I couldn’t stand the meters on my Studer B67 being so scratched up and hazy. It’s wasn’t just a matter of looks but functionality also – it’s not easy to read the meters. Definitely not from a couple feet away.
I know from working on guitars that I can wet sand and polish out the scratches and haziness, but it wasn’t clear how to remove the panels from the meters, and if it necessitates removing the whole meter. I talked to a friend I made on the Yahoo Studer mailing list, and he said that the panels come off by pulling them. I tried that, and there was some movement, but it felt like I might be tearing out the whole meter. I asked around online and got nothing. I checked the manual again, and while I didn’t find anything that explicitly says how to remove the panels, I did find the section about changing out the bulbs. To do that, the manual says to “open the VU meter panel”, and I took that to mean that there really isn’t anything very sophisticated about this. So I tried again with a bit more wiggling and the panels came off.
If you got here because you were searching how to remove the VU meters’ front panels – they come off by pulling. Wiggle them gently as you pull and they will come off. Be careful because the needle assembly is right under them.
The A80s have the same meters, so I believe their panels are removed the same way.
Here are pictures of each panel before I started working on them:
Here’s the first one when I was done with it:
Here’s a comparison between them on the machine:
Then the left one after it was done:
And the two back on the machine!
I followed the same sanding process I always do – start with 400 grit and go up to 2000 without skipping any grits in between (so 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, and 2000). Then buff using McGuire’s Ultimate Compound and Ultimate Polish. With the left meter (see that crack?), I first got superglue into the crack, let it dry, then scraped the glue off and did the sanding and polishing. The crack is visible, but I didn’t try to remove it – the purpose was to stabilize it.
Sorry for putting so many pictures up. For once I remembered to document the process, but I’m also very proud of the job I did and wanted to show off a bit.