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Popping, Thumping, Warbling - She Canna Take Much More Of This, Captain!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bigpig, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Bigpig


    Oct 9, 2015
    So anyway, I've been using an Ampeg B115 for about 12 years now, and until this year, I never had any issues with it. However, there are two things that surfaced just this year that I've noticed while practicing one major, one minor.

    Major - Big-time speaker popping and thudding, apparently out of nowhere. It's comparable to the sound that you get when you're plugging in your bass to an amp that's already on, but worse. This will happen two or three times in ten seconds, and then stop. Then, after the "***?!?!?!" has cleared, it'll do it again in three to five minutes. It seems to stop after about 20 minutes of continuous amp use.

    Caveat - I live in an old house, with some crappy wiring, and prior to this, I have noticed that a couple of circuits upstairs will produce a similar big THUMP! when somebody throws certain switches. This is worse, though, like somebody's jammed a screwdriver into the wires to give them a stir.

    Minor - an increasingly noticeable warble in tone, whether I have the stomp box on or off. It's not dreadful, but it definitely catches my ear, and if I can hear it, plenty of others likely can as well.

    Now what? Change the fuse? Better power strip? New amp? New house? I realize that after 12+ years, even amplifiers break down, but was hoping to keep this one going for a while yet.

    Any advice appreciated - thanks!
  2. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Aside from the usual swapping cables and basses, and checking batteries in active circuit basses there isn't much more you're able to do. The only other two things that come to mind is pulling the speaker and making sure it has a good connection that isn't corroded, and taking your amp to a friends' house to see if it's possibly your household wiring.
  3. Yes. First I would determine whether it's the amp or the crappy house wiring.

    Can you take the amp to some other location and see if it does it there?
  4. That bad boy got tubes?
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    You may be plugging in non grounded outlets.
    Old Garage-Bander and Aqualung60 like this.
  6. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    How does the amp act on a gig with good wiring?
  7. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Nope, it's a solid-state combo amp.

    This sounds to me like an intermittent connection of some kind. Does the volume knob (and/or gain knob if it has one) make any noise or scratching sounds as it's turned? That would point to a dirty or worn out pot. Does gently wiggling the instrument cable where it plugs into the amp cause the crackling, thumping sounds? Could be a broken solder join where the jack is soldered onto the circuit board. Does smacking the amp on the side (Fonzarelli style) start or stop the crackling? Again, could be a broken solder joint on the circuit board or boards.

    I have no idea on what could be causing the 'warble'.

    Don't bother changing the fuse, that's not the problem. Likewise, a new power strip or "power conditioner" will not fix this either. And this doesn't sound like the kind of problem caused by an un-grounded outlet, either.
  8. Bigpig


    Oct 9, 2015
    Definitely an option - not the most convenient choice, but doable.
  9. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    If the line power isn't the problem, it's possible that there are connectors inside the amp that need cleaning or reseating.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  10. Bigpig


    Oct 9, 2015
    Never had an issue until about a month ago. The last gig that had issues did indeed feature crackling and popping, but it only happened when I switched basses for one song, then stopped when I switched back.
  11. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    this could be a loose cable connection where you plug in your cable to the bass.. does wiggling the thing cause it to happen?
  12. +1 to the problem possibly being bass output jack. This is the most common issue for these symptoms. Although I have see similar amp issues as well.

    Anything happen when you grab the end of your cable at your bass and lightly jerk it around a little?
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    Popping, Thumping, Warbling - She Canna Take Much More Of This, Captain!

    sounds like a description of a slap bass solo
  14. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    That was my first thought too Ric. :D
  15. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Ditch the BA115 and get this:

    you'll be so deaf you won't hear any more popping, thumping, warbling or anything else.
    sowilson, Gizmot and Omega Monkey like this.
  16. tubedude

    tubedude Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    Clean and retension all jacks- bass, amp input, breakout jacks/effects loop jacks, speaker out jacks, in and out jacks on pedals etc. Replace all cables. If no improvement, take amp to tech.
  17. tedsalt

    tedsalt Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    But does it go to 11 ?

    Sounds like an output jack issue on the one bass. Could be cable, but more likely, the one bass
  18. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Central FL
    Agree with most here... eliminate each possibility by testing. The one thing that leads me to believe it's in the amp is the description that it goes away after 20 minutes. That's the right amount of time for components to heat up up enough to expand and "seat". I.e. Something is loose inside the amp.
    BuffaloBass likes this.
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Uh.....let's talk about these two basses. One made noises and one didn't. Any red flag popping up for you?
  20. madbass6

    madbass6 Inactive

    Jan 13, 2009
    I do not give consent to use any of my photos ! please respect that. thank you.
    Now what ?
    All of the above!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 13, 2021

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