HELP! PROBLEM WITH Sennheiser MKH416 P48 - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 12th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #16
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Wow, while I admire a lot of things in the U.S. your conversation with B&H would be laughable here in Australia. They'd never get away with that "your return period has finished" rubbish here! The retailer has to deal with the warranty here, where they send it after that is the Retailers issue, not the consumer. Few things have less than a year warranty and in any case we have other protections beyond warranty i.e.it must be a "merchantible item" in other words it must perform in the way a reasonable person would expect it to (clearly this is not), there is also an "implied warranty" i.e. even if the manufacturer says the warranty is for 1 year, 2, or 5 and it fails outside those parameters there are cases where many items would be expected to last way beyond that.

Beyond a "return period" would be a nonsense here, if it doesn't work the retailer has to take it back. The law overrides any gobbledegook "rules" from the retailer. Anyway, I've used these mikes and many close variations for years and the chances are, unless you dropped it or something, that it is a lead (cable) issue. It sounds even more likely as the problem is only repeating randomly. It should be quite simple to find that with a meter set on resistance. The most common cause of lead problems is them being pulled in and out by the cable (rather than with the connector) or strain being put on them, typically because they are too short and bend too much, which can either cause them to be disconnected (sometimes intermittently) at the connector, or more rarely, cause a break in the wiring itself. The first can be fixed by soldering, the second by replacing the wiring AND resoldering.

Once you have it on the meter you can find a fault like this by wiggling the connectors and moving the wiring into different positions while watching the meter reading. You will need to do this on all three XLR connectors separately making sure your meter leads are connected to the corresponding ends each time. Hope this helps.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #17
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416's are very reliable but they do occasionally have problems. Problem solving before you send the mic could go like this. Can you plug the mic into the camera with Phantom Power turned on without the cable and see if you can generate the problem? Find someone who has another camera or a recorder or mixer which has 48Volt Phantom and see if you can duplicate the problem. If the problem still exists without the cable you have eliminated the cable as the issue
If you can figure out the problem is a loose connector then you may not want to send it to Sennheiser. 416s are relatively easy to open so you can see if the connector has a loose wire etc. If you are not used to working with solder irons then you should find someone who is. You can still send it back if you can't figure it out yourself
If the Mic is the problem then getting it back to Sennheiser is not very expensive (except for shipping) and they can fix anything they make. Here in the US I have had them fix and realign 416's for less than $150 US.
If there is a local or regional audio equipment rental company they might be able to help you with some of the above.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 05:08 AM   #18
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thanks for all the response I would have to open it here and probably check some thing but I am afraid it might void the warranty on it, though it might even be cheaper for me to repair locally (local repair is even cheaper than tranporting to U.S. since I am in Nigeria) but my fear is if its a major thing that may require some parts to purchased. Is it possible to ask sennheiser if they may allow me to check locally without voiding the warranty on it, because if its possible I will go that way first before sending it. I had already contacted them and they said I should send it to them. Does anybody knows if they will dispose to such things.

Thanks

NB: though I expect more from B&H than to just send me back to the manufacturer because; the reason why I bought it from them is because I trust them on issues like this I have not been able to use the Mic for a single job for over a month and just like chris tangey said "Beyond a "return period" would be a nonsense here, if it doesn't work the retailer has to take it back." but I have no Idea of whatelse to do except send it to sennheiser as the assistant suggest.

Last edited by Olakunle Olanrewaju; August 13th, 2010 at 05:17 AM. Reason: add info
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Old August 13th, 2010, 06:32 AM   #19
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Olakunle, One step at a time. First go through the checks suggested by people here, only then should you think about sending it back to Sennheiser. You need to first go through the diagnostic process to eliminate
cable, connectors and the camera.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 06:49 AM   #20
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Chris I have tried almost everything suggested except measuring the volts and the result is the same and as I am writing this I am still testing, really it very frustrating for me to even think of sending it back. I have used several cables including audio technical cable from B&H all to no avail. I have tried it on mixer without result. for the sake of eliminating any doubt I will look for a place around to measure the volts. I will you guys posted on developments as this is must be resolved somehow.

thanks

Last edited by Olakunle Olanrewaju; August 13th, 2010 at 06:57 AM. Reason: add info
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:40 AM   #21
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Reading everything above I'm far from convinced there's anything wrong with the 416.
1) Tried the mic in someone else's kit and it worked OK.
2) Tried a different mic on the camera and it sounded "weak".

Just on that alone it seems more likely to be a camera than mic problem.

Also what is this "mixer"?

If its a standalone mixer and it has a headphone socket then plug a pair in and compare the 416 to the other mic. Then you have a reference, one mic maybe 10dB more sensitive than the other. The EX cameras do have a level (gain) trim control in the setup menu and this needs to be setup correctly for mics to work correctly. From memory the 416 does work OK at the factory default.

I should also mention that we've traced a number of wierd problems to mic cables. Ones that work just fine in 95% of the cases don't in some and the issue is a connection between pin 1 and the metal housing of the XLR connector.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:57 AM   #22
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thanks Grant I did not try the mic in someone else's kit, I took my kit to some else and we performe the same test and it worked and at later time it did not work again.
my mixer is behringer EURORACK UB1622FX-PRO with +48V phantom power. just like I said it is a random thing and for some time now it has stopped working altogether maybe it will start working again I dont know but I will continue to test till I send it back(last Option).

the different mic that I tried is not WEAK but the QUALITY is low. if you checked very that is exactly what I said, I so much want the mic to work and I am ready to try as many option as possible before sending it back if I had to. I also set the sony ex1r to factory default to test to no avail.
and maybe I should add that the camera is also relatively new(LESS THAN 4MONTHS) and works with other phantom power mic.
thanks
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Old August 13th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #23
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Previously you said:
Quote:
I have tried it on mixer without result.
Can we take this to mean you connected the 416 to the mixer. Phantom power is switched on in the mixer and monitoring with headphones you could hear nothing from the microphone?
You tried the other cheap mic, same cable, same everything and it worked?

If so then I would say with considerable confidence that the 416 is faulty.
As the unit seems to work some of the time and not at others this does sound like a faulty soldered joint, most likely a "dry joint". This kind of fault may come and go with changes in temperature or with vibration or mechanical shocks. If you give the mic a gentle bump or shake and it starts to work then you can be pretty confident this is all that is wrong with it.

I would suggest it'd be worth opening the mic up and simply giving the connections and any soldering a good visual inspection. If you see a dry joint then it's only 30 seconds work to repair the problem with a soldering iron.
I have never opened a 416 myself as they are very reliable. On the other hand if you're prepared to take a look inside then I can most likely borrow one and walk you through how to open it and what to look for.

If the problem is a dry joint then in fairness to Sennheiser this kind of fault is a nightmare to any manufacturer. It may well have passed quite rigorous testing before they shipped it. Worse you may send it back to them and the vibration from the shipping temporarily fixes the fault, they send it back to you and then days, months or years later the same problem happens again.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 06:30 AM   #24
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Grant you have just described my worst fear. I have tried the cheap mic on mixer and camera with the same cable and it worked but will not work with 416 but there was time I travelled about 70km to another town I was showing the mic to one audio guy with the same cable and it starts to work as if nothing happened and makes me feel very foolish. Now that you mention something about temperature and mechanical vibration etc I think I am kind of always on the road everyweekend with the 416 is the car and the weather also has been a bit cold and humid. Could all this have an effect on the mic and if its minor something than can easily be fixed would opening up the mic not void the warranty. I greatly suspect that it has happened at a point when I gently tap it that it starts working and there is about two or three on occassion when I decided to leave on the mixer btw 20 to 30 mins and it starts working again. I know some audio guys that will be willing to work on it is only that I am concerned about the warranty. I so much beleived that you have hit the right point. Maybe I should go and read about the warranty.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #25
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Olakunle,
it really does sound to me like there's an intermittent connection in the unit. Electronic devices themselves generally work or they fail for good. It could unfortunately be anything and I'm reluctant to offer any advice beyond that as I've never seen inside a 416. I can say it is a fairly simple mic so I doubt there's a great amount of difficult to fault find electronics in there. In the past I've fixed intermittent faults in simple consummer electronics to mainframe computer PCBs by simply resoldering every soldered joint. Quicker todo that than try to find the actual fault.

What you have to decide is what is the warranty really worth to you. If it is going to cost you a small fortune in shipping etc then it's arguably not worth much at all. I know Sennheisers gear is very solid so the chances of any other fault occuring that would be a valid warranty repair is very slim. The only time we've had any of our collection of Sennheiser wireless mics, 416s, etc fail is when they've been seriously abused and we've had gear go to the ends of the earth.

Certainly in theory opening the mic would void the warranty. In practice I don't know.
I would urge you to send an email to Sennheiser immediately and explain your situation. Explain that you believe there is a mechanical intermittent fault in the unit. Explain the cost of returning the unit to them etc. If an email illicits no response, Skype them. I'd be surprised if they don't have an authorised repair centre somewhere in Africa. Maybe you can get some phone help from them.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 04:10 AM   #26
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Thanks Grant, I will try and do that as it will definately safe me a small fortune. Thanks once again and will feedback on the progress.


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