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Thorn of the Week

Why not mention that I love the Aphex 230 Voice Processor.  I find it an awesome device.  Yet, this week it has been a thorn in my side.  I am having a rash of failures among some of my older units.  It is not the tube.  When sent in for repair it comes back with a packing list stating 2 capacitors and 1 IC replaced.  It does not tell me which ones and why.

The symptoms of the failure:  1.  Power LEDs behind the Aphex  logo do not light; 2. Audio does not pass; 3. Clip/mute LED either flickers or is on solid; 4. The De-ess LED is lit with flicker.  I suspect a power supply issue, but no definitive answer to that question.  I await a phone call to find out more details and if I can do field repairs to the units.   As a “precision” voice processor I do not want to make repairs and have not way to calibrate the unit, so part of the phone call is to determine feasibility.

If you have one of these units I am curious at what the age it is, and if you had/have any other issues with it.  I will begin a routine replacement of tubes on the oldest units as they are pushing at least 7 years if my calculations are right.  I figure that is a good amount of time plus I want to find out if there is an audible difference between before and after.

Many minor items are burning in the background.  I am making progress on the Orban 8600.  I am still in the poking around stages.  Plan on some review in a trade near you soon.  Have a great weekend!

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  1. June 18, 2011 at 17:11

    Wow, I just started having that issue with my aphex as well, how much does it run to get it repaired by the aphex people? any info would be more than appreciated.

  2. June 18, 2011 at 17:15

    mine is about 6 years old, and it started giving problems after an electrical storm even with a furman power conditioner and an APC battery UPS connected in a chain! (gotta love Florida… lightning capital of the world.. crap..) any suggestions, Ideas or way to fix this would come in handy, as I use mine for voiceover work and feel kinda naked without it (cant get that nice sound out of my TLM as well with a Daw you know?)

    Thanks.

  3. June 18, 2011 at 18:19

    Franko, mine have run between $107 and $126. Most in the $116 area. Most have been 2 caps and an IC. The latest one was a bit more because they deemed the tube needed replacement.

    I have two in for repair right now. Mine are similar vintage.

    They have not specified which parts these were nor if they can be field repaired.

    That’s all I have for you and I hope the repaired ones last a bit. I suspect heat is the main culprit.

    Bill

  4. Scott Mearns
    March 13, 2014 at 11:50

    Bill,

    Three years later, and I am hoping you are still around. I have an Aphex 230 with nearly identical symptoms (the de-essing LED is not on). I’m not sure the vintage, but the sn is 1177, and the main PCB copyright date is 2004. The engineer I got it from said it had a blown power supply from a shorted tube. I replaced the tube; no change in symptoms. I measured the DC voltages. Most notable is the PS lead labeled +15V is at 3.1V. Also, the high voltage (94V) output is only 64V.

    On the PS, U2 is a CNY17F-2, which is an optocoupler for power supplies. U1 is a UC3845A, which is a switch mode power supply control IC. My guess is U1 is the chip they replace.

    I may change some caps to see what I get. I’ll let you know if I find out anything relevant. Thanks for your blog.

    Scott

  5. March 13, 2014 at 13:27

    Scott,

    Interesting symptoms. If you have not tried the capacitor replacement yet on the power supply, C18 & C19, try that first. They are both 47uF rated for 25V, but get 35 or 50V versions. The surface mount cap, C92 on the main board, is a 10mF. I have not changed that on others as it seems to only concern the ballistics of the meter.

    Clean up that power supply and you might get that back to life. I have installed 2 Aphex Channels which is the latest version and they are more forgiving and sound very good, so they did improve the product, and of course, changed the name.

    Please feel free to contact me at bill@eisenhamerengineering.com for further assistance. (schematic?)
    Also curious on how you fare!

    Bill

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