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Symphony I/O fan driving me nuts!
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GearNerd
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#1
27th February 2011
Old 27th February 2011
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Symphony I/O fan driving me nuts!

Seriously! Is this really a high end device? The fan rattles and hums like a 10 year old PC. dfegad

I can´t even hear the converter quality, ´cause there´s so much noise in the room caused by the fan inside the Symphony I/O.

First when I turn on the device it´s very quiet, but it doesn´t take long before the fan kicks in. And I don´t have another room to put it in.

What a FAIL of a product!

I wish I´d gone with Metric Halo...
#2
27th February 2011
Old 27th February 2011
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Sucks. ! Take it back. Tell yr problems.
#3
27th February 2011
Old 27th February 2011
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The fan noise is part of the Apogee Symphony!

I guess it doesn't sound like music eh?

Apogee, its seems every time they put out a converter there is one thing that is utter crap or somebody made the wrong decision. Like the power switches on the AD16x and DA16x. Those damm things are worth less. Why can they just use a heavy duty red light up switch as used on furmans. Its not like switches haven't been around for half a century. I am sure there are plenty military grade switches available to choose from or something more basic which allows more dependability.


Simple, done, no more customer returns, repairs that take two weeks or less, for a silly $2 plastic gumball machine looking toy button to get fixed.... Or give me a cheap $2 metal toggle switch that radio shack sells.. I will take ugly over something that consistently fails in operation. That thing will last forever.. Anything that is more reliable than that X series power button..

That button reminds me of those cheap chinese made, one piece plastic coated remotes, that use a watch battery, and you get with a cheap car stereo or something in that realm. They are so darn cheap and worthless, if you use the remote normally for a few months, you wear a hole into the button you use the most, and there goes your car stereo remote. Just from norm wear and use. Imagine how much money is saved, studio owner/engineer hard aches are saved, shipping expenses saved, laborer expenses/man hours saved, to replace the X switch with a better switch?

But......... its not my company, I thinking they must be a good reason, like they have contracted 10,000,000 of those worthless push button switches for their x units and still got plenty to use up. Thats my best guess. Apogee are nice folks, and their converters are loved and hated by this forum. I use them just fine. but those damm switchess..ugggh

But the rest of the converter is great. Dig the old school NASA looking pre LCD red digit displays. And tank built quality racks. And they sound great.

Now, you come to the new Symphony. FAN NOISE!!!! Ruin the entire converter record breaking sales, with FAN NOISE. WTF? Apogee? Its used in a recording studio control room, where noise needs to be outside the control/mastering room and/or minimized to the fullest. I love to have my converters close by, so I can hit those buttons, watch the meters, but I can't do it with all that noise increasing my noise floor, where I critically listen... I guess somebody forgot about that part.

Studios require silent converters, not noise makers. I personally, am tired of buying gear that requires you to buy $1500+ custom cooled ISO box or build a coverter/cpu silence room just for its noisy (included for free) feature. Its more stupid wasted money and these ISO box characters charge a lot of cash for a 20U or so silent box. All for a piece that has a noisy little fan, or noisy power transformers (like on other gear). They make silent time plastic coated power transformers nowadays. that don't make noise. But guys still put those noisy azz vibrating donuts in their gear. For studios! not a good match IMHO.

OP, have you looked what the specs are on that fan? There are zillions of fans in the market that are so quite, you can't hear them. PC geek sites, Mac sites. etc..I got one in my Mac Pro. Never bothers me. And my mac breathes with glee. Not being all cooped up in a ISO BOX.

My hard drives are now louder. Long ago the Mac fan was louder. Oh oh did apogee buy a special discounted bundle of vintage nos computer fans???? hhee

That explains it! Seriously I notice as years go buy. fans are getting quieter by the year... I am sure you can find a better fan replacement part. If you do, let me know. I plan to buy some of these to try out and A/B them with the Avids. I got to hear them both to decide in the next few months. And if the avids are noisy. I might have to go back to Auroras or stick with my X series. Thats one good thing about Auroras. Most hassle free converters I have used to date with PT HD.

Thanks D
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#4
27th February 2011
Old 27th February 2011
  #4
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Just for the record - the AVID HD I/O does have a cheap, annoying fan too. It's easy to replace this however.
#5
27th February 2011
Old 27th February 2011
  #5
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Oeps..
I have a connection problem with my Lynx and the thought of getting rid of it when it is not running next week.
But when I hear this I think I'll wait for a second.
I used a Motu HD192 before which had a fan also.
Man I was glad when that thing was out of my rack.

greetz,

Paul
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#6
28th February 2011
Old 28th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobymusic View Post
Just for the record - the AVID HD I/O does have a cheap, annoying fan too. It's easy to replace this however.
DIY to solve problems on machine costing several thousands (no warranty).....plugins bought 2 years ago not updated anymore, unstable workstations,....,unreliable boutique outboard,...
I don't think I'll buy much stuff this year...
I'll spend my money on holidays instead..
#7
28th February 2011
Old 28th February 2011
  #7
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MYTEK's ANYONE ?????????
Why are you guys ignoring such great sounding, seriously well made convertors?
Forget Apogees.
#8
28th February 2011
Old 28th February 2011
  #8
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Actually, the fan in the Symphony IO is not a cheap device at all. We looked for the quietest high reliability fan we could find that gave us the required airflow (32dB @ 19.1CFM). On top of that the speed is controlled by a dedicated micro which monitors temperature sensors on each board. We did everything possible to make it as quiet as possible. So I am surprised it is that loud in your application. There should certainly be no rattle or anything the like. I recommend getting in touch with our tech support if you still have trouble.

The use of a fan is not an oversight, it is an unfortunate necessity for high quality equipment. As any 16x owner knows, they run hot. The Symphony IO has even more circuitry and parts that run hotter, so what are we supposed to do? Run it too hot and limit the life of the unit, or install a fan? Or lower the quality by using less dissipating parts? We went for quality and did everything we could do reduce fan noise.

The good news is that the response of the fan is software controlled and we are still optimizing its response. With future firmware updates you receive for free, there may be some fan behavior updates as well.

A tip to reduce fan noise/activity is making sure the unit is not placed on top or below another hot device. We had one customer complain the fan ran full speed, after some back and forth it turned out he had mounted the unit above a tube-compressor….

For the record, we do not use power transformers. For almost a decade we have been using high efficiency switching power supplies, custom designed for our application. It results in less heat and allows the unit to work anywhere in the world. No need to change taps on your transformer, flip inside switches or even worse, having to buy a step up (or down) transformer when travelling.

Best regards,
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#9
28th February 2011
Old 28th February 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oortjes View Post
Actually, the fan in the Symphony IO is not a cheap device at all. We looked for the quietest high reliability fan we could find that gave us the required airflow (32dB @ 19.1CFM). On top of that the speed is controlled by a dedicated micro which monitors temperature sensors on each board. We did everything possible to make it as quiet as possible. So I am surprised it is that loud in your application. There should certainly be no rattle or anything the like. I recommend getting in touch with our tech support if you still have trouble.

The use of a fan is not an oversight, it is an unfortunate necessity for high quality equipment. As any 16x owner knows, they run hot. The Symphony IO has even more circuitry and parts that run hotter, so what are we supposed to do? Run it too hot and limit the life of the unit, or install a fan? Or lower the quality by using less dissipating parts? We went for quality and did everything we could do reduce fan noise.

The good news is that the response of the fan is software controlled and we are still optimizing its response. With future firmware updates you receive for free, there may be some fan behavior updates as well.

A tip to reduce fan noise/activity is making sure the unit is not placed on top or below another hot device. We had one customer complain the fan ran full speed, after some back and forth it turned out he had mounted the unit above a tube-compressor….

For the record, we do not use power transformers. For almost a decade we have been using high efficiency switching power supplies, custom designed for our application. It results in less heat and allows the unit to work anywhere in the world. No need to change taps on your transformer, flip inside switches or even worse, having to buy a step up (or down) transformer when travelling.

Best regards,
From my perspective, you have designed a brilliant box Lucas, so I applaud you and the Apogee team for great work all around, in my experience anyway. I am sure the GS forums are grateful that you have come here to address their concerns. At least, I believe they should be. I will also note that every single one of my clients who at one point took issue with the fan, their issue was sorted by Apogee Tech Support as quickly as possible and I have not heard about it from them since. Our units fan is very quiet to my ear. But, we do leave our unit on all the time, in a temperature controlled machine room. Please, GS, contact Apogee about your troubled issues, they are very helpful, and it will be way faster for you to get to the root of it all, rather than ringing a forum alarm.
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#10
1st March 2011
Old 1st March 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tasmanian View Post
MYTEK's ANYONE ?????????
Why are you guys ignoring such great sounding, seriously well made convertors?
Forget Apogees.

Glad to see Apogee is listening. I am sure they will try to fix this issue if all possible. I of course, cannot buy these converters if they have noisy fans. I will try them for myself before knocking them off my list to buy this year. But I have no intent of spending more cash to help keep these noisy boxes quiet. I.E. Iso boxes. Don't have room, and I can't see spending more money for this issue. When there are other converters available with no fans.

One thing cool about Mytek, you just unplug it. And your done. No headaches. Aurora, has no fans as well. And work well with PT HD. No need to add manually delay times to your pro tools to work right. Its hard wired like Avids.
#11
1st March 2011
Old 1st March 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
One thing cool about Mytek, you just unplug it. And your done. No headaches. Aurora, has no fans as well. And work well with PT HD. No need to add manually delay times to your pro tools to work right. Its hard wired like Avids.
No need to dial in delay times with Symphony IO and Pro Tools HD either. We match the 192. It is a not a matter of hard wiring, it has to do with the converter delay.
We couldn't do it with the 16x's, simply because the converters we used in this design needed a few more samples than Digi's. Since negative time does not exist (yet), we had to have you dial it in manually.
#12
1st March 2011
Old 1st March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oortjes View Post
No need to dial in delay times with Symphony IO and Pro Tools HD either. We match the 192. It is a not a matter of hard wiring, it has to do with the converter delay.
We couldn't do it with the 16x's, simply because the converters we used in this design needed a few more samples than Digi's. Since negative time does not exist (yet), we had to have you dial it in manually.
Well thats interesting and nice to know. Its not too bad when you stick with 44.1K for example all the time and you have them set. But if you have change sample rate. Say 96K. You better remember to re set the numbers in PT HD. Nice, that Symphony I/O has it built in. Thats good news!

Don't know if this okay to ask. But Avid advertised that they are using Cirrus Logic and Texas Instrument converter chips in their new interface for HD. What is the Symphony I/O using? Is it like the X series? Analog Designs (very nice btw) or Cirrus Logic? AKM? Aurora is in that Cirrus Logic thing AD/DA... Which is cool. And works fine. But just wondering if Apogee stepped into the T.I. BB realm by chance with these Symphony I/Os.

Thanks
#13
12th October 2011
Old 12th October 2011
  #13
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Curious how many users here have one or two modules installed?

With one Module my unit was whisper quiet.
With Two modules now it's humming like a bird.

Like the OP said, it's very annoying.

Are any users reporting quiet operation using two modules?
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#14
13th October 2011
Old 13th October 2011
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I hope so.

I have an 8 i/o module installed, and I would be really pissed if the unit develops a fan issue when I install the other card (eventually).

quiet so far, so please two card users chime in.

thx.

uri
#15
15th February 2012
Old 15th February 2012
  #15
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Guys,
If you get in touch with Apogee they will send you a fan kit for free as long as you are registered. I am awaiting mine in the post so yet to test but looks like it'll sort the noise issue
#16
9th August 2012
Old 9th August 2012
  #16
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Can any Symphony I/O owners with the latest firmware installed give us a FINAL VERDICT on the fan noise?? Did the firmware fix the noise issue or is it still intolerable... i see so many back and forth posts about it i just want one final answer... lol
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#17
13th September 2012
Old 13th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csauter View Post
Can any Symphony I/O owners with the latest firmware installed give us a FINAL VERDICT on the fan noise?? Did the firmware fix the noise issue or is it still intolerable... i see so many back and forth posts about it i just want one final answer... lol
The firmware posted in January of 2012 improved the fan behavior a lot. The fan mod kit is pretty simply and really only blocks the side intake vent closest to the fan. This improved airflow over the analog cards. I could have done this myself. It comes on still but at low levels and once it was in a rack , the fan became a complete non issue.
#18
13th September 2012
Old 13th September 2012
  #18
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Nobody has machine rooms anymore these days?
#19
9th October 2012
Old 9th October 2012
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Almost no one has a tracking room these days much less a machine room.....At least speaking for los Angeles most "studios" are warmed over office spaces or band rehearsal rooms and still expensive...
#20
12th June 2013
Old 12th June 2013
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I was planning to buy a Symphony 8x8 and add another 8x8 module later. However, this fan noise problem with multiple modules installed worries me. Is it still quiet with a single 16x16 module installed? I monitor from less than 3ft from the rack it would be in.
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#21
12th June 2013
Old 12th June 2013
  #21
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I use 2 HD IO 16x16s as outs for summing and an Apogee Symphony IO 2x6 as my mix bus AD/DA. I have absolutely no issues with fan noise on any of my units. Maybe it's a faulty fan? Is your space really hot?

I suggest contacting Apogee, if you have not.
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#22
12th June 2013
Old 12th June 2013
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I have an 8x8 module in mine and I've never had an issue with the fan, either. It's noisy when it first starts, but slows down pretty quickly. Perhaps they changed the fan after the initial batch drew complaints?

-Dan.
#23
12th June 2013
Old 12th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvatar View Post
I have an 8x8 module in mine and I've never had an issue with the fan, either. It's noisy when it first starts, but slows down pretty quickly. Perhaps they changed the fan after the initial batch drew complaints?

-Dan.
Do you only have the 8x8 module, or is that in addition to the base 2x6? From what I've read, the fan is only a problem when two modules are installed.
#24
12th June 2013
Old 12th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batchainpuller78 View Post
Nobody has machine rooms anymore these days?
That's what I was thinking! Anything with a fan does not belong in a control room, this includes computers!
#25
12th June 2013
Old 12th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwhitney View Post
Do you only have the 8x8 module, or is that in addition to the base 2x6? From what I've read, the fan is only a problem when two modules are installed.
Only the 8x8.

-Dan.
#26
23rd November 2013
Old 23rd November 2013
  #26
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Just got another card installed in my chassis. **** what a racket. The noise is driving me nuts. It is worse than an air conditioner in a cheap and seedy motel. How long does the fan noise last? It was never an issue when I only had one card installed. It seems the fan noise is only an issue if you have 2 cards installed. I had to shutdown a Pro Tools session after 5 minutes because it was affecting my central nervous system. Apogee are torturing us with this. What information do they want from me? I know nothing but I'll say anything to put an end to this torture.
#27
24th November 2013
Old 24th November 2013
  #27
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So I just don't understand the inconsistency of performance between different symphony units.. I have a symphony I/O with two cards, 16 analog in, and 8x8 analog i/o.. I run this thing all day long when I'm tracking my album and I hardly notice the fan at all.. I hear it, but it's not loud enough to be an issue.. My MacBook Pro retina 2.7ghz 16gb ram laptop however is HORRIFYINGLY loud compared to the symphony.. I have them both in front of me on my work desk..

Something is inconsistent with either the chassis or the cards.. I just don't get it..
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