diggy fresh

Api 512c weird behavior
« on: February 18, 2020, 11:34:26 AM »
hi guys,
i seem to have a problem with a mid-2000 api 512c preamp. 

It works but it seems like it's missing some gain,  I cannot get the converters to clip with a dynamic mic, although the preamp is distorting and the meter in the red. The sound is anemic and  lacking bass, high seems semi-normal appart from distortion.

Also very strange, when i press the polarity switch the sound gets louder a little ( maybe 3db ) and the bass seems better.  Clearly night and day.

I searched for this problem online and a few people reported the same behaviour but haven't found a solution online.  Most people say it's a psychoacoustic effect but i can asure you it is not. Clear sound difference.

What could the problem be? Would a deffective 2520 opamp do that?
A bad contact somewhere? The polarity switch is switch a relay, bad relay contacts degrading sound? Maybe a bad capacitor?

Let me know if you've seen similar behavior please. 

Thanks,
 John.
English is my second language, apologies

Autodidact audio geek, constantly learning.

Very interested in old technology, i mostly learn from the info you guys share on here, so thanks!


pucho812

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2020, 12:16:59 PM »
take measurements... feed it a fixed signal and measure the output.  take a frequency sweep and sweep the preamp from 20-22K and see what it is doing.

the polarity should have no effect on gain when by itself, but if used with other sources at the same time, it might effect gain because  flipping the polarity may phase correct and issue that would otherwise be canceling out. 
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.

diggy fresh

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 01:01:06 PM »
Thanks Pucho, i will try to make measurements with tones tonight to get exact picture.

But the polarity switch clearly affects the sound, frequency and level. 

I'm suspecting the tiny relay (panasonics tn2-12v) might have dirty contacts, because the switch had very low usage.


Is it possible a 2520 opamp only half-fails?   because it still passes signal, just cannot drive very much.

I'm pretty sure this 2520 is from the "bad batch " from the 2000 period cause i had other opamps fail in a 525 from the same period.


Another details, this 512c cannot drive the 600 ohm input of an api 550b eq or la-2a, no sound. Only works straight in the interface with low volume. Not sure if it is normal behavior tho.



English is my second language, apologies

Autodidact audio geek, constantly learning.

Very interested in old technology, i mostly learn from the info you guys share on here, so thanks!

pucho812

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2020, 01:14:22 PM »
none off that is normal behavior.

if you really want to dig in,  the 2520 should be on sockets so you should be able to swap it out with a known good one from another unit to see what is what.
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.

radardoug

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 03:17:50 PM »
This is a balanced output off a transformer, right? Have you connected both legs of the transformer? Your description is that of one leg being open.

mjrippe

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2020, 08:01:29 PM »
Anything that comes across my bench with a 2520 of *any* vintage or batch the first step is swap the 2520.

diggy fresh

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 10:44:08 AM »
Thanks for the advices guys.

i have made progress.  I will write here if people ever need the info.

I swapped opamps, eliminated variables and tested various things.

Good news is the opamp is good and the problem isn't in the 512c.

I swapped the module around the lunchbox and it was working perfectly in another slots.

I haven't tested all the slots yet but the same problem happened in slot 1 and 2.  ( low gain, phase switch affect sound etc). very weird.

Very strange, i'm not familiar with what the lunchbox contains but i'm guessing nothing appart from the psu and traces, contacts etc.

So maybe dirty contacts on the connectors?  I will keep investigating.

Very weird, it works, just attenuated, not "gated" and distorting.

So at least i got more clues now and i will research if some people had that problem.  It is the first 6 chan lunchbox.

john
English is my second language, apologies

Autodidact audio geek, constantly learning.

Very interested in old technology, i mostly learn from the info you guys share on here, so thanks!

Whoops

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2020, 07:28:56 PM »
I swapped the module around the lunchbox and it was working perfectly in another slots.

I haven't tested all the slots yet but the same problem happened in slot 1 and 2.  ( low gain, phase switch affect sound etc). very weird.

So the problem seems to be related to the 500 series rack.

Well you have input connections and output connections. And then + and - 15V , 0V and +48V
Your problem seems to be related to the output connections, Audio + , Audio - and Audio ground

Check audio cables that connect to slot 1 and 2
clean the rack connector contacts, clean the XLR contacts
Measure continuity between the Edac connector and the XLRs
« Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 09:16:03 PM by Whoops »

pucho812

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2020, 09:02:44 PM »
I had a client recently who had a 512C mic pre that they swore was not working right.  in this case it was not passing phantom. turns out the module was fine and their rack had an issue, a bent pin was not making contact  in the edge card connector to the module preventing it from getting  phantom. was a PIA to replace the edge card.
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.

diggy fresh

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2020, 05:09:29 PM »
Thanks guys,

Yes the problem is indeed in the rack.


Swapping around in different slots i noticed the modules don't quite sit well in the back connector, they barely make contact and don't go all the way. The backplane is too far back..

I read on the net it happened to a batch of lunchboxes. It looks like i have been unlucky and bought that stuff when Api had a bad batch of opamps and problems with lunchbox tolerance.

The modules had never moved from their slots, maybe the contacts got dirty for not sitting deep enough and not having enough pressure on them.

I think i read Api had issued a fix with some washers or shims.

I'll try cleaning the contacts for now and i'll look into if it's doable to hack a shim or something.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 08:07:21 PM by diggy fresh »
English is my second language, apologies

Autodidact audio geek, constantly learning.

Very interested in old technology, i mostly learn from the info you guys share on here, so thanks!


Whoops

Re: Api 512c weird behavior
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2020, 09:17:17 PM »
I think i read Api had issued a fix with some washers or shims.

 i'll look into if it's doable to hack a shim or something.

Pretty sure you can easily fix it that way


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
3106 Views
Last post June 13, 2004, 03:57:51 PM
by Bo Hansen
8 Replies
2750 Views
Last post April 30, 2010, 07:01:05 AM
by Holger
2 Replies
1692 Views
Last post November 23, 2007, 05:52:47 PM
by AnalogPackrat
0 Replies
1602 Views
Last post January 31, 2008, 11:46:43 AM
by bram