I've got one of these things working in Baton Rouge, LA
by Michael Russo
(Baton Rouge, LA)
Last known owner was the bass player from the BeeGees, we've spent a year restoring it to good health and have installed it as our main studio console. I can assure anyone with curiosity, the sound of it is amazing! And now we cannot go back.
A few things about your post should be appended, as much happened with the 400 series MCIs. One of the first changes that was made, actually, was the switching from the original 2001 op-amp, to a 5534. This was done because it was decided that the 2001 was a bit noisy. Since that time period, however, I think the 2001s have come back into style. Personally, I agree, saying that if you're trying to avoid noise floor, than you probably just shouldn't use an MCI. For most music, however, it works out just fine.
As well, it's worth noting that the 2001 really excels in the mic pre position, but not so much as the channel ACNs, or master ACNs (summing busses). So, we have 4 channels here that have 2001s as their mic pre, but everything else is 5534s.
Also, we have 4 mic pres that were made by a company called Valley People. The TransAmps. They offer a less colorful sound to my ear than the others, which sometimes is quite appropriate! Still, I'm always drawn to the MCI pres, as something about them just sounds special.
We've also replaced the wood sides on ours, and built a shelf for the monitors to go on. Other mods to ours include moding the Echo sends such that they can both be pre/or post fader, and moding the master section and channel strips such that the quad bus can be un-linked from the master fader, so it can be used as a stereo prefader send. Pretty useful!
All in all, this console has been great to work on, and wonderful to make records on.