The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
MCI 416b Opamp options
Old 2nd July 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
MCI 416b Opamp options

Sorry for the super long post.

I’m hoping that this post will provide answers for myself as well as provide general info on the various options out there for opamps on the old 400 series MCI desks for anyone else that might want to know. So, here we go….

Okay, so I’ve been mulling over various opamp replacements for my MCI 416b. It’s currently full of 2001’s and even a few of the older Analog Devices opamps (I forget the part number at the moment). Ideally, I’d like to stay at 24v for headroom reasons but ramping it down to 22v wouldn’t kill me and the lower voltage definitely would open some doors to other opamp options. So here’s what I’ve read about and am looking at.

Option 1: Find some more 2001’s and just replace the bad ones in my board and leave it as is from a sound perspective.

Pro’s: I can keep it at 24v and no opamp adaptors are required. I happen to like a somewhat rounded off transient sound and the 2001’s definitely provide for that. It would also be pretty cheap because I’d only have to replace the handful of ones that are currently bad.

Con’s: One day there will be no more 2001’s around and I will be forced to change anyway. 2001’s definitely have a slow slew rate and thusly round of transients and maybe I don’t want quite as rounded off a sound all the time (or alternatively I could make the whole board faster with faster opamps and get the transient rounding elsewhere).

Option 2: There are new all discrete opamps out from Bova Sound which I’m sure will sound fantastic. I could redo the whole board but these are $50 a pop and would cost way too much for me to do on the whole board. I am however thinking about maybe just doing the master section with these and doing the rest of the board with something else.

Pros: While I definitely can’t afford to do the whole board with these, the master section would be affordable enough and I could go with cheaper options for the individual channels. It would also most likely sound kick ass. Additionally, these require no adaptors and also require no lowering of voltage.

Cons: It’s a little more than I wanted to currently spend on opamps, even just for the master section. However, it’s within the range of what I can afford and I just may do it for the master section.

Option 3: Burr Brown OPA604’s on everything or at least on all of the channel strips. If I just put these on the channel strips I could always go with the Bova opamps or some other "better" 24 volt capable variety for the master section.

Pros: These are very affordable and a lot of people seem to like them. They also are 24v capable (right?). While they may not be the fastest or cleanest “new kids on the block” they seem pretty respected and are definitely more modern and faster than the 2001’s. So I’ve heard that they have a little bit of a relaxed top end and are supposed to be musical and warm. Perhaps this could provide me with a sort of middle ground between the super slow 2001’s and the newest, super fast opamps of today. I tend to like a little transient rounding but maybe these would give just enough without being too much.

Cons: Ummmmm…. I don’t know. You tell me. Oh yeah, they require adaptors. However, the Brown Dog DIP-to-TO99 adaptors are only $2.75 a piece and would, if I’m understanding correctly, provide an elegant and affordable solution to this problem. These adaptors will work in this situation right?

Option 4: National opamps. There are several I’ve read about such as the LME49710NA or LME49870MA. I may not have these part numbers right and may be forgetting others that I’ve read about. I’ve also read about the 5534’s but I guess they’re not National’s. I’m a little hazy on these various opamps. I believe that none of these can run at 24v and will require a step down to at least 22v. I believe that there is a 49710 TO99 option that wouldn’t require an adaptor but is more expensive than the ones that are in DIP form. However the extra cost of an adaptor may offset that. Aside from that one option, I don’t know if any of the rest of these have a TO99 option. Are there? They mostly would all require adaptors which raises cost and time, not to mention dropping the voltage.

Pros: These are more modern, faster (accept for the 5534’s) opamps that might prove to be more desireable, soundwise, if less transient rounding and cleanliness is what you’re going for and you have the option to get that older, “2001” type sound elsewhere when and if you want it. They are also fairly affordable but not as cheap as the OPA604’s.

Cons: They might be too modern sounding if you like the way the old, unmodded MCI’s sound. They require adaptors as well as knocking the voltage down.

So, all of this said…….. am I missing anything here? Affordability is definitely in play here but I can afford to do a little bit if it improves the sound. What’s the best option here? Something else I’ve considered is leaving the 2001’s and/or replacing them with the OPA604’s solely in the mic imput section, but replacing everything else with something more fast and clean like the Nationals or Bova Sound stuff. That way you get your color/rounding in the mic stage but can hear a more honest representation of what’s going on in the monitor/mixdown/tape return stages.

Basically, I just wanna know if I’ve got some of this info wrong. If I know that what I currently understand is, in fact, the truth, then I can make a decision on my own. I obviously bought the MCI because I’m into a colored, more vintage sound. I do mainly indie/rock/rootsy country type stuff. I have no need for the capability to do top 40, super hifi and clean stuff. I just need for my board to provide me a vintage and inviting tone that makes everything that goes through it sound better. I mainly need to know which opamp or combination thereof will provide me with this sound and also work from a physical/electrical standpoint. Am I making any glaring oversights in the info and questions I’ve provided here?

Sorry for the super long post.
Old 2nd July 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Fishmed's Avatar
I don't know how much mod'ing you want to do or what your budget is, but when I had my 416 board I had one channel with a John Hardy 990c.

Very Sweet!
Old 2nd July 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishmed View Post
I don't know how much mod'ing you want to do or what your budget is, but when I had my 416 board I had one channel with a John Hardy 990c.

Very Sweet!
Well modding the preamps is a whole other thing that I'm not even looking at right now. The possibility of that will be later on down the line. Different preamps are lower down on my list of what I'd like to potentially mod on this board. I'll keep that in mind though, as I've read about those John Hardy mods before.
Old 2nd July 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
To be honest, I'm kind of intrigued with the idea of using different opamps in different places on the board. Maybe the Bova opamps in the master section, something that provides a less than super fast/clean option in the mic input stage, and something a little more modern and fast in the other opamp locations on the individual channel strips, all at 24v if possible. Maybe OPa604'S in all channel strip positions and the Bova's in the master section? That wouldn't even require dropping the voltage. Any thoughts?
Old 2nd July 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
There's also some more useful info here:

Analog Console Forum • View topic - MCI 2001/JH400
Old 3rd July 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
Nothing huh?
Old 3rd July 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 

I have eight 2001's, make me an offer?
Old 3rd July 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Kennedy View Post
I have eight 2001's, make me an offer?
I think I'm actually leaning towards putting something new in my board. If I decide to stay with the 2001's I'll let you know. Thanks.

Anybody else got any ideas? Will there be any issues with putting the OPA604's in there, other than having to get adaptors?
Old 1st May 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
pkole's Avatar
 

I know this is a one year old thread, but i was wondering what did you finally decide.
I have a JH428 and was considering upgrading to Bova opamps.
Did you replace any of the 2001s?
What was your choices and results?
Old 4th May 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkole View Post
I know this is a one year old thread, but i was wondering what did you finally decide.
I have a JH428 and was considering upgrading to Bova opamps.
Did you replace any of the 2001s?
What was your choices and results?
Search out threads about this from Charles Austin or ask him directly because he has done this. I haven't done this yet myself because my main focus has been on just getting it up and running properly. However, I do plan on picking some of these up in the very near future to do my master section on the board.
Old 10th August 2010
  #11
Gear Head
 
stackatrack's Avatar
 

MCI 416b console improvements

I've worked on a bunch of these 416bs over the past several years and one thing that can really speed up the performance is to add the BOVA replacement amps. I bought $ 1,000.00 worth (20) and it really improved the performance. Even if you only replaced the 2001s in the mic pres..., then you could patch out the preamp out into your DAW or tape machine...Sure it'll be an unbalanced signal but if the cable is good and not too long, it should work out fine. These old consoles are filled with transformers so it can really perform much like a more expensive console if you use these BOVA amps. The slew rate of the 2001s was 5v/ms....Slew rate of the class "A" BOVAs is 20v.ms. You do the math....Now drums and any other transient producing instruments sound great on this console...add the iron and you have a balanced In & out system....Currently my trannies have been bypassed .....But I'm thinking hard about hooking them back up after replacing the bulk of the 2001s. This old beast will be resurrected and rock better than it did in the 70s.
For purists out there..adding Jensen's throughout could only help IMHO.
Old 10th August 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Hi, at the end of the week I will post these examples. Sorry for the delay.
Old 12th August 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesaustin View Post
Hi, at the end of the week I will post these examples. Sorry for the delay.
Yeah, I've been interested to hear those samples. I look forward to it.

By the way, I've been enjoying the compressor I bought off of you last year. Thanks again.
Old 3rd November 2011
  #14
Here for the gear
 
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 16th February 2014
  #15
Gear Nut
 
Goreski's Avatar
 

2001 ICs for sale

Yep, I just found a parts box hidden away for years and inside it was a bunch of MCI 2001 ICs and just a few 2002 ICs. Now listed at my website - AnalogRules.com

If you've got a 400 series console and ya need 2001's don't delay - these will sell out pretty quickly I think. Not cheap but you want the ORIGINAL ICs to keep that Vintage sound of the 400 consoles!


AS of 2/16/2014 I've got 14 2001's left, and just 4 2002s...

regards,

Goreski
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump