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 Quantum Audio Labs QM-8A
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harpo1954 Offline
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Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 57
Location: Macomb, MI USA


PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:13 pm    Post subject: Quantum Audio Labs QM-8A Reply with quote

Check this Out! This is one of the hidden gems in Dafduc's basement. His wife found it hidden under a shelf in their basement that had a bunch of antique computer pieces (old IBM's, etc.) This is vintage, early to mid 70's, hand made in California and probably used for broadcast given the limited number of inputs and EQ options.
I just got done cleaning it (the inside was practically sterile) and haven't tried it out, yet. I did power it up and plug a mic in and all the VU's work. The only visible problem is the bezel on the two right VU's somehow was broken (the parts were rattling around inside). I suppose those won't be too hard to replace.
What little I can find out about it through searches is that it should sound pretty sweet, possibly a little noisy. Perhaps some of you technically minded RP'ers might have some thoughts/ideas/comments about this board.
I'll post some more pictures and let you know how it works after I hook it up (I still have to figure out how and make some room for it in my limited space). It might take a few days to get it up and running. I'll keep you posted.
Check out the topic on the Tape Op Board: http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=43548&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0
Some people have been pretty excited about vintage Quantum Audio Labs boards.
Regards,
David T
p.s. Oops! I can't get the picture file small enough to upload with the programs I have on this computer. I'll add pictures to this post once I edit them.





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Last edited by harpo1954 on Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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seanmorse Offline
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Joined: 06 Nov 2003
Posts: 1529
Location: Detroit
Age: 48


PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome!! I'm glad you ended up with it. I don't know much about it, but there's no doubt it's a very high-end board. I bet the pre's and the EQ section will be really nice to work with if you can tame the noise.

When you say you cleaned it, what all did you do?

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harpo1954 Offline
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Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 57
Location: Macomb, MI USA


PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sean,
It's a very simple and well made board. I opened it up and found the VU bezel parts that had broken off and fallen inside and three dead ladybugs that probably got in through the broken bezels. Other than that, it was spotless inside. The top and rear panels fit very tight to the case so, other than the bezels, it was air-tight. All I really had to clean was the outside which just had layers of dust and some grease-pencil marks that came right off (I used BAM! and paper towels). I took all the knobs off for cleaning. Some of the colored knob markers/buttons are missing. I probably can find replacements somewhere.
I didn't buy it, so it will probably be up for sale on eBay once I find out what it's really worth and have had a chance to test it more, unless I REALLY like it and decide to buy it, myself (if I can afford it).
I just opened a Flickr account, but now I have to figure out how to use code to post the pictures. I know there's some threads around on uploading pictures so I'll do a search. I think you saw it in the basement at Ducfest. It's all shiny and clean, now. You'll appreciate the pics as soon as I upload them.\Regards,
David T
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harpo1954 Offline
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Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 57
Location: Macomb, MI USA


PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:08 pm    Post subject: Quantum Audio Labs QM-8A Reply with quote

Ok!
I managed to get one photo up. Now to figure out how to upload multiple photos![img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3124/2689630429_4975783ee9_m.jpg[img] (alt+p)
It's NOT LETTING ME DO IT!!!!
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harpo1954 Offline
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Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 57
Location: Macomb, MI USA


PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yee! Hah!
Don't bother reading all that crap about not being able to upload photos and just check out the first post. My next trick will be trying to get the photos larger.
Sorry bout' the frustration posts.
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John M. Peters Offline
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Joined: 30 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had this board throughout most of the 1970s except that this QM-8A looks quite a bit prettier than my board...mine did not have colored knobs and I think my board was actually the very first and it's model number was, I think, QM-8 (without the A). It did indeed have a very sweet sound and I had Howard Steel do some modifications on my board after I bought it. I had dropped this mixer into a larger console frame which included expanded monitoring controls and the QM-8 had no talkback built in so I installed that in the extended part of the console. Oh, I recall that the board only had two bands of EQ on each of the 8 channels and two position toggels for the turn-over point...it was shelving EQ only. And the high end EQ only had something like 3k and 5 or 6k and I had Howard remove the two-position toggles and install 3 position toggles with the new top frequency point at around 10k so I could add some nice high end sparkle without too much upper mids which sound harsh when there's already plenty of those frequencies there. I think one of the components he installed to attain that 3rd frequency was a capacitor. I once commented to Howard Steel that this mixer was like a new invention, giving you pro quality for the first time in such a small mixer. He appreciated that comment. And I recall the mixer was really pretty quiet. It's interesting to reflect that the master level control was a rotary control on the vertical meter bridge so you did things like fade-outs by turning that rotary control. I had outboard gear that helped me to make up for the lack of extensive EQ and other features on the board. I always monitored through my Ampex multitrack machines so that I always knew that all signals were flowing to their proper destinations.

Oh, another modification I had Howard install was 8 quarter inch phone jacks to provide a direct output from each channel in addition to the mix busses. Come to think of it...it's fun to recollect this...but each channel had 4 push buttons to choose sending the channel's signal to one or more of the four busses, and the pan pot, interestingly, always gave you panning between busses 1 & 3 or 2 & 4 (rather than between 1 & 2, and 3 & 4). And I always wondered if this may have been related to the convention for the early consumer quarter track tape recorders, where you recorded and played back stereo tracks 1 & 3 playing the tape in one direction, and stereo tracks 2 & 4 playing the tape in the other direction. Anyone have a thought on this mixer's panning set up this way?

I see that later Quantum models panned between busses 1 & 2, and 3 & 4, but i swear I'm telling the truth, the very early one I had panned between 1 & 3, and 2 & 4.
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skulpter Offline
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Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Posts: 1489
Location: Asheville, NC
Age: 51


PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to RP, John M. Peters! I very much enjoyed reading your rememberances. I wish I'd really gotten into recording back before digital. I mean, I had a portastudio in the eighties, but I'd have loved working on a reel-to-reel with a bunch of outboard gear... And limited choices... and heaps of analog tone...
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DavidSchober Offline
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Joined: 29 Sep 2013
Posts: 1


PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Harpo, or anyone else...

Did you find a schematic for that console? I have one which needs repair.

Thanks!
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