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Mackie MR824 Tweeter Failure

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Mackie MR824 Tweeter Failure

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:40 pm
by FBU Music
Hi everyone,

I´m very new to this forum, first post so let me quickly introduce myself :wave:

I´m an electronic music producer - performer under the name of Fire between us, mostly active in the Amsterdam scene. Been producing for a long time just as a hobby, last couple of years started taking things to the next level a bit and actually getting stuff on labels and whatnot. Still doing this for the love of music and the insane fun and goosebumps of getting a great sounding setup.

So, to the issue at hand... Last year I bought a pair of the new Mackie MR824's. It's a more affordable cousin to the HR824's / a new version of the MR8 Mk2's. I was, and still am super impressed by what these studio monitors deliver for the price. Just recently I noticed an oddity in the sound. The high-end of the right monitor would clip out and come back in. Checked all other parts of the chain first, mixer, amp and cables, all fine. At that point I played something extremely bassey to see if vibrations came into the equation. Seems they do, or at this time at least did, as the problem instantly occurred and stayed on long enough for me to give some gentle taps on the top of the monitor, that actually would stop the problem for about a second. Last tap I tapped and instantly killed the bass, and the monitor kept working fine.

So I believe there might be a bad connection to the tweeter. Now I'm pretty tech-savvy, just not specifically when it comes to studio monitors. Yet I'd like to solve this problem by myself as I really don't want to deal with the warranty and have to send in these monitors I use and need on a daily basis. So I'm looking for some guidance as to:

- Is my analysis decent? Bad connection?
- Is the fix as easy as I imagine? Open up case, find bad connection, solder, re-assemble?
- Any stuff to take into account?

Thanks so much in advance!

Re: Mackie MR824 Tweeter Failure

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:04 pm
by blinddrew
First thing to try is swapping left and right speakers and repeat the test. If the drop out moves from right to left then you know it's the speaker, if not, then it's something further up the chain.

Re: Mackie MR824 Tweeter Failure

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:31 pm
by Wonks
Most of the internal connections between circuit boards and to the speakers will be push-on types. They should be locking, but there may be one that wasn't pushed on far enough. Speaker connections themselves are probably metal spade-type push-on connectors, and again, these can become loose and may need tightening up with some pliers.

I doubt if any soldering is required. The PCBs will have surface mounted components, so if it's a board problem, then it's not that easy to fix as surface-mount components are very small and the amount of solder used very small (and lead-free).

If the ribbon cable and other wire connectors all look OK, it could be a dry joint; but that's probably going to be hard to find and you'll need to get the boards out fully to inspect both sides. If you do this, take photos as you go along so you can remember how to put them all back together again.

I hope your mention of 'amp' in 'mixer amp and cables' was a mistake as the monitors are active and have internal power amps.

There is a thermal protection circuit for each of the power amps (high and low frequency). It's unlikely, but possible, that the cutting out is to do with the thermal protection circuitry. The amp heatsinks are internal, so unfortunately you can't feel them to test how hot.

Re: Mackie MR824 Tweeter Failure

PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:56 am
by FBU Music
Thank you Wonks for the detailed feedback!

The `amp` I mention is just the Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface.
Given the various potential issues you mention, I´m curious what you make of the tapping on the top of the speaker solving the issue shortly, does that indicate any specific one of the problems you mentioned to you?

@Blinddrew, thanks for your reply, I've made certain the issue is actually within the speaker.

Re: Mackie MR824 Tweeter Failure

PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:38 am
by Wonks
With the tapping, it does sound like a physical connection issue; either a connector, maybe a bad crimp joint to a connector, or a dry solder joint.

So it's a question of either being able to get the speaker looked at under warranty (preferable if you can) , or else feeling brave enough to open the speaker up and have a look.