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Amp Repair: I AM DUMB

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Epac, May 6, 2010.

  1. Epac


    Jan 6, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    Hey Guys,

    So I need some advice here. I was going to try to hide or distort some of the details to save face, but its clear to me now i'll only get the right help if I explain everything.

    So I found this listing for an GK 1001RB-II (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Gallien-Krueger-1001RB-II-700-50W-Biamp-Bass-Head-102294733-i1145841.gc) for 250 on Craigslist. Was stoked, cause I was praying that I could find an affordable upgrade on my GK Backline 600 sometime in the near future.

    Problem was, as I'm sure some of you have guessed, there was the fateful "technical problem, selling it as is". The guy reported that there was a loud crackling sound when the amp was turned on. He said when he played, the sound would go away, but inbetween his notes, there was this unsufferable crackling sound.

    I figured, hey, i'm getting this baby for mad cheap, its what I was praying for. Repair shouldn't be too bad. The guy said he had just bought it like four months ago, anyway. A new amp can't be completely f-ed up. The guy said he just didn't want to go through the whole process of finding a repair guy, waiting weeks to hear back, etc etc.

    Its been a stressful time. When your trying to figure out a bunch of things, your thinking about individual stuff sometimes fails. Probably a risky idea in the first place, but I took things even further by taking it, without checking it myself, to a local repair shop. I just wanted to get the ball rolling; wanted to get out playing, got gigs coming up. Not even a place I trust a hundred percent, but looks legit, so I decide to leave it there.

    They give me a call nearly 3 weeks later, and tell me they have an estimate: 150 for generalized cleaning, checking the pods. May be a deeper internal problem, but probably not. 130 for labor, 20-30 for parts. Looking back, I think I should have stopped here and tried to get a second opinion, but again, not really thinking things through, putting my trust in the eternal.

    I get a call about a week later, they got a second estimate. Pods in the front of the panel won't get cleaned. I don't know anything about amp repair, I'm just repeating what I was told. Pods in the front of the panel won't get cleaned, so the repair guy wants to open things up and try to clean up all 10 pods; another hour labor for 90, plus 40 parts. 285 total.

    Should I just take the 155 hit, take it to someone else? Does almost 300 sound right for this type of problem? I obviously don't know what kind of damage this head has been through, but i took the risk thinking I was getting a break. Now its looking like I"m breaking even on this whole thing. Bummer.

    Thoughts? Sorry about the length, just thought I'd give the full story....
  2. JasonLamb


    Aug 17, 2007
    i would just see if you can send it back to gk for repair...at least you know it will be fixed correctly
  3. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Pots, I think you mean to say cleaning the pots.

    IME Pots are only scratchy when they are being turned (provided they need cleaning). I little bit of contact cleaner, a clean rag, and a few turns usually clears things up.

    Send it to me. I'll clean the pots for a lot less than 300 bones.
  4. Epac


    Jan 6, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    Just to be clear, the guy has already done the 150 job. So i'm in damage control mode right, trying to get as far from 300 as possible.

    Yeah, maybe I should have sent it to GK. But I guess I figured I'd get a better deal with a local guy.

  5. RTL

    RTL House Chicken Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Leander, TX
    There's GOT to be an Authorized GK service center in your neck of the woods.

    Also, I think the $150 should have diagnosed your problem at least. Sounds like this guy is bending you over for 5 minutes worth of time with a can of contact cleaner...
  6. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    Unfortunately, you are being ripped off. I could probably rebuild an amp like that if it was totally blown up, part's and labor included for $150.00 and still make a good profit.

    90 an hour for labor...maybe I'm in the wrong business.
  7. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    Typical mechanic corruption.

    "Educated" repairman takes advantage of unenlightened, for a large profit, and severe detriment to the comsumer.

    Luckily, they put them selves out of business sooner or later.
  8. BBEgo


    Apr 14, 2010
    Corona, CA
    How far are you from 7YrsDown (Bronx to Niagra Falls)? What you need is a knowledgeable TBr you can trust to help you out.

    Pay the money and lick your wounds. Then buy a can of contact cleaner and clean all the pots yourself. Make sure the amp is unplugged.
  9. ajb


    Mar 20, 2005
    Please get your amp back from the repairman. And don't pay him $150 if he hasn't even diagnosed the problem yet. Stand up for yourself and your hard-earned money -- this is complete and utter horse poop. If it were me, and they gave me grief about not wanting to pay the $150, I would threaten to contact the state's Better Business Bureau. I'm serious. People and corruption are OUT OF CONTROL these days. It's time to put a stop to this nonsense.

    As to what is ailing your GK, i have a similar problem with a GK 700 RB. Sound cutting out, scratching sound, etc. It's not something as simple as cleaning the pots, I don't think. I never solved the problem; I just got an Aguilar DB 750 instead. :D Now there's a reliable beast.
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Just curious: did he bother to clean or bypass the effects loop jacks?
  11. DanRJBrasil


    Jun 10, 2007
    150 for cleaning the pots are a theft
  12. Tim669


    Dec 21, 2004
    St. Louis
    What he said.
    I have and older amp that did what sounds like the same thing you described. I connected a patch cable between the in and out and I haven't had that trouble since. It's worth a try and a MUCH cheaper solution if it works.:hyper:
  13. I bought a GK backline head that had a similar problem. I would make some sounds, sometimes, but never a good clean tone and sometimes no sound. The gain control pot on the dirty channel and the A/B (channel selector) switch were dirty inside. So bad that the amp did not function. I think someone spilled a drink in it. I took it apart, sprayed the inside of the switches with contact cleaner and worked the pot and switch. It took a few times, but it works fine and I have gigged it a couple of times when my Markbass Amp malfunctioned.
    The effect send and return are a usual suspect for these kind of things.

    Get it back.... dont pay if nothing is fixed. Not your fault they don't know what they are doing.
    Then try plugging a 1/4 plug in and out of the effects loop and see if it makes a difference.
  14. jgriffin


    Jun 13, 2009
    Get your amp and run away from that shop. I know first-hand that you could replace the entire preamp of that amp (on which the pots sit) for $85.70, a screwdriver and 15 minutes.

    Which isn't to say that your amp's problem is in the pre-amp, just trying to demonstrate how badly you've been hosed so far.

    also - bypassing the effects loop (mentioned above) is good advice for a potential quick fix.

    Also, its probably not easy to argue over bench fees, so you'll likely eat what you've you've spent so far, but you might try to push back a bit on that bill.
  15. Amp repairs are never cheap unless you know how to fix them yourself.
  16. 98dvl


    Jan 31, 2002

    I'd have sent it to GK... I once purchased a 1001RB-II on e-bay. After about 3 months, it had some issues. I took it to a local shop, and they tinkered around with it, and got it running for $150 or so... Then, 3 months later, I couldn't get it to power on... I bit the bullet, and sent it in to GK. I explained what the issue was, the history I knew of the amp, and even told them that I had purchased it used on e-bay. Got a reply that there'd be no charge to fix the amp as it was still under warranty. I don't know/remember exactly what the issue was, but I think they replaced the pre-amp board. Just cost me shipping to and fro to get it fixed right...

    I'm not saying this will be the case for everyone, but it's certainly worth a shot. GK has great customer service, IMO. Because of that one experience, I'll continue using their products.
  17. Epac


    Jan 6, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    Thanks for the advice, guys...I think, given all the circumstances, i'm prolly going to go in and argue around a little bit, see if I can get a better idea of what's going on, if not pay, get them to fix it and keep it at the original estimate. I'll use all what I've learned here to argue....I thought I was getting taken for a ride, but I just wanted to know exactly *** was going on.

    Im in LA, so, clearly should I have hit up a GK guy...i figured I'd be able to get a better deal with a local guy, but clearly that doesn't apply to amp repair...

    I'll hit you guys up whenever I have repair issues, no doubt...what was I thinking!!!
  18. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    If you're in LA, you might want to check out ARS http://www.arsrepair.com/ (website is down for repairs, but it has contact info). They do all the repair work for some major music stores like GC around here.

    They have been very honest with me and have done good (authorized) work on my Eden and Aguilar heads.
  19. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    When you go to collect your amp a good suggestion is to take a newish looking baseball bat with a price label attached in a large sports shop carrier bag, along with a few spent shotgun shells, apply plenty of those water soluble tattoo transfers to your neck and other exposed
    parts (the more death metal influenced and violent looking the better) Oh and get some theatrical blood capsules chew them up and spread a good bit over your face and all over the front of an old BURZHM T shirt. Approach the counter and clonk the bag down in such a way as to partially spill the contents. Then while grimacing and wincing horribly, lean you head down and beat your temple with the but of your hand, as if there were something loose that you are trying to dislodge.
    Make some weird grunting whistling and growling noises while doing this and then shout at a totally incongruous level (as if you where stone deaf and suffering from some horrendous speech impediment), that you have come to collect you're amp, "THAT DIDNT GET FIXED!"
    Then have another large spazz or grimacing and growling while the assistant rushes off to retrieve your amp.:bassist: Sorted!:D
    PS. I have a feeling that they might just wave any inspection fee's under those circumstances.
    Then buy a large can of deoxit on the way home.:bag:
  20. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Epac, can you disclose the repair place you took it to? So the rest of us know to avoid using them in the future...

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