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Fostex VF160EX Pan Problem

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  • Fostex VF160EX Pan Problem

    I have an eight-year old Fostex VF160EX recorder that has developed a bizarre problem. It's long out of warranty, and I can't find that Fostex provides any user forums for support issues. Anyway, the Pan settings have stopped working correctly. During playback, the volume on all channels sinks to almost nothing if all the channels and the master have the pan set to the middle. The volume ramps up dramatically if I either move the master channel pan to right or left, or move a specific channel pan from to the right or left. However, this effects only the volume. The stereo balance remains in mono. The effect is the same if I listen on headphones, or run the stereo outputs on the back panel into my computer, or if I do an internal mixdown and then save the mixed-down program to audio CD and play it on my computer.
    I keep looking through the manual to see of I could have misconfigured something, but I can't find a clue. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • #2
    Other than some gain issue or dirty pots, it sounds like you have phase issues. If you have one channel 180
    degrees out of phase with the other, the two will cancel each other out when set for mono.

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    • #3
      Other than some gain issue or dirty pots, it sounds like you have phase issues. If you have one channel 180
      degrees out of phase with the other, the two will cancel each other out when set for mono.


      Thanks for the suggestion. The problem abruptly went away, which suggests either that I was doing something wrong, or the problem is inherently intermittent. It has happened before, so I expect it may happen again. Looking through the owner manual, I don't see any indication of how to turn channels out of phase with each other. Dirty pots sounds like a plausible theory, through I have no experience with fixing something like that. A quick Google turned up a suggestion of using canned air or electric contact cleaner. I guess I'll try that if/when the problem recurs. Thanks again.

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      • #4
        Use lubricating contact cleaner for the pots only. So not use zero residue cleaner or it will make the pots all scratchey.
        The cleaner comes with a tube that fits on the nozzel and will bet you shoot the inside of the pots with a short squirt., and
        then you twist the pots and sliders till they work smoothly. You dont want to flood them.

        Theres usually plug in connectors inside. make sure they are all tight. You could have a loose connection causing the problem as well.

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        • #5
          Yes, a loose connection also sounds plausible. Thanks also for the advice re lubricating contact cleaner vs. zero residue cleaner. I was not aware of the difference and could easily have gone astray!

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