Login / Register
 
Germanium Tone Control Broken
New Reply
Subscribe
efflux
Thread Starter
#1
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #1
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
Germanium Tone Control Broken

I recently bought one of these new.

Firstly, it was very noisy. It seems this might be a normal feature of the Germanium units that you have to live with although I can't confirm that without comparing to another unit. Is this the case for others who have this EQ? It factors into my decision to get a replacement unit, if this is normal. Unfortunate because the tone was great. Really great for Bass guitar. Great for all sorts actually.

However, now it is completely broken. The "thick" EQ section seems to do nothing but the sound is very thin as if the frequencies controlled by this section of the EQ are not there or at least severely diminished. Switching the bypass of this section in and out does nothing. The active EQ sections do still work.

This is very disappointing for a product that should be quality. Nothing out of the ordinary was done to cause this fault. The unit will be getting returned but I'm still concerned about the noisiness of these EQs. I had planned on buying two EQs or one stereo EQ but now I'm not so enamoured about Chandler and I'm considering another make of EQ. The tone was initially great though so this is very disappointing.
#2
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #2
Gear addict
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 436

PaulOcchialini is offline
I have a ton of Chandler gear, I have had no issues with any of the gear ever. None of it is noisy either. My studio partner did have an issue with a power supply. Called Chandler and they overnighted another. Have you given them a call? They are very responsive.
#3
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #3
Gear maniac
 
withintheflux's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: San Francisco, ca
Posts: 247

withintheflux is offline
Get in touch with them. I own a TG Channel and a Germ Comp. I have had a couple of situations which were rectified swiftly (Power supply problem, 48V went out, etc.). I don;t believe that the unit should be noisy. Perhaps the noise was related to whatever eventually went out.

Give them a call. And most of all, don't get too bummed out, as you obviously found an eq that you love.. you just need it repaired.
__________________
www.clumsycongregation.com
efflux
Thread Starter
#4
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #4
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
I'm actually in the UK so Chandler can't directly help me out. I'll have to get a replacement unit from the retailer or another make of EQ.

I'm concerned about the noise though because this will effect whether I get a replacement or not. I have read these Germaniums are a little noisy but when I first got it I thought this was quite loud. Kind of like fairly loud tape hiss level but there was some crackling as well.

Possibly it is a power supply problem which is why nothing is happening on the passive EQ section. This is a seperate power source?

Normally I wouldn't even start a post like this but I've had a few gear failures recently and these are unrelated problems so it's not anything else in my set up and the Chandler was the last straw of frustration. If something new fails I'm going to post about it.
#5
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Nashville
Posts: 738

Axelrod is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by efflux View Post
I recently bought one of these new.

Firstly, it was very noisy. It seems this might be a normal feature of the Germanium units that you have to live with although I can't confirm that without comparing to another unit. Is this the case for others who have this EQ? It factors into my decision to get a replacement unit, if this is normal. Unfortunate because the tone was great. Really great for Bass guitar. Great for all sorts actually.

However, now it is completely broken. The "thick" EQ section seems to do nothing but the sound is very thin as if the frequencies controlled by this section of the EQ are not there or at least severely diminished. Switching the bypass of this section in and out does nothing. The active EQ sections do still work.

This is very disappointing for a product that should be quality. Nothing out of the ordinary was done to cause this fault. The unit will be getting returned but I'm still concerned about the noisiness of these EQs. I had planned on buying two EQs or one stereo EQ but now I'm not so enamoured about Chandler and I'm considering another make of EQ. The tone was initially great though so this is very disappointing.
no offense at all intended here but are you absolutely positive you don't have a half-patch or a one legged cable in your chain? hi noise and thin sound are symptoms of a bad connection somewhere. if you are positive it is not a connection issue, absolutely email wade at chandler. he will set you straight. he's a really great dude and he cares very much about his customers. either way, best of luck!
efflux
Thread Starter
#6
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #6
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
I've tried various cables and connecting different things but I've tested with the same connections as when everything was OK. The unit is not screwed into a rack or going through a patchbay or anything. I'm connecting things directly to test. The noise made me question whether to keep so it's not gone in a rack yet.

It now appears that the thin sound has gone away. Bottom end now has power. Thick cut appears to be doing something but thick boost does nothing. The unit has been on for a few hours. When I first turned it on and for a while afterwards as well, it seemed like the whole frequency end of the thick section was not there and adjustment of that section did nothing at all.

Is there any possible problem with the PSU being near another PSU? It was when I turned it on.
efflux
Thread Starter
#7
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #7
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
Just one more observation. I think the PSU used to get quite hot. This would be normal. Now it doesn't seem to.
#8
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #8
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Vienna/Auckland
Posts: 1,343

mattyc is offline
Never had a problem with any of my Chandler gear.
Maybe you should contact the store you bought it from or Wade at Chandler before posting about it here ?
#9
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #9
Gear interested
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: orange
Posts: 18

hipsun is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyc View Post
Never had a problem with any of my Chandler gear.
Maybe you should contact the store you bought it from or Wade at Chandler before posting about it here ?
agreed. wade has his phone number on his website.

on the other hand, if you emailed and called him last week and he never responded, post away. for some reason i doubt that's the case.
#10
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #10
Lamb Laid Down on MIDI
 
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 345

JimK is offline
So, you might not believe this and I didn't either. If your unit was ever shipped via AIR, it appears that when the GERM trans get too cold they get real noisy.

One of the possible fixes is to use a hairdryer and gently warm them up a bit. Worked for me on a vintage FUZZ pedal where I had the same problem (way too much noise).

Seriously, give it a try. Like I said, I didn't believe it either but the engineers at JMI suggested it to me and it worked.

Jim
#11
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #11
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2002
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 3,745
My Recordings/Credits

mwagener is offline
I never ever had any problems with Chandler units, and I have a lot of them. I would highly recommend to contact Wade directly (phone number on his website) and I am sure he will do whatever he can to get rid of your problem, Chandler's and Wade's customer service is legendary. It would be too bad to miss out on a great EQ because of communication failure.
#12
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Kingtone's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,052

Kingtone is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyc View Post
Never had a problem with any of my Chandler gear.
Maybe you should contact the store you bought it from or Wade at Chandler before posting about it here ?
+1

I get annoyed when people vent here before contacting great companies (and people) first and trying to sort the problem.
Wade and all his team are amazing at customer support. His products are second to none IMHO. There is always a chance it got damaged during transit, but try and sort it out with them first before dropping the mud on here.
__________________
Peter King
efflux
Thread Starter
#13
8th October 2011
Old 8th October 2011
  #13
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
Latest update is that the thin sound seems to have gone but the thick section is non functioning. Random crackles are the worst aspect of the noise. The hiss could be lived with and may in fact be normal. Just a pay of the Germanium transistor.

I'll be sending back to the supplier on Monday. I can't do anything until then. I will update here on what happens.

That's an interesting idea about about getting cold in shipping.

Yes, I am venting here because this is the fourth piece of new gear within the last year that has either been no good on arrival or has failed within weeks. Maybe I got unlucky and hence Chandler did as well as this failure coincided with the end of my tether. Maybe this is a very rare problem. I have gear here that is decades old and hasn't failed. I have a G36 valve tape machine from 1968 that functions perfectly and nothing has even been replaced.

By the way, I do in fact love the tone of this EQ. It is very cool, especially if you play bass and guitar. With DI Bass this thing is fantastic. Even good DI guitar can be achieved and it eliminates the dullness. I also have a Thermionic Culture Vulture. This combination is killer for bass.
#14
13th October 2011
Old 13th October 2011
  #14
Gear nut
 
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 76

sblue is offline
Sorry to hear about your tone control.
There are a few things you can do to solve your problem:
-Relax... you've bought a Chandler unit, and they have one of the absolutely best customer services on the planet. How do I know? I used to sell Chandler gear while in the US and never had a customer complaint about their customer service. Most important, I do own a Curve Bender, Zener, a couple of TG2s, Germ Com, and a pair of Tone Controls.
-Email Derald @ Chandler and explain him what's going. Derald is an amazing person and his customer service should be printed and sent to every store/company and used as an example. He will either direct you to your local, or closest, authorized Chandler repair center, and they will fix the unit for you.
Again, no need to worry.
I do have a pair of Tone Controls, and they are essential tools for my working needs. I can't even imagine not having them to shape the sound of my guitar and basses. I just love them!
Oh, by the way... I don't sell gear for over 9 months now, I'm not affiliated with Chandler in any way. I'm just a customer who has been taken care of really well by the Chandler crew. Specially after I've moved to Brazil, 8 months ago.



Quote:
Originally Posted by efflux View Post
I recently bought one of these new.

Firstly, it was very noisy. It seems this might be a normal feature of the Germanium units that you have to live with although I can't confirm that without comparing to another unit. Is this the case for others who have this EQ? It factors into my decision to get a replacement unit, if this is normal. Unfortunate because the tone was great. Really great for Bass guitar. Great for all sorts actually.

However, now it is completely broken. The "thick" EQ section seems to do nothing but the sound is very thin as if the frequencies controlled by this section of the EQ are not there or at least severely diminished. Switching the bypass of this section in and out does nothing. The active EQ sections do still work.

This is very disappointing for a product that should be quality. Nothing out of the ordinary was done to cause this fault. The unit will be getting returned but I'm still concerned about the noisiness of these EQs. I had planned on buying two EQs or one stereo EQ but now I'm not so enamoured about Chandler and I'm considering another make of EQ. The tone was initially great though so this is very disappointing.
#15
13th October 2011
Old 13th October 2011
  #15
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Suffern, NY
Posts: 10,481

Fletcher is offline
Wow - this is amazing.

You had to have purchased the unit somewhere - so I have to ask, why haven't you contacted the vendor to have them help you sort this out?

Chandler stands behind their product 100% - and the majority of their resellers do as well. From your description it sounds like you have something as simple as a cold solder joint - hardly the end of the world - and more importantly, easily correctable.

I'll bet you that if you contact the company from which you purchased the unit they'll help you get the problem corrected - maybe even swap out the unit you purchased for a loaner until the problem is indeed sorted.

There is no need to play the martyr when the solution to your problem isn't that difficult to achieve.

Peace
__________________

CN Fletcher

Professional Affiliation:

R/E/P Professional Recording Engineer and Producer forums


mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid

Roscoe Ambel once said:
Pro-Tools is to audio what fluorescent is to light
#16
14th October 2011
Old 14th October 2011
  #16
Gear nut
 
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 76

sblue is offline
Hey efflux;
have you emailed/called the rep you bought the piece from or Chandler yet?
efflux
Thread Starter
#17
14th October 2011
Old 14th October 2011
  #17
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
I have calmed down now since original posting but this REALLY pissed me off. It's the latest in a string of gear problems. The UK distrubuter has no replacement units to give me at the moment (apparently). It's a lot of money to pay for a unit then get a failure almost straight away with what will be a lot of delay to resolve.

The unit has been returned but I have no replacement yet. I'll update what happens. I find this quite strange because I searched the net and can not find anyone with any problems. I want to actually know exactly what went wrong with this unit.

I don't think there is really any true alternative to the Chandler so I'd still like one. In fact I'd like two but I certainly on't be buying a second one until I'm sure I have one that works.
efflux
Thread Starter
#18
14th October 2011
Old 14th October 2011
  #18
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by sblue View Post
Sorry to hear about your tone control.
There are a few things you can do to solve your problem:
-Relax... you've bought a Chandler unit, and they have one of the absolutely best customer services on the planet. How do I know? I used to sell Chandler gear while in the US and never had a customer complaint about their customer service. Most important, I do own a Curve Bender, Zener, a couple of TG2s, Germ Com, and a pair of Tone Controls.
-Email Derald @ Chandler and explain him what's going. Derald is an amazing person and his customer service should be printed and sent to every store/company and used as an example. He will either direct you to your local, or closest, authorized Chandler repair center, and they will fix the unit for you.
Again, no need to worry.
I do have a pair of Tone Controls, and they are essential tools for my working needs. I can't even imagine not having them to shape the sound of my guitar and basses. I just love them!
Oh, by the way... I don't sell gear for over 9 months now, I'm not affiliated with Chandler in any way. I'm just a customer who has been taken care of really well by the Chandler crew. Specially after I've moved to Brazil, 8 months ago.

I'll contact Chandler if there are any problems with getting a new unit, repairing this one or whatever.

I did some voltage tests before sending the unit back. -28v and +28v were feeding to the unit correctly. The 48v seemed to be working but did not work with the Tone Control. Voltage dropped to next to nothing. I'm not an expert. I did work on valve amps years ago which is a whole different thing anyway but I just ran a test to check this. Maybe it gives a clue to the problem.
#19
14th October 2011
Old 14th October 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
 
deft_bonz's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 4,904
My Recordings/Credits

deft_bonz is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingtone View Post
+1

I get annoyed when people vent here before contacting great companies (and people) first and trying to sort the problem.
Wade and all his team are amazing at customer support. His products are second to none IMHO. There is always a chance it got damaged during transit, but try and sort it out with them first before dropping the mud on here.
+1
#20
14th October 2011
Old 14th October 2011
  #20
Gear interested
 
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 1

HenrikS is offline
I have the same problem with my Chandler Tone Control. I bought it used from a Shop. Hiss and crackling driving me insane...
efflux
Thread Starter
#21
15th October 2011
Old 15th October 2011
  #21
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
Guys, this thread may be unfair to Chandler but I started it because in general my opinion is that audio gear is very poor in terms of reliability and this failure was just the final straw.

I have cameras, printers, scanners and various other high tech electrical goods and they rarely fail and many of these things get hammered daily.

I have a bunch of computers here, some are over seven years old and I haven't had a single failure but think of the complexity of thee machines. I don't use Windows though. I have a Mac and generally I use Linux. Granted, 99% of computer software is poor. Windows is a shockingly bad OS but the hardware rarely fails to work.

I could write a list of audio gear failures and I don't even do this professionally so none of this gear has been hammered. I dread to think of the nightmare if you had to rely on this stuff in a studio.

The cost of the gear doesn't seem to relate to reliability either.

When you get faulty gear there is also the total inconvenience of sending back, waiting for replacements, repairs etc.

Another point is that some gear gets bashed on this forum yet it works. For example I understand that Mackie is not fantastic in terms of audio quality but it works and is cheap. I don't totally bash Mackie for this reason. I've never had a problem with it.

After I get a couple of EQs sorted (assuming I get new ones) I'm not buying any more new gear.
#22
15th October 2011
Old 15th October 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 6,778

Matt Syson is offline
Hi
A couple of comments:
Germanium transistors tend to be a little more noisy than silicon although not necessarily by a huge amount. Both are probably 'quieter' than valves.
I happen to have a pair of Chandler Germ comps on my bench and as units go they are pretty well built on the whole. I have not yet made full audio response tests on them except to 'prove' the issue that I am attempting to resolve. The owner of these units has contacted Derald and he has been VERY prompt and quite forthcoming in assistance for the issue in hand. As I am in the UK and the units are 'second hand' warranty and US return are not really applicable.
I would comment that the power supply, which is several years old would have benefitted (safety wise) with sleeving on the mains connections and the earth terminal should strictly have a separate bolt rather than 'sharing'. The PSU board layout is not quite right for the size of the capacitors fitted but this is just being 'picky' for the sake of it and I would suspect that later (current) production has been adjusted.
It is a sign of the times that dealers don't necessarily hold sufficient stock and it is unfortunate that it may take a few days to get it resolved but spending several days commenting on a unit's failure on a forum before contacting either dealer or manufacturer is given a chance to help is a little unfair. In ALL cases of faulty gear you should contact the dealer, then the manufacturer (if the dealer is not forthcoming) as soon as possible and in many cases it will be resolved as quickly as possible.
Matt S
__________________
Matt S
www.mseaudio.co.uk
efflux
Thread Starter
#23
15th October 2011
Old 15th October 2011
  #23
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
I did actually contact the dealer as soon as possible and the unit has been returned.

Leaving aside the actual failure, I was also asking about the noise problem. It seems this might be normal. My general chain here is very quiet though so I notice it a lot. However, I see people filling racks with these Germanium units in studios. I certainly think the level of noise from the one I had would be unacceptable in this environment. Mostly I want to use a Germanium for guitar and sometimes I have other noise going on with this if I'm using distortions of various types. I often use a Culture Vulture, which only drowns out the noise from the Chandler when I start to overdrive it. I would of course expect the Vulture to be noisy in this circumstance.

When (if) I get another Tone Control I'll post back about noise comparisons.
#24
15th October 2011
Old 15th October 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 6,778

Matt Syson is offline
Hi
I hope it returns soon.
I looked on the Chandler site before posting earlier and did not see any typical 'noise' figures, or any technical specifications really. I may not have looked hard enough and if they are there I apologise for not being sufficiently thorough.
I will be looking at the Comps here in the next day or two but they are of course different units in seveal important ways.
Matt S
efflux
Thread Starter
#25
21st October 2011
Old 21st October 2011
  #25
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
Latest update here about this problem.

Distributers say they have no replacement yet. They offered to fix. Not sure if I'm fully going along with that option yet. They sent me a demo unit in the meantime but they sent no power supply lead!! I had to make one. However, this allowed a useful comparison.

The original Tone Control I got was no good from the start. The new demo one is less noisy. Still some noise but down to acceptable levels. I even think it's tonally different but that may be due to less noise so less accentuation of hissy noise when I boost high ends.
#26
22nd October 2011
Old 22nd October 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 6,778

Matt Syson is offline
Hi
The two Chandler Germanium comps when set 'dry' manage a noise level of -79dBu measured RMS from 22Hz to 22KHz. Both were pretty similar. The noise did not change much when set wet or dry. This was with the input and output controls set so that it was essentially 'unity gain' (0dBu in 0dBu out).
I would expect noise from an EQ set 'flat' to be certainly around this figure, possibly a touch better. I did not bother working out the schematic of the comp so don't know which technique they are using to achieve the compression. Some methods are inherently more noisy as they 'drop' the level significantly to keep distortion low (1176 FET types for example) whereas a VCA based design can be very 'quiet'. Diode bridges, of which the chandler may be one would also tend to be a bit noisy as again they lower the signal to reduce distortion.
Matt S
efflux
Thread Starter
#27
22nd October 2011
Old 22nd October 2011
  #27
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
Hi Matt.

That's probably about the same as the new Germ Tone Control I have here. Just judging roughly by my ears. The original one was a lot noisier. Not unusable but too noisy. The new demo one has a bit of background noise and no crackles.

My only concern about the broken unit getting fixed is in case the failure and noise problems were not related and I get it back noisy again.

What was actually wrong with the compressors you have (assuming you were fixing something) or have you investigated that yet?

I live in Cumbria so I'm not a big distance away from you. I notice you have some valve gear. I have few bits of valve gear here. If anything goes wrong I guess I can contact you.

This is a whole other topic but The Culture Vulture I mentioned here is a prototype so it's quite old now. It's also different from the released version. I think it has an extra valve. A Mullard 150B2. I think this is some kind of voltage stabilizer. The other valves are decent (two Mullards on the inputs). However, that 150B2 has given me intermittant problems. I've cleaned all the contacts but occasionally I need wiggle it about to get it to work right. This valve seems to be pretty rare. It glows purple if I remember right.
efflux
Thread Starter
#28
22nd October 2011
Old 22nd October 2011
  #28
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
I just noticed two of those Mullards on ebay. I've never seen them before. They are new old stock. I guess I should buy. I think I could be screwed if this valve fails. The others are all relatively easy to replace. This valve is not in the Vultures now. I just checked.
#29
22nd October 2011
Old 22nd October 2011
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 6,778

Matt Syson is offline
Hi
The 2 units I had were not actually faulty but the pots for feedback were not 'matched' which is not suprising as they were not a pair but bought seperately.
Due to the nature of the way the pots are used for feedback and input level they rely on the absolute resistance and not a 'ratio' which is better related to the physical position.
The 'remedy' is to find pairs of pots that are basically the same resistance . Since most pots have a 20 percent tolerance it can take a while to find a pair that are close.
The guys at Chandler were helpful in saying what needed to be done (values of the pots) and offered to send some over (not sure if cost was mentioned) but I opted to source them in the UK and match them myself.
It should be pointed out that these 2 units are now very close in terms of level matching on the various scale points but of course they would not match any other units.
The level for 'full up' and full down' was actually very close anyway but the issue shows part way up the scale. The only way to get it tighter and comnsistent between units would be to have switches with fixed resistors, then all units would match each other.
Matt S
efflux
Thread Starter
#30
22nd October 2011
Old 22nd October 2011
  #30
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 287

Thread Starter
efflux is offline
I was wondering about this kind of problem if I get two Tone Controls to use on a stereo source. I guess I'll just have to find that out when it happens.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.