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Old February 23rd, 2008, 04:18 PM   #1
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SignVideo ENG-44 mixer problems

I bought the ENG-44 mixer online, reading Ty Ford his review. Imported it in the EU: paying, the extra+ $163,- import/tax duty. I received it 2 days ago. Holding it finally in my hands. It feels a little like a 'cheap' cd player. No product for all-day ENG work, but the written specifications are good.

My problem:
There is a huge difference sending a line out signal between ch1 and ch2. That is almost ~8dbfs.

I send a 1khz tone to the line out signal form the mixer (balanced xlr output left out and right out set to: LINE) and the Master setting is set on 0VU reading the LED VU meter for both channels on the ENG-44. I send this signal to a videocamera or an external audiomixer.

1) the LINE OUT on xlr gives a difference in amp between Left and Right, the right signal (ch2) is 8 dBFS softer then the left signal Ch1).
So, sending out a balanced LEFT/RIGHT signal at 0 db/VU, the Left signal is -12 dBFS and the Right signal is -20 dBFS

I checked an double checked this reading on the PPM meter in the videocamera, and also sending the signal to an external audiomixer. Both readings are the same. IF I go out balanced xlr output left out and right out switch set to: MIC there is no difference in signal amp in the left or right signal.

btw external power unit is 60Hz only.. What? Almost all battery low watt equipment (battery chargers) are 120/220V 50hz/60hz compatible. This is something that is not named in the specs.

Last edited by Raymond Toussaint; February 23rd, 2008 at 08:58 PM.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 04:40 PM   #2
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I suggest sending an email to SignVideo with you specific problems. I believe you will get an answer as to whether you are doing something wrong, there is something wrong with the mixer, or that is the way the mixer is. SignVideo is a small company.

I bought one when they first came out, but returned it, even paying a stiff restocking fee. I'm sure the mixer will do a good job within its parameters, but I moved up to the Sound Devices 302. It's just a different class all around.

I didn't like it for reasons different from yours, but the "tinniness" of the box I didn't care for either. However, to be fair, it is is not different from others in the same range, and it does have some added features that are great for some people (such as the extra out for the boom operator).
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Toussaint View Post
...
The problem:
There is a huge difference sending a line out signal between ch1 and ch2. That is almost ~8dbfs. ..... What?
It's my understanding that there are 4 internal adjustments under the hood...
Limiter threshold, Left & Right Out, and Tone generator.

Change cables and/or switch cables to verify problem. I'd probably pop the hood and adjust it...but you should probably contact Sign first.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 08:02 PM   #4
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I changed cables, I used an external VU and PP meters, external tone generator, studio microphones, no luck. I'm not making mistakes.

I emailed SignVideo 3 days ago, no answer, I just send them a fax and another mail.
Attached Thumbnails
SignVideo ENG-44 mixer problems-peak-video.jpg   SignVideo ENG-44 mixer problems-sign-metering.jpg  

SignVideo ENG-44 mixer problems-ch1-vu.jpg   SignVideo ENG-44 mixer problems-ch2-vu.jpg  

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Old February 24th, 2008, 03:45 AM   #5
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As mentioned above, it appears that there must be an internal adjustment in the mixed that is not calibrated properly.

I believe you will hear from sign video next week.

At the moment, it looks like your only solution is to compensate for the difference in output.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:56 AM   #6
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Sorry for your distress, Ray. Jack has made some good comments. I sent an email to the address of the owner of the company minutes ago with this string attached. It's sunday morning around 7:30AM. I doubt he'll possibly see it until tomorrow.

Question. Did you swap the cables left to right to see if the imbalance shifts as well? I have had situations in which a cable was the problem.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 25th, 2008, 09:37 AM   #7
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Hi,
I changed cables and tested it with the same cable on the same external ch/VU meter. I'll wait for an answer.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Raymond Toussaint View Post
I'll wait for an answer.
I had an answer from SignVideo, they asked me to try some internal adjustments to solve the problem. That did not work out, so they friendly asked me to send the mixer in for repair, so I did today.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #9
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So one month later the ENG-44 is IN house again, repaired but..
> This is a new mixer I bought, I never used it, but returned it in to Sign video and they said they 'found a scratch in a tray' that was causing the troubles.<

Now it is back, the old problem was that ch2 was -20 db and ch1 -12db.
So ch2 was too soft. Now after repair they both are soft... Ok they are paired equally in amplitude, but another problem is now here.

The limiter only jumps in if you send a signal on both channels, so if you set a microfone to Center. If you send a mic to one channel (like you normally do, lets say to L) the limiter does not work at all. You can distort and over amplitude the channel like crazy, nothing happens!

If you try to bring the master section up to see on what level the limiter jumps in, one channel (ch2) is more responsively then the other. If I send line out to the videocam and I set the master full open the limiter kicks in on 1 channel and there is no way to get a signal that is full scale ( +20 dBVU),even -6 dBFS is not possible on both channels.

I don't get it, if you return a mixer after repair, and the limiter does not function on one channel out, the overall 66 dB gain is not available,the settings are not proved, why send it to the customer?

I just say: don't do it. Look for another brand. For me it is a mistake.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 04:22 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear this!

Did you contact them again and told them about this new issue you are having? This is not good publicity for them.

Can't you try to send the mixer back, let it fix right and send it back to you again (fixed) at their cost as it still is under waranty?

I also wanted to buy this mixer, but thanks heaven I bought a PSC DV Promix3.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 04:39 PM   #11
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Unfortunately in the sound world if you buy cheap you often buy twice.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 06:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ivan Snoeckx View Post
Sorry to hear this!

Did you contact them again and told them about this new issue you are having? This is not good publicity for them.
>>If he didn't, I did.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 11:31 AM   #13
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Test situation:
1 microphone AKG c480B connected to CH1 mixer, (send to Left). In front of speaker that sounds a 1kHz tone.

Master section normal, if you open CH1 you see LED lights LEFT all burning and it continues on RIGHT(!) before the red LIM Led starts glowing. Distortion is very noticeable.

If you send mic to Center, both LEFT and RIGHT LEDs glow and almost above the 3+ the LIM light kicks in.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:15 PM   #14
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Raymond,
Your ENG-44 is not defective. What you've shown is a good example of how
this mixer behaves when an input front end preamp is grossly overloaded.
I would suggest switching the input attenuator from MIC to LINE, then
exercising the limiter (if that is what you desired to investigate). Please
note that having a limiter/compressor placed after the input preamp(s) is a standard bit of analog mixer architecture... as is having overload detection being commoned to both stereo outputs.
-Roger Marin
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 07:30 PM   #15
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Roger, it is.

1. mixer was uneven in amplitude, so it is repaired and returned.
2. after repair there was no way to let the limiter/compressor work, so it is sended in again for refund.

The limiter just did not kick in, only after heavy overloading the limiter starts working. (See image). It only works proper with a stereo CH outsignal, so working with one mic to one CH out is not possible WITH any form of limiting.

That -last- problem was not part of the 1st return, then it functioned. Look.. if a mixer is not limiting, (I know you can internally set the limiting point) and it is not working, then I can't use it.

"Please note that having a limiter/compressor placed after the input preamp(s) is a standard bit of analog mixer architecture... as is having overload detection being commoned to both stereo outputs."

Sure, I also love a limiter that works before and after the preamps in the line out, but you can' t do that for the money I think?

If I need to set a mic to line level (?) or always send it out on center then I don't want the product. Sorry.
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