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Ampeg BA-115 distorting and breaking up.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MojaveVox, Dec 2, 2018.


  1. I acquired a lightly used BA-115 last month for rehearsal use, sounded good enough paired with a SansAmp RPM and compressor and I was reasonably satisfied. However as of late it's been distorting, dropping in volume, and breaking up if I really dig into the bass and hit the strings hard. this is evident at any volume, and, if played with a light touch, doesn't seem to be an issue. Has anyone else had this problem? is it something with the tweeter? I'm really ignorant when it comes to the inner workings, especially of a little solid state like this, so any help or advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It could be the tweeter but it could be other things. Try disconnecting it and see what happens.
     
  3. Blues56

    Blues56

    Oct 27, 2012
    NJ
    Had the same problem with a used BA115 that I purchased earlier this year. It developed a fuzzy, distorted sound on low notes. Brought it back to the store where I bought it but couldn't reproduce the distorted sound at the level I heard at home. Thought it might be some kind of interference so I tried different cables and relocating it to a different room in the house. Nothing worked. Considered disconnecting the tweeter but I'm not one to dig around inside amps. So I wrote to Ampeg and they had heard of this problem but could only suggest that it might be hot pickups causing the distortion. They suggested taking it to a tech. Rather then do that, I traded it in for a Fender Stage 800. At least now I can get the Ampeg sound without the added noise and back-breaking weight.
     
  4. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    Ba115 is pretty fun combo.

    Could be alot of guesses though,
    Like you've pushed the speaker hard and it's unhappy.
    But if it's more of a " amp" feel needs to see a tech. There some what notorious for killing transformers depending on the version.
    Is this a newer V2 or older one?
     
  5. Kriegs

    Kriegs Peace

    Feb 14, 2018
    MA/ RI area
    Are you using an active bass or battery powering a pedal? Your battery might be dying :thumbsup:
     
  6. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    The cone may be displaced or whatever. I pushed my practice BA115 at home with pedals and had to replace speaker. New speaker isn’t quite the same so now I use it with my electric piano.
     
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Right -- I'd work on ruling out all other possible components before assuming it is the amp. A weak battery in an active bass would do it, or maybe a pickup too close to the strings. Or, are you sending too hot a signal to the SansAmp, and/or too strong a signal from it to the amp? The first things I would do to diagnose would be to (1) take the Sansamp and compressor out of the loop and see what happens when you plug in direct, and (2) see if you have the same problem with a different bass.
     
  8. How would I disconnect the tweeter? I'd read around and saw that that was an issue a lot of people were having. What's interesting is that i've never pushed this amp, i've always played it at a relatively quiet volume, though I can't say the same of the previous owner.
     
  9. I'm not sure about the year. How would I tell? Does the newer one have the EQ on the front?
     
  10. jackn1202

    jackn1202

    Feb 14, 2018
    Austin, TX
    I have the older model, it has a 3-band EQ and all the controls on top. The new one has all the controls on the front, not sure how many bands in the EQ.
     
    MojaveVox likes this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well to do it right, you should disconnect it from the PCB, but you can take out the tweeter from the front with a screwdriver and disconnect the wires and tape them up to keep them from touching anything else if you just want to do a quick check.
     
    MojaveVox likes this.
  12. That wouldn't require any soldering, would it?
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  13. I just removed the Ampeg logo on the front of the grill cloth, though i'm not sure how to remove the grill cloth without damaging it.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It shouldn't. It should just hook up with those speaker tab thingies (I forget what they're called at the moment).

    There should be a loop or two at the bottom of the grill. Stick a fairly hefty screwdriver in one of the loops, use the cab frame for leverage (might want to put a towel over it to protect it), and pop it. Might be tough at first since it attaches with very grippy velcro tabs, but it should pop off. Repeat on the other side's tab if there is one (can't remember).
     
  15. Gotcha, and thanks, i'll be giving it a shot tomorrow.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Spade connectors...that's what they're called. Just came to me :D
     
    MojaveVox likes this.

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