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Soundcraft Series 1600 Analog Console???
Old 11th February 2010
  #1
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Soundcraft Series 1600 Analog Console???

Do you guys know much about this board? My buddy told me about it for sale and said he thought it was the same model board Rick Ruben had. Would this be something good to use with my Studer and do some rock mixing with? The guy who owns it says it sounds fantastic and works great.

??


Old 11th February 2010
  #2
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judah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
The guy who owns it says it sounds fantastic and works great.
They always say that.

Don't wanna be a smartass but if this is gonna be paired with your new setup (A800 and CLASP right?) I don't see the point. You either buy an analog mixer or you don't. This is a lovely Soundcraft mixer but not on par with your setup.

What you want it to do? Cue mixes or something more elaborate?
Old 11th February 2010
  #3
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zooloop's Avatar
 

I worked on a series 1600 with a Studer A80 quite a few years back. Unfortunately I don't remember the technical specs of the console any more but I'll share my opinion about it..

I really liked that console. The mic pre's are decent and the eq quite musical sounding. The console is from what I can remember overall "dark" sounding but not in a bad way if that makes any sense.. If I was in the market for a budget console the 1600 would be on the top of my list.
Old 11th February 2010
  #4
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James you should look into what kind of mods could be done. I got my Delta master section modded and it was a night and day difference. Closed and woollie compared to open and wide. Considering how cheap consoles are going for now you still wouldn't have a lot into it.
Old 11th February 2010
  #5
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You could give Jim Williams a call. He modifies Soundcrafts... Audio Upgrades
Old 11th February 2010
  #6
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I have one of those And I really like it, I actually got rid of a DDA DCM 232 to get this, why because the DDA was a Maintenance nightmare, This has 7 caps pro channel versus the almost 70 in a DDA channel strip and screwy logic after age.

First mod would be a ground strip for the channels,
It really is a simple but very functional console
Old 11th February 2010
  #7
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T. Morgan's Avatar
 

thumbsup

I owned one for 6 years.....bought it on the recommendation of Richard Dodd. He loves the 1600's. I used mine for mixing and monitoring off tape....mainly patched outboard pre's directly to tape.....eventually sold it after I sold the 2" machine.

If you get it in the $2k-5 range it can't be beat. You can always rent a API 1608 or go to studio when you need a Neve, API, SSL for mixing.
Old 11th February 2010
  #8
I did quite a lot of work on one at Falconer Studios, Chalk Farm, London as a freelancer. (loved that tall drum room, its C12 pair and crazy porthole window in the control room..)

I liked it a lot - good rock board - nice to sit at & operate but found it to be v f noisy!

So ditto on the mods - whatever you can do to get that sucker quieter, the better!

Go for it! Its rock n roll!

Hey! Whats this thread doing in the high end? It should be in the down and dirty rock and roll GS forum.. who has one like that .. Oh I know.. we do!
Old 11th February 2010
  #9
The 1600 is a short loaded 16 buss version of the 2400. The input modules are nearly identical.

One needs to address grounding on this design. It and the older 2400's had a grounding problem that I measured hum at -55 dbu. Soundcraft published a fix for it and they incorporated that fix in later versions of the 2400 in the late 1980's.

The fix involves cutting the input ground from the audio ground and then running individual ground wires from each module and each card in the patch bay. Those cards also need trace cutting to seperate the input grounds. Once done, the buss noise drops away, at least the hum does. The hiss remains but there are other fixes for that too.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 11th February 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 

I owned a 1600 for 8 years. mixed a lot of records on that board with a Studer A80. Loved it. Great for rock records. some of the Tom Petty stuff Richard dodd mixed on one.
if it's in good cond. great deal for a mid line console.
Old 11th February 2010
  #11
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It might require some maintenance to get it up to speed, but personally I like Soundcrafts of that era.

I recorded almost 100 radio broadcasts of major label bands like Metallica and The Black Crowes using either a Soundcraft 800 or a TS24.
At my studio I had a Soundtracs CM4400 which is pretty close to that era Soundcraft in circuit design.
I made a lot of tough sounding rock records on them.
Ask Brian M... he came along at the tail end of that era of my studio.

I'd probably take a working Soundcraft over my halfway re-capped MCI 538C.

I can mix a damn good sounding rock-n-roll record on a Soundcraft of that type, so I bet you could, too.
As a monitoring console it would be excellent.
Old 11th February 2010
  #12
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
My buddy told me about it for sale and said he thought it was the same model board Rick Ruben had.
Rick Rubin owns a vintage Neve console.
Old 11th February 2010
  #13
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Note that he said "Rick Rubin HAD."

Rick Rubin has several rigs as I understand.
Some is rented for each project.

James... don't you know a few folks that KNOW what Rick Rubin HAS, HAS HAD or didn't HAVE?
Hasn't Brian been involved in providing gear for set-ups that the Chili Peppers and Rick Rubin used?
Old 11th February 2010
  #14
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The Only comments I would add to the above is that the 1600 was a pretty basic console at the time, probably designed by David Dearden later of DDA. It is an old console, can't remember when they stopped making them, but it was a very good while ago so condition and maintainance are absolutely critical as is price if you are considering buying. I doubt that the mic amp's are particularly special (with all due respect to others comments here), more than likley a TL 071/072 with a couple of tranny's wired off them, pretty much par for the course in those days.


Regards


Roland
Old 11th February 2010
  #15
1600's and 2400's used a standard instrumentation amp design for the mic preamps. It's a pair of noisy 2N4403 switching transistors in front of a 072 opamp.
Modern Japanese transistors will lower the noise, but THD is high with this design at higher gains. It's the same design as used in the TS-24, early 600's and others of that era.

They can be rewired into trans-amps by cutting the opamp feedback loop and tying that feedback resistor to the inverting transistor emmiter. That will lower preamp noise below that of a mic and will lower THD levels considerably. You can get -129.6 EIN with that preamp if reworked.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 12th February 2010
  #16
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I pretty much doubt that James will be using the mic inputs.

Yes, the 1600s are almost twenty years old or older, but because they are so basic there isn't much that should fail under "normal" usage.
If the console has been stored under bad conditions or left un-powered for a while there could be issues.

They are a pretty meat and potatoes IC (TLO72s and 2N4403s) / caps and switches design.
They were from the ribbon cable era I believe, but I don't recall these being that bad of a problem.

If the console is in good to average condition it should make a good back end or monitoring/quick mix console.

It has a patchbay doesn't it?
Most of those consoles have the semi modular type patchbays, but once cleaned they are usable.
Old 12th February 2010
  #17
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The 1600 is a short loaded 16 buss version of the 2400. The input modules are nearly identical.
Though the 1600 is somewhat similar to the 2400, the 1624 is the unit that is basically a short loaded 2400.
The 1600 and the 1624 are commonly remembered as the same console but they were substantially different in features and price. The 1624 had more sends, more output busses and was available with P&G faders. IIRC the 1624/2400 module was quite a bit longer (and slightly wider) than the 1600.
That era of Soundcraft boards are good perfprmers but a bit on the sluggish side as far as sound goes. I had a 1624 for 7 years and it served me well but when I changed boards my sound quality went up several steps. Maybe the mods make them open up a bit.

left/1600........ center/1624......... right/2400
Attached Thumbnails
Soundcraft Series 1600 Analog Console???-soundcraft1600.jpg   Soundcraft Series 1600 Analog Console???-1624dg.jpg   Soundcraft Series 1600 Analog Console???-2400asmall.jpg  
Old 12th February 2010
  #18
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Batchainpuller78's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Modern Japanese transistors will lower the noise, but THD is high with this design at higher gains. It's the same design as used in the TS-24, early 600's and others of that era.

They can be rewired into trans-amps by cutting the opamp feedback loop and tying that feedback resistor to the inverting transistor emmiter. That will lower preamp noise below that of a mic and will lower THD levels considerably. You can get -129.6 EIN with that preamp if reworked.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Can I send you 8 of my channels? heh
Old 12th February 2010
  #19
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casrec's Avatar
 

I have owned a 1600 for 4 years now and love it. I would agree with Jim and say they have a little noise and would love to have him work on some channels. I don't know if mine has been modded already, but my noise floor is in the -70 range. It has been in a church since new. Being an unbalanced console you have to work a little harder keeping the noise down, but I have no problems with noise in my mixes. Pre-amps are usable but not great. EQ section is no surgeon but surprisingly musical and has better, more natural top and bottom then most Plug-ins. I think the biggest downside to this console, especially for the size is the lack of sends. 8 in all but 4 is only usable at one time per channel. All in all I think it is a great console for any studio with a budget and if it works for Tom Petty, then it can't be that bad.
Old 12th February 2010
  #20
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We have a 24-channel 1600 in our B room which is mostly used for mixing rock tracks. Very punchy, useful EQs.
Old 13th February 2010
  #21
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I know my TS-24 needed lots of love. Hard to work on. Dual layer channel cards requiring lots of disassembly.

James, if you have some time, you should stop by Kronos and check out my Wheatstone. Ask Burt (SuperBurtM).
Old 13th February 2010
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
I know my TS-24 needed lots of love. Hard to work on. Dual layer channel cards requiring lots of disassembly.

James, if you have some time, you should stop by Kronos and check out my Wheatstone. Ask Burt (SuperBurtM).
I don't think that the 1600 had a double layer circuit board like the TS-24s did.
It should be a straight ahead single card.
There are not even any daughter boards as I recall.
Old 15th May 2010
  #23
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The 1624 have both a system and a logic board at each input channel !
Old 15th May 2010
  #24
All of those have 2 pcb's. The main card is the bottom, the track assign board is on top. Still, it's easy to work on.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 15th May 2010
  #25
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cinealta's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
Would this be something good to use with my Studer and do some rock mixing with?
James, for your setup and projects, I really think you'd be much happier with an API 1608.
Old 16th May 2010
  #26
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SC1624 upgrade

I plan to upgrade my Soundcraft 1624 Serial no 00012
. But I will first buy a new PSU. Witch one is recommended if I install new BB OpÄmps on all channels ? I have seen some suggestions on Machie PSU's.

tt
Old 16th May 2010
  #27
I use Power One open frame linear supplies for these. They are quiet, reliable and cheap. They are available up to 12 amps per rail.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 18th May 2010
  #28
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Thank you Jim! I've seen some of these at lower power rates. Can you point me to a net site where soutable Power One's? How big would I need for full IC upgrading in my 1624 ?

Regards

Trygve Thue
Old 18th May 2010
  #29
A couple of 24 volt 12 amp jobs would be plenty. Those sell for $195 from Digi Key. Contact Power One's apps dept. for the mod to allow trimming them down to + - 17 volts. Add the small 1/2 amp 48 volt supply for phantom. You will need a decent tech to set it all up properly. It's a whole lot less than a commercial power supply.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 18th May 2010
  #30
It's probably fine if you leave the console stock. Do replace those caps, they are old and tired.

If you want to rechip with high current opamps, it won't be enough current.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
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