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Bergantino and Demeter MELTDOWN....HELP!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tommixx, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. So I called Demeter Friday afternoon to ask why my HBP-1 was distorting from the Direct out and did not get a call back (it was late in the day). I had some problems at a gig on Wednesday and could not get any real level from the DI and the level I got was distorted but the stage sound was GREAT!!! Tonight I was ABing a bunch of different rigs for a mini review I had planned to post here over the next couple of days....Guess what?

    I am playing my Sadowsky V4 through the Demeter (after already having played a couple of other preamps through the same amp) through a Crown XS900 into a Bergie Mini Stack (HT 112 and EX 112) (was comparing the Crown to my Crest CA-9 for the aforementioned review)...Suddenly I hear static and the level drops off (there is regulated power in this place and the PL-8 did not show any surge or Brown out, first thing I look for when level drops on my amps)...a few seconds later silence. Thinking I had a bad cord on the Bass, (Monster Pro Bass) I turned down the Amp, cut it off, hit the mute button on the HBP-1 (POPS like He77 with the amp on!!!) got out another Monster and hooked up, fired everything back up and.........nothing...........a couple seconds later I hear the static sound again and the amp's fault light comes on....couple of seconds after that...... I SMELL it......somethings amiss!!!!!!!!

    IMMEDIATELY, hit the amp power button and then the main button on my PL-8 to kill power to the entire rack....double check all my cabling, uncable everything, setup my Avalon U5 into the SAME amp with all the same cables and turn the amp on......it works!!! EXCEPT I have no tweeter on the HT112 and the EX112 does not work at all!!!!!(The HT 112 12 still working fine.........)Tried changing Speakons, audio cables, tried going out of Sadowsky foot preamp, a Line Bass POD Pro, a NEVE 1073, you guessed it....no change.....

    At this point, I take apart the HBP-1 cover and inspect the inside.....no visible burn patterns at all....smell seems to be coming from the LOOP IN switch (Does NOT make sense to me but what do I know?) I have since packed it up into the Original Demeter box it came in and will send it out tomorrow.....

    In the mean time, I never heard of ANYONE blowing a tweet on an HT112 (I was not driving the rig hard at all as I was doing this test in my studio and keep in mind I normally run a CA9!!! and have been for months now with NO problems at all) As I said, the EX112 won't make a peep, not even "amp sizzle" LOL!

    Anybody got any ideas???????? Is my "Mini Rig of Doom" doomed? I have a degree in this stuff and I'm at a loss right now.....

    Peace and Chicken Grease,

  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    bummer, man

    i really don't know a thing about this, but i thought i would bump the thread

  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    no clue except that the fault in the demeter may have sent some pretty nasty signal to the bergies.
    good news is bergantino reportedly has wonderful c/s. i disremember who the tb member was that just blew one of his, (edit: jonathan starr) but jim bergantino was very very helpful.
    bad news is, from what some dealers tell me, demeter's c/s isn't quite as good. (take this with a grain of salt, as i personally havent had to send anything back to them, and i happen to love their preamps.)
    doomed? nah, setback? yeah. like they say in drag racing, "parts is parts". sometimes they break. fortunately we don't experience equimpent failure nearly as often as they do in the NHRA, but your experience seems to be the equivalent of throwing a couple of rods and igniting the nitromethane tanks. :meh:
  4. goat1234


    Mar 17, 2004
    if it makes ya feel better i blew the tweet on my ht 112 TWICE. once it was my power amps fault, and the second time was some dumb gc employess fault (but i didnt know till later that weec cuz i didnt play it for a while). I dont know how my power amp did it, but it just screwed it up. Jim sent a warantee tweeter, and i installed it and it worked fine. Then a few weeks later i brought it to gd to try out with some amps and the employee was hooking it up to a gk 1001 and he fiddled with the crossover knob creating a god awful noise, but i didnt notice anything wrong with the cab. it sounded fine to me, but it was so loud i didnt know it happend. I still have yet to replace it, i ought to send him a check, but i dont have money. I feel like an idiot or doing it.

    Send him an email or better yet call him. Hell probably want you to shiop him your tweeter to look at it and see if theres something funky with it. Best of luck to you! We use similar rigs BTW, i just have a Ca 6/hbp-1 rig instead of Ca 9.

  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    FWIW (and IME, IMO, etc.), Bergantino customer service is among the very best...and Demeter's is, uh, definitely not. :cool: :spit:
  6. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    I sent a broken Tremulator pedal back to Demeter 3 years ago to be fixed. They have no record of it, and won't replace it! It was even under warranty, and I was the dealer who sold it!!!!!!!!!! I had to GIVE the customer a new one and eat the whole deal.
  7. I had a HBP that went dead after a few hours of use and Jim Demeter & his son were great in sending me out a new unit. I had some other minor issues, too, and they were very helpful.

    Jim Bergantino did indeed help me with great service very recently when I blew my EX-112. It will blow before the HT-112 when both are connected in parallel.

    Keep in mind that both the Demeters and Jim Bergantino and just about everyone else in the biz are frantically packing or travelling to NAMM and are likely to be away from their phones & email.


  8. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    By any chance was the house sending phantom power down the line (usually a mixers phantom control is global, so if it was being to sent to even one mic/DI it was also running to you). If so, that is the problem. Demeter preamps can in no way, under any circumstances accept phantom power, and that voltage causes immediate and catastrophic harm (and it sounds like that voltage was what might have, in turn, fried your Bergs..).

    Another reason to keep a good satnbd alone DI box handy.

    Sorry to hear of this..it's gotta to be bit more than just a drag.
  9. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Not true with the Jensen equipped Demeter pres (VTBP-201s) A transformer will electrically isolate the pre circuitry from potentially harmful phantom power. Unfortunately the problem was with an HBP which is not Jensen equipped and this may very well be the case.
  10. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Yes...I meqant to say Demeter HBP...I have one also...and always keep a stand alone DI handy (ya can't trust those sound guys!)

  11. OK, here is where we are as of now.....

    I talked to Jim Bergantino this morning (for nearly an hour about a LOT of things, enjoyed the conversation Jim if you pop in!!!) couldn't be a nicer guy, was far more understanding than he has to be and made me a very good offer to replace the components that I have lost....I need to test the components to make sure they are done (almost assuredly!!) and then Jim will send me out replacements as soon as I say the word....

    I talked to Adam at Demeter and he too was very helpful, we talked about what happened and he said just send it back and they would "go through it with a fine toothed comb"! I mentioned that I had only had it for about 7 or 8 months and he immediately said "it wouldn't matter how long you have had it to us, just get it to us and we will take care of it!!" OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE FROM BOTH OF THESE GUYS!!

    This, my friends is why you pay a bit more for things sometimes and just goes to show you that there are still people in this business with good character and integrity!! The guys at Demeter were getting ready to go to NAMM and won't be back in the shop until next Tuesday just in case someone else needs to get them....

    We still don't really know what happened but Jim B thinks the rail voltage from the transformer somehow got to the amp (about 400 volts or thereabouts I would suspect!!) or some ultra high frequency went through the amp that I could not hear and caused the damage....we will have to wait and see but in the meantime, I am satisfied that I have talked to them both and just get started on a fix by sending out the Demi tomorrow!!

    Stay tuned........

    Thanks Guys,


    P.S. If you are in the market for a preamp or some cabs I still can not suggest either of these 2 companies strongly enough!!! I owe Roger Sadowsky, Jim D, and Jim B a grin or 2 and a great big thanks for giving me the tone of my life!!

    THANK YOU!!!!! :D :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:
  12. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I hope that everything gets resolved. It sounds like you are on track.

    I'm not the least bit surprised that Jim Bergantino has you set up. His customer service is renowned. But I am a bit surprised to hear that Demeter came through for you and you, Jonathan. I've really never had a lick of trouble with my old black 201 pre. But I've heard that Mr. Demeter can be a bit tough to deal with. My impression has been changed but I'm not too worried about my 201 anyway.

    You brought up Roger Sadowsky. I put a slight ding in my neck (ouch!) of my Vintage 5, several years back. I sent an email to Roger asking the best way to fix it. It couldn't have been more than a few minutes before I get a reply back. It was like he was expecting my email and wham there was the reply. Roger made a few suggestions then he just said send the bass to him and he would fix it. Well I took his first idea and it worked out fine. I was just so impressed by this level of service. I've also gotten the same kind of attention from Mike Tobias and Bag End, as well. These are world class people. ;)

    Since this is a positive thread I won't mention the companies/people I never heard back from.
  13. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    very cool all around. glad to head demeter treated you well. i love their stuff to death and i hated to see such a great company being marred by a poor c/s review. bergantino is certainly getting my attention with their great track record. jerry speaks the truth about sadowsky, mike t, and bag end, i've had the pleasure of talking to all of them and the guys at aguilar and all of those folks treated me as if i ws spending 100 grand on their stuff even though i was just getting some product clarification and/or help with my stuff. my local bag end dealer has also had them bend over backwards for him in the past, and my mtd dealer says mike is tops to work with. even stewart audio, who was getting a lousy c/s rep with repairs turnaround has impressed me by fixing amps that were out of waranty for free. I usually comment on how lucky we are to have so many great products available to use today, but i have to add here that i'm equally impressed at how great a lot of these people are to deal with. :)
  14. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Tommix, I'm glad you're getting satisfaction.
    Just so happens my Demeter 201s active input is cutting in and out... I've spoken with Adam at Demeter (very nice fellow) and also Jim Demeter (also good to talk with) responded to my email pretty quick with some intial questions about sending it in, only thing is they said there is a one year warranty and it would cost me at least $70.00 for the bench test etc. :meh: I did expect to pay something though. I will wait to send in mine until next week.

    In regards to Phantom Power (we use it all the time for our horns) I've touched on this several times a couple years back. Since we do use Phantom 48v in our mixer buss that cannot be isolated on our Mackie 1604vlz I questioned this right away before purchasing. True the Jensen Equipt 201 and 201s are unaffected by the 48v. The original H series pre did however come with a warning but Jim Demeter assured me himself that that had been "fixed" and was not a problem any longer and they needed to take the warning out of the manual etc. I did purchase and H pre myself but returned it as I preferred the 201S.
  15. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX

    Sorry to hear of your troubles.

    I too have a HBP-1. I had the loud popping problem on the release of the mute switch. It occured a few weeks after I bought the pre. I ended up sending the pre back to Demeter and supposedly the problem was fixed. Well, it still happens from time to time. I did without my new $750 preamp for a month less than a month after I bought it. I was NOT a happy camper. Here is how I have worked around the problem.

    When I power down my rack, I alway mute the pre first. On power up, while the QSC is starting up, I quickly pop the mute on and off about 2 times. It's almost like there is some storing of electricity that is released suddenly to cause the pop. I don't know di## about the technical side of this, but the workaround seems to be fine. Otherwise the pre functions like a dream. I've had none of the issues you describe, but I almost lost bowel control when the pop happened the first time. Fortunately - no damage was done.

    Good luck.
  16. Chaputa

    Chaputa Bass-Not just fo eatin anymore

    Mar 28, 2003
    Between DC & Balimore
    Big String... I wonder if Demeter wires things up in the way Aguilar does. I had a similar issue with my 659, and it turned out that both inputs were stereo jacks, and when you plugged a cable into the passive jack, it completed a circuit that boosted the signal (in my case). I wonder if its an issue like that where the passive jack is causing the issue from the contacts (when unplugged) are apart from each other (you'd have to look at it to see what I'm talking about)? Mine was back and forth and I just forced the contacts closed on the passive side, and just use the active exclusively at the moment. If that is the case, then its 5-10 min to open it, and a $5 part. much cheaper than the $70 they want to charge...if that is the issue that is...