip-image_2652.jpg  
Old 9th July 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Hi
If there are any supposed 'sonic shortcomings' I would doubt it is the mic transformer.
by all means feel free to exchange it although if you try it it would be instructive to properly test and measure what the original does and compare it to the alternative. Don't forget that the compensation components should be changed as there is probably a greater likelihood that having these incorrect will be more of an effect than simply swapping the transformer.
There are other elements to this design that will be affecting things, possibly rather more than the transformer, but as they are 'integral' to this particular module would be difficult to alter.
Matt S
Old 9th July 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
mjrippe's Avatar
 

I know that on the 542x series Neve boards the issue with the Belclere transformer (TF 10014) was one of microphonics. You could literally tap on the channel and hear it through the preamp! Not sure if this is the same issue as the 51 series though...Geoff Tanner around?
Old 9th July 2014
  #4
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrippe View Post
I know that on the 542x series Neve boards the issue with the Belclere transformer (TF 10014) was one of microphonics. You could literally tap on the channel and hear it through the preamp! Not sure if this is the same issue as the 51 series though...Geoff Tanner around?
Hi

Yes, I am around but am slightly amused by the original question and the motivation...

Is the belief that by fitting an earlier transformer, it will sound like an earlier mic pre? EG 1073?

Matt is right, you can't just slap in another transformer without adjusting the compensation network.

Also fitting the old style transformer will be a pain in the ass as the Belclere is pcb mounted and you will have long unshielded wires weaving around to the pins on the 10468 which will obliterate the Belclere pcb pin locations.

Personally I don't think it's worth the bother... the 51 series was a nice channel and the mod is more likely to spoil the module unless all aspects are carefully worked out.

Old 9th July 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Geoff_T's Avatar
 

PS It won't fit... the Belclere has fewer pins than the Carnhill so none of the pins will line up.

I should have clicked on your link before replying....

Old 10th July 2014
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Cool. Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like this is a no go.
Old 15th January 2020
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Neve 51 channel

Hi guys - I've been offered Neve 51 channel strips, mic pre and EQ, in a Labo-K lunchbox. Any thoughts on the sonic properties of these units? I understand the51 series was mainly for broadcast desks rather than audio mixing. Does that make a difference to the specs? I run a live venue and we're looking for some nice mic pre-s to add some vintage vibe into Pro Tools
Old 16th January 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Hi

I can never understand why broadcast consoles are looked on with disdain compared to music consoles...

It should be the other way around... if at all...considering much of the circuitry is identical.

Broadcast consoles have broadcast network inspectors go through them very thoroughly.

Music consoles are tested by the manufacturer.

The 51 circuitry is similar to V series and should sound fine. Don't expect 1073....


Quote:
Originally Posted by atkeyboards View Post
Hi guys - I've been offered Neve 51 channel strips, mic pre and EQ, in a Labo-K lunchbox. Any thoughts on the sonic properties of these units? I understand the51 series was mainly for broadcast desks rather than audio mixing. Does that make a difference to the specs? I run a live venue and we're looking for some nice mic pre-s to add some vintage vibe into Pro Tools
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