AFTER 3 WEEKS!!!!! MY MESA 400+ HAS DIED AGAIN!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by scottblessed, Jul 7, 2008.


  1. thanks very much, the drummer may well be wearing a dillinger t shirt. Not 100% sure though. Probably more likely to be a red chord shirt though.

    new recordings up on our myspace soon, soundsing great too.

    thanks for the support :)
     
  2. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Maybe it's just me, but if someone turned my amp from 3 to 10, I'd probably notice and turn it back down before I fried an output transformer.
     
  3. first off, i had ear plugs in, and second of all, you "should" know that it takes a good 10 feet if not more to really notice volume on a bass amp. so when im standing 1 or 2 feet away, forgive me if I don't notice a volume leap.

    I'm telling you right now, I didn't turn the amp up, so stop accusing. Thanks.
     
  4. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Not accusing, just somewhat amazed. I've been playing 40+ years, 25 of those with plugs, and am pretty sure I'd notice that kind of volume change occuring on its own. I'm through here.
     
  5. 12bass

    12bass

    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Even if someone did turn it up to full volume, it seems to me that the output transformer shouldn't be so underrated so as to melt under the stress. The tubes can only output so much power.... sounds like poor design, or a bad part.
     
  6. has it maybe got something to do with the speakon cable i use? im lost, gonna phone the tech tomorrow.
     
  7. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Just like my new marshall fried its output transformer the other day when some punk that had no idea what a bad sound was, fried it for me. I am of course having a custom one built as I don't think the
    new transformer is half the size of the one in my old marshall and I just don't trust it anymore like I do the old one.
    But 50 watt Marshall guitar amps are famously designed to take max abuse whereas the 400+ is very rugged but due to the huge output available in comparatively very limited space and weight, not completely fool proof.
    I am very surprised the transformer is that cheap to be honest.
    Leave insane feedback antics to the guitarists its a lot cheaper and far more reliable. If you want that kind of head that you can abuse all the time and not worry you probably have to go with multiple Hiwatt 200's as they cool very well and have comparatively huge partridge output transformers.
    Design wise thats a hell of lot of thermal inherent redundancy in comparison to the 400+
    :ninja:
     
  8. jarrod cunningham

    jarrod cunningham

    Apr 24, 2007
    sylacauga alabama
    spector basses
    ive had 3 400+ and al lhave given problems and died on me during shows .... and once when i was opening the show for the allman bro's .... talkin bout pissed .... thanks to the sound guy and a great monitor mix we finished the set ... but ill never own another mesa product .....
     
  9. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    +100

    I'm usually pretty positive with my posting.

    However I want nothing to do with Mesa ever again.

    I too was opening for a Major Act at the time.

    Never again.
     
  10. the worst part is that it is only about 6 weeks since I bought it from a previous owner. He is a close friend and he also had problems with it. In fact he blew some resisitors just like I did, think this could be linked?

    Is it possible that because I was using a speakon-jack cable that maybe the amp and cab weren't communicating the way they are meant to?

    Anyone have any idea as to what kind of output transformer mesa actually put in the 400+?

    Cannot find any info on it anywhere, been looking for hours.


    scott
     
  11. whoatherechunk

    whoatherechunk

    Apr 4, 2008
    i've had my 400+ for three and a half years and have never had a problem. that's unfortunate some idiot dimed the volume. i'm surprised with what occurred the cab is still intact and sounding fine. anyways, if someone would have done that i would have ****ed him up. anyways, good luck mate.

    p.s: good tunes!
     
  12. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    A few notes:

    1. Nice music
    2. Mesa's sound nice
    3. This is why I never invested in a Mesa

    Up until college, EVERY Mesa/Boogie amp I saw on stage blew up. Every single one. Since then, I haven't heard of one blowing at a gig again until now, though.

    I dig the sound - don't get me wrong. I just don't feel comfortable relying on something that I've seen behave so finicky.
     
  13. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Yes you will get sound out even with a short but it will tend to be quieter and somewhat distorted. I too cannot understand how you missed the volume increase as the master was advanced. However that is water under the bridge at this point. You should get the amp repaired - it is, after all, a classic amp. If you then wish to sell it you can do so with a clear Karma.

    Paul
     
  14. When an already sick amp dies from serious abuse, that's NOT a design flaw.
     
  15. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    A couple of points.

    1) After watching your YouTube video and seeing the style you are playing, I can understand how you may not immediately hear or feel if someone "dimed" your volume. Ears can only go so far - the rest is shockwaves and pain.

    2) I saw on the video where it appears some dude was helping himself to your knobs. If it wasn't an appointed soundman, then you have problems. Normally I wouldn't call it your problem, but it is your $$ so in the end crowd control is your problem.

    3) Here is an "out-of-my-ass" guess. Perhaps when pumping that much power into the speaker assembly (way too much power with transients and distortion) the effective resistance that the power transformer "sees" is a lot lower than the required resistance, hence not enough load. That would fry the transformer.

    4) Remember, just because an amp is rated at 400W doesn't mean that it stops there. The rating is made at a certain power at a certain frequency at a certain noise level at a certain distortion level. When your 400W amp is pegged at 10, who knows how much power it is trying to dump out to the speakers but I guarantee you that it is WAY higher than 400 watts. Insufficient load behind that will do very bad things. I am sure there are amp techs on-line that know ton more than I do about these things, but if you really want to know if it is your speaker cabling, my guess is that it could be part of the equation. I would say that all the wiring between the power stage and the speaker voice coils (and the voice coils?) are suspect at that power. Is there overload protection in the speaker? If so, that could muck things up as they are made for clipping, not continuous overload.

    Bottom line, the amp was not up to task and there probably are few that would be. I know you seem to take offense when people, including myself, have called the event “abuse”, but I doubt that the Mesa engineers had your usage in mind when they designed the amp. If you need more volume at any given point then you need a new, more powerful rack.

    Should you fix it? In my opinion 300 GBP (~$600) just for parts is way too much. Find someone that will buy it fried and try to buy something better. Also, watch your rig, I’d break someone’s arm if they tried that crap on my gear.
     
  16. in all seriousness, I wasn't actually driving the amp hard throughout the gig. I use a Y split cable as many others do, input one at 4, input 2 at 3 and the master set at 3. Mids at 7, Bass at 4 (switch pulled) treble at 3/4 (switch pulled).

    In all honesty, do people think that is really driving the amp too hard? I use an Ampeg 8x10, so the cab can pretty much handle whatever.

    The amp was bought by a friend of mine who had it shipped over from the states, he got the amp looked over, got the wiring changed and all was ok. 2 weeks later he fried all the resistors due to an overheating problem. He got it fixed, then a week later he blew a tube. He then got the whole amp fully retubed with JJ's and bought an Ampeg SVT classic. The head was then sold on to me. In this first 3 weeks, I blew 6 resistors in the second row of power tubes due to overheating. Some solder melted and dripped in places it shouldn't have. 3 weeks later, this happens.

    I do not think I'am mistreating this amp in any way shape or form, I'm using this amp for what it was made for, to sound great. And it does, it is just an unlucky amp.

    The amp has always been connected to a speaker load and I have never turned the amp on without checking that everything is ok beforehand.

    The amp is currently being fitted with a new output transformer and I will decide what to do with it next. Looking in to purchasing a Sunn amp, so maybe I will split the signal from my bass so that I can run the mesa quieter (which I shouldn't need to do) or maybe I will get rid of the amp altogether. Seems funny that an amp which is rated to be 100 watts louder than the SVT-CL cannot be used at a volume that even comes close to it.

    Scott
     
  17. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    Scott,

    I doubt the amp blew until the master got turned up to 10 and you did the forced feeback trick at the end of your song. And the whole failure event probably took a couple of milliseconds. At the normal levels you describe I bet the amp would still be working.

    You said that the first time it died on you you were running it during practice at master=9.

    I guess I really don't have anything else to add. Be careful and watch your levels and get stronger equipment. I have never owned any Mesa equipment but others seem to have strong opinions about the company's gear.:bassist:
     
  18. yeah but im not doubting that, and I have already said that I never turned the amp up to ten.

    That time when I was running the master at 9 at practice, i was running the inputs relatively quiet.

    And it sounded great.

    The 12 power tubes really came to life and the amp really sounded great.

    Whatever, I get the sound I like from the amp, and I know that I do not abuse the amp, I try to take care of it as best I can.

    Thanks for everyones input.
     
  19. You're right; your guess is decidedly south of being intellectually informed. None of your technical conjecture is accurate.
     
  20. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Did you have it converted to European voltage and current, or are you using a converter?
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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