Monday, February 07, 2011

I think my picture to words ratio is tilted toward STFU today.

Wheatstone/Audioarts A32 broadcast console, an over all angle. Minimal clutter lending weight to the 100mm sliders, the wood is a nice touch too (though appears somewhat tainted by greasy DJs).
Modules from left to right: 4x MM-20, 12x SL-20, 2x blank, LS-6, blank, SC-20. CR-20 & OM-20.

MM-20 is the microphone preamp, the input transformer has been wiped clean of any identifying marks. Socketed NE5532N are found throughout the desk, I believe the SN74LS00Ns situated beneath the Penny Giles slider support logic switching and illumination of the front panel controls. Input, output and power feed are hidden somewhere in the forest of pins on those ribbon connectors.

I expect the PGM & AUD buttons control those yellow box relays seen above.

The SL-20 is much like the MM-20, minus the transformer and with an additional dual op-amp, which is sensical because this stage is stereo whereas the MM is mono.

Same stripped down features, but in... ((STEREO))

LS-6 is pretty self explanatory (forgive me, I'm going to go ahead and explain it anyway). It performs Line Selection, from 6 choices. From what and to where, however, are still shrouded in mystery. It's also around this point where I stopped being comfortable pulling the modules out, since it is no longer so clear what is what in the final sections.

SC-20; Studio Control, looks to house the talk-back circuitry and routing to the studio.

CR-20; Control Room loses the TB control, as the operator typically does not require supporting electronics to talk to themselves, and adds headphone amplification.

OM-20; your guess as to what the O stands for is as good as mine. This houses master level and VU meter trim and timer control (which will come in handy if I'm ever trying to record and bake at the same time).

The PSU was naturally absent upon purchase, as was a loom with 29 DB-25 connectors (that's 725 connections, in case you were curious and yet slow in the math).

The switches also seem to be a weak point in the design. I love mechanical indicators, but these are less than crisp in their response, the A/B input plungers also need help to actuate between up and down. The only PGM & AUD switches in the on position are the ones next to the holes.

Upper shelf component selection aside, complexity has worked against this desk in the span of 20 years. The Autogram AC-8 which is almost 10 years older, has the potential to be a far more user friendly and upgradeable desk.

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