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Failed Ampeg Combos

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by moonoid, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. moonoid


    Feb 28, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    I have had two Ampeg BA 300 watt 115 Combos fail. The first one failed during a UK tour at a major venue. Basically it just went off and when I took it to an engineer, he said it was beyond repair and that the power amp board had "fried". Probably not very clever, but I bought another identical combo and it failed at the first soundcheck. Same problem. I took it to another Ampeg recognised engineer who got it working for three hours before it failed again. He said that the power was too great for the cicuitry. I notice Ampeg have discontinued this model (and the 600w one also). Ampeg used to have such a good name for reliability but these amps have really let me down. Has anyone else had similar experiences with these combos?
    I have had to resurrect my 25 year old Peavey TNT150!!
  2. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
  3. moonoid


    Feb 28, 2014
    Manchester, UK

    The combo in the video is the 100w one. Mine was the 300w and I'd avoid that one at all costs. Two engineers have said that they develop to much power that fries the circuits. The 100w amp might be Ok technically as there is less power and heat. However, on the tour where mine failed, I borrowed a 100w one and it struggled in terms of power. I wouldn't ever buy modern Ampeg combos - they are not built as well as the classic older stuff. They are made not in the US but China...

  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'm suspicious of any claim that they 'develop too much power' for the main power stage. There may be a reason that they're failing, but that's not it.
  5. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    If the amps were bought they should have a warranty to cover "infant mortality" problems. Take them back.
  6. Mine was just an amp SVT7 and the board was fried on that one too. I understand that this problem has been fixed, but I am wary of anything made in China. Eventually, things in China will come up to standards, but until I get that memo, I'm not buying.
  7. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    I had a China-made B200-R. Terrific sounding and I loved it, yet it was shoddily constructed and rattled itself unusable after about 5 months 2x weekly rehearsals and 10 or so gigs.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    The BA series has had problems for years. I had a BA 210 300W that catastrophically failed. Replaced it with an SVT-6... more issues. I stopped trusting Nampeg after that. I did get a SLM SVT and it served me well.

    Don't bring China down with Ampeg Bulldawg. I have lots of great Asian made gear, it just doesn't sport an Ampeg badge.
  9. jessicabass


    Dec 22, 2009
    Never played an ampeg combo that didnt play like crap.
  10. I'm not down on Asian gear. I love just about anything made in Japan (my Fender Jag) and I think South Korea and Indonesian gear are good quality. Chinese though . . . not so much. Before I got hooked on Carvin, I had two Ashdown combos that crapped out on me as well - both made in China. As for Ampeg - I would only purchase Heritage series from now on.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    My Chinese Ampeg stuff has performed very well. And the cabs are made out of plywood now and not OSB like the SLM cabs.
  12. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    ... and the only reason I mentioned China-made is that others have been very quick to point out that their equivalent US-made Ampeg amps have performed well.

    Being specific, can you dig it? I knew that you could.
  13. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Some amps are made for the road and some aren't. Extra measures are needed for all of them, especially those that can't take abuse. Some problems stem from the rigors of the road. Amps and instruments on the road will need more maintenance. It is part of the cost of doing business.

    For instance, there are things that a tech can do to make an amp more road worthy. Connectors and some components can be glued down with silicone. Vibration mounts can be added. Wires within the chassis can be anchored. ATA cases need the right amount of foam. Getting bounced around a lot during transport is an issue.

    The power at a venue can have many issues: over voltage, under voltage, not being able to carry the load which results in brownouts, bad circuit distribution. It needs to be carefully checked before the amp is connected to the mains.
  14. moonoid


    Feb 28, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    As I said earlier TWO engineers have told me to avoid Ampeg combos and when I called a shop here in Manchester, the guy admitted they were no longer ordering Ampeg. The truth is that the Ampeg sound was great but the build of the amp was just not good enough. This is a classic case of trading on a name and trying to cut coreners for profit. Very short term and I am now wary of Ampeg. I had similar issues with Ashdown and never bought another. It doesn't matter where an amp is made as long as it's good. Sadly the Chines manufacturers (Loud Technologies?) have seriously tainted the Ampeg name. I'm going to try the new Fender Rumble 500 and hope it's not the same story!
  15. GretschBassist


    Nov 11, 2012
    I can only advise everyone to stay away from these combos. I've had nothing but trouble with it and at the high point, it literally FELL APART. Like I had the whole back section in my hands... Incredibly bad quality.
  16. teemuk


    Mar 1, 2011
    When exactly? When they made amps that were underpowered for playing anything but oldies goldies jazz tunes at whispering volumes? ...Or when they started to make more modern and higher power amps that have always had a questionable reliability record?

    Take SVT for example. Right in the very first revisions Ampeg manages to get tubes with excellent reliability record in very demanding service to fail when the amplifier is driven into clipping. ...Followed by several other revisions plagued by who knows what petty reliability issues from molex connectors to scorching PC boards or unoperative protection circuits.

    Keep up with the good work Ampeg! :rolleyes:
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Holy cow! I hope what you were grilling on top of that stuff turned out ok.
  18. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    The current, Asian cabs seem to be of better materials and better assembled, just like Jimmy says. I have two of each, bought the Asian ones new and the US ones in mint condition. After many hours of hunting down rattles, installing bracing, sealing leaky joints and adding internal damping etc, the US ones are still not as rattle free and good looking as the Asian ones. Go figure.
  19. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
    I had a PA system fry out a 300 Watt Peavy over some issues that to this day I have no idea what it was but could be something you listed. How would a bass player go about checking? When I plug in my power strip I get a reading on the voltage but that is all I can see.
  20. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    Well, you have identified your problem.
    There are many other brands that have the Ampeg sound, and are reliable.