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Sunn 1200s... help! amp crackling and speaker distorting

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MoTown, Nov 27, 2002.


  1. MoTown

    MoTown

    Nov 27, 2002
    Hello Talk Bassers!

    I have a Sunn 1200s amp and ran it through to a Carvin 12" 300 watt speaker. The sound that came out was like an airplane about to take off and when I played, the bass was super distorted. The volume and tone controls didn't seem to affect anything.

    Has anyone encountered this in the Sunn 1200s? Could this be due to having the small speaker? I just don't understand why I didn't blow the speaker if this was a wattage issue.

    Any help would be extremely appreciated.

    Happy Thanksgiving All!!!
     
  2. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Did you have an active bass when you were playing through it? It sounds to me like a battery going dead?
     
  3. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I think Rumblethump has the right answer as it does indeed sound like a bad battery in your bass.

    I have a Sunn 1200S and it is a great sounding amp. I have never heard any strange sounds from the amp unless I played something strange!

    Chuck
     
  4. EastCoast Ed

    EastCoast Ed

    Dec 31, 2001
    MoTown,
    I purchased a new Sunn 1200s earlier this year that I play through an Eden D410-XLT. My bass is a Fender RB-5. If you haven't done so already, you may want to set-up your 1200s as recommended by the MFR.

    I began my set-up with my passive bass turned all the way up, all tone controls on the 1200s set at their center notched positions, the graphic EQ flat, compressors off, High, Low and MID notch buttons out, Master Volume turned all the way down. When slapping and digging-in very hard on the RB5, I found the optimum setting for preamp gain (Channel 1) to be approx. 4.5 . There is an input level LED that will flash RED to indicate clipping.

    Obviously, your setup will be different. Additionally, after setting-up the 1200s, I found that attenuating the horn on my Eden cabinet and setting the 1200s High tone control knob to 3 reduces the hiss substantially. Also setting the EQ Trim slider to flat when using the Graphic EQ will also greatly reduce the hiss and crackling. Hope this points you in the right direction.
     
  5. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    This one's really stupid but, of course, it happened to me several times. Try replacing your speaker cord. I had THREE different monster cables that were bad that ended up sounding exactly like what you described!!

    Your preamp tube could be bad too? Did you test it out? The battery is also a possibility. Did you use the speaker jack to the far left? I think you're supposed to start there (don't remember what the manual said).

    Do you have Channel one (clean channel) only running or is channel two on or a combination with either preamp set way too loud?

    Troubleshoot in the easiest order: check all settings and buttons on the amp. Then try another speaker cord first putting it in the correct speaker jack obviously. If that doesn't work, replace the battery on your bass. If that doesn't work, replace the preamp tubes in the amp itself. If nothing works, take into local repair shop, punt, and hope it's under warrantee.

    I've had my 1200 S for close to 3 years now and have had no problems that could not be fixed by a new battery, tube, or speaker cord. The amp's loud, versatile, and reliable, knock, knock, knock on wood.

    LKaye
     
  6. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    The 1200S has a pair of 12AX7's in it and I reduced the hiss and improved the tone of mine with a pair of Sylvania 12AX7A's.

    I also use mine with an Eden 410XLT and my Stingray. The only "problem" mine has given me is that it is difficult to set the master volume low enough for most gigs. This is one powerful head.

    The rack I use for loud jazz gigs has a Stewart World 1.6 in it and the Sunn is just as loud.

    Chuck
     
  7. MoTown

    MoTown

    Nov 27, 2002
    THANK YOU Sunn owners and amp gurus that replied! Talk Bass is the best resource for Bass players online. Period!

    Here's what I did to check things... 3 different basses, plugging the power into a different wall outlet, different cords and get the same distortion at level one on the dial. In fact, I set all the knobs to 1 and slowly worked them and there is nothing clean that comes out. Perhaps at 1/4 the way up gain and master the sound is barely clear. The sound reaches a very distorted level and is not very loud. It can go no higher than this quiet distorted level. I checked the 12ax7's to make sure they were in all the way, and they're in there firm. I tried each of the four speaker outs...

    I tried the same basses and cords, except used a Soundtech powered mixer rated at 500w Mosfet - and everything came out clear through the Carvin 12" !?

    Do you all think that the Sunn is TOO MUCH power for the single Carvin 12" (PS 12 rated at 300 watts)???

    I bought the Carvin driver to fill out an old polytone minibrute PA 10"/12" x 2 set with new speakers. So right now it's just sitting in there by itself and "rated" at 300 watts. I lost the specs that came with the speaker and don't know if that 300 rating is rms. However, I did see that Carvin uses this model (PS12) in a 100 watt rms combo. Could this be the actual rating of the speaker and the SUNN is just too much for it?

    This Carvin 12" is all I have right now as the cabinet I ordered is coming in a week. I'm really hoping that this is the problem. Sorry about all the questions! I'm hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
     
  8. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    SERIOUSLY, If you haven't done that, do it!! I've had that same problem several times. There also could be a bad speaker jack in the amp or in your Carvin speaker cab. Do you have any other speakers or can you go into a music store with your guitar chord/speaker chord combination and try a couple of those basses out with other amps/speakers?

    This could be a $10 solution to your problem.

    LKaye
     
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    IIRC, the Sun 1200T runs @ 1200W @ 2ohms, 600W@ 4 ohms & 300W @8 ohms. You should check to the the ohm rating on your Carvin cab.

    Aslo, their is a blend switch on the Sun 1200T that blends the clean channel with the distorted channel or maybe you're running the Distorted channel alone.

    My only dislike about this amp are that their are TOO MANY CONTROLS & thay're very sensitive as Chuck M stated eariler about controlling the volume.
     
  10. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Where did you get the specs for the wattage for the Sunn 1200S? Most amps I've seen aren't in the 300-600-1200 at 8,4, and 2 ohm category. I've seen 500 at 8, 800 at 4, and 1000 at 2 more often. If that's the case and the sunn is 1200 at 2, then it may be more like 900 at 4 and 500 at 8. All I know is that it's pretty darn loud and the controls are not that complicated, but, like you said compared to the spartan amount of controls like on an Aguilar 359 or 750, yeah, it's complex.

    I've found that you don't need to keep adjusting the high and low compression or the balance or for that matter the graphic once you have an acceptable tone. I've just used the bass's tone controls to tweak per the room's acoustics rather than screwing with the amp's graphic or compression and blend controls.

    Seems to work for me except when I had the Sadowsky bass recently!!

    LKaye
     
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    When I workee @ Sam Ash, we had them & I'm pretty sure that was the power rating written in the back of the head itself.
     
  12. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I'll look. All I was noting was that most of these heads don't do the double double on watts vs ohmage. The sunn would be one of the first where everything exactly doubles as the ohmage is halved.

    Could be though huh? How's Roger's group treating you? Have you had a chance to try out the Tokyo 5 strings at all?

    L
     
  13. JimM

    JimM

    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Mine only says "2 ohms min total".It would be interesting to know,it sure sounds like a lot more than 300 watts going through my 4x10H.The owners guide doesn't say either.