Helpful ReplyFocurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do?

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Jesse Screed
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2018/07/10 00:18:22 (permalink)

Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do?

The right channel on my 18i20 gen 1 failed. I spent an hour in chat with Customer Service in the UK.  I'm in the US, so that was interesting.  Anyway, we tried everything, and the head on the other end said it sounds like the channel has failed, so I will need to get it fixed.
 
He said he put in a ticket to the US team, and they would respond, but they have not, it has been over 4 days now.
 
Has anyone else had this issue?  Was it a driver issue, or was it really failed?  I have updated everything Focusrite. Any suggestions?
 
Is it worth getting fixed considering shipping, repair charges, and gen 1 status, or should I look into a new unit?  I don't really need 18 in, it is nice, but only ever really used 6.  Any cool ones out there to replace it with?
 
Just wondering
 
Jesse Q Screed
 
 
#1
fireberd
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/10 10:43:30 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby mettelus 2018/07/10 13:28:44
I don't know about the current US out of warranty repair.  But I had a Saffire Pro 40 out of warranty and the authorized Focusrite repair center (3rd party) in Las Vegas gave me an estimate to fix it of $400 plus shipping (two hours minimum labor at $100 per hour and $200 for a new main circuit board).  Plus it would take an extended period (as quoted) as the parts would have to be ordered from Focusrite in England.  As I'm an ex amp tech, I asked Focusrite about buying the board and I would install it but they wouldn't sell me the replacement parts.  I only paid $445 for it new so it was dumped and the $400 (plus shipping charges which would have equaled what I paid for it) was used to buy a new (different manufacturer) unit.
 
 
 
 
 

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#2
mettelus
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/10 13:37:09 (permalink)
+1, investing money to keep something working can be hit or miss, especially if the entire unit has suffered degradation (through use). Sure, one thing failed, but other things have degraded, so you would get back one new part, and the rest would be "as is." If that ever approaches a significant percentage of a replacement, consider the replacement - all new, under warranty, etc.
 

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JohanSebatianGremlin
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/10 14:54:44 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Jesse Screed 2018/07/11 00:37:37
I don't think I'd pay anyone to fix a legacy I/O box at this point. 
 
When you say the right channel failed, what exactly do you mean? Will the unit pass inputs to the computer only on the left channel? Or is it that the input side is fine but the box will only output audio on the left side?
If the problem impacts audio input, then you're probably hosed. Time to go I/O shopping.
 
If the problem is only with the monitor output, you might have a couple options. You could just try using different pair of outputs for your monitor feed and call it good. You could also crack the box open and inspect/resolder the output jack if you're feeling adventurous. Or you could go I/O shopping. $400 will get you a few different choices that have 6 preamps. If you don't need preamps on all 6 inputs, you could get away even cheaper.

 
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dwardzala
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/10 15:55:12 (permalink)
My general rule of thumb is that if the repair costs more that 50% of the cost to replace the unit, you should replace the unit.  There are a lot of options out there, depending on your budget.

Dave
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jimfogle
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/10 22:28:06 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Jesse Screed 2018/07/11 00:38:03
Check Amazon.com, Craigslist, eBay and Reverb.com to get an idea how used costs.  Doing a quick search I found a 2nd generation, certified refurbished unit for $389 https://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Scarlett-Interface-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B07DNTMTJK?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-ffnt-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07DNTMTJK.
 
Unfortunately, most electronic devices made today are not cost effective to repair.

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Jesse Screed
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/11 00:43:55 (permalink)
Hello all, it sounds like repair is not the best route.  I did try using other outs, but even they were whacked. 
 
You all been great with your advice!!  Many thanks to all of you.  And I mean all of you!
 
Time to look for a different unit.  I could still record.
 
Worst thing is, I don't feel like recording because it is kind of weird mixing in mono on one speaker.  I know it is a good idea to try it sometimes, but my job has been busy, so I'll just lay back and look for another.
 
I'm sure the song forum can get by without me for a week or two, or three
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JohanSebatianGremlin
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/11 15:08:35 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Jesse Screed 2018/07/11 23:47:22
A couple stupid questions.
Have you swapped cables and/or verified the right speaker and amp are working?
Do you have both channels in the headphones?

 
If gear was the determining factor, we would all have a shelf full of Grammies and a pocket full of change.  -microapp
 
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Jesse Screed
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/11 23:47:29 (permalink)
JohanSebatianGremlin
A couple stupid questions.
Have you swapped cables and/or verified the right speaker and amp are working?
Do you have both channels in the headphones?


Hello JSG, thanks for the continued attention.  Yes I did switch cords.  I think I tried every possible combination of switching this and that.  It got to the point where my head started to hurt.
 
It is a real chore to run to around the desk, switch the cords, especially on my Mackies, they hide the input behind some metal, and you have to guess where it is, or get on your knees with a flashlight.
 
Yes, I do have sound in both channels of the headphone jack.  However, if I plug the cans into channel 1, 3, 5, 7, there is no sound.  If I plug the cans into 2,4,6,8, I get sound.
 
Before I give up totally, I will redo all the checks to verify, and turn the monitors so there is easy access.  I appreciate that you are still with me on this.  I don't want to shat can it until I have proven to myself one more time.
 
 
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jimfogle
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/12 01:27:52 (permalink)
It is real easy to lose track of what tests have and have not been performed.  May I suggest you write down a list of each test you want to run then mark each test with a P for pass or F for fail.  That way you'll have confidence you've done everything you want to do.

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#10
AT
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/12 15:29:27 (permalink)
For that price you can get a new interface.  My suggestion either an Audient id4 or id44.  Better quality than the Focusrite, I'd bet (the pres are from their consoles) and good to great conversion.  Along everything else you might need, at least in the 44.  Even if the quality gains be smallish, you'll have a brand new board.
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Starise
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/12 19:38:19 (permalink)
Another stupid question. Have you checked the software app to make sure the balance hasn't been tampered with. Doesn't sound like a main went bad because you have both sides on some channels....and you do know some channels are mono right?

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mettelus
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/12 22:50:24 (permalink)
That is a good catch to test. MixControl has a setting to restore factory defaults in the file menu IIRC.

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gswitz
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/12 23:05:58 (permalink)
RME has a total-reset button in Total Mix that has saved me any number of times.

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
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Jeff Evans
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/12 23:37:34 (permalink)
I think Scarlett 18i20 Gen 1 has to work with MixControl. So if there is a setting in MixControl to do a factory reset I would certainly be trying this.
 
Focusrite Control is the current software for all their newer interfaces. From what I can see there is no such factory reset under Focusrite Control. 
 
Starise brings up a good point though. The other day I was hearing everything in just one ear under Focusrite Control (with a Clarett 2 Pre interface) and it was just a silly balance control being out of whack. I did discover something unusual the other day though doing a stereo recording through a Clarett 2 Pre interface. If you monitor with headphones plugged into the Clarett 2 Pre at a very low volume the headphone mix automatically goes into mono! The stereo does not appear until you turn the phones up to a higher level. That one threw me!
 
It is rare (but not impossible) for a hardware fault to occur though. This sounds like it might be just that. An output chip has failed etc... 

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Jesse Screed
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/13 11:47:26 (permalink)
Aw YES!  More very good suggestions and ideas.  Two heads are truly better than one.  I have performed the factory reset several times. 
 
I have not given up just yet.  I have done that at least once in the past and regretted it later, so I will follow all the suggestions above and be meticulous in trouble shooting.  I have been through the scenarios more than once, but maybe the third time will be charm.
 
It might be a while before I get to it.  I am recently located in another town because of work so I don't get "home" often, but as soon as I do I will get at it.  In the meantime, just for fun, I have started to look at other units.  The Audient suggestion was interesting because I have never heard of them.  Some people report latency issues with those products, so I continue to research.
 
Thanks again for all the help.  I will llet you know as soon as I get a chance to try again.
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2:43AM
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/15 02:17:17 (permalink)
Jesse, is it an output that has failed or an input?
 
In MixControl, verify that any internal routing has not been altered.  Basically, anything in MixControl's middle section is how the unit can be internally matrixed, separate from DAW routing.
 
All in all, I suppose it's possible that a "channel has failed," but seems odd. I'd suspect a loose connection over a failed DAC or ADC.

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JohanSebatianGremlin
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/15 15:16:14 (permalink)
Here's a final verify test suggestion. Hook it up temporarily to a different computer and install the drivers. Then just patch any audio source the computer may have through it. Even just media player should work. If you install it fresh on another machine and you still have no output on the right side, then its likely a hardware problem and not worth pursuing further.

 
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Jesse Screed
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/16 12:59:50 (permalink)
JohanSebatianGremlin
Here's a final verify test suggestion. Hook it up temporarily to a different computer and install the drivers. Then just patch any audio source the computer may have through it. Even just media player should work. If you install it fresh on another machine and you still have no output on the right side, then its likely a hardware problem and not worth pursuing further.




Yes JSG, this I have done. I had the same results on the second computer. But I will still give it one more go round because I want to confirm my confirmation
 
It is hard for me to give up this unit, so I have a touch of denial, but all things must pass.
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/25 15:19:57 (permalink)
If it were a higher-end audio interface (upwards of $2k), it would be worth having repaired.
 
Sub $500 interface that's 5+ years old, you can replace it with a newer model for same cost as repair.
No down-time... and you'd have slightly better A/D D/A... and most likely lower round-trip latency (depending on the model).

Best Regards,

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Starise
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Re: Focurite 18i20 needs repair. Should I get it fixed? What would you do? 2018/07/27 11:11:21 (permalink)
If it's going to go in the bin anyhow you could pull it apart and look inside. Nothing to loose. True story- My old Presonus interface had a bad off/on switch which is a push in click/push off click. I had a plastic ink pen laying around
that I robbed the click mechanism from and it fits perfectly in the same hole the Presonus button fit in. Works like a charm.
I realize this is a different kind of thing. If the headphone jack opens the audio channels to the mains it could possibly be bad. Cold solder connections are common. Sometimes running the 1/4" plugs in and out of the jacks will renew corroded connections. They make connection cleaner spray too.............or maybe you were tired of that interface and needed an excuse to buy another one. Here's your chance

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