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Presonus M-80 meters misread low frequencies

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Dave62, Jan 31, 2005.

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  1. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    Just a note of caution to all M-80 owners, the meters on my M-80 do not read correctly for frequencies below 200 hz. I have noticed this on two other M-80's in our area and I am wondering if they all do this? To test you take a test tone oscillator and feed the M-80 a 1 khz tone at 1 volt, adjust the gain to read 0 db on the M-80. Then switch the frequency to 40 hz and on my machine the meters suddenly read +15-18 db! while the output remains constant! Emails to Chad Kelly at Presonus have not been satisfactorily answered, in fact they would not even confirm that it is a problem!! He went as far to say that "people buy the M-80 for it's sound, not it's meters" but if you turn down the gain-18db because the meters are incorrectly reading red tracking a bass, you will raise the noise floor 18 db, and if you trust the meters you will think that the M-80 dosen't provide enough output to your recorder and you will add gain there.
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The M80 has a number of issues that should be addressed IMO ... the main issue I have is the operating level of 0 dB ... I found it difficult to get decent levels into my DAW without switching down to -10.

    What do you think of the sound?

    Also just curious ... you wouldn't happen to have a Eureka also would you? I'm looking for someone to perform a blind comparison of the pre in the Eureka to the M80 or a VXP ...
  3. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    I am a newbie, whats IMO..???

    I do love the sound and I don't have any trouble with actual levels once I realized the meters were bogus below 500 hz. When you were having trouble getting levels into your daw at +4 you weren't by any chance trusting the M-80 meters to set the gain? Any low frequency content will make the meters lie. On my M-80 a Fostex Test tone oscillator outputing a 1khz tone at 0db = 1 volt input into the M-80 insert return meters to 0db which then outputs 1 volt (unity) which comes balanced into my +4 Digi 002 Rack at -15db and my +4 AI-3 at -19db which gives me 15/19 db of headroom above zero on the M-80 before clipping in Protools which is just about right. whew! The same setup with a 40 hz 1 volt tone reads +18! on the M-80 meters but still only outputs 1 volt, reads -15/-19 in Protools and is not at all distorted although the lights are pinned!. Before I tested this I of course would turn the M-80 gain down when I saw red lights on kick, bass, and male vocals and then I would find that the output levels were too low into Protools at +4. At this point if you switch to -10 the signal will go up in Protools but you are compromising the dynamic range of the M-80 by setting the gain to low. Now I just completly ignore the meters and trust the peak reading meters in Protools and my ears, and of course have to explain to every client why it's OK to have red lites on the M-80, or, why the tape is over the meters, sigh.... you would think a voltage reading circuit would be hard to screw up.

    I had talked with a Presonus rep who had hinted that the Eureka preamp was the very same as the M-80 but I have not heard it myself.
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    It's a piece of crap, what you do really expect. The thing cost less than a decent mic stand.
  5. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    Presonus M-80 factory meter fix!!

    Yeah Presonus!. My above mentioned M-80 had a single channel go down and was sent in on warranty so I mentioned that the meters were whack for low frequencies (see above). I just got it back today and the work order says the meters were fixed as Per Presonus and now they work as they should, i.e. a 1 volt tone plugged into the return reads 0 for 1khz, 400 hz, 40hz, 10khz and 15khz. If your M-80 fails the tone test, send it in!! I am not sure if they are fixing out of warranty units for free but they should as it was obviously a design or manufacturing problem.
  6. jobu2u

    jobu2u Guest

    Wow, I really need to upgrade my mic stands... I can't remember where to find mic stands in the $1600-$1800 range! :lol:

    AudioGaff, I think it's possible we're not speaking of the same piece of gear here: http://presonus.com/m80.html

    I have an M80 and I do like the way it sounds... and I never use the meters on the thing for anything more than a *general* reference. Granted, it's not a Neve, API, Seb... but it definately is far from a "piece of crap."
  7. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Call it as you see it, because as I see it, if it is not in or nearly in the same league as Neve, API, ect.. then I lump them all in the piece of crap bunch.

    The M80 may ok for you, but it sounds like crap to me. If you paid $1500+ for the M80, you were severely ripped off.
  8. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member


    Internal Operation Level 0dBu = 0dBu
    Headroom +28dBu

    if you were to run at +4dB internal you would still have +24dB

    seems OK on paper

    Output Impedance 51 Ohms
    Send Output Impedance 51 Ohms

    BUT what it doesn't spell out ... is the MAX output level.

    so Kurt I can't tell you why you can't get decent levels into your DAW

    It doesn't suprise me that the metering is flakey

    I used this page for reference
  9. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    Count on Kev to give an answer like above.

    Kev, if you ever stop coming to the RO forums that will be a sad sad day!

  10. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Not to start anything, but can you be just a bit more specific as to the "why's" of how anything not in a certain price/performance category is is waste of money POS?

    Are you referring to functionality? Slew? Apparent frequency response? Brand name recognition? Stacking effects after a certain number of tracks? Grain vs. clarity vs. color? Published specs aside, what is it you find so offensive about the M80 (or any other pre not on your list)?

    Although I agree (in part) with your assessment, I also think that something more than "because I said so" would really be beneficial. The real devil is in the details, and you've provided nothing to base a comparison other than a blunt opinion...

    Thanks for your time.
  11. jobu2u

    jobu2u Guest

    I second that. This is not the kind of response you expect from one who is supposed to be "moderating" here. Maybe it wan't your intention, but you really came off quite contemptible.

    Have a bad day did you?
  12. jobu2u

    jobu2u Guest

    ...and I still haven't found a decent mic stand in the $1500+ range :lol:
  13. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Just because I'm a moderator doesn't mean that I have to tip around and be afraid to step on toes. I'm free to spurt out my opinion just as anybody else does. Don't like it? Tough. Many more seem to appreciate what I have to offer. Feel free to skip my posting if they seem to bother you.

    If any of you had direct experience with the M80 and the real good stuff, you would know it is not in the same league. When you get into the $1500 range, you just start to get into the good stuff. Trying to defend the M80 is like tryin to defend hambuger when you want and deserve steak.

    I am referring mainly to tone. Quality of tone. Depth, dimension, greatness, something that helps and enhances as well as breathes life to the sound source. Something that can not be achieved with cheap and inexpensive designed products.

    If your not serious about your music and/or just can't afford real professional tools. Nothing wrong with using cheap and crap stuff or any of the inexpensive stuff as long as you keep your expectations in check.
  14. jobu2u

    jobu2u Guest

    Look, I'm not saying you can't voice your opinion, just that maybe you could consider your delivery a bit more.

    For instance: you drive a Ferrari. You ONLY drive Ferraris. You feel that anything that isn't in the same league as a Ferrari is a piece of crap. That's fine. But consider for a moment telling someone directly that the Honda Civic they own is a piece of crap. It's tactless and insulting. And to this you say "tough"? There is a difference between not tip toeing and just plain arrogance.

    If you can't see that, then no one will convince you otherwise...

    To keep this on topic:

    I happen to like my piece of crap M80. It gets me results that I am often quite happy with (so I must not be serious and/or I must be poor). At first, the meters did throw me off a bit. But, as I have grown aquainted with it, I have been able to get some impressive sounds/tracks with this thing. I think the trick is to ignore the meters unless you can send them in for adjustment (as Dave62 had said).

    And thanks for the heads up Dave62. It's people like you that maintain a sense of community in this wonderful place. 8)
  15. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member


    That's all I'm asking...instead of pronouncing to the world that XYZ is a worthless pile of crap, explain why you feel that way. No one expects tiptpes, no one (rephrase: I) expects anything other than your honest assessment, with the reasoning behind your assessment.

    That's all...nothing to be read into it...but just a question: would you say that an old Kustom amp (tuck n roll, baby) is a worthless POS? I did, for 25 years...until I found that most of my favorite Creedence tracks were done with one...to me, they still are worthless POS for rock, but someohow someone made it work for them (and John Fogerty's music is pretty close to as well known as the Beatles in popularity of global familiarity)...

    Its all perspective...but I go on record as saying I almost always agree with your assessments - hell, I go along with almost EVERYBODY'S assessments, as long as they give us an explanation of why you feel that way...after all, its nothing more than opinion, and we are all entitles to them....Just thing how boring thigs would be if there were only API, Neve, and Millinea pres to choose from.

    Again, thanks for your time.
  16. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Midlandmorgan, I hear ya. In may cases I do state my reasons of what I think or believe one product sucks and the other doesn't. Many times it is just because I have heard the and had direct experience with the products and so I give my personal opinion based solely on that. I get very tired of repeating myself so i don't always elborate in specific detail. In most cases it is always the exact same reasons. The reasons why one product is better than another usually comes down to cost in the end. Great sounding gear is full of expensive components, passion and love. It is not mass produced on the same scale as the cheap junk and therefore will never be truely affordable to the mass public.

    So there is not much else to say. We now live in the days where you pretty much get what you par for.

    There is nothing boring about old schoold API or Neve. In fact some of the best music of ever made in all time was captured using nothing but an API or Neve console when you you didn't really need to have or use outboard mic pre's. High quality tools for high quality results.
  17. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    (looking for the biggest "Thumbs Up!" emoticon I can find....)

    Thanks, Gaff...and FWIW-yer right.
  18. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    Now that needed to be said. I find gaff to be a troll disguised as a moderator...always trashing other peoples gear because it is too cheap (ever heard of a budget??) and not offering any positive advice, really, really, unhelpful! I and many others make a reasonable living recording albums with "cheap" gear and if we are below his "standard" one wonders why gaff would stoop to even talk to us poor people. In other words gaff, if you don't have someting helpful to say, please STFU!! I mean that in a very positve way of course.
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