M-Audio NRV10 Audio Interface - Resurrection

The sad story of poor musician with happy ending ;)

I bought my audio interface about four years ago, and I have to say I was very happy about the choice I made . It is very nice fusion of 8 x 2 analog mixer and a 10 x 10 24-bit/96kHz fire-wire digital audio interface with 16 DSP FXs on board and 3 band EQ on each channel.

The main reason I decided to buy it, was number on inputs available on the device .That's grate I thought . Finally I could set up my little home studio and have all of my external equipment (microphones ,circuit bent devices ,Piezo Pick-ups , etc..) connected to Ableton Live and easily use them any time I want without need of plugging back and forward random devices.

m-audio nrv10 fire-wire
m-audio nrv10 fire-wire

About month ago something unexpected happened . I was working on a song and bum!!

It started making an horrible machine gun-like noise through the speakers.

I switched it off quickly and after while switched back on .Nothing changed.

There was no way to turn the volume down and led indicators on main mix level gone crazy dance.I was in agony !! I knew I can't afford new one.

I put it on a side for a week . Fulfilled with sadness did some searches on internet and I found barely nothing.I thought that's the end , I'm gonna have to start saving money for new equipment or pay for repair if its going to be worth of it .

I decided to take a risk and have a look myself before i take it to the Audio Repair Shop.

As a first i've tested power supply , that was first thing in my mind I thought maybe adapter just burned.

I've had a little hope at that time ,that nothing serious happened but the reading was correct 12v :(.

I've got so excited with all of this testing and I decided to take it apart and search for burned parts or something i could just notice by the eye.

There is not much of rocket science with using screwdriver i thought.

I finally I got case opened , everything inside looked sort of new all nice and shiny nothing burned ... than I spotted it - Little power supply board . Some of capacitors looked weirdly different then others and had this black sort of liquid coming of the tops i thought it can't be right.

I quickly searched on Google willing to learn slightly about capacitors before i take further step.

Thanks to wikipedia i found out what happened

The capacitor plague[1] (also known as bad capacitors[2])

The most common method of identifying capacitors which have failed because of bad electrolyte is visual inspection. The capacitance may degrade to 4% of the original value, as opposed to an expected 50% capacity degradation over the life span.[8] Such a capacitor will show one or more of these symptoms:

  • Bulging of the vent on the top of the capacitor. (The "vent" is the impression stamped in the top of the can. The impression forms the seams of the vent. It is designed so that if the capacitor becomes pressurized it will split at the vent's seams, relieving the pressure rather than exploding.)
  • Sitting crooked on the circuit board, as the bottom rubber plug is pushed out


and so on...


The Bad Guys

Board With New Capacitors

How to fix it?

Step one : Test your power adapter with multimeter it should give you a reading of 12 v.

Step Two : If reading was correct open the case , there is over 40 screws to undo so make sure you have a small plastic bag or some sort of container for storage.If you do not feel confident just simply follow video tutorial posted below ..

Step Three : Inspect your Power supply board and if any capacitor look similar to the ones on the image above, remove power supply board by undoing 3 screws.

Step Four : Order new Set of capacitors 680uF 25v you can easily find them on Ebay or Amazon .

Step Five : Remove faulty capacitors and replace with New one.

Step Six : Put everything back together and power up your mixer .


Conclusion

I'm hoping this guide will help some one out there to solve the problem.

Remember anything you decide to do its on your own risk.

In this guide I'm just showing you how to examine your mixer and possibly get it fixed .

If you do not feel confident enough to do it , ask your friend or some one who knows what to do .It is very very easy fix and it can save you some good money , I paid 5 GBP for caps including shipping . Repair shop will charge you around 15 GBP just for examination plus extra fees for parts and repair and it could easily cost you 50+ pounds.

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