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Author Topic: Lab12’s Autopsy?  (Read 9556 times)

Matt F Castle

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Lab12’s Autopsy?
« on: October 18, 2009, 07:03:49 pm »

Hi all,

I’ve had a pair Lab12 failure that I’m a little curious about the cause (first failures I’ve had in 18 months of using them).  One driver still looks as good as the day it was loaded, but there is no continuity across the inout terminals (tried meassuring where the leadin wires reach the cone), Foam surround is ok, cone is ok, spider is ok, lead in wires look ok , voicecoil looks ok (as far as can be seen looking through the vents above the magnet, same colour as when new) and doesn’t rub when moved by hand.

It’s partner doesn’t look so good, foam surround had a 1” rip in it where it meets the paper cone (rip follows the join with the cone) and the voicecoil separated around the top where it meets the cone.  Though the voice coil isn’t burn and still has continuity across it (removed the dust caps and metered the ends of the broken wires and read 4.5ohm).  I’m guessing this is likely over excursion damage due to its partner failing (Signal was high passed at 38Hz with a BSS Omnidrive processor)?

Can anyone familiar with the way these fail offer any advice or comment, do the failure points of the drivers indicate any particular cause and which driver died first?


Also vaguely related:  Has anyone tried modelling a Labhorn with “Ciare 12.00 SW” drivers, yes I’m aware these aren’t the intended drivers etcetc, but I’m interested to see how they behave in the Horn, a college had a pair sitting there collecting dust today so we tried popping them in while the cab was empty and they certainly provided similar results to the Lab12 loaded boxes to our ears for the 5 minutes we tried them, thus just curious…….

M
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Silas Pradetto

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2009, 08:08:06 pm »

The overexcursion was probably caused by an air leak, the open circuit could be overpowering. Cut up the woofer that reads open and see where the break is and if the coil is darkened.
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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2009, 08:38:14 pm »

Thanks for the reply Silas.

Both voice coils look ok as far as I can see, no blackening on them at all, no rubbing I can feel.  But i'm reluctant to gut them at this point to investigate further until I’ve had a chat with the distributer, just in case they will have it back to look at.

If they were over-powered is it possible for them to fail without the voicecoils blackening at all or any other tell-tail signs?

If there was an air leak (these boxes have been used before this year without any problems and the ali plates were sealed with a rubber gasket, which was still sealed, took some getting off! And the bolts holding the drivers were still tight) would both drivers suffer from over excursion damage?  

Also if one driver fails, do you know what damage occurs to its partner and is there a consistent mode of failure in that situation?

Cheers

M
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John Halliburton

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2009, 08:51:16 pm »

Matt F Castle wrote on Sun, 18 October 2009 19:38

Thanks for the reply Silas.

Both voice coils look ok as far as I can see, no blackening on them at all, no rubbing I can feel.  But i'm reluctant to gut them at this point to investigate further until I’ve had a chat with the distributer, just in case they will have it back to look at.

If they were over-powered is it possible for them to fail without the voicecoils blackening at all or any other tell-tail signs?

If there was an air leak (these boxes have been used before this year without any problems and the ali plates were sealed with a rubber gasket, which was still sealed, took some getting off! And the bolts holding the drivers were still tight) would both drivers suffer from over excursion damage?  

Also if one driver fails, do you know what damage occurs to its partner and is there a consistent mode of failure in that situation?

Cheers

M


Mechanical failure to me indicates an air leak, or just flat out overexcursion-long enough to rip the cone/surround as you describe.  Maybe too much clipping-square waves are not good for speakers to reproduce.

Perhaps a lot of extra bandwidth made it through to the speakers.  When the first one failed, the second one just took a larger hit faster and perhaps broke the tinsel lead at the voice coil(providing no other observed damage as you said).

If the distributor doesn't want to look at them, open them up and take detailed photos to post here for better opinions.

Best regards,

John

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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2009, 09:07:28 pm »

Thanks John,  If I don't get any joy with the distributer I will certainly open it up before it goes off to be re-coned and post some pictures.  I'm very curious to know how it failed.

My (probably wrong) assumption would be that both drivers would have had similar damage if there was an air leak, or at least there would be some visible damage to the first driver.

Looking at the other driver I removed the dust caps from, to get at the voicecoil to meter it, it looks to me that the lead-in wires look firmly glued in.  Is it possible they could break their without the coil becoming detached from the cone?  Or burn like a fuse before any other part of the coil?

Cheers

m


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Chris Van Duker

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2009, 09:34:19 pm »

Sorry you're having so much trouble. I had a bunch of trouble with similar problems a few years ago, in which I'd lose one of each pair in different ways. I never came up with a really good explanation for what happened, and I haven't used the cabinets in several years now, just because I got tired of the recone bills. My experience with our TH115s has been a lot more positive.

I may get back into them at some point, but time and money are a little short at the moment. I'd still like to figure out what happened.
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Silas Pradetto

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2009, 09:58:52 pm »

I've only ever lost one driver, and it was deemed a manufacturer defect where the voicecoil unglued itself and went open circuit. I didn't notice until a later gig, where I heard the remaining woofer flapping around. That remaining woofer was fine when I took it apart to look at it, and is working fine to this day.

So I've only lost 1 driver out of 32 used so far in 16 LAB subs.

What amplifier are you using? Is it ever clipping? I use an IT8000 for four LABs...that's 2000 watts per sub, 1000 watts per driver. That's 2.5 times the RMS rating and I've never had a problem.

You say you high pass at 38Hz. What type and slope is that? I use 30Hz 24dB Butterworth, but only in blocks of four. Do you ever use LABs in singles?

I'm willing to bet it's a construction problem because that's really the only issue LABs ever have other than the high pass. A particular frequency or out-of-the-ordinary condition probably made it fail, compounded with the construction problem.
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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2009, 06:59:21 am »

Thanks for the reply Chris.  What sorts of failures were you seeing with your drivers?

Hopefully someone with a little more experience with failures of these can chime in and offer some ideas of the different failure modes of the Lab12’s in Labhorns.   I’m just as curious to find out the why’s as I am to make sure it doesn’t happen again with them.


m
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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2009, 07:25:47 am »

Hi Silas,

Amps are QSC PL4.0’s, clip limiters turned on, with the LMS limiters set so they can just briefly light the clip lights on peeks.   Processor is a BSS Omnidrive (sub out mono summed, L-R 24dB high pass @ 38hz), one box per channel and were being used with 2 boxes per side when they failed.  

If it was purely a bad signal or clipping issue I would have expected to see similar damage in all the cab’s (identical drive signal to all channels & amp configuration).

I’m also still miffed by the driver that has failed open circuit with no other visible damage, that still suggests to me that it failed first (while operating within it’s spec’s) and thus causing its partner to over exert it’s self with the increased power (becoming a 6ohm/8ohm load) and reduced front loading.  Which to me would make sense that it’s then moved so far as to rip the voice coil from the cone, without any visible over heating effects on the voicecoil.  I also find it hard to believe that that sort of failure would be caused by an air leak as I would have thought there would be physical damage due to over excursion.

And my thinking would also be that if it was the 2nd to fail it would have ripped it’s self to bits or at least had visible over excursion damage.  

Can anyone suggest if that is a likely failure scenario or shoot down my thinking?


They do get used in singles quite often and this is the first failure I’ve had in about 18 months of use.

Will certainly be double checking all the joins and running some silicon sealer around everywhere inside before replacing the drivers in them.  Certainly don’t want to suffer any more issues with them for a long while……

M
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John Halliburton

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2009, 09:43:21 am »

Matt F Castle wrote on Mon, 19 October 2009 06:25

Hi Silas,

Amps are QSC PL4.0’s, clip limiters turned on, with the LMS limiters set so they can just briefly light the clip lights on peeks.   Processor is a BSS Omnidrive (sub out mono summed, L-R 24dB high pass @ 38hz), one box per channel and were being used with 2 boxes per side when they failed.  

If it was purely a bad signal or clipping issue I would have expected to see similar damage in all the cab’s (identical drive signal to all channels & amp configuration).

I’m also still miffed by the driver that has failed open circuit with no other visible damage, that still suggests to me that it failed first (while operating within it’s spec’s) and thus causing its partner to over exert it’s self with the increased power (becoming a 6ohm/8ohm load) and reduced front loading.  Which to me would make sense that it’s then moved so far as to rip the voice coil from the cone, without any visible over heating effects on the voicecoil.  I also find it hard to believe that that sort of failure would be caused by an air leak as I would have thought there would be physical damage due to over excursion.

And my thinking would also be that if it was the 2nd to fail it would have ripped it’s self to bits or at least had visible over excursion damage.  

Can anyone suggest if that is a likely failure scenario or shoot down my thinking?


They do get used in singles quite often and this is the first failure I’ve had in about 18 months of use.

Will certainly be double checking all the joins and running some silicon sealer around everywhere inside before replacing the drivers in them.  Certainly don’t want to suffer any more issues with them for a long while……

M



The joy of electronics failures-sometimes you get to see the "magic smoke" escape, many times the death is the invisible hand of physics.

If you're working the LABs out regularly, 18 months is not a bad track record.  What type of gigs are you doing with them?

And yes, I tend to agree that the first one went open, then caused a boatload of extra power to feed into driver #2, and hastened it's demise.

No burnt voice coils would tell me to look for separation in the voice windings or some other break.  The failure may not present itself even after surgery.

Best regards,

John
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Silas Pradetto

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2009, 10:37:15 am »

John Halliburton wrote on Mon, 19 October 2009 09:43

Matt F Castle wrote on Mon, 19 October 2009 06:25

Hi Silas,

Amps are QSC PL4.0’s, clip limiters turned on, with the LMS limiters set so they can just briefly light the clip lights on peeks.   Processor is a BSS Omnidrive (sub out mono summed, L-R 24dB high pass @ 38hz), one box per channel and were being used with 2 boxes per side when they failed.  

If it was purely a bad signal or clipping issue I would have expected to see similar damage in all the cab’s (identical drive signal to all channels & amp configuration).

I’m also still miffed by the driver that has failed open circuit with no other visible damage, that still suggests to me that it failed first (while operating within it’s spec’s) and thus causing its partner to over exert it’s self with the increased power (becoming a 6ohm/8ohm load) and reduced front loading.  Which to me would make sense that it’s then moved so far as to rip the voice coil from the cone, without any visible over heating effects on the voicecoil.  I also find it hard to believe that that sort of failure would be caused by an air leak as I would have thought there would be physical damage due to over excursion.

And my thinking would also be that if it was the 2nd to fail it would have ripped it’s self to bits or at least had visible over excursion damage.  

Can anyone suggest if that is a likely failure scenario or shoot down my thinking?


They do get used in singles quite often and this is the first failure I’ve had in about 18 months of use.

Will certainly be double checking all the joins and running some silicon sealer around everywhere inside before replacing the drivers in them.  Certainly don’t want to suffer any more issues with them for a long while……

M



The joy of electronics failures-sometimes you get to see the "magic smoke" escape, many times the death is the invisible hand of physics.

If you're working the LABs out regularly, 18 months is not a bad track record.  What type of gigs are you doing with them?

And yes, I tend to agree that the first one went open, then caused a boatload of extra power to feed into driver #2, and hastened it's demise.

No burnt voice coils would tell me to look for separation in the voice windings or some other break.  The failure may not present itself even after surgery.

Best regards,

John


I don't personally think that losing one driver would cause a boatload of extra power to hit the other driver. Remember, an amplifier is a voltage amplifier, and the power per driver is constant unless the amplifier is current limiting. I find it highly unlikely that there was any extra power applied to the second driver after the first went.

Eminence has had a few defects with the LAB12s that work themselves out after time. Check with them they might send you new ones under warranty.

And remember, the remaining woofer in my blown LAB survived fine, after it ran an entire gig with it's partner blown.
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Marjan Milosevic

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 10:48:08 am »

Hello, i had a failure that can be just as yours at 4 drivers. Problem is that the wire has burned out at the place you can not see. You will have to remove the dust cap and scrub the place where the lead from the connectors enters in the voice coil former. There is the place to look at for burns. I have just re-solder the wires and drivers works. You case is a classical Lab failure scenario. You have noticed that LAB12 has a very loose suspension. The chamber infront of the drivers acts as a compression chamber, so when one driver stops working, the other commits suicide. It looses the compression that is stoping it from over excursion. That explains the physical damage on the other driver.

Art Welter

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 04:25:15 pm »

Marjan Milosevic(MarjanM) wrote on Mon, 19 October 2009 08:48

Hello, i had a failure that can be just as yours at 4 drivers. Problem is that the wire has burned out at the place you can not see. You will have to remove the dust cap and scrub the place where the lead from the connectors enters in the voice coil former. There is the place to look at for burns. I have just re-solder the wires and drivers works. You case is a classical Lab failure scenario. You have noticed that LAB12 has a very loose suspension. The chamber infront of the drivers acts as a compression chamber, so when one driver stops working, the other commits suicide. It looses the compression that is stoping it from over excursion. That explains the physical damage on the other driver.


I agree with you, Marjan.

I had a problem with several drivers similar to what you describe, Eminence said "problem with the crimp" and repaired them under warranty.

They all failed at different gigs, over a fairly extended time period.

I think the last of that batch of four finally failed also.
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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2009, 08:13:04 pm »

Hi Silas,

With the PL4’s I’m using there is a difference of ~200w between 4ohm and 8ohm power spec’s. So I would assume there is a fair (at least around 20% increase) in delivered power (regardless of actual impedance), which I would expect would only exacerbate the situation with a failed driver as the impedance rises.  I would expect most other amps have similar variations between 4 & 8 ohms power?

M
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Silas Pradetto

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2009, 11:03:27 pm »

Matt F Castle wrote on Mon, 19 October 2009 20:13

Hi Silas,

With the PL4’s I’m using there is a difference of ~200w between 4ohm and 8ohm power spec’s. So I would assume there is a fair (at least around 20% increase) in delivered power (regardless of actual impedance), which I would expect would only exacerbate the situation with a failed driver as the impedance rises.  I would expect most other amps have similar variations between 4 & 8 ohms power?

M



Remember that power increase is only apparent if you are running at current limit. The voltage is the same otherwise.
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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2009, 07:42:55 am »

Hi,

Thanks to everyone who’s posted info in this tread.  My first Lab12 failures so interesting to find out how and why they fail (with the dual driver compression chamber loading etc..).

After talking to Eminence USA, they have been really good helping with the issue I’ve had and have had the UK distributor ship out a new pair of drivers.  I think the consensus been that it’s likely a lead in wire failure and then the 2nd driver in the cab then failing from not having the correct front loading.  Thumbs up and top marks for Eminence USA’s customer support and speed with!
And especially with the Lab12 been somewhat of a special case with it’s critical loading etc.. in the Labhorn.

Also I’ve not had a chance to open the failed driver up yet (thankfully works picking up running up to Christmas and I’ve not had a chance to examine them properly, since speaking to Eminence).

Cheers

Matt
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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2010, 07:56:20 pm »

Just to quickly follow up on my original post now I've found 10 minutes to rip one of my dead Lab12's apart.

Having removed the cone, the voice coil looks immaculate! No blackening anywhere and no over excursion damage at the bottom (end of the former slightly protruding shows no impact damage).

Removing the blobs of glue holding the lead in wires and crimps to the cone the top of the voice coils meters with continuity and @ 4.6 ohm (from memory that is consistent with a new driver).

The removed tinsel wires meter ok from terminal to the end.

So my conclusion is the failure has happened in the area of the crimp/lead in wires where they are joined and held in place with glue.


So further questions:  

- Is this a normal point of failure for a speaker?
(I am assuming the glue and double dust cap is providing some heat retention, where as the rest of the voice coil is moving and open to the air).
- Have Eminence done anything to improve this area of the LAB12?


Cheers

Matt


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Marjan Milosevic

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2010, 06:47:21 am »

Marjan Milosevic wrote on Mon, 19 October 2009 16:48

Hello, i had a failure that can be just as yours at 4 drivers. Problem is that the wire has burned out at the place you can not see. You will have to remove the dust cap and scrub the place where the lead from the connectors enters in the voice coil former. There is the place to look at for burns. I have just re-solder the wires and drivers works. You case is a classical Lab failure scenario. You have noticed that LAB12 has a very loose suspension. The chamber infront of the drivers acts as a compression chamber, so when one driver stops working, the other commits suicide. It looses the compression that is stoping it from over excursion. That explains the physical damage on the other driver.


Smile

Didn't i told you that already?

Smile

Art Welter

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2010, 01:31:55 pm »

Matt F Castle wrote on Sun, 07 February 2010 17:56


So my conclusion is the failure has happened in the area of the crimp/lead in wires where they are joined and held in place with glue.
So further questions:  
- Is this a normal point of failure for a speaker?
(I am assuming the glue and double dust cap is providing some heat retention, where as the rest of the voice coil is moving and open to the air).
- Have Eminence done anything to improve this area of the LAB12?

Cheers

Matt



That point should not normally be a point of failure.
Eminence has identified the problem and corrected it after the failures occurred.
Looks like you, me and Marjan all had the same problem.
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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2010, 01:55:43 pm »

Hi Art,

Any idea as to why they are failing at this point, is it a thermal problem or a mechanical one?  

I've also has another one that has done what I think is exactly the same things (I've not opened that driver up to investigate but exactly the same failure symptoms on the surface).

This is just leaving me wondering if the other pair of cab's (drivers were all received at the same time) are going to suffer this failure at some point in there life or if there likely going to carry going and going?

btw Marjan, yes you did, I'm just repeating you and typing my train of though...  (not to mention was typing under the influence of too much coffee!) and hoping the people from Eminence would post a reply on the subject with a more definitive answer.

Cheers

Matt
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Art Welter

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2010, 05:18:15 pm »

I have only had the crimp problem, all were fixed under warranty.
All were from the same batch IIRC. That would be four of four with the problem. Only one failure at a time, and one lasted approximately 75 gigs more than the other three, which failed over a several week time period, though they had been used quite a bit before failure, not the usual “crib death” you see with defects.

I don’t recall anyone from Eminence ever posting on the Lab forum, you would probably  have to ask them directly if you want more specifics as to when the problem existed and when it was noted and corrected.

I could imagine with the way distribution goes, there may be units still around that could potentially fail, and your other units may fail.
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Gary Perrett

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2010, 11:14:27 pm »

Eminence says that when the surround blows out that the driver was "overexcruded". That puzzled me until I came to the same conclusion that the one driver fails and the other is no longer "fighting" the other in a push push situation, and more or less "flies apart". No other evidence of overheating or anything, but Eminence was "reticent" to replace the driver had the surround blown out. I supplied power applied, DSP setup and the fact that there were 4 LABS running at the time and only one failed...

I had one other such failure a bunch of months later... same MO...1800-2000watts, Driverack 260, proper gain structure, Brick wall limiters set, me only running the system, Livesound R&R...

Before, and after every show, I have an NL4 to pigtail and measure the DC resistance of the cabs... 3.1-3.2 ohms...good to go.
G    
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Matt F Castle

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Re: Lab12’s Autopsy?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2010, 09:34:40 am »

Hi Art,

Are you sure Eminence has identified this as a problem?  I ask as I have followed up my initial contact with Eminence the other day to confirm the point of failure and enquire about the likely hood of the rest of the drivers I had at the same time having the same fault and likely hood of future support if/when?

The reply I have received form one of there people (returns department so maybe not technical?) doesn't seem to know of this issue or anyone having returned any drivers because of this.

I can understand they may not publicly want to admit to an issue if one does/did exist, but...

Anyway more for my curiosity's sake and the learning cure with Lab's.

Cheers

Matt

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