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Five most frequently asked vintage Neve questions:

What the paint and screw specifications of vintage Neve consoles?

Prior to the conversion to New Appearance Design C1975 consoles used RAF Blue Grey paint i.e. Trimite S60-3 BS381C tint 633 and silk screening text was in capital letters. After New Appearance Design the paint was Extra Dark Sea Grey i.e. Trimite S60-3 BS381C tint 640 and silk screening text was is lower case lettering.

Before N.A.D, screws were BA thread (British Association) where 4BA retained front panels, 6BA retained module front panels, 8BA retained amplifiers in motherboards and 10BA retained fader scales.

After N.A.D, other than an overlap with module metalwork, screws were metric thread with M3.5 retained front panels, M3 retained module front panels, and M2 retained amplifiers in motherboards.

Other than paint colour, most N.A.D modules can be identified by their module number having an additional (3) in front. i.e. 1073 became 31073

2. How can I make a mic preamplifier out of a 1272/3415/etc., line amplifier?

First you need to find the hardware. You need the mating connector, a metal case or front panel to mount the module in and a good 24v @ 1 amp dc power supply. The later can be bought provided it has low noise and ripple figures or you can build one with a suitable 24v secondary transformer, bridge rectifier, 4,700uF 50v capacitor and a 7824 regular with 220nF (I/P) and 470nF (O/P) capacitors to 0v to keep it all stable. Make sure you ground the power supply metalwork, the 0v of the output, and the casework of the module (usually the last pin on the connector).

You will need a rotary switch for the input gain and a 10Kohm audio taper (Log law) potentiometer for the output level control. Generally you need a two pole switch connected to the front and rear gain boost connections. The gain should be increased incrementally in either 5dB or 10dB steps and the front and rear gains raised together (or in sequence) such that the gain is spread across the whole module and not just dumped on the preamplifier. As for values of resistance per gain point, these are listed below in FAQ #3. NB. Both these amplifiers have around 36dB basic gain so you only need another 34dB to achieve 70dB gain.

The 1272 and like modules can be rack mounted via the four screws that retain the front panel. There is minimal strength in the front panel of the 3415 so I suggest screwing the extruded aluminium side cover to a rack bottom panel and drawing the module out like a drawer. Use countersink headed screws on the inside as there is minimal clearance.

3. What value resistance should I used to get “n”dB gain increase in a 1272/3415?

dB increase in Gain B183/283 Front B183/283 Rear * 3415 Front 3415/6 Rear
1
2200
6800
3600
4700
2
1000
3300
1600
2400
3
680
2200
1100
1500
4
470
1500
750
1100
5
360
1100
560
820
6
270
910
430
620
7
220
680
360
510
8
180
560
300
430
9
150
470
240
360
10
130
390
200
300
11
110
330
180
240
12
91
300
150
220
13
82
240
130
180
14
68
220
110
160
15
62
200
91
130
16
51
160
2
120
17
47
150
75
100
18
39
130
62
91
19
36
110
56
82
20
30
100
47
75
21
27
43
62
22
24
39
56
23
22
33
47
24
18
30
25
16
27
26
15
24
27
13
20
28
11
29
10
30
9.1

* The 1272 requires an external 100uF capacitor to decouple the rear gain boost resistor.
In all cases check that the low frequency response is not affected at high gains and increase the value of the internal decoupling capacitor if this is the case.

PS I am frequently asked how to convert a Neve 1271 line amplifier to a Neve 1272 line amplifier.  As this involves internal wiring changes this can prove tedious to detail in full,  I am attaching the internal wiring info for both modules so you can figure it yourselves!
31267 input transformer, no pre-amp, unity gain

10468 I/P transformer, Pre-amp populated on BA183/283AV. 36dB basic gain

You can see how the 1271 circuit diagram was drawn from a copy of the 1272 circuit with the extra components scratched out and more detail added to the BA183AV.

 

4. My module has stopped working! Where should I look for the fault?

This depends on the nature of the fault. If the module is working, just, but sounds terrible, the nature of the sound can help identify the fault. If it sounds really “thin” with only high frequency passing, it may be a poor seating of the module and the transformer coupling is one legged, causing the return path to be capacitively coupled. Re-seat or clean the connectors. Lack of bass frequencies along with distortion is usually down to electrolytic capacitors in series with the audio path. On a BA283, for instance, the two capacitors next to the heat sink.

A total absence of signal may be a shorted capacitor on the secondary of the input transformers, a burnt out/open circuit resistor in the positive power path, or a transistor with a blown junction. Most of these points can be checked with a digital multimeter.

5. What are the fasteners holding my vintage Neve console panels and wood on?

The most common quarter turn fastener used to hold rear panels, etc., on are made by Dzus. These are very common as they are also used on aircraft engine covers, etc. Undernath the faders and the lower front panels, the fasteners are made by Oddie Fasteners (now Savigny Oddie Ltd). These are unusual as a quarter turn releases the panel and, to replace the panel, the fastener is turned back to its original position and then the panel banged into position with the side of your fist… a hammer is never needed!

The fasteners in the top wood are made by Camlock and the shell is recessed into the wood. These are also quarter turn and one should always make a note… even a marker pen under the panel… as to which console section the wood came from and which edge was the front!

6. Where can I obtain spare parts for my vintage Neve console or module?

I have created a long list of Neve sparts suppliers on the Neve Secrets Forum. You will need to log in to access this forum

http://auroraaudio.net/forums/topic/neve-console-spare-part-sources

Some parts also available here…

http://www.nevespares.com/index.htm

For any questions not covered here, please post them to our new forum.

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Aurora Audio International has no connection with AMS-Neve LTD ™ nor are any opinions expressed here implied to represent the views of AMS-Neve LTD ™ or their representatives.

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Located smack dab in the heart of Hollywood, California, Geoff Tanner and Aurora Audio use the best of the past to take you into the future and beyond.