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Aguilar TLC acting strangely (malfunctioning?)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DinnerWithAGypsy, Jul 14, 2014.


  1. Hey, guys.

    So I've had an Aguilar TLC on my pedalboard for as long as I can remember -- I love it -- but yesterday on a plug-and-play, backline gig in Chicago, IL, it decided to give me grief.

    When engaged, the initial sustain and reinforced sound of the compression was there, but then the signal dropped off after about half a second. It almost sounded like there was a "fade-out" programmed into the pedal, if that makes sense (that's the best way I can think of to explain how it sounded). When I disengaged the pedal, my signal didn't unnaturally fade out anymore.

    A weird aspect of this whole situation is that I was playing a gig back in Nashville, TN, on Saturday night, and I used the exact same pedalboard with the Aguilar TLC engaged for the entire performance with no issues. It performed like normal, as it has for as long as I've had the pedal on my board. Then suddenly I travel overnight for a gig in Chicago, and the pedal's not working properly anymore. (?)

    Has anyone else experienced this with the Aguilar TLC? Is this a common problem that is easily diagnosed?

    Thanks! Just looking for a quick explanation/diagnosis from the always-helpful and -knowledgeable TalkBass community! :)
     
  2. I was an happy user of the Aguilar TLC. I say "was" ´cause actually don´t use it.

    When I plugged it I never had this kind of issues. It worked perfectly. It added me a real good sustain, but it never did some "fade-out" and I never had some dropping off.

    Perhaps some problem with the electrical power on stage in Chicago did that dropping off, ´cause the next gig in Nasville it worked allright. I suppose that you used exactly the same setting in both gigs.
     
  3. negativefx

    negativefx complete hack

    Feb 18, 2013
    Fort Collins
    I had this EXACT issue a few weeks ago. I built my own compressor and threw the TLC in the garbage. The volume was fading out like the entire rig was losing power. Pulled the TLC out of the chain and all is well.
     
  4. Still looking for more opinions, personal feedback, and any help you can provide in diagnosing my pedal's issue!

    I did use the same bass and pedalboard and cables at both gigs, but actually, the gig in Nashville was Saturday night, and the gig in Chicago was the following day, Sunday afternoon/evening to be exact.

    That being said, all my other pedals were functioning fine, so I doubt any funny power situation at the festival stage in Chicago was affecting just my Aguilar TLC compressor.

    That's how mine was acting, too. Let me ask you this: Before pulling the malfunctioning TLC out of your chain, did you try bypassing it first, like I did, with similar results? (For me, the signal still flowed perfectly normal through my board with the TLC disengaged.)

    Honestly, simply "throwing the pedal in the garbage" is not exactly where I'm hoping this conversation leaves me. I'd like to get it fixed, ideally, but I'm not sure it would be worth it financially. (?)

    I'm back now from my extended weekend of gigging as of tonight, so I'll definitely be hooking up my board tomorrow or the day after to see if I can replicate the issue (hopefully not!).
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I'd say email Dave at Aguilar, he's also got an account here on TB. Whether or not it can be fixed, he's pretty responsive to any issues.
     
  6. If you and negativefx had the same issue fairly isn´t a electrical power on stage.

    We´ll be waiting this answer from Dave to know more about this issue.;)
     
  7. DriesG

    DriesG

    Feb 27, 2009
    Gent (Belgium)
    Could it be some dust building up inside the pots? I've been using mine for years on my board without issues. If the pots stay more or less in the same position, it's good to turn them all the way up and down a couple of times to "clean" them. This can happen with many pots on pedals, basses, amps etc. (I recommend using movement and air to clean the pots. If you use some sort of electronics cleaning agent, this works for some time but can make the problem bigger after a while.)
     
  8. Aguilar/Dave B.

    Aguilar/Dave B. Aguilar Amplification Commercial User

    Nov 8, 2003
    New York City
    President: Aguilar Amplification
    Hey Guys,

    There is nothing that would cause the problem that you are describing. If you have a pedal that you think is defective, we would be glad to test and fix the pedal if necessary. Please contact techsupport@aguilaramp.com. Marco will give you a return authorization number. He may ask you to trouble shoot a couple things first.

    Best,

    Dave B.
     
    Al Kraft, anavar and punchdrunk like this.
  9. negativefx

    negativefx complete hack

    Feb 18, 2013
    Fort Collins
    Yes, the signal was unaffected when the TLC was bypassed. Send it in for repair and see what they say... I'm guessing Aguilar is a good company to work with given that they've already responded to this thread!

    I didn't bother attempting to repair mine given the amount of time to troubleshoot and repair was less than slapping together a clone of another compressor. I also didn't send it out for repair because I needed a replacement ASAP.

    To Dave B: I know you stated that there's nothing that would cause that problem directly, but I think it's more correct to say that Aguilar has not seen anything to cause this problem. I use a furman power conditioner and an MXR dc brick to power the pedal and have never had this issue with any other pedals on my board. I experienced this issue at my house in my jam room which has modern up-to-code wiring and a gig at a decent venue. Based on my knowledge in this area (avid DIY amp and pedal builder), I think it's entirely possible that there's a faulty component on the board (op amp? transistor? bad filter cap? diode? who knows!). Also totally possible that it's nothing Aguilar could have predicted or tested for (bad batch of components with faulted duty cycles for example). I did not mean to imply that I think Aguilar gear is trash when I said I threw mine away, simply that I didn't need to be bothered with getting the problem rectified. You guys make great products and I certainly wouldn't be deterred from buying Aguilar in the future.
     
  10. Aguilar/Dave B.

    Aguilar/Dave B. Aguilar Amplification Commercial User

    Nov 8, 2003
    New York City
    President: Aguilar Amplification
    I am not at all offended by you saying that it could be broken. Anything can break. I can tell you that each pedal is built in our shop in NYC, tested twice and then burned in and listened too.
    I'm just sorry that you didn't send your unit to us. It's kind of illogical to throw it away. You don't have to fix our products. We would have been glad to do that for you. Thanks for your kind words, give us a shout anytime.

    Best,

    Dave B.
     
    punchdrunk likes this.
  11. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Just wanted to chime in with compliments for Aguilar's tech support. I own one of the first run of TH500s and after a lot of use it developed an odd intermittent problem. Marco responded to my email promptly, and he stayed on the case (intermittent problems can be real boogers to diagnose on the bench) until it was working properly.
     
  12. Thanks, Dave! The personal response is very impressive. (I've never had to contact you guys directly before, so it's new to me. :))

    The parents are in town, but tomorrow I'm going to try to find time to power up my board and see if the issue's still present. If it is, I'll be sending an email to the address you provided above soon! Thanks again.

    Intermittent gear problems are the worst! :mad: Hate 'em.
     
  13. Powered up the board earlier this evening and the TLC worked fine. No fading out or anything like that. Odd. :eyebrow:

    I have a trio of shows this weekend in Ohio. That should be a good test. If I ever encounter the same malfunction again, I'll be emailing Marco at Aguilar's tech support!

    Thanks, everyone, for the responses!
     
  14. Pirkka

    Pirkka

    Apr 12, 2008
    Finland
    I've faced exactly same problem. Volume level goes down little by little. Has anybody found any solution to this problem?
     
  15. punchdrunk

    punchdrunk Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2013
    Jacksonville, Fl
    This is why I've got a huge man crush on Dave B.
     
  16. Peke

    Peke

    Jun 7, 2008
    Parainen, Finland
    Old thread I know. I bought an used TLC some time ago and have use it occasionally every now and then. Today I finally had a time to play with it and I tried few different settings to see what it does. I noticed that attack knob doesn't affect at all to my sound! I know that TLC is pretty transparent and subtle but it does not affect at all. Is there a some kind of (ultimate) setting to try that I can be sure is it working or not? Needles to say that I have no earlier experience with bass comps. Any ideas are more than welcome, thanks!
     
  17. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Turn the compression to maximum, and play one big low note, then rest a full second, then play another big note. Doing this will allow you to hear changes of the attack time.
     
    Al Kraft and Peke like this.
  18. Peke

    Peke

    Jun 7, 2008
    Parainen, Finland
    Tried all kinds of extreme settings but attack knob seems to have a zero effect to my tone. :thumbsdown:
     
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Hmm... It could be a faulty component. To be clear, it should not affect the tone at all. Maybe it's just a translation error? But attack should only change the speed that the compressor reacts to your peaks, it should not change the tone.
     
  20. Peke

    Peke

    Jun 7, 2008
    Parainen, Finland
    I'll do some more testing tomorrow. I watched some YouTube demos of TLC and didn't notice any difference there either. I might have wanted to hear something that shouldn't even be there.
     

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