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Console advice. Difference between MCI 416 & 428? Summing Mixers
Old 10th July 2008
  #31
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdmctear View Post
Over the past 8 years we've been booked pretty solid (sometimes I've called it "mercilessly"). In that time we've had one, maybe two instances where the console was down and we couldn't work. Any problems almost always stem from power supply related issues. The console runs on 4 of them, we have 10 in various states of repair. In fact, it's worth mentioning that we have a second console for parts, which can't be taken for granted. Other than that, we have a heavily modded master section and no docs.... a little bit of a pickle ... though we plan to get to the bottom of that soon.

It should also be mentioned that we've recapped the console in the past year, and before that in 2000 (our previous location was susceptible to temperature extremes over the year, so we recapped as part of our moving clean-up).

When buying an MCI look for modifications and try to get docs for those mods.... they are worth their weight in gold.
Hey, so does your 416 still have the old 2001 opamps in it? I went to your myspace page to check out some of the bands that have been done at your studio and I think it sounds just fine. I listened to the some of the songs from the "A Sides" and I don't notice any "slowness" in the console or any sludge or mud, at least not any amount that would ever bother me. Matter of fact, it actually sounds really good (the band and your console). What sort of mods have you done to the master section? Also, when you say that it's a custom built 416, do you mean custom simply because it has 32 channels instead of the usual 24? Sorry to bother you again.
Old 14th July 2008
  #32
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

I recently bought a 428B from Randy that had a few interesting mods. It's working out well. The biggest pain in the ass during installation was that the punch blocks had been wired to D-subs which were added to the rear. Lots of soldering and tracing down signals. but now, if I ever have to move it again it will be plug and play. So...

Soldered punch blocks would be a nightmare. I would just be sure to have the console you are considering looked over carefully. Mine was modded with 5534 op amps everywhere. The 2001's are 'slower' and getting hard to find. There is of course a right way and a wrong way to do this mod. Mine was done right.

Mods are definitely a mixed bag. Some really improve things and some can turn the desk into a piece of garbage. As with all things, know what you are getting into.

Anyway Randy and associates are probably the best source of info as you have already discovered. Tell him I said hi when you talk to him...

I think he still has a pretty cool 416 that I was looking at...
Old 15th July 2008
  #33
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bdmctear's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
Hey, so does your 416 still have the old 2001 opamps in it? I went to your myspace page to check out some of the bands that have been done at your studio and I think it sounds just fine. I listened to the some of the songs from the "A Sides" and I don't notice any "slowness" in the console or any sludge or mud, at least not any amount that would ever bother me. Matter of fact, it actually sounds really good (the band and your console). What sort of mods have you done to the master section? Also, when you say that it's a custom built 416, do you mean custom simply because it has 32 channels instead of the usual 24? Sorry to bother you again.
Thanks for the compliments! Modifications on this board are more extensive than I have all the records for. MCI op amps were replaced with LF356AH's throughout. Caps throughout the console (not faders) were replaced last year with Panasonics, I believe EEC types. We're replacing caps in the faders with Elna Silmic II type caps. Also considering plans for removing active circuitry from the fader system, though we're not sure. The master fader was modified by Sigma, though we have very little documentation of the before and after.

You know, as far as the exact series of our console, I am now a little confused, especially after all the talk about MCIs lately. I have to look again at the back of it. I can tell you it's 32 input with 16 busses. The Arms fader system includes a total of 40 faders all programmable and automatable VCAs.
Old 1st August 2008
  #34
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdmctear View Post
Thanks for the compliments! Modifications on this board are more extensive than I have all the records for. MCI op amps were replaced with LF356AH's throughout. Caps throughout the console (not faders) were replaced last year with Panasonics, I believe EEC types. We're replacing caps in the faders with Elna Silmic II type caps. Also considering plans for removing active circuitry from the fader system, though we're not sure. The master fader was modified by Sigma, though we have very little documentation of the before and after.

You know, as far as the exact series of our console, I am now a little confused, especially after all the talk about MCIs lately. I have to look again at the back of it. I can tell you it's 32 input with 16 busses. The Arms fader system includes a total of 40 faders all programmable and automatable VCAs.
So do you use your pre's in the console very much?
Old 1st August 2008
  #35
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool View Post
I recently bought a 428B from Randy that had a few interesting mods. It's working out well. The biggest pain in the ass during installation was that the punch blocks had been wired to D-subs which were added to the rear. Lots of soldering and tracing down signals. but now, if I ever have to move it again it will be plug and play. So...

Soldered punch blocks would be a nightmare. I would just be sure to have the console you are considering looked over carefully. Mine was modded with 5534 op amps everywhere. The 2001's are 'slower' and getting hard to find. There is of course a right way and a wrong way to do this mod. Mine was done right.

Mods are definitely a mixed bag. Some really improve things and some can turn the desk into a piece of garbage. As with all things, know what you are getting into.

Anyway Randy and associates are probably the best source of info as you have already discovered. Tell him I said hi when you talk to him...

I think he still has a pretty cool 416 that I was looking at...
So how have you gone about integrating the console's built in patch bay into your setup/outboard gear?
Old 3rd August 2008
  #36
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bdmctear's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
So do you use your pre's in the console very much?
Every time we track. For the past few years I've had a couple Neve 1066 channels, and a few API 312 pres. Excellent as we all know, though it was not uncommon to select an MCI over either at certain times. More recently I've had a Pacifica and the MCI pres trade duties with that quite well.

I wouldn't say the MCIs are flat out better than any of the above, but do they win out sometimes? Sure.
Old 3rd August 2008
  #37
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
So how have you gone about integrating the console's built in patch bay into your setup/outboard gear?
D subs are connected to ALL punch blocks, including patch bay. So I just make up a D sub connnector with XLR (or whatever) at other end and plug it in.
Old 6th August 2008
  #38
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdmctear View Post
Every time we track. For the past few years I've had a couple Neve 1066 channels, and a few API 312 pres. Excellent as we all know, though it was not uncommon to select an MCI over either at certain times. More recently I've had a Pacifica and the MCI pres trade duties with that quite well.

I wouldn't say the MCIs are flat out better than any of the above, but do they win out sometimes? Sure.
That's good to hear. I would also assume that the old records done on these 400 series consoles most likely exclusively or largely used the built in pre's. I guess I'm pretty much sold on the 400 series then. I just gotta figure out whether or not I want the 416 (cheaper) or the 428 (more expensive).
Old 7th August 2008
  #39
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 

As far as I know the 416 doens´t have a cut on the eq. Only boost. The 428 has both. The 428 has buffered vu-meters as well. Great consoles. Love the MCI sound.
Old 7th August 2008
  #40
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bdmctear's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
That's good to hear. I would also assume that the old records done on these 400 series consoles most likely exclusively or largely used the built in pre's. I guess I'm pretty much sold on the 400 series then. I just gotta figure out whether or not I want the 416 (cheaper) or the 428 (more expensive).
This may be mostly true, though I sort of recall looking through what docs we have for the console and finding a patchbay chart from Sigma, I believe, that included a couple API pres and possibly a Neve. I am not sure whether this was from early use or later use of the board.
Old 8th August 2008
  #41
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rob S's Avatar
we've made the quad buss on our 428B discrete.
made it two stereo paths and you can select which flavor you want.
990's with jensens or neve.
pretty cool.
Old 8th August 2008
  #42
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

there's an idea...
Old 8th August 2008
  #43
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In re: punch blocks, cut them off, install Elco connectors.

400 series: interesting sound, not a modern feature set, pretty cool vintage vibe for low $$.

500: Much more interesting feature set. First In-line console with faders for monitor pots (small faders).

600: Vanilla console, loads of 5534s, generic EQ, virtually no market penetration here in L.A. No seperate patch into Monitor Return/Line Input; patch into Line Input, you lose that channel's Tape Return.

All MCIs:

Main maintenance issue is Schadow switches, replace with gold versions only. Also, I've worked on 500s that were stored in hot environments. The Jensen mic xfmrs potting parafin had leaked down the PCB into the edge connectors, making a huge problem.

MCI was pretty revolutionary in using bipolar caps when no one else was doing it. Certainly in the 600s, can't recall the earlier consoles, but any 20 yr old desk needs to be recapped.

Molex connectors on motherboards should be re-soldered, and any other interconnects should be checked.

That's it for now, more later.
Old 8th August 2008
  #44
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw Hans View Post
As far as I know the 416 doens´t have a cut on the eq. Only boost. The 428 has both. The 428 has buffered vu-meters as well. Great consoles. Love the MCI sound.
Both the 416 and the 428 have cut and boost. It's just on a selectable switch depending on if you want to cut or boost. As far as I know, the only real differences are the buffered VU's and more flexible routing on the 428.

http://www.mcirecording.com/JH-400/J...20Brochure.pdf
Old 8th August 2008
  #45
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rob S's Avatar
in the early 416A's you had cut and boost on the hi and low bands and boost only on the middle band.
Old 8th August 2008
  #46
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rob S's Avatar
for more info on the 400 series go here:
http://www.blevinsaudio.com/JH400geninfo.html
Old 24th June 2009
  #47
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FunkFaker's Avatar
 

What kind of transformers are in the JH 428? What color would you say they give? jensen, carnhill, etc?

cheers,
trh
Old 24th June 2009
  #48
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BradM's Avatar
If anyone needs 2001 op amps I have a bunch of them I yanked out of my 8-track. PM me.

thanks,
Brad
Old 3rd November 2011
  #49
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La Casa Estudio's Avatar
 

I would love to take that MCI JH400-B equalizer sound to my 500 series portable rack ...

Any idea which 500 serie eq module would emulate that beautiful eq??

Thank you very much
Old 22nd March 2013
  #50
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About the buffered VUs : did someone noticied an improvement in sound after mod or after upgrade from a 416 to 428 ?
And how does it works with light meters, like those on the 416a ? Are they on the signal path also (don't know how it works, but i would guess no) ?

does one of these desk have VCA ?

And finally, it goes towards the OP question : As long they are in good condition, is the 428 a step above 416, or we don't give a sh... ?
Old 22nd March 2013
  #51
Gear Head
 

400 series came in two frame sizes...
16 modules and 28 modules.

You'd pick the size, then decide now many I/O modules to buy and have installed. You can't get 20 modules into a 16-module frame...

Then you can choose what metering options you wanted, Plasma, VU's, None... You should not hear a difference in sound... Except the sound of VU needles pinging around.


Sonic difference between frames... None, as long as you install the same Revision of modules!

It's just a bigger frame, that weighs more.
Old 16th February 2014
  #52
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Goreski's Avatar
 

MCI 2001 ICs available at AnalogRules.com if ya need them

Just in case folks might need a few MCI 2001 ICs for their 400 series consoles.... I found a parts box box hidden away which had a few 2001s and a couple 2002s in it... now listed at my website. AnalogRules.com

Gotta keep the old stuff running!

regards,

Goreski
Old 15th June 2017
  #53
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Original 400 series were discrete transistor opamps. Were all black. Used punch blocks and API faders. Later 400s used 2001 opamps. Also used punch blocks. Very early 500s used punch blocks but most used tuchel connectors. 600s are sonicly very good. They were the last of the genuine mci design. They used 5534 opamps. The 600 also used bipolar caps which should require less maintainance. The mci faders used for years are interchangable with PandG. 500s owe some of the sonic performance to the greater headroom 28db and the class AB driver circuits used with the 2002 opamp. The summing busses in the 500 and 600 series are unique (at the time). They are differential providing greater hum and crosstalk rejection. The 600 also features all solid state differential inputs and outputs. 400 and early 500 consoles used transformer micpre. Later 500 and all 600s used transformer less micpre giving best noise and sonic transparency. Both 500 and 600 used plug on preamps and various transformer version preamps were available. A TRident equivalent, a Jensen equivalent among others were made on request. T.Hay MCI
Old 15th June 2017
  #54
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rob S's Avatar
The 600s are considered the least of the 3
Old 15th June 2017
  #55
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Wish I got around to putting the Bova Amps in mine.. Oh well.
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