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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:58 am 
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Lone Star

Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:21 am
Posts: 3
Favourite food: Tacos
Machine type: AW1600
Hello all,

I have not been a regular poster here, but I lurked a good deal over the years. I have a bit of news that might interest anyone still reading these forums and working on their AW1600. I purchased a used AW1600 in 2012 and another in 2015, this second unit as a backup in case the first one died, since I had grown to enjoy using the machine.

Recently, the faders in AW1600 #1 had become intermittent. Imagine you are at the AW viewing the "Fader" page (normally accessed by pressing the "View" button twice from the boot screen) and you have pushed fader 1 to 0dB. You expect the corresponding fader on the LCD to stay at 0dB, right? Well, imagine that instead, the fader on the LCD--without further moving or even touching the physical fader--fluctuates wildly from 0 to -60 to +6 dB, and everywhere in between.

During tracking or mixdown, whatever material is on that track constantly changes from too loud to too quiet; it goes without saying that these functions are next to impossible, which started in fader one and crept up to fader five. It renders the machine unusable.

I took the AW to the nearest Yamaha service location for diagnostics and repair. I had misgivings about whether or not parts would be available, but the parts manager at the shop told me Yamaha had a good track record of parts availability. He also said that they sometimes still repair something like a Tascam 424mkIII (cassette four-track), and that their parts were still available, so he wasn't concerned about being unable to order the faders for the AW. It got my hopes up.

So, they were going to replace faders one through five. They ordered the faders and received two of them in less than a week. The part was backordered, so there would be a wait. Still, I was encouraged that they got the two faders so quickly.

But my hope was shattered when I spoke with the shop manager last Friday. The part was now unavailable, and the two they received were apparently the last two remaining AW1600 faders "in the world" (his words). I was and am severely crestfallen by the news. The thought of the impending, permanent farewell looms overhead. I've grown a lot with the AW, and I've come to know and appreciate probably most of its quirks and secrets.

Who knows how long I have with #2? Months, weeks, years? Will it outlive me? I will enjoy using the AW1600 as long as I can. (I might invest in a dust cover, too.)

When you know a piece of equipment backwards and forwards, up and down, the last thing on your mind is replacing it. But since facing the reality that using the AW1600 forever is likely not an option, I've started browsing the market for a replacement. Frankly, I am a bit surprised to see NO Yamaha products on offer: despite the dominance of computer-based DAWs, several manufacturers (Zoom, Boss, Tascam) still offer "studios-in-a-box" for those who, for whatever reason, balk at the thought of using a computer for music production.

One of the more promising products I've seen comes from Tascam. Their new(ish) Model(s) 12, 16, and 24 pull triple-duty as multi-trackers, live mixers, and audio interfaces. It's a perfect modern solution. I was tempted to order one just to have on hand if/when the AW becomes unusable, but decided to wait and see if Yamaha releases a competing product anytime soon. Nothing against Tascam...I used a 424mkIII back in the early 00's and still love the sound of that machine -- there's nothing quite like the vibe of those trackers. But I have come to love working on Yamaha equipment--the other part of my production workstation is a Motif ES-7--and I hope that they respond to the (small) segment of the market who prefer producing on standalone workstations like the trusty AW1600.

If you're still working on yours, cherish it. Treat it lovingly, perhaps say nice things to it. If you haven't worked on yours lately, dust it off and start a project.

Cheers to all of you.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:29 pm 
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Spaminator Extraordinaire
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:58 pm
Posts: 8482
Favourite food: sushi
Machine type: AW2400
Hi. It’s great that you’ve had such a long journey with your AW1600. Even better to have a second one as backup. Unfortunately like most things, eventually they need replacement. The fact that you went out and tried to repair the unit is testament to your love of the machine. These units are very hard to find and the fact that Yamaha bailed on its users is frustrating.

I have been looking at a more current version of my AW2400. I spent some weeks researching a suitable replacement. What I found was Tascam has stuck with its product line and has some great looking units available. Their DP-24SD looks like the right unit. Even the 32SD for a little more offers a lot of bang for the buck plus 12 extra tracks. There’s plenty of videos as well as Facebook groups to help with the learning curve. There’s a guy named Phil Tipping on YouTube who provides a full class of videos from beginning to end.

I’m still going to live with my AW2400 for now since I don’t record that much and it seems to be fine. But, should the right deal come along on eBay, I may buy one anyway. I have found that eBay has quite a few of both the 24 and 32SD available in new and used condition.

Good luck with your decision.

_________________
GSMUSIC: Hey RZ, Im not no upper class american, the gear I own is what I have special to me. My car sucks, my house sucks, my nieghborhood sucks. Does yours RZ? Does it?

rz-land


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:03 pm 
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Marker Magician
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:20 pm
Posts: 3724
Machine type: AW2400
Are the faders on the G interchangeable with the 1600? G s are much cheaper on the used market than the 1600, so if possible maybe you could mine a G for your needs on the 1600?

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Byron


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