Carvin BX500 Problems-Power Conditioner Required?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by NYCbassist, Jan 12, 2013.


  1. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    Firstly: I Love Carvin Products and I don't want to bash them in any way.

    I really Really Love this little amp and want to get to the bottom of the situation.

    After playing mine for 100's of hours, I was pretty sure the BX500 was well beyond it's early growing pains. Then I took mine to a new Drummers house. When I powered up, All I was getting was a popping noise through the Cab's. This scared the heck out of me as I don't want to harm my Speakers. No lights at all were lighting up. Apparently the PC Board Fried(Probably the Power Supply or Protection circuit). I had been plugged into My Drummers Power Strip which he also had the PA plugged into. I got a Brand New BX500 and jammed on it at home for a few hours. Then back to the Drummers house and the same thing happened Only now No Popping. Just a very Low Static sound. (I was a fool for trying the same power strip again but hadn't considered it a problem yet).

    I tested the Outlets on the power strip and it's right at 120 Volts and 60HZ. That's about all I know how to test.

    I am now on my 3rd BX500 and I played it for about an hour at home and it works great. I have since bought a Hartke LH1000 and I've been jamming on it at My drummers house but using a separate outlet. I refuse to plug in the BX500 anywhere in my Drummers house for fear of some unknown problem.

    I love my BX500 and really want to use it worry free.

    I guess the question's are:
    Can I get a Power conditioner that will completely protect my BX500 from troubled Power supplies?
    Who makes the best one?
    How Much do I need to spend?

    Thanks for reading and for any recommendations.
     
  2. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

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    Sound like the ribbon cable issue that have dogged this amp for a while. You should be able to clean the ends and have it working good as new again. I had the same issue with a GK and the effects send/return jacks so this kind of issue can happen to any amp.
     
  3. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    I tried all that on the first 2. Something was definitely fried on the PC boards.
     
  4. Bass_Pounder

    Bass_Pounder

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    To get an actual "power conditioner" (not the typical Furman which is nothing more then a rackmounted power strip) it would cost as much as your amp.
     
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  6. modulusman

    modulusman

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    I wonder why the Drummers PA works fine but your amp burns up?
     
  7. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    That's not really a deal breaker. If it will give me peace of mind, It will be worth it. Some old buildings I play at have some pretty Scary outlets and wiring.
    Besides Fluctuating Volts and HZ, What else could harm equipment?
     
  8. 2milehighspike

    2milehighspike Supporting Member

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    Ho boy, here we go with the power conditioner debate, but the Carvin power C unit works great for me, I play in rooms that were built during the 1880s mining boom in Colorado that were wired in the 40's and the wiring is not up to code and it cleans up the power very much. Don't let any body tell you that the strip kind of units, ie Furman, Monster, work as well because they do not.
     
  9. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

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    I've had my BX500 since May without a problem.... It even fell off a speaker cabinet and kept rockin'. Sorry about your amp problems!
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    Carvin does not presently have any product called "Power C" on their website. Is is an older item? They do have a power conditioner called the AC120S, and it is exactly identical to most of the mid-priced Furman and Monster products.
     
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    Regarding the term "conditioner", it is not safe to rely on that term having one accepted meaning. In earlier times it was used to refer to something that would regulate voltage, but in the last few decades "conditioner" has come to mean a power strip with a noise filter and usually a simple surge suppressor. The products that regulate voltage are called "power regulators". So now when we have people saying things like "a real conditioner, not a strip like a Furman", it confuses matters badly.
     
  12. 2milehighspike

    2milehighspike Supporting Member

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    Sorry Bongo but I disagree, I tried the Furman unit and it did not work as good as the Carvin AC120s which is what I own! I think that the reason this is such a devicive issue is because everybodys power problems are'nt the same and most people can't relate to users who have very bad power issues.
     
  13. Red Planet

    Red Planet

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    It is never a bad idea to test your power the best way to do it is with a meter and a tester. One of these circuit testers will let you know if you have a simple wiring issue with the outlet. Something like a missing neutral can destroy an amp or other gear.


    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...langId=-1&keyword=outlet tester&storeId=10051

    Just last week I had plugged our Class D PA head into an outlet that was missing the neutral. We were hearing hum and our guitarist was getting shocked when his lips touched his microphone. A quick test with an outlet tester revealed no neutral on this one outlet the rest were good.
     
  14. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    Understood, Thanks. What should I be looking for to truly protect my BX500. Also, what issues with power could fry a class D? Besides Voltage or HZ issues? I really suspect the Power strip as the culprit because I never even got to play one single note on both BX500's before they fried.

    I know there are 1000's of players plugging BX500's into less than perfect outlets without problems. I would really love to figure out what actually went wrong. I really hate to Sell the BX500 just based on a What if but for now I just use My Hartke.
     
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    "The Furman unit"... which one? They have ten models, at a wide range of prices.
     
  16. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    Thanks Red Planet. That tester looks perfect to check the Power strip in question. I have a Killer Techtronix Meter but Only knew how to test Volts & HZ.
     
  17. Red Planet

    Red Planet

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    You cannot afford what you are describing. Realtime backup voltage supply is incredibly expensive and huge/heavy. Here is an entry level system that retails at 3 grand. For the real deal your talking 10 grand.

    http://powerquality.eaton.com/PW9130L3000T-XL.aspx

    You cannot buy a rack mount type power conditioner unit that does more than filter and protect against spikes for a 100 bucks or so and expect it to do what you are thinking of.

    For real voltage maintaining that can take the power from an outlet, isolate your amp from the line voltage, porotect against faults/spikes/surges, filter EI noise, and keep the voltage supplied constant you are talking major money.

    You can purchase something that will filter and protect from spikes for not much but that's going to be the limit for you. There should be a power sticky around here as this subject has been discussed to death.
     
  18. Red Planet

    Red Planet

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    Also really it would be rare that you would see a dip in voltage and more often that you would see wiring problems like outlets wired backwards. I hardly ever check voltage of an outlet unless I am having problems. I try to always check the wiring with my little outlet tester. It's just a quick plug in and look at the lights. It's good to have a meter if you need it but I reserve breaking the meter out for when there are real issues. The building I was in last week I did not read voltage, only checked the outlet wiring on all the outlets we were using once the problem started.

    Also for a device that truly checks building earth you are talking major money as well.

    I avoid using outlet testers that have the ground fault button/tester. If you are in a building that is not up to current code (old building) doing the ground fault test can prove to be a show stopper. Cause arcing hazard, trip breakers, start a fire, loss of a circuit etc........
     
  19. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    The amps that did not work at your drummer's, did you bring them home and try them again to see if they worked at your house?
    The reason I ask is I had a couple SMPS w/class D PA amps that would not respond when plugged into the same circuit branch. They would work fine on their own but as soon as you powered both on the same circuit,,,fail. Doesthe PA at your drummer's have lightweight PA amps?
     
  20. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    So, let's talk about actual functions here. Line noise is NOT the cause of an amp failing, so we don't need to consider any recommendation based on "cleaning up dirty power". Voltage that's too high or too low could be to blame, suggesting a power regulator could help, except didn't OP say his multimeter read correct voltage from the power strip? That would rule out the need for an expensive regulator. A surge could cause an amp failure, suggesting a better surge protector--but didn't OP say other gear was working fine on this strip? So probably not a surge. What's left? A ground fault. Some gear will work fine with various amounts of grounding problems, but some gear will shut down, act "broken", or have mysterious glitches and noises even with a slight incompatibility in grounding. One type of ground fault is bad/damaged/incorrect wiring, and this is tested with a simple and cheap outlet tester plug. Solving that type of fault can be tricky, and depends on the specific case. The other type of ground fault is when more than one piece of gear built with slightly different grounding schemes is plugged into one power strip with all outlets sharing ground. This is solved by using a power strip with transformer-isolated outlets.

    So there's my two recommendations: an outlet tester, and a transformer-isolated outlet for your amp.
     
  21. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    SMPS have a AC line sense (a power good if you will), if another piece of SMPS gear is excessively noisy this can interfere. Noise filters are not the solution, finding the "faulty" signal is. If lightweight SMPS PA amps are being used there maybe a conflict between that and the Carvin. Which piece needs to be modified I can't guess.
    Peavey's early IPR's had this trouble, I had to have my two IPR's modified (at no charge) by Peavey.
     

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