Alice 828S Identification/Help

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Home Forums Ask Ted Alice 828S Identification/Help

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #15309
    AvatarMmBuddha
    Participant

      Hello Ted,

      I’d just like to start by saying what a helpful and generous service you’re providing by helping us vintage gear heads with our technical questions. I’m sure I speak for everyone here in saying it’s hugely appreciated. I’ve had my eye on an Alice 828s, and I wondered if you could help me identify the model and features. It appears to have 6 mono mic channels and two with stereo line inputs, I gather these desks were for broadcast and the mic/stereo line channel split was configurable. This appears to be split 6/2 in that respect.

      I have the serial and model number to hand, which I’ll list below as I’m sure that will make things easier to identify:

      – Serial number: All77-3058 (the ‘l’s could be ‘1’s, i’m not certain)

      – Model number: 828SE6+9

      Now, I wanted to pick your brain about this particular model if you’re able to help me. Since I can’t see the desk in person these are the questions I have at the moment:

      – Is this model likely to have individuals channel outputs, or just the stereo out?

      – Are you able to tell from the serial number when this desk was made, and what that means for it’s internal components?

      – I’ve heard you mention MK1 and MK2 828 desks, is this the case with the 828S, and if so do you know which model this one is likely to be?

      – Is it possible to run line level signals through the mic channels, is it switchable?

      Any other advice or info you’re able to give me would be wonderful too.

      In whatever capacity you are able to help me, thank you Ted, it means a lot.

      All the best,

      Hal.

      #15919
      Ted FletcherTed Fletcher
      Keymaster

        Sorry I’m so late replying to this one…. I have been distracted by some domestics and pressure of work on the loudspeaker side.

        I don’t have any records of the serial numbers for these old mixers so that’s not a great deal of help, but relying on memory, as I recall all the 828S mixers were Mk2.

        Mk 1 was a type with discrete transistors in the EQ and a very simple mic amp. Mk 2 was an improved EQ and a superior mic amp.

        All the mono channels always had individual outputs, but the stereo channels did not… they had jack line inputs and also RIAA phono inputs.

        Yes, the mono channels can take full line level via the jack line input.

        The date of these 828S mixers was between 1979 and 1983.

        That version that you mention is/was on ebay and was likely to be a little commercial production mixer for one of the local radio stations.

        #15920
        AvatarMmBuddha
        Participant

          Thank you Ted,

          I’ve heard you mention briefly the difference between Mk 1 and Mk2 Alice 828 mixers. You described the sound of the Mk 1 as “sweeter” in an earlier post on the forum. I wondered if you could expound on this a little, as i’m still not sure which version i’d like to search for. Noise-floor isn’t an issue for me, i’m looking for the warmest and most characteristically analogue sound I can get, which from what you have said would send me in the direction of the Mk 1. However, if the Mk 2 EQ and mic amp are superior then it’s not quite as simple.

          Thanks again for your help.

          #15921
          Ted FletcherTed Fletcher
          Keymaster

            The slightly ‘sweeter’ sound of the Mk 1 is entirely due to the higher distortion present in the very simple EQ circuit. The 2nd order distortion is around 0.2% at normal levels, which is certainly not acceptable in modern circuits.

            The Mk 2 has better overload performance and lower distortion, but both have good overload and transient response and both have mic transformers.

            Personally, I prefer the Mk 2 , but frankly, there’s nothing in it.

            I use an old 828S (Mk 2) as a monitor/mixdown mixer….. I removed the old internal power supply and drive it from an external switch-mode supply so I have zero hum and the noise is well down to modern digital levels; and I have that wonderful analogue sound.

            I have to recommend the Mk 2 if you can find one. :)

            It makes me wonder sometimes if there is sufficient market to make the 828S again… 30 years on…. but I doubt it.

            #15922
            AvatarWHoops
            Participant

              “I removed the old internal power supply and drive it from an external switch-mode supply so I have zero hum and the noise is well down to modern digital levels; and I have that wonderful analogue sound. “

              Hello Ted, I have an 828 MK1 mixer, I was thinking also in removing the internal PSU, and powering the desk by a modern designed Linear External Power supply.

              Could you please let me know how many Amps do we need on the PSU?

              2 amps would be enough?

              I was thinking in using an 50VA 22-0-22 Toroid transformer

              Thank you so much

              Best regards

              Tiago

              #15923
              Ted FletcherTed Fletcher
              Keymaster

                It would be worthwhile to use an external transformer… although that’s not the main problem on an 828.

                My solution is to try an external 24V DC supply(about 2A rating is OK) and drive that directly onto the power rails.

                That means that the phantom power would not operate of course. :(

                I used a pair of 22V DC supplies, one to drive the mixer and the other (with the -ve to the mixer +22) for the phantom. That works brilliantly.

                #15924
                AvatarWHoops
                Participant

                  Ted Fletcher wrote:

                  It would be worthwhile to use an external transformer… although that’s not the main problem on an 828.

                  My solution is to try an external 24V DC supply(about 2A rating is OK) and drive that directly onto the power rails.

                  That means that the phantom power would not operate of course. :(

                  I used a pair of 22V DC supplies, one to drive the mixer and the other (with the -ve to the mixer +22) for the phantom. That works brilliantly.

                  Hi Ted,

                  thanks so much for your reply.

                  I have at the moment a Power supply that it’s able to provide +24V at 2Amps, and has another rail fixed for 48V. I could use this one, just need to put it on an enclosure.

                  Thanks

                  I have and 828 with the first discrete preamp version with Belclere transformers, I love the sound of this console and would love to improve it as far as whats possible with nowadays modern components.

                  When you say “although that’s not the main problem on an 828” are you referring to noise?

                  What do you feel are the main problems and do you have any tips for possible improvements?

                  Thank you so much Ted,

                  it’s amazing to see someone so helpful and dedicated to his products even when something was developed so long ago like the 828, but the fact that theres still so much interest and so many around just proves that it was an amazing piece of equipment.

                  #15925
                  AvatarWHoops
                  Participant

                    Hello Ted,

                    I have and 828 with the first discrete preamp version with Belclere transformers, I love the sound of this console and would love to improve it as far as whats possible with nowadays modern components.

                    When you say “although that’s not the main problem on an 828” are you referring to noise?

                    What do you feel are the main problems and do you have any tips for possible improvements?

                    #15926
                    Ted FletcherTed Fletcher
                    Keymaster

                      I’m a bit late with my response….. just moved away from ‘The Sound House’ and now in West Sussex, but still with facilities to look at gear!

                      The 828 really had very few problems…. The Belclere transformers are a little delicate, particularly some of those used in Mk 1 mixers; they had a habit of sheering off pins if the mixer was dropped….. but then, one shouldn’t drop a mixer! No, noise was not a problem. The predominant noise was from the power supply but as long as the levels were kept high this was not a problem. On the earlier mixers channel 8 noise was worse than channel 1 because of the proximity of the mains transformer.

                      As with all highly sensitive audio gear, the biggest ‘problem’ is always the power supply and if it causes operational difficulties…. too much hum, then it’s a good idea to run it from an external supply. Most 828 versions have a pair of sockets on the back where you can plug in a 24V DC supply and this works well. But the supply has to be a decent one! The answer is to try it!

                      The early mixers (Mk1) had discrete transistor circuitry, all class A so the overall sound was smooth and warm. Although the later Mk 2 mixers changed to include some IC circuitry, I was careful to keep the gain demands in the ICs very low to avoid this hidden plague that we have (ever since the invention of operational amplifiers) of transient instability….. a high proportion of gear nowadays sounds ‘over clean’ because of transient distortion which is difficult to measure and seems to be unknown to designers! So all the 828s actually sound warm and smooth….. that’s why I have one in my office ‘studio’ to this day. :)

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