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Author Topic: Replacing Aging System  (Read 677 times)

Malachi Dodge

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Replacing Aging System
« on: June 10, 2019, 04:05:29 pm »

I'm a TD for a church and we're looking at a system that's aging. I am attempting to make the best recommendation to our leadership about what is a failure risk and really needs to be replaced as well as ensuring that we are set up well going into the future. What I am looking for is if there is any apparent major flaw in my logic or thinking, if there is something I'm missing, if I'm just recommending that our church spend money where it doesn't need to.

Some info about the church: We run ~1000 each weekend. Our auditorium is very wide and it's run in an LCR configuration with band being run stereo and speaking roles being run mostly center.

Our current Setup is as follows and was installed when the building was built in 2004:
Stage inputs into a patch bay that attaches to a passive splitter. The passive splitter sends a 48 channel snake to FOH and to our monitors board. The snake to FOH is about 300', the snake to monitors is probably around 50'.
FOH we have a Yamaha PM5D (motorized faders)
Monitors we have a Yamaha M7CL.
Our PM5D outputs AES to our system processors, 1 BSS Soundweb 9088 and 8 BSS Soundweb 9008iis.

I am of the opinion that we need to begin looking at replacing this system and bringing it up to date. I first had this thought about a year ago when I brought in one of our primary integrators to talk about retuning our auditorium and doing some maintenance on the processors. The long story short of it is they were not interested in touching them. There hasn't been recent firmware released for them in years, you can only touch them with (from what I can find) a windows 7 computer. They said that by the time they dig into them and do any maintenance and retuning they'd need, we might as well just buy new processors for the cost. I've gotten similar answers from others that I've spoken to.

Onto the PM5D - for the most part it works fine, but it's aging. The motors in it are all going bad and we've begun to have issues with it occasionally not outputting audio when we start it up. To date it always works properly on a restart, but that's still a red flag for me.
The M7CL has been water damaged. It works perfectly at the moment, but knowing that's in its history is also a concern.

We've also begun having minor issues with the snakes. It's nothing major yet, we don't currently have dead channels. But I'm concerned there may be some signal degradation beginning to happen.

Ultimately, I am concerned that with the age of our system the components are becoming a major failure risk.

I am recommending that we begin by replacing our system processors, then replace the FOH board and analogue snakes with digital (current thoughts are just move to the Yamaha CL series after looking at the available options) and then replacing the monitor console and IEM system after that. All in all the project on our budget would take 2-3 years and would be done Processors > FOH > Monitors.

Can anyone poke some holes in this or help me confirm that I'm thinking along the right lines?
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Rob Spence

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Re: Replacing Aging System
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 05:20:36 pm »

Why start with system processors? If the room didnít change and the speakers didnít change, why does anything related to the system processors need changing? You donít mention any problems other than not being able to screw with their settings.

Work on things that are failing.

Are you just looking for new and shiny? Fader banks for the FOH console will likely be less costly than a new comparable console.

Depending on the complexity of your performances, replacing the M7CL with a more modern and capable console may be the best use of budget in the near term along with referbing the PM5D.

Once you have a replacement plan in place for the consoles, you can plan to replace the FOH snake with one comparable with the newer consoles.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 05:22:37 pm by Rob Spence »
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Malachi Dodge

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Re: Replacing Aging System
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 06:07:48 pm »

Why start with system processors? If the room didnít change and the speakers didnít change, why does anything related to the system processors need changing? You donít mention any problems other than not being able to screw with their settings.

Work on things that are failing.

Are you just looking for new and shiny? Fader banks for the FOH console will likely be less costly than a new comparable console.

Depending on the complexity of your performances, replacing the M7CL with a more modern and capable console may be the best use of budget in the near term along with referbing the PM5D.

Once you have a replacement plan in place for the consoles, you can plan to replace the FOH snake with one comparable with the newer consoles.

The idea behind the processors were that they feel like the most critical fail point. If a console fails I can rent a replacement - if I have a processor fail I have a much bigger problem.

The point that you bring up is a little bit of what I'm wrestling with. I'm trying to think through what sets my organization up for the highest success over the next 10 years. The whole system is 15 years old or older, it's all aging. If I referb the PM5D, realistically how much longer am I getting out of the board vs what cost? I've got 300ft of snake in the floor, plus an analogue switcher and patch bay: if something breaks in there that is pretty expensive as well.

I feel like there are options I can do currently to spend much less money - for reference the current project I've pitched for this year would be about $65k - but all of them only serve to put bandaids on what is ultimately just an old system. I don't want to end up in a situation where I start just spending a couple thousand here and a couple thousand there to keep repairing things that should just be replaced.
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Robert Piascik

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Re: Replacing Aging System
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 06:12:11 pm »

What are the speakers?
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Rob Spence

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Re: Replacing Aging System
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 10:23:39 pm »

The idea behind the processors were that they feel like the most critical fail point. If a console fails I can rent a replacement - if I have a processor fail I have a much bigger problem.

The point that you bring up is a little bit of what I'm wrestling with. I'm trying to think through what sets my organization up for the highest success over the next 10 years. The whole system is 15 years old or older, it's all aging. If I referb the PM5D, realistically how much longer am I getting out of the board vs what cost? I've got 300ft of snake in the floor, plus an analogue switcher and patch bay: if something breaks in there that is pretty expensive as well.

I feel like there are options I can do currently to spend much less money - for reference the current project I've pitched for this year would be about $65k - but all of them only serve to put bandaids on what is ultimately just an old system. I don't want to end up in a situation where I start just spending a couple thousand here and a couple thousand there to keep repairing things that should just be replaced.


If you spend to replace the working processors, you still have dodgy consoles and snake. A brand new processor can fail just as easy.

So, replace both consoles and implement a digital snake.

Then repriortize.
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Replacing Aging System
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 04:23:30 am »

I'm with Rob on this one. Have the PM5D refurbished and upgrade the M7CL. I would maybe even look at refurbishing the PM5D and moving it to monitors and getting something new at FOH if you can afford to match the quality of the PM5D which if you were realistically planning to replace it you were considering anyway.
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Replacing Aging System
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 04:26:52 am »

Looks like you can get some Dante cards for the PM5D and then go to RIOs so that really is a viable upgrade uption.
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brian maddox

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Re: Replacing Aging System
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 10:31:41 pm »

I think your plan makes an a lot of sense.

As you said, even though your processor is working fine, it is getting old and is past EOL.  If it fails, you're in a bit of a bind.  If funds are tight, i'd recommend finding a spare 9088, duplicating the settings and using it as an OMG backup.  Losing a 9008 could probably be worked around, but if you could find one spare for that, i'd do that as well.  If funds are available, i'd replace it first, even though it's technically working just fine.

[If there is a loudspeaker change/upgrade in your future i'd consider that carefully in your processing choice.]

I'd then turn my attention to consoles, and i might even be inclined to replace the 5d first, just because it's having actual operational issues.  Keep whichever one you replace first as an OMG backup for the other one.  Either console can use Dante cards, but i'd probably put a CL5 out front and maybe buy the RIOs and install them out at FOH with the CL5 and stick with the analog snake system at first.  Then when it's time to replace the rest of the analog stuff and the M7 just move them to the rack room so you don't have to reterminate the analog split in the Rack room to the RIOs.

At any rate, i see your logic and i think it's valid.  Truth is, it's all getting old and ANY of it could fail at any time making whatever plan you choose seem wise/foolish in hindsight.  :)
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Re: Replacing Aging System
¬ę Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 10:31:41 pm ¬Ľ


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