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AMPEG solid state issues

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mesagibson, Mar 19, 2017.


  1. mesagibson

    mesagibson

    Mar 19, 2017
    Good day children of thunder.

    I would like to start a disscusion on the AMPEG solid state line of amps. SVT's BA's PF's B series and any other's I may have neglected to mention. They are based on the ON SEMI p240 and p9240 FET's from what I can tell.

    I have had 4 of them burn up on me, SVT-3 PRO, B2 rack, B2 combo(b3 circuit) and last night BA500.

    I run EB stingrays into them, and a AMPEG classic 410 for the cab. Nothing unusual IMHO.

    Is this a common problem, or am I doing something wrong. Is 4 amps over 10 years a common thing? I have put more miles on my mesa recto and Fender Bassman in the last 15 years without issue.

    I am open to hearing your experiences.

    thanks!
     
  2. Did you buy the 410 new?
    If not, suspect that someone may have re-wired it improperly or it came to you with a problem.

    Have you ever blown up one of your amps with a different cab connected to it?

    Are your speaker cables in good shape? Not shorting out internally and intermittantly?

    One amp blowing up over 10 years is not a common thing.
    Four amps is like Power Ball lucky, only unlucky.
    You gotta be doing something that these amps don't like.

    Are your amps getting proper airflow?

    Are they mounted in a rack?

    Where you blow them up, how us the electrical system?
     
  3. mesagibson

    mesagibson

    Mar 19, 2017
    The 410 is used, but I did check the wiring, it is a 4 ohm load as it should be. I have ran the b2r on it 2 years, the svt3 I bought with it was purchased new with it in '09, the ba500 was a 210 combo I pulled to drive the cab for this show, maybe 30hours running the system that way. The only thing different this time, I as running the sansamp into the preamp in for this show.
    The b2 was in its 4x8 combo when it went.
    Air flow, I house them in a rack that has about an inch on the side, and about a foot from the wall. The ba500 was un-housed, the B2-4x8 was in the cab.

    The elect system has always been through a surge supressor on house power.

    Speaker cable are monster, I use them for running my recto set up for the last 15 years. They test good, no short.

    Is there any hours of use specs on these amps?

    thanks!
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You named off some pretty old amps, most of which haven't been made for years, and the only one you can still get is the 3 Pro. And sometimes amps break after years and years of good service. It's certainly not an exclusive problem to Ampeg, either. The good news, however, is most of the time these amps can be fixed. Whether it's worth it to you to fix an amp that hasn't been made in 20 years and wasn't very expensive to begin with, that I can't answer for you.
     
  5. Some manufacturers test equipment to determine mean time to failure, MTF. These numbers, likely would hever get published for consumer gear. You're either making your equipment mad by doing something wtong or your equipment has unlucky, random lotto type failures. Are you driving these amps too hard with a pre or pedals?

    Power conditioners and surge suppressors do not help to protect equipment in the presence of faulty wiring.

    Are those in-rack air flow spaces consistant with the manufacturer rack mounting specs?

    A properly operated solid state amp that is in good operating condition should, in theory, run forever.
     
    Munjibunga and Michael Schreiber like this.
  6. tattooSAM

    tattooSAM Supporting Member

    May 22, 2016
    Northwest Pennsylvania
    I've been told Ampegs rarely (if ever) break and the problem is most definitely the owner of said Ampeg amp.
     
    BassLover668 and spaz21387 like this.
  7. mesagibson

    mesagibson

    Mar 19, 2017
    I just done know then. All the equipment was purchased by myself used. I've owned the B2R for about 9 years, and had been a great amp, the SVT is the newest. I have only ever used an effects once, yesterday with the tech 21 programmable DI: line to the PA and output to the power amp in on the BA500. I dont drive them hard, the 350W amps about 50% and the 450W about 3/8ths
     
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    You're either the most unlucky guy in the world, or you're doing doing it wrong. I have an SS Ampeg that's 30 years old and still sounds awesome.

    The only thoughts I have is your usage behavior. Ampeg cabinets are not particularly efficient nor do they produce a lot of low end as compared to a lot of other makers. Depending on how loud you are and how much low end EQ you're adding, you may be pushing the amps harder than you think. Any amp will burn up if you run it at 110% long enough.

    The master volume setting doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of how hard you're driving the amp.

    Plus without a diagnosis from a tech as to what is actually failing, it's hard to attribute it to anything. There's plenty of different ways that an amp stops making sound.
     
  9. Well ya seem to have a real head scratcher there.
    I've kind if run outta ideas too.
    JimmyM is the hands down Ampeg expert around these parts.
    He knows as well as anyone when to call an amp old. Maybe it's time to go to the shop for a coneplete going over, or look at something with fewer mikes on it?
     
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  10. mesagibson

    mesagibson

    Mar 19, 2017
    I have been told as well that solid state are bullet proof and everlasting. And I still think it's true, the science is there. I am just wondering how common this issue is.
     
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Depends on the cab. Sounds like he has an SVT 410hlf, which has a butt-ton of low end.

    I am the hands-down biggest fan. I am certainly not the guy you go to with tech questions, though!
     
    Michael Schreiber and Lvjoebass like this.
  12. mesagibson

    mesagibson

    Mar 19, 2017

    I do run my gain 50~70% depending on the bass. the master is not past 50% on the hardest working nights.
     
  13. How's your EQ? Are you attracting whales and elephants? :smug: Or do you have the low end cut back in favor of mids.
    Don't rely on knob posistions as an indicator of where you're operating. There is no correlation between a knob being turned up half way and the amp operating at 50% power.
    Knob positions are only accurate at two spots. All the way down does actually equal all the way down, and all the way up does in fact equal all the way up. Anything in between is not calibrated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  14. mesagibson

    mesagibson

    Mar 19, 2017
    The low end is dialed 70% mids 50 and highs 50. I like alot of treble.
     
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  15. I added some to my last post.
    But it sounds like your not setting off any seismographs, then. So that's good.
     
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Agreed. It does. I used one for a long while. It is not particularly efficient though. It's something like a 98 db cab.

    My SS Ampeg is the old SVT 200T. I bought new sometime in 1987 or 1988. Originally, I used it with a 70s era Ampeg 810. Later I bought two 115 Classics and then later the 410 classic. I still have the 115 and 410.

    Around 2000 or so, I bought the HLF. The bottom end was there, but it was significantly quieter than the stack of 115 and 410. A lot quieter. I sold the HLF and bought a 4 ohm Eden 410 XLT. That cabinet, at the same settings, was ridiculously louder than the HLF and even louder than the two Ampeg cabs stacked.
     
  17. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Here's an idea. When you go to buy equipment, bring a tech along who can evaluate the condition of the gear.
    Car Analogue: If you were going to buy a car you'd take it to a mechanic to check it out. ;)
     
    Michael Schreiber and hbarcat like this.
  18. But experience in how these amps behave is valuable knowledge.
    I don't even own any Ampeg gear. But When I see something you've posted, it is a must read for me.
     
  19. mesagibson

    mesagibson

    Mar 19, 2017
    I am wondering if it is my set up, 4*10 and stingrays, I don't think it is my airflow. I have always alotted about a foot. is it the brand; who else has this issue. or is it because I buy used gear?
     
  20. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Sounds good in theory, but how many people have a personal relationship with an electronics technician who they can drag along on a gear hunt?

    Even then there's very little a tech can evaluate without getting on the bench and cracking it open.