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Crate BT-350 problems

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kennyrodg, Mar 17, 2009.


  1. kennyrodg

    kennyrodg

    May 5, 2008
    Preston,UK
    Hey all.
    I'm hoping some of my American Brothers can help me out with this one.
    So,my Crate head has started to develop a problem...or three as it it turns out.At rehearsal last week i used the switchable graphic section and the tone stared to break up,like a mild distortion,i turned the graphic of and the tone was fine.Later on in the evening the D.I started to break up,the sound into the desk was cracking and intermitent.Last night things got worse as there's now a distinct buzz under every note that i play through the amp.I recently changed out the pre-amp valve btw.If you guys can give me any pointers i'd be very gratefull as there's no way i can afford a new amp at the moment.
    Thanks in advance.:help:;)
     
  2. jastacey

    jastacey Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    I've got a Crate Bt-350 and had an issue of it cutting in and out ... it turned out to be a couple of bad solder connections ... I read some were, that some of the Crate product lines had those issues . and when I took my amp in, for repair, my tech knew exactly what the problem was ... get the amp to a good service tech
     
  3. kennyrodg

    kennyrodg

    May 5, 2008
    Preston,UK
    Thanks jastacey,
    I'll get her booked in and hopefully that'll sort it.
    Thanks again.:D
     
  4. +1 to getting service. I loved that amp, for all of the complaints the company gets, the tones with the tube pre were beautiful. I never had a problem with mine in the 4 years I had it.

    Good luck.
     
  5. thumpbass1

    thumpbass1

    Jul 4, 2004
    Yep, SLM era Crates and even some SLM era Ampegs had some solder cracking issues. A good tech can sort it out, and generally it's not a costly situation to have looked at and repaired.
     
  6. nella

    nella Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    With these BT-350's be careful removing the top cover when you swap out the tube. There is a ribbon wire that connects to the EQ board that can be bent back and solder connections bent/broken if you try to slide the cover back rather than lifting it up and off.

    To the OP, take a look at the ribbon cable I'm talking about and you might find that to be the culprit (at least for the EQ issue).
     
  7. I had one of those BT-350's, and I HATED IT. I now even still have a grudge against the guy who sold it to me, 10 years later.

    With mine, I could not turn past 6 and 5 respectively, on the amps gain and volume controls without making the amp go crazy clipping..

    Anyone else had this problem??
     
  8. nella

    nella Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I liked mine. I never had any gain/clipping issues that I would describe as unusual. It was a sweet sounding amp.



     
  9. kennyrodg

    kennyrodg

    May 5, 2008
    Preston,UK
    Thanks for all the replies guys and the heads up about the ribbon.I brought the amp home today and basically dummied up my live set up,albeit in minature LOL.I've narrowed down the tone break up on the eq section to one band,the 4k slider, so i'm hoping a good sevice will sort it out.I hav'nt been able to replicate the DI break up or the buzz at home so again,i'm hoping that's an issue with the rehearsal room.
    As for the tone of this amp,well frankly i could'nt be more happy with it,so much so that my LMK ll became surplus to and sold as a result,still i'm kicking myself for that now.No clipping issues whatsoever though.Tough break jimiLL,there's good and bad in them all i guess.:cool:
     
  10. nella

    nella Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    Unless you have a dirty contact in the 4k EQ slider it's likely a solder connection on one end of that ribbon.

    A tech can easily re-flow the solder or add a jumper for that one freq band.


     
  11. kennyrodg

    kennyrodg

    May 5, 2008
    Preston,UK
    Thanks Nella,
    I'll be sure to point that out when i take it.;)
     
  12. jastacey

    jastacey Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    Once you get the issue resolved .. drop a Tun-Sol 12AX7 into the preamp tube ... let it burn in for 10-12 hours and the tone will really open up ...at least that is what happened when I did it to my amp ... it's a good sounding amp for small to medium sized gigs ... but the amp runs out of headroom after 5 or 6 on the master volume ... for larger shows you'll need to have a larger amp or PA Support .. I run mine with a 4x10 & 1x15 cabinet set-up
     
  13. kennyrodg

    kennyrodg

    May 5, 2008
    Preston,UK
    Thanks for the heads up with the tube Jastacey,I'll seek one out.When you say "let it burn" how do you mean ?? Just leave the amp switched on ??
    The new valve i got is a cryo treated Harma ECC 83-str.It's had about 3 hours use in total so if they need "breaking in" hopefully it'll be worth the investment in due time.
     
  14. jastacey

    jastacey Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    What I mean by letting it burn in is hook-up the head to a cabinet, turn the head on, volume to lowest setting, and let it sit ... I found that this makes a huge differance in the newer tubes being produced, IMHO ... don't be afraid to change out preamp tubes ... insearch of your tone !!!!
     
  15. kennyrodg

    kennyrodg

    May 5, 2008
    Preston,UK
    I've tried a spray cleaner and air duster on the slider but with no joy.I've discovered that when the 4k slider is at 3/4 of the way up and above the tone of the amp is good.Go below 3/4 on the 4k slider and the distortion is there throughout the whole spectrum no matter where the others are set.Visually the the solder joints look OK on the ribbon,however there seems to be some sort of oxidisation on one of the EQ on/off switches solder points.
    A strange one eh !!
    ps,having trouble finding an amp tech near me but my bass teacher's father in law is an electrical engineer and he's agreed to have a look see.
     
  16. Hello everyone. I'm kind of new to TalkBass. I enjoy reading all the forums and picking up advice and tid bits. Until recently, I have been fortunate in that I really haven't had many problems with any of my equipment. I do have a Crate BT-350, and have loved it since I bought it new in '93 or '94. I have dragged it around through clubs for nearly 20 years. It's like one of my kids. The problem I have right now sort of fits into this thread. The 7-band eq works perfectly, all but the master slider. No response at all. It feels loose within the confines of its shell. I can feel the center detente, but like I said, it does not raise or lower the overall gain output at all. It seems like the gain going through it is passing at its lowest potential. When I turn the EQ off, the overall volume of the amp is substantially louder. I've tried blowing the slider with air, and using a contact cleaner. I'm just short of trying to find a replacement EQ board. To the eye, the solder joints look fine. Any ideas, or other suggestions? I found a number for Crate/Ampeg/SLM Factory direct number 1-800-738-7563. Is this a good resource? Thank you in advance for any advice anyone has.
     
  17. You could try that number, but it is LOUD Tech/ Ampeg now. You might PM Jerrold Tiers here on TB, he was a design engineer at SLM.
     
  18. Thanks for the tip B-string. I will go look for Mr. Tiers. Have a good evening.
     
    B-string likes this.
  19. kennyrodg

    kennyrodg

    May 5, 2008
    Preston,UK
    Hi Doug.
    It sounds to me like it's the master level on Graphic section that's failed.
    Unfortunately i didn't manage to get my first BT-350 fixed due to not being able to find any replacement parts for the graphic section. I always had a soft spot for the amp though and I loved the tone of the thing so kept an eye out for a replacement. Over the last couple of years a couple came up on ebay that were faulty or too far away to be considered. A couple of months back and quite out of the blue one came up for sale not two miles away from home in good working order for £50
    Suffice it to say that it was back at my house within two hours of it going up for sale. It's done a few gigs now and I also use it at home for my practise amp. It sounds f
    great through my Pair of Bergantino 210’s and I think if this one died I'd once again be on the hunt for a replacement.
    Good luck getting yours sorted and if not then hopefully you'll find another to replace it.
    Best regards,
    Pete.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
    Doug Howell likes this.
  20. I talked with SLM/Ampeg factory today. They pretty much concluded the same thing. I ordered a replacement Master Level slider for under 3 dollars. Keeping my fingers crossed that she comes back up. Thanks for your time and info.
     

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