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Best options for faulty XLR - Ampeg Micro VR

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Beetfarm615, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Repair Micro VR

    3 vote(s)
  2. Separate DI box

    1 vote(s)
  3. Use preamp pedal

    0 vote(s)
  1. Beetfarm615


    Feb 15, 2017
    At my last gig I was getting a loud buzz when using the XLR to board. Amp to 2x10 by itself sounded fine. To troubleshoot I tried different cables, channels, power outlets so I'm assuming the XLR output is done for.

    Is it worth getting fixed on such an inexpensive amp or just use a separate DI? I'm also considering a pedal solution like an Ampeg SCR-DI, Sansamp or similar. I'm not a pedal guy so this would be very new and different for me.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It could be nothing more than a bad ground at that gig. The Micro's DI doesn't have a ground lift. Check the connection in another location (like at home!) to make sure it's nice and quiet.

    If so, just get a ground isolator and take it to gigs along with your other emergency stuff (strings, batteries, cables, etc.)


    This one from Whirlwind is about $15
  3. MrCash


    Jan 16, 2016
    It could just be a very simple repair like a bad solder joint especially if the xlr is used a lot. Its soldered directly to a little board.

    So imo it's definitely worth getting checked out first.
    JimmyM likes this.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I carry one of them on all gigs. If you can try your Xlr into another board or system, that would be the move before taking it to a shop for repair.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Even with an amp that has a ground lift switch on the back that is intended to solve ground issues and hum, an inline unit like the lifter can help. Given the cost, it’s handy to have one.
  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I disagree, if the ground lift switch is properly designed then it's not going to help one bit... plus "some" amps handle RF ground loops differently then 60Hz ground loops as the mechanism's are different. The Subways have 2 different grounding schemes that address this independently. This comes from the pro audio side of things where we deal with this on a daily basis (especially in the installation world).

    It may have nothing at all to do with the amp. For example, if the amp is permanently ground lifted (I think that's how it's done on these amps), if the snake or console grounds are not correct (ie. pin one is open at the console end) you will usually get more noise in the ground lifted mode.
    Wisebass and beans-on-toast like this.
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    In a perfect world, an inline lifter shouldn't make a difference if the amp has a proper ground lift. Yet, people report that it does work with some amps.

    I suppose that it comes down to some amps not being designed well. Where input and output grounds are bonded to the chassis is important. Some amps have basic ground schemes. As you said, others are more elaborate with RF shunted inputs, ground offsets, separate digital and analog ground buses, separate signal and chassis grounds, avoiding conflicting ground currents through the chassis, proper layout, etc.

    It's not surprising that people still have ground issues. Some argue that the ground lift should be at the receiver end, amps have the lift at the send end. Neutrik offers an XLR connector with an RF filter on pin-1, some lifts don't break the ground but insert an offset resistor between the shield and ground. People are always looking for solutions.
  8. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    In general, the noise performance is better (and more consistent across more equipment) with the lift done at the sending end for inputs to a console.

    For outputs from a console, it depends but usually it ends up quieter with the ground lift at the receiving end when sent from a console (since that's the most reliable signal ground/bond point).
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  9. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I always carry a VT Bass DI with me to every gig. If my amp goes down (which happened recently) I can have some tone shaping and use the DI to go to the board (which we did).

    Good Luck!
  10. Beetfarm615


    Feb 15, 2017
    Some great insight here. Thanks so much. Tried on rehearsal PA and last gig and seemed to be ok. Must be ground issue at that particular venue. That inline lifter seems like a good investment. Does it go on amp end or snake end? Or does it matter?
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Amp end.
    agedhorse likes this.
  12. MadCow217


    Jan 10, 2019
    Imo opinion, it's always good to keep a DI box in your emergency bag, just in case. Half the time, the house has a box as well. But for the cheap cost, it's a worthy investment.

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