Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:41:25 AM »
I have been using Neumann KH120A for a while. Cannot complain about the sound, but gradually discovered they are somewhat unreliable and not service friendly at all.
This is mainly to do with a dreadful switching power supply, combined with a multi-layer smt pcb and no schematics provided by the manufacturer.

First a customer brought one in for repair and after wasting several hours I ended up sending it to the official repair centre... £240 fixed charge plus shipping costs and three months waiting time.
I have been reading online several reports mentioning power supply failures, and could not find a single case where the user has been able to get the repair done without going through the authorised service centre.

Recently one of my monitors has blown with the same power supply failure and there is no way I am gonna fall into the trap... Sennheiser is just not gonna have any more of my money and I am not gonna wait for the second speaker to fail.
It's a shame because they are really nice sounding speakers for the price, but I can't stand the fact they are basically not serviceable and prone to this kind of failure.

Rant over.. I would like to replace these with a good set of similar sized monitors, that are more reliable and easier to service. I want to avoid switch mode power supplies like the plague and would rather not mess with surface mount components.
Perhaps something older say pre-90ties is worth considering as it's often easier to service, and maybe an amp + passive speakers combo is preferable to a active speaker.

Would be great to hear any suggestions from technically minded people. I am not gonna bother asking this kind of question on gearslutz




abbey road d enfer

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2021, 10:45:40 AM »
It's a big disappointment to find out K+H, that used to be Panzer-like teutonic engineering, has turned unreliable.
It really should not be so.
So far Genelec and JBL have not disappointed me.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

cyrano

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2021, 10:58:15 AM »
I went back to passive monitors. Easier to service...

I've seen goofs in almost any brand. From glue to keep electrolytics in place that went conductive in a few years to electrolytics that were under voltage, to power amp ICs blowing repeatedly.

My active Hecos are still going strong, however, after more than half a century.  :P
Why is it people love to believe and hate to know?

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2021, 11:46:42 AM »
I would have hoped something by Neumann designed in Germany would last more than 5 years.
But I am not that disappointed at the speakers failing, after all everything is gonna break sooner or later..

What is annoying the most is manufacturers not providing basic service information, and overall the design is not meant to facilitate servicing. I can tolerate that on a 20 quid mobile phone, but not on over 1K worth of audio gear.

The official repair centre doesn't even fault find the board, they replace it entirely.
In the end this turns into a higher cost for the user, and one should think it's also more waste going to the land.

I am seriously considering moving to passives and get a decent amplifier without some crappy smps inside.







abbey road d enfer

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2021, 04:40:05 PM »
I am seriously considering moving to passives and get a decent amplifier without some crappy smps inside.
The best amps today use smps. An smps is not necessatily crappy.
Some linear psu's are crappy.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

ubxf

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2021, 05:34:26 PM »
What would be the amp of choice today

shabtek

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2021, 12:41:08 AM »
could the p.s. be remoted? feed dc rails to the active monitor bypassing the duff smps.
"really fine players do not use stomp boxes or master volume, they match the amp to the room and turn it up to 11.  Stevie Ray, BB King, Albert King, Duane Allman, Dicky Betts, Louis Armstrong"
   -CJ

abbey road d enfer

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 02:28:37 AM »
What would be the amp of choice today
Lab Gruppen or Powersoft
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

pucho812

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2021, 02:52:35 AM »
I have been dealing with this lately.  The owner of a studio I service insists that we have to have a specific model of JBL monitor because that is the best. To complicate the issue that model is discontinued. To not complicate the issue, you can get all the parts for it still.  However he insists that  we have to have the American made  versions of tweeters and woofers because when JBL moved production to mexico, there is a sonic difference in parts from the mexican factory vs the american factory. While I don't doubt he hears a difference, I have heard it too,  I feel it is not enough to be worried about and that ultimately if he didn't know he wouldn't be able to tell until he asked.  Them American tweeters for that model are harder and harder to come by in NOS or used.

That said, if it were me, the traditional passive speaker with amp is going to be the most service friendly.
As for amps, aside from the usual off the self pro audio amps, check out hypex as well. they are quite nice.
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.

jensenmann

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2021, 06:31:23 AM »
I stopped buying/using Sennheiser products in my dayjob just for their lack of service and repairability. Their repairs are ridiculously overpriced and Sennheiser claimed faults in several instances which clearly were not true just to charge the maximum amount of repair fees. Or even worse they do it so the customer doesn´t have his gear repaired but buys something new instead. It happened to me with microphones, headphones, wireless gear, etc. I´m done with Sennheiser.
Jens
Quote from: PRR
The tubes of course don't care what frequency they distort


PermO

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2021, 06:45:28 AM »
+1 on the Lap Gruppen amps, those things are solid !  :o

If you don't need an amp that can handle 2kW into a 2 Ohm load...

Perreaux has a very nice HiFi class A amp with balanced input connections, great for a set of nearfields.

"It's very important that you run trough the door, not trough the wall" - Sadhguru

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2021, 07:40:34 AM »
could the p.s. be remoted? feed dc rails to the active monitor bypassing the duff smps.

I have thought about that, but that multi layer board without schematics is just too much headache to reverse engineer. Looked like some of the power rails are on inner layers

The best amps today use smps. An smps is not necessatily crappy.
Some linear psu's are crappy.

I don't have something agains smps as such, it's just they are more tricky to repair - for me at least - and when on top of that the manufacturer doesn't provide service information or spare parts, even a well designed smps turns into plain garbage.

As for amps, aside from the usual off the self pro audio amps, check out hypex as well. they are quite nice.

Very interesting, they have a range of DIY modules as well

Any suggestions for some DIY power amp projects ?

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2021, 07:42:32 AM »
I stopped buying/using Sennheiser products in my dayjob just for their lack of service and repairability. Their repairs are ridiculously overpriced and Sennheiser claimed faults in several instances which clearly were not true just to charge the maximum amount of repair fees. Or even worse they do it so the customer doesn´t have his gear repaired but buys something new instead. It happened to me with microphones, headphones, wireless gear, etc. I´m done with Sennheiser.

Absolute rubbish service from Sennheiser UK. Over three months to return the speaker. Will never deal with them again

scott2000

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2021, 07:49:01 AM »


Any suggestions for some DIY power amp projects ?

Wonder what this is about??

https://www.ebay.com/itm/174703657027?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2021, 08:00:29 AM »
Theres always the predecessor to the KH120 which came in a passive version,   K+H P110 , not as flat as the KH120 but still very good , of course you could set up  a compensation EQ to flatten things using something like REW but it would mean digitising the source if it was an analog signal .

I did make an enquirey with Sennheiser a while back about replacement drivers for headphones , I was offered I think 30% discount against the same or an equivalent new product , but no chance of spare parts .

Tungstengruvsten

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2021, 09:39:42 AM »
Lab Gruppen or Powersoft

...unfortunately the average tech can't repair either of those - it's almost completely board swaps at their repair facilities.  And Lab Gruppen is part of the Behringer camp now...

I also wouldn't want to use either brand for any sort of critical monitoring ie studio use...fantastic for PA but damn hard upper mids for small monitors....
Is that a real poncho or a Sears poncho?

pvision

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2021, 11:54:05 AM »
I'm a KH120 fan but have come across the £240 repair bill...

I heard a pair of the smallest passive ATCs the other day and was really impressed. They're a lot warmer than the Neumanns but very well balanced. About £1500 / pair. I heard them with an old pro Yamaha amp of mine and they sounded great. They would be my choice of alternative

Nick Froome

ubxf

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2021, 02:06:47 PM »
Lab Gruppen or Powersoft are probably very nice but don't seem to cater to near field studio monitoring. Perreaux are great but hard to come by in the US. Hypex is interesting
are the plate amps very different from the external chassis ones. Both don't look easily serviceable but the cost of exchange is not too much more than the basic service charge quoted earlier.

pucho812

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2021, 04:46:48 PM »
Lab Gruppen or Powersoft are probably very nice but don't seem to cater to near field studio monitoring. Perreaux are great but hard to come by in the US. Hypex is interesting
are the plate amps very different from the external chassis ones. Both don't look easily serviceable but the cost of exchange is not too much more than the basic service charge quoted earlier.

From all I have seen the plate amps by hypex have dsp which you can use to your crossovers and such and the amps are just amps without any dsp
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.

Re: Suggestions for new SERVICEABLE set of monitors
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2021, 05:30:10 AM »
I'm a KH120 fan but have come across the £240 repair bill...

I heard a pair of the smallest passive ATCs the other day and was really impressed. They're a lot warmer than the Neumanns but very well balanced. About £1500 / pair. I heard them with an old pro Yamaha amp of mine and they sounded great. They would be my choice of alternative

Nick Froome

Those ATC seem really good but at the moment I cannot afford that price range

I am currently looking at a pair of Dynaudio BM-5 for 250€

They probably are not excellent monitors but I guess decent value for money

Still looking around for DIY amplifier options, this one is kinda cool

http://www.pmillett.com/NuClassD.html


 

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