The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
The Otari Concept Elite Owners thread
Old 19th October 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

The Otari Concept Elite Owners thread

I would like owners of the Otari Concept Elite consoles to share maintenance and modification knowledge in this thread.

I have a 24 channel Otari Concept Elite with dynamics that has a number of issues which may or may not be power supply related:

i) The desk seldom powers up with all rails present. After a few attempts the voltages will be present and within 1%-2% tolerance.
ii) The desk no longer boots properly from the server despite all voltages being present and correct. There will always be a strip or two (sometimes a whole Quad Channel Processor) which does not initiate properly and will not pass any signal.
iii) The desk has a permanent VCA problem - all VCAs seem to add about 40db gain when active. I am currently limited to tracking with the desk and bypassing all faders. This fault happened about 2 weeks ago, it seems to be permanent!

The desk has two power supply units, 1 containing 3 power modules, the other containing 2 modules. The modules are off the shelf Condor HDD15-5 and HE5-18 supplying +/-16V and +/-5V rails :

http://www.slpower.com/data/collateral/Linears_DS.pdf

From what I've heard from other Otari Concept Elite owners these power supplies are the weak link in trying to run these desks successfully. From my experience these power supplies run very hot and have no built in fans or cooling apart from the metal casing of the module and the 19" rackmount chassis.

Any suggestions form techs familiar with this kind of digitally controlled analog desk would be most welcome.

This thread is also on Analog Recording Console Forum • Index page. If it takes off here then I'll keep it here on GS.
Old 19th October 2010
  #2
Gear Head
 

I had the pleasure of visiting the London College of Music's (part of Thames Valley University) Vestry Hall studios to take a look at their Otari Concept Elite. It turned about to be a 40 channel Elite+ with dynamics and moving faders. A very nice desk indeed.

The studio manager was able to tell me that they had bought the console brand new and over its lifetime has developed a couple of faults. Much like my console it seems to have problems with dodgy power rails and booting up. In fact, the desk has become such an uncertainty that the manager has chosen to keep it running 24/7 rather than risk any problems the seem to occur mostly on power-up. I noticed one of the channel's meter's was stuck at 3/4 of the way up and all soft buttons were unresponsive. This is a problem that I am familiar with with my own desk.

It is worth noting that this Elite+, and another one owned by riversonic studios, both have updated PSUs. I think all Elite+ desks came with PSUs with green power buttons and fans at the back to aid air circulation. My Concept Elite seems to have the same power supplies that came with the Concept 1 desk, no air circulation and orange power light. From the owners I have spoken to it sounds like all versions of the PSU suffer from short capacitor life. The capacitors in my PSUs are dated 1995 so it is probable that they are the original capacitors that came in the supplies. I believe my desk would have been kept running 24/7 in its old environment so I am sure that this is the problem behind my desk not being functional at the moment!

I have capacitors coming for a complete overhaul of the power supplies so I will post back once that work is done.

If there are any Concept Elite owners reading this I have a couple of questions that I'd like your input on:

i) Have you managed to get a mouse working with the PC server in order to operate Eagle and dynamics? If so how?!!?

ii) For those that are using Eagle in conjunction with Protools HD - how have you synced automation to Protools?
Old 23rd October 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

I have finished recapping the desk. This has fixed the issues i) and ii) as documented below. All rails now come up when power is on and all channels pass audio properly.

However, the meters don't zero properly and all meters are pinned to 0db for channels and masters. I think this is related to problem iii) which still remains.

The desk still has to be run in VCA bypass mode to be usable as with faders active 0db = around +40db. Any ideas? I think I'm going to try to disable the dynamics and see if this has any effect.
Old 23rd October 2010
  #4
Gear Head
 

Tom Eaton's Otari page is definitely worth a mention here:

Thomas Eaton Recording
Old 23rd October 2010
  #5
I have a 40 channel concept one. I had the same issue you did with the supply last year when we installed it. Recapping the supplies did the trick. I'm not running Eagle automation so sorry I can't help you there, I'm on Diskmix. I talked to Sorren Wittrup about upgrading to eagle but right now it's a bit more than I can afford.

My concept one has just moving faders, no dynamics, so again I can't be of any help. One other thing I have had issues with the server and console communication, suddenly the center section loses the 2 buss monitoring and suddenly the Dimm goes nuts and it take a quite few tries at re-booting before the console comes up. We replaced the cables that go from the dimm to the QCP card because I believe they were intermittent. For a while th console behaved fine, but then the issue reappeared. We discovered the QCP card for the Dimm was being held only by the screws at the bottom and that the center screw was screwed into nothing! Since fixing that issue last week the console has been solid so far, knock on wood. Tom Eaton and Sorren Wittrup seem to be the most knowledgeable concerning the Concept consoles.
Old 23rd October 2010
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Otari C1 and Elite common problems

Following known issues that can express themselves as some of the errors described by TheLibraryStudio:

Faulty software configuration; either as a result of outright wrong configuration or failure in the PC (can be RAM or the CMOS battery)

Faulty or failing NOVRAM on console server card (you'll need a programmer and a fresh NOVRAM; retrieve as much data from the old NOVRAM and then burn it in to the new. You will still have to perform a complete calibration of the console after this, as well as checking your configuration files)

A word on the configuration files - there are the obvious ones QCP.dat, MODTYPS.dat etc., but know that, dependent on software revision, there might be other files that need to be addressed, in order to get the correct "understanding" of your consoles hardware configuration.

Meters that are stuck as described, are usually result of wrong configuration when running dynamics, or a global missing Vref for Meters.
The Vref if generated on each QCP but does interact across the console through the QCP cable.
The meters shown in the pic, resembles "Gain Reduction Setting" which is a part of Dynamics, but can also be controlled by other configuration file if running software the has the files for Film Console.

If your console is still using the original flat cable assemblies for QCP and QDP connections; your culprit could be there.
The cable degas over time and gets stiff.
This, in combination with the fact that the IDC connectors used at the time of production contained a compound that "promoted" gradual shrinking of the plastic, resulting in the clampdown "bridge" starting to arch, leads to potential buildup of a capacitive barrier where the cable meets the small knives in the connector.
The result is a deterioration of the data bus waveforms and can result in unreadable instruction sets on the QCP ad QDP cables.
If you don't have the time or finances to make an outright new set of cables, you should at least get and IDC crimp tool (Maplin or Farnell), and "re crimp" all the connectors, while gently moving the cable side to side to clean any potential oxidization present.

The VCA constant having 40dB gain could be a combination of all of above.
When the NOVRAM fails, calibration data is NOT read out from file, and the console assumes a default state, which unfortunately is a "full on".
If a complete calibration has not yet been done since you got this, you might consider doing that.

First though, check your QCP and QDP cables and the NOVRAM.
If the date code on the NOVRAM (four digits for week and year e.g. 2697) makes it more than 10 years old, consider it overdue for replacement.
Manufacture specifications only guaranties a 10 year life cycle.

Best of luck

Soren
CS Electronics Inc.
Old 23rd October 2010
  #7
Soren is THE MAN!!!!!
Old 24th October 2010
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Soren is THE MAN!!!!!
If there is one argument that supports the purchase of an Otari Concept desk it is the existence of this man.

Soren Wittrup of CS Electronics (website) is the authority on these desks and I have not found anyone more knowledgable on technical matters.

Unfortunately Soren is in the US and I am in the UK otherwise I would have hired him a long time ago to come to my studio and go over the desk. If there are any Otari Concept/Status desk owners in the US who have desk problems then I would suggest saving yourselves a lot of time and effort and employing Soren.

Soren - Thanks for contributing to the thread and welcome to gearslutz! I'll be getting busy with the ribbon and IDC connectors this week!
Old 29th October 2010
  #9
Gear Head
 

Hi Folks. It's Friday night - I should be at the pub.

Instead I have taken apart the desk as much as possible and reassembled it.

I was on the verge of having a Skype remote tech session with Soren but I decided that before doing so I'd better do a thorough disassemble and rebuild to make sure there wasn't anything obvious.

Out came all of the modules. Out came all of the QCPs and QDPs. Hoovered the back of the console. Air dusted all the cards and connectors. Crimped some new 16 and 20 way ribbon cables with IDC connectors. Put it all back in wired everything back up. Buzzed all ribbon connectors from server all the way to QCP and QDP. Examined all config files on PC server. My efforts were rewarded - It works!

I even fixed the problem with the trackball - the ball wasn't contacting any of the roller axles so I added some shrink tubing to aid friction and that did the job.

The VCA problem is likely to have been a short on the 16 way QDP connector ribbon.

I am now in possession of a very nice fully operational Otari Concept Elite.

I'm off to the pub.
Old 30th October 2010
  #10
Here for the gear
 

A good result.

I took my Concept Elite completely to pieces, even drilling the rivets out of the frame, to move it upstairs and through a small doorway.

It survived and has worked ever since.
Old 30th October 2010
  #11
Gear Nut
 
kristoffer's Avatar
 

Hi, we have a Concept Elite+ (32/64 channels, 48 channel frame) in our studio. We have the same problem with all the rails not getting power, but this just happens every other couple of weeks (we power down the desk a night if we're not in the middle of a session). We are looking to recap the power supplies within the next couple of weeks.

The biggest problem we have is with the faders (they're all moving faders, eagle automation) - most of them are almost always out at startup (the physical fader is not at the same place as the fader in the computer), and we have to reset the faders a couple of times to get it all right. Lately, some of the faders motors have started to act weird and every now and then spins up and make loud noises.

/k
Old 30th October 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
Soren is THE MAN!!!!!

TOTALLY AGREED!

i am lucky enough to live 2 blocks away from him!
: )
literally.

seriously folks, not only is Soren the #1 authority on all things otari, he is a flat out genius when it comes to repairing ANYTHING.

i cannot speak highly enough about this man and his passion for repairing vintage gear and electronics. after having him do some work on my equipment a while back, i will never take my repairs anywhere else.
super nice guy on top of it all.

big thumbs up for soren!
Old 30th October 2010
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristoffer View Post
Hi, we have a Concept Elite+ (32/64 channels, 48 channel frame) in our studio. We have the same problem with all the rails not getting power, but this just happens every other couple of weeks (we power down the desk a night if we're not in the middle of a session). We are looking to recap the power supplies within the next couple of weeks.

The biggest problem we have is with the faders (they're all moving faders, eagle automation) - most of them are almost always out at startup (the physical fader is not at the same place as the fader in the computer), and we have to reset the faders a couple of times to get it all right. Lately, some of the faders motors have started to act weird and every now and then spins up and make loud noises.

/k
One thing Tom Eaton told me when I got my console has been very true, when you boot the console start with the faders pushed all the way up. You will get a better cal that way. At night when I power down I push all of the faders up. I start the console at least an hour before my session and then do a soft reboot just before I start.
Old 30th October 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by motherboy View Post
A good result.

I took my Concept Elite completely to pieces, even drilling the rivets out of the frame, to move it upstairs and through a small doorway.

It survived and has worked ever since.
you might find this amusing New Console Installation at The Music Lab
Old 30th October 2010
  #15
Here for the gear
 

I can appreciate that thread.

I stripped mine right back to bottom tray and had to make some temporary wooden ends to stop it flapping about.

I did wonder if it would ever work again, but it did and has been pretty reliable.
Attached Thumbnails
The Otari Concept Elite Owners thread-photo.jpg  
Old 22nd December 2010
  #16
Gear Nut
 
kristoffer's Avatar
 

Thanks for all that usefull information Soren!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SorenW View Post
If your console is still using the original flat cable assemblies for QCP and QDP connections; your culprit could be there.
The cable degas over time and gets stiff.
This, in combination with the fact that the IDC connectors used at the time of production contained a compound that "promoted" gradual shrinking of the plastic, resulting in the clampdown "bridge" starting to arch, leads to potential buildup of a capacitive barrier where the cable meets the small knives in the connector.
The result is a deterioration of the data bus waveforms and can result in unreadable instruction sets on the QCP ad QDP cables.
If you don't have the time or finances to make an outright new set of cables, you should at least get and IDC crimp tool (Maplin or Farnell), and "re crimp" all the connectors, while gently moving the cable side to side to clean any potential oxidization present.
Do you (or someone else) have some information (part number?) about what flat cable and connectors I need to get to change the QCP and QDP cables? Maybe link at Farnell or Mouser? Probably say in the service manual, but I'm not in the studio at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SorenW View Post
First though, check your QCP and QDP cables and the NOVRAM.
If the date code on the NOVRAM (four digits for week and year e.g. 2697) makes it more than 10 years old, consider it overdue for replacement.
Manufacture specifications only guaranties a 10 year life cycle.
Where do I find the NOVRAM so I can check the date?

Thanks.
/k
Old 22nd December 2010
  #17
If you're talking about the long ribbon that runs across the back and connects
to all of the QCP cards I just got some, I'll dig up my receipt and get you a number. Same with the connectors. If you're talking about the 3 cables that go from the master module to to QCP that was a whole different adventure.
I think Sorren is referring to the Sram chip that is on the hovernet card in the computer, again I think Digikey had all of this, and my tech had a programmer so we took care of that. I can dig up my digikey bills if you need that part #
Old 24th December 2010
  #18
Gear Head
 

I got mine from rapid in the UK:

Rapid Electronics - Cables & Connectors

Standard 2.54mm pitch IDC connectors. Then ribbon cable:

Rapid Electronics - Cables & Connectors

You might want to invest in a crimping tool as well as it will make crimping the connectors easier than trying to do it in a vice. Be sure to test with multimeter after you've done it - look for shorts between the conductors as it's easy to mis-align a crimped connector and create a short.
Old 27th March 2011
  #19
TER
Gear Maniac
 
TER's Avatar
I didn't mean to learn anything about the console... except that mine showed up with the patchbay on the left end despite it being pictured as having a right hand patchbay... and all my cables came up through the floor under the right end from my previous Amek Angela. So apart it came and I turned it inside out...

Mine is a 24 module, 48 moving fader desk. Coleman Rodgers came in and recapped and rechipped a couple of key things.. and with the "faders up" start as Lou mentioned above, everything has been quite hunky dory here.

I think I am due for a power supply recap... and would love to talk to anyone who has undertaken that just for pointers.

I am crazy busy these days, but try to respond to e-mails in a vaguely timely manner if folks need my help. Soren is clearly FAR more deep in these things than I am, but I certainly use one in the trenches on a daily basis.

One worthwhile thing to check, as I've done with every console I've ever owned, is whether you prefer the sound of the console from the master insert send or the master out. I feed my post console a/d converter directly from the master insert send... WAY cleaner than going through the fader and 6 more amp stages. I monitor directly from my a/d converter and basically skip the master section.

tom
tom at thomaseaton.com
Old 28th March 2011
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by TER View Post
I didn't mean to learn anything about the console... except that mine showed up with the patchbay on the left end despite it being pictured as having a right hand patchbay... and all my cables came up through the floor under the right end from my previous Amek Angela. So apart it came and I turned it inside out...

Mine is a 24 module, 48 moving fader desk. Coleman Rodgers came in and recapped and rechipped a couple of key things.. and with the "faders up" start as Lou mentioned above, everything has been quite hunky dory here.

I think I am due for a power supply recap... and would love to talk to anyone who has undertaken that just for pointers.

I am crazy busy these days, but try to respond to e-mails in a vaguely timely manner if folks need my help. Soren is clearly FAR more deep in these things than I am, but I certainly use one in the trenches on a daily basis.

One worthwhile thing to check, as I've done with every console I've ever owned, is whether you prefer the sound of the console from the master insert send or the master out. I feed my post console a/d converter directly from the master insert send... WAY cleaner than going through the fader and 6 more amp stages. I monitor directly from my a/d converter and basically skip the master section.

tom
tom at thomaseaton.com
Tom I recapped my power supplies, I should say my tech did.Since you have an Elite I'm not sure that you have the same supplies. But I might have some of the docs Condor sent us and I can put you in touch with my tech.
Old 29th March 2011
  #21
TER
Gear Maniac
 
TER's Avatar
Hi Lou!

That would be awesome... thanks!

t
Old 29th March 2011
  #22
Here for the gear
 
amerio's Avatar
 

Hi, I'm an owner of an Otari Elite+ CE4039 full loaded with moving fadere, dynamics ect. It is the one of the last that Otari produced. I installed in 2004.
Now start to have some faults and noise floor on some channels became very high, that it is impossible to use them. I search where are the problems, and discovered that power supply was damaged.
I changed all the transistor on the main unit (I have 3 units), and now I think that need to replace in all the units, because it is really strange that start to be noisy in randomly. Sometimes channel 16, sometimes 14, sometimes 31 and 32. Than the NEAR FIELD send don't work on right channel. I changed some faders that were worn-out, because the little rubber "belt" needed to change. I bought directly from Otari Japan.... very expensive for P&G motor faders. Then I would like to know if anybody know a tech in Europe. I'm Italian and console was installed by Otari Germany. In 2006 they closed. I have a problem with time code, too. I searched to work with but PC Hovernet didn't recognise it. Is it possible fault in connections or inside of console? I love this desk, sounds great.
Thanks in advance to all the Otari lovers!

Stefano
Old 29th March 2011
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakas View Post
Hi, I'm an owner of an Otari Elite+ CE4039 full loaded with moving fadere, dynamics ect. It is the one of the last that Otari produced. I installed in 2004.
Now start to have some faults and noise floor on some channels became very high, that it is impossible to use them. I search where are the problems, and discovered that power supply was damaged.
I changed all the transistor on the main unit (I have 3 units), and now I think that need to replace in all the units, because it is really strange that start to be noisy in randomly. Sometimes channel 16, sometimes 14, sometimes 31 and 32. Than the NEAR FIELD send don't work on right channel. I changed some faders that were worn-out, because the little rubber "belt" needed to change. I bought directly from Otari Japan.... very expensive for P&G motor faders. Then I would like to know if anybody know a tech in Europe. I'm Italian and console was installed by Otari Germany. In 2006 they closed. I have a problem with time code, too. I searched to work with but PC Hovernet didn't recognise it. Is it possible fault in connections or inside of console? I love this desk, sounds great.
Thanks in advance to all the Otari lovers!

Stefano
I would think you probably have some chips on the way out on 16,14, 31,32.
or some dirt. Maybe Brian Roth has some insight
Old 9th April 2011
  #24
Gear Head
 

Protools sync

Hi Folks,

I wanted to know how most of you are syncing your desks with your DAW systems? It is about time I made full use of the Eagle automation system.

Would be great to get some detailed advice from anyone who has done this sucessfully.

Kristoffer - I saw you attempted this last year:

Quote:
Hi! We have an Otari Concept Elite console with eagle automation. The automation uses smpte to sync, and we use one of the output from our d/a to output time code to it. We would now like to get a box that convert mtc into smpte so that we don't have to spare one audio channel to do it (send mtc from computer -> box -> output smpte into console). I have been looking at some midiinterfaces with smpte in/out (as we need a new interface anyway) but I haven't found one (I think anyway) that convert mtc to smpte in real time, only the opposite.

Thanks for any help.
/k
Any updates on how this went?
Old 9th April 2011
  #25
TER
Gear Maniac
 
TER's Avatar
I use a spare output from my MOTU system (it can be anything, a headphone jack, whatever... fidelity matters not at all) to feed SMPTE from my DAW to the console... works like a charm and has since the console went in here.

You could use the actual audio output of your computer (the computer's headphone jack) to output the SMPTE if you can address it from your SMPTE generator.

tom
Old 10th April 2011
  #26
I have a MTP AV and I use Logic, I set the MTP AV to internal, and set Logic to MMC mode and that's it. Then I patch MTP output tc to console tc in.
Old 14th April 2011
  #27
Gear Head
 

Motu mtp

Quote:
I have a MTP AV and I use Logic, I set the MTP AV to internal, and set Logic to MMC mode and that's it. Then I patch MTP output tc to console tc in.
I'm going to investigate the MTP route. It seems they can be had for around £50 in the UK, cheaper than the sync i/o which is around £300 used.

Do you have the USB or serial version?
Old 14th April 2011
  #28
Gear Head
 

Motorised faders

Another question for Otari Concept users - do you think I would be able to swap out my MIX path faders for the P&G motorised faders? I realise that as well as the fader there is a small interface board - I think I can get hold of both fader and boards. I would like to know what connections the fader and fader interface board need to function.

My power supplies don't have a module for moving faders but I was thinking of just having another power supply supplying the required voltage for the faders.

Any information or suggestions would be gratefully received.
Old 15th April 2011
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLibraryStudio View Post
I'm going to investigate the MTP route. It seems they can be had for around £50 in the UK, cheaper than the sync i/o which is around £300 used.

Do you have the USB or serial version?
I actually have both, I use the serial to give me more midi I/O, but the tc comes from the usb version
Old 18th April 2011
  #30
Gear Head
 

Could you tell me EXACTLY how you have your SMPTE hooked up?

I am trying to work out the wiring on my Elite but am having problems. I have identified a TC input on a DB25 connector on the back of the console. However, I can't work out how this is then routed into the server. After looking at the schematics I worked out that I can probably ignore the console connector and go straight into the PC server - my server has a 'External i/o' DB25 connector that according to the diagram has TC in on pins 16(+), 17(-) ,18(ground).

I played back 30fps SMPTE from my DAW to this DB25 connector and the comm light on my desk has become permanently illuminated! Something is not right - it certainly doesn't sync up with Eagle automation. The comms light doesn't go off until I take the DB25 connector off the 'External i/o' PC server input.

any suggestions? How is everyone else doing it?
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