Audioarts Wheatstone console schematics

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analogical

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May 9, 2006
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Maryland, USA
Picked up a Audioarts/Wheatstone console off of ebay last week for damn near free.
Turns out it's filled with P&G's and modutec VU's.  :D

I'm looking to use the meters and meter buffer pcb's on my current project, however I have no schematics on the desk, nor can I seem to find them anywhere.
Wheatstone wants to charge an arm and a leg for them :(

If anybody has any info on this early 80's desk It would be hugely helpful. Thank you!!!

gutted.jpg

Meterbuffer.jpg

audioartsxfmrs.jpg

channelstrip.jpg

lotsapots.jpg


 

analogical

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I'm waiting to hear back from Wheatstone about that. Nothing on the frame to suggest any model. Anyone want to take a guess for me?
 

sws2h

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Nashville, TN
It might be your lucky day, I have a PDF scan of the Wheatstone 8X series console. I'll upload the folder and post a link.
 

sws2h

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Nov 22, 2009
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Not a problem!

At the pro audio rental company where I work part time we have a repair shop and our tech was reworking a Wheatstone awhile back. My boss had me scan the entire manual, just so we'd have it in the future, and I thought "what are the odds someone else is going to have us repair one of these?" and low and behold, 3 months later, someone needs the manual!

 

gar381

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Retired in (Amherst) Cleveland, Ohio
Thought it looked a bit like on old 8000.
I got an SP5 manual but its a bit to new
for your desk..Early 90s.

Best of luck and have fun.. :)
Wheatstones are a great
cheap parts resource.  Hefty PSUs, P & Gs
and Meters.  I hate their Mic Pres however.
Hope you are using is desk line level only.

GARY
 

kleinbl00

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Feb 10, 2010
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Not only that, it was *my* Wheatstone Audioarts LM-80. It was originally installed in a large church in Tacoma, WA by Capitol Communications (ccisolutions.com) back in '82.  It was removed by RMS Sound in Seattle, WA and replaced with an Amek, I believe.  I purchased it from one of the former owners of RMS Sound (which disintegrated in 1993) in 1998 for $900.

Either on the console itself or on the power supply is the serial number: 10101.  That aluminum plate where there should be faders was made by me while I was bored at a job in Redmond, WA in 1999.  There's a weird, savage cut on the sidecheek, about an inch tall and half an inch deep, as if someone got pissed off at it with a router table.  I can only assume that someone made a cabinet too small or something.

I put the console, as well as a 400-point ADC patchbay, a full cable loom, all interconnects, and all documentation (including some original sales brochures) up on eBay in 2004, having not only gone inside the box, but having gone 5.1 as well.  I very carefully listed it as LOCALS ONLY because ye gods who wants to ship such a creature.  The first buyer, of course, was a scammer in Malaysia.  So I took the Buy It Now price off.  The next buyer was some stupid chick in upstate NY.  I berated her quite loudly but she spent about $1200 to get the silly thing crated and shipped off.  I think I sold it for $1500 or so.

It originally sold for $18k, as I recall.  Sony Broadcast for a while was OEMing them; I once found a 40-fader for $32k.  No one bought it, of course.

The P&Gs are on disconnects because they were dirty as hell when I bought them and I was going to run them through an ultrasonic cleaner.  I never did.  It's P&G's recommended cleaning procedure, or was at the time.  Your mileage may vary.

Every input and output on the master section was working when it left my care. 

Channel 1 is dead.  It's dead on the board, not the channel; swapping out channels buys you nothing.

The spare caps for the P&Gs (about five of them were broken, if I recall) are available from Penny and Giles, or were as of 2003.  They're 3220DUs, can't remember the parts equivalency.  P&G are pretty nice about such things.

Every chip on every channel was removed, cleaned and reseated.  Every switch was cleaned with Caig.  Some of the crankier ones were cleaned and lubricated with Stabilant.  The ones that were at all questionable were replaced (they're easy switches to find) as well as many of the chips; the whole thing is a giant assemblage of TL072s, NE5534s and Jensen transformers...

...which is about all the good you can really say about it, 'cuz the backplane is a disaster.  Thing has horrific crosstalk.  I did *not* swap out any caps; it was about then that I realized that it wasn't really worth the trouble.  I've seen AudioArts channels racked up as if they were Neves but I can't really see it - as gar381 mentioned, the mic pres are teh suck.

Was totally surprised to see the old beast pop up on Google.  I put a *lot* of time into it before I learned better.  The last time *I* talked to Wheatstone about it, they were delighted - apparently it was the first LM-80 they'd heard about in a long time; they didn't think there were any still extant.

That was seven years ago.

Just dug around on Usenet.  Here's the exchange I had on rec.audio.pro in 1997 about this console.  I bought it anyway.

Good luck to you.

>    I've come across an old, abandoned 32x8 desk that looks like it
>dates from the late '70's or early-mid '80's that is in need of a little
>repair (one channel is out and missing some ICs, the faders would need to
>be re-silkscreened, I'd like to re-upholster the wrist rest) and I want to
>know if it would be a good board to have.  Unfortunately, I was about in
>3rd grade in the early-mid '80's and don't know anything about this board.

Audioarts has made some of the most evil sounding consoles I have ever
had to work on; _every_ single one that I have done multitrack work on
has been a real pain to get good sounds out of.  Even if you replace
every chip and passive component in the box, you'll still have to
suffer with their amateurish grounding, layout and power supply
techniques.  The one thing their consoles are OK for is radio
broadcasting where you only have one or maybe two channels passing a
signal at a time and you don't care much how things sound.

However, if you try to do any form of serious multitrack or production
on their boards, you'll find that your mix will mush up when you use a
majority of the inputs; they send a _lot_ of unbalanced signal current
into ground on each channel strip and use an incredibly minimal signal
grounding system.  This causes lots of odd crosstalk and dirt to flow
around the board, some of which is picked up by the mix bus amp,
amplified by 30dB and added to your mix.

Their gain structure is usually quite silly too; a 32x24 Audioarts
that I once had to maintain was shipped with 20dB of makeup gain on
the master stereo fader, which is really silly.  And look closely;
they probably aren't P&G faders, the knob just looks the same.  The
input channel fader buffer / channel output amps also get pretty
severely loaded due to the excessively low panpot, aux bus and summing
bus resistor values.  No 8 pin DIP IC made even today will sound good
into that load.

Further, the left and right stereo mix modules used a different PCB
layout and a different type of IC for the main summing stage... a
TL071 on one side and a 5534 on the other!  This is one of the most
critical parts of a mixing console and they completely forgot the most
basic requirement of stereo: make the left and right channels the
same!

The control room pot has very poor stereo tracking because it's an
el-cheapo model that they didn't bother to select; this means your mix
shifts around a lot or you listen at one control room level all the
time.  Their EQ can sound pretty evil too.  Oh, I forgot: the mike amp
is so crappy that it's not usable for voiceover work; the _talent_
complained!!  And when we first installed the board, it hummed all by
itself.  After hacking on it, I was finally able to make it quieter
than an analog 1/4" machine, but not by much; there's only so much you
can do with a bad layout.

Audioarts / Wheatsone makes amateurish crap that gets bought because
of looks and price alone, usually by 'suits' who don't have to use the
things.  And when you talk to their engineers to see why they did all
these boneheaded things, you realize that nobody's home...  Do you
realize now why you have never heard of them before???

If you can get it _really_ cheaply and you don't mind something that
sounds not very good at all and takes up a lot of room, go for it.
It'll impress your friends... as long as you don't listen to it.
Personally, I'd rather have a Mackie 8 bus; they're smaller, sound
better (I'm not the biggest Mackie fan either) and have a nonzero
resale value.

Run away!!!!  Better yet, drag it outside, douse it and light it up!
 

Tubemooley

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Feb 26, 2006
Messages
355
Location
Mendon, MA USA
See those output transformers? Those are API AP2623-3's. Those are really good. Are those the stereo outputs? See if there are any markings on the input transformers. Nice work on obtaining that desk. DW.
 

boji

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Jan 6, 2010
Messages
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Location
Maryland, USA
Wow guys your responses are blowing my mind, thank you so much for taking the time to hash out it's history to me and offer your opinions. I'll have some questions and more pictures regarding the backplane and tx. When I said Wheatstone wanted to charge an arm and a leg- this turns out to not be true- yet...

Here's what Jerry from Wheatstone had to say, "...there is no such thing as a comprehensive manual, which means what is left to look through are the old "flat files" where the older engineering sepia drawings are stored. Hopefully there may still be some individual module schematics in there from the LM-80." It has been three weeks since I initiated our conversation and he's not found anything yet.  >.<
 

analogical

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May 9, 2006
Messages
115
Location
Maryland, USA
???
"Hi Don,
Well I finally had a chance to look through the engineering flat files without interruption, and also spoke to an employee that has been with Wheatstone literally since the beginning of the company in the Mid 70s. He confirmed this is indeed the LM-80 console. The company name was originally Audioarts, and when the company became incorporated as Wheatstone (in 1981), the LM-80 was the first console designed under the Wheatstone name.

Unfortunately, there are no schematics for this console..."

If anyone knows where to track down anything, I'd sure be appreciative.
 

boji

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Messages
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Maryland, USA
Here's another pict of the transformers.
These are really API? In a Wheatstone?!?
ironman.jpg

Just to reduce confusion boji is my work logon, I can't logon under analogical at work for some reason
 

boji

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Messages
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Maryland, USA
kleinbl00 ...which is about all the good you can really say about it, 'cuz the backplane is a disaster.  Thing has horrific crosstalk.  I did *not* swap out any caps; it was about then that I realized that it wasn't really worth the trouble.  I've seen AudioArts channels racked up as if they were Neves but I can't really see it - as gar381 mentioned, the mic pres are teh suck.

I have yet to check on the input tranny's, I suspect they prob contribute to the mic pre's suckage, I'll crack open a can and see if I can get Jensen to tell me how they fair. 

As for the backplane, I've inspected it, and to be honest I would not know a good from a bad backplane if I saw them together, but this one on the wheatstone is extremely simple; the BP is nothing but rail. 40 lines of trace per 8ch's, 1/4mil thick or so, joined by ribbon loops of 24ga wire all down the board. Channels alternate signal, gnd, signal, gnd, so I can't imagine all that crosstalk was the backplane's fault. At least I hope not, because I want to use them!!! I'm arguing that the plane is too simple to be creating the problem, I suspect that the problem was in the ground scheme of the console as a whole. What do you think?
 

ihscoutlvr74

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Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
68
Analogical,

I have intimate knowledge of this console as I worked on and mixed on this exact console and was there when we replaced it.  It was removed in late 1989 or early 1990 and we replaced with a Soundcraft console.  The 'scar' on the end was cut because the booth design was a little off and to make it fit it had to be cut.

We replaced it because channels began dropping like flies and we  began to have crosstalk problems in the master section.  It also began to have major ground hum issues that came and went without cause.  We tried moving strips around and the problems mostly remained.  We cleaned the edge connectors on dead channels, etc. but ended up with so many dead channels that we had to bring in another small console for a submix before it was replaced. 

The info from kleinbl00 sounds right from what I can remember (I was 16 when it was pulled) and he put a lot more time trying to nurse it back to health than we did.  I would never think of racking up any of the modules as they don't even compare to the crappiest channel strips you can buy today.  Some of the iron may be good for another project and you could scavenge the vu's, pots, ic's, and passive components.  I'm sure there was another manufacturer that could have taken the same components and made a better console. 

My $.02 from someone who mixed on this console and was there when it was pulled. 

Regards, Nathan

 

CoryPonzo

New member
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Messages
1
Thought it looked a bit like on old 8000.
I got an SP5 manual but its a bit to new
for your desk..Early 90s.

Best of luck and have fun.. :)
Wheatstones are a great
cheap parts resource. Hefty PSUs, P & Gs
and Meters. I hate their Mic Pres however.
Hope you are using is desk line level only.

GARY
Hey you got the manual still all these years later I have a 40 channel sp5 it be too good to be true but hey ill try! thanks either way,
 

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