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IAMP800- turned on and smoke came out of the right vent

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by djshawn47, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. I just recieved a used (in new condition) IAMP800 and when i turned it on (mute on, and both input and output knobs were all the way down), smoke came out of the right vent, but everything seems to play ok. At least i think. I have never used one before so i dont know if there is something i am missing, or not hearing.

    Does anyone know what this smoke could have been or what might the results of this happening be.

    I do notice that the amp is very noisy....espescially as i turn up the input gain, it seems as if the amp is not grounded and i have to have my bass face away from the amp to get rid of the hum (it is a n active bass). I did not have this problem at all with my other amp(s).

    Anyone have any ideas..... is this noise from the amp normal with IAMPs or do you think this is a result of whatever happend that made the amp smoke.

  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Lesson Number 1: Do not, repeat, not, under any circumstances, let the smoke out of an amp.

    It is hermetically sealed in at the factory and could cause damage by its release.
  3. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    are you using an "instrument" cable to the speaker? or "speaker" cable?

    from your guitar are you using a "speaker" cable or "instrument" cable.

    Are you close to a tv when you get buzz or under fluorecentl lights? neon lights?
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Not really.

    I will say that the EA customer service is stellar, so you'll surely get your amp repaired quickly, and properly.

  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Try contacting the guys at EA directly via email or telephone. They will respond promptly.

    When I had a minor problem with my 800 (user error), Gary Gibilisco responded promptly and helped me out.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    +1 on the EA customer service. I completely blew up an iAmp600 in a total user-error disaster, and Gary personally repaired it in record time and at an astonishingly low price.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    +1 x (10^123,523)
  8. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Do you notice any smell? Like something burning? I had a capacitor on one of the boards go out on my Iamp800, I wrote to EA. Gary personally called me the next day and offered to replace the board, free of charge. I just had to pay shipping to EA. I'm not even the original owner of the Iamp. They are some of the best in terms of CS.
  9. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    This happens A LOT. You're about the 5th TBer (that I know of) to have had this happen.

    EDIT, since this thread was "bumped" almost a year later. The count is now 14 that I know of that have had this specific problem, that have posted on TB alone.

    Apparently a bad or counterfeit batch of caps. If their service is so great, why no warning on the site or a recall? What good is CS on a known problem when you're stuck at a gig with no amp? And I agree they're very noisy.

    A simple search on "iAMP sparks" will yield you more tales of the same. From what I've understood, the amp might keep working but will do the same thing again and eventually fail entirely.

    To their full credit, EA will admit the problem and send you a replacement board. But IMO there's a reason to stay away from products that have too many tales of good service - the fact that there are a lot of tales of service.

    Good luck.
  10. I have to respond with an unfortunate +1 on this... back when I was using EA gear, I found their service amazing... but I needed it quite often:meh: To be fair, the pieces of gear I had problems with were bought very early in the production run (I've learned not to do that the hard way).
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Holy cow! I had no idea about this recurring issue. It makes me wonder if in fact my amp blowup wasn't entirely my fault? Like perhaps I caused a short circuit through a bad ground, but the amp was ready to blow anyway when just such a thing would occur?

    Someone else posted not long ago that they were sticking with reliable working-class amps because the high-dollar boutique ones were always breaking down...
  12. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Contact Gary at EA and I am sure he can help you out. Did you buy the iAMP privately or from a dealer?


    I'm sure you will be very happy with the iAMP. What cabs will you be running it through?

    I have to say that a search through Talkbass will result in bassists saying they have never had a problem with Brand X, while someone else posts that their Brand X is toast or is crap. Ditto for customer service. There have been numerous threads on good and bad service from bass builder Y who never answers email or who another bassist talks to on the phone all the time.

    The very fact that EA has fixed used equipment that may even be outside of a warranty period speaks volumes about the company.
  13. jz0h4d


    Apr 26, 2005
    Sorry you've been had. The amp needs immediate service. Don't even turn it on again.

    If EA is familar with the problem have one of their repair tecks fix it, or send back wherever you got it for a refund.
  14. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Also applies to cars as well. Never buy the first models of a new car. Although I suppose that's as general and vague a statement that some make on amps and basses. I don't mean you Ken.
  15. I bought it used in "new condition" from a store in Canada. I hesitate to put their name because i dont want this to be a refelection on them. It seems as if this is a reocurring problem with this amp.

    I did use only- instrument cables from the bass to the amp and speaker cables from the amp to the Epifani UL410. The TV was not on.

    Thanks for the postings- I have contacted Gary at EA and am awating his response.
  16. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Man if there are only about 5 known cases of Iamps blowing up on tb I'm so buying one over my ashdown thats a far smaller number than what problems I've heard with ashdown.

    It always sucks when an amp breaks, but end of the dya nothing is perfect and this is were customer service comes into play. I can't get hold of the amp company I currently use, it's not broken yet but if it does I'm screwed, so with the ratio of good experiences to bad with the Iamp I'm still happy to purchase one. If it blows up they'll fix it asap which gives me more confidence over an amp that so far has been reliable but if it does ever go that's it I won't be able to get it fixed easily or cheaply.

    Just a though :bag:
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    One very nice thing about EA is that if you send it to Gary (which I highly recommend), he will also do any "updates" that may have been implemented since that amp was built.

    It's rarely "fun" to have to use customer service, but the folks at EA certainly make it as painless as possible, and really excel at taking care of the customer, IME. And to offer such a high level of care to those of us buying gear used is even more impressive in my book.

  18. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Counterfeit caps?!? Never heard of that one. If there were truly capacitors going into these amps that were fakes :p then the amp would likely fail instantly. Not eventually. Does a handful of known failuers on a common part or a common part type (...a cap went) really cause a need for an amp recall? Hardly IMO. Seems like they have fixed each and every one reported, original owner or not.
  19. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Just to be clear, I am not the store in Canada. Sorry to hear that this has happened. While not my store it does reflect on me. Keep us posted on how the repair goes. I did email this TB thread to Gary earlier this morning.
  20. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll

    Jul 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    Well, I actually work in the passive electronic industry (read: sells capacitors for a living) and can shed some light on the cap problems. Sometime in the last 10 years with the dawning of Chinese manufacturing of passive electronics, there was some corporate espionage that took place where the chemical forumula for the inside of the Electrolytic caps was stolen from a Japanese company and sold to many individuals, mainly in China.

    Unfortunately they missed something when the stole the formula and the cheap Mom and Pop Chinese Cap shops where manufacturing caps that could either not handle the capacitence they were rated for or not able to handle their rated temperature. Some of these caps where sold under their own names and others were packaged to look like the more wellknown manufacturers and counterfitted.

    This has obviously lead to many problems and if you think that EA is handling it bad, you obviously haven't had experience with Dell's corporate business computers. There were reports of Dell replacing the motherboards of whole fleets of computers over and over until in October they finally admitted there was a problem. And the kicker is that the particular cap supplier that was causing the problem was actually suppose to be one of the repectable companies. FYI, Dell took a 300 million dollar charge against their earnings last year because of this problem.

    The point I am trying to make though, right or wrong, many companies have had to deal with these issues, big and small, and a vast percentage of them handled very poorly. Also my company doesn't sell electrolytics and it is possible we will benifit eventually from all this.

    edit: fixed my there problem
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