This is a little project blog to give you an idea of what we do studios.

One of our long standing customers; Catalyst Studios in St Helens bough a cracking MTA 980 split console mixing desk.

After they managed to get it craned in to the studio, assembled and fired up for testing it all seemed fine, but then the gremlins appeared!

First was an unusual modification for studio talkback, which was causing some issues and was no longer required, this was removed and the original connections restored.

It was a 1990ís desk, so was in need of the usual TLC.

First was a reworking of the channel strip header boards, these were causing all sorts of issues with bizarre signal routing, LED indicator problems, bussing issues and many more. Suffering from dry joints on many of these boards, they were carefully removed, noting that many of the retaining washers and nuts were not present, again causing flex in the header when the channel strip was inserted resulting in loss of contact on some pins.

Reworking and re securing the boards made a huge difference. Random dropouts, issues with bussing and the LED issues were practically resolved in one fell swoop.
Granted itís a bit fiddly to do and time consuming but itís a must do on older desks of this type.

Next issue was some crackling and pops from the monitor section.
After inspecting a few of the boards, noting very few dry joints but a number of suspect looking electrolytic caps, it was agreed a recap would be a good, although expensive next move.
Consulting the manual we noted that there were some fairly significant differences in spec of the components to those present on the boards. The components on the channel strips did indeed seem to be the original components, so in deference to the manualís data we opted for high grade Panasonic and Vishay electrolytic capacitors matching the physical specs.
So far so good, quiet, clean crisp monitor section!

Having the desk in a near fully functional state some bespoke work for the looms was then carried out, EDAC looms were made or altered to suit all of the studioís outboard, this was done at the same time as a multi rail switchmode PSU was installed, Ok we didnít build that one, but we do build them!


MTA 980
Underside header board
Removing the header boards

The desk in situ and fully assembled.

Complete with Aux LED metering lit up.

Part way through removing the cabling to un-bolt the header board from the desk. Most of the boards are in the standard banks of 8, apart from the monitor section which has a bank of 4 echo return and a bank of 12.

Monitor section channel strips out, ready for the header boards to be removed.

MTA 980 guts
MTA 980 looming
odd mod
pre recap

The unwanted mod, ready for removal

Recap, markup whatís coming out, handy if you are replacing like for like!

Just to recap, sorry the completed recap section.

Sheís in, but on her back with her underbelly exposed!

Some fairly odd things going on with some connections, remove rewire reconnect and general tidy.

Right side up, hooking in all the outboard and tidying the temporary looms ready to test.

The MTA 980 project @ Catalyst Studios St Helens

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North West Audio Services.
The choice for professional Audio repair, installation and servicing in the North West