Amp crackling

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by dar512, Jan 7, 2013.


  1. dar512

    dar512

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I have a very early EA Micro 300. What started as a crackling sound only when adjusting the volume or tone controls has turned into intermittent crackling while I'm playing.

    Is there anything I can do about it myself? I'm reasonably handy but no electronics wiz.
    Or should I send it to EA for service?
     
  2. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    NYC
    A crackling when you turn the volume or tone is most likely dirty potentiometers. It is possible they are so dirty that they crackle while you are playing. It is also possible you have more than one problem. If it is just dirty pots, you can clean them by spraying contact cleaner into the pots and moving them around. Take care when working in an amp to have a good ground and discharge any capacitors before you start. There are good instructions available on the web.
     
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,366
    Location:
    Connecticut
    This is a good cleaner to use on those pots and on any connections, for that matter.
     
  4. dar512

    dar512

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks guys.

    So I assume this comes with a tube - like WD40. And I want to spray it behind the knobs?
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. robgrow

    robgrow

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Caig Deoxit needs to be sprayed sparingly directly into the potentiometers. This is an excellent product, but indiscriminate use can do more harm than good.

    If you are not comfortable disassembling the amp to gain access to the potentiometers, then you might be better off having a qualified tech do the job for you. Just make sure the tech is using Deoxit.

    A quick Deoxit story... The volume control in a friend's vintage jazz guitar had failed. It no longer worked at all. He tried spraying the pot with a generic contact cleaner, which did no good, and he was dreading having to replace the pot with a new one. A quick spray with Deoxit brought the pot back to life, and it is still working perfectly several months later. Deoxit is truly great stuff.
     
  7. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,366
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I recommend only the best! :) Here's a guide to using DeOxit products. I'm not sure you would need or want to use a separate lubricant as suggested but just thought I'd pass it along.
     
  8. dar512

    dar512

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Do all potentiometers have access holes?
     
  9. robgrow

    robgrow

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Contact Gary Gibilisco at Euphonic Audio. He should be able to answer any service-related questions about EA amps.
     
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    12,755
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    I've got a Micro300 that needs its pots cleaned, and will probably do it myself due simply to being a compulsive DIY'er. I'll report my results when I get it done.

    However, in the meantime, EA are good peeps, and the beauty of a micro head is that you can pop it in the mail for a few bucks.
     
  11. dar512

    dar512

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Well I took the top off tonight to see what I'm up against. That was not so hard - just 4 screws.

    The bottom row of pots might be a challenge to reach. If I get some dribbles in the case, do I try to clean it up? Wipe it up with something?
     
  12. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    12,755
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    It's a bass amp. Chase it out with some beer. :D

    Actually, I think the dribbles are OK.
     
  13. BHBassman

    BHBassman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    I had the same crackling noise &
     
  14. BHBassman

    BHBassman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    Try again: I had the same crackling noise & managed to fix it by removing the volume & tone controls, actually tightening the nuts & spraying a tiny bit of Silicone Spray(saw a tech do that) on each control peg/ nut, then pushed the knobs back tightly
    The crackling stopped!
    This just happened on my Hartke Kickback.
    Worth a try before taking it to a repairman.
    Went through that also with two other older amps-$$, but the problem was worse.
     
  15. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,489
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Drurb, you know about this stuff? It contains DeOxit and goes for half of what the Caig stuff goes for on Sweetwater and other similar stores. Just used some to clean out the pots/dials, etc on an old Technics receiver I picked up off craigslist and it worked great.
     
  16. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,366
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Thanks for the tip, Phil. What do you mean by "it contains DeOxit?" I don't pay $15/can for DeOxit and I'm wondering if the Radio Shack cleaner is really as good.

    Edit-- A quick search revealed this, which suggests the RS version is virtually the same thing and lists DeOxit as an ingredient.
     
  17. dar512

    dar512

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks. I might go that route. The local Radio Shack is a lot closer than the local Guitar Center.
     
  18. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,489
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    No problem, Drurb.. this is precisely what I meant to say.
     
  19. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    12,755
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    Since I'm within walking distance of a Radio Shack, I went out and got some of that stuff. They were quite helpful, and didn't even search my backpack. ;)

    The Micro300 is arranged so that the little slots in the pots are all accessible when the top is removed. That's nice. I oriented the amp to let gravity let the goop get into each pot. And I only did the two pots that were actually scratchy, the input and master gains. The scratching is gone. I'll report back in 20 years.
     
  20. dar512

    dar512

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks fdeck. I will be following in your footsteps soon.
     
  21. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    12,755
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    Watch out for the ice behind Starbucks. :D
     

Share This Page