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Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Folderol » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:47 pm

@hugh
The tone control tests suggest that these mics are round about 1k. Even a 600ohm source means the control has less effect. 100ohm would give a -3dB point of 3.4kHz at maximum attenuation.

@Dave
That was my first thought, but they look like standard SM electrolytics, and the codes also suggest that. I'll be replacing the 0u47 ones with multilayer ceramics. They are not much bigger, more stable and much quieter.

I'm a bit concerned about the volume pot wiring, as it will have a frequency component, depending on it's position (as well as what's on the output). Near minimum the LF cutoff will be about 400Hz as only the 10ohm resistor will be relevant against the 33u cap, but at full volume it will be 4.8Hz. This could account of the apparent poor low end. So maybe it should be run as close to max as possible.


And finally a bit of bad news. My sig genny seems to have developed a fault on it's higher ranges and goes unstable when the gain is turned up :cry: and it's only about 45 years old.

I'd write a nasty letter to the manufacturer... only it was me :shh:
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby ef37a » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:25 pm

" My sig genny seems to have developed a fault on it's higher ranges and goes unstable when the gain is turned up"

Sounds like a duff decoupling CAPACITOR to me mate!

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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Folderol » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:08 pm

Job done now, and the beastie will soon be on its way home.

Latest drawing is here. Incidentally, I tend to post links to PDFs for drawings as they are much clearer than any bit-image. The changes are all indicated as you can see.

Aria Sinsonido Preamp final.jpg


Swapping the tone control caps for ceramic ones was a no-brainer. As well as being more stable, they are actually smaller than the originals!

From actual frequency response behaviour I've downgrade my guess at the original 'dry' caps to only 100nF.

Increasing the 33u caps to 47u and adding the 100ohm resistors, makes the worst-case LF -3dB point about 45Hz. That's with the volume control a sniff above zero. As the volume level increases that drops to to about 30Hz. This has one drawback in that the level will be lower in headphones. However, at the same time the battery life will be slightly better as the amplifiers won't be dumping power into a 10ohm resistor at low volume.

I added an extra resistor, rather than changing the value of the existing one partly because space was getting really tight, but also because it's quick and easy to revert if needed.
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:20 pm

Folderol wrote:Job done now, and the beastie will soon be on its way home.

Bravo Folderol :clap:

- looking forward to hearing the end result in situ in the instrument :thumbup:


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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Dr R » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:41 pm

Yes, huge thanks again to Folderol for doing this. :clap:

Hope to have the board and bass reunited this weekend, though the football may have an impact on available time ;-)

I didn't record the original sound, but will definitely post recordings of the new improved sound.

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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Dr R » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:52 am

Quick update:

"Real Life" has completely got in the way of reuniting the board and bass. :(

We've therefore booked a meeting room at work over lunch tomorrow and the plan is to bring in the gear to reconnect it and record it then. Fortunately the directors on our floor appreciate that most of the time we actually do useful and productive work:

http://dilbert.com/strip/1994-06-26

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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Folderol » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:43 pm

'Real Life' eh? Not sure I want one of those - sounds expensive :tongue:
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:18 pm

I think I saw one from a distance once, but I wanted no part of it... ;)
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Dr R » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:01 pm

Still not done the soldering. There is a small, but at least non-zero, chance of it happening this weekend.

"Real Life" is on average a "good thing", but the peaks and troughs are unpredictable. Maybe there should be some sort of calibration system which allows for dynamics but didn't leave you totally exhausted at the end of two weeks?
LUFS = Life Units relative to a Fortnights' Sleep

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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:04 pm

Dr R wrote:"Real Life" is on average a "good thing", but the peaks and troughs are unpredictable. Maybe there should be some sort of calibration system which allows for dynamics but didn't leave you totally exhausted at the end of two weeks?
LUFS = Life Units relative to a Fortnights' Sleep

Rich
Presumably the scale goes into the negative! :D
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Dr R » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:19 pm

I was thinking more that if there were too many constant peaks at high amplitude it was unpleasant and grating. In which case negative units would imply something very strange that I can't quite think of an analogy for..
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:47 pm

Dead on your feet. ;)
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Logarhythm » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:48 pm

Dr R wrote:I was thinking more that if there were too many constant peaks at high amplitude it was unpleasant and grating. In which case negative units would imply something very strange that I can't quite think of an analogy for..
If high amplitude events drag the LUFS rating up and are unpleasant/grating, then these are surely the tiresome bits of this traumatic "real life" concept - work, bills, supermarkets full of angry sunburned people etc.
Thus negative units significantly reduce the total LUFS figure - sort of akin to sorting out the gain structure to find more sensible headroom and space for proper dynamic range. In this "real life" thing, these events are therefore rejuvenating and allow proper context for these otherwise unpleasant peaks, so I guess things like time pottering on the DAW, playing an instrument (with the possible exception of bagpipes), a nice picnic etc contribute a reduction in the overall LUFS value?
It's rather tenuous (turns out "real life" may not be quite as simple as audio signals ;) ), but it's worth persevering with if it provides (pseudo)scientific justification for the more fun things :thumbup:
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Dr R » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:15 pm

Logarhythm wrote: ...significantly reduce the total LUFS figure - sort of akin to sorting out the gain structure to find more sensible headroom and space for proper dynamic range. In this "real life" thing, these events are therefore rejuvenating and allow proper context for these otherwise unpleasant peaks, so I guess things like time pottering on the DAW, playing an instrument (with the possible exception of bagpipes), a nice picnic etc contribute a reduction in the overall LUFS value? :thumbup:

I think you have hit on something fundamental there. A nice picnic with friends should have low peak stress, and so contribute little to the integrated LUFS. But if in order to achieve it we have to deal with screaming kids, broken cars and wasps this is the equivalent of too much gain (and probably bad eq but we can work on that later), leading too excessive peaks.
Taking the analogy further, messing about on this subject in a forum is low peak, and reduces overall LUFS. Were Paul White to ask for these ramblings to be turned into a publishable thousand word column by Wednesday, that would require a huge gain increase,which would have to be followed by suitable calming activities.
Or something like that. ;-)
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Dr R » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:18 pm

IT'S ALIVE :bouncy: It also fights back ...

Finally pushed real life out of the way for long enough to reconnect the board and the bass. Hooked it all up and did a quick test with everything electrically connected but not put back - excellent. Placed the board properly, put the pots and covers back on, tuned the bass to record some tests - and discovered an intermittent break in the connection to the output socket. My fault entirely so replaced the cable and retested. All good - hooray!

This is a very short recording to demonstrate the range of sound. This is recorded with a stereo headphone jack sending L&R directly to the two inputs of a ZoomH4N. Output on the guitar was about 3/4 max, gain on the Zoom almost nothing :-)

https://soundcloud.com/richard-rose-374426498/ariabasstonecomparison

The first scale is with the tone control set to maximum bass (ie max treble roll-off). It sounds like a bass guitar, and you can clearly hear the stereo separation with lower notes on the left of the image and higher to the right. The second scale is with the tone control set to max treble. You can hear there is a lot more HF, and clearly hear sound of my fingers sliding across every string. The two notes at the end are open strings, with max treble and max bass.
Prior to the repair it sounded like the full treble version, but worse ("pentatonic tinnitus" was one description). Post repair I reckon there is a pretty reasonable guitar there, and with the option to take two outputs and EQ them separately you could make all sorts of funkiness. Clean strings would help too.

My playing is very beginner level (as you can hear), so I roped in my son this afternoon to play a better demonstration for this forum, and to play it though an amp as well. He tuned up, and the tuning peg on the A-string promptly snapped! :o
All very frustrating, but Amazon have a set which one reviewer bought specifically for the same guitar when his snapped, so all repairable.

Most importantly: Huge thanks to everyone who has responded on this forum, and especially to Folderol for his time and effort (including multiple PMs to ask intelligent questions and respond to dumb ones). Another round of applause to that man. :clap:

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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:30 pm

Excellent news, and :clap: to mr F for his detective work.
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:37 pm

Indeed - three cheers for Folderol! Hip hip?

Hooray!! :clap: :thumbup: 8-)


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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Folderol » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:51 pm

Awww shucks :blush:
This has been a very enjoyable challenge, and I'm delighted it worked out so well. It certainly sounds good, and there is always an element of doubt when working entirely on test instruments.

Just a final suggestion for Dr R. Maybe print out the schematic on something like A5, then fold it up and tuck it in the compartment.
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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby Dr R » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:56 pm

Folderol wrote:Awww shucks :blush:
Just a final suggestion for Dr R. Maybe print out the schematic on something like A5, then fold it up and tuck it in the compartment.
Already done so - and backed up the PDF file on OneDrive in the 'Music Tech' folder :D

My daughter asked what the estimated total time spent by everyone on this was, since March when I first borrowed the bass. Before I could answer my wife replied "They are all middle-aged men who like fixing things. Just be glad they don't buy motorbikes" Sounds good to me!

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Re: Aria Sinsonido preamp repair

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:37 pm

Some of us have motorbikes as well... :oops:
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