having a background in live sound, I maintain a relationship with hardware garphic EQs. They are THE TOOL that I learned for knowing and controlling frequency problems (like feedback) or for shaping the EQ of a sound to sit clearer in a mix.
I didn’t like the disconnect of only having access to (hands-on) hardware graphic EQs at work, and then only using software (visual, virtual) software EQ plugins at home,.
So, in 2014, I found an bought a cheap (kind beat up) Stereo 30-band graphic eq to keep on my master outputs at my home computer.
Rane’s MQ302s is the stereo version of their 30-series eq, and in the DJ-marketed “mojo” line.
This allows me to
- practice my aural/muscle memory for a 30-band graphic EQ for live work.
- sniff out sounds of interest in any mix by frequency, then adjust things upstream (in software)
- listen to how much isolation or blending of sounds in various frequency ranges.
Nice idea, if the one I bought fully worked…
…but The one I bought had broken knob/tabs on 3 band-faders…
On my unit, the broken controls were for
- 25 Hz (the lowest band)
- 31.5 Hz (the 2nd to lowest band)
- 1.6 kHz,
Everything sounds fine, I just need to replace the slider-potentiometers inside to regain control of these bands
To the Bench
I didn’t take many pictures of opening or disassembling the unit. Everything form the power and audio IO on the back to the switches and band-faders on the front is on a SINGLE board, mounted in a 1U chassis.
After getting that open, I see the biggest hurdle in servicing individual band-faders; the slider-UI board is mounded by MANY thick pins.
I had to desolder ALL of these pins just to remove the slider sub-board in order to get a good look at the specific part before I order replacements.
American Made, American Customer-Service
However, after my initial frustration finding that component online, it dawned on me that I should ask Rane about service. I called them up, and they charged me less than $20 bucks to send out 4 of their parts.
WAY TO GO Rane !
Back to the Bench !
Now that I had the right part, I pulled out the broken sliders…
And eventually got them all out.
And soldered all the new/good sliders back in place.
…and the UI slider board was good as new.
Back in Action:
I put the unit to the test on a new variation of my drum-machine setup, using the Korg ESX to push out all kinds of pure-tones and gnarly drums all across the frequency spectrum.
Afterward, the unit was promoted to my upstairs office computer/mix desk, where it will be safe from rough handling or falls that might break its precious and delicate faders.