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I think my bass is frying heads

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ciabatta, Sep 28, 2009.


  1. Ciabatta

    Ciabatta

    Sep 28, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Something is running hot in the electronics on my Gibson G3 bass. I've had 2 heads already cut out and start smoking before I realized maybe it was my bass doing this.

    I play sometimes on the E string and I notice when hitting some notes the volume level will fluctuate or sometimes make a farting noise. I was playing at band practice and the volume started cutting out and I smelled something funky from the head so I immediately turned it off. I plugged in another bass to the head and everything worked fine so I believe it's my bass.

    Any idea what's going on?
     
  2. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    I would seriously doubt that your passive pickups/controls in your Gibson G3 bass would have something to do with the head problem.

    What brand/model head was it?

    I would suspect that the speaker cable is shorted or that there was just something wrong with the head.
     
  3. Ciabatta

    Ciabatta

    Sep 28, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Its not a head problem though because this has happened with multiple different heads with different cables.
     
  4. Your bass can't 'fry' an amp. But too much low end in your EQ can.
     
  5. that won't fry a head, either...that will only damage your speakers...

    your cab or most-likely, cab cable, is frying your head...take it to a shop and get it checked out!
     
  6. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    No offense, but you need to fill your profile COMPLETELY so people know what gear you have/are using. This will help others diagnose/solve/suggest/help you with your posts......esp. with this post!!!!

    What head(s) have been fried........the most important question is how many cabs are using with the head(s)...AND...what is ea. cabs impedance?? I am going to take a wild stab and assume you are running multiple below an impedance your amp(s) are designed to safely operate at.
     
  7. I beg to differ. At high volume, it can and will make an amp get hot, sometimes extremely so, especially if it's in a confined rack box of some kind(we don't know).
     
  8. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    What!!!!!!!!!!:rollno: Are you serious freakin' serious:rolleyes: THAT IS AN UNTRUE STATEMENT
     
  9. Could be.
     
  10. Yeah, I'm serious freakin' serious. ANYTHING that makes the amp run HARD will get it HOT. Sometimes very, very hot.
    He said it fluctuates in volume and makes a farting noise. Sounds like it's working pretty darned hard to me, no?
     
  11. Ciabatta

    Ciabatta

    Sep 28, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Sorry i just made this account today in order to talk about my issue.

    I was running an old Ampeg V-6B head into an Ampeg 8x10. Everything at 4 ohms. The head is fine. I plugged in another bass and continued on with my practice with no problem.

    Just now I plugged my Gibson into a little Gallien Krueger combo practice amp and when I play on the E string lets say at the 3rd fret especially I notice I'll get some notes that just suddenly boom louder. It fluctuates in volume.
     
  12. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    As far as I know, the primary thing that will cause an amp to run "hard" is impedance. The preamp section has an extremely minimal impact on a power amp working "hard". As far as the amp "farting out" and fluctuating, we dont even know what kind of amp he is using!!! Is it SS, is it tube??? If it is tube, then maybe he has a bias issue, maybe he has a bad tube(s).....if it is SS, maybe there is some resistor, cap, or transformer issues??? Farting out and fluctuating volume is not a sign of an amp running hard, it is a sign of failure. I am not an amp guru, but I am certain that any amp guru would agree that too much low end is not a probable cause in a head/amp to heating up and failure......not trying to start a pissing match, just stating facts.
     
  13. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    You need to do 2 things....

    1 - check your cab (8x10).....find a multi-meter and double-check the resistance of your cab....also check for shorts. Lets make sure you dont have any voice-coils shorted out, etc, etc. Rule out your cad right away!!

    2 - which you kind of already have, is check your bass.....however, you need to pin-point the issue. It is possible your bass's electronics have failed somehow and are sending out an extremely hot signal which is clipping the preamp of your head(s)......too much juice in to an amp can destroy an amp.....input clipping in to amp is just as dangerous as power amp clipping. Man, weird phenomenon!!! You might have two issues - one with your cab (baking heads) and one with your bass (volume, farting)

    It might be time for a tech!!!
     
  14. Ciabatta

    Ciabatta

    Sep 28, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Boom I think you said. i do plan on taking it to a tech asap. i just wanted to hear other opinions before. Im pretty sure it has nothing to do with the cab because I've used a different bass with the same setup and had no problem.
     
  15. Ciabatta

    Ciabatta

    Sep 28, 2009
    Los Angeles
    If it is my electronics is fixing it going to be an issue since the bass is almost 30 years old? I hope this isn't going to be too pricey.
     
  16. Can you please specify the heads that you were using, as well as the cabinets?

    EDIT: NVM, I see them in your profile. It is most likely the cabinet, but you could also be experiencing power surges through your power source.
     
  17. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    +1 on confirming that your cab is working correctly, and is presenting the right impedance.

    Your bass has 3 pickups, right? Do you get the same issue with all three? It's passive, so it seems REALLY unlikely to be the bass, but I don't have the expertise to say it's impossible.

    Are you using any pedals?

    When you switched basses, did you switch any of the preamp settings? Are your other basses passive too?

    If you can grab a compressor or limiter pedal, you could run through that, set a low ceiling, and see if that lets you use the Gibby without problem. That would lend support to the idea that it's the wildly fluctuating output of the bass itself that's causing problems.

    Did either amp have a clip indicator? Play the gibby on one that does, and set the master very low, and the gain/preamp level in the middle -- if you can cause clipping at low preamp levels, that would also support the idea that the bass itself is sending a nasty signal that's causing the amp to clip.
     
  18. WHATEVER!
     

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