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Is my Manley reference mic been tampered with?
Old 18th January 2019
  #1
Is my Manley reference mic been tampered with?

So the red nail polish paint on the back of The PCB is unmolested, so I don’t think this mic has ever been worked on. However look at these pics I took of sloppy flux all over the board, that’s not right is it? Some of these points are drowning in brown flux. I was always taught proper solder technique is to clean the flux although I am unaware of it actually changes the audio (but always wondered if anyone has insight on that as well). Sure is sloppy though.... I can’t imagine Manley would let this out the factory or am I over reacting? I am aren’t I?

Also, just a build question if anyone knows; the resistors seem quite tall with abnormally long leads and some of the lead legs were even touching each other they are so tall that I bent them straight to take these pics, is that normal?? This mic is second hand but only about 3 months old.
Thanks
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Is my Manley reference mic been tampered with?-5eaddbec-b67f-439f-93fa-db68195fb098.jpg   Is my Manley reference mic been tampered with?-6bd56d60-2d7c-44b2-a527-e23feb4b5f53.jpg   Is my Manley reference mic been tampered with?-d63c9b47-e3d6-47b3-9ee5-d9ff71647782.jpg   Is my Manley reference mic been tampered with?-79b4c2f8-6572-49a0-baef-274f4e4f77d0.jpg  
Old 18th January 2019
  #2
That's Manley. They don't wash the flux off there. They should inside a mic.
Old 18th January 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
It’s like you want there to be a problem...
Old 19th January 2019
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
It’s like you want there to be a problem...
Huh? Certainly not. Having spent over two grand I want to know if this abnormality is in fact normal.

“due diligence: Due diligence is the investigation or exercise of care that a reasonable business or person is expected to take entering into an agreement or contract with another party, such as buying a product, or an act with a certain standard of care.”

That’s all it is my man. I opened it up and things looked off. Just want to check it out that’s all.
Old 19th January 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
That's Manley. They don't wash the flux off there. They should inside a mic.
Would you recommend that I do? Or no harm?
Thanks Very much
Old 19th January 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
 
MattiasSwe's Avatar
Great now i wanna open mine and see what it looks like. Altho i dont dare cus i will break something.
Old 19th January 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jml designs View Post
Would you recommend that I do? Or no harm?
Thanks Very much
Get some 99.9% Isopropyl alcohol and clean them, it dries quick & clean.
I use a small screw driver to scrap the large section then Q-tips..
It probably will have little effect on most circuits, HiZ possibly..
Another reason to clean it is its sticky, so small specks of solder can get stuck..
Its just good practice to clean it..

As for the resistors..well it simply takes TIME to do really good consistent work..
Not to be too picky, but I've seen the inside of several pieces of Manley, and was surprised to see burned wires & sloppy soldering..

Last edited by nosebleedaudio; 21st January 2019 at 08:17 PM..
Old 19th January 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Get some 99.9% Isopropyl alcohol and clean them, it dries quick & clean.
I use a small screw driver to scrap the large section then Q-tips..
It probably will have little effect on most circuits, HiZ possibly..
Another reason to clean it is its sticky, so small specks of solder cant get stuck..
Its just good practice to clean it..

As for the resistors..well it simply takes TIME to do really good consistent work..
Not to be too picky, but I've seen the inside of several pieces of Manley, and was surprised to see burned wires & sloppy soldering..
This is a very interesting point. I’ve always wondered when people say, “hand wired” is that even advantageous at all? I’d certainly rather a car put together by accurate robots than inconsistent humans. I never got the allure of “hand wired” opposed to machine wired. Maybe with something like a wooden instrument that takes craftsmanship but electronics?? Case in point
Old 20th January 2019
  #9
I would ask the question of is it operational or faulty?
If operational, put it down to the quirkiness of a handbuilt item, and enjoy it for the product it is.

Unless you know what you’re doing, I wouldn’t go anywhere near the insides with anything other than your eyes or camera
In the (rare) event of it going wrong, any challenges to your repair warranty(?) would start with your diy..... even if it is minor.

But that’s just my opinion.

Good luck either way

Dan
Old 21st January 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I don't have any of their mics, but I've had two pairs of their amps, and the workmanship is very good. Maybe a couple bits of flux here and there, but certainly no burned wire insulation. BTW, there are felt-tipped flux-cleaning pens that work very well. In the end, to get your answers, ask the boss. She is very responsive.

WW
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Old 21st January 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

I don't see anything too unsettling in there. A bit messy, yes. The resistors appear to have been installed that far off the board deliberately (note the kinks formed in the leads). Usually, this would be done to aid in heat dissipation, or to keep them out of the way of leads protruding from the other side of the PCB.

Haven't seen a board without solder mask or silkscreened ref. designators in semi mass-produced gear in years, though!

As for the flux, as long as it's not in high-impedance nodes of the circuit, I don't expect it'll hurt anything at all. I prefer to see completely clean boards, but it's not at all inappropriate in many circumstances to leave the flux. If you do clean it off, expect it to leave a white residue behind until you get it REALLY clean. I generally scrub with 91% isopropyl alcohol (using an old toothbrush), then without allowing the board to dry, follow up with a scrub with 99.9% IPA, then rinse with distilled water and dry gently with warm air. Keeping the board wet and flushing off the 99.9% IPA with distilled water seems to help keep the gunk from redepositing.
Old 7th March 2019
  #12
Great tips here thanks guys. I ended up cleaning it myself as you recommended, looks great now thanks. Never knew that about crimped resistor leads, totally makes sense! Kinda Like convectional cooling on a tiny scale, smart. Learn something new every day.
Old 11th March 2019
  #13
Just saw this on microphoneparts.com regarding "joint hygene" as they call it. This is somewhat concerning as where flux and residue degrades audio quality. Knowing Manley must know this, I'm actually shocked then this mic is as filthy inside as it is. Having inspected the guts of the mic I am confused why these are actually so expensive. R&D I guess. Still, you'd think at Bhugatti prices they'd take 5 minutes to clean and protect the solder work. Se la vie.......... mic sounds good for now. Makes me wonder if it'll still stand the test of time. My vintage Neumann's are flux free and look to be properly cleaned from factory. Maybe that's why they still work flawlessly 50 years later? Wonder about my newly manufactured Reference? This information suggests that in 50 years this mics quality could quite possibly be degraded due to initial manufacturing negligence:

Joint hygiene:

After the microphone has passed an audio test, the new solder joints should be cleaned and protected. These high-impedance connections are sensitive to contamination, which can degrade the signal quality and level.

Use 99% pure Isopropyl Alcohol (note: this is not the same thing as 72% or even 90% rubbing alcohol), or a commercial flux cleaner. Never spray aerosol solvents near the capsule. If your solvent is in an aerosol can, spray the end of a cotton swab after moving a safe distance away from the microphone. Then use the swab to scrub the high-impedance solder joints.

Remove all the solder flux and any built-up contamination or grime.

For best long-term results, we recommend covering these joints with "conformal coating." Find specific product recommendations for both flux cleaner and conformal coating here.

- So if this is what's required for a cheap diy mic, why not a $5k mic??? Maybe negligible to some, not to me
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