Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

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sandwich
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Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by sandwich » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:54 pm

Hi all,

I bought an ESI4000 off eBay but I'm worried it might be a dud! Before doing anything, it is very noisy and crackly in both the headphones and main outs. Thinking it may only be dirty pots or something, I thought I'd try sampling. What came out was just a complete mess! The original audio can be heard but mixed in with it is a messed up version which also distorts!!

Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a solution? Does anyone with deeper technical knowledge have any idea what might be wrong?

Thanks for any help or advice ;-)

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madtheory
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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by madtheory » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:50 pm

Check in the manual there's a reset/ calibration for the output level. There's also a headroom adjustment. Even new these things were a little bit noisy.

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by sandwich » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:13 am

Hi Tomas,

I found your Sound On Sound article and thought I'd try the diagnostics section. Do you know roughly how long the RAM test should take? I wondered if maybe a RAM module is dodgy (it has 32MB) so thought I'd try that first but it seems to be never ending!! I left it running over night and its still going this morning?

Regards
Dave

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by madtheory » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:09 pm

Hi Dave,

I don't know how long it takes, I haven't owned one in a very long time. But if it's noisy when you don't do anything, and as you say the sample seems to come through, then it's unlikely to be the RAM. Try the output cal menu thing first, if that doesn't do the trick then I'd start by looking at all of the grounding from the PSU onwards, then the analogue end of the audio outputs. I'd suspect an open circuit somewhere, such as a dead cap or three.

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by Baus » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:19 pm

Hi,

Actually.... I have one here. Believe it or not but it's a brand new one. I believe it has been on for about 2 hours at my house for testing.

The unit comes from one of my friends' music store and it has been there for years in rack. Unconnected, unused.

When I switched it on to try it all seemed fine, but when I sampled the sample came out distorted on 1 channel. So, I too did the calibration but without any luck. Headphones is fine, just one of the outputs is not. I also checked, since it's a Turbo version, and the digital output works fine as well.

I posted my question in a FB group and the suggestion was/is to recap the unit. Even if it's unused the capacitors I think is what they're called in English can become bad. I have not done this, yet.

Good luck,

Robin.

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by sandwich » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:07 am

Hi Tomas,

I eventually gave up on that RAM test, it seemed to be never ending!! I've done the output calibration and also in the diagnostic section there is a reset so I've tried that too. The crackling seems to have died down quite a bit but the sample playback is still a mess. When I play back a sample, I can hear two versions playing back at once, one is very good quality but the other is distorted. When I say distorted, I mean it’s more like digital artefacts, like a really bad mp3 or something, and the timing is offset from the good one too.

Kind Regards
David



madtheory wrote:Hi Dave,

I don't know how long it takes, I haven't owned one in a very long time. But if it's noisy when you don't do anything, and as you say the sample seems to come through, then it's unlikely to be the RAM. Try the output cal menu thing first, if that doesn't do the trick then I'd start by looking at all of the grounding from the PSU onwards, then the analogue end of the audio outputs. I'd suspect an open circuit somewhere, such as a dead cap or three.

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by sandwich » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:09 am

Hi Robin,

The distortion on mine comes through on the main outs and the headphones! I gave up on the RAM test in the end, it was still going on well after 24 hours and there's only 32mb in there!

Kind Regards
David
Baus wrote:Hi,

Actually.... I have one here. Believe it or not but it's a brand new one. I believe it has been on for about 2 hours at my house for testing.

The unit comes from one of my friends' music store and it has been there for years in rack. Unconnected, unused.

When I switched it on to try it all seemed fine, but when I sampled the sample came out distorted on 1 channel. So, I too did the calibration but without any luck. Headphones is fine, just one of the outputs is not. I also checked, since it's a Turbo version, and the digital output works fine as well.

I posted my question in a FB group and the suggestion was/is to recap the unit. Even if it's unused the capacitors I think is what they're called in English can become bad. I have not done this, yet.

Good luck,

Robin.

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by sandwich » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:31 pm

Update: Solved!!!

It turned out to be a dodgy RAM module after all. Nothing in the system was solving the problem so I just thought the first and simplest physical thing to check would be the RAM. (just by process of elimination and the fact that they slip out easily enough, thought it worth a try). It had been upgraded to 32MB and one of them was way bigger than the other!! So I took this out first then tried a sample and hey!! Perfect!!

Thanks Tomas and Robin ;-)

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by madtheory » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:51 pm

Great news. So your instinct was correct, and I was barking up the wrong tree. Does yours have the Turbo Board?

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by sandwich » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:04 pm

Hi Tomas,

Yes it has the Turbo installed. I had no idea to be honest, I just thought it's easy to try the RAM first and its not going to do any harm. I'm just glad that's all it was, didn't fancy a big repair job! ;)

Kind Regards

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by madtheory » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:12 pm

That's cool. The reason I asked is that some of the larger RAM modules don't fit under the Turbo Board, so if it was forced in, it might be what caused the problem. I had 72 Megs in mine, and one of the modules was a very tight fit under the Turbo Board. So I guess you could try reseating the Turbo after putting the RAM back in? Or maybe the Turbo was causing a bad connection by pressing down on the RAM module?

Now I'm thinking about other upgrades- might be worth putting a SCSI2SD in it.
http://www.codesrc.com/mediawiki/index. ... le=SCSI2SD

Dunno about maxing the RAM. Is it worth it when this is more of a character machine now? The biggest thing at the time was both layers of the East West Ultimate Piano Fazioli, at a whopping 32 Megs! I still use that in Kontakt. Nice sound.

Of course the ultimate upgrade is an E4XT Ultra :)

Did you get a library with it?

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Re: Emu ESI4000 Audio Problem

Post by sandwich » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:39 pm

Ooh yes the E4XT Ultra!! Nice! I was actually bidding on one of those but lost the auction.

I think you’re right about the turbo board. I have read that you need low profile ram modules if you have the turbo board. The module in the front slot was a larger one although it wasn’t actually touching the turbo, however I have read in the past that modules should be in matching pairs (in certain Mac computers anyway). I have no idea if that’s the case here but it certainly does seem that the larger module was causing some issue.

I did get a library with it yes, 7 CD roms but I have no SCSI CD, I went and flipping sold one only a few years back thinking I’d never need it again Doh!! Can’t wait to hear what’s on them. ;)

Kind Regards
Dave

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