Does anyone have any fairly easy mods for an Ampex AM10 that would reduce the noise without totally gutting it and changing its character? I really only care about doing two channels. Any ideas would be welcome.
I also have an AM10 that I use as a 2-channel pre. I'd love to know of any mods as well. I've been tempted to mod it for balanced outputs for each channel but haven't been daring enough. I have had good results with this with SM57s on guitar amps. Kinda crunchy and aggressive sounding.
Mine has a couple of plug-in transformers and certainly seems to have a balanced output. I've read that some of them came with a jumper in place of the transformer. You wouldn't have to modify your AM10 to make it balanced, just wire up transformers to the plug in place of the jumper. I think. If I'm already in over my head someone will let me know, I'm sure. There are some excellent resources on this site for buying new, decent and relatively cheap transformers. I don't know what the turns ratio or impedance of mine are. If you don't have a schematic, Google Ampex AM 10. There's a schemo that'll come up pretty fast. Let me know if you find any low noise mods. (I could have three more of these if this all works out for me, so I'm kind of excited.)
Whoops, I just got the thing and haven't even plugged it in---those transformers I was referring to are line input transformers. But, according to the specs (http://recordist.com/ampex/docs/apxbrochures/am10/am10_2.jpg) it does have balanced outputs, though I don't think transformer balanced. OK, I'll go and take it apart.