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L3t Crackling Noise.


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#1 litesnsirens

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:57 AM

I have a pair of L3t's and an L3s (Also a pair or L2t's and a M20d). I have been using this system for about a month and I love it.  I just set up the L3t's, L3s and M20d back up in my basement and noticed I am getting kind of a crackling noise from one of the L3t's.   It's not as farty sounding as if there is blown speaker (but I don't know) it's a kind of crackling sound that lingers a bit when certain lower frequencies are played through it.  Otherwise it's still sounds pretty good.  It's past 30 days since I bought it so Long and McQuade says I'll have to send it in for service.  I was just wondering if there is anything else I can check in the meantime.  Could it be the result of a bad cable over the L6 link?


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#2 litesnsirens

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:43 PM

I did a little more trouble-shooting today.  I got thinking about the problem and recalling that a blown speaker just isn't capable of having any decent sound at all.  So I figured it most be something else.  I turned on only that speaker and then plugged into the mixer in the side and played a few things through that.  Perfect sound... none of the crackling sound.  So having determined that there was nothing wrong with the speaker I figured it must be the cable.  Sure enough it was.  It's a brand new cable so I had a hard time thinking of it first.  But for anyone who is all hooked up via the Line 6 Link.  If you get some crackling in a speaker, replace the cable that is feeding that speaker.  Just a heads up.  It's a quick easy fix... if you know what it is !!!


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#3 silverhead

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 05:07 AM

I have experienced a similar thing and also traced it to the L6 LINK cabling. However, in my case, it seems the problem was a temporary connection issue and not a faulty cable. The symptom disappeared for me by simply disconnecting and reconnecting the same cable.

 

I'm not sure this is the same for you but it might be worth testing that cable again before discarding it.


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#4 litesnsirens

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:58 AM

Thanks silverhead, I'll try the cable again. I had unplugged and plugged if back in but only on the offending speaker. The flawed connection could have been at the sending speaker. Like I said brand new cable.
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#5 scotterp

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 11:57 AM

This happened to me at a gig on Friday. It started during the first set and sounded awful. Simply decided to finish the set with that speaker off. During the next break, we did some trouble shooting. Unplugged cables and put this speaker at the beginning of the chain rather than at the end. Could not replicate the problem. So we hooked it all backup and all was well for the rest of the night.

I seemed to recall a discussion on this and found this today. I am going to double check all of the cables before the next gig to make sure all is well.

As a final note, I did not hook up the cables this gig for the first time, our lead singer did it. Maybe he was the problem. Damn lead singers! :)
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#6 SiWatts69

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:44 PM

Just out of interest... was the "new" cable a distinct AES/EBU or L6Link cable or just a standard mic cable? What end connectors? Neutrik or something generic? Who made the cable up, ie manufacturer?

Not that I'm attempting to diagnose anything, but for the sake of clarity, it might be worth others knowing if there is inconsistency in a given suppliers cables.
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#7 scotterp

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:25 PM

The longer runs (20 and 25 feet) are AES/EBU cables manufactured by Best-tronics. I do have a simple mic cable (6 feet) running between one L3t and the L3s. I suspected that could have been the culprit but everything worked well after replugging everything in. To avoid any further issues, I will be replacing that with an AES/EBU cable. In the end though, I still suspect that our singer did not seat one of the cables properly. 


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#8 dboomer

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:37 PM

Crackling can occur if you are connected via L6 link and the cables are not AES spec.  Usually it's not a problem to use regular mic cables with runs 10'feet and under.

 

So what I would check first is the firmware version of your speakers.  Hold the feedback button in while you power up and it will read (quickly) in the LCD window.  There was a firmware rev (1.05) that did eliminate clicking that could sometimes happen if more than 3 speakers were hooked together.  If you have an older version then you should flash the speakers with the newer version through your M20d.

 

If you have the newest firmware but are hearing clicks then I would check whichever speaker you are hearing the clicks in with your 6' mic cable and with your Bestronics cables and see if if clicks with both.  It's possible that the cables do not meet AES specs but you'll need to prove that out.  One other thing to check ... does the number in the LCD window flash when you hear a click.  If that is the case then I suspect a jack or plug is not making complete contact.

 

If you have the newest firmware and it clicks with any and all cables then it probably needs to get looked at by the service dept



#9 scotterp

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:08 PM

The firmware is definitely not 1.05. I checked that a while back when I first got the speakers. I think I also read that unless you were having issues with your speakers you didn't need to update the firmware. So I didn't at the time. 

 

I wouldn't describe the sound I was hearing as a click or clicks. It sounded like one of the speakers was blown - in particular the tweeter that is in the middle of the L3t. And only when the guitars and vocals were playing. While troubleshooting, I had the bass player play - sounded fine. Had the drummer join in - it sounded fine. Then when the other guitar player started to play, it sounded terrible. It sounded like the signal was breaking up. Same when the singer sang. So it appeared to be isolated to certain mid frequencies. I did not notice the number in the LCD window flash but I was also not really paying attention to it. After we replugged everything back in, all was well for the remaining 3 sets of music. Once again got compliments from people saying we sounded great (after hearing from some people early on that we sounded terrible!). 

 

Note that the 6 foot mic cable is one that I've had for a long time. I don't know who made it. Not high quality. It was just the right length so I used it. I have better cables around (longer) that I can use instead. 

 

Where can I locate the new firmware? Is it posted in the download section? I'll certainly take care of that first. 


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#10 scotterp

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:17 PM

I found the firmware update. I'll try to get that updated soon. I don't have another gig where I need to provide sound for the band until the end of the month, so I'm in no hurry at this point.

 

Thanks for the input guys!


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#11 stepmark

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 07:24 AM

Seriously, what does Line 6 recommend for 1) cable to use for a M20d; and 2) what is the longest length Line 6 recommended, 3)what does Line 6 recommend for a 'snake' to use for a M20d (Ipad not an option)?  Seriously, does Line 6 expect sound engineers to keep the M20d on stage and not out in front of FOH?

 

I have (2) L3t's and (2) L3s's (purchased December 2013) with a newly purchased M20d (9-11-14).  Prior to the M20d I used a Mackie analog board, with regular 50ft mic cables and never experienced crackling!  Now that I have the M20d (utilizing the L6 Link), one L3t is crackling (pretty soft).

 

I don't want to spend the cash for an Ipad so I run long cables as a 'snake' to get the M20 out in FOH.  I'm debating on what 'snake' to purchase...

 

Thanks

Mark


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#12 SiWatts69

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 08:07 AM

Seriously, what does Line 6 recommend for 1) cable to use for a M20d;

AES/EBU Digital cable with quality XLR connectors.

and 2) what is the longest length Line 6 recommended,

50' (approx. 16m)

3)what does Line 6 recommend for a 'snake' to use for a M20d (Ipad not an option)?  Seriously, does Line 6 expect sound engineers to keep the M20d on stage and not out in front of FOH?

None. Seriously, YES, Line 6 designed an on-stage mixer for musicians to do their own sound ON STAGE. The market for digital desks for sound engineers is already crowded, but the market for quality gear for bands/performers who want to do their own sound ON STAGE was limited.

I have (2) L3t's and (2) L3s's (purchased December 2013) with a newly purchased M20d (9-11-14).  Prior to the M20d I used a Mackie analog board, with regular 50ft mic cables and never experienced crackling!  Now that I have the M20d (utilizing the L6 Link), one L3t is crackling (pretty soft).


Seriously, there's the difference. You used an analog board with regular 50' mic cables with no problems. L6Link is a digital transmission and has different cabling requirements and limits.

I don't want to spend the cash for an Ipad so I run long cables as a 'snake' to get the M20 out in FOH.  I'm debating on what 'snake' to purchase...


Can't answer that one for you but unless you buy a snake made up with digital AES/EBU multicore cabling, you are likely to run into problems. By the time you've looked at the cost of a custom made 16 send, 6 return plus 1 digital return you're likely well into the same budget as for an iPad and wifi router.
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#13 stepmark

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 11:28 AM

I want to make sure I understand this correctly.  If I use the L6 Link 'system', I need AES/EBU cabling from the M20d mixer connecting all Line 6 L3t and L3s speakers, daisy chaining them with all AES/EBU cabling.  Correct? 

 

However, if I use the Left/Right main out from the M20d mixer, I do not need AES/EBU cabling.  Correct?


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#14 SiWatts69

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 01:23 PM

Correct on both counts.

There's a little more to it though as you will no doubt hear from other users that they run their L6Link over standard mic cables and it works just fine and dandy. You'll also hear from users who regularly run in excess of 50'.

If you run from the main analog outs, you lose some of the M20d > Stagesource "smart" functionality like speaker eq'ing. Remember, the M20 is one part of a smart network, all designed to work together. It can't perform that smart network over analogue.

I'm well known on here for promoting the use of AES/EBU cabling and sticking within the guidance given by Line 6.

the 50' limit is not for the whole run, it relates to any coimponent to component connection. ie Your M20d can be 50' from your first stagesource. That stagesource can be 50' away from the next stagesource and onwards up to 18 stagesource speakers. You can run all 18 as FOH speakers or assign some as monitors. Put a stagesource on its side and it reports back to the M20 that it is acting as a monitor and is auto assigned either MON A, B, C or D. One daisy chained cable run.

So here's the interconnect best practise based on Line 6 advice;
Use a quality AES/EBU 110ohm cable
Use quality XLR interconnects
Make no individual cable run any greater than 50'
NEVER connect two or more cables together to make a longer cable.

For your signal inputs to the M20d, there's no real issue for lengths though you will lose some signal strength on longer runs.
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#15 stepmark

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 01:49 PM

Ok, thanks!  I really appreciate it!

 

I've tried my connection with Left and Right outs and I still get the crackling on one L3t; I have the latest firmware on all hardware.  I guess my action plan will be to fund AES/EBU cables, WIFI, and an Ipad.  I will see where that lands me with this issue.

 

So the L6 Link 'system' can be pretty pricey as a complete system.  Meaning if your stage is pretty wide you'd most certainly need one or two 50ft AES/EBU cables, plus AES/EBU cables to connect the L3t's to the L3s's (heck, might as will use these as interconnects as well instead of quality XLR's).   Plus the WiFi plus the Ipad.  Wow, didn't know all that before purchasing, I guess I thought you could get the M20d out in front of the FOH speakers...I guess you still can, but why.

 

Where do you recommend purchasing AES/EBU cables, stateside that is?


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#16 SiWatts69

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 02:53 PM

If you "plan" your L6Link run, the number of points you need a 50' cable are pretty few IF the M20d is on stage.

My run is always:

M20d
[5m (16')]
FOH L3m
[2.5m (8')]
FOH L3s
[10m (32')]
FOH L3s
[2.5m (8')]
FOH L3m
[5m (16')]
Monitor L2m
[5m (16')]
Monitor L2m

So, all my FOH speakers are first in the chain coming back to centre stage for monitor at the end of the chain.
I can't imaging there'll be many venues with a stage wider than 16m/50' where you'd be struggling, but even if you are, you can always place the monitors into the chain before the far side FOH stack, reducing the distance between connects. I prefer not to if at all possible since if I have a problem (which I haven't yet) with signals being disturbed en-route, I'd prefer to retain more of my FOH.

AES/EBU cable is perfectly at home doubling up as microphone cabling. Analogue signals work just fine.

If you're getting crackling on the analogue main outs too, you ought to run a couple of diagnostics tests to isolate the component which is introducing the crackle. It could be in the M20, one of your speaker or, most likely one of your cables.

swap cables at the speaker ends but keep them plugged into the same outputs on the M20d. Does the crackle move to the other speaker or remain with the speaker?

completely reverse the cables... ie move both ends of each cable. Does the crackle move with the cable or remain with the speaker?

Disconnect both and use whichever cable has no crackle associated with it to connect ONE speaker via L6Link. Do you still have a crackle or is it gone? Try again with second cable. Does crackle return?

The commonest cause of crackles is degrading cables.

As for where to buy AES/EBU cables stateside, sorry, I can't answer that one for you. I'm UK based.
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