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Humming and Clipping Problem at Gig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bluesbreaker5, Apr 9, 2006.


  1. Bluesbreaker5

    Bluesbreaker5

    Mar 24, 2006
    Help! New Fender American Jazz, almost new Hartke 4000 amp, new Ampeg 4x10 8ohm cab. Set it up at home, sounded good, no problems (at low volume...family complains otherwise). Get to gig, set volume at 4-5 and get loud hum and intermittent clipping. Stays like that all night. Get rig home, leave settings alone, plug it in, sounds good again! Obviously electrical problems at bar, right??...or maybe not??

    Problem is we got to play there another 5-6 times this summer. What can I do to fix my problem? Should I be overly concerned with the humming and clipping or not since I'm not getting the problem at home?

    Thanks for any help. Youse guys are great!
     
  2. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    It sounds like it's a club electrical problem, all right. Low line voltage and bad grounding or a ground loop could easily cause the problems you describe.

    "Lifting" the ground with an adaptor will probably help the hum problem, but I'm not sure what to do about the clipping except plug into an outlet that's closer to their electrical panel, with no extension cord.

    Doesn't the Hartke have a ground polarity switch on the back? Try flipping it at the club and see if the hum doesn't go away. Also, reduce your EQ at 60 Hz if possible, this may reduce it as well.

    In order to be sure that it's the club, and not the increased volume, though, you need to find a place to plug your rig into and crank it. If the problem reappears at home under the same conditions, you should get the amp serviced.
     
  3. ebe9

    ebe9

    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    One question:

    Was the club using flourecent lights over the stage?
     
  4. Bluesbreaker5

    Bluesbreaker5

    Mar 24, 2006
    Wow...thanks for the quick response, guys!

    I did switch the polarity, jabberwock777, didn't help. And I cranked it at home until the walls shook and no clip light, not even the protect light came on.

    And although there's nothing right over the stage, ebe9, there's neon beer signs all over the place.

    This forum is the best!
     
  5. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Or crappy incondesnt light dimmers. Next show try out the ground lift suggestons first, then try a long, heavy guage(10/12 guage) extention cord, and try using all the different power outlets you can reach, and/or moving your rig to a different spot or side of the stage.
     
  6. It sounds like the club has low voltage, which could be why the amp is clipping there and not at your house ( where the voltage is probably good). If the hum in low frequency ( close to low B flat on a 4 string) it's a ground problem. If the ground is much higher in frequency, then you might want to try plugging your amp at different locations. I would first try the same outlets that are being used by other amps or the board first. I have played at many clubs where a horrible buzz comes out of my bass signal out of the FOH, but not my amp, and we fixed it by having the FOH run off of the same power as the stage gear. The truth is that in most clubs the power for bands is an afterthought, and most will not pay a dime to improve it. If the club has a 220 plug on stage ( which most don't) having a 220 power box made up would be a great investment.
     
  7. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    +1
     

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