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Tuesday, 21 December 2021

#82 RME ADI-8 DS teardown and repair

 A seller on eBay had had a couple of these units listed as faulty for a few weeks, and once i had a bit of spare cash, i decided to take the dive and snap these up. The impetus was two-fold - on one hand, as it turns out, there seems to be a bit of a "disease" going around with power supplies in RME rack units; and on the other hand not long ago, i had noticed an ad from a person in this area actually looking to buy exactly one of these units.

Some extra motivation was prompted by looking up some prices for this thing. Borderline-eyewatering, i'd say. It seems to have retailed somewhere in the 1500e area at launch (1280GBP in 2003), and still selling for anything between 500-800e used (on or Milk Audio Store). Gulp.....

The shipping time was spent more or less being anxious whether i had bought a couple of lemons (for all i knew, the power supplies were missing altogether), or whether i would manage to catch a break and manage to fix these up easily and make some extra cash for the holidays.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

#81 MOTU Traveler teardown & upgrade

As a follow-up to the recently posted MOTU Ultralite teardown, i had to grab this as soon as it popped up in my search results, because it had a price i couldn't ignore or refuse, and it had the ideal feature set for recording my band's jams and rehearsals. While the former had most of the features i needed in the 828mk2 i had been using, but in a smaller form factor, this Traveler packs more of the features i need (two extra mic preamps, while retaining the -10dBV/+4dBu line inputs with optional 6dB boost), in an intermediate form factor, as well as having a full 53dB of gain available on the mic preamps, but without weirdo custom potentiometers to wear out. Just about best of all worlds, really, especially for the paltry 85e this cost me. And as the cherry on top, it even has a separate battery input - hello, fully mobile recording sessions...


Monday, 8 November 2021

#80 MOTU Ultralite teardown

In an interesting turn of events, i actually did NOT get this one as faulty. It was more to relieve one of my 828mk2's from rehearsal-place-recording duty, and on the other hand, i managed to get it for quite cheap. In the context of, faulty ones had similar asking prices, so there's that.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

#79 Focusrite Saffire 6 USB 2.0 repair

 Ok, this is gonna be a bit of a quickie. Basically, i got this one ridiculously cheap as well, with the intention of repairing it and gifting it to the new singer in my significant other's band, in order to facilitate more productive creative work. Just like the first one i did a teardown on and then modded, this was sold as faulty, but with more... obvious issues, let's call them.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

#78 Focusrite Saffire 6 USB 2.0 modding (adding a battery)

And here we are, on the third and final(?) part of the modding journey involving this little fella. As presented in the previous post, i managed to "persuade" the thing to power up fully despite not being attached to a computer, only to a USB-connected 5V source. But now, the time has come to integrate what is virtually a "power-bank", within the enclosure, and thus have the Saffire be entirely "self-sufficient", as it were.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

#77 MOTU Ultralite mk3 Hybrid part one: teardown

Yet another score from the "morgue" - this time around, a feature-packed little bundle of audio joy, namely a MOTU Ultralite mk3 Hybrid. This was up for sale as "no longer powering up", and for a two-figure price, i couldn't pass it up.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

#76 Fractal Audio Axe-FX II teardown and repair

A couple weeks back, an acquaintance contacted me about his Axe-FX II suddenly not powering up anymore. I saw this as an opportunity to at the very least take a peek under the hood of one of these things (still selling for four-figure amounts), so why not?

I had neglected to snap photos of the outside of the thing (because other priorities), so you'll have to settle for some "stock" shots. Not that there's anything overly interesting to see anyway.

Monday, 16 August 2021

#75 Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (1st gen) teardown & repair

Perhaps a bit anachronistically, only *after* getting my hands on the previously-torn-down 2i4 gen2, i also came into the possession of a 2i4 gen1, that was no longer being detected completely / correctly by the computer. But hey, better late than never, right? I also grabbed a working one (because the price was near-irresistible), to have a known-good source for the firmware, in case that was the issue.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

#74 Focusrite Saffire 6 USB 2.0 modding (for stand-alone operation)

First of all, the main issue with using this stand-alone (without a computer) is that the Xmos controller only enables the analog power supplies (the two MIC2505's and the LM3488) once it's done whatever handshaking it needs to, with the computer. But since i'd only need / want it to act as a rudimentary preamp / mixer / headphone amplifier, i kinda-sorta need the analog supplies working.

#73 Focusrite Saffire 6 USB 2.0 teardown

Initially, i was thinking of getting and modding a Scarlett 2i4 to use as an updated and more flexible in-ear headphone amp, to replace my aging modded M-Audio Fast Track (incidentally, the subject of the very first article on this blog). I even ended up with two 1st gen ones as well as two 2nd gen ones. But recently, i came across yet another deal i couldn't pass up - a Saffire 6 USB for a nearly ridiculous 36e, shipped(!). Virtually the same structure as the 2i4's, but i can definitely get more money (back) from reselling those, and keeping the Saffire. That, and i had come across instructions for a mod to the Saffire 6, to enable stand-alone operation.