M-audio Octane design flaw warning!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by drumvan, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. drumvan

    drumvan Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
    ann arbor, michigan
    I thought I would post this report due to the large number of people that ask this and other forums about which 8 channel pre-amps they should purchase.

    I recently bought an M-audio Octane unit for recording drum tracks in my home studio. I use the adat lightpipe to connect to my Protools 6.4 le system. My mic setup consists of the following:

    kick - Audix D6
    snare and toms - SM57's
    overheads - (2) Marshall MXL 2003's
    hi hat - Rode NT-1A

    I discovered almost immediately that when plugging my overhead condenser mics onto channels 7&8 with phantom power engaged, that a fairly loud buzzing and humming noise came up. The noise slowly faded away after about 10-15 min. I switched chords, outlets, ground scenarios etc. and it still happened after a cold start. The weird thing was that if I engaged the -20 db pad on channels 7&8 the buzz went away, even with the gain all the way up. M-audio sent me a 2nd unit to try to see if the unit was defective. Same results with the 2nd unit.

    I took the Octane to a local high end recording studio to check it with other mics, cables and power supply. Same results with my mics (Marshall's & Rode) but when some Neumann U87's were used, no buzz. We started trying some other mics with different ohm ratings (ADK-A51's, Oktava mk012's, Shure KSM-141's). Bottom line, any mic less than 200 ohms caused channels 7&8 to buzz. I informed M-audio's tech support of this and they did their own testing of the Octane units at their factory with various mics. Sure enough, they have admitted to me that it is a design flaw.

    So, if you have an M-audio octane or are looking to buy an Octane be careful about the condensers you use. Anything less than 200 ohms will more than likely cause you a very annoying buzz or a 15 min. warm up time for the noise to go away.

    Hope this post helps someone. It cost me a lot of time, headaches and some $$ to ship one of my Octane units back to the factory. Worse yet, M-audio didn't even say thanks for finding the flaw or offer any thoughts as to if the problem would get worse over time. Go figure. :?

  2. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004

    Thank you? They're probably sending ninjas over to your place to silently end you before you leak the word any further. :lol:
  3. drumvan

    drumvan Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
    ann arbor, michigan
    lol. well my 7 year old daughter is taking some martial arts classes so i guess we'll be ready for them :eek: :lol:

    i was just surprised at their "oh well" attitude. maybe i shouldn't be.

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