Sunday, December 17, 2017

MPC 1000 Stand

I purchased an MPC Studio about 3 months ago and I've been using it regularly and having a lot of fun.  I really started to want an older standalone MPC and decided that the 1000 would be perfect.  After watching many auctions on ebay and making offers, I finally bagged one.  I am pretty low on space (I have almost zero desk space).  I can disconnect the Studio when I use the 1000 but it is just like musical chairs.  I also looked at some cool stands for the 1000 that affected the angle so you can read the LCD more easily.  So I decided I'd build a standing 'holder' for the unit so it would be at good eye level when sitting and also add a few degrees of incline to make it more viewable.

I decided early on that I'd use a 4x4 for the main stand then I started grappling with different ideas on how to build feet.  As always, I have a ton of 2x6 so I figured I'd use those somehow.  So I cut four legs about 10" long and clamped them to the bottom trying to decide how to mount them.  I figured the Kreg would be helpful, figured I'd screw them all to each other, then I could drive some additional screws in to actually connect the feet to the 4x4.  

I got the clamps on after I drilled my pocket holes and blasted the whole thing together.  When I removed the clamps I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was so much compression it was actually squeezing the 4x4 so tight I didn't need any additional screws!  I'm sure I could bang it off with a hammer but it wouldn't be easy and as this joint will undergo zero stress, I was glad that I did not have to deface it with screw heads that weren't needed.


I ended up putting a 15 degree onto the other end of the 4x4 where I would mount the holder for the MPC.  I didn't test this or anything, but I knew that I didn't need much angle.  I also knew that the angle was related to the height: the lower the stand, the more obtuse the angle could be.  The higher, the more acute it would have to be.  I have been using the 1000 on  an old wooded TV tray table and it looked like my 4x4 was about that tall.  So I cut off the end and then got to work on the top holder.


Instead of starting with a piece of flat stock like plywood, I took some random 3/4" thick boards I had and Kreg'd them together.  I've never used the Kreg like this, to make one continuously flat piece of stock but I had seen people do it online.  Worked great though I did get confused a few times and put my pocket holes in the wrong direction.  Oh well.  The unit is 9" wide and my three boards added up to about 7 1/2", a little short but I didn't see how that would matter (it did, just a little, more on that later). I also left the back open for cables and the power cord.


After that I went and spent a few bucks on the only hardware I needed, one long lag bolt and a big washer.  I think it is a 3/8" lag, 4" long.  And I got the biggest washer they had for that diameter.  I figured if I was only going to use a single point of contact to fasten the top to the 'stem', it had better be strong.  I didn't think about it initially but once I got the drill out I realized I had to try and drill my hole at the same angle (15 degrees) as the cut on the end.  I did this freehand but by all accounts looks like I nailed it (lucky).  I countersunk the lag bolt head and washer with a forester bit while constantly measuring to make sure I did not shear away any more than was necessary.  Came out perfect! I bought two different washers (as you can see on the receipt below) because I was unsure on what size forester I had back at the shop.  And of course a Mountain Dew to stay fired up for these evening projects.


I should add that I did cut and screw on sides and then a front piece to keep the unit from sliding onto the floor.  I knew I wanted to avoid the headphone jack and CF card but as I was building without the unit in front of me to measure, so I built it to about half way across.  I figured that it didn't have to be super secured in this direction, not like it is going to funnel through the open side and fall out or shift.  So that night I did paint the top holder and left it to dry overnight while I brainstormed on further modifications or improvements.


The next morning I was very excited to get back to work.  I decided that I'd cut the legs on an angle just for cosmetics sake, that excess wood contributes little to stability.  I hacked one corner off free hand then used it as a guide for the rest.  Then I realized I had a red and blue can of spray paint just sitting there (left over from other projects) and thought it would be fun to paint the 'tips' of the legs alternating red/blue to match the classic colors of the 1000 (at least the one that I have).  So I taped it off and threw a couple quick coats on each foot.


Overnight I also had my OCD kick in and I decided that I needed to have something to fill the gap in the front.  I had left this open for the headphone jack, etc.  But it bothered me so much, I did some measuring and saw I had about 3/4" to the bottom of the CF slot.  I don't have any stock that small but I was able to carefully rip a piece down to that size and sand the hell out of it.  Just used two nails to fasten it.  Should have just done one continuous piece across the whole width.  And the piece I did use is useless anyway as since it is smaller than the stock next to it, it isn't even in contact with the MPC.  I would have had to mount it further back which would have destroyed that flatness I desired in the front.  Goes to show you that so much of my builds are functional but other parts are just references to my state of mental health! The really silly part is that I have no plans of using more than one CF card so I don't care of the slot is obscured.  Not like I couldn't briefly lift it out of the holder anyway.  And I bought enough cabling to make the MPC a permanent link between my mixer and the receiver/amplifier that feeds my PC.  This offers a number of benefits.  I can constantly use the same input on the receiver now, whether I am playing/sampling vinyl or playing back/editing the sample (or just playing a sequence, etc).  I was wondering if I could do this, my question was would the MPC pass the signal through (because with this hookup, I need it to if I am just listening to a record and not working on a song).  Turns out when it is in record standby mode, it does.  So I'll need to power up the MPC and put it in stand by if I am listening to vinyl.  Which is fine with me.  But back on topic, my work to keep the headphone jack is pointless because there is no reason I will ever be using headphones with the unit when I am at home.

I had planned to paint it black from the beginning as I had some left over black paint from another project (not vinyl related).  So after a ton of sanding (especially on that gnarly old 4x4) I layered on a few coats.  In the end I decided that it was way too high so I went home and took a measurement on my TV tray table.  I decided I would reduce the height of my new stand to 30" so I pulled out the lag bolt and cut another 15 degree about 4-5" down and drilled a new hole.  Came out great! Very happy with this.

My excitement in bringing my baby home was overwhelming.  The only issue was that I did not account for the rubber feet when I decided to make the holder a bit narrow.  I didn't care if an inch of the MPC hung off of the back, but if the rubber feet don't make contact then it won't sit flat and also might constrict the unit's ability to lose heat out of the bottom.  I didn't know until I brought the stand home (could not find dimensions for rubber feet centers on line).  So I peeled the back two feet off and stuck them back on again about 1 1/2" further forward.  And I already found a source for more feet ( sells them also).

The whole set up, including my turntable stand which I also built a long time ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment