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Thread: Mixer maintenance and servicing

  1. #1
    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Mixer maintenance and servicing

    It's been a while since I contributed something technically worthwhile so here goes!!! LOL!!!

    (Also: was not sure if this was the right forum i.e. sorry if it's not).

    I just got one of my Behringer mixers back from repairs. For the second time!!! First time it went in: two of the mic. gain pots got scratchy. This time: the Master and Sub. faders got scratchy. Five months in total that this mixer has spent in repairs (but that's due to a shortcoming in the supplier I think)!!! Sad part: this mixer has never left my home studio ever. And my home studio is practically sealed off (so as not to annoy the neighbors) so I dunno where the dust is coming from (assuming it is dust that is).

    Anyways (and assuming it was something like dust):

    Everywhere I've looked on the Internet: in order to try and remedy this type of thing the advice mostly (always???) given is to use compressed air (out of a can) and/or that lubricating switch cleaner. Well this time around I asked for the old faders back and took a good look at them. Seems to me that blowing INTO these faders is probably the worst possible idea. Because of the way they're designed: by blowing into these things what you're actually doing is blowing whatever dust or debris there may be into the top part or bottom part of the fader and there's nowhere for it to go at that point. Add some lubricating switch cleaner and you end up creating "goo". Oddly enough on my big mixer: I've never done this and have only ever used a household vacuum cleaner to suck any dust out of the faders and EQ section (monthly). Never had a problem with this mixer (also Behringer just a bigger model but exactly the same range). So there you go. I'm not talking industrial strength vacuum cleaner here i.e. just your average household vacuum cleaner. Works for me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    You're so right on blowing air into a fader -even worse on Fiber for MADI/AES67 applications -don't do it

    So i have 3 tricks for you in the future, as I used to travel around servicing Neve, MCI, Soundcraft and SSL consoles in my 20s as a side gig and have some good experience with this.

    Cheap Route
    Buy a Mini Electronics Vaccum attachment kit like this: https://www.micromark.com/Miniature-...8aAjhvEALw_wcB

    Kinda Cheap Route

    or a real Electronics Vaccum (they are cheap typically (30-50 bucks)and places like Fry's sell them -oh wait your in SA!) https://www.all-spec.com/Catalog/Sol...9GR-ESD-54508#

    Pricier route -but if you have lots of gear.....


    last -if you get a component that wont clean up -like a fader or pot -even when you Deoxit the hell out if it -then take the unit out of the case and disconnect all the molex/ribbon connectors and take the board to a Jewelry place that cleans Jewlery (call them first to see how big their machine is) -but Jewelers have a Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner tubs that electronics can be cleaned in -if the mixer board/module is small enough to be immersed. and it will clean it like new.

    Here's a cheap consumer version I probably wouldn't use (too small and who knows what cleaner they use) I had a custom one built that was big enough to get full SSL channel strips in back in the day. https://www.amazon.com/Professional-...50432813&psc=1

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Hey. Thanks so much for all of that. Very nice to know.

    As I said: pretty dumbfounded that just about every article I found on the subject (when this mixer went faulty) said to BLOW compressed air and/or lubricating switch cleaner INTO the faders!!!

    I'd be inclined to go for the "Mini Electronics Vacuum" to be honest simply because it's a continuous vacuum (the "Kinda Cheap Route" doesn't say and I cannot figure out how it works).

    And yeh: many MANY years ago we used to clean PC motherboards with one of those ultrasonic cleaners. Flipping AMAZING concept!!! Seriously "magic"!!! LOL!!!

    For now though: my home vacuum cleaner seems to be doing the job nice. Forgot to mention that I put the hose over each and every single knob and button as well BEFORE then turning each and very single one of them from side to side and then back to their normal position (once per month) because I have found in the past that a pot. that just left in the same position "forever" eventually seems to "bed in" and a "flat spot" is the result.

    Anyway. Once again: thanks. Reckon we between us may save a mixer or two for someone else going forward!!! LOL!!!

  4. #4
    Little Pigbacon
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Last time I cleaned out a computer case with a household vacuum hose, the video card sprouted angel wings and exited skyward.

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    Last time I cleaned out a computer case with a household vacuum hose, the video card sprouted angel wings and exited skyward.
    Too funny!!! LOL!!!

    Disclaimer: the advice given on this thread to apply to mixers only!!! LOL!!!

    I have a Makita BLOWER for computer stuff. Been (was) in IT most of my life. Cannot tell you how many supposed DOA PCs were “saved” by stripping down and blowing (sounds good huh!!! LOL!!!) and reassembling.

    You must have some powerful home vacuum cleaner though!!! LOL!!!

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    Braindeadologist GoldenVulture's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    How old is the Behringer desk ? I had one that died recently. It was about fifteen years old and slowly some of the faders and various push button switches crapped out. Like you I used to vac the faders and generally the whole board and use some contact cleaner. I gather Behringer used cheaper components back then which were susceptible to these break downs.
    I replaced my dead one with a slightly bigger one from the current range. It appears to be much better built but I've yet to see if it lasts.

    I used to service old CRT TV's back in the 80's> 90's. Some of them I had to take the vac to straight away as they were full of dust and/or cat fur and I couldn't see much of the componentry.
    One must've lived in a kitchen because it had greasy dust all over the circuit boards. I took the main boards out of it and literally washed them with soapy water. Hosed them clean and left them to dry for about a week. That TV went back together and left me in a working state.

    I use a pastry brush for dusting out electronic circuit boards. I recently scored a Mini Vac which surprisingly works really well.

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Hi.

    Sadly: this particular mixer was bought only around June 2017 and, as I said, it's now been in for repairs twice. Must say it's left a very bad taste in my mouth insofar as Behringer is concerned i.e. never again and certainly nothing ever from the same supplier again either. My other (bigger) Behringer mixer seems to be of better quality (bought to keep as a spare when the first one originally went in for repairs) all 'round which is strange because it's the identical range i.e. just has more channels is all.

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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Well, Behringer mixers originally ripped off Mackie with their designs, and with few exceptions, I don't know how durable any of their things would be. I've had issues with Behringer before (although their midi controller is really robust).
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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Hey Mincer.

    Would you say that Mackie is better than Behringer??? I can tell you that if either of these Behringer mixers pack up now I'm not repairing them (well: the big one is still under warranty until end June I think but then that's it).

    Sadly: my first mixer was an Alto (I forget the model now). That thing just felt like quality. But it had an inherent problem with the USB port (high pitched whine) so I returned it the next day (irony of ironies is that I have never used the USB ports on any of my mixers since then!!! LOL!!!). Alto to this day, unfortunately, has not resolved this issue (same problem is reported at least once a month on their support forums) which is a great pity (and I really don't get it i.e. I wouldn't trade or part with my Alto PA not for love nor money). So yeh. It was Behringer that followed and, well, the rest if history (matter of fact upon returning the Alto it was replaced with a bottom of the range cheaper Behringer under warranty and that packed up after three days i.e. "power on but nobody home" so that was replaced under warranty too and now I have these two).

    And what about Yamah??? That was an option for me at the time (after the first Behringer packed up)???

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Iíve got a Mackie mixer that has been trouble free for me for about 7 years now. Iíve got nothing bad to say about it.

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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Mackie used to make great stuff, don't know what they are like now, as I haven't had to buy a mixer in years- my 2 Mackies are still going strong. Yamaha also makes good mixers- I have a small one that is trouble-free after 10 years. Behringer got their start by direct copying Mackie mixers, and eventually coming up with their own designs. It is still pretty cheap stuff, though.
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    Little Pigbacon
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Mackie got into the bottom-feeder market to compete with Behringer and the like. Sourced over there, doesn’t have the name ‘Mackie’ on it anywhere. It feels pretty solid, and it sounds a lot better than the Behringer I used to have.

    Attachment 95868

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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    Mackie got into the bottom-feeder market to compete with Behringer and the like. Sourced over there, doesn’t have the name ‘Mackie’ on it anywhere. It feels pretty solid, and it sounds a lot better than the Behringer I used to have.

    Attachment 95868
    Actually, Mackie (and Tapco) actually created the bottom of the market -before them, affordable decent quality mixers options were hard to find.

    They predate Behringer -Behringer copied Mackie's success in the US down to the exact traces on the boards and component designs. They also copied Sansamp exactly, Moog, Line 6, Boss -you name it.

    Ethically speaking, if you care about that kind of thing (dont want to start a war on here) purchasing Samson/Behringer products is supporting the demise of real innovative companies in the Market and they have survived lawsuits because circuit board design laws are antiquated and allowed to avoid some of their exact copies resulting in huge punitive damages -even when they lost a suit.

    I get that some copying or emulation is needed to foster innovation in the Market

    -but I am referring to direct cloning here.

  14. #14
    Little Pigbacon
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Oh, I care about those things. And I’m glad to hear the real story of the entry-level mixer market.

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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    Oh, I care about those things. And I’m glad to hear the real story of the entry-level mixer market.
    Excellent, because I heard there's a new film and book coming out about this riveting content.

    -it's gotten mixed reviews.

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    While we're on the subject (and don't think this warrants starting a new thread):

    Since this mixer came back from repairs: I can hear audio through both my monitors (connected to Sub Mix) and my PA (connected to Main Mix) when the faders are totally off. I would say it's faint but clearly audible (if that makes sense). In other words: I can clearly make out a song. Any ideas why this would be??? The repair consisted of, oddly enough, replacing both sets of faders i.e. Sub Mix and Main Mix. And they were definitely replaced i.e. they feel different, don't exhibit the issues that necessitated the repair, and I insisted on them returning the faulty faders to me (which I have). Dunno if it's worth sending it back (repair is still under warranty) i.e could take another month or two to begin with. Also: I now consider this as my "throwaway" or "workhorse" i.e. not particularly phased about the thing anymore. This being said: if this is indicative of a bigger problem that's about to rear it's ugly then I'd like to know. My big mixer is (obviously) dead silent.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Well, at this point, it might be worth it to start looking at something else. What model is this? What did you pay for it?
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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Hi.

    Well at the moment it’s working just fine other than this little annoyance really. Put another way: you wouldn’t be able to hear it (let’s call it a “bleed”) if the PA was on stage or in a “user” environment that had some background noise. It’s just audible in my home studio (which for all intents and purposes is a sound proofed “dead” room). But as I said: my other mixer is dead dead silent.

    But as I also noted: very strange that these two mixers are sooo different from each other given that they are both of the same range. As but one example: all the faders on the small one (the one in question) including the new replacements are relatively “loose” (almost frictionless) and easy to move whereas all the faders on the big one feel nice and damped. Same even with the pots. But on the other hand the small one is more sensitive to an input signal than the big one. With the big one I find I need to dial my audio interfaces output by about a quarter turn more to get the right input level. They’re just really two very different mixers and until the big one packs up I would have to say the big one is actually a very nice mixer. Strange.

    Small one is a Xenyx QX1622 USB. Big one is a Xenyx QX1832 USB.

    P.S.

    By the way: very important to me are the “solo” buttons. Those in combination with another switch allow you to set the levels of each channel or track independently with the LED/VU meter and without the channels or tracks being audible. I know the Alto didn’t have this feature and I don’t recall the Mackies that I have seen having this either. Just saying (if any suggestions are to be made).
    Last edited by dpaterson; 02-11-2019 at 08:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    My old one was a UB1622FX [ No USB the main diff ] The new one is a QX2222USB. As I said before, the new one seems to be much better quality.

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixer maintenance and servicing

    Who knows with these things. Maybe they also change factories or manufacturers periodically like guitar companies. There’s only a few months difference between my two mixers but they’re like two totally different mixers from a quality point of view it would seem. Maybe the bigger mixers (more channels, outputs, EQ, etc.) are assembled by more qualified personnel or made in a different factory from the cheaper models. As I said: who knows.

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