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Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

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Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby Parco » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:03 pm

I've a Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer which is the old models made in USA (not china like VLZ3).
And it have a strange problem.

the stereo control-room/headphone output bus always just work with the left channel.

When the mixer is just turned on, that bus always only work with the left ch.,
until I make some noise into the line-in/mic in a very loud level (until the yellow or red lights in the meter) then both of L/R ch. work fine.
But after a while without any analog level input (just like "cold down"), it become just work with L ch. again! until the next very loud signal input again.

So strange! so why would it be work like that? and how can i solve?

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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:22 pm

I think this is a common and well known fault with Mackie desks of that era. I believe it is caused by corrosion on multi-wire jumper cables that link the various circuit boards. A strong enough signal causes the corrosion to break down and the resistance to fall so that normal signals pass again, but the corrosion quickly returns.

The only solution is to have the wire links replaced and the terminals cleaned or replaced. There was a standard repair kit available for a while but I don't know if it's still available.

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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:22 pm

Hi Parco

There are several possiblilities.

The first thing that cones to mind is bad contact due to dirt, dust. Do you use the same channel every time for your mic? If so try a different channel when the problem shows up. If the problem is no longer there then the issue might be in the insert socket which can be cleaned with Deoxit and a jack plug.

If the problem remains when you try another channel then there is a possibility the headphone socket itself needs cleaning the same way.

These are the first things I would try, everything else requires taking the mixer apart.

Any good?

Ah, slow thumbs. Just saw your post, H. Is that specific to this headphone section or all the wiring in the Mackie desks? I've been scrubbing my old original 1202 out periodically with various preparations over the years and not been able to shake certain niggly dropout problems.
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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby Parco » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:59 pm

hi shufflebeat,


The problem is just the control-room/headphone bus/channels and the 3-4-alt, main-out, aux-in/out, tapes, and all the input channels are completely alright.
And I think that may not only the problem of the physical in/out ports, even the meter lights work in the same problem, when only L ch. work, only the meter lights of L ch. work; and when the both channels work, all the meter lights work, so i guess there may the problem(s) inside the bus currents and not just the connecting plugs/ports.

And all of the ports and knobs had been cleaned with plenty amount of CRC Co Contact Cleaner already before.
http://www.crc.co.nz/Automotive-Cleaners--Degreasers-Electrical-Cleaners/p1/CO-Contact-Cleaner-i960025f2-8a28-4cdf-b2e6-e4c96d6b5b86-6538.htm
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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:09 pm

Right ho.

Having read Hugh's post I'll be searching out my old 1202 to explore the issues with that so I'd appreciate if you could post back with your own progress.
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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby Parco » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:24 am

hi shufflebeat and Hugh,

So would this problem just stay permanent?
would it be getting a little bit better and better until all alright when I just switch on the mixer everyday to "burn-in"?
Or would it be getting a little worse and worse and spread the problem all around the whole mixer until the whole mixer down?

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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:27 am

Worse and worse... it needs servicing and those dodgy links (assuming that really is what it is) have to be replaced. Given the difficulty of accessing the innards of Mackie desks, servicing costs (at least in the UK) are likely to be quite high and it might well be more cost effective to get something else. YMMV

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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby Jeraldo » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:50 pm

A curiosity question only-are you still using your 1402 or have your work habits changed-and if you are still using a small analogue mixer did you replace it with a VLZ3?
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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:03 pm

I still the the 1402 occasionally for little jobs, but tend to record straight into the SADiE LRX these days and monitor either through my own bespoke monitor controller or a Grace Design M902.

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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby Tui » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:11 pm

Recently, I've been having the same problem with my Mackie 1402 VLZ PRO. I only use for monitoring, but still, the dropouts are a bit disconcerting. I've been thinking of replacing it with something like a Yamaha MG166C or MG124C. How do they compare with the Mackies, in terms of noise and frequency range?
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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby BlueGuy » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:57 pm

I don't mean to hi-jack the thread but:

On my Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro, when I raise the volume I get crackling and uneven balance until I reach a somewhat loud volume. I suppose it's the same problem, with corrosion? Is it a big job to fix or is it just about replacing the the main mix & submix knobs?

I am not a techie and not interested in soldering... is it expensive to have fixed? :P
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Re: Strange problem of my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer

Postby ef37a » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:50 am

Need some nice corrosion resistant Chinese wires!


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