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MCI JH24 Silent Fan Replacement options
Old 28th June 2016
  #1
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MCI JH24 Silent Fan Replacement options

Hi Folks

We'll be upgrading our Studio A room with a very nice Trident 80b + a MCI JH24.
Until now we had a very silent Control Room as our Mac + 224XL is in the tech room.
Unfortuntaly we won't be able to put the MCI in this room and will have it with us at the desk.
It's fans are not that noisy and I feel it will be supportable.
But, I was wondering if some you guys replaced them with silent ones?
If so I would love to have some tips about it (brands, models, refs...).

It would be such a dream that it become all silent!!!

Best
Old 28th June 2016
  #2
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All I can offer is some general info that may be of help. A quick google search on your MCI tape deck brought this up link: AnalogRules / BASE the MCI / Sony 'How To' pages... and reading down that page it stresses that the unit's power supply fans NEED to be working properly for the deck to be right. What this means is that for fan replacement you need to provide something that moves a similar amount of air (or more) than the original or you could impede your deck. When people replace fans for quieter ones it commonly means the fan they substitute moves less air via slower speed of the fan blades turning. Fans will be spec'ed by what power they use (AC or DC) and if DC by what voltage they use (like 12 volts). Next they will spec by their size. Typically you would match these specs so the fan fits and is powered correctly (if you can fit a bigger fan it will be to your advantage though). Next specs on fans are for the speed (RPM, which can be varied by the voltage), the volume of air it moves for that speed (CFM), and noise it makes doing so (dB). You can compare specs to get the lowest noise at the amount of air you need to move.

The things that effect fan noise in general are the larger the fan and the slower it rotates, the LESS noise it makes. To put this in practical use, can you use a larger fan than the original that moves an equal amount of air at a slower speed? Some fan designs will be quiter than others too (that's what comparing specs apples to apples will give you (noise at a given CFM of air movement).

In the old days it was not uncommon to have a "Tape Deck closet" in the control room with a glass door. This was typically just a notch in the wall for the deck to sit in that had EXTRA ventilation and by nature of it having a door, its noise of operation was greatly reduced. That might be something to consider also.
Old 28th June 2016
  #3
I can only second the very good advice that Bassmankr has given you. It's WAY more important that the fans are running well and moving the proper amount of air. Choose replacements based on CFM+RPM and never go below the factory ones.

You can place some acoustic materials around the base of the machine at the back and it won't impede the airflow but will decrease the noise. Almost any barrier helps. And resloder all those molexes on the ps [and motherboards, analogue torgue board, etc.] and clean and reseat all connections and molexes while you are at it, null the dc offsets, check the dc tachs with a scope, etc.. It's amazing how much better your machine can run with these simple 'fixes'.

Happy Tracking!

Last edited by [email protected]; 28th June 2016 at 09:25 PM..
Old 28th June 2016
  #4
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Thanks a lot.
That's actually what I did, I dig so much Analog Rules and others input from tape techs here in france I came to pretty what you underline.

I really understand how important great cooling is to these machine and I'll see with our tech what we could do with this.
I know a dedicated closet would be great but it won't work with our current room design.

I'll stick to the stock fans for now and will try somehting later, and post the report here.

Let's clean this thing up!!!

Best
Old 29th July 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benoit bel View Post
Thanks a lot.
That's actually what I did, I dig so much Analog Rules and others input from tape techs here in france I came to pretty what you underline.

I really understand how important great cooling is to these machine and I'll see with our tech what we could do with this.
I know a dedicated closet would be great but it won't work with our current room design.

I'll stick to the stock fans for now and will try somehting later, and post the report here.

Let's clean this thing up!!!

Best
Hi

After many reasearch and tests (the machine is now perfectly aligned and we already cut a few sessions on!!!!!!) I was not able to find anything concerning CFM and RPM on the original fans.
IMC Magnetics WS2107FL-1009

I wrote to any reseller if they could provide spec from these units, even toCurtis Wright who bougth the company but no news from them.
Even the great Gorski doesn't know. He just says to buy big CFM silent fans but without any start point in terms of value I just don't know what to look at.

If any one of you have any idea of anything that could help it would just be great because I love this machine, but I hate ending a session with headache due to fan noise, and the clients too!

Best
Old 29th July 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benoit bel View Post
Hi

After many reasearch and tests (the machine is now perfectly aligned and we already cut a few sessions on!!!!!!) I was not able to find anything concerning CFM and RPM on the original fans.
IMC Magnetics WS2107FL-1009

I wrote to any reseller if they could provide spec from these units, even toCurtis Wright who bougth the company but no news from them.
Even the great Gorski doesn't know. He just says to buy big CFM silent fans but without any start point in terms of value I just don't know what to look at.

If any one of you have any idea of anything that could help it would just be great because I love this machine, but I hate ending a session with headache due to fan noise, and the clients too!

Best
If I remember correctly the tech guy at the the studio I frequent here has replaced the stock fans. It was over a year ago and the machine has been used daily and works smooth as butter. I can ask the details from him.
Old 29th July 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
If I remember correctly the tech guy at the the studio I frequent here has replaced the stock fans. It was over a year ago and the machine has been used daily and works smooth as butter. I can ask the details from him.
OH YES! It would be great!
Thanks
Old 5th August 2016
  #8
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chrismeraz's Avatar
 

See if NOCTUA have some fans that are the right size. Even if they aren't exactly the right dimensions, I recommend modifying things to fit. I don't think you'll find quieter fans anywhere.
Old 5th August 2016
  #9
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drBill's Avatar
The power supply fans on a JH24 will be the LEAST of your noise issues with the machine. Had one in the CRM for 15 years. Can't recall ever hearing the PS fan noise over the racket of the machine itself. I wouldn't worry about it.
Old 8th August 2016
  #10
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analogtodd's Avatar
 

I bought a bunch of replacement fans for all my mci gear on mouser.
They are a.c., as long as you get the dimensions right, youll be fine. I got some 250v ones, so they turned 50% less when installed.
You absolutely need to move air through those jh24 power supplies.
Also, take them out and blow all the transistor fins out... Im sure theyll be filthy.
Most MCI issues start at the power supplies!
Also... Not sure what someone meant by racket, but a properly aligned and setup jh24 runs smoothe and quiet.
Old 8th August 2016
  #11
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drBill's Avatar
By "racket" - I meant the normal running of the machine. It's far louder than the fan noise of the power supplies. If you've got the machine behind you in an alcove and you're only mixing - no worries. If you've got up a big LDC and trying to record soft vocals or finger picked AC Gtr, that's and entirely different story. Fought that for years.....

As much as I hate the fans on my PT interfaces and the computer itself, it doesn't compare to the ambient noise of a 2" MCI in the room.

Agreed with you 110% on the power supplies!!!! Keep those babies CLEAN!!!
Old 13th August 2016
  #12
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chrismeraz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
As much as I hate the fans on my PT interfaces and the computer itself, it doesn't compare to the ambient noise of a 2" MCI in the room.
Bill,

There's a company called Seasonic that makes computer power supplies without fans. I replaced that in my computer, replaced the HDD's with SSD's, and put a HUGE heatsink over the main processor. Then I installed a single, very large Noctua fan pushing air into the computer case. I can't hear a thing from my computer anymore! I definitely recommend it. Obviously a major pain in the ass to replace a system hard drive though.

As far as your interface fans, you can easily replace them with fans that make much less noise. Stock fans make nearly 30dB. A really quiet fan with the same air flow rate can be as low as 15dB!
Old 13th August 2016
  #13
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismeraz View Post
Bill,

There's a company called Seasonic that makes computer power supplies without fans. I replaced that in my computer, replaced the HDD's with SSD's, and put a HUGE heatsink over the main processor. Then I installed a single, very large Noctua fan pushing air into the computer case. I can't hear a thing from my computer anymore! I definitely recommend it. Obviously a major pain in the ass to replace a system hard drive though.

As far as your interface fans, you can easily replace them with fans that make much less noise. Stock fans make nearly 30dB. A really quiet fan with the same air flow rate can be as low as 15dB!
THANKS. Or.....I can build a temp controlled machine room. Which is what I did.
Old 16th August 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benoit bel View Post
OH YES! It would be great!
Thanks
I just got the email address of the said tech guy. He is a bit of hermit with very little use of cell phone etc. But I know he is in town now, so I sent him mail, hopefully he'll check it soon. I asked from the studio owner, he had no idea of the specs or brand of the new fans, but according to him it's been a good upgrade.

EDIT: Oh dang, I just got reply in my email that the mailing address isn't working. This complicates stuff a little bit, as I double checked the mailing address and it has previously worked fine for other people. I'm sorry about that. I'll get in touch with you as soon as I get hold of him.

Last edited by ZenMaster; 16th August 2016 at 12:39 PM.. Reason: Update
Old 5th September 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
I just got the email address of the said tech guy. He is a bit of hermit with very little use of cell phone etc. But I know he is in town now, so I sent him mail, hopefully he'll check it soon. I asked from the studio owner, he had no idea of the specs or brand of the new fans, but according to him it's been a good upgrade.

EDIT: Oh dang, I just got reply in my email that the mailing address isn't working. This complicates stuff a little bit, as I double checked the mailing address and it has previously worked fine for other people. I'm sorry about that. I'll get in touch with you as soon as I get hold of him.
Hi Zenmaster!
Any news from the hermit?...
Best
Old 5th September 2016
  #16
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I'm sorry, no. It's so confusing, in this day and age, and I cannot contact a person through email or phone
Old 13th September 2016
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benoit bel View Post
Hi Zenmaster!
Any news from the hermit?...
Best
I'm happy to finally have good news for you! I got hold of our tech, he'll email me the necessary specifications and I'll forward them to you. I'll pm you tomorrow Now off to bed!
Old 14th September 2016
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenmaster View Post
i'm happy to finally have good news for you! I got hold of our tech, he'll email me the necessary specifications and i'll forward them to you. I'll pm you tomorrow now off to bed!
wow!!! Great news!!!
Old 14th September 2016
  #19
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127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
The power supply fans on a JH24 will be the LEAST of your noise issues with the machine. Had one in the CRM for 15 years. Can't recall ever hearing the PS fan noise over the racket of the machine itself. I wouldn't worry about it.
I have a 1983 Mci JH-24 and its not very loud at all, the loudest issue I had was the shields dropping I placed a small felt washer on the bottom where it makes contact and it reduced the noise a lot. I'm sure each machine is different and I have noticed some that operate at noisy levels.
Old 14th September 2016
  #20
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drBill's Avatar
One man's quiet is another man's noise generator. If you're mixing and have the machine in front of you, or if you've got a LDC up and are trying to record a delicate ac guitar part or vocal, the perception is quite different. There was a day when no recording was done in the CRM. That day is pretty much gone. Machine rooms were invented for a reason.

I still stick with my original comment - the power supply fans are nowhere near as loud as the rest of the machine is.
Old 14th September 2016
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
One man's quiet is another man's noise generator. If you're mixing and have the machine in front of you, or if you've got a LDC up and are trying to record a delicate ac guitar part or vocal, the perception is quite different. There was a day when no recording was done in the CRM. That day is pretty much gone. Machine rooms were invented for a reason.

I still stick with my original comment - the power supply fans are nowhere near as loud as the rest of the machine is.
What would you consider to be the noisiest mechanism in JH24? I mean, the tech here has made several modifications for the machine ( and it's predecessor, which was another JH24 ) . . I think the tape runs smooth when recording, just a soft hiss there. The transport, especially stopping the machine is pretty noisy, but the stop sound won't be interfering your mixing/recording.. But yeah the machine is pretty thoroughly modded/refurbished and kept in great condition

Btw, here are the specs for the original fans (well at least these were mounted when the machine arrived), if there's someone else are after them in the future:


COMAIR ROTRON
115VAC
59CFM/50HZ (ca. 100 m3/h)
Noise Rating:31.2dBA

@ benoit bel , I'm pm'ing you now!
Old 14th September 2016
  #22
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drBill's Avatar
I can only speak to transport noise vs. PS fan noise and which was louder. With my JH24, when the machine was running, the transport noise was greater than the fan noise - making the fan noise a moot point. As to whether or not that is too noisy, not very noisy or dead quiet in your estimation, those are all judgement calls that each of us make on our own.
Old 14th September 2016
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I can only speak to transport noise vs. PS fan noise and which was louder. With my JH24, when the machine was running, the transport noise was greater than the fan noise - making the fan noise a moot point. As to whether or not that is too noisy, not very noisy or dead quiet in your estimation, those are all judgement calls that each of us make on our own.
By transport noise, do you mean using the transport controls FF/Rewind etc, or the noise of reels spinning and tape moving while playing back or recording?
Old 14th September 2016
  #24
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JH

I understand what Dr. Bill is saying sometimes any noise is too much noise depending on the situation, and I've heard machines that were rather loud just in general operation. I have a very quiet machine, due to good maintence/calibration. They sound fantastic. People talk about getting it right from the beginning. Tracking to an MCI JH-24, is a great beginning. IMO it makes the rest of the project a pleasure to work on. Rock n Roll guitars sound Amazing on 2 inch off the JH-24. FAT!
Old 14th September 2016
  #25
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Oh, I see. I was referring to tracking and mixing situations, although none of the projects has been mixed from tape for years now. The machine is silent enough (for me and the owner) for mixing off from it, playing guitar parts in the control room etc. I hadn't thought of silent control room (we have no machine room), you get used to the sound of the machine after living with it for decades And after the mods, changing the bearings etc. I'd dare to call it pretty silent (when running the play or rec). And the control room is big enough so it's not sitting by your ear. Anyway, great sounding machine!
Old 14th September 2016
  #26
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
By transport noise, do you mean using the transport controls FF/Rewind etc, or the noise of reels spinning and tape moving while playing back or recording?
Well, they all make a sound don't they? I meant the noise of the reels spinning and tape moving over the rollers and heads while playing back or recording.
Old 14th September 2016
  #27
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
Oh, I see. I was referring to tracking and mixing situations, although none of the projects has been mixed from tape for years now. The machine is silent enough (for me and the owner) for mixing off from it, playing guitar parts in the control room etc. I hadn't thought of silent control room (we have no machine room), you get used to the sound of the machine after living with it for decades And after the mods, changing the bearings etc. I'd dare to call it pretty silent (when running the play or rec). And the control room is big enough so it's not sitting by your ear. Anyway, great sounding machine!
Yes. You just get used to it - where it becomes a part of the air that surrounds you. But take it away.....and it's breathtakingly silent. I too had lived with the "silent" noise of a well maintained JH24 for decades. And now that it's gone, I'm finally happy with the "new" silence of my CRM.

That machine does sound great for rock though. IMO if I were to have a 2" machine, there's zero doubt it would be a JH24, but I'd have to have a maintenance guy who knew the machine on staff.
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