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Last 4 amps I've played through sound like I cracked a speaker. Whats going on?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TNSOTB, Feb 4, 2014.



    Apr 19, 2013
    Youngstown, OHish

    The bass I play is the 5 string version of the Sound gear SRA300(pictured). It is active and has a huge signal. I am not sure if this has anything to do with my recent stroke of bad luck with amps. In the past month, I have played my bass through a SWR Working Pro 4x10, 2 Acoustic B200's, and an older Ampeg B-115 of sorts. Each of these amps exhibited varying degrees of sounding as if a speaker had been cracked (that fuzzy, crackly, farty sound). This would usually begin to occur when I plucked a low note at a louder dynamic. I usually have my bridge pickup on 10 and my neck between 7-9. Even at lower volumes, this has still occurred. I am not putting any unnecessary strain on the amp levels. I've only ever had them loud enough to sound balanced in whatever group I am playing with. I am not even slapping or anything, just plucking a low note at fortissimo - something an amp I think should be able to handle. This bass has had no problems with any proper amp until the past month or two. I played it through a little Hartke kick-back every night for 6 months on a cruise ship and it was fine.

    So, is this all a big coincidence? If not, what could be the problem? An electrical issue? A frequency thing? I'd appreciate any thoughts on the matter because after the fourth one, I'm seriously psyched out and apprehensive about this and afraid for every amp I come in contact with. I have a new Working Pro 4x10 on the way and I don't want it to have the same problem.

    Thanks so much for any ideas or suggestions.
  2. You said "active", when was your last battery change in the bass?
  3. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    +1 to checking your battery. Also, have a close look at the solder joints on the ends of your instrument cable. Couldn't hurt to clean out the jack on your bass while you're at it.
  4. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Amp's Passive/Active switch perhaps?

  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Have you thought of checking the battery?
  6. I agree...battery!
  7. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    Are you using the low gain input, or turning on the input pad (whichever is available for each amp)?


    Apr 19, 2013
    Youngstown, OHish
    Ya know, I'd even talked to a few bass playing friends about this, and the battery thing never even came up. I feel so dumb it never crossed my mind. I'll replace it and see if it helps. I always plug into the active input when there is one. My jack is fine. I'll check my cable, but it's a Monster that's just about a year old, so it should be straight. Thank you all.
  9. We see it often, so don't feel too bad. How long the batteries will last varies so much with the preamp draw, if you leave a cord plugged in during breaks ect, Takes a little time to figure out just how long you can get out of the batteries. :cool:

    By the way the lower and louder the note the heavier the need for a good battery.
  10. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Unrelated to the problem at hand, but......
    Unless your SRA has a lot more output than mine does, there's absolutely no reason to use the Active/Low Gain input or pad switch on amps.
  11. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Bah thought of the battery when I read the title but came late to the party. Did the battery fix it?
  12. Had the same sound outta my P Bass a couple weeks ago. For me , it was a dirty input jack on my bass. Cleaned it up a bit and no more crackly paper noise. Had the same problem out of an old Peavey speaker cab a couple years ago. Stuck a q-tip with some alcohol on it in the 1/4"jack hole in the cab and cleared it right up. (Probably should have done a little more thorough cleaning , but the q-tip worked and I'm a lazy bum.) Not to say there aren't several other things that can cause this sound , but it's worth a check.
  13. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    All the basses that I currently use are active. I NEVER plug into the active input.
  14. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    +1 to above: check batt, cable, jack.

    I like the Keith McMillan battery tester. Very convenient for 9v pre-s. (Won't work with 18v pre-s, AFAIK.)

    Deoxit has worked great for cleaning crackly output jacks. I usually spritz the male phone plug on the cable, and go in and out and in and out and in and out... (Hum the Who tune Squeezebox as you do this...)