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am i damaging/risking my combo?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thehangingmist, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. i have a small hartke combo amp (it doesn't claim to have a limiter on board but i do have a limiter on my pedal board anyway)
    so now the thing is its a 30W combo amp and i play it on its FULL master volume (there is only one volume knob).
    can playing that amp out on its peak output damage anything inside it? am i risking it if yes then what is most likely to be blown out first? the speaker?
  2. by the way i play it through a (1)passive squier jazz bass into a (2)boss GEB-7 eq into a (3)behringer bass limiter/enhancer then to the amp
  3. Well, when I started playing, I used to use a small 20w combo and when I jammed with other people, I had to literaly crank every knob. It didin't blow, but, if you do this it is like playing with fire, an amp is not designed to be ran full on, with the volume on ten, If you do do, all the electronics are pushed to their limits, and they overheat. So your amp MIGHT not blow up, but it is very likely that if you do that for a long time (or not if your out of luck) it'll blow up one day.
  4. jdbernard


    May 29, 2007
    I'm not an expert, but I would assume that the maker of the combo would design the circuitry so that it could withstand maximum load without being damaged. The only thing I personally would worry about is the speaker blowing.

    I guess if you plugged in a really hot signal you may fry it on full, but you're not putting that much signal out with your passive bass.
  5. any more thoughts?
  6. uprightben


    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    The potential for blowing the speaker or something on the circut board in this kind of situation is very high. During my past life as rocker I blew out a 100w crate and 300w fender combos doing very similar things. Any distortion or dirtyness in your sound at high volumes that is not there at low volumes is a good way to tell if you are killing your amp, but even if you don't hear that, you're not safe. Another thing to think about is that most bassists like to have a lot more power than they need (headroom) for various tone/sound quality issues.
  7. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    what is the model number of your current combo?? do you have the output volumes on the pedals maxed or near peaking??

    do you have the b300??

    if your boss pedel "level" is only in the middle then you MAY be getting less then full signal before it goes into amp.

    wait wait... maybe I'm over analyzing your question. A better way to set up your signal is to turn your main volume down to say 1/4 or 1/2. turn up your eq level, while playing strong notes on your guitar, adjust your limiter level and output of the limiter unit, until you start distorting the input of your amp. its tricky dealing with multiple "levels" gtr, pedal1, behringer, amp. the three places I see where you could distort is... going into the behringer, going into the input of combo, and then going from the volume knob of your combo into the amp part of the combo. if you get a fuzzy or distorted sound. try lowering these different points one at a time. if lowering, say, the eq volume doesn't reduce distortion, put the level back to where it was and move onto the next. if you still max your volume on the amp without distortion, try using your passive input on the amp if you have one.

    ok, I over analyzed it anyway....
  8. rezin


    Sep 26, 2006
    Madison, WI
    i have a similar problem, i have a cheap behringer combo and recently got a pod, after a couple weeks of having the pod i'm getting a lot of crackling from the amp.

    i made sure to set the pod to "combo front" and i left the pod output to about half, and i didn't turn the drive knob up past 75%. i'm not worried about this amp because it was so cheap but i don't want the same thing to happen to the next one i get
  9. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    crackling or fuzzy distorted notes??

    crackling and almost no decent volume is a blown speaker. too much volume knob on the combo

    if you blew a speaker you will ruduce your chances by getting a higher wattage combo, say 100w so your volume will go alot louder before you hurt the speaker. especially useful if your trying to jam with loud stereo or medium loud band.
  10. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
  11. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Well you have a behringer, the speaker is going to explode.
  12. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Maybe so, but for how long? If you drive your car at reasonable speeds, you can likely get 100k+ miles out of it, but if you run it flat out as fast as it will go all the time, odds are that it will fail long before that.
  13. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    Same here. I'd just sweep my hand across the front & dime everything.

    It never blew, but boy did it sound like ass...

    Save up & get something in the 100-200 watt range.
  14. by the way, its a hartke b300
    my normal practice session lasts about 3hours without switching off the amp once, it has never heated up or anything, i dont hear any cracking or distortion or whatever unless i push the signal too much using the pedals
    seems like the hartke is well built but i would be getting a larger amp soon as i have more bread for it
    anyway thanks for all your replies! :D
  15. woah! bumping my old zombie thread to post this:
    so the volume knob had broken and it was always full on, if i wanted it any lower i turned down the signal level from my pedal board or plugged in the active input section
    now its been way over a year. i used this amp for every jam all cranked up until i bought my larger peavy a couple of months back. now this hartke is my home practice amp and stays on atleast about 8 hours a day when am home and its just rocks! :bassist::bassist:
    an awesome little combo it has turned out to be :D

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