Sony MXP3000

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Siegfried Meier

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Hey guys!

Any love here still for the old MXP3000's?  I know the line outs and the mic pre has that weird non-repairable opamp...but that was some years ago.  Has someone found a way to fix these?  We're taking one of these 36 channel beasts in at no charge, and just debating whether the console is worth the install or not at this point - it's in excellent shape, has very low hours...it would potentially be replacing our TAC Magnum which I've done tons of repairs and mods to, but the Sony has lots over the TAC...better patchbay, fully balanced IO, nice VU meters, meter bridge can ACTUALLY hold speakers, there's 4 different styles of EQ in this specific desk, and the routing is fantastic...

Anyway, as far as client draw goes, i'm not too concerned about that...no one seems to care about that kinda stuff these days, and we have racks of preamps and outboard so I'm not too worried about what's on the console...but for the things mentioned, and the fact that it's here in our storage space...anyway, you get the idea.

Any thoughts much appreciated!!
Thanks,
Sig
 

peterc

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I used to work on one back in the 80s. Was an excellent console. It was bought by a major studio attached to a record label here in the mid 90s and was retired about 5 years ago.

Mine had 4 channels of 10 band EQ and 4 channels of the inductor EQ, which I found very disappointing. Soft and mushy, not very pleasing to my ear.

Th standard mic pres and EQ are excellent, and had it paired to a Sony 3324 machine, and this was a great combo. We had the version the mic pres that were a Jensen feeding an NE5534, similar to an SSL. There was also a transformerless mic pre. The schematics are in the Technical Docs section here.

The only issue I had was the lack of inputs. We had the extra 8 VCA channels, and used the bus inputs as well, but in the synth-intensive 80s had to do a lot of patching. The automation needed booting every couple of hours, but that was OK as it was disc based and I only lost the last pass.

For free? Sounds like a good deal.
 

Siegfried Meier

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Thanks for the info man!

Ya, it was passed onto us 2 years ago and it sat in a satellite studio of ours during that time just looking pretty - the owner doesn't have room for it to take it back, and our satellite studio is closing now as a result of a lease termination...so the console has to come back to our main studio now for storage, somehow.  I wondered if it might just be better to install it and use it here instead of our TAC Magnum.

The thing is, we have no shortage of consoles here - I've acquired a bunch of neat things over the years and they all need some degree of repair - I'd say the TAC prob is in the best shape, needing the least amount of work.  EQ's in it sound cool, I never use the preamps and it looks pretty.  But, the patchbay is weak and much of it is not balanced IO.  But, again...the Sony would just be a sidestep in terms of tone, and it is a little bigger of a footprint.

As much as I'd love to install a Neve or an SSL in here, it's just not worth it.  My clients come to work with me, and I don't rent out this studio to others.  For what it's worth, I worked on an MXP3000 in the early 2000's for over 4 years and loved the routing and functionality of the desk.  Any mixes that didn't sound good on it weren't the fault of the console haha.  I've read about that Forsell master section mod, but I doubt it's still available.
 

porkyc

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The MXP3000 was everything the MCI JH600 should have been. I think the project engineer was Ted Staros and they went and looked at all that was wrong with the JH600 and fixed the problems.
It had the best light meter package that could be almost whatever standard you wanted. Choice of VCA package, dBx/Valley People/B&B Audio. 4-band EQ with split filter. (HP Filter in Channel, EQ in Monitor path) Choice of mic pre.
The line O/P balancing is just the MCI x-coupled line driver on a potted PCB. The tx-less mic pre will use the LM394. Whole thing crystal clean.
But at the time, it was too small and it wasn't an SSL.
 

Youngwhisk

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This should be the schematic for the green potted module. In reply 7.

https://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=44790.0
 

Siegfried Meier

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porkyc said:
The MXP3000 was everything the MCI JH600 should have been. I think the project engineer was Ted Staros and they went and looked at all that was wrong with the JH600 and fixed the problems.
It had the best light meter package that could be almost whatever standard you wanted. Choice of VCA package, dBx/Valley People/B&B Audio. 4-band EQ with split filter. (HP Filter in Channel, EQ in Monitor path) Choice of mic pre.
The line O/P balancing is just the MCI x-coupled line driver on a potted PCB. The tx-less mic pre will use the LM394. Whole thing crystal clean.
But at the time, it was too small and it wasn't an SSL.

It's funny how things change over time?  Now, the console finally gets the respect it deserved haha.  Well, I think we might go ahead and install this baby...
 

porkyc

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I did rather assume they would still use the LM394 so that could be a problem (JH600 and 500 used these), but all the better that they did not.
The main point being that the console is worth saving if it fits the requirement.
 

Siegfried Meier

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porkyc said:
I did rather assume they would still use the LM394 so that could be a problem (JH600 and 500 used these), but all the better that they did not.
The main point being that the console is worth saving if it fits the requirement.

And I think it might!!  I absolutely love our TAC Magnum, and I did so much work to it over the years that I feel guilty pulling it out of here.  But, I made a pros and cons list to the 2 consoles and the Sony tends to win over every time.  I should mention that I also have a pair of Mitsubishi Westar consoles here that I saved from e-waste a few years back too.  I thought about putting one of those in, but at the time it was too much work for diminishing returns so they're just in storage here for the time being.  I think the Sony is still a better option over the Westars though...
 

Siegfried Meier

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In terms of power supply, how realistic is it to think that we can turn this console on and off at will?  I'm not referring to every day, but let's say there's a 3 week session and then I'm not in there for another few weeks...can we shut it down for that time when not in use without damage to the PSU?  I realize these older desks need a few hours to fully warm up for usage, and that's ok in my opinion - we have the time.

I know the new SSL Origin console has an intelligent PSU that has sleep modes with a timer for when the console comes back and and uses full current draw - pretty clever.
 

abbey road d enfer

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Siegfried Meier said:
I realize these older desks need a few hours to fully warm up for usage, and that's ok in my opinion - we have the time.
Seems like a myth to me. I understand that reaching thermal equilibrium takes some time for a large mixer, but are there any temperature sensitive elements that justify waiting? The only thing I can think of is the VCA's, and even then the effects of temperature are just a small gain drift.

I know the new SSL Origin console has an intelligent PSU that has sleep modes with a timer for when the console comes back and and uses full current draw - pretty clever.
I'd be curious to know the justification behind that. Looks pretty anthropomorphic to me...
I certainly understand the interest there is in minimizing current surges, but turning off an electronic apparatus shouldn't be a concern.
 

porkyc

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Going back to the Westar.
The Q8 Westar came out when Tom Hay (MCI Chief Engeineer) left and went to Q8.
The MCI JH600 circuitry and the subsequent Westar seemed rather similar. I looked at a manual of the Q8 film console derived from the Westar and was surprised at the similarity.
The Q8 light meter is a led version of the MCI JH500 LM with modern chips.
The MXP is better for the reasons I outlined earlier.
 

Siegfried Meier

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porkyc said:
Going back to the Westar.
The Q8 Westar came out when Tom Hay (MCI Chief Engeineer) left and went to Q8.
The MCI JH600 circuitry and the subsequent Westar seemed rather similar. I looked at a manual of the Q8 film console derived from the Westar and was surprised at the similarity.
The Q8 light meter is a led version of the MCI JH500 LM with modern chips.
The MXP is better for the reasons I outlined earlier.

Thanks for the info!!  Yaaaa, I think the MXP is better still as well, although both of these Westars have VU meters.  Out of curiosity, has anyone designed a preamp or an eq to fit into the MXP?  Would seem pretty easy...
 

peterc

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John  Hardy did a pre for the console, and I think one other company, but my memory is not clear on that...

https://tapeop.com/reviews/gear/27/mpc-3000-mic-preamp-for-sony-mxp3000-consoles/
 

Siegfried Meier

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peterc said:
John  Hardy did a pre for the console, and I think one other company, but my memory is not clear on that...

https://tapeop.com/reviews/gear/27/mpc-3000-mic-preamp-for-sony-mxp3000-consoles/

Ya, I know of the Avalon, Joe Hardy and API models that pop in - very hard to find these days - but I was thinking of a DIY option even...
 

sircletus

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I learned on an MXP3000!  Ours had a few of each EQ module installed, several Hardy pres, and the LED meters.  Fond memories.  Before I ended up settling on an SSL Matrix (used), I spent a lot of time looking for a 3k within driving distance.  Then I realized I could never actually fit one into my home studio, so I went small with recall.  Dammit, now I'm off to go looking for 3ks on Reverb...

They are excellent consoles.  Those who know audio know this.  The average musician, however...not so much.
 
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