Prime 4 - Faulty Soundcard?

I have had my Prime 4 since Jan 2020 and have always thought the sound wasn’t QUITE as good as it should be, but about 6 weeks ago, there were certain tracks that made me jump up an think that there was something wrong, it was very noticeable. The best way I can describe it is if you turn the filter knob slightly to the left to filter out a bit of the high regency, mixed with a bit of phase effect, mixed with a poor quality MP3 from 20 years ago. It made me straight away check my speakers to see of there something wrong with them - they were OK though. It is only noticable on certain tracks/files but they are exact files that I have been playing for years without issue. I was using Virtual DJ, but it happened with the same file in standalone mode too. I did a bit of troubleshooting last night and came to the conclusion that the soundcard is playing up. All of these test are with the same file. Virtual DJ - Prime 4 - XLR out - same issue Virtual DJ - Prime 4 - RCA out - same issue Prime 4 Standalone - XLR OUT - same issue Prime 4 standalone - RCA - same issue

Virtual DJ - Pioneer RX2 - no issue Virtual DJ (using usb on Macbook for sound output and Prime 4 as the controller) - no issue

Virtual DJ - Prime 4 - BOOTH OUT - no issue Prime 4 Standolone - BOOTH OUT - no issue

So it seems that the proble is when using either the master out with XLR or RCA, as possible Booth out uses a different soundcard.

On the files that had been giving me issues, the difference is sound was night and day. I’m assuming that there is an issue with all files, but maybe the frequencies of these particular ones are the ones that are affected.

I tried with different speakers too - same results as above.

Look like it could be a repair?

This sounds like what I’ve always experienced in my Prime 4. I use RCA out to get around it for me but it seems like it’s not fixing it for you.

Yeah we spoke at length about that issue! This is a different thing altogether not related to rca or xlr, just the master output as a whole. I’ll try and post recordings tomorrow if I get chance!

1 Like

Just tried on a different Prime 4 and the sound is fine. Looks like I have a fault… As I said, there are some songs where you can’t really hear it, but I’ve picked out 2 songs in these videos that you can really tell, particularly the Whigfield one. The Billy Joel one can just about be heard, but will need to take an actual recording to hear it properly rather than just filming the speaker.

Videos are here:

1 Like

@MrWilks sounds terrible doesn’t it?

Hopefully you can get a fix for it. I’ll be interested to see what is said if you open a ticket.

I’ve solved where the issue is it - sort of!

The master out switch was on mono instead of stereo. That should not make the sound so bad, but it did.

As soon as I switch to mono, the sound is so poor again. Stereo - sound is absolutely fine

The booth output bypasses the stereo/mono switch therefore sounded OK.

Here’s the weird thing - I was able to recreate the issue using the booth outputs using an external mixer: Booth L out to Channel 1 on Mixer (the channel then outputs this to left and right) Booth R out to Channel 2 on Mixer (the channel then outputs this to left and right)

When both channels were playing, the sound had the issue I have been describing - poor quality

When I put the fader down for EITHER one, the sound was fine again (albeit only receiving from one channel from Denon obviously)

It’s as if there is some kind of has issue where frequencies are being cancelled out sort of, if that makes sense?

Maybe it’s the same issue with the mono switch?

If You have such an issue, it looks like Your source is to blame. When files are badly encoded, or mixed / mastered poorly, You will have issues in mono on every device.

Run a test and make Your files mix to mono from computer sound card directly. Or play them on Your home cinema system and mix left and right channels to mono before the amp (many home amplifiers have a mono option too). You can also import Your file to a DAW and save mixdown as a mono to check.

I’m out & about on my phone, so can’t really look at the video. …but that sounds like one of your ouputs is out of phase.

Does the video sound like most of your vocals are missing? If your outputs are out of phase, all the info in the centre of your stereo image (normally lead vocals) will significantly reduce in volume.

Have you brought any new (cheap) leads recently? Basically, if one of your leads have got the positive & negative conductors reversed, you’ll get what you’re describing.

That would makes sense at it was way noticeable on some tracks, but less so on others.

That’s indeed file encoding (MP3) or just a bad mixing engineer playing with too much stereo. Mostly it’s the MP3 encoding. :wink:

Some of the worst ones were from a legit music video service…

Legit doesn’t automatically mean “good”.

Have a listen to “Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway”. It was a hit, but not the finest example of mixing/mastering…

They were from Smash Vision and I had noticed that one or two of their videos sounded a bit iffy. Could be their encoding process as flac versions or direct CD rips of some of the dodgy ones sound fine, this the original mastering must be OK. I’ll have a listen to Kelly Clarkson!