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Ampeg Bass Head "windy" backgroud noise

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by paulp8246, Sep 25, 2010.


  1. paulp8246

    paulp8246

    Sep 25, 2010
    I have an Ampeg B2R bass head that is frustrating me. I will be playing through it fine, but after some time (About 10 minutes) it will make a strange "windy" type of sound. It is intermittent, not constant...comes and goes. I talked to some people and they said that it could just be dusty connections. I tried blowing it out to no avail. Tried taking it apart to see any obvious wire issues (I am not proficient with this stuff). Saw no issues, blew out the inside, still making the noise. Any other ideas?

    Thanks in advance, ABP.
     
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Wind, or wind on a mic? I had a valve amp doing the latter, and replacing the big caps sorted it.
     
  3. acmmisfit

    acmmisfit

    Apr 22, 2010
    L.A., CA
    my b2r doesnt do that :O
     
  4. paulp8246

    paulp8246

    Sep 25, 2010
    Hmm...not quite sure what you mean. There is no mic involved. Not sure what big caps are either.
     
  5. paulp8246

    paulp8246

    Sep 25, 2010
    Also, I should point out that I have had this amp for about six years now. This is a relatively new issue. Worked perfectly for 5+ years before this happened.
     
  6. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Sounds more like a speaker problem, what cab are you using?
     
  7. paulp8246

    paulp8246

    Sep 25, 2010
    I have an Ampeg cab. I have tried it though another speaker cab though and the problem persists. Pretty sure I have localized it to the head.
     
  8. Hiss or a noise like shhhhhhhh are very common with high gain amplification. You could try changing out the tube, IIRC it has one. :)

    Paul
     
  9. paulp8246

    paulp8246

    Sep 25, 2010
    It is not a tube amp. (Sorry, should have mentioned that initially.) Any other ideas?
     
  10. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Like a recording of wind. Rather than what you hear when it is windy, because that doesn't have much sound itself.

    Amps all have capacitors inside, to smooth the power supply at high demand (loud and bassy) moments, when they are on the way out, they make noise, I'd guess it isn't unique to valve amps.
     
  11. renniw

    renniw

    Nov 30, 2004
    Lévis (Québec)
    If I remember correctly, my B2R had an internal fan that made some noise at full speed. (assuming the sound don't come out of your speaker)
     
  12. Yeah, I was thinking of this as well. I have an SVT-350, which is basically a B2R in a classic SVT cab. The fan on that thing, though not "noisy", can get to be noticeable at times. Would want to replace it one of these days if I have the time, or mount something to isolate the noise. You sure it's not this sound coming from the amp?
     
  13. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    That sort of noise has many possible causes...

    Bad capacitors, sure....

    A little more likely a semiconductor of some type which is on its way out..... They can develop problems with 'flicker noise" which can be very much like what you describe.

    EXTREMELY hard to find....... Intermittent problems stink to begin with, because you have to have the unit operating and be ready at a moment's notice to go look at it when you see/hear the problem. Then just as you get close, it quits messing up for a day and you get to wait.

    The "good news" is that with time it probably will get more consistent and findable.

    I am not too "on board" with dusty connections..... it almost always is a "leaky" capacitor or a semiconductor.

    One often forgotten is the protection diodes on inputs and outputs..... usually one to the + preamp power supply, and one to the -. They protect against static electricity "zaps".... but if the input one becomes leaky, it gets amplified a lot. And if they HAVE been zapped in the past, they could eventually get leaky from that.
     
  14. paulp8246

    paulp8246

    Sep 25, 2010
    "Flicker noise" is a very good term for what I'm experiencing. I wish I knew about electronics so I could try to look at the semiconductors. I don't think I would even know what to look for. By the way, it is getting worse...much worse. The other day at practice I just had to shut it off it was getting so loud.
     
  15. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Find out what controls affect the noise. The source is "before" the first control that affects the sound, usually (some feedback type controls can fool you). Or it is "after" all the controls, if none affect the noise.

    That information will be very helpful to the technician.

    Faced with that, I would be very tempted to replace all the semiconductors that were before that first control, if there were a reasonable number of them. It might be cheaper than having definite proof of the cause and fix.

    Another good way for the tech to find it is to use "freeze mist".... comes in a can and cools the part it is sprayed on. Usually when the noise is heard, it will stop when the bad part is sprayed (but not always)..... Good for solid state components... no help at all with tubes ;)
     
  16. paulp8246

    paulp8246

    Sep 25, 2010
    Thanks for the tips. None of the knobs effect the windy sound. I assume that that means that it is "after the controls." I am thoroughly stumped. I think I need to take this into a professional. Atleast you have given me some significant information to pass on. Thanks Jerrold.
     
  17. bluespenny

    bluespenny

    Mar 17, 2009
    You probably tried this, but I had a bad instrument cable that made that exact sound - like a mic picking up wind.
    Swapped cable, sound vanished.
     
  18. paulp8246

    paulp8246

    Sep 25, 2010
    Defiinitaly the head. I can not een have an instrument going into it an it still makes the noise. Have tried switching cables from the wad to the speaker cabinet too. Problem persisits unfortunately.
     
  19. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Take your phone out of your pocket and see if it changes anything...mine actually pics up data transmissions of my blackberry.
     
  20. maevinj

    maevinj

    Feb 10, 2008
    ALB!
    +1. Had this same problem last night. Ran straight to my amp and it cleared up.
     

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