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Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

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Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby BillB » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:21 am

Sorry that this is a perennial question, but I'm not quite sure whether to go with deoxit or if there is a more appropriate contact cleaner.

I recently obtained an ex-hire Alesis Microverb 4 at a price that made it worth taking a punt on, unseen. It powers up, and sounds great, but the main rotary encoder (program select) and two edit A/B rotaries (which I guess are pots connected to an ADC) all send spurious data when turned. Is there any cleaning product which would be particularly suitable in an attempt to improve their response? If all else fails, external MIDI controllers can do the same job, but it would be nice to have the front panel working as well as possible.

All thoughts welcome. :-)
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby Frank Eleveld » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:45 pm

I think it's probably better to replace the offending parts. A quick Google search brought up a link selling parts for the MidiVerb 4. I believe the large encoder in the MidiVerb 4 is the same as in the MicroVerb 4:

http://www.instrumentalparts.com/almi4sppa.html

Here's a link to the MidiVerb 4 service manual, which also may come in useful:

http://www.studio250.fr/docs/alesis/almid4sm.PDF

Best,
Frank
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby zenguitar » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:09 pm

With an encoder the problem could be dirt, but it might be electrical.

The encoders I have are all sealed, so not easy to lube and clean. And the encoder might be fine, the problem could be with the de-bouncing caps or the rest of the control circuit. A dry joint or failing component could be enough to stop the CPU reading the encoder pulses properly. And that ties in nicely with the poor results with the other pots too.

Might be worth getting that circuit looked at, the regular handling of the controls might have broken a poor solder joint.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby BillB » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:37 pm

Thank you both.

I'll look into the spare parts option, but it looked like the actual parts weren't in stock when I clicked through. Maybe a bit more digging.

Andy, regarding getting it looked at, it only cost £15 inc postage (no PSU, no certainty it was functional), and besides you can pick these up occasionally for £50, so there isn't much point paying a technician - unless they are very cheap... it was just a punt on my part.

I'll open it up and take a look, so I can at least see what the parts are and whether they look accessible for spray lube. The problem "feels" like dirt:
1) the unit isn't very clean
2) the settings do advance up/down, but jump around a lot...

so I would still appreciate any thoughts on the most appropriate type of spray lube.

Thanks again.
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders (Solved)

Postby BillB » Sun May 04, 2014 10:59 am

Thought I would report back with a tale of success, in case anybody else treads this way.

The pots (In, Mix, Out, Edit A, Edit B) were brought back to life with a spray of Deoxit D5. Never used it before - wonderful stuff, as the sticky thread on this forum explains. The hardest part is spraying small amounts rather than so much that it floods the pots. Doesn't do any harm, it's just a waste!

The encoder (program select) is sealed and couldn't be sprayed, but I found a workable (same brand) replacement from Farnell Electronics: Alps EC11B15, Farnell order code 2064977. Note that this should also work for a MidiVerb 4 - as far as I could see from online browsing, MidiVerb 4 / MicroVerb 4 are more or less contemporary and use the same encoder component. The shaft was about 6mm too long and needed a hacksaw taking to it, but otherwise was a perfect fit. Cost about £1.50.

The unit is very easy to take apart and I only needed to desolder/resolder the encoder.

So, Microverb 4 now working perfectly. I also took the opportunity to add a front panel tap-tempo switch, wired to the control foot pedal socket, so can now set tap-tempo without fiddling around with foot pedals.

What a great little unit - essentially the sound quality of a midiverb 4. Less parameters to play with but very simple and hands-on. Nice complement to some of my hardware synths.
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders (Solved)

Postby Frank Eleveld » Mon May 05, 2014 9:03 am

Thanks for the update. CAIG Deoxit is good stuff. I'm glad you resolved the issues you were having with your MicroVerb. Sounds like you got yourselves a good working reverb unit for little money.

Best,
Frank
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby DASarge » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:58 pm

Same problem.
Used WD40 on all the pots and the encoder, a little bit of knob twisting and it's as good as new.
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby BillB » Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:15 am

DASarge, welcome to the SLS Forum. Glad you got your MicroVerb working too. It is great when a little TLC brings a nice unit back to life.

There are those hereabouts who believe that WD40 can cure ALL ills.
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:50 am

Not ALL ills... for some things you need gaffa tape. ;)
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby BillB » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:09 am

Obvs
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby Kwackman » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:09 am

blinddrew wrote:Not ALL ills... for some things you need gaffa tape. ;)

That'll be the 2 piece tool kit.

Somewhere on the web is a picture of a ziplock bag with these 2 items in it, and a label that says something like....

1. WD40 - for the bits that should move, but don't.
2. Gaffa Tape - For the bits that do move but shouldn't.
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby BillB » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:18 am

Kwackman wrote:1. WD40 - for the bits that should move, but don't.
2. Gaffa Tape - For the bits that do move but shouldn't.

:thumbup: :bouncy:
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:24 pm

On the subject of Gaffa Tape, did you know that Gaffa Tape is like 'The Force'? It has a dark side and a light side and it holds The Universe together...
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Re: Cleaning Alesis microverb 4 encoders

Postby Rob Kirkwood » Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:06 pm

If you live in the country, you also need Baler Twine

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