racking/powering pre/eq modules off ebay?

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racking/powering pre/eq modules off ebay?

Postby jkhuri44 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:02 pm

Gday guys.

just decided to drop by and see whether any of you DIYers would be interested in helping out a total noob recording musician get himself on the road...

Im currently studying at UTS and recording a rather large musical project as my major work...at uni we have awesome mics, but the pre selection is rather minimal...we have a Merc Edition 1969 pre/compressor combo (heaven!!) but the rest is a bunch of digidesign pre's which sound boring to be frank...

so, basically im trying to find a mid solution for my recording date, early next year....ive been finding alot of modules coming out of killer vintage consoles that apparently only need racking and powering to be fully function...

i called Studio Solutions, but because they do such a fully fledged professional job and make it look awesome, it is rather costly...(and out of my student budget)...however, would anyone be able to recommend another way i could possibly get this idea on the road (cheap)....? all i need at the moment is to get these pres working, cosmetics are desirable but i dont think i can afford asking for that...

if anyone would be interested in helping me out power and get these on the road...please contact me:

my email is jamil.khuri@student.uts.edu.au

Cheers!
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Postby chris p » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:40 am

Hi Jamil

I'm just up the road at Cherrybrook, and I'm happy to pass on a few pointers. But the basics are not that hard, you need a rack case, a power supply (and in Australia you just can't go past Joe Malone's offerings at JLM Audio), a pinout diagram and some soldering / drilling skills.

Why not PM me with your contact details and we'll see if we can meet up sometime and go through the process. And for everyone else here, what preamp modules do you have that you want to rack?
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Postby mfdu » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:52 am

be careful buying electronics on ebay.

i'm just saying, be careful.

make sure that the price you pay is the price you'll be happy with for a DIY project.

for example - i'm got a pair of CEI preamps - $100 each. one is being stripped for it's VU and line and mic input and line output transformers (all made in melbourne) and the other requires 41VAC to operate.
but all the power supplies i've found do DC, not AC. . .

hey, i'm just saying. DIY is fun, as long as you start with a budget and a plan. . .

chris.
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pre racking/powering

Postby jkhuri44 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:52 am

Gday Chris,

Thankyou so much for your offer, unfortunately i cant take it up immediately :P

At the moment, i am just testing the waters to see what my options are in the realm of help....I havent actually bought the pre's yet, but ive been seeing some vintage modules going on ebay for silly prices and thought, "hey, this could be the best option".... as you all probably have seen there are trident, telefunken, seimens, altec, and ampex pre's and eq's being sold on their quite regularly...

so i thought trying to find someone to help me rack them and power them might be cheaper than saving to buy out Mercenary audio's catalog :P

PS. i probably should clarify, I have no electrical skills (althought i would love to learn) ...so when i say "help"....i kinda mean "assemble it for me, for a small fee"...

I have seen JLM audio's kits, but again, i have no electrical skills, and dont have the money to "screw up" if you know what i mean...

Cheers,

Jamil.
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mic pre racking

Postby jkhuri44 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:55 am

thanks mf,

ill be sure to ask thorough questions before going through with anything, and yeh you're right....the price of the final project is something i always have to keep in mind...

last time i was almost going ahead with a purchase, i could have bought 4 pre modules for 180 dollars....but the racking would cost me , probably 1000 Australian...

Cheers,

JK
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Postby astrovic » Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:22 pm

JK

Your question actually dovetails into something I've been thinking about, and with your permission I'd like to partially hijack your thread.

But first to answer your question, I suspect that unless you can find someone who is prepared to rack up the modules on the cheap, it's either DIY or paying full price - but at least that way you know you're getting quality. Have a look at Proharmonic's site for a definition of quality! (Man, I drooled over those pics for about 1/2 an hour!)

Back to hijacking, I reckon I'm in an unusual position in this game because music is no more than a hobby for me. I have no desire to make any money out of it and am looking ultimately to turn my nice little room in my bungalow out the back into a sweet little home studio.

Problem is, I have a mild case of GAS and since about May this year a serious case of DIY-itis. I am currently enjoying building stuff more than I am doing music stuff. But I am quickly going to reach the point where I have built more gear than I need (I now have two DIY compressors, and all I probably need for my purposes is a 3630...well, ok maybe a bit better than that!). So how do I satisfy my DIY urges once my rack is full? Carpentry? Bleah...

So I've been thinking about seeing what opportunities exist to do builds for other people. Legit stuff only, not Gyraf or other "non-commercial" projects (not that they're not legit, but that building one for someone else would not be). In other words, building kits, racking modules, that sort of thing. Not really in it to make money, but it would advance my skills and I could justify a modest fee which I could plough back into my own DIY. I'm talking probably 2-3 jobs a year, depending on demand. Sounds great in theory, but there's got to be a number of catches, such as:

1) I would hate to take business away from the commercial operators.

2) "Customer" expectations/time frames/etc. I wouldn't want to be burnt my jerks who want the world but don't want to pay for it (note: this is a minor issue for me - I'm a lawyer by day so I think I can handle myself). Will people appreciate that between sourcing parts, waiting for parts, getting the build done and actually living the rest of my life, the time to complete will necessarily be longer than a commercial operator? And what if they don't like it? Or stuff it up completely?

3) The vicious circle - I'm not experienced enough in this area yet to say with authority that any work I do will be up to scratch, yet without doing a lot of projects I won't get that experience.

Of course, I could do a pretty good job, have a ball doing it and proudly say that there is the odd studio around with a piece of gear in it I built. Who knows?

So, JK, I would love to rack up a couple of PM1000 strips for you or build you a pair of JLM Baby Animals or whatever, but would you trust the work of some guy you've never met who is driven by passion more than experience? If not, and you're looking for someone to do the job at less than market prices, then you'll probably hit a few dead ends.

Finally, you say you'd love to learn? Why not? 5 months ago I didn't know which end of a soldering iron to hold, and now am feeling like I'm getting the hang of it (you don't hold the hot end, apparently). Ok, so I've learnt about 0.0002% of what there is to know, but hey, I've got some pretty cool DIY gear!

Any thoughts from the other guys?

Chris L
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Postby chris p » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:18 pm

Me again JK

Believe me, you've got to KNOW you want to DIY or it'll end up a waste of money. And to get good results, its not that cheap.

From your second post above, you want to know my suggestion? Sketch out what you need for your project in terms of mics, preamps, etc, and then save some money to HIRE the gear you need when its time to hit record.

Why? It will enable you to get more and better gear than you can build in the time available, you will not face the (not inconsiderable) setup costs of DIY (in getting a half decent work bench together), and you will get more experience of the sound and functionality of the good stuff than you will by DIYing a pair of "vintage" preamps. Plus, you get used to the idea of paying by the hour, which if how this industry runs and is a wonderful mechanism for focussing on getting maximum efficiency from your time.

I think you'll get more CV kudos from saying you've recorded on a Neve-Pultec-1176 chain than you'd get saying you racked a couple of vintage preamps.
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powering/racking pre's

Postby jkhuri44 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:36 pm

gday chris,

thanks for your response, its helping clarify what i need to do

that being said, one of the problems i had was finding places i could rent gear from....just today after i posted my original thread, i stumbled on Mixmasters in Adelaide...their hire list is damn impressive....and their prices for hiring the good stuff, neve, avalon, etc....is really low....

You are completely right about the hire thing, but in Sydney....i called up a few studios i was that desperate, to see if someone would let me hire some stuff....and it was pretty hopeless....i couldnt even get anyone at 301 to hire a bloody quality DI box ffs!!! :P And believe me, i would gladly hire top gear rather than have the hassle of jumping through DIY hoops and having to trust people i dont know...

Anyway, ive blabbed long enough...now that I've found Mixmasters, ill gladly be a customer of theirs : )

JK.
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Postby Howard Jones » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:50 pm

Hi Jamil,

I've been following your thread with interest and would like to make some comments about what has been said. You should follow your desire to get into DIY as this is a very interesting and rewarding pursuit. However, I think it's also worth pointing out that you seem to be rushing your program a bit.

In order to avoid frustration and failure, you will definitely need to become proficient in using a soldering iron and learn how to tell if your solder joints are good or not. Obviously, you will need to invest in a decent soldering iron if you want to get good results. You will also want to be able to faultfind any circuit you are soldering if it turns out not to work at first.

Another very important point is that you will need to learn some basics about electronic circuits. This is particularly important in cases where your project will be mains-powered i.e. you will be plugging into a wall socket in order to run it. Such a case will bring you into direct involvement with 240V componentry and here you must understand enough about what you are doing to ensure your own safety and that of others who might come into contact with your project. Learning some basics about electronics will also ensure that you have a grasp of the principles of DC power supplies which will help you when you design and debug your projects.

All the skills referred to above can be readily acquired but still do need a definable period of time to learn and practice. You have said that your target date is early next year. This is do-able but you would need to get your skates on, getting enrolled in a TAFE Introductory Electronics course or the like. In the meantime, don't forget that your primary target is your major music work.

Chris P's offer seemed generous to me and you should reconsider taking him up on it.

Note to Astrovic: since you are a lawyer, you'll be aware of issues like public liability, warranty support, product documentation etc etc. If you take money to do it, it makes you a professional.
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Postby astrovic » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:31 am

Howard Jones wrote:Note to Astrovic: since you are a lawyer, you'll be aware of issues like public liability, warranty support, product documentation etc etc. If you take money to do it, it makes you a professional.


Yup. My post was pretty much circular - typing it helped me clarify my thoughts about it. My take is - nice thought, but doesn't really work.
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Postby chris p » Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:46 am

For local Sydney hire, see also Aearth's thread http://www.turtlerockmastering.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=508
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Postby jkhuri44 » Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:36 am

just emailed aerth now about his pre selection,

hes got some nice stuff, the API's should be a treat, hehe.

thanks for everyones help on the forums, its really really appreciated...

JK.
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