Post by jimwilliams on Jul 24, 2017 10:33:26 GMT -6
Balanced inputs, all unbalanced outputs. Modular construction. SSM2015 mic pre chip doubles as the line input, the bottleneck of the design. All 072 opamps, sometimes the stereo mix uses a 5532. Sockets are fitted.
Post by smallbutfine on Jul 25, 2017 7:47:25 GMT -6
I don't know if this is the common behaviour, but i knew a studio which had one. Tracked and mixed with it twice. They had a lot of service to do with it. Each time i asked another channel had problems.... That was in the 90's.... As said, i do not know if this is general behaviour of the Scorpions, or if they just have been unlucky. Sound was solid. Personally, i wouldn't bother upgrading opamps until you changed the SSM chip micpres to something better. Don't know if it changes substantially if you upgrade to 2017, 2019 or the THAT or BurrBrown chip alternatives. Maybe Jim can chime in on if there is a discrete pre adapter possible. But for each of the possible upgrades keep possibly higher current draw in mind, they may require PSU and local circuit upgrade/circuit redesign/changes to handle that...probably more than it's worth it... Check for the typical servicing problems in the console, i.e. scratchy pots/faders and switches so you don't run into the realm of a console that costs much more in service, than it is worth it....
Post by jimwilliams on Jul 25, 2017 10:41:15 GMT -6
Service is easy. Radiohm carbon pots, shadow switches, all easy to clean. The SSM2015 can be replaced with Audio Maintanence pcb's or even my PIP module. Low noise FET input opamps are best for the high impedance EQ design, BurrBrown OPA1642's are ideal. A LME49720 can be used for the fader opamp.
On the master mix I use an Analog Devices ADA chips and reset gain to unity. It's all direct coupled, no caps in the signal path.
I'll just echo what everyone else is saying; they get beat to hell, they always look beat up, but they can be really great sounding boards. I did a few mixes on a Scorpion and they sounded pretty good. At one point; it was a choice between the Scorpion and The Ghost and the only reason I picked the Ghost was because it was in mint condition and the Scorpion was not. Otherwise I would have probably picked the Scorpion but that's cause they are easier to work on and I like modding stuff. I read of many mods (including Mr. William's) that really made them much better to work on.
Last Edit: Jul 27, 2017 19:59:42 GMT -6 by rocinante
I asked the guy about the condish of the TAC Scorpion, here is what he came back with:
"I had a very good tech who worked on the TAC and changes the leds to VU meters (less noise), bought a Amek psu (large console) for it and checked everything. It worked really nice before I put it in storage (temperature controled) for 2 years. I powered it up a few weeks ago and there is 1 channel on the masters that doesn't work. it is of course a small fix. otherwise than that, it is bone stock with missing 2 or 3 knobs."
Any other thoughts about this ? Does the one side of master module not working sound like a quick fix to you ? What about using another psu with the TAC ? I understand more power is better but technically they are mismatched ?
Post by smallbutfine on Aug 8, 2017 15:34:59 GMT -6
Hm, what do you think, are you confident about a console that goes from technically totally ok and checked etc. to a master channel dead within 2 years of temperature controlled storage? Why is a console missing knobs? My guess is live duties.... "otherwise than that....bone stock" Oh well... Since he did not tell anything else but "doesn't work", it is guesswork if it is a small fix. Maybe it is, most probably it is, but maybe it is a frustrating search to spot the problem....
As of the PSU: There are not many differences in console PSU voltages. Most have symmetric -15V - 0 - +15V plus phantom power, where 15 is what typical chip silicon take without poblems, but of course there are also higher voltages on the market, +- 17 is very common, but could also go up to +-21V, depends on what chips are used. Therefore. the only mismatch that you could expect is too low power or two high voltage rails, but this was what the change was all about. So - no, not technically mismatched, i guess. Well, there is another standard, european broadcast consoles 24V single supply, but this does not apply to the TAC and the donor Amek, obviously.... BTW, there are people specialized in building new and stable_/solid console upgrade PSUs with the specs provided by the customer, like in Europe the "soundtracs guy" with his "Blue Dog" PSUs... So i would not bother buying a used Amek PSU for a used console....might have been a good occasion maybe.... I remain sceptical. There are consoles, that are built like tanks and work flawlessly after decades of live duty, others are known to be not so friendly to their owners. But you already read about this in this thread. Personally i would not buy a TAC Scorpion, just because everything i heard about is annoying small problems that start here and there and really are not fun. The Scorpion i had my hands on was more of a problem console, and had live duty before studio use... Don't get me wrong - i am pretty sure, it can sound really ok, i was pleased with the sound. But from what you got from the seller, it is still guessworks if it is a rocked down/beaten up or well serviced nicely used console... personal inspection, maybe with an experienced tech by the side, can make it clear, how the condition is. And the condition would exactly be, what would make the difference if i would buy or not buy this kind of console. Welcome to the world of decades old analog hardware.
I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me
(He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity...)
Post by johneppstein on Aug 8, 2017 22:30:56 GMT -6
If a console of that age has been sitting in storage, unpowered, for a couple years or longer and it had not been very recently recapped before storage you may very well be looking at a recap job. Not difficult, just really tedious and time consuming.