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Author Topic: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board  (Read 2406 times)

Anthony Lim

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What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« on: September 08, 2008, 01:23:48 pm »

We have a A&H Gl4 40 channels now. There's about 10 channels that are bad. (I'm not here to troubleshoot) I'm going to take the A&H out of service to fix it and replace it with a used Ramsa WS840.
Here's the question: What specific things to this board that I should look for? Anything that's prone to this board? I've used it a few times and I love the sound. Lots of touring folks told me it's a work horse. I'm going to test out the signal flow before I purchase it.

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David Sumrall

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2008, 10:34:15 pm »

Hey Anthony,

Wow an old 840??

Check the gain pots.

I'd also be looking for a parts source as well.

How many channels and buses do you really need?

What are those going for?

What's your budget?

I'd be weighing several things of used vs new if were me.

I got a install only Yamaha PM4000 from our worship center, we bought new back in the day. Just needs a little dusting.

Also have a Mackie 32/8 with Meter bridge.

Good Luck!

David

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David Sumrall
Audio Engineer
Gateway Church
Soutlake Texas
GatewayPeople.com

Esteban Orozco

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2008, 09:38:16 am »

Anthony Lim wrote on Mon, 08 September 2008 13:23

We have a A&H Gl4 40 channels now. There's about 10 channels that are bad. (I'm not here to troubleshoot) I'm going to take the A&H out of service to fix it and replace it with a used Ramsa WS840.
Here's the question: What specific things to this board that I should look for? Anything that's prone to this board? I've used it a few times and I love the sound. Lots of touring folks told me it's a work horse. I'm going to test out the signal flow before I purchase it.





Please don't buy the WS840, do buy new or at least something that was made in the last 3 years...Whats the price range??
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Anthony Lim

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2008, 04:13:02 pm »

I've searched for parts resources. There's a panasonic website http://www.pstc.panasonic.com/EpartR/PartsListChoice.asp
that I can order parts from.

There's a console available for sale local to me for 3K. It was in Universal Studio and they retired it. It's been used as over killed mixer at a house for a yr.

My inputs is pretty extensive..

1.  Piano L
2.  Piano R
3.  Organ L
4.  Organ R
5.  Kick
6.  Snare
7.  Over head L
8.  Over head R
9.  Hi Hat
10. Hi tom
11. Mid tom
12. Low tom
13. Bass
14. Ac. Gtr
15. Elec. Gtr
16. Percussion 1
17. Percussion 2
18. Worship leader mic
19. Supporting vocal 1
20. Supporting vocal 2
21. Supporting vocal 3
22. Supporting vocal 4
23. Pastor wl lapel mic
24. Aux. wl lapel mic
25. Aux. wl handheld mic 1
26. Aux. wl handheld mic 2
27. Aux. wl handheld mic 3
28. Choir mic L
29. Choir mic R
30. CD/DVD playback L
31. CD/DVD playback R
32. Computer playback L
33. Computer playback R
34. Rev. rtn L
35. Rev. rtn R

We don't use all the channels all the time but there's a lot of inputs that we don't move. We have 24 input pockets on each side, back of the stage. My plan is to put in a patch bay in the future .
As far as buss...
1&2 has a pair of compressor which I assign all vocals before it goes to FOH.
3&4 goes to M-audio fire-wire for recording.
5&6 is for drums then FOH

Matrix A&B from main L&R goes to a Distripution preamp which goes to cry room, lobby and RCA jacks for camcorder audio.

We're used to large format console so I'm just thinking that a used WRS840 is a good replacement....especially for about 3K.

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Anthony Lim

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 01:41:10 am »

I went to check out the board.
It's a FOH console with 36 mono inputs and 16 ch. control by two stereo faders.

I basically plugged in a SM58 ( forgot to grab a condenser mic from church)  Rolling Eyes I plugged the mic in, assigned all the groups and LR busses, turned on, turned up the aux send, turned the channel on. Turn on the eq. put up the fader. I checked both pre/post of the aux sends.
I could only watch the meters on the aux mains and groups. I listened to each channel through L/R buss and "studio" out because that's how the owner hooked it up. I had about two hours to do this. I also randomly checked the send/return return input with my Blackberry headphone out. I didn't have time to check all the output at the connectors. Just watched the groups and aux meters.

There's some preamps that are dirty. I had to turned it a little bit to cleaned it especially in pan mode. All the channels checked out including the stereo channels except one. Channel 34 has a weak preamp. It wasn't noisy just weak.

There's three faders buttons missing and one of the group fader has a different color. The mains R out fader is scratchy as I moved it up/down.

The cushion for the arms are in decent condition except for a tare about 3 inches which flapped down about 2 inch. All the power LED's indicators lid up.

This mixer came out of Warner Studios lot instead of Universal as previously posted ( maybe I heard it wrong...hehe) There were masking tape over three channels that said it was not functioning. I checked them just like the other one and they were fine. I think maybe they had a patch bay on the inserts points or the inputs and that side of it wasn't working.

There's some surface dust on it. and scratches on the side wood panels.  

The owner is asking 3K for the board. I've pointed out the problems to them. I'm going to talk it over with couple of people at church. I'll include some spare parts in my quote for the mixer as well. I've never taken a WRS840 console apart before. I looks like I should be able to take each strip out by removing the bottom cover as well as the meter bridge. Is this correct?

What do you guys think of all that?








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Chris Penny

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2008, 09:57:08 am »

My main question on this one is why buy a board for a short period of use? What about just hiring out something while the A&H goes in for repairs? What about using this opportunity to try something else out?

If you do buy a console you really need to think about what it's primary purpose will be once the A&H returns - and therefore is buying the new board being a good steward of your churches funds?
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Chris Penny
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Caringbah Anglican Church
http://www.stphils.org

Anthony Lim

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2008, 10:25:55 am »

Sorry, I didn't include the purpose for the purchase.
It's a replacement of the A&H. Eventually, A&H will go into the chapel or get sold off due to space issue. I like the idea of being able  to service something with out taking the whole board out of service. This is an economical way of doing it.

Your question led me to ask if there are other consoles of the same ability ( channel strip removing ) with out spending over 5K? I haven't found one.  I know this should not be the priority in choosing console but...

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Rob Warren

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2008, 12:30:52 pm »

Quote:

I like the idea of being able to service something with out taking the whole board out of service


Unless the tech has the same console somewhere or some type of testing environment to plug in the module then he would still need the whole console to work on the module.  
For instance I have a Midas XL-200.  It's modular but the local repair guy here that can work on them needs my whole board because he does NOT have a setup for making that module work with out the console.  So I may be able to send it to Midas,(not even sure I can do that) but definitely not just anyone.  
All that being said, is to make sure you can send this OLD Ramsa strip out to someone like Panasonic or a tech that will do what you are wanting.  Because if you can NOT then you are NOT in any better shape than just buying a console that isn't modular.  

One thing to add is...
Given your channel count and environment...you should be able to spend more than 3K on a very vital piece of equipment to handle the entire function of your Sanctuary.  I realize I'm probably preaching to the choir here...but man...3K is not a lot of money.
I mean if the music program is big enough to require that setup (which is very close to mine) then it should be important enough to get something better.  Granted I completely understand getting leadership to see this is a miracle.  Have they told you all you can spend is 3k?  Or was it a situation where you saw a pretty good deal on this console and was going to take it?  
I'm not saying don't buy that board just giving you a couple of things to think about.    
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Rob

Anthony Lim

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2008, 04:07:59 pm »

For us, the console is being used mainly on weekends. Some saturdays. There's plenty of down time for us to come in and work on it 3-4 hrs at a time. With the A&H now, just to disconnect and connect everything back is at least an hour then there's the testing to make sure everything will function as before.

We have people including myself that can do the work if it takes less time to get inside the console.

Like a lot of churches, there is no annual budget for audio. It gets rolled into maintanance budget which addressed on a needed basis.
You're correct that I've been searching for ways to address this shrinking channels on our mixer and came across this console. I also found a Yamaha M2500 56 channel mixer. However, that one is in Florida and the seller indicated that they only want local pickup.

The ideal situation would be to be able to get the same format mixer as a loaner and fix A&H on the side. I've looked into that route but it's hard to get folks to see the value of renting (it's not cheap) just to fix the A&H.
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Anthony Lim

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Re: What to look for in a used WS840 FOH board
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 02:33:55 pm »

Just to close out this topic....
We've decided to dedicate a Saturday (no wife, kids) to fix the A&H GL4.
We also plan to purchase a rack mount line mixer for DVD, Computer, Cassette, VCR...to free up channels on the GL4.
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