Have Sticky or Stuck Faders on your Allen & Heath Digital Console?

Sticky, stuck or faders not moving on your Allen & Heath desk? Our repair technicians explain how you can fix your sticky or stuck faders.

Allen & Heath mixers are renowned for their high-quality audio engineering and intuitive design. However, like any piece of equipment, they can sometimes encounter issues, one of the most common being sticky, stuck or broken faders. Sticky faders can be frustrating for any audio engineer or musician, disrupting smooth transitions, increasing or decreasing volume at unwanted times, and impacting the overall sound quality of a performance. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what causes sticky faders on Allen & Heath mixers and explore some effective solutions to tackle this problem head-on.

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Understanding Sticky Faders:

Sticky faders refer to the sliders or faders on a mixer that do not move smoothly or freely. Instead, they may feel sluggish, resistant, or even get stuck in certain positions, particularly when adjusting pages/banks on the desk. This issue can arise due to various factors, including dust accumulation, debris, dirt, or mechanical problems within the fader mechanism. Additionally, environmental conditions such as humidity or exposure to liquids can exacerbate the problem.

Diagnosing Sticky Faders:

Before attempting to resolve sticky faders, it’s essential to diagnose the root cause of the problem. Begin by performing a fader calibration on the console. Steps to perform such calibration can be found in the user guide for your respective desk.

After calibration, inspecting the faders closely for any visible signs of dirt, dust, or debris. Clean the fader track gently using a soft brush or compressed air to remove any accumulated particles. If the issue persists, it may indicate a more significant underlying problem with the fader mechanism itself, such as worn-out components or damaged mechanical components.

Solutions to Sticky Faders:

  1. Cleaning: Regular maintenance is key to preventing sticky faders. Use a fader lubricant specifically designed for audio equipment to lubricate the fader tracks periodically. Avoid using WD-40 or similar products, as they can leave behind residue and potentially damage the fader mechanism. Additionally, keep the mixer covered when not in use to prevent dust and debris buildup.
  2. Fader Replacement: If cleaning and lubrication do not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to replace the sticky faders altogether. Contact an Allen & Heath authorized service center to obtain genuine replacement faders for your mixer model. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully or seek professional assistance if you’re not comfortable with DIY repairs.
  3. Environmental Control: Maintain optimal environmental conditions in your studio or live performance space to minimize the risk of sticky faders. Keep the area clean and dust-free, and avoid exposing the mixer to extreme temperatures or humidity levels. Investing in a protective cover or case for your mixer can also provide an extra layer of defense against environmental factors.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Incorporate routine maintenance checks into your audio setup schedule to identify and address any potential issues before they escalate. Inspect the faders, knobs, and other components regularly, and address any signs of wear or deterioration promptly.

Sticky faders can pose a significant challenge for audio professionals, but with the right knowledge and proactive approach, they can be effectively managed and resolved. By understanding the underlying causes of sticky faders and implementing proper maintenance techniques, you can keep your Allen & Heath mixer performing at its best for years to come. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so prioritize regular cleaning and maintenance to keep sticky faders at bay.

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