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Apogee Mini-Me build quality

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by John Stafford, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Is it just me or is the Mini-Me built like cheap crap?

    I've been using mine a lot over the past three months, and now the gain knobs are crackly, and the monitor knob is beginning to act up as well. The cheap silver paint on the body should have been an indicator, but I never expected this.

    I really like the Mini-Me, but this is ridiculous.

    I'd love to hear other people's experieces.

    John Stafford
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Silver paint?

    Could you possibly have a phony? It happens...

    I haven't heard of phony MiniMe units anywhere, but the body is extruded aluminum - no paint except for the silkscreening on the front, as far as I know...
  3. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi John
    Thanks for your reply. My Mini-Me sounds wonderful, so if it's a fake it's a really good one. I wonder if I could get a fake Neve 8108 made by the same people :wink:

    Last night I noticed the problem with the monitor knob, so my tone was probably a little strong.

    I've been examining it today, but on mine the top and bottom have what looks like a powder-coated finish that's prone to scratches, so maybe I shouldn't have called it cheap silver paint. The front panel looks like heavy machined steel.

    Anyway, the crackly knobs are very annoying, and not what I would expect to find on a unit with this quality. Still, I think it sounds so good I'd tolerate anything within reason.

    John Stafford
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Gotcha - :cool:

    Have you maybe tried a little DeOxit on the pots?
  5. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the idea. I'll get some on tomorrow :cool:
  6. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Hard to believe there a "mini" anything, made by Apogee, which is old enough to have pots going bad already? I realize you're asking here, but have you asked elsewhere? Have you heard other comments from other owners about this? In another post you said Apogee has not responded, at least to your satisfaction, to your query's, so I assume you asked them already with no(Or no useful, to you) response.

    Noisy pots on gear I have happen because of(At least) these factors:

    1. Cheap, or faulty manufacture(Rare these days, even with downright "junk" I've bought, but happens.).
    2. I had used them in poor conditions - Out in the rain(Or nearly so), or after long-time use in smokey or otherwise dirty environs.
    3. I had used them WAY more often than they were ever intended to be used.
    4. I had hardly(Or never) used them at all over long periods of time.
    5. Just plain old.

    Cleaning pots is not a bad thing, perse, but experts have told me that - generally - once you start cleaning contacts on pots, relays, etc. (Using any method), you'd best prepare for replacement, as ANY cleaning process removes part of the contact itself, so time-between-cleaning will grow shorter - rather quickly. This is/was NOT neccessarily true for very heavy-duty parts, designed specifically to be cleaned regularly, but is most definitely true for the type of contacting surfaces likely to be in the type of pot in almost all gear we use today. These things were not made to be cleaned(As evidenced by the fact that there is no easy "user" way to even get to them to do so.), but rather as "lifetime" devices. So, having to clean them(If you can at all?) means their lifetime is(Or shortly will be) over.

    Again, none of this is always a bad thing! If nothing else, "clean away", as long as it helps! Truly long-use, conductive contact/wiping items can cost a whole lot of money - more than this whole darned device, all by themselves - each! Still, if it needs cleaned, it should probably be done by a qualified service tech or by the builder(Who will likely just replace the things anyway.).

    Your comments on the "scratching finish" of the units also make me wonder just how has it been scratched? I have all manor of scratched, dented, ugly gear, but it only gets so when I do it by my, usually harsh, error. I can't remember the last time I could actually blame the finish of the cheapest thing, itself, for the scratches..? "Signs of use", for a piece of gear(Especially a "portable pro" piece, such as this.), should be happy indicators that the owner is making money with the thing(Or at least getting use out of it.). As for "powder-coating". If it's there, and properly applied, it should be about as indestructible as "paint" can be(Not very, by my experience.).

  7. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    In the short time I've had this, I've probably gotten several years of use out of it! I use if ALL the time. For some strange reason I get this problem prematurely with every single piece of equipment I use, be it guitars, hi-fi or other audio gear. I must be like these peole who can stop watches by looking at them -except in my case I get noisy pots!

    I know that the pots shouldn't start acting up, but I'll clean them as best I can, and if the whole thing eventually falls apart I'll go straight out and buy another one -that's how much I like it. I would gladly have paid several times the price for it.

    I was using it today and it sounded so good that I almost felt guilty for complaining!

  8. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    And there you go!

    Some of us are hard on equipment, so what? Many of the people I know who are hardest on their stuff are also the ones making the most money(My equipment looks fine... sigh...).

    Equipment is not an "end", just a means. As "pros", we must buy our stuff for what it does for our product, not for how long it will stay pretty - or even how long it will last - period. An old piece of crap that still "works as it always did" is still a piece of crap.

    One great piece of "gear" that is often called a constant operational/ maintenence/replacement tempermental headache is ... a Ferrari.

    Use it up! Bang it up! Get a new one - a better one!

    This is fun!

  9. tubes4tone

    tubes4tone Guest

    Perhaps you should contact Apogee and see if they would hire you as a life-cycle tester for their products. They send you free stuff, you use it like crazy until something breaks, and then send it back so they can re-design it and make it last longer! :lol:
  10. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    What a splendid idea :!:

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