1 October 2018

Behringer PMP2000 and Full Compass. Two birds, one stone!

Behringer, what more can I tell you about it other than it’s my most feared brand to receive for repairs. Personally all their power mixer I encountered in the past had suffered mixes of problem ranging from blown component or to a blown circuit board. Most problem with occur either after high mileage within the warranty itself or just passed it. The usual explosion/fire will be at the high DC voltage area. Those components affected are the Fuuullllll Bridge Rectifier and some passive components post...

I want to share an experience of mine with a Behringer Powered Mixer. It was a PMH pr PMX several thousand series. I think it's sometime in 05 or 06. A studio sent me one for repair. I think its Blackpearl Studio in Shah Alam. Anyone locally heard or remembers this studio back then? Nice cosy studio in my opinion. Anyway when I open it (the powered mixer), it had a concentrated black spot inside on the bottom metal chassis. Definitely sign of explosion. Above the blast scene was a five cent coin size hole on the PCB. Among the dead was a few SMT type Fuullll Burnt Roastonfire diodes....scattered on the surrounding were pieces of what might be resistors. Electronics Police are still looking for evidence. At the time, no one interested to claim responsible for the explosion. Electronics Police have not rule out foul design/parts. The Electronics Police had issued a warning, the public should avoid buying PA from the brand. Electronics Police advise any jamming studios that operating long hours should buy Coby Powered Mixer or Amplifiers from Pasar Road. Coby brand last longer. Continuing.....I knew if I took on the job I'll be chasing an endless rabbit hole of repairs, it would be too costly and expensive, even to consider. I gave it back. The best decision I made.

Moving on.
The external spec sheet of this PMP2000 shows high degree of function potentials but in reality, internally they are substandard. Especially where it matters the most. Have patience, I’ll get to my conspiracy theory shortly.

This one in this post has no power. I put in a pair of new fuses. It blew the fuses in less than five minutes of operation. I noticed the cooling fan was not spinning. The heat sink temp must have rose pass operation temperature then some kind of built in protection circuit kicked the fuses dead.

I put it aside to check out words on the street. I found a website selling Behringer parts. The cooling fan and the complete amplifier PCB section assembly are available for purchase but.... (To coda)
Seriously Behringer? A board swap? Now I get it but I thought only PC world does this board swap business practice. For obvious reason of course. Requirement keeps changing and data speed kept increasing by the year. By the way what idiot would still be using a 10 year old PC system? Well..... I am one of them idiots who still does. Anyway, that's beside the point.
I mean in terms of audio technology,imagine Marshall, Mesa Boogie and others started selling their boards since let say the 2000. You can bet I will be one of many whom would be stacking circuit boards waiting to be populated (if it's sold unpopulated that is). Don't matter how many Sundays it would take, we'll get it complete someday, or at least the live one will. Don't discount the rise of DIY death from electrocution appearing in the news. The point is, once completed, the tone won't be outdated. Its common knowledge we had surpassed the speed of sound/tone both in air and on ground in style and quality. Come to think of it, a sloppy make shift combo of any pallet wood rack/shelf from Ikea isn't a bad idea at all. Eventually people be buying kits not a complete guitar amplifier because the original developers' would've already gone dead or went into making Smartphones, PC peripherals or Musang King Field. So now you see why a lot of established companies hasn’t jump into the board swap wagon. Well not yet. However, we are, I mean they (some companies) are gradually trying to corner everyone into that fast and furious manufacturing lane. 

Today, you have these pumped up know nothing Engineers cum Marketers’ Uni graduates whom never seen nor heard about Floppy or Compact Disc, what more Cassette or Video Tape. These young blood eager to climb up the company ladder by telling experience amp designers why use expensive components? When there's cheaper ones over there. Why build it here? When you can build it over there, it's cheaper. Why physically prototype a design? When you can flash program simulate it over here on OLED screen, it's cheaper. Why that large power transformer? When there's SMPS with several tiny transformers in it over there, it’s cheaper. Why the long and bulky spring reverb tank? When there's a chip that can do Delay too over there, it’s cheaper. Why and what is that slow spinning Black 12 inch disc thing? When there's downloads over...well, everywhere. As a matter of fact why build an amp in the first place? When you can easily steal profiled the tones of other builders. It’s FREE.

But Alhamdulillah, that there are many orthodox amp designers and builders who still believe in reliability, true power and real performance e.g. Linear Power Technologies, Loudspeaker reactance, Tubes, OpAmps and Transistors (Real ones, not virtual or POV ones). These people knows more than just making ends meet. They know their meat taste great without artificial add-on to it. To them, a working amplifier that were built by them 10 years ago, today it’s still young. 20 years ago, today it has matured. 30 years ago, today it has season well. 40 years ago, well, people often says life starts at 40. So it has wisdom I guess? To summarise, amp builder wish to see their amps to still work even after their death. Realistically speaking, I believe these kind of amps were built to work for 50 years. To put it in two words, High Quality.  

Behringer themselves knew about their low grade parts and/or would’ve received many grouse from users. Repairs turn out to be expensive for small time techs or service centres because what's put in may not be any better than what was before.
Fo that, offering a complete assemble PCB through third party is way of them saying they care for your products so "don't worry, be happy?”. Let me correct that to "don't happy, be worry".


Oh yes speaking of that third party. Remember that one sentence I left hanging up there. While I was on the site, I put a parts order list for the Behringer compounding together some parts for another two ongoing repairs. Since Full Compass have those too, why not. I will not mention those two brand here.

The reply quote came back but amount is.... take a look at the shipping. Fucking fantastic isn't it. I say it again fucking fantabolus isn't it. It's my pleasure to say it again "pukimakau".

After that first official quote, I thought I inquire again asking for three separate quote, it would be cheaper and fair I think. And also I realised that I was dealing with three customers, therefore it's impossible to get a green/red light from all three at once. I just couldn’t split the first shipping quote three way. My fellow readers and customers, domestic and foreign. This is nothing like splitting bill among friends after feasting kari kepala ikan paus at any mamak curry house.

The second reply was not a quote but rather a warning or insisting suggestion. I was told by the person on the other side of the Pacific that separate shipping quote will be more expensive than it already is. How much? I don't know. They didn’t tell me. I don't even dare to speculate. Let me tell you (Full Compass) this, I don’t think you have any involvement in developing Behringer Pro Audio products. The way you quote the shipping was as though you were. Are you fucking kidding me and my clients? Did Full Compost hired a train loads of dumb millennials now? Or Full Compost got a bad binding deal with the shipping company? Or worst, Full Compost is trying to pull a fast one by doing double standard where they overcharged export shipping orders to give better rate on local orders. I've ordered heavier stuff in the past before e.g. 70kg from USA and 39kg from Germany. The courier was DHL/UPS. 3 working days and each did not exceeded USD250 freight. So may I asked what heaven is going on with Full Compost? Is Full Compost going to send those parts in the SR-71 Blackbird? Come to think of it, we tech wish it would be that fast, but only sometime not all the time.

The thing that Full Compost should have done was entertain my second quote inquiry professionally like they did prior. Like wise, a potential customer such as myself need to get the numbers accurate. A customer such as myself would like to present those numbers to my customers. My customers then under not any duress will be able to give a go or no go. What ever consultation comes after is between me and my customers is none of any other company business. It is unprofessional for full compost to behave in such manner. I ask nothing but quotes with some brief explanation in both emails. Who do they think they are? My financial adviser?

I would like to give Full Compass some suggestions. I suggest you retrain or relocate the Bilingual Business Development Representative person whom handled this. This person is highly incompetent in fulfilling the job requirement at the same time tarnishing Full Compass as a whole, your foreign customers deserves better treatment than this. Full Compass, I wanted to be in your list of customers because I acknowledged the fact that you have replacement parts of most brands. I was looking forward of having some sort of parts support network thing going. My failure to deliver the required info and services to my local professional customers had left them with a distasteful experiences, me too. Because of what happen, two of my customers had walked away with their gears. My time spent on troubleshooting and online research of those gears was a waste of time, energy and money on internet data. If only your employee does what was nicely asked. Therefore, I refuse to be your future customer until you relook into your foreign orders policies and removing that irresponsible person whom miss handle my inquiry. With that said, Craig Johnson if you’re reading this. Thank you for giving me the best inquiry experiences.

So yeah I put aside the PMP2000. Maybe I comeback to it to replace the cooling fan. There must a similar fan unit from PC industry that I could use as replacement. Who knows, that could be the only fault. If I have to give it back unrepaired then it would be my pleasure to entertain my customer’s request. I will not insist or suggest anything to my customer. We'll see how things progress.

Thank you

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