Have you read this user's experience? Seems like Black Lion have some customer relation issues to resolve. http://cgi.ebay.com/MOTU-24i-w-Black-Lion-Audio-Modification -Ripoff-424_W0QQitemZ130032516591QQihZ003QQcategoryZ41784QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
This Auction is for a MOTU 24i that was mint
Before it was Sent to Black Lion Audio
It may or may not be in perfect Working order anymore so I am Buying a Big Ben and I am selling this 24i At any Price - NR
I will ship it out when I get it back from Black Lion
NOTE: If you are considering using the services of
BLACK LION AUDIO…you better think Twice !
THIS IS WHAT ORININALLY WAS PROMISED BY BLACK LION AUDIO…
BLACK LION AUDIO - MOTU MODIFICATION
MOTU's family of audio interfaces are all built upon essentially the same platform. They utilize Texas Instruments TMS320 series of DSP processors to handle bussing and routing. The newer generation of MOTU units all use Asahi Kasei's converters, which are the same converters used by Apogee, RME, and others. Given their strong drivers and routing flexibilty, these units are pretty hard to beat for the price.
One big liability of the MOTU interfaces is the use of NJM4580 and NJM2115 opamps in the analog stages. These opamps are tonally flat and grossly unmusical. They seem to exhibit a haze due to their slow response and high order distortion. And, in spite of what their datasheets promise, the noise floor could use some serious reduction. A second weak spot is definitely that clock. It's based around Texas Instruments TLC2933, which is a VCO and PLL all in one. Although it's not as temperature dependent as some would claim, jitter is high in comparison to good converter clocks-the datasheet claims at least 120 picoseconds, although it's much higher than that because of less than ideal power supply noise.
Black Lion offers two approaches that can be taken here: the first is to lower the analog stage's THD and noisefloor, increase its headroom and bandwidth, and increase overall tonal and transient response. This involves replacing several surface-mount devices with high-speed FET components. The second approach is to replace that clock with a low-noise, low-jitter clock stage that will hold its own against most any high end clock on the market. Under this aspect of the modification, jitter drops from 120 picoseconds to less than 10.
Black Lion Audio
4028 1/2 N Paulina
Chicago IL 60613
MY PERSONAL NIGHTMARE WITH BLACK LION AUDIO…
Excerpts from my letter dated 09-19-2006
My experience with your company thus far has been extremely frustrating.
This is the history of our transaction thus far:
1) I shipped out my 24i unit on 08/25 to arrive for its 8/31 appointment
2) I received an email on Sept. 6th explaining the unit was done
3) I immediately sent $550 (including $25 for shipping) on Sept. 6th and I included the following note: Please handwrite or type all the info. about my unit such as type of converters, old clock and now the new clock chip, old analog stage info. and now new analog stage info., I would like to this info. keep it on file
4) After waiting a week my 24i did not arrive...I called only to find out the unit had on even shipped yet !
5) After finally receiving my 24i late Friday on the 15th (I noticed a toggle switch and no documentation at all with the unit….no info. I originally requested and no info on the toggle switch); I tried to call Black Lion, but I am in CA and they were closed at that time on Friday. I now had to go another weekend without being able to use my mod 24i.
6) I called you on Monday Sept. 18th and you explained the toggle switch; I hooked up the unit and the clock did not lock (prompt shipping back to me would have been nice since now I will suffer even more downtime). Black Lion was now closed and with no documentation I tried for 5 hours to troubleshoot on my own…..I hooked it up to 2 different G4 Macs, OS 9.22 and OS X10.3.9; I tried every combination of the toggle switch and the Motu control panel clock selection under both OS 9 and OS X….I just couldn’t believe the unit would come back non-functional. You stated it was tested before it left and it must be shipping damage….there is no damage to the box whatsoever. If the mod is that delicate that vibration from dropping the box during shipping would damage the new clock, then I strongly suggest you guys double box units when shipping or use stronger solder….or something ! If I take the Mod unit on the road is it going to be that fragile…??!
I am at a loss for words…I was looking forward to this modification for several projects and I am second guessing my decision to have picked your company for its services.
I shipped my Motu 24i back to Black Lion on Wednesday 20th (2 day shipping). I have called Black Lion 3 times during the week of Sept. 25th and I have NEVER even gotten the courtesy of a return call. After calling today (09-29-2006) Matt explained that their Motu PCI card is damaged and they need to buy another one for testing modified units…wow what a professional company, they Mod units all day long and have 1 test card…lol. I wonder how it was originally tested if they don’t have a functioning motu PCI card ?
If you win this auction I will ship the item the item after I get it back from Black Lion Audio…..and I don’t know exactly when that will be.
I have been without the unit for 1 month and 4 days and have paid for their services 3 weeks 2 days ago, maybe if I beg they will get it back to me so I can ship it out ASAP after the auction.
NOTE about the Black Lion Mod: The Modification of the clock and the analogue stage cost me $525 so I hope I get at least a few bucks back, unfortunately after doing my homework (a little late) I realized that this may be a little pricey since the analogue stage part of the mod where the Motu NJM4580 Operational Amp chips are unsoldered and SA5532AP Op. amp chips replace them (think there are 6 or 8 of them) only costs about $4.72 in parts (SA5532AP chips are $.59 each on the web). I do not know what a clock chip costs…..but you do the math….how much is soldering per hour these days ?
One Last NOTE: If you are not interested in my Motu 24i, but you read this since you were about to ship your DIGI or Motu Unit to Black Lion Audio for modification, you better think again…using the services of BLACK LION AUDIO may keep your studio down for quite a while.