Share your knowledge on these two classic MPCs
By martel80 Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:43 pm
I'm a big zero in electronics but I understand and can definitely hear that different parts give different results.

So...

Anyone know whats the chip and OpAmp in an MPC 3000 ?

I Heard its not the same as the s2800, s3000 and s3200 sampler version.

Any info/spec/thought ?

Let the fight beggin'

:popcorn:
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By tapedeck Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:03 pm
it isnt that simple.

which chip? which opamp?
you've got the AD converters to convert the input to digital samples. then you've got the DA to convert the digital samples back to an analog signal. you've got any kinds of preamps / opamps at various stages throughout the machine. you've got the effect the interpolation plays when pitching samples. then you've got the operation of the machine itself - the way you edit samples, the way things get sequenced...all of that plays a role in how it sounds.

so yea, i mean find out any number of the chips in the 3000, and i don't think it will give you any useful information. :mrgreen:
By martel80 Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:41 pm
I dont remember where I've read that but I think it was here somewhere that someone said the OpAmp and the chip was different.

And yes tapedeck, you're right, the FX and component are a very serious part of it.

I just wanted to make sure the part numbers that the OpAmp and chip is actually different and doesent process the same.

I've also heard a comparison here and the guy kind of screwed his comparison at the input stage where he would run one Hot and the other one a little less hard.

Most people were saying both were very close or identical.

I personally dont care about the sequencing part, I'll use my 2kXL to do that, I just want that polished 3K sound without putting 3k$ out of my pocket :wink:
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By tapedeck Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:22 pm
martel80 wrote:I personally dont care about the sequencing part, I'll use my 2kXL to do that, I just want that polished 3K sound without putting 3k$ out of my pocket :wink:

you are missing the point though...there's not something you can just buy that is going to give you 'that 3k sound'...its a whole package that comes from everything from the material sampled, to the actual electronic components, to the internal dsp, to the way you program the machine.

if you really want to experiment with just 'that sound' (as marketing would have you believe), a new mpc or a maschine all have 'emulation modes' that emulate that circuitry.

but...
there are a lot of ways to get an interesting sound, and i do think you will get a lot of mileage out of adding a different sampler, especially one with a unique engine, but if you want 'that 3k sound' then get a 3k. if it were as simple as buying something cheaper to replicate 'that sound', then samplers with 'that sound' might not cost as much as they do now :mrgreen:
By martel80 Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:43 pm
tapedeck wrote:
martel80 wrote:I personally dont care about the sequencing part, I'll use my 2kXL to do that, I just want that polished 3K sound without putting 3k$ out of my pocket :wink:

you are missing the point though...there's not something you can just buy that is going to give you 'that 3k sound'...its a whole package that comes from everything from the material sampled, to the actual electronic components, to the internal dsp, to the way you program the machine.

if you really want to experiment with just 'that sound' (as marketing would have you believe), a new mpc or a maschine all have 'emulation modes' that emulate that circuitry.

but...
there are a lot of ways to get an interesting sound, and i do think you will get a lot of mileage out of adding a different sampler, especially one with a unique engine, but if you want 'that 3k sound' then get a 3k. if it were as simple as buying something cheaper to replicate 'that sound', then samplers with 'that sound' might not cost as much as they do now :mrgreen:


That's an interesting point of view.

Sadly, as you mentionned, there's this ''marketing'' thing that you mentionned that is always to keep in perspective.

Especially because a sequencer doesnt have a sound but a timing.

and in this particular case, I'm not after the 3K swing nor the 3K filtering effects but after the 3K capturing and rendering sound. I'm after the sampler part of the machine, not the sequencer.

Therefor, my initial question still stand.

Does anyone know what the signal path from the 3K is ?
Are those the same OpAmp as the s3000 series ?
Is it the same chip converters ?
In other words, Is it also a 8DACS P.C. board in the s3000 series?

I just cant find the s3000 service manual.

Thanks.
By Cockdiesel Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:46 pm
Hey, like you I don’t know much about this stuff. I have never owned any akai rack mounts or a 3000, but I have some experience with buying vintage gear.

Like everyone else is saying it’s the whole package that determines the sound, from user interface to the electronics inside. You may get a sound close with those samplers, but you may want to put some serious thought into the interface, and the interpolation as well. Not sure what the prices are but all that could be going to a 3k if that’s what you want. Plus you could save some studio real estate by selling the 2k as everything you need and want is on the 3000.

Food for thought really. Like I said I don’t know much about the products in question, but almost there isn’t really there when you get to splitting hairs, as most of do because we want a specific sound. I’m sure people with both or at least experience with both will chime in and offer a better opinion than I can give.

Good luck.
By richie Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:05 pm
The crazy thing is, a few days ago someone on eBay had a grip of service manuals for Akai gear such as the S2800, S3000, CD3000XL that do not have any pdf scans online. But I was not about to pay $60 per service manual.

But yeah, I'm pretty sure Roger Linn himself said that the S3000 sample engine is what was used in the MPC 3000. You'd have to use your googles for that sorta thing. Also, I don't know why people keep talking about the sample engine on the MPC 3000 like it was crazy. The only thing that made the MPC 3000 sound good to me was the timing of the machine, the sample engine itself is quite clean, I think the sound that people are talking about comes from tuning samples up and down.
Last edited by richie on Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By tapedeck Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:31 pm
martel80 wrote:That's an interesting point of view.

Sadly, as you mentionned, there's this ''marketing'' thing that you mentionned that is always to keep in perspective.

Especially because a sequencer doesnt have a sound but a timing.

and in this particular case, I'm not after the 3K swing nor the 3K filtering effects but after the 3K capturing and rendering sound. I'm after the sampler part of the machine, not the sequencer.

Therefor, my initial question still stand.

i hear what you are saying but yer still missing the point - the sequencer itself and the way you use machine has an effect on the sound almost as much as the actual signal path.

a good example is, some people claim that older machines are 'tighter'. one explanation for this could be in the addition of a waveform view. on samplers that don't have a waveform view, you have to rely completely on your ears, so you might cut a sample at a different point than if you were looking at a waveform.

anyway i'll shut up about it now :mrgreen:
i just see folks go on this goose-chase looking for that magic component inside some mythical machine thinking they can find that same magic for cheaper elsewhere, and i think its worth taking a step back to understand why we hear what we hear.

good luck on your search.
By martel80 Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:50 am
All very interesting point of view.

I understand your point on the swing of those units.

I would also agree that its pretty clean compared to a s950 or a 60.

It's even cleaner then my 2kXL but there's a certain sound about the sampler inside....it's like polished without sounding as harsch as my 2kXL.

I think I'll go with the s3000 anyways and explore.

Nobody seems to know for sure anyways.

Richie seems to have the same source as I have tho' but I cant recall where i've seen that.
By DustParticle Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:05 am
I think both Martel80 and tapedeck are correct but they are approaching the same answer from opposite directions. Martel80 comes from the subjective POV - how it sounds vs tapedeck from a more objective POV - why it sounds certain way. I happen to work for a mixed-signal semiconductor company specializes in audio converters so thought I would attemp to demystify a few things here.

Just to simplify the signal chain a little bit:
Input filters (analog domain) -> ADC (mixed-signal domain) -> signal processing (digital domain) -> DAC (mixed-signal domain) -> output filters (analog domain).

Each stage of the signal chain will contribute to the overall sound quality of the entire system because nothing is completely “transparent” and every components in the system will add “color” to the source in one way or the other. I can assume most of the time engineers are trying to design a system as transparent as possible with technology available at the time but it’s the imperfections of these machines that got us gear whores chasing the dragon. The bottom line is: can you hear it and do you like how it sounds?

For example:
- Input/output filters/opamps: what filter design topologies are being used? What is the I/O impedance? 2nd order or 4 th order? How linear are the opamps? What’s the noise floor? What’s the distortion level? How clean are the power rails? How everything are layout on the PCB, etc? Like how do they clip/saturate when you drive them hard? All these add colors to the sound.
- Converters: assuming they are sigma-delta converters (remember folks, mixed signal converters are still relatively new technologies at the time so Linn is def one of the pioneers here) and other than the bit resolution and sampling frequency, what’s the signal to noise level of these converters? What’s the total harmonic distortion? How flat are the pass bands? What’s the oversampling rate? How agreesive is the noise shaping? How good are their power rejection ratio, interchannel isolation, jitter performance, etc? In general, input stage+ADCs are more important than DACs+out stage because you know, **** in **** out. That’s why in order to get the full effect of a sampler’s coloration, always sample using mpc’s Analog inputs. SPDIF in or using mpc editors to load samples will miss out on all the goodies (imperfections) from the input filters and ADC.
- signal processing: anything from pitch shift, digital volume controls, to digital LPF and delays. Not going to talk much here because this topic is about chips and opamps.

As you can see, even though samplers are considered “digital”, there are many factors in the signal chain that will add colors to the overall sound. Heck even components tolerance in older machines can vary enough to make two samplers of the same make and model sound slightly different. The musician in me may/may not hear the differences but the engineer in me can rationalize the differences as much as I want and the gear whore in me can tell you the 60 sounds punchy, the 3000 sounds warm and the 1000 sounds clean (even tho both 3000 and 1000 are 16bit samplers). Now back to Martel80’s original question, My suggestion is if you’re after the 3000 sound, buy a 3000. Hope that helps!