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Author Topic: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions  (Read 14381 times)

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Offline voltronic

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Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« on: September 08, 2014, 05:39:55 PM »
I thought this was a good deal, so I jumped on it:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Shure-FP24-Audio-Mixer-/111451229883?pt=US_Live_Studio_Mixers&hash=item19f302cebb&nma=true&si=VM96%252FLomMniTgxYlwLusuqD1DwQ%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Now I have a few questions:

1. Is this in fact a good deal considering the probable age of the unit?  From what I read these were made under the Shure label up until 2002.
2. Even if it is in perfect working order, should I send it to Sound Devices for a once-over?  (again, because of age.)  If anyone has done this before, how is their service?
3. I'll be using this into an M10, and it seems like the typical connection that way is with the 1/8" Tape Out.  Is it possible or preferable to use the XLR line outs with a dual XLR to stereo 1/8" Y-cable to have the full 66dB of gain?  Or would unbalancing those outputs cause other issues?  This would be a very short cable run.  http://cdn.shure.com/user_guide/upload/860/us_pro_fp24_ug.pdf
4. What is a good external battery to use with this?  I'm going to try AA Li-ion rechargeables first and see how long I can run it.  If I can get 2.5 - 3 hours I won't need the external.

Thanks for the advice and experience!
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Offline chinariderstl

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 05:49:06 PM »
My two cents, for what it's worth.

I bought a real nice used Mixpre from the Yard Sale.  I sent it to Sound Devices for a once over.  They replaced a few minor things, certified it, and had it shipped back in a week, all for under $160.  I would highly recommend it if you have the cash.

I always run Tape Out into my PCM-M10 (line in).  I think the XLR's are pretty hot.

I power the unit with an Initial RB-270 9V DVD battery.

http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Initial-RB-270-Portable-DVD-Player-Rechargeable-Battery/3985593/product.html

I had Ted make a Hirose > 9V power cable for me. :)

Also, a little bit of gain goes a long, long way on those devices. :)

There's also a thread, might be a Mixpre thread, that details how to sync levels (for lack of a better phrase) between the Mixpre/FP24 and the PCM-M10.  I think DigiGal wrote it up.  I can find it if need be.

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 06:06:26 PM »
My two cents, for what it's worth.

I bought a real nice used Mixpre from the Yard Sale.  I sent it to Sound Devices for a once over.  They replaced a few minor things, certified it, and had it shipped back in a week, all for under $160.  I would highly recommend it if you have the cash.

I always run Tape Out into my PCM-M10 (line in).  I think the XLR's are pretty hot.

I power the unit with an Initial RB-270 9V DVD battery.

http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Initial-RB-270-Portable-DVD-Player-Rechargeable-Battery/3985593/product.html

I had Ted make a Hirose > 9V power cable for me. :)

Also, a little bit of gain goes a long, long way on those devices. :)

There's also a thread, might be a Mixpre thread, that details how to sync levels (for lack of a better phrase) between the Mixpre/FP24 and the PCM-M10.  I think DigiGal wrote it up.  I can find it if need be.

Thanks for the recommendations!  Hmm, $160 is probably quite reasonable for this kind of service, but more than I want to spend right now so I think I'll wait and see if something is broken first. :)

I think I've seen that post from DigiGal you mentioned before, but can't locate it.  I found this other thread on fp24 settings: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=161058.0
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Offline chinariderstl

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2014, 06:39:16 PM »
Thanks.  The other thread I found on the FP-24 settings said to calibrate to -16 rather than -20 so I'm not sure the two units are identical in the output levels.
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 09:10:48 PM »
I have an FP24 which I sent to Sound Devices for checkout and repair this May. They replaced the return-level pots and the limiter threshold pots, "confirmed unit is at production spec, passed all factory bench tests" and the total was $76.76 plus shipping. Turnaround time was about two weeks.

I also have an MP-2 which evidently needed more attention: $128.65 + shipping.

Both units were sold to me in supposedly "like new condition" and I really don't think that any conscious deception was involved. In my experience this is a typical, normal outcome of buying used recording equipment.

--In general there's no technical advantage to be gained by using a balanced output to drive an unbalanced input, unless you balance that input (and then there's a huge advantage to driving it from a balanced source rather than an unbalanced one).

In any case you do NOT want to use the XLR outputs of an SD preamp to feed an M10 or any other device with consumer-type aux inputs, because the gain of the FP24 is too high for that. Even with professional recording equipment, when I use the FP24 or MP-2 I generally have to set the recording equipment to its least sensitive setting and run the SD preamps distinctly below the halfway mark within their gain range. And there are plenty of people who record louder music than I do, as well as some microphones that put out hotter signals than mine put out.

--best regards
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 09:26:04 PM »
If you do send it in for service, have them check/replace the spring in the battery compartment. Some of the earlier units could not run on NiMh rechargables because the + end of the batteries are a little different than alkalines.

In the mean time, you can also do a mod to the rechargable batts. Basically take an exacto to the shrink wrap along the ridge line near the + end of the battery and pull off the little wafer near the tip. The battery will now make contact with the internal spring and you should be good to go.

Photos to make it easier to understand: https://plus.google.com/photos/114775014104918758740/albums/5511784095874887345

Offline voltronic

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 11:03:25 PM »
In any case you do NOT want to use the XLR outputs of an SD preamp to feed an M10 or any other device with consumer-type aux inputs, because the gain of the FP24 is too high for that. Even with professional recording equipment, when I use the FP24 or MP-2 I generally have to set the recording equipment to its least sensitive setting and run the SD preamps distinctly below the halfway mark within their gain range. And there are plenty of people who record louder music than I do, as well as some microphones that put out hotter signals than mine put out.

--best regards

This is good to know, thanks.  Do you know what level the FP24 outputs over the Tape jack versus the level of the XLR outs?  I'm still trying to figure out if the M10 should be set to read -16 or -20 with the FP24's test tone output.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 11:13:08 PM by voltronic »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 11:05:31 PM »
If you do send it in for service, have them check/replace the spring in the battery compartment. Some of the earlier units could not run on NiMh rechargables because the + end of the batteries are a little different than alkalines.

In the mean time, you can also do a mod to the rechargable batts. Basically take an exacto to the shrink wrap along the ridge line near the + end of the battery and pull off the little wafer near the tip. The battery will now make contact with the internal spring and you should be good to go.

Photos to make it easier to understand: https://plus.google.com/photos/114775014104918758740/albums/5511784095874887345

I heard of this when researching the unit, but your pictures make this much more clear - thanks!  They're the same batteries I have now and they're a bit old so I don't mind taking the knife to them. >:D
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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2014, 12:05:19 AM »
Also, be aware that oscillation can occur with many mics if you try to use all the gain possible.  I never have to go above halfway on the gain knobs on my unit.  I actually usually run my knobs at about 9 O'Clock-ish with my M10 recording level @ 4.
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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2014, 02:30:11 AM »
The XLR outputs on the FP24/early Mixpre's don't play well w/ most current portable recorders (see the details/thread on pre-2002 Mixpre's)  So you want to use the tape output.  It's a nice preamp!

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2014, 01:51:42 PM »
I use Lithium AA's in mine set at 15V for powering AKG Naiant couplings and it runs all day. I had it set at 48V by accident once and it still ran all day. 10 - 12 hours.
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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2014, 04:24:08 PM »
It's in the other thread, but worth repeating here: attenuators are your friend. I use Naiant 24db ones with my Avensons and 3 Zigmas, and have the gain set ~11:00 most of the time.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2014, 09:39:55 PM »
I use Lithium AA's in mine set at 15V for powering AKG Naiant couplings and it runs all day. I had it set at 48V by accident once and it still ran all day. 10 - 12 hours.

Really?  That's really impressive.  I'm mostly going to be running 48V.  Which batteries do you use?
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Just bought a Shure FP24 - some questions
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2014, 09:59:28 PM »
I have an FP24 which I sent to Sound Devices for checkout and repair this May. They replaced the return-level pots and the limiter threshold pots, "confirmed unit is at production spec, passed all factory bench tests" and the total was $76.76 plus shipping. Turnaround time was about two weeks.

I called Sound Devices service department today, and the very nice person I spoke with said that $75 is the minimum bench fee for anything that comes in.  It seems that they were more than reasonable on your parts!

I think I'm going to hold off on sending it in for now until I actually get my hands on it myself.  Being that it's an eBay purchase, I want to make sure nothing is obviously broken or different than advertised in the event I would need to get my money back.

You and others here have successfully dissuaded me from using the XLR outputs with my M10.  I had mistakently thought the FP24 had a mic/line level switch on the XLR out, but it seems that's only in the later versions.  I'm curious - what equipment DO you tend to run off of those outputs?  I'm thinking of pro-level gear meant to accept that kind of level, and nothing portable springs to mind other than Sound Devices own mixers and recorders which already have their own preamps. 

A couple of the concerts I record every year are also covered by our local TV station, who has great video production but terrible audio.  (As in, one SM58 set up on a stand next to the center camera.  I'm not kidding.)  I usually give them the file off my M10 afterwards, which they use for the final broadcast.  I'm wondering if I could just give them a direct line feed off of the FP24 instead.
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