My amp crackles with no input signal! Any of you electronics buffs got an answer?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by White_Knight, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Hello all, got a question for you. Lately, I've been doing some playing with my Crate BX-100 and sometimes after I've been playing awhile, this loud crackling noise comes out of the speaker. At first I figured it was dirty pots or something, so I spun all them around, pressed all the switches, etc. No change at all in the crackling. Thus I figured it was the cable, so I unplugged the cable and yet the crackling remained for about a minute or so before it died down! Even if I turn off the amp and then turn it back on, I can get it to crackle again by playing certain notes (seems like A and D get it going the worst). Turning it off immediately stops the noise, but if I turn it on again and play either an A or a D then it starts all over again. I can't for the life of me figure it out. It also doesn't seem to happen unless I've been playing for awhile (45 minutes at least - and I practice at low volume; about 2.5 to 3 on the volume).

    If the speaker was blown, then I'd get the crackle no matter what right? And plus, if there is no input (i.e., no cable even connected to the input), then it shouldn't be producing any sound anyway. Normally, it's dead quiet with nothing plugged in and almost as quiet when I plug my bass in (I sometimes get a radio station in the background, but it's not very loud).

    Any suggestions? Let me know if there's any other information any of you might need. Also, I've only owned it a couple of years and I've really babyed it - so it's not like it's seen hard use or anything. Thanks.
  2. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Thanks for the reply. So it's possible that something loose might be causing this? Even when there's no signal going to the amplifier or the speakers?

    At any rate, I think I'm gonna go check my warranty card. :)
  3. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    I have a BX-100 and I have had this problem. First off, if you move the cable around while it is in the input jack, does it make the noise stop or start? If it does, then you are probably having the problem I think you are. You have a loose input jack. It is not too hard to fix, but you need some experience with soldering(and small hands). So get your soldering gun, your little brother, or your neighborhood carnie, and here's what you do:

    Unscrew the top two screws on the amp; the two that are closest to the handle. You should now be able to slide the power amp around in its little cubby.

    Turn the power amp around so you can get at the inside of it. You will need to reach inside and detach the connectors that connect the power amp to the speaker(remember where those were!)

    Completely slide the power amp out of the amp. Flip it over. Take a look at the input jack, the connections around the base of it should be loose so that the jack can move up and down(read: not attached well to circuit board)

    Here's where things get really tricky... you will need a soldering gun with a fairly long iron so that you can solder those connections. While the power amp is flipped over, get a long piece of solder and resolder all four of the input jack's connectors. It is difficult because you will have to be working in a very confined space, because you cannot detach the circuit board or metal plate.

    Now, reattach the speaker cables and put the power amp back where it should be. Put the screws back in.

    Amazing! Your finished!(assuming I didn't miss anything) That wasn't too difficult, was it? Assuming you did a good job, that fix should last a long time. And you get to brag that you fixed it yourself!:D
  4. That's not exclusive to the BX-100. I have a BX-15 for practise and I got so mad at it, I kicked it across the room. I must have jarred something back into place, 'cause she's been a dream ever since (other than the @%$# thing is noisy [hissssssss]!). :p
  5. I`ve noticed this prob of late also White Knight.I have the Crate BFX50 here.....From the descriptions in the other posts I would have to agree it is a loose/incorrectly soldered input jack.
  6. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Hey, thanks for all the info everyone. Well, though I do know how to solder, I think that since it's still under warranty (and seeing as I have another amp I can use) I'll probably just send it to the shop for work - assuming that they don't come up with a bunch of hidden charges. Thanks all. Though it still puzzles me - I dunno, the circumstances just seem odd I guess: nothing in the jack and it makes the same noise (for about a minute) as if there was a plug in the jack. And it also only does it randomly (as in, not everytime that I've been playing for a long time period). Oh well. Again, thank you all.
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