This is fascinating.  I was scavenging the web for obscure gear as i am wont to do when still awake late at night and i came across something interesting!  It’s a RSD Richmond Sound Design 816 Quad Console from the early 1970’s.  It’s a cool kind of ugly and also very modular.  I mean totally modular and hand wired inside.  More than that it’s a Discrete design with remote VCA control over the busses, 2 routable quad panner modules, and 2 auto pan modules with a dedicated LFO!  I love me some discrete circuits and the price was right so i decided to buy it as an experiment.

I had no idea what i was getting myself into and there’s virtually no info for these units on the web.  I was lucky though and after a little research i found that the company who made it is still around.  They make mostly software based designs these days but the tech person i emailed at the company site WAS THE GUY WHO MADE THIS UNIT!

How often does that happen!  He even remembered where it was installed and what options were originally in it.  Pretty cool.  And i am glad because there’s been a lot of wires snipped from the inside. It looks like someone chopped out the quad pan wiring among other things.  So he’s been helping me sort out what is right and what is wrong with the unit as it is.  And hopefully we can get the whole unit restored back to it’s original intended design.

So, This is Console Serial Number 003 and Quad Pan module Serial Number 001.  Pretty amazing.  Its going to be a long process to get this back up to snuff so i figured i would post my progress in installments. I got the console powered up and did a basic round of audio path testing.  I was surprised that most of the console is actually working as it should.

Here’s some pics:

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So far many features are working as intended.  Then the middle fader on the auto pan modules is set to zero i can flip between the red and green lights basically instantly switching between the two sets of left right faders.  When the middle fader value is increased and i flip the switch the channels smoothly pan between the red and green side. Pretty cool design idea. the 8 inputs on the back all get routed through the busses and sent out the 8×16 fader matrix on the right.  The bottom row of faders on the right is pretty beat up and a few are actually dead.   Buss number 6 is out completely and i think it’s because i am missing one of the amplifier canisters on one of the cards.  I haven’t figured out which are supposed to be empty and which must be occupied.  Next is to get the pan modules rewired and see how they are working.  One of them is damaged but the company actually still has replacements and i hope to get this rewired with 2 NOS panner sets so they that match.

Until next time!

::: IF :::