Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
neo

Mixing Desks - Do They Age?

8 posts in this topic

We don't really have a mixers section in the hardware category so I figured this would be an alright place to post and the mods can move it if necessary.

As per thread title. I ask because I have the chance to buy a secondhand desk which was at one time a very very expensive mixing desk, with 'British' EQ and lots of stereo channels and a modular design which means I can switch out/upgrade individual channels and a whole bunch of other cool stuff. But I wonder about its age. It's from the late 80s so getting on to 20 years old, are the electronics going to be OK? It's in Sydney so I don't have a chance to listen to it but the reputation of the desk is quite good and it has exactly all of the features I want in a desk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BUY IT! :o

I mean, what is it? Can you supply any more details?

It's definitely something to consider, despite its age. Jester's your man (or woman?) for this sort of stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spectrum :pissingmonkey:

Yeah, there are certain issues and things you have to look for with older analogue gear in general. After 20 years, thins like caps are starting to drop/change value. Solder starts to seperate from printed circuits. The cricuits themselves start to oxidise (made worse if the desk have ever been used live due to smoke and spillage of things like coke into the desk) meaning that the channels can be reactive - they sound good one day or for a few hours, then turn to crap quickly. Also keep in mind that things like op-amps, which will be the basis of the desk from fading to EQ'ing to pre's and line inputs, are semiconductors which 'depleat' with age and use... meaning they eventually die. Then you got the problem of sourcing some of the parts as replacements. There will be a lot of common parts that are still made... but potentially there's a bunch of stuff that's not. The problem can be, depending on the desk design, that they have biased the design around the tolerances they could get at the time. Some times, this is good because new parts have better consistency. Often, they don't and critical parts of the design will require very specifically matched components to keep the desk performing the same way.

What am i getting at? An old analogue desk can be a lot of work to own. It's got massive rewards, and if you get one in pretty fair nick, then it'll give you love well beyond its' years. You just need to be mindful of what you're looking at. You need to be prepared to shed a little cash and provide some TLC. If you're electronically minded, this just means some of your free time and learning a bit about the desk. If you're not, then you could potentially end up having to re-sell the desk because you're paying so much to maintain it.

Not sure where this desk is etc, but if it's not too far from me and available for a viewing on the weekend, i'll share some punk love and go have a gawk at it for you, if you like. I'm in syd... if you take up the offer, the next time i'm in Melbs, you'll owe me a beer :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a Soundcraft Delta 200 16-space modular desk with 10 mono and 6 stereo channel strips - the stereo strips have a sweepable mid-band EQ which I think is just totally rad, something I've not seen in any other desk and just perfect imo for mixing stereo synth sources. It ticks every single box on my rather extensive and (I thought) unachievable wish list, basically - plus more.

The word is that it's from a government installation so I do not believe it has ever been used for any live gig work and it would have been well serviced and looked after. I'm guessing it's probably come out of a radio or post-production studio or something like that. It's essentially been an inanimate public servant so there's no real concern that it's been overworked lol. It has been tested and confirmed all working.

Jester that would be totally sweet of you to do that! I really appreciate the offer and you'll get many beers just for that :o Only issue would be that I have to decide within 3 days - so next weekend would be too late...

I've pretty much already decided to get it (this was helped by the fact that I found $588 owing to me in the State Revenue Office's lost funds database ftw!) but was somewhat concerned about the age.

I guess one advantage is that with the modular design I can, if needed, get individual channel strips serviced, upgraded or (worst case scenario) replaced without having to ditch/replace the whole desk.

top.jpg

Gorgeous!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next 3 days? Hmm... where is it located? I might be able to swing it tomorrow night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rock'n'Roll Auctions - They're in Sydney's Northern Beaches, if that make's sense. I don't know where that is.

EDIT: I've just spoken to the guy and he has said he won't have time tomorrow night anyway, so thanks again for the offer.

As I suspected, he advises it has come from an ABC installation, never gigged. I'm gonna go for it, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweet. I know where they are. Don't stress too much - sounds like a good deal and looks good in the pics. As you're buying from someone with an ABN/shop, they should have a second hand dealers licence in NSW... or they're trading illegally. The NSW Fair trading people and the Federal government will make them give you 3 months warranty :o I know - when my amp farked up after arriving from Melbourne, i let the guy know, without threatening him, that he was going to pay for the parts (not my labour) and drop a hint as to why... he transfered me the cash within 24 hours ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0