M-Audio Torq Xponent Teardown

M-Audio Torq Xponent Teardown

A few years into my DJ'ing career, I ran across Virtual DJ. After using for several months, I found DJ'ing with a mouse to be well....un-engaging. So I found an excellent deal on an M-Audio Xponent and was underway. While I respect any DJ that still works with turntables and vinyl, I already play 4 instruments and wasn't looking to master a 5th. With digital gear, I was looking to get the job done in the most efficient way possible so I could focus on results instead of the subtles of mixing with antiquated technology.

The Lockup That Freaked Me

4 months into the XPONENT I found my wheels locked up TIGHT. Either the previous owner never used this gear or it was just hella humid here in Texas. In any case, I WASN'T going to give up without a fight. I tore into the XPONENT and while I was there, I decided to photograph everything for later use.


Some have complained about the scratching latency - and this is certainly an issue for Q-Tip and the like. But for the casual scratcher, I have found it to be both snappy and a good translation of the wax experience. One thing to note with scratching is you MUST have your setup set to LOW LATENCY for any hardware device or you'll never get a good experience.

All said and done... I LOVE this product.


Teardown photos

Underbelly of the XPONENT top cover where the jog wheel mounts to the chassis

The culprit of the lockup? I sprayed teflon on the jogwheel shaft and wiped it down. Not sure what the cause was, but there was much metallic dust on the shafts that was apparently acting like sandpaper. After a complete wipedown and re-install, no problems a year later.
XPONENT motherboard

XPONENT Cover underbelly. The Jog wheel design is actually quite clever. The wheels themselves apperently have magnets embeded on them with "hall effect' sensors mounted on two small boards to detect wheel direction and velocity. There is one wire mounted to the wheel shaft and my guess is this is electrically coupled to the TOP of the wheel. The SIDE of the jog wheel is non conducting.

One ribbon cable connects to the top chassis

Close up of the wheel sensor and shaft wire.

I have been STRUGGLING with the jog wheel 'touch' detection probably that has been reported numerous times on the XPONENT forums. Removing Neon signs and getting power supplies and RF emitign devices away from the unit as a remedy now makes sense. My theory is the touch detection works off resistive or capacitive technology that is ubiquitous with the touchscreen industry. RF can wreak havoc on these sensitive circuits that work of the smallest of voltage or current changes. I will be employing a line filter and killing HD TVs at my next gig to see if this helps.

Close up of the shaft connection for the 'touch' detection part of the jog wheel.


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