1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

A case for not buying Presonus

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by timmayock, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. timmayock

    timmayock Active Member

    As the owner of a small commercial studio, reliability and return on investment are critical to me. We all know that full timers like me are in it for love, not money. I buy ‘A’ stock equipment and software from reliable dealers so I have the assurance of customer support. A failure in the middle of a session is an unrecoverable business loss to me and the artists I work with. An extended outage means I’m not working at all. My gear gets great care in a clean, humidity managed control room. I take care of it, and when I have a problem I expect reasonable customer service.
    Prior to purchasing a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 in 2013, I had been running a modded Digi 002 firewire setup for four years. The Digi was faultless and never once glitched. Failures started immediately upon moving the firewire cable from the 002 to the new StudioLive. The once well behaved PC and interface card went to war with the new Presonus driver and mixer. The Presonus driver frequently and randomly would stop working, or stop communicating with the mixer, forcing reboots of the PC, mixer, or both. Sessions were cancelled or stopped early. Business and my artists suffered. So started my saga with Presonus support.
    After exhausting all the canned solutions and tests I could from the DUC and web self-service options Presonus prefers you to use, I started to contact them via email and phone. If you have not already read this in some other review, forum, or blog post by someone else, let me confirm – Presonus is reliably bad at communicating. They are slow to respond when they do respond, don’t have good case management, and don’t relay important information. It is very frustrating and I would estimate I have spent in excess of a hundred hours in conversations of very questionable value. Beyond these issues lies the larger issue, which is that Presonus won’t take responsibility for standing behind their products. Their support team seems to be charged with blaming any issue on someone else, maybe another manufacturer, maybe even their own customer (that would be you).
    In my case, I was repeatedly told that my problem was the PC and/or the firewire card. Not forgetting that the prior Digi 002 had no issues in this regard at all, I have purchased two new PC’s based on this ‘diagnosis’.
    But let me rewind. After the first of these PC purchases, and months of back and forth with Presonus, they had me ship the StudioLive to one of their repair vendors. I received it back with no information on what had been done to it. It worked for ten months, and then the same issue reappeared. This kicked off another lengthy period of frustrating service interactions and my replacement of the second PC. It was just recently that Presonus service revealed that the original service work done on the StudioLive over a year earlier had been to replace the firewire board in the mixer. Basically, I had been correct in suspecting the StudioLive for a year – during which time they deflected me into other unnecessary expenses, and my studio schedule suffered.
    I recently contacted the small local dealer who I originally purchased the StudioLive from and he told me that he had stopped selling StudioLive mixers and purged himself of all product. He had similar complaints with their customer service. He had had his first StudioLive fail two hours after return from service.
    If you are contemplating purchasing Presonus equipment, I caution you to first do a good web search and read the service experiences of others. Decide how important service and reliability are to you before you spend your hard earned money. Don’t end up with a story like mine.
    – Happy tracking. Tim.
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience with Presonus Tim. I know a few RO members which are saying only good things about Presonus. Sounding very well for the price and they had very good recording experiences.

    We all had our horror stories. Mine was with Focusrite saffire series. Not that the communication was bad with the head office, on the contrary but their service center here in Quebec, Canada kept my unit for 3 months and failed soon after coming back (Preamp/converter problems). Thing is the service center is not run by focusrite, it's just a guy working for the distributer trying to help.
    But it wouldn't send my against them because, I'm in love with the Focusrite ISA line, I got 3 units with ISA preamps.. They never failed and sounds amazing...

    I read your story and I too would have think of the PC / driver /cable / power first. Yes the cable!! I had a few units over the year that wasnt working well and caused reboot with some USB or FireWire quality grade. (even with those included in the package). I had an m-audio interface that made my computer reboot and a cable swap fixed the problem...
    Not saying your unit doesn't have a problem, but it's sometime simpler than we think, a bad soldering and down you go...

    Going on a vendetta is understandable but not exactly what RO is about. I think, no I wish you had come to us with your problem and let the people here try to help you before bashing on the maker.

    BTW, In my opinion the Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 is not considered as ‘A’ stock Equipment, more like Prosumer. I wouldn't put all my eggs on it even if many may think it's PRO-Grade. The presonus products I wouldn't hesitate to qualify high-end is their ADL preamp line. Very like Focusrite with the saffire's consumer/prosumer line and the ISA and RED line.
     
  3. timmayock

    timmayock Active Member

    I read your story and I too would have think of the PC / driver /cable / power first. Yes the cable!! I had a few units over the year that wasnt working well and caused reboot with some USB or FireWire quality grade. (even with those included in the package). I had an m-audio interface that made my computer reboot and a cable swap fixed the problem...
    If only it was this! I was diligent in trying any combination of multiple cards, pc's, cables ... My issue is about customer service and not the sound of the gear. Again it is about getting a bad unit and not getting "customer service"
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm sorry you've had the experience you've had, Tim. I do know how damaging it can be to your business when gear heads "south of the suck line"... we've all been there, I think; years ago I had console channels/modules quit on me, tape machines would get wizzly with speed changes, or even eat tape... and I've had my share of hair-pulling moments in the digital age as well - it comes with the turf, I suppose, but that sure doesn't make it any more pleasant to have to deal with..

    I've personally never had any problems with Presonus gear, and the one time I did - I had a device that required a firmware update that I was unaware of - the support at Presonus was both quick and helpful, and they solved the problem for me within 2 hours...

    I guess this could happen with any gear... and I'm sorry you've had to go through what you have. I think it's accurate to say that if you are in this business long enough, glitches will occur, and they usually hit at the worst possible times - during sessions.
     
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i agree PreSonus stuff is prosumer. but i think he meant, non grey market, sealed in the box, never opened, never returned or factory refurbished. products that have been opened or returned are typically refered to as "B" stock. i don't think he meant top shelf boutique manufactured.

    personally i'm glad he let us know about the problem. but who am i to say anything about what goes on here?
     
  6. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Thanks for correcting me Kurt ;)
     

Share This Page