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Author Topic: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help  (Read 20944 times)

Pierre Olivier

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Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« on: December 23, 2015, 10:25:36 am »

Hi there!
First post here (I hope I'm in the right forum), but I'm really a veteran: I started doing live sound in 1976...

I recently been involved, with a friend, in the purchase of a used PA system consisting mainly of Meyer UPA-1A speakers, Ashly FET-500 amps, Transparence subs, and assorted crossovers and controllers.
I'm in the process of getting this system back in a good working condition, and I'm having a hard time!
Upon plugging everything, (fear not, I am using the required M-1A processor), the system sounds dreadful: complete lack of warmth (upper bass), and the mids just want to shred your ears. Is this normal?

Now we have extensively searched the internet seeking everything that mentions UPA-1A. We all know that Meyer is a top-notch company with highly regarded products and an obsession for quality. We read that these speakers should stand the test of time, but we have NEVER, EVER come up with some comment about the *sound* of these. Nor with a published frequency response plot! Everybody seems hush-hush when it comes to the sound of the UPA-1A, to the point that we feel we've just joined a sect, or that there may be a Meyer Gestapo!

That said, we have come to some sort of listenability with agressive EQing. I say this is not normal. We know about Meyer's in-factory service policy: we certainly don't have the money for that, so they won't be sent. I'd like to ask for advice here about somes issues we have, and comment by those in the know:

After 25 years, the foam "lens" in the horn is suffering from "foam rot", and is starting to desintegrate. Anybody got a tip as to where I can find appropriate material for a repair? How important are those "lens"?

One of the 12" LF drivers was behaving strangely. I thought it was some kind of bad contact, and then I found out that if I gently press the cone inward, the speaker cuts out!. Voice coil loses connection. Anybody familiar with that kind of failure? What can cause that? (that driver's been swapped for another MS-12 from another incomplete box).

Why do they sound so bad? What could be the cause? Is there something we ought to know?

Also, we got six Ashly FET-500 amps in that deal, all in different stages of disrepair. I already did a fair amount of work on these, but if anybody would care to share a service manual or readable set of schematics, that would be of great help!

Now before you ask, here are the technical details:  the two boxes we use are equipped with the original MS12 LF and 1401A HF drivers. HF protecton network set to "flat" response.
Signal goes into TDM 24 cx-4 crossover, frequency set at 160Hz. mono sub output (I had to find out how the "mono summing" mode works by myself on 24 cx-4: NO ONE gives you the slightest clue)  then goes to Ashly FET-500 amp with mono switch on, each channel driving one of the two 8 ohm 18" speakers in a Transparence TR-218 sub. (should get a proper amp for this if kit is put into service)
High outputs of the crossover goes into M-1A processors (safe and lo-cut switches off, VHF switch to CAL). Outputs of M-1A goes to inputs of Ashly FET-500 amp and outputs of FET-500 goes to speaker (and M-1A return lines).

That's about it for now. Take care of your ears!
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2015, 10:43:52 am »

I will take this bait. It's 10 am and I've been drinking...er,..tea since 6am.

Ahem:

My car has been replaced 7x in 25 years (progress/choice/affect). My lawnmower 4x (wear/abuse). 2x snowblowers. Same wife 25+years (totally my happy choice).

WTF is your expectation here Pierre?!

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Scott Helmke

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2015, 10:47:40 am »

Any generation of the UPA will not win a casual speaker shootout - Meyer went for flat, not for "nice sounding".

Have you measured the frequency response of your UPA-1A's?
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Pierre Olivier

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2015, 12:15:05 pm »

Jim:
I have read in numerous instances that the UPAs are very well protected against abuse by the M-1A. They should threfore maintain their integrity for a long, long time. I have also read of old UPA installs that keep on delivering. Call me naive, but I keep on hoping that old stuff will consistently deliver the performance they originally delivered. We replace stuff mainly because thy become out of fashion (computers/electronics) or they break down (cars). I live with old stuff. My studio is full of old stuff, and I graciously live with the fact that they're not the fastest, shiniest, convenient devices there is, as long as they live up to their original performance. I know damn well these speakers will not last forever, but if they're not broken, I see little reason why they wouldn't deliver. And I see your comparison with cars a little far-fetched: Innumerable components in cars can break down, while in a speaker...

Scott:
Thanks for your input!
No, I don't really have a setup to measure frequency response. I'm trying to hack something with "audio tester", but the audio output on the PC portable I want to use is so shitty it's unuseable.

  Pierre
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2015, 12:22:51 pm »

Innumerable components in cars can break down, while in a speaker...
Foam surrounds can rot, ferrofluid can dry out, capacitors can dry out, moisture can seep into the drivers and enclosures,...

Fix them if you want to, but don't complain to us that your 25-year old boxes show signs of being 25 years old.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 01:27:45 pm by TJ (Tom) Cornish »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2015, 12:46:18 pm »

Jim:
I have read in numerous instances that the UPAs are very well protected against abuse by the M-1A. They should threfore maintain their integrity for a long, long time. I have also read of old UPA installs that keep on delivering. Call me naive, but I keep on hoping that old stuff will consistently deliver the performance they originally delivered. We replace stuff mainly because thy become out of fashion (computers/electronics) or they break down (cars). I live with old stuff. My studio is full of old stuff, and I graciously live with the fact that they're not the fastest, shiniest, convenient devices there is, as long as they live up to their original performance. I know damn well these speakers will not last forever, but if they're not broken, I see little reason why they wouldn't deliver. And I see your comparison with cars a little far-fetched: Innumerable components in cars can break down, while in a speaker...

Scott:
Thanks for your input!
No, I don't really have a setup to measure frequency response. I'm trying to hack something with "audio tester", but the audio output on the PC portable I want to use is so shitty it's unuseable.

  Pierre
Consider the fact that a loudspeaker is a MECHANICAL device-just like your car.  You have to replace things on your car to keep it running.

It is amazing to me that they (loudspeakers) last as long as they do.

Also (has been pointed out) foam-due to its construction will rot over time-and that time is not real long.

No piece of electronics can provide "protection" over environmental issue (that cause foam rot).

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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2015, 01:32:12 pm »

How do they sound without the TDM?
I assume you have 2 M1A & 2 FET-500, one for each speaker?
The Meyer UPA should sound very good on it's own, and I would just use the low-cut function when adding subs rather than an additional crossover ahead of the M1A.
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Pierre Olivier

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2015, 01:53:36 pm »

How do they sound without the TDM?
I assume you have 2 M1A & 2 FET-500, one for each speaker?
The Meyer UPA should sound very good on it's own, and I would just use the low-cut function when adding subs rather than an additional crossover ahead of the M1A.
Thanks for your useful input Andy!
Yes, I have two M1A, and I have run the kit without the TDM. unfortunately it does not sound any better (no bass to speak of). Besides I would need the TDM to roloff the highs from the subs, and to obtain a mono sum of the bass...

Pierre
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 05:11:51 pm by Pierre Olivier »
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Marcus Thiel

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2015, 02:37:35 pm »

That's about it for now. Take care of your ears!

Im using UPAs for about 30 Years now, in lot of Applications, and it was always one of my preferred PA Devices ... if they sound like something you describe, then clearly there is something broken/worn out etc. I also had various Meyer Boxes been overhauled by Meyer and they always do a good Job ... so the only thing you could do is ..

... spend the Money on a Repair, dealing with Meyer or somebody who can repair them for you .. i bet its not getting cheap, bit if they sound as they sound, you have no other choice ... maybe i would listen to something i Buy FIRST before buying and not rely on a "big name" and buy used worn out crap ....

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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2015, 02:38:55 pm »

Fair enough.
Everyone's opinions on what "sounds good" are different, but I always liked the way they sound and I've not heard anyone ever say that the UPA sounded bad. So I would have to think something is very wrong with the gear. What that problem is, I can't tell without seeing and hearing it for myself.
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-Andy

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Meyer UPA-1A rant/help
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2015, 02:38:55 pm »


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