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Sound Workshop Series 1600
Old 26th October 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Sound Workshop Series 1600

Hi,

I'm searching for any information on the Sound Workshop Series 1600 Mixing Console while I wait for admittance into the SoundWorkshop Yahoo Group. Before anyone gets in there and says it: yes, I have scoured the web/ GS for all available information.

So the story goes like this: I was made an offer I could not refuse on a working (recently decommissioned) 20 channel Series 1600 mixer. The console has 12 mic pre's and 8 line inputs, with flexible routing and working EQ, perfect for the type of studio I operate.

From the very limited information I have found online, here is what I understand and would like to confirm before I get the chance to pick up the console this Sunday:

1) No VCA Fader Automation

2) Beyer Transformers on the mic inputs

3) Valley People Transamp Mic Preamplifiers

4) Weighs a lot and will require multiple people to move

5) Some molex connectors - I want to replace them ASAP with something reliable

6) Has not been recapped - open to suggestions - I want to start with the master section


Currently, I am running an OpAmp Labs 1604TV (modified with direct outs) and an Allen & Heath System 8 MKII in addition to 8 channels of discrete external mic pres. I have built and modified power supplies, have a decent grasp of circuit topology and can solder OK. Oddly enough, I was given the manual for this console years ago but it has been misplaced to time. If anyone has experience, anecdotes, technical recommendations or documentation they would like to share, I am all ears.

I co-run an affordable working person's studio that caters to local bands in Oakland, CA. Any help getting this board into great working shape would be greatly appreciated.

Peace,
Tyler
Old 8th November 2017
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Skipped it

After showing up, the board was in really awful shape, which makes sense given the price tag. When the owner said it was working and would fire right up, I was hoping that meant it was in better shape but that is the risk one takes when hunting for a bargain.

Given that it would be a full time job to restore this console, I decided that it was a diminishing return and passed. Strangely enough, a free Soundcraft Series 1 turned up on craigslist for pickup. It turns on and is mostly working, so this is going to be my project board for now!
Old 30th April 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzed Out View Post
After showing up, the board was in really awful shape, which makes sense given the price tag. When the owner said it was working and would fire right up, I was hoping that meant it was in better shape but that is the risk one takes when hunting for a bargain.

Given that it would be a full time job to restore this console, I decided that it was a diminishing return and passed. Strangely enough, a free Soundcraft Series 1 turned up on craigslist for pickup. It turns on and is mostly working, so this is going to be my project board for now!
Hey man, did you ever find the manual for this? I just bought a Series 40 (same as 1600) and could REALLY use a manual. It's crazy how little info is out there for these things!
Old 7th September 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
Hey man, did you ever find the manual for this? I just bought a Series 40 (same as 1600) and could REALLY use a manual. It's crazy how little info is out there for these things!
I used to own a 1600 and a series 40 is no where close to a 1600.
Old 12th September 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
I used to own a 1600 and a series 40 is no where close to a 1600.
Care to qualify that statement?

I currently own a Series 40, and if you peel back the "Series 40" sticker on the master section, it literally says 1600. They look exactly the same, same frame, same PSU. The schematics I have from the SW Yahoo group are labeled 1600 and I've spent the past several months rewiring the patchbay, chasing magic smoke and following sine waves around the circuitry (channel and master) and with the exception of a few resistor values here and there (which aren't far off), and the fact that the Series 40 has an extra header to manually wire in 4 more aux busses from it's 4 stacked pots, they are exactly the same. Furthermore, in the SW Yahoo Group, which is full of SW owners and enthusiasts, 1600 and Series 40 are constantly used interchangeably (I know, I've read just about every thread) or sometimes just called 40/1600.

I know they made both the 1600 and Series 40 in xformer balanced as well as transformerless options. They also both had different EQ options and small cosmetic changes over the years. And I believe the 1600 was limited to only 4 auxes while the Series 40 uses stacked pots to get 8. So I guess it's possible that your 1600 was different than my Series 40, but they're effectively the same console with the same options available. You could probably even add stacked pots and solder in extra header pins on each channel to make the 1600 exactly the same as a 40.
Old 12th September 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
Care to qualify that statement?

I currently own a Series 40, and if you peel back the "Series 40" sticker on the master section, it literally says 1600. They look exactly the same, same frame, same PSU. The schematics I have from the SW Yahoo group are labeled 1600 and I've spent the past several months rewiring the patchbay, chasing magic smoke and following sine waves around the circuitry (channel and master) and with the exception of a few resistor values here and there (which aren't far off), and the fact that the Series 40 has an extra header to manually wire in 4 more aux busses from it's 4 stacked pots, they are exactly the same. Furthermore, in the SW Yahoo Group, which is full of SW owners and enthusiasts, 1600 and Series 40 are constantly used interchangeably (I know, I've read just about every thread) or sometimes just called 40/1600.

I know they made both the 1600 and Series 40 in xformer balanced as well as transformerless options. They also both had different EQ options and small cosmetic changes over the years. And I believe the 1600 was limited to only 4 auxes while the Series 40 uses stacked pots to get 8. So I guess it's possible that your 1600 was different than my Series 40, but they're effectively the same console with the same options available. You could probably even add stacked pots and solder in extra header pins on each channel to make the 1600 exactly the same as a 40.
I owned the second 1600 that they made period. I know about the sw group. I sold mine to a member there. I have worked on a series 40 and to me the 1600 just sounds better. Maybe it was the fact that mine was loaded with output transformers. ALL were from the old API days. Also if I am not mistaken the series 40 did not have the mic pre. I know my 1600 had Valley People transamps. I think the series 40 used a transamp but it was one that SW had designed or licensed.

Edit: I still own 2 channels that were racked and custom modded with i/o so I can patch in and out at any point in the strips signal chain. And I can run the direct out seperate of the channel out and record 2 different signals. Its pretty sweet.
Old 5 days ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
I owned the second 1600 that they made period. I know about the sw group. I sold mine to a member there. I have worked on a series 40 and to me the 1600 just sounds better. Maybe it was the fact that mine was loaded with output transformers. ALL were from the old API days. Also if I am not mistaken the series 40 did not have the mic pre. I know my 1600 had Valley People transamps. I think the series 40 used a transamp but it was one that SW had designed or licensed.

Edit: I still own 2 channels that were racked and custom modded with i/o so I can patch in and out at any point in the strips signal chain. And I can run the direct out seperate of the channel out and record 2 different signals. Its pretty sweet.
My Series 40 has the Valley People Transamp pres and xformers on the master outputs. And again, I believe they offered the 40 with channel xformers as well, although not certain on that.

Again, the only real difference is that the Series 40 has 4 additional aux busses. To say they are nothing alike is simply incorrect. You'll be very hard-pressed to find two consoles with different model numbers which are more alike.

Last edited by jdurango; 5 days ago at 09:33 AM..
Old 5 days ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
My Series 40 has the Valley People Transamp pres and xformers on the master outputs. And again, I believe they offered the 40 with channel xformers as well, although not certain on that.

Again, the only real difference is that the Series 40 has 4 additional aux busses. To say they are nothing alike is simply incorrect. You'll be very hard-pressed to find two consoles with different model numbers which are more alike.
Well, maybe it was a difference in transformers on the 2 consoles I used then. Either way I feel the SW consoles are total sleepers. They sound GREAT and are cheaper than an MCI.
Old 5 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
Well, maybe it was a difference in transformers on the 2 consoles I used then. Either way I feel the SW consoles are total sleepers. They sound GREAT and are cheaper than an MCI.
Yeah I'll be honest, I was kinda bummed to find my 40 didn't have transformers on the individual channels, but was reassured when Richeevee in the SW Group said the Series 40/1600 either with xforners or transformerless were the best sounding consoles they made. The EQ circuits are very similar to the API 550 minus some gain staging. Fortunately my console has the full parametric EQ's on all 36 channels. And nearly everything else in my studio is xformer balanced (mics, pres, EQ's, etc) so it might actually be nice to have the cleaner, less colored transformerless option on the console. That said, if I ever see xformer balanced Series 40 or 1600 modules pop up online, you can bet I'm grabbing them! Would love to do an A/B or have different options.

I was looking at an MCI JH400 or 500 or one of the more reasonably priced Tridents or Quad Eights. I'm very confident that after fixing a few key shortcomings with the SW (ie, crappy patchbay, which I've already replaced with 7 x Switchcraft TT's), cheapo, under-spec'ed or barely adequate caps (have Panasonic FM + Nichicon waiting to go in this week), clean/enhance all molex connectors plus add a JML variable HPF on each EQ, it'll be an absolutely amazing console!
Old 5 days ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
Yeah I'll be honest, I was kinda bummed to find my 40 didn't have transformers on the individual channels, but was reassured when Richeevee in the SW Group said the Series 40/1600 either with xforners or transformerless were the best sounding consoles they made. The EQ circuits are very similar to the API 550 minus some gain staging. Fortunately my console has the full parametric EQ's on all 36 channels. And nearly everything else in my studio is xformer balanced (mics, pres, EQ's, etc) so it might actually be nice to have the cleaner, less colored transformerless option on the console. That said, if I ever see xformer balanced Series 40 or 1600 modules pop up online, you can bet I'm grabbing them! Would love to do an A/B or have different options.

I was looking at an MCI JH400 or 500 or one of the more reasonably priced Tridents or Quad Eights. I'm very confident that after fixing a few key shortcomings with the SW (ie, crappy patchbay, which I've already replaced with 7 x Switchcraft TT's), cheapo, under-spec'ed or barely adequate caps (have Panasonic FM + Nichicon waiting to go in this week), clean/enhance all molex connectors plus add a JML variable HPF on each EQ, it'll be an absolutely amazing console!
Richie is a buddy of mine. When I had my 1600 he would crash at my place for a weekend and tech my board. He also built the custom 2 channel for me when he bought my 1600.
Old 3 days ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
Richie is a buddy of mine. When I had my 1600 he would crash at my place for a weekend and tech my board. He also built the custom 2 channel for me when he bought my 1600.
Ha! Dude that's awesome! I don't suppose you ever got your hands on real schematics or a manual for that console did you? Or Richie? There are some barely adequate, grainy scans of some (not all) of the 1600/40 schemes in the SW Yahoo group, but I'd kill to get my hands on better / more complete scans and/or the complete manual! I'd be happy to pay for it! I'm actually working on a little video documentary of the restoration process. There is practically zero info online about these consoles. I realize they only made about 100, but still seems weird and unfortunate that there's effectively nothing out there.
Old 2 days ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
Ha! Dude that's awesome! I don't suppose you ever got your hands on real schematics or a manual for that console did you? Or Richie? There are some barely adequate, grainy scans of some (not all) of the 1600/40 schemes in the SW Yahoo group, but I'd kill to get my hands on better / more complete scans and/or the complete manual! I'd be happy to pay for it! I'm actually working on a little video documentary of the restoration process. There is practically zero info online about these consoles. I realize they only made about 100, but still seems weird and unfortunate that there's effectively nothing out there.
I will look. I cant remember if I gave the manual to richie when he bought the board or not. If memory serves me right I had the full board schematics. If I have them still then I know where they would be but they are NOT easy to get. Might take a few weeks. If I have them then I will happily make copys and send em to you. All I ask is you pay any fees for duplication and shipping.
Old 1 day ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
I will look. I cant remember if I gave the manual to richie when he bought the board or not. If memory serves me right I had the full board schematics. If I have them still then I know where they would be but they are NOT easy to get. Might take a few weeks. If I have them then I will happily make copys and send em to you. All I ask is you pay any fees for duplication and shipping.
Yeah, the are definitely not easy to get at all. Fortunately there are some grainy, mostly complete scans in the SW Group, otherwise I would've considered my Series 40 a boat anchor, for all intents and purposes. But even these are missing some key components (ie channel card motherboards, PSU, etc). If you or Richie could find the manual/full schems I'd happily pay for scanning and shipping costs and compensate you for your time! I plan on having this console for a long time, so I'd really like to get everything needed to properly run it! Thanks man! Feel free to shoot me a PM if that works better! Seriously, thanks a ton! It's very much appreciated!
Old 18 hours ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
Yeah, the are definitely not easy to get at all. Fortunately there are some grainy, mostly complete scans in the SW Group, otherwise I would've considered my Series 40 a boat anchor, for all intents and purposes. But even these are missing some key components (ie channel card motherboards, PSU, etc). If you or Richie could find the manual/full schems I'd happily pay for scanning and shipping costs and compensate you for your time! I plan on having this console for a long time, so I'd really like to get everything needed to properly run it! Thanks man! Feel free to shoot me a PM if that works better! Seriously, thanks a ton! It's very much appreciated!
Might be worth your while to pay him for a house call if you need help with it.
Old 10 minutes ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
Might be worth your while to pay him for a house call if you need help with it.
It's good to know he's still around and working on these consoles. I may do that, but so far it's been nothing I can't handle. Let a little magic smoke out of the master section, but was able to put it all back in. I'll know more after this recap is complete. If there are issues remaining, especially in areas I don't have schematics for, I may reach out to him, or contact you to see if you can put me in touch with him. I don't see him on the SW Group anymore. Either way, let me know about those schems/manual. That would be a massive, massive, huge help! Thanks again!
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