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Akai pedals (UniBass, Deep Impact) reliability

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by rodak, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. rodak


    Jun 14, 2005
    Hi. I just joined TalkBass, and it looks like there are a lot of folks here familiar with these great, discontinued pedals. I have one of each (purchased one new, one used), and have had nearly the identical problem with both - sometimes they just quit working - when switched off, they pass the straight signal, but when switched on, I get no sound. I send the UniBass back when it was still under warranty, and the tech couldn't get it to fail, so he tightened things up and "re-flowed" most of the solder joints, and sent it back. It worked for a while, then started acting up again. I took it apart myself, moved things around, flexed the boards, tapped and knocked on things, managed to get it to fail once (tho I have no idea what I did), then got it to work again (have no idea how I did that, either). Put it back together and it's been good for a few weeks so far. Before that, I had pulled the Deep Impact apart, messed with it the same way, couldn't get it to fail, put it back together, and it's been solid for a few months (I must say, however, that I don't do a log of gigging - mostly I just play in church, and not every week at that, and don't always use the pedals).

    Has anyone else experienced problems like this? These pedals look to be built like tanks, and all the reviews I've read talk about their reliability - maybe it's just me. FWIW, I play an Epiphone EB3 5-string. I'd like to have backups, and may get one for the UniBass (Deep Impacts are still WAY too pricey for me - I lucked onto mine on eBay about a year ago for $100, when they were only commanding $300-ish, now they're more like $400 on average)

    I love both of them, and in my band, which is just starting to get back together, they come in REAL handy.

  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My Deep Impact would do this occassionally, then I read a blurb on the 'net that it was VERY sensitive to UNDERvoltage conditions. As a result, it was suggested that I toss the stock 9 volt adapter, and get a 9.6v Boss adapter. It immediately solved the problem.

    Now occassionally at a gig it will freak out, and sure enough EVERY time it does, I look at the voltmeter on my Furman power strip and the voltage from the wall is terribly low. They are sensitive beasts, apparently . . . .
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    i gigged extensively with both and never had a problem. I always use a solid adapter.
  4. xan


    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    i made the mistake of putting my intelliphase before it in the signal chain and thought "hey it might be fun to see what happened" and it made some strange but cool sounds, then it did nothing and i thought i had blown it, but i unplugged it and plugged it back and it worked fine thankfully. i dont gig so i cant talk about gig reliability but in the bedroom it seems fine.
  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    No problems with my Deep Impact over the two years that I owned it.
  6. N*Joy


    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    Interesting comment about the mains supply - my deep impact froze up on me once (like a computer crash!) and I crapped myself, however that was before putting my pedalboard together and it has not happened since using my 2amp regulated supply
  7. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I had a Unibass for awhile. kinda pissed I sold it *L*

    Durability was never an issue for me. I always kept it powered by it's own adapter, so I never dealt with voltage issues.

    I did open mine up, and the circuit board is tiny, compared to the case. Thw switches are momentary, over latching, and the solders all appeared to be solid.

    The PCB sits attached to the top of the pedal, and it's held on pretty securely by several screws and bosses.

    Overall, the thing is a tank.
  8. I have both Akai's and have had the DeepImpact lock up several times but unplugging and replugging in the power supply remedied the problem. The UniBass has never presented any problem. Since assembling my pedal board where I use a computer grade regulated power strip and no problems since.
  9. I've never had any problems with my deep impact. At this point it's not something I'm willing to gig with because I wouldn't be able to replace it.
  10. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
  11. CetiAlphaVI


    May 27, 2005
    I've had a deep impact for 2 years and never had a problem, except when I put it in a power supply chain that must not have given it enough power. The wallwart it came with and the DC brick on my pedalboard have never flaked it out. Other than that one issue with the wrong power supply I have never had a reliability issue.
    Sorry to hear about your trouble. Hope you get it solved.
  12. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I have extensive experience w/ both and I've experienced the same issues as you Rodak. I've had intermittent problems w/ both models. My current Deep Impact just came off my board this week and I've replaced it with one that had a broken power jack that I repaired. I'm pretty sure that the one that just got retired won't be so easy to repair.
  13. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Yep. Had the exact same maddening problem with my Deep Impact. I think you're right on the money with the voltage solution.
  14. 0557


    Apr 12, 2004
    When first got mine through Zzounds 8months ago, It would not allow the presets to be reprogramed. I sent it back to Akai and they fixed the prob. Its been great up until yesterday
    I plugged it back in and all the settings were lost that I had set. but today It seems to have resumed its memory functions.
  15. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I don't think that it's a voltage issue w/ my malfunctions. If I had to guess I'd venture to say that the heat of sitting in my car trunk during the 90+ degree days has taken its toll on my units.

    I just came from rehearsal and I think my unibass is on its last leg.
  16. rodak


    Jun 14, 2005
    Thanks for all the great responses - I can see that for Akai pedals, THIS is the place to be! It's nice to know I'm not the only one with these problems.

    I bought my Deep Impact used and it came with a Boss wall wart. When it started freaking out, I replaced that with a generic RadioShack adapter that had a higher current rating, and thought that fixed the problem, but it has come back intermittently. I've tried running the UniBass off the RS wal wart, and it makes an odd humming noise, but works fine with it's own adapter (original, bought new).

    I've thought about building a single supply with two plugs, to run both pedals, so I guess I'll put some more thought into that possibility. Before I go to the trouble, can anyone reccommend a solid, heavy-duty 9V supply that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (that either comes with or can have attached a 2nd plug)?

    Lastly, what does "Type 2" mean on Wal-Warts? The Boss wart is NOT a Type 2, but most others I see are - a friend said he thought it meant regulated, which might explain why the DI freaked with the Boss.
  17. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Repairs on the Deep Impact (out of warrantee) are handled by VST Service www.vstservice.com 626-794-0052

  18. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Having a problem with my Deep Impact and I'm wondering if anyone else has had this.

    When switching it on, the effect immediately comes on (without even playing anything) and stays on in a sustained fashion, regardless of what I do. Only stops when I turn it off. Even if there is nothing plugged into it, it will immediately produce sustained sound upon turning it on.

    Anyone else have this problem? What to do?
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    What does the sound sound like? Does it sound like a normal synthesized note it would produce, or does it sound more like a ground hum or a digital squeal, etc.?

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