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Amp Not As Loud as Before

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JazzBassvb, Feb 8, 2006.


  1. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Good morning all,

    I have a Trace Elliot Commando 15 (100w RMS 200w Peak) and over the last couple of weekly jam sessions, my band mates and I have noticed that it has been getting progressively less loud at the same settings.

    I need to double check the battery in my bass first, but I thought I would get some thoughts as to what can start to go to make a amp loose power/loudness. My buddy said that maybe the transformer is starting to go.

    Any input into what it could be and how much to repair (or if I could since I'm handy with solder and an iron)

    Thanks very much!
    JB
     
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Batteries gradually lose voltage, power transformers do not.
     
  3. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Hi Bill,

    Ok. So the transformer is good or broken. No inbetween?

    Thanks,
    JB
     
  4. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    It's not impossible for a transformer to develop internal short circuits between the windings that could result in a lowered output voltage. I'd place the odds of that being the case at about a hundred thousand to one. On the other hand every battery eventually loses its charge.
     
  5. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    It could be your strings too, just getting less bright over time and possibly putting out more of the frequencies that get drowned out.
     
  6. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    My guess is they're going deaf. Either that or they're playing louder themselves.
     
  7. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Hi everyone!

    Well, I changed the battery on my bass and it seemed to have helped. I also ran my bass directly into my looping station instead of my homemade A/B box and I noticed between the two, my amp was a little louder. I had a little more to turn on the gain and volume knobs.

    Here's the kicker. My friend brought his Peavey TKO 75 watt combo for me to try. That thing blew my amp out of the water! I was using the low gain input, and had quite a bit more on the pre and post gain and the master volume.

    Just my means of comparison, is it safe to say something is up with my amp? If so, what is the recommended course of action to take? Any thing to look out for when taking it in for service or things to ask about? Should I just save the new speaker I have and buy a new combo or something?

    Thanks very much!
    JB
     
  8. ibz

    ibz

    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH

    Maybe the TKO's percieved volume is just louder. There are many other factors beside's wattage that influences percieved volume (75W sounding less loud than 100W).

    Something might be up with your amp though, since I have now way of being there, I can't make any judgement besides what you tell us. I have found Trace stuff to be extremely reliable in every product of theirs I've owned.
     
  9. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Thanks ibz. In terms of factors that influence perceived volume, can you name some? I'm total green here.

    Thanks,
    JB
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    A 75-watt amp could easily be louder than a 100-watt amp if you simply have it turned up louder.
     
  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    One obvious one is the voicing (think built-in EQ) of the amp. Your perception could easily change in a different room or playing situation too.

    Bob's suggestion is a biggie though. If one amp simply gets louder at say 12 o'clock on the volume pot, it's easy to assume it's the louder amp. But there's no particular guarantee that 12 o'clock is half power (or any correlated rating, actually) on either of the amps being compared, or that they can/should be compared that way.
     
  12. ibz

    ibz

    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    This is a very big key I just didn't get a chance to get back at him. As amp voicing and eq change percieved volume a good amount.
    Ex.) A a scooped sound will sound fat but, will be really hard to hear in a band situation since there's not mid cut to be heard.

    Also, things like having the input gain set so the power amp is getting a strong signal, but and very little distorting at peaks can make an amp sound louder.

    Also, the TKO might have a smaller more midrangey speaker than a deeper sounding 15". And speaker effiency comes into play as well...

    Really there is a lot of variables that are inhernent in an amp's design that make one sound louder than another, even if the wattage is similar. Power ratings alone aren't a very good indicator of percieved volume, too many other things that most people don't think of effect the "loudness" your hearing.
     
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Agreed, and this is especially true when the power ratings are so close to the same anyway.;)
     
  14. Crockettnj

    Crockettnj

    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    piggybacking on the previous post, 100 watts doesnt equate to 33% louder than 75 watts. watts and volume are certainly not linear.

    pretty much, this thread topic has more variables than the equation for predicting life on other planets.
     
  15. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    :D

    75 and 100 watts are only 1.25 dB different, and that's only if you're actually using all the power.
     
  16. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Well, like I stated earlier, I'm totally green and unaquainted with specs and such as you folks have mentioned in this thread.

    Just to help me with more info, what then, are the things to look for when buying an amp or combo. Sensitivity comes to mind, but other than that, that's about it.

    I'm just looking for more info to get educated.

    Thanks,
    JB
     
  17. BbbyBld

    BbbyBld

    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    It's likely that the Peavey amp has more gain in the preamp giving the perception of being more loud even at lower knob settings.
     
  18. I've always been under the impression that Trace Commandos were never particularly "loud" amps in the first place.

    Apart from what the others have said, it's possible that the Peavey has a far more efficient speaker, which would go a long way towards explaining the difference you heard.
     
  19. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I can speak from experience about the Peavy TKO 57. It is indeed voiced for cutting through. I used on for several shows a few years ago where my 400watt amp through a 410xlt and 210xlt were'nt loud enough. In hinsdight that particular band was stupid loud. The sound engineer got sick of hearing me complain about not being able to hear myself and let me borrow her TKO75. We ran a line out to it and placed it side of stage , angled up at my head.

    I thought my 400W watt rig would easily overpower it, but I was wrong. Surprisingly the little 75 watter was audible over the 400W Eden rig. I wouldn't say that it sounded as "nice", but in terms of pure SPL, it kept up.

    Loud, low, small - pick any 2! The TKO is small and loud, so it sacrifices the lows. The Trace looks like it's small and lower, meaning it's not as loud.
     
  20. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I'm gonna guess the Trace is more hifi - the Peavey probably has a nice bump in the 100 - 200 range. I've played through a TKO and been pretty surprised at it's ability to keep up in low moderate volume ensembles...it could be the ultimate church amp.