Alice desk

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    Hi Ted.

    My name is Paul im from Birmingham Uk,recently i won a a loverly old Alice Broadcast desk off Ebay.It was in Birmingham already so i picked it up from a guy who engineered for our Local station BRMB Radio,he told me he doesent know much about it but it was from the early 80,s and at some stage in its life it was in a outside broadcast mobile studio.I have dabbled with desks and audio equipment from a very early age,but im installing this desk in to a studio for a mate of mine and it,s got me a little confused to say the least.At the rear it has Eight XLR femail sockets and (13 i think?) 25 pin square connectors,i think these might be somthing to do with the four groups from the top pin to the bottom and mabee moving across from pin 1-6 might be L/R input on pins 1 and 2 and L/R output on pins 4 and 5 with pin 3 beind ground? Iv been working on it all night and managed to input a cd player through this 25 pin plug and it worked great but as you can probably tell i really dont know much about this desk and i may be way off the mark and if i am i can only appoligise.It also has a patch bay on the side and iv been taking an output from the ES out Jack femail socket? It also has a FS out but using this gives me no control over the audio except for the gain? Any info you might be able to pass on will be more thang greatfully recived as i have really fell in love with this lovely old desk its feels like good old fashioned quality and it still works fine so id love to get it fireing on all cylinders again.

    P.s. I read somewhere that you built these desks? If so is it possile you built mine? If so id like to say i really like your work it really does feel like a nice old Desk.

    Many thanks.


    Ted Fletcher

    Wow! 😮 What you have there is one of our radio production mixers; we built them for Radio Clyde, Swansea Sound, Wolverhampton, BRMB, Tees and Glasgow plus some others.

    The model type is ACM (Alice Custom Modular). The quality was as good as you could get at the time…. probably as good as you can get now.

    I did design those mixers so I can probably answer any questions even though it was a long time ago!

    On the terminology, ES is Echo Send, FS is probably FB, foldback. I don’t have any circuit details or multiway pinouts for the desk, but I’m sure you will find that it is logical.

    The metering is BBC spec PPMs and originally the desk would have been inspected and passed by the IBA for transmission use so the technical performance will be near perfect even after all this time.

    Reading through your message again reminded me that one of the facilities we equipped was an OB truck for Stan Horobin, the chief Engineer at Solent…. It could be that one.

    I would expect that it dates from 1976 to 1980….. we did the first installations in Glasgow and London in 1973 but these production mixers were a little later.

    All I can say is ‘well done!’ This is an example of one of the best mixers made in the late 70s/early 80s. :D


    I must say I was ever so glad to read your message i just had a feeling it was something special, me and my friend also bought the ob unit as well its like a horse box and very well equipped inside and it has a stage,anyway back to the desk,so if i had to take a main out would you say that ES would be sufficient? Or do you reckon its just trial and error?Either way i have been awake a couple of days with it now and iv still got a big smile on my face, i may be back with several more questions if you don’t mind please ? below i have posted some pics of the trailer as we call it lol,there not the best but should give you an idea of what its like.

    Thanks again you have made my day


    Ted Fletcher

    Really nice to see your pics!

    As for a main output, the output from the Echo Send will be OK, but you should be able to find the main stereo pair outputs, it’s likely thay will be on the same multiway plug.

    Send me a picture of the termination panel if you can, it might trigger a memory of where things were! :)

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