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Author Topic: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?  (Read 33091 times)

Offline Magnet

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2006, 07:30:02 pm »
Thanks for all the input and here's the update.
I had Matt from Blacklion Audio do his opamp mod
to my Motu 24I/O and i also had him do his new
clock mod as well. He replaces the internal clock with 2 much better clocks. One for 44.1/88.2k and one for 48k/96k. I am very pleased with my investment. The opamp he uses really sounds much
better just as Matt described in my first post. And the new clock makes it even better. This unit really sounds very good now and the price was right.

Magnet mixerhands

Offline cram1960

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2006, 01:48:26 am »

Did the mods also improve stereo imaging?

What was the turnaround time?

Offline Magnet

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2006, 03:00:24 pm »
Yes, the stereo imaging has improved and
the more i work with the new mod the
happier i am with my decision.

Call Matt at Blacklion audio and setup a
time for him to do your mod. He was very accomadating regarding sheduals.

best wishes
magnet mixerhands

Offline iCombs

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2006, 07:47:50 pm »
I have a pair of 896's that Matt modified, and I COMPLETELY echo your comments...microdynamics actually exist, and I no longer have to work to take a "haze" off of the mix...I'm totallly happy with them.

Also, I'm waiting to get some other stuff back...he did a 3630 for me (had one laying around that hadn't seen the light of day for years), and I'm waiting on another...plus he's modding a Rolls RP-220 for me that hasn't been used forever either...again, we'll see how those turn out...so far I'm pretty impressed with Black Lion.
Ian Combs
Lightspeed Group, Inc.
"Mista apareeatah... can I have maar beass at all frequencies?"

Offline Dan Mc

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2006, 10:41:25 pm »
I have been effectively using a Motu 24i/o for about 2 years now and have been pleased with its simplicity. I mainly use it to dump tracks from my Otari Mtr-90 and then mix with Nuendo automation bussed backed out through analog summing....
anyway.... did the clock upgrades make the unit noticable more stable... I am not interfacing digitally at all but internal clocking always seemed off a little. I have always suspected the Motu PCI card????

Offline Magnet

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2006, 09:16:29 pm »
Your transfers in and out will be so much better with the opamp and clock mod. The new clocks sound so smoothand solid. I am really happy with the work i had Blacklionaudio do. I just did a drum tracking session at a major studio and we transfered from 24trk 2inch to PTHD.
I am just as happy with my new modded converters
as i was with the PTHD at 24/88.2. PTHD sounded brighter but who needs brighter. Basically in my opinion digital sounds like crap and once you get up to a certain level
of conversion you are just choosing from different colors of crap. I'd like better conversion in the future but this was a great step forward. I would rather now put money into bettering my tracking rooms acoustics rather than getting even better converters. just do it. you will be happy.

magnet mixerhands

Offline Jon Hodgson

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2006, 04:27:57 am »

did you take some before and after samples of similar sounds?

it might be interesting for people to be able to compare.

Offline Dan Mc

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2006, 12:46:02 pm »
I agree with ya magnet
money disbursment through the studio is the hardest part
it seems to me that Yeah High end converters are great (and i really want them eventually) but for 700 bucks upgrading the unit which i am used to preformance wise and have integrated into my rig wiring wise makes sense for at least another year or so and then i can build my mic and preamp collection so i can have something good to actually convert!

Offline zmix

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2006, 10:28:14 am »
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 !

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
Lower Level
Chicago IL 60613

Matt Newport

Excerpts from my letter dated 09-19-2006
Dear Matt,
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.

Offline intervalkid

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Re: Motu 24I/O Upgrade?
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2006, 01:02:19 am »
You have to set your software to recognize the clock as an external clock source for it to function properly.