Topic: Fireface 400 posibly damaged analog outputs
This week I realized that it's quite probable that 2 outputs of my young FF400 are damaged. I say young because the unit was bought less than 1 year (2009/02/13!!) ago. It will turn 1 just in a few days.
For two weeks I experienced what I supposed was another channel failure of my old Mackie 8bus on the studio. But on a live concert this weekend I had the oportunity to connect my FF to a good Allen & Heath and the same problems I saw on the Mackie were repeated on the live mixing desk.
So I decided to check the outputs of the FF using my old MFII.
First I checked the inputs / outputs of my MF using loopback. They're not fully crystal clear, as I detected some small variations on the inputs and a relative strong problem on 2nd output. But they're good.
What I did was to connect the 6 rear outputs of the FF400 using balanced cables (new ones) to the inputs of my MF. I set a test tone of 0dBFS using my Ableton Live @ 440 Hz on all the outputs, and my worst fears were confirmed: outputs 2 and 4 of the FF seem to be damaged.
I took a screenshot of the horrible moment:
I already knew something was wrong, but not that wrong. FF mixer is telling me that a correct 0dbFS level is comming out, so there must be a problem either with the DAC or with the output analog buffer [op-amp, broken condenser...]
The funny thing is that the output attenuation is frequency dependent.
Same test at almost 14 KHz:
And at 51 Hz:
Certainly, quite a difference!
What I would like to ask you is: have you had any similar problems with your Firefaces? Do you find the output of the units sensitive under "hard" work?
I'm asking because I'm surprised. I've been extensively using my MultiFace II, and the unit has withstood all the work without problems. But lately I've been using much more frequently my FF, essentially for on the field recordings [pres come handy] and on my live performances and I'm worried: much of my work depends on the FF!. I wouldn't like to realize this late that I have to be more careful with the new FF400 than with my old MF2!
The unit is obviously under warranty. I will get in contact with my local store and local distributor. But in the meantime, I'm curious... Daniel, Matthias... is this kind of repair handled locally (on your Spanish distributor site) or are the units sent to you in Germany for repair? I'm asking because I'm interested in getting the unit repaired as soon as possible!. This weekend my group Minim is performing on various Portuguese sites and I'm sure I'll be already missing my FF400.
Thank you all for your time in advance and sorry for the big post.