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Old 02-06-2015, 09:07 PM   #1
Doc Brown
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Default Profire 2626 is Dying..... What now?

Hey all. For a while now my profire 2626 has had an intermittent crackling that is worsened when adjusting the master volume knob back and forth. There is no crackling normally but say I hold out a lower octave chord I get crackling on and off which is fairly subtle , and it really gets pronounced when I turn the master volume knob back and forth while holding chord or playing back audio. I think it might be oxidation or crud in the main volume knob pot.

The problem is the pots look like they're all sealed and they look pretty flimsy. I don't think contact cleaner is going to work. The weird thing is when the master volume knob is cranked or 8/10 or so and higher the crackling seems to dissappear. It looks like the pots are soldered to the board. M audio doesn't carry any parts for this "legacy" product any more.

The timing is horrible as I am finishing up an album right now. I don't want to render with this going on that's for sure.

What do you all recommend for a replacement? I really don't care if it's firewire or USB, either will work for me. I want to stay under $700.00. Ideas?
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:38 AM   #2
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Get a monitor controller and set the main out to full scale.

I used a TC Electronic Level Pilot for years with my Profire. It's so much nicer to have a proper smooth volume control. Those are about $100.

Later I got the Presonus Monitor Station V2., it let's me bypass the D-A conversion of the Profire, hook up 2 more sets of monitors, 4 more headphone amps, mono, dim and talkback buttons and peak meters.

The Profire is a great interface except for the monitoring section. The master is an analog pot controlling a digital gain stage, it's not smooth at all.
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:54 AM   #3
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If its channels are cutting out during adjustment, it will be most probably worn out pot. It can be replaced for sure.
As written by previous poster, find some balanced level controller and disable digital volume controller in M-Audio control panel.
As temporary solution, you can probably adjust your base monitor levels by trim pots at your active monitors and use mouse in M-Audio software mixer for volume adjustments (eg. route software returns from your DAW to channel at mixer and use either main out or aux to control level at physical audio out).

Michal
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:52 AM   #4
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Hey Doc.... I know I'm partly responsible for you having the 2626 so I'll chime in...

firstly... strange that we have had them about the same amount of time... me a little longer... no crackles here... so wtf... you must have dirty electricty [just kidding]

When you get through your needs of the moment [with some of the good ideas posted] I suggest you contact Sweetwater.com and see about getting a repair done... they have their own repair dept. and do good work.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:11 AM   #5
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I have the same unit, works fine for me. It sounds like a potentiometer which may need some cleaning spray. That should be pretty straightforward to fix (though I've never done it myself).

See here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul0...s/qa0708_2.htm
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicSounds View Post
Get a monitor controller and set the main out to full scale.

I used a TC Electronic Level Pilot for years with my Profire. It's so much nicer to have a proper smooth volume control. Those are about $100.

Later I got the Presonus Monitor Station V2., it let's me bypass the D-A conversion of the Profire, hook up 2 more sets of monitors, 4 more headphone amps, mono, dim and talkback buttons and peak meters.

The Profire is a great interface except for the monitoring section. The master is an analog pot controlling a digital gain stage, it's not smooth at all.
Thanks for the advice Epic, I didn't know that about the profire's monitoring being a little wonky. That level pilot looks very intriguing.
Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
If its channels are cutting out during adjustment, it will be most probably worn out pot. It can be replaced for sure.
As written by previous poster, find some balanced level controller and disable digital volume controller in M-Audio control panel.
As temporary solution, you can probably adjust your base monitor levels by trim pots at your active monitors and use mouse in M-Audio software mixer for volume adjustments (eg. route software returns from your DAW to channel at mixer and use either main out or aux to control level at physical audio out).

Michal
Thanks Michal. I appreciate the input. I don't know if I want to replace the pot or buy a new board. It looks like a replacement circuit board is available for around 150 bones. I might go that route also and do it myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopi View Post
Hey Doc.... [b]I know I'm partly responsible[b/] for you having the 2626 so I'll chime in...

firstly... strange that we have had them about the same amount of time... me a little longer... no crackles here... so wtf... you must have dirty electricty [just kidding]

When you get through your needs of the moment [with some of the good ideas posted] I suggest you contact Sweetwater.com and see about getting a repair done... they have their own repair dept. and do good work.

Hey Hopi.

I'm really glad you pointed this guy out to me. At the time it was the best bang for the buck and was the right price for sure. It still is a great piece of gear but I am going to not use the main volume knob I think(keep it cranked and put an attenuator inline with my monitors as suggested). Never really cared for the audio curve on the master knob anyway.

I think I want to get a backup interface anyway. At the moment what would be a good equivalent for the profire? They don't sell them new anymore, and I don't think I would buy one used for obvious reasons.

****I did some more testing and I think the crackling is isolated to only the monitor section and is not in the audio stream going through Reaper. I put scopes and diagnostic meters on the track and I couldn't pick up any of the anomalies? I was using the stuff in the JS folder. I could be wrong but I think it's only in my headphones and monitors and not in the main audio stream...
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by peter5992 View Post
I have the same unit, works fine for me. It sounds like a potentiometer which may need some cleaning spray. That should be pretty straightforward to fix (though I've never done it myself).

See here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul0...s/qa0708_2.htm
Hey Peter.

It looks like the pot is sealed and I don't think there is any way to get the deoxit in the pot. I have deoxit on hand also but won't do me any good if I can't get it in the pot to the wiper and track...

Thanks for the input Peter.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
Thanks Michal. I appreciate the input. I don't know if I want to replace the pot or buy a new board. It looks like a replacement circuit board is available for around 150 bones. I might go that route also and do it myself.
I don't have any Profire available to check its guts, but it can be pretty straightforward to replace part (either for you with soldering iron and tin sucker or some local buddy, who will do it for you).
Maybe you can try to contact M-Audio support and ask them just for pot exact type. Then it can be usually bought in electronics parts webshop for few bucks.
Other option would be leaving Profire as is and purchase mentioned volume controller.

As for alternative interface recommendation, I would probably try to spot some used RME Fireface 800 or Steinberg UR824 at eBay.. Both really good interfaces, which can be seen around 500USD. Alternatively also Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 or used Liquid Saffire 56.

Michal
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:04 PM   #9
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Since it is sealed, can you simply get a replacement pot from M-Audio or from Sweetwater, and solder it in yourself?

I had the same issue (noisy sealed pot) with an Avalon 737sp. Avalon sold a replacement pot to me, and the repair surgery only took a few minutes. It's not rocket science - unless you have never done soldering before.

:-Don
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:06 PM   #10
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I believe they make this unit ... even if it's out of warranty you might want to contact M Audio to see if there is an authorized repair shop in your neck of the woods (if you don't trust your own DIY electronic skills), or just to get the right replacement part or wiring scheme.

http://www.m-audio.com/support/contact

Another "solution" is to use a hardware controller to control the volume. I have four Behringer micromix 400, for me that is to mix the analogue output of several different soundcards to speakers so I can work in Reaper / Pro Tools / Sibelius at the same time on different computers. The principle is the same though. These are as cheap as they come, $25 a piece. If you just work in stereo and are desperate to not disrupt your workflow might be a temp solution ...
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Schenk View Post
Since it is sealed, can you simply get a replacement pot from M-Audio or from Sweetwater, and solder it in yourself?

I had the same issue (noisy sealed pot) with an Avalon 737sp. Avalon sold a replacement pot to me, and the repair surgery only took a few minutes. It's not rocket science - unless you have never done soldering before.

:-Don

I could swap it out with a new one I have a little electronics lab in the basement but I don't like the curve of the master knob and its location in my studio. I thinking I'm going to just use a remote volume controlled as suggested as it would be an improvement to work flow for me anyway.

Thanks
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:47 AM   #12
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I also discovered m audio offers zero support for their legacy products since they were bought out by Avid. Oh well. I'll make it work one way or another. Thanks for all of the suggestions.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
****I did some more testing and I think the crackling is isolated to only the monitor section and is not in the audio stream going through Reaper. I put scopes and diagnostic meters on the track and I couldn't pick up any of the anomalies? I was using the stuff in the JS folder. I could be wrong but I think it's only in my headphones and monitors and not in the main audio stream... __________________
m-audio cannot offer support for it.... they sold the rights to AVID... bummer I know...

which is why I suggested getting the repair done via Sweetwater... they very likely can do it.

now from what you say in that quote... what happens if you us the control panel to set the phone outs to diff outputs? Maybe moving stuff around in there will reveal something more.

I do agree the curve on the Master Vol sucks... did not know about that until I was using the device for awhile...

Nowadays, I think the focusright 18i20 or their newest 26 IO device would be a good swap at a similar price....

We have one 18i20 at friends place and it works well and sounds fine... it is on his mac running with Logic [both big Ugh's for me... but]
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:37 PM   #14
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I'm curious about Firewire. If I was to purchase the Presonus in the above post, would I need to purchase anything else? Or does it work right out of the box?

Don't know much about Firewire.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:45 AM   #15
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Hi Doc Brown,
as you are considering to buy a new device you have nothing to loose:
I would like to encourage you like others did in the thread already: open that device (if you are not able to do yourself you will find someone) and change all potis in one go.
Even if you want to buy a new one - because sometime it is fine to buy new stuff - you have one in spare. I hate to throw away hardware that is running only leaking of little problems.
horst
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
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... Don't know much about Firewire.
OT
Are you running mac or win?
If win it is a bit harder to find a computer (if you want to buy a new one one day, but not impossible, my new lenovo laptop is supporting) that is featuring thunderbold. (Thunderbold is compatible to firewire and not a mac thing but just an intel technology available for both worlds)
Than it will make no difference if you use firewire or usb.
(I don't understand why no hardware ist supporting native usb 3 or thunderbold)
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Brown;
1 I don't want to render with this going on that's for sure.
*lol*

You might want to consider a new (more suitable) hobby here and now...
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:20 AM   #18
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Wasn't there a presonus monitor controller that integrated with the profire?

Would that help?


>
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:42 AM   #19
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Doc, a little tip with Deoxit D5 and sealed pots...

Even though most of them are supposedly sealed, you'd be amazed how well Deoxit penetrates anyway. Most of those sealed pots have some gaps in their construction between the various moldings which is often enough for D5 to penetrate. I have been able to recover some of these pots numerous times simply by liberally spraying them with D5. Spraying it into the gap between the pot body and the shaft often works too.

Keep in mind, this is usually a temporary solution and if it resolves the issue, there's no guarantee it will last. The duration of the 'fix' can vary considerably though and you may even get a year or more out of it before you need to take further action.


Having said all that, I second your preference for getting another monitor controller and just setting the faulty pot to maximum. Even so, I'd still give the pot a good soaking with Deoxit D5.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:41 AM   #20
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I always like entertaining others with the funny little anecdote where during a video-conference a moderator on stage was looking towards the screen and saying something along the lines of "sorry for constantly turning my back on you*... in the control-room, we couldn't stop laughing.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:17 AM   #21
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I'm with ReaDave on using the spray... just try it ... spray and twist the shaft a bunch... can't hurt.

for Doc and FW...

they 'say' you MUST have a TI chip... but I have the VIA 1394 chip on my mobo [Asus Sabertooth mobo] and it works perfectly. So IF you have a FW port already, I'd try it before adding a card.

I went with FW just cuz that is what the profire 2626 uses... I'd be fine with USB as well...
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopi View Post
I'm with ReaDave on using the spray... just try it ... spray and twist the shaft a bunch... can't hurt.

for Doc and FW...

they 'say' you MUST have a TI chip... but I have the VIA 1394 chip on my mobo [Asus Sabertooth mobo] and it works perfectly. So IF you have a FW port already, I'd try it before adding a card.

I went with FW just cuz that is what the profire 2626 uses... I'd be fine with USB as well...

I do have the Texas Instruments chip and it works great. I'm going to pull the unit apart this weekend and see what I can see. I'll try and get some deoxit inside it. I really like this interface so I'll get it working one way or another even if it becomes a backup.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaDave View Post
Doc, a little tip with Deoxit D5 and sealed pots...

Even though most of them are supposedly sealed, you'd be amazed how well Deoxit penetrates anyway. Most of those sealed pots have some gaps in their construction between the various moldings which is often enough for D5 to penetrate. I have been able to recover some of these pots numerous times simply by liberally spraying them with D5. Spraying it into the gap between the pot body and the shaft often works too.

Keep in mind, this is usually a temporary solution and if it resolves the issue, there's no guarantee it will last. The duration of the 'fix' can vary considerably though and you may even get a year or more out of it before you need to take further action.


Having said all that, I second your preference for getting another monitor controller and just setting the faulty pot to maximum. Even so, I'd still give the pot a good soaking with Deoxit D5.

Thanks Dave for advice. From what I've read the deoxit is about the best there isffor cleaning contacts / wipers.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siehorst View Post
Hi Doc Brown,
as you are considering to buy a new device you have nothing to loose:
I would like to encourage you like others did in the thread already: open that device (if you are not able to do yourself you will find someone) and change all potis in one go.
Even if you want to buy a new one - because sometime it is fine to buy new stuff - you have one in spare. I hate to throw away hardware that is running only leaking of little problems.
horst

Hey horst.

Yeah, I'm going to open it up and dig in. I like this box a lot just not a fan of its master volume curve.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:21 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMM View Post
I have two Presonus FireStudio Projects connected together
(daisy chained) for a total of 16 analog inputs (Firewire connection)
into my computer for REAPER (I prefer Firewire for this purpose).

I have always liked these. They sound great.
Plus, you have more control over Phantom Power using
these than you would with many other interfaces in this
price range (This one allows you to select groups of two).

You can have Phantom power on two channels, four channels,
six channels, or on all 8 channels at once
(in my case, up to 16 channels).

I have to use Phantom power for my condenser microphones, but,
I was never a big fan of sending phantom power into my dynamic microphones.
(I will not send Phantom power into my expensive dynamic microphones).

Having this option is a major selling point for me and
makes this interface more flexible in that regards for me.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FireStuProj

If you did need a USB connection instead of FireWire, then,
Focusrite makes some great sounding interfaces also in the same price range.

I did extensive testing on specific Presonus, Focusrite, and Zoom products.
All of these companies do make some great sounding products.
It is all in what features you are looking for, plus sound quality.
(I recommend the Presonus FireStudio Project for my use).

I'll have to look at those Presonus cards. I do actually have a Presonus Audiobox 22vsl which works really well and sounds great for the price, I just needed more outputs. Thanks.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:50 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Thanks Dave for advice. From what I've read the deoxit is about the best there isffor cleaning contacts / wipers.
Yeah. It's pretty amazing stuff. I've been using it for many years now. It is great on XLR plugs/sockets and other interconnects too.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:52 PM   #27
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Yeah. It's pretty amazing stuff. I've been using it for many years now. It is great on XLR plugs/sockets and other interconnects too.
Slightly off topic Dave, but is your instrumental album finished?
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:00 PM   #28
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Slightly off topic Dave, but is your instrumental album finished?
I think so!! lol
I'm thinking of starting a followup album to that one. Who knows, the next instrumental could either be the first for the new album or the last for the previous one!
You can get to it by either going to www.ausdisciplesband.com or www.synthesizers.audio
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:02 PM   #29
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Well, I don't know if this is a conspiracy, but my Profire 2626 has completely died on me as well.

Not sure when this happened, but as of now, nothing works, can't hear anything. Not even youtube. Let alone Sibelius, Reaper, or Pro Tools.

Pretty sure the Russians are behind this. Or maybe the Iranians. Or maybe even ISIS.

Time to call Sweetwater.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:23 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by peter5992 View Post
Well, I don't know if this is a conspiracy, but my Profire 2626 has completely died on me as well.

Not sure when this happened, but as of now, nothing works, can't hear anything. Not even youtube. Let alone Sibelius, Reaper, or Pro Tools.

Pretty sure the Russians are behind this. Or maybe the Iranians. Or maybe even ISIS.

Time to call Sweetwater.

Wow. Bummer Peter. There's rumors going around that hopi's the next target. Duh duh duhhhhhh!

Keep us updated on the repair process. Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:53 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by peter5992 View Post
Well, I don't know if this is a conspiracy, but my Profire 2626 has completely died on me as well.

Not sure when this happened, but as of now, nothing works, can't hear anything. Not even youtube. Let alone Sibelius, Reaper, or Pro Tools.
And this goes for all outputs, including the headphone ones?

Does the DSP mixer show activity?
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:49 AM   #32
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And this goes for all outputs, including the headphone ones?

Does the DSP mixer show activity?
Last night I just checked the phones output (neither of which seem to work). I'll hook them up to my monitors later today. I hadn't used it in a few months, the Projectmix being my "main" mixer for Reaper.

In windows the output seems normal ... and I got no error messages from Sibelius which I would have gotten if anything funny was going on with the sound card. I reinstalled all the software to be sure.

Checking the DSP mixer is a good tip - hadn't thought about that yet.

Keeping my fingers crossed that it is just something stupid I overlooked (wouldn't be the first time) though right now can't think of anything obvious. If I can't figure it out I'll send it to Sweetwater for them to take a look at it, I still have another soundcard (EMU) that I can use for the time being though I'd hoped to finally hook up my surround monitors and sub for 5.1 mixing. Ah well.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:58 AM   #33
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There is of course the slight chance that the DSP mixer somehow lost its output-configuration - if the routing isn't set up properly, you will end up with silent outputs... crossing my fingers that this is the culprit in your case.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:19 AM   #34
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peter... what jens says... is likely the problem
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:55 PM   #35
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And here is what happens when I try to bring up the DSP mixer:



Oy veh - now what?
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:54 PM   #36
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what is your system peter? seems like a conflict between the system and runtime lib...

thankfully I am in Win 7 - 64 and all is good...

I stay away from the bleeding edge since I can't afford the paper towels to clean up inevitable mess....
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:51 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter5992 View Post
And here is what happens when I try to bring up the DSP mixer:



Oy veh - now what?

Doesn't look good. What happens if you try to bring up the mixer while your Profire is switched off?

It might be a broken firewire cable after all...
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:55 AM   #38
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what is your system peter? seems like a conflict between the system and runtime lib...
Since it was running fine for him before on the same system (assuming he didn't do any Windows updates in the meantime) I don't think the OS has got anything to do with it. I'd guess the Mixer crashes because it finds the Profire but then can't properly communicate with it (if the Profire was somehow broken but not completely dead, I would expect a screen like that).
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:16 AM   #39
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Oh, just to make sure:

it could of course also be a broken Firewire chip in the computer or - if it is on a card - that the card for some reason doesn't properly sit in its slot anymore. It all could lead to the same result: no proper communication between the Profire and the computer.

Thus - if you have the chance, Peter - I would try to connect the Profire to another computer (ideally using another cable - but then try to just user another cable first, of course).
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:03 AM   #40
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Thanks Jens, I'll try that later today. This is on a Windows 7 64 bit computer by the way, with all the windows SP upgrades available.
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