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Studiomaster Boards....thick meaty tone Mixers (Analog)
Old 1st February 2011
  #61
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So basically the only Studiomaster boards that are Pre Ross are the ones that have the Big 4 VU's in the top right? Are there any else? Thanks!
Old 1st February 2011
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipperman View Post
Get one the early 4 or 8 buss ones BEFORE the "thin script logo". When they start getting that "Built by Ross" look yer screwed. Build quality and sound went OUT THE WINDOW.

Before that... They are HILARIOUSLY great.

Bottom end for days.

I switched out from one of these to a Tascam M-600 at my little home studio back in the mid-eighties and it was a GIGANTIC step in the WRONG direction sonically.

Studio master 24x4 cost me $600 used. Tascam was $8-10k if memory serves me. I dunno, it's too horrible to remember, like a head-on car smash.

*Disclaimer* They are NO FLAVOR of "Hi-Fi". They just SOUND GREAT.

Go figure.

SM.
Oh man - I feel the same about those M600... I traded mine for a Ludwig kit. Crappy board!
Old 1st February 2011
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadore View Post
So basically the only Studiomaster boards that are Pre Ross are the ones that have the Big 4 VU's in the top right? Are there any else? Thanks!
They also made a version with 8 outs and with 8 vu meters. Although I only ever saw one of those at the Yorba Linda or whatever Studiomaster office in 81 or so when I would go there for modules for my 4-vu model. It's in their catalogues I have from those days too, but I never saw an actual customer who had one.

Guess I'll fire mine up again sometime this year to really remember what it sounds like. I do like the mixes it made back in 81-82. One thing I suppose I should also do at some future era is to build or buy an extra power cable as it appears I'm not going to dump the console any time soon. The entire transformer or whatever it is , is encased in a weird wall wart sort of block of plastic where you plug the power into the wall.
Old 1st February 2011
  #64
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Are you sue that you got the title right and not...thick, muddy, distortion. I have used a few of the bigger models from the late 80's and although the do have a big presence, they were always a bit muddy and had quite a high THD. Cool vibe for an interesting vocal track or the like, but to run an entire mix through one sends shivers down my spine.
Old 20th July 2012
  #65
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pqlia's Avatar
beware the thin logo script ..??

For the sake of accuracy.. it would be great for someone to clarify exactly what this is referring to....

I have a supposedly bad one: Series 5... which seems to my ears to have very special EQ and a very usable pre. ...as someone already mentioned it does ‘smear’ a little.. and you can hear that smear when many tracks are built up… but oh what a delicious smear that is!

Having said all that the series five does seem to have a thin logo script. which is supposed to be a very bad ... er.... sign.

But looking at the old ones with VU meters, they too have thin logos...

The series 5 has what i would describe as a ‘cloudy’ mix buss… I heard there was a mod… but these things are getting that old that many of the veterans that know them are in retirement!!

Regarding the thin or fat script… that’s getting a little confusing isn’t it ?

Does anyone have high resolution images of both a ‘fat’ and a ‘thin’ Studiomaster logo?
Old 24th September 2012
  #66
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First of all, this is a very illuminating Thread thanks

BUT :

Originally Posted by alphadore

So basically the only Studiomaster boards that are Pre Ross are the ones that have the Big 4 VU's in the top right? Are there any else? Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
They also made a version with 8 outs and with 8 vu meters. Although I only ever saw one of those at the Yorba Linda or whatever Studiomaster office in 81 or so when I would go there for modules for my 4-vu model. It's in their catalogues I have from those days too, but I never saw an actual customer who had one.
Why can't anyone just simply answer with YES or NO to this simple question, after all that important explanations ?!
There was a lot of explaining, and even a picture comparison. I get that. And am really thankful towards anybody participating and claryfing the issue!!

THANKS!

BUT
Please just answer somebody...Is it that simple that all them old pre ross ones had VU's and the "newer" ones all don't? IS THIS IT? Because then I don't have to care about however the "Studiomaster" Sign looks like, or when it was built...etc ...etc....

Old 24th September 2012
  #67
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For what it's worth, I like my Ross era Studiomaster a lot.

Full disclosure: I have never used the preamps so they very well might suck; if that's the only area where the quality fell off then I hardly care - love the EQ, but it is coloured, never noticed any critical headroom issues on the mixbus (drive it hard and yeah, it can get fat and then muddy; that's the schtick) and crosstalk is low. Great routing but it's a bit weird that there are 6 sends but no returns (I use spare channels or group inputs)
Old 24th February 2013
  #68
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kingofspain's Avatar
When did Ross ruin them..?

I've been using an old studiomaster Proline 8-4-8R for years. I think it might be the only one left

I've just invested in a extra pair of Studiomaster desks - a series 5 16-8-2 and a Proline 16-8-16. Paid £100 for the pair of them, they're both a past their best but i figure i can swap parts and make one good one from the two.

There's a lot of talk here about pre and post Ross desks - i'm guessing mine all fall into the post camp but i like lo-fi sounds so i'm ok with that.

Does anyone know when Ross took over? Are there any mods i can make to my desks to bring them a little closer to the specs of the earlier and better ones? Did Ross change the whole design of the desk, or just make them from cheaper parts?
Mine are using TL071 and TL072 IC's, i'm fairly sure there are better chips available nowadays, so i'm thinking swapping these out should quieten things down a little if nothing else.
Did i read something earlier about earthing the boards individually? I just took delivery of the 16-8-2 today, and am expecting the 16-8-16 on monday, so i've not had chance to crack them open just yet.
If i remember, the boards in the 8-4-8R share a common earth...

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Its nice to know there are others out there who have an afinity with these desks.
Old 5th September 2013
  #69
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread ...

I just bought an '8 into 4' model

( here: Studiomaster Boards....thick meaty toneStudiomaster Vintage 8x4x2 Mixer w Roadie Flight Case | eBay )

... This one does not have VUs, but has the same script logo as the older ones w/ VUs. According to Studiomaster's site, the '8 into 4' was introduced in 1980 and was notable for being the first model to not feature VUs:

Time to Move ... 1978 - 1981

So I'm wondering ... perhaps the '8 into 4' is an exception to this rule about the VUs being the older units? thenoodle mentioned previously that he bought the VU model in '81 or so.

I guess I'm not sure if this '8 into 4' is a ROSS version or not. Perhaps it's a transitional model?
Old 5th September 2013
  #70
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I found a catalog photo that shows the '8 into 4' alongside the '16 into 4', etc. VU-models.

And a slightly later catalog that shows the '8 into 4' alongside the 'Series 2' etc. models.

So it looks like there were some overlapping in terms of cosmetics at least ... that is, you could potentially have one w/ VUs that is actually newer than one with the LEDs.
Old 10th September 2013
  #71
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I would go by the appearance of the knobs, not the type of meters. Your mixer has the same large knobs as the 70's models, and probably the same circuitry. The biggest flaw in the 80's/90's models is probably the cheap transistor relays in the mute circuits.
Old 11th September 2013
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
I would go by the appearance of the knobs, not the type of meters. Your mixer has the same large knobs as the 70's models, and probably the same circuitry. The biggest flaw in the 80's/90's models is probably the cheap transistor relays in the mute circuits.
Thanks for the info!!!

yeh that's kind of what I figured. This board sounds very good.
Old 12th November 2013
  #73
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If anyone stumbles on this thread, i'll just add my opinion.

I have used a "Ross era" 16:8:2 (same as in the attached pic) for quite a few years (8 - 10 years) and did, and still do, like it, and swapped it, not so much because of the sound but because i wanted more inputs and sends.

Most of the stuff that has been said about these in this thread is more or less correct - they do develop problems with age (pot crackles, fader scratches and so on - all my switches still work however) - then again, these boards are 25+ years old. I think a minor failure or two is ok considering the age of these.

As for the the sound, as also stated before, it is not pristine/crystal clear, but it definitely has a very musical sound to it.

It isn't "muddy" as such, it just rounds the sound in a very pleasing manner.

I didn't find mine to be overly noisy either, in fact it was pretty quiet...

All in all i'd say that this is not a half bad buy at the prices these go at.
Attached Thumbnails
Studiomaster Boards....thick meaty tone-studiomaster16_8_2.jpg  
Old 12th November 2013
  #74
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pqlia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
If anyone stumbles on this thread, i'll just add my opinion.

As for the the sound, as also stated before, it is not pristine/crystal clear, but it definitely has a very musical sound to it.

It isn't "muddy" as such, it just rounds the sound in a very pleasing manner.
Is this a description of the 'Ross era' or the previous era Sir? It’s so difficult to get a definitive answer on where exactly the quality cut-off point is ... in terms of model.

I have a Series 5, it's certainly much newer than the 70's model with large VU's ... I've heard people say that the Series 5 era weren’t great... but I find it does it's own thing (preamp wise) It's not 'true' or 'precise' ... but 'smears' in a very nice way ...but that’s not to say that it’s ‘muddy’… it's very hard to explain… I’m not sure what is actually happening to the sound.. but it has some nice sounding EQ, that’s one thing I know.

It make me wonder just how better the sound is of the 70’s model … ???
Old 12th November 2013
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pqlia View Post
Is this a description of the 'Ross era' or the previous era Sir? It’s so difficult to get a definitive answer on where exactly the quality cut-off point is ... in terms of model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post

I have used a "Ross era" 16:8:2 (same as in the attached pic)
...


That is the best i can do when describing it - i would believe (i am by no means certain!) that this one is slightly older than the "Series 5"...


Quote:
Originally Posted by pqlia View Post
I have a Series 5, it's certainly much newer than the 70's model with large VU's ... I've heard people say that the Series 5 era weren’t great... but I find it does it's own thing (preamp wise) It's not 'true' or 'precise' ... but 'smears' in a very nice way ...but that’s not to say that it’s ‘muddy’… it's very hard to explain… I’m not sure what is actually happening to the sound.. but it has some nice sounding EQ, that’s one thing I know.

It make me wonder just how better the sound is of the 70’s model … ???
Whatever people say on the internet should not be all that important as long as you are happy

If you like the sound of the mixer you own and you are happy with the results you get, all is fine - and just because someone claims this or that about sound and quality, that he remembers from about 25 years ago, it does not mean your mixer sucks.

This is not to say that there aren't any better mixers out there (of course there are!) but the main thing is what your music actually sounds like, and how it compares to other music in the style you make.


What i am trying to say is that looking for other mixers just because someone says "the older ones were better" is not all that productive.

Look for another mixer only if the one you have is detrimental to your music or you need more routing options... Imo
Old 12th November 2013
  #76
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pqlia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
...


That is the best i can do when describing it - i would believe (i am by no means certain!) that this one is slightly older than the "Series 5"...



Whatever people say on the internet should not be all that important as long as you are happy

If you like the sound of the mixer you own and you are happy with the results you get, all is fine - and just because someone claims this or that about sound and quality, that he remembers from about 25 years ago, it does not mean your mixer sucks.

This is not to say that there aren't any better mixers out there (of course there are!) but the main thing is what your music actually sounds like, and how it compares to other music in the style you make.


What i am trying to say is that looking for other mixers just because someone says "the older ones were better" is not all that productive.

Look for another mixer only if the one you have is detrimental to your music or you need more routing options... Imo
This is so true and very good advice !! thanks . . . curiosity was getting the better of me for a moment ;¬) ...

All i know is that i often prefer it (Series 5) to anything else i have laying around .. preamp wise... I must also remind myself that they're just tools... and sometimes it's the 'wrong' tool... so it's good to have options.
Old 12th November 2013
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pqlia View Post
This is so true and very good advice !! thanks . . . curiosity was getting the better of me for a moment ;¬) ...

All i know is that i often prefer it (Series 5) to anything else i have laying around .. preamp wise... I must also remind myself that they're just tools... and sometimes it's the 'wrong' tool... so it's good to have options.
The key is that you actually like your mixer - and if you are happy with the results it gets you then whatever someone else has to say about it is irrelevant.
Old 13th November 2013
  #78
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pqlia's Avatar
^^^
Old 14th November 2013
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
...
...

Whatever people say on the internet should not be all that important as long as you are happy

If you like the sound of the mixer you own and you are happy with the results you get, all is fine - and just because someone claims this or that about sound and quality, that he remembers from about 25 years ago, it does not mean your mixer sucks.

This is not to say that there aren't any better mixers out there (of course there are!) but the main thing is what your music actually sounds like, and how it compares to other music in the style you make.


... Imo
Words of wisdom... Exactly what I think. Now I know this is gearslutz and we all strive to get better sound, but if the better sound is the sound you have with the gear you own, then POWER TO YOU.

two thumbs up to Grumphh!
Old 18th November 2013
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lozion View Post
This is an early one, maybe the one refered to by the Soffit cell inmate heh:

I had an even older pre-Studiomaster 12x2 under the name Recording Studio Design.
Low end my friend...


Attachment 96089
This is the one I have. Took it all a part and cleaned everything with contact cleaner and then pot lube. Works great now, no crackles.
Old 18th November 2013
  #81
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Cool. Mine is a pre. I was wondering myself.
Old 18th November 2013
  #82
Im getting GAS for one of these old boards...as someone who has grown up with but intrinsically never liked the ITB sound - I am jonesing to get out of the box...not much budget tho...these look cool and I love the 'meaty' description...Can anyone clarify which are Ross vs Pre Ross-by model or picture? I like the look of this one below and it looked like the older ones but read its a 'Ross' variant?

Old 19th November 2013
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Im getting GAS for one of these old boards...as someone who has grown up with but intrinsically never liked the ITB sound - I am jonesing to get out of the box...not much budget tho...these look cool and I love the 'meaty' description...Can anyone clarify which are Ross vs Pre Ross-by model or picture? I like the look of this one below and it looked like the older ones but read its a 'Ross' variant?

The one in the video def looks like a Ross. It's the newer style. Here is what the older ones look like.
Attached Thumbnails
Studiomaster Boards....thick meaty tone-imageuploadedbygearslutz1384823325.910804.jpg  
Old 19th November 2013
  #84
Quote:
Originally Posted by spurratic View Post
The one in the video def looks like a Ross. It's the newer style. Here is what the older ones look like.
ah thanks...Im starting to have second thoughts now as its not exactly unanimous in complements...but I will keep an eye for the old version...
Old 19th November 2013
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandoblast View Post
Original Ebay pictures. I bought only the 8-channel side car.
I think I loaded the pictures okay...
years 1974-? modded 12 for 5 studios ….. split, inserts, posteq diect out.

both of mine are 1976 (inside unit is the year mfg.)
Old 19th November 2013
  #86
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how does it compare to a mackie 24-8-buss
Old 9th December 2013
  #87
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I tested out the Studiomaster 8 into 4 board with some demo stuff I'm working on if anyone wants to hear the sound of the board:

Old 10th December 2013
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
how does it compare to a mackie 24-8-buss
mackie is too k-mart behringer. sorry mackie is low end. studiomaster wasn't.
Old 12th December 2013
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drtechno View Post
mackie is too k-mart behringer. sorry mackie is low end. studiomaster wasn't.
I was just asking for the sake of conversation and comparison because the name"studio master"sounds so hi end-
Old 18th December 2013
  #90
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Studiomaster definitely wasn't high-end... No "Phil Collins-endorsed" ad is going to make me believe that a TL-0xx filled board is high-end... (not that there's anything fundamentally wrong with them, just, they're not high-end at all!)
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