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Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:41 PM   #1
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Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

Hi everyone, this is my first post here

I was wondering if there is anyone who has experience with the Shure FP32a field mixer?
I know its fairly old, and that it can have problems with its pots, but thats about all the info I can find on it.
I know the FP32 was very noisy and had its own problems, and that the FP33 has been a very well used product over quite a few years.

I guess I want to know if they are worth contemplating as a usable mixer, or if its not wasting time with.

Cheers,
Matt
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

here is some more info for you............




QUESTION:

Please give the spec differences between the FP33 and FP32A. Is the signal patch different? Is it quieter?

Can you replace the pots on the FP32A with the same ones on the FP33? Digikey or manuafacturer number?

Can the FP32A be modified to have less noise? Is there any kind of trade in program to have it updated?





ANSWER:


Shure FP33 vs FP32A: What's new?

Controls
•Precision, sealed, conductive plastic input potentiometers for quieter, more reliable operation.
•Higher torque potentiometers aid in avoiding accidental rotation.
•10% tolerance potentiometers provide better gain alignment when comparing one input channel to another.
•Internal Left/Right headphone level trimmer pots (20dB range) allow adjustment for level differences between mixer program signal and Monitor In signal.
•Separate slide switch activates 1kHz tone oscillator.
•Optional modification electronically links the clutched Left and Right Master controls for single knob control of FP33 output.

Circuit Design
•Internal 9V batteries serve as backup when using an external power source. Switch over to internal supply occurs when external supply is 11.4 V or less.
•External power supply circuit is fused to prevent field failures due to incompatible external power schemes. Replacement fuses included.
•Tone oscillator feeds directly into the Master control.
•Tone oscillator mutes all inputs when activated.
•Reduced input gain (6 dB less) accommodates high output condenser microphones.
•Optional internal modification reduces input gain by an additional 8 dB.
•Tape Out jack now in phase with XLR inputs.
•Monitor In jack now in phase with Headphones jacks.

Connectors
•New, more durable 3.5mm mini-phone jacks for Headphone Out, Tape Out, and Monitor In provide firmer "grip" to mating connector.


The pots from the FP33 cannot be used on the FP32A. The pots have a completely different footprint and physical size. The board on the FP33 had to be redesigned to accomodate these new pots. If you are having problems with the pots on the FP32A, contact our Service Department at 800-516-2525.

The FP32A is an extremely quiet mixer. The FP33 and FP32A have the same output and input noise specification.


What are the differences between a FP33 and FP32A?
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 06:02 PM   #3
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

What are your expectations of "a usable mixer"?
Are the pre amps as good and quiet as a Sound Devices? No
Are the FP32-33 series reliable? Yes
In my documentary days, I traveled to some of the worst places on earth, (socially and environmentally) with an FP32 and had no major problems..And It was put though all kinds of hell. I later bought an FP33 but sold it for an SD302 when they came out
I still have the original 32 for back-up and such.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 07:55 PM   #4
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

Cheers guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
What are your expectations of "a usable mixer"?
Are the pre amps as good and quiet as a Sound Devices? No
Are the FP32-33 series reliable? Yes
In my documentary days, I traveled to some of the worst places on earth, (socially and environmentally) with an FP32 and had no major problems..And It was put though all kinds of hell. I later bought an FP33 but sold it for an SD302 when they came out
I still have the original 32 for back-up and such.
Basically, there are couple of the FP32a's on ebay Australia at the moment, and I'm trying to decide if they are worth picking one up.
I'm currently looking at getting some location sound recording experience, and want something to play around with, that i can get acceptable results with.
I figured the Sound Devices gear would be much better, and if I get anywhere with location recording I'd very much like to get one.

I hear the original FP32 has pretty bad preamps, and the FP33 usable ones, and if I understand it right, the FP32a's are closer in design to the 33 than the 32, so might be a decent possibility.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 10:52 PM   #5
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

I have a 33 I picked up used about 5 years ago. I had to repair the headphone pot last year for a couple hundred $$.

At this point, these models are so old, I would not consider a 32a or a 33. There's a reason the 32/a are available and the 33 not.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 10:44 AM   #6
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

A 32/32a would be fine for experimentation and non-studio work IMO. I wouldn't call the 32's pre amps 'bad' by any means and are better 'sounding' than the most of todays' budget recorder pre amps. The 32 also was the ENG/EFP defacto standard 'in it's day'. The 33 has a more advanced design, completely different gain structure and other improvements. The 32-33 series all have very powerful HP amps which can even drive 600ohm headphones to painful levels.
FWIW, the 32a channel/master/pan pots are difficult to find for the . The original 32 used generic pots and ARE available.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

I would steer clear of the 32A. The pots were problematic for most of its manufacturing run. The 33 was an upgrade and redesign mostly for this issue.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 06:13 AM   #8
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

@matthew, there's some good advice here specifically about the 32 and 32a. Don't get me wrong, if the pots are good and the unit isn't hissy, it's a fine mixer (I also have an FP31). I personally think it's risky to do an eBay purchase of such a thing. You will spend time. You'll want to test it out and work with the audio but you may find something wrong. Or, something goes bad in a year. YMMV
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Old January 26th, 2014, 10:48 PM   #9
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

I think you've got some good points there Les.
Ebay always has its risks i guess.

At this point, I think i'll hold off on it. Its not in pressing need at the time being really, so i'll look for something better.

Cheers everyone.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 12:03 AM   #10
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Re: Shure FP32a field mixer usable?

"At this point, I think i'll hold off on it"
- Sight unseen... a wise choice in my opinion Mathew... They're tough... but.. I've seen 32-33s that were pretty beat-up. typical of a network ENG mixer, network owned but nobody gives a sh-t.
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