Yamaha PM2000 Questions

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Whoops

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I was referring to recording to multitrack tape, and then mixing down to two track tape. I know that can be controversial these days :) but it is my preferred method of recording and mixing music.

I don't think it's controversial, I just don't even see it being an issue between professionals. Professionally 99% record to digital.

I totally respect that it's your preferred method, it's completely fine, the important thing is that you are happy, have fun doing it and that your clients are happy with the final work.

I recorded to multitrack tape for many years, we had 2x Studer A800.
My recollection of tape is not great, sounds rarely came out of it better than what was send to it, but the opposite was normally true, everything sounded pretty good going until you hit the tape playback.
I have no nostalgia or ever missed tape, I'm pretty happy with the present recording systems.

Wish you great recordings and mixes, whichever is the way you achieve it and a lot of fun with that PM2000
 

Govinda Doyle

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Im pretty sure I used to own the most heavily modified PM2000 in the world (no jokes) it sounds rubbish stock, you have to do a hell of a lot to get it sounding good, the input modules sound good but the eq sucks apart from the passive tops, the output chans are very dark and dull and slow sounding, this is where you really wanna go crazy, get rid of the output trannies and start looking at whats chocking the circuit and remove, we even designed a totally new output and the desk really started shining after that... that board was my introduction into electronics... would I do this again to the same board? probably not but I promise you that when modded out it competes with the best discrete boards out there.
Govinda
 

Ike Zimbel

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Hi Ike,

Did you end up checking out the console for your client last week? Would love to get any insights if you did some work on one. Thank you
Yes, I did. It was a pretty straightforward case of some of the links between the backplane boards having bad solder joints. Here's what you need to know:
Background info: The PM-2000 channel strips plug into headers that are soldered to backplane boards. Each backplane board takes four strips and then links to the next one over with with bus wire links, about 1/2" (10cm) in length.
What's the issue? Sometimes the solder joints go bad on the links.
How does that show up when using the desk? Typically, a channel will not assign to a bus. So, for example, Channel-1 will not assign to PGM-1.
How to test for this? Pt-1: If, as in the above example, Ch-1 will not assign to PGM-1, the first thing to do is to test to see if Channels 2, 3, & 4 won't either. If they don't, that's a strong indication that you have a bad solder joint on the bussing for PGM-1. If they DO, that rules out a bussing issue and points to a problem on Ch-1 only, like a dirty assign switch, or possibly a soldering issue on its edge connector.
If things point to a bussing problem, the next step is to try and determine where the break is. To do this, move to the last four channels, 21-24 or 29-32 and try routing to PGM-1 from there. If that works, move down to the next four and try them (you just need to try one in each group of four). If it doesn't work, the break is between the last channel and the start of the PGM modules, OR, there is a fault with the PGM-1 module. Swap it with another PGM module and repeat the test. If it works in another slot and the other module doesn't work in the PGM-1 slot, the fault is in the bus wiring as already explained.
Eventually, you will find a point in the desk where above channel "X" PGM-1 bus works and below that channel it doesn't. This will always be a 4th channel (4, 8, 12 etc.) if it's a bus link issue.
Pt-2: Once you have the back of the desk open (remove two very long screws in top of meter-bridge and tip meter bridge back to access) you can use a DMM to measure along the busses to see where the bad joint is.
TIP: Take a Q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol and clean all of the bus wire leads before your start metering them. This will remove the film of gunk that has built up on them over the past 40 years and make it easier for your meter to measure resistance quickly and accurately (doesn't hurt to give your meter probes a swab too). You should read between 0 and 2 ohms between most points that you measure. If you see much higher readings, or a reading that won't settle, you've probably found the spot. I went through and re-did all of the upper ones in the pic attached. By re-do, I mean first de-solder the joint, and then re-solder with new solder. In the pic, I'm talking about the row of silver wires down the center of the photo, with each one of those being soldered to the board on either side. Another tip is to use thin gauge solder, so you can quickly do each side without inadvertently re-heating the other side while you're doing the 2nd joint.
 

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mistakes_inc

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WOW!

Thank you so much for this incredibly detailed and thorough walkthrough. I probably can’t accurately express how appreciative I am of your generosity, but this is so helpful and great of you to provide.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
 

jspartz

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I’ll jump in with a PM2000 question (like the topic of this thread suggests). I’m curious to know how old my board is. What is the best way to date a PM2000? With old guitar amps I would commonly look at the stamped identifiers on the pots (among other things). That’s not the case with these ”Made in Japan” labels printed on the pots. What should I be referencing?
 

mistakes_inc

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I’ll jump in with a PM2000 question (like the topic of this thread suggests). I’m curious to know how old my board is. What is the best way to date a PM2000? With old guitar amps I would commonly look at the stamped identifiers on the pots (among other things). That’s not the case with these ”Made in Japan” labels printed on the pots. What should I be referencing?
Good question. I’ve been going through and cleaning my board module by module, so I’ll see if there’s anything to identify it with. I’ll have the whole board apart soon and can let you know. I take it you are also a PM2000 owner? Let me know if you have a Foldback Headphone module for sale :)
 

Monte McGuire

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Integrated circuit date codes are always useful indicators. While some ICs may have been stored up at the factory before being installed onto a PCB, and thus have a date code older than the console as a whole, they can't be from the future. Generally a datecode like 7823 means the 23rd week of 1978. Sometimes though, they get shortened to three digits, so the 7823 datecode might be written as 823. It all depends on the vendor's procedures. Sometimes, these codes are documented in old data sheets and data books, so there's a place to go for verification. Electrolytic capacitors and possibly other components can also get marked with date codes, so there's another place to look.
 

mistakes_inc

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I’ll jump in with a PM2000 question (like the topic of this thread suggests). I’m curious to know how old my board is. What is the best way to date a PM2000? With old guitar amps I would commonly look at the stamped identifiers on the pots (among other things). That’s not the case with these ”Made in Japan” labels printed on the pots. What should I be referencing?
If you pull the modules out, there will be a sticker on the the top of the connection panel. The sticker will have a lot number, which should be the year and then the month.
 

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joeblack007

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Are they any IC's on a PM2000 of it's completely discreet?
No, there are a lot of IC... far too many! I have the 24 trcks version and If I want to upgrade them all (HA1457), I have 237 IC to swap! Of course, I will only change them as they break. Fortunately, Chris Mitchell (Flying Eye Productions) has a wonderful site in which he shares nice tricks to upgrade the PM2K and I think he still sell inductors EQ and upgraded IC for this console. He’s a great and very helpful guy! :)
 

Ike Zimbel

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Just looking through a bag of caps that I took out of a PM-1000. The Nichicons have numbers like "7652L" and "7704L" which looks like late '76, early '77. That said, the Nippon ChemiCon caps have "71" and "73" stamped in the tops of the cans.
I'm sure the parts in the PM-2K will have date codes on them, IC's or not.
 

jspartz

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Wonderful suggestions, thanks! I’ll take a closer look at my board and see what I discover. Greatly appreciated!
 

joeblack007

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To give motivation to those working on their pm2000... A quote that illustrates what I also think of this console :

Rip Rowansays:

09/24/2015 at 1:00 pm


I won’t directly compare the PM2000 with a Neve 8078, because I’ve never heard them side by side. Without a true ABX comparison, it’s just opinion. So, I won’t take the bait.
I will however state that the design, build, and sound of the PM2000 is astonishingly good. The only shortcomings are a relatively uninspiring but utilitarian EQ section and “swiss army knife” routing that does almost anything but specializes in nothing. And, they were Japanese, in the snobby, xenophobic market of the 1970s.
The construction and tolerances of these boards is absurd, with transformers everywhere, the high-headroom punchy 80200 mic pres, hand-wiring and trussing, and a (I think) cherrywood frame that looks like it was built in the piano factory. To build a 32 channel board to the level of build quality present in these boards would cost $150K+ in today’s markets, and a good quality survivor can be had for as little as $5K.
Snobbery is rampant in the vintage gear world, and no, the PM2000 is not an 8078 Neve. It might not even quite be an API 3208, whatever those cost these days.
What I can say for sure is that, at under $200/channel the PM2000 has to be the most ridiculous deal ever for a piece of true big-iron mixing history.
 

Ike Zimbel

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This is true. I was admiring the build quality while I was working on one the other week. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I mixed hundreds of shows on these desks, and yes, it was a known thing that sometimes you had to get pretty aggressive with the boost/cut controls to get the Eq to do what you wanted it to do. I've never had a chance to delve into this with one on the bench...
 

mistakes_inc

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I have been really happy with my M1516 as a small recording console for a long time—that is more or less half the board of a PM2000. You could get these Yamaha boards really cheaply for awhile, but the price has risen a bit. It is still a huge bargain considering what you get with the board, as referenced in the above quote.

I’m still trying to track down this elusive Foldback / Headphone module for my PM2000, but I’m about to set the board up without it. I won’t have use of any of the aux sends in this case. Anybody have a creative workaround recommendation? Right now I’ll probably use 4 buses for mixing and utilize the other 4 as cues for tracking, but as for mixing, not really sure yet :/
 

Whoops

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I’m still trying to track down this elusive Foldback / Headphone module for my PM2000. Anybody have a creative workaround recommendation?

Do you have the schematics for the console?
Are they available?

If you have them then it will not be difficult to DIY the Foldback / Headphone module, problem solved
 

mistakes_inc

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Do you have the schematics for the console?
Are they available?

If you have them then it will not be difficult to DIY the Foldback / Headphone module, problem solved
Yes, I have schematics. Unfortunately it’s a bit over my head doing something with regard to the module, but I’m all ears if anybody has some ideas.
 

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