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Somebody dial 911! My 4 day old EA i-amp 800 has smoke pouring out of the back it!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pitbill, May 25, 2003.

  1. pitbill

    pitbill Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    I had an EA i-amp 800 ordered from Bass Central (great bunch of guys btw) and they had it sent direct from the factory to my door. I received it on Wednesday, but due to the lack of the required speakon cable I haven't been able to hook it up to my EA CXL 210 cabinet yet. Instead I've been listening to it through my headphones from it's headphone output jack.

    Well, after about an hour and a half of this I started smelling something funny and then white smoke started pouring from the back of the new skb rack I had it mounted in! I quickly turned off the unit and unplugged it. Needless to say this one's going back to the factory. Hopefully they will replace it and not just try to "check it out" and "repair" it! I just don't think I could trust this one again. I really do want one of these amps, and maybe I'm just being picky, but could any of you trust an amp that nearly caught your house on fire? The burning smell was extremely sickening. I've got nearly every window open and all my fans turned on. Makes me wonder what would have happened if I had it plugged up to my cabinet?

    I don't mean to rant about this, I truly do love EA's stuff. Perhaps I just got one of the Friday afternoon, gotta throw this together and get home for the weekend model that somebody at the factory assembled too quickly. I don't know? I do know as soon as I write this it's getting boxed back up! Just wondering how the rest of you guys would react after paying almost $1200 for a bass head and the only thing you have to show for it is a pile of smoke? I'm not very happy, but on the upside of it for the hour and a half that it did work it sounded great, even if it was only through headphones! Hey, I'm tryin' to stay optimistic here! :rolleyes:
  2. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    Maybe a short-circuit? The same thing happened to me with my SWR Bass750. Were you using stereo headphones? If you could check the impedance rating of the headphones. It might have been too low.
  3. Jarrod


    Jan 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you had plugged it in to a cabinet, NOTHING would have happened. The unit burned up BECAUSE you didn't connect a cab. If you don't have a cab pulling load off a head, the load will just build up and toast the head. You didn't know, so I hesitate to say its "your fault"... but I will say this:


    Hopefully EA will take care of you regardless.

    Good luck.

    EDIT: Actually its only tube heads that need to be connected to a cab. SS amps should be fine. Sorry about that--I'm a jerk.
  4. pitbill

    pitbill Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    I don't think it was the headphones, these are just some small el cheapo Sonys. Besides the manual says the amp is good down to 2 ohms, so if my little headphones did this, they can keep it! I did notice some odd clipping just before the fiasco. The entire unit was also extremely hot to the touch afterwards (so much for the class D "not generating heat" Ha, ha!)

    I was just reading the manual and it says that "each unit is burned in (turned on and allowed to sit in idle". I think I just had my own "burned in test", eh? ;)
  5. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    There are exceptions. I can't speak for other Eden products, but the WT-400 is specifically designed so you can use the headphone jack without being plugged into a cab (the manual sez so). I do it all the time, and the fan doesn't even come on. It WILL clip though if you crank it too high.
  6. pitbill

    pitbill Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    In regards to Jarrod's statement, I can see your point, however the amp has a seperate on off switch for the speakers. The switch was in the off position, so the cabinet would not have been pulling any load off the head anyways. Perhaps this was an internal fault of the switch if this is the cause. After going through the manual thoroughly, I can't find anything about a cabinet required to be connected, so if this was the case I still should be covered regardless, due to lack of info in the manual about this. Just my opinion though.
  7. jawzzz


    May 23, 2003
    Denver Colorado
    The only amps you are not supposed to turn on without a speaker load, are tube amps. Solid state heads, like my Ampeg SVT IV, can run using just the "line out" jack, so you can record or whatever you need to do.
  8. pitbill

    pitbill Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    Kind of makes you wonder why it would have a seperate headphone output if it had to be connected to a cabinet though. Wouldn't that just defeat the purpose of silent or portability purposes of personal practice? Not to mention studio use as Jawzzz suggested. I guess I'll find out the scoop after the holiday. Who knows? It could be anything. I've even noticed a few people having problems with the built in tuner on these models, so these things are not 100% problem free by any means. It is a very new model and has only been out for less than a year, so anything can be expected I guess.
  9. I saw my big 'ol Ampeg smokin' real bad once but when I went around to take a look it turned out to be some drunk puffin' on a cigar while hidin' from his "old lady".
  10. You should have hesitated. Solid state amplifiers work just fine without having a speaker cabinet attatched. They see the open jack as having an infinite resistance (sorta like 1,000,000 ohms only even higher) and amplify their output voltage as they are supposed to. Since there is infinite resistance, the output devices dissappate no power.

    "Loads" do NOT "build up;" we're talking electronics, not biology. Loads are applied resistance to a circuit. Current is the resulting flow against that resistance. An amplifier's output voltage is more or less constant. Different amounts of resistance applied to its output section determine the amount of current flow. Since the voltage is constant, the amount of power the amp puts out is a function of resistance. The amp would be perfectly content to operate that way and it is the absolute LEAST stress the power supply will ever see.

    An easy illustration is a static electricity spark. It is made up of voltages which can exceed several hundred thousand volts, but since it is an arc through extremely low resistance, it produces virtually no current and thus, power. If you were to induce the same voltage across an 8 ohm speaker, the amount of current would literally burn through it.

    Tube amps behave differntly only because their output section is coupled to the load through a transformer. Transformers amplify voltage at the expense of current and vice versa; it's called induction. When there is no load presented to a transformer, it can only amplify what it is connected to and thus, it drives up the voltages of the tubes connected to it until they either fail or the amp's fuse blows. If you could design a tube with a low enough output impedance to directly run a speaker without using a transformer, you could run it with no load without fear of damaging it.
  11. Exactly.
  12. pitbill

    pitbill Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    Thanks Psycho. After that one reply I was starting to feel like a criminal or something. I know I didn't do anything wrong or contrary to EA's recommendations per manual. I've owned other amps with headphone outputs and never had any problem like this when not connected to a cabinet. Also my hour and a half of play time was total over four days (i.e. twenty minutes here, 15 minutes there, etc.) When this occured it had only been on for about ten minutes tops and was the first time it had been on today. I definitely don't want to discourage anybody away from EA products. I think this is probably a rare happening and I myself will continue to use their equipment.
  13. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Pit bill,

    I'm a fellow iAMP 800 owner. Don't sweat it. I just bought my 800 a couple of month ago and blew the internal fuse somehow. I got in touch with Gary Gibilisco at EA (he also sometimes posts here at TB too)and he helped me troubleshoot things to my statisfaction. I overcame the problem and have been happy with the 800 eversince.

    Go to the EA website, use the email function and address it to Gary. He is very responsive, and will help you out. From my experience, I'd say that these guys are very "customer service oriented". I got quick response.
  14. pitbill

    pitbill Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    Thanks GFAB, I've e-mailed EA in the past about various things regarding their cabinets, but never received a reply on any of 'em. I guess they're too busy to reply to every inquiring e-mail, so I'll probably just give 'em a call and see what happens. I was so excited about getting it, but now I'm pretty bummed. This is my only amp and I've waited quite a while to get it, now who knows how long it will be before I get to actually have one that works? I hope it's worth the wait.

    It seems that every 800 owner I've talked to has had some sort of problem (usually just small things) with theirs, now your fuses. I hope things get ironed out pretty smoothly there before too long. I just wonder what they will be like in the long run a few years from now? Hope they hold up.
  15. Jarrod


    Jan 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    heh, sorry about that. Psycho and Mark put me in my place. So it's only tube heads that need to have a cab connected to them. I stand corrected.
  16. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

    Mar 9, 2003
    EA has the best customer service I've ever dealt with. I'm surprised they've never responded to your emails, but if you call them I'm sure they will take care of you better than you could ever expect. They will probably ship you a new one right away before getting the old one back, they are that good!!
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    So, it's tube amps that burn out when not plugged in, but solid state power amps can run without being plugged into a speaker?
    I'm kinda wondering now that you bring this up, because I run my Eden WT-300 as a preamp (use the DI XLT into the preamp in on my Carving poweramp) and have done so since Febuary with no problems, even for extended periods of times.

    Or, am I missing something here?
  18. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    The Eden is a solid state power amp, it has a tube preamp!!

    EA will take care of your problem, don't worry.
  19. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    This I am aware of. Thusly prompting the question for layman's clarification on the matter.
  20. Not trying to be a pain, but it was already clarified, wasn't it? As a SS amp, your Eden doesn't need to be plugged into a cab.

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