How do I book a mod?
Modifications (“mods”) can be booked directly on our website or via email. When you add the mod to your cart and proceed to the checkout, you will only be prompted to pay 50% of the mod price as a down payment to secure your spot on the calendar. The remainder 50%, plus return shipping, will be collected after the modification is complete.
When’s the next available date to book a mod?
The next available mod date is listed at the top of the website. The next available date is subject to change, as all mods are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.
How do I know what my scheduled date is once I book a mod?
During the booking process on our website, you will be prompted to select a mod date. Once we receive your down payment, we will email you a confirmation with all of the necessary information you need regarding your mod, such as where to send your interface, the modification date, and an attached shipping form to include with your unit when you send it in.
How long does it take to mod my gear? Can I get it done faster?
Our turnaround time on modifications is typically 7-10 business days from the scheduled date. This does not include any unforeseen issues, the time it takes for final billing, or return shipping. We are not able to turnaround your gear any faster than this. The turnaround time will be extended if your interface arrives later than the mod date.
When do I need to ship my gear once I’ve booked a mod?
Please ship your gear to arrive at our shop 1-2 business days prior to your scheduled “mod” date.
How should I pack my gear prior to shipping it to you?
Be sure to pack your gear well (recommended 2”–4” of protective materials all around your unit) to avoid any additional charges for BLA-supplied packaging materials. We won’t be held liable for damage incurred during shipping.
Does the modification price include the interface itself?
The interface is NOT included in the mod price. Please purchase an interface to send in to us if you don’t own one already.
Does BLA send out loaner units or compensate me for downtime?
No, we do not send out loaner units, nor do we compensate you for downtime. Please plan your projects/gigs accordingly.
Can I book a modification if I live outside of the U.S.?
Yes, absolutely. Many of our international customers purchase interfaces online from U.S. retailers, then have them shipped directly to us with their names on the shipping labels (“c/o Black Lion Audio”). In this scenario, the shipping form can be filled out digitally and emailed directly to us.
If you already own an interface that you want modified, please pack it well to avoid damage in shipping!
Return shipping will be via FedEx.
We won’t adjust invoices to help international shipments avoid duties, so please don’t ask. Your time is better spent lobbying your local government.
Do you do partial mods if I only want certain things modified?
Unfortunately, we do not offer partial mods or any kind of variance from the modifications that we offer on the website. We have found that it can become a customer support nightmare if we have different types of the same mod out there, and so we stick to just the standardized, uniform mods we’ve designed and decided on.
What forms of payment do you take?
We accept credit and debit cards (MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover), PayPal, checks, money orders, and real estate deed transfers (no mortgages or liens, please).
How does final payment work?
After your modification is complete, we will contact you to collect the remainder 50% of the modification price, plus return shipping.
Please be aware, any completed modifications remaining unpaid in our shop for more than 5 business days from the time the final invoice is sent will accrue a $10 per day holding fee. Any completed modifications remaining in our shop for more than 20 business days from the time the final invoice is sent will be considered abandoned and sold to reimburse our costs.
How does return shipping work?
Customers are responsible for all return shipping costs for modifications. We use UPS (insured with signature required) for shipping within the continental U.S., and USPS for shipping elsewhere. We can accommodate DHL and FedEx shipments upon request. You will be emailed a tracking number when your order ships.
We won’t adjust invoices to help international shipments avoid import duties, so please don’t ask. Your time is better spent lobbying your local government.
Can I reschedule my mod date once I’ve booked?
We can reschedule modifications for up to two weeks prior to the scheduled modification date.
Please email us at email@example.com with any changes you’d like to make.
Can I cancel my mod?
We accept modification cancellations for up to two weeks prior to the scheduled modification date. If you need to cancel within two weeks of your scheduled date, there will be a 30% cancellation fee based on the down payment amount. This is due to us purchasing parts for the modification in advance that we can’t return to our suppliers.
Can you repair my gear without me getting a mod done?
No, we aren’t a repair shop, but there are many out there that might be able to take a look.
Can you repair my gear before I get a mod done?
If there is a pre-existing problem with your unit, we recommend that you try and get the problem fixed prior to sending it to us. We can try to fix it ourselves when it comes in for a modification if you prefer, but there is no guarantee that we will be able to perform the full repair needed. However, in the event we are not able to fix it as part of the modification, your unit may have to be sent to an ARC (Authorized Repair Center) for repair before it can be modified by us. You would be responsible for all shipping costs involved. Please keep in mind that we will work on rescheduling your modification in this event, but if you cancel your mod, there will be a 30% cancellation fee based on the down payment amount, plus shipping costs.
Do you offer a warranty on your modifications?
We extend a three-year warranty on defects in materials and workmanship for all Black Lion Audio modifications from the modification date. This does not cover user error, wear, tear, abuse, repair attempts, or OEM failures related to hardware, firmware, or software.
Should your B.L.A. modification experience any problems or failures during the warranty period, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an RMA form. Warranty repairs that don’t include a completed RMA form in the box cannot be processed.
We will cover the return shipping cost if we are notified of a failure within 30 days of you receiving it back. However, if we receive your RMA and are unable to replicate the issue in our shop, we will charge you for the full shipping cost, plus a “No Problem Found” fee of $75 for our diagnostics time.
What happens if my mod breaks and it’s out of warranty?
If your B.L.A. modification is in need of a repair that isn’t covered by our warranty, please email us at email@example.com to request an RMA form. Repairs that don’t include a completed RMA form in the box cannot be processed.
We charge a bench fee of $85/hour for out of warranty repairs. If we receive your RMA and are unable to replicate the issue in our shop, we will charge you for shipping, plus a “No Problem Found” fee of $75 for our diagnostics time.
Can I get a refund or exchange if I don’t like how the mod sounds or need the money for something else?
Once something has been modified, there’s no going back. We are not able to offer returns or exchanges on modified equipment. We have had many high profile audio engineers recommend our modifications over the years and many talented, not-as-well-known engineers do the same, so please search the Internet and the Raves on each mod page before booking a mod!
Do you sell stock interfaces?
No, we aren’t a reseller. All interfaces are supplied to us by our customers.
Do you provide sound samples of your modifications?
We have done this in the past, and will consider doing it again in the future. However, finding or creating quality source material that isn’t or won’t be copyrighted is an issue, not to mention many people distrust manufacturers’ sound samples. It’s ideal to have an unrelated, 3rd party providing sound samples, many of which can already be found online! We have had many high profile audio engineers recommend our modifications over the years and many very talented, not-as-well-known engineers do the same. Please search the Internet and the Raves on each mod page before booking a mod!
What’s up with those Mod Ratings? Are they based on specs?
No, they are just our opinion based on subjective A/B listening tests. The reason we published Mod Ratings is because we are regularly asked to compare one interface to another, stock and modified, so we decided to lay it all out in graphical form. Doing so was an incredibly difficult task, so take it with a grain of salt and expect some tweaking.
That being said, the scale is from 1-10, with “1” being unimpressive audio quality and “10” being true audio excellence. This is an exponential scale, so going from “1” to “2” isn’t nearly as big of a jump as going from “9” to “10”.
Please keep in mind, we only modify an interface if we can make a significant improvement to the sound.
Why don’t you publish pre or post mod specs?
The short answer is “the proof is in the pudding.” We heavily weigh our design decisions based on listening tests, and how something specs comes later. Specs can be incredibly misleading (i.e. how does a slight increase in THD+N actually affect the sound within a given context, and is that slight increase appropriate or not to the desired outcome) and easily manipulated (i.e. THD+N = .01% vs. THD+N = .02%, but at what bandwidth, at what amount of gain, etc).
For example, which sounds better? A well maintained and calibrated 2” tape machine, or the latest $200 “triple awesome lightning bolt” interface? More than likely, the interface will spec much, much better than the tape machine, but many a trained ear will pick the tape machine any day. We encourage everyone to use their ears, even if you already “know” how everything sounds based on spec sheets. You might come across some surprising examples of how the subjective experience of listening doesn’t align with the more objective readout of a spec sheet.
Can you add a feature to my interface, such as…
No, we aren’t able to add any features to interfaces, with a few exceptions (the Apollo Twin optical output is one). Most feature additions would take an incredible amount of design time and resources.
Will my software and other hardware still work after getting a mod done?
Yes, the functionality of your other hardware and software will not be affected by the modification.
I just got my mod back, and it’s acting funky. My setup is exactly the same as it was before I sent my unit in to be modified. What should I do?
First, please remove the interface from any patch bay if applicable. We have come across many incorrectly wired patch bays that went unnoticed until receiving a modified interface back and putting it through its paces.
Second, try defaulting the drivers, including any software mixers. If that doesn’t correct the issue, try reinstalling the drivers and/or DAW software. Over 90% of interface repairs that come into our shop end up being software issues on the host computer that were later solved by reinstalling the software.
Third, try using the interface on a different computer using a different cable to hook it up, if possible. We have come across a lot more computer hardware/software problems than actual interface problems, so trying it out on a different computer will shed light on the situation.
Lastly, please refer to the “in warranty” and “out of warranty” FAQ’s before contacting us for an RMA.
I bought my interface used and the seller claims it’s modified by BLA. Is it modified?
Unfortunately, we didn’t track mods or customers by serial # for a long period of time, but if you know the name of the original customer that received the mod, we can try and look them up in our records. Or, if you feel comfortable doing so, you can remove the top lid and take some detailed pics of the internal circuitry and email them to us to review, and we can tell you if it’s modded or not, and what type of mod it has. Just be careful when removing the screws, because they can strip pretty easily, and be sure to unplug the unit before doing anything!
Can you help me set up my hardware/software?
Unfortunately, between handling our modification schedule and manufacturing our own line of products, we just aren’t able to devote time to consultation questions regarding software or hardware setup/configuration for non-BLA products.
Can you do level calibration for my interface? I’ve noticed that if I record into it and into a different piece of gear, the levels differ.
Only in a few situations where the interface has calibration pots are we able to offer calibration services (for a fee). If your interface has calibration pots, please contact us to request that we calibrate it to your chosen level.
Please keep in mind, if you take a reference analog signal and go into a wide range of A/D converters, you’ll find that the level recorded into your DAW will differ. The same goes for outputs as well. This is because there is no standard level calibration between the analog and digital domains, not to mention the input and output impedance will vary from device to device.
Will a mod guarantee the success of my project or make me better?
No, unfortunately not, though that would be cool if it did. Similarly to how buying the same pair of sneakers as your favorite basketball player won’t automatically make you as good as them, getting the same gear as your favorite recording engineer or musician won’t either. That being said, having the appropriate tools that not only get the job done, but that make it easy, fast, and enjoyable goes a long way, and can give you a competitive edge due to improved sound quality. We often hear back from people that have bought our products or modifications that doing so made their workflow smoother and quicker, and that they arrived at their desired sound with much less effort than before (less time getting mic placement, EQing, compressing, tweaking FX, etc).