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The Famous VU Meter

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Nuttboy311, May 24, 2003.

  1. Nuttboy311


    May 30, 2002
    Does anyone know if it is normal for the light on the Ashdown VU meter to dim while playing a low note? It isn't horrible, but since I have never had a VU meter, I don't know if this is something to worry about. I own the MAG, if that helps at all.
  2. Nuttboy311


    May 30, 2002
    Thanks, will do.
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    my bulb blew last month... amp still runs fine.

    I need to figure out what I need to buy to fix it
  4. Nuttboy311


    May 30, 2002
    Thanks for the replies guys. Anyways, I don't think it is the bulb since it hasn't permenantly dimmed, but rather dims and then returns to full glow while I hit a low note, as if power was being drained from it (obviously that is the case, but I do not know if this is normal). Oh yeah, and the whole changing the color idea sounds kinda cool, if anyone does it, lets see some pics.
  5. Whats the opinion on ashdown....i tried the silver ABM 400 and wasnt sure if it was twice as good as an amp that costs half as much....budget considerations are pretty serious for me as I am replacing a STOLEN amp not trading up.....

    I thought the octave thing had a real warble, cut in and out sort of thing happening,particularly on the low "e", that made me unsure of the amp as a whole, although the sound was good- it made me think.....

    I had almost settled on a Fender BXR 300, great sound, no frilly bits but save 700 $$ when I saw this post....

    I play big band jazz and funk with a G&l LB 100 (P bass ) and am looking for enveloping sweetness, warm bass sounds.....using an EV TL box to deliver

    Really appreciate your Ashdown views, cos its not too late......

    Cheers Lukaas
  6. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    The bulb in my VU meter does dip in brightness when I play - typically if I mute a slap across all the strings. This happens on two MAGS and an ABM.

    Not noticed it on single low notes but then I hadn't looked.

    I just guessed that it was due to the power amp needing a fair amount of juice at that point.
  7. I suspect that's what it is and it's probably perfectly normal. When the power amp demands a lot of current the line voltage sags a bit which causes the bulb to dim. I see this all the time on PA gear. The effect is more pronounced if the circuit powering the amp can't provide lots of current without voltage sag. You see this a lot in older power systems...
  8. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I see it all the time when I have gigs at frat houses. Whenever the kick drum is hit all the lights will dim for a split second.
  9. Nuttboy311


    May 30, 2002
    I contacted Ashdown, and they told me that this was perfectly normal. I also noticed that now it doesn't do this. I think it was only caused by the power strip I was plugged into at the auditorium I was playing in.
  10. Nuttboy311


    May 30, 2002
    So, does anyone know how to change the bulb? How cool would a mini black light look??? Or a red bulb with the red MAG frame? ;)
  11. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Ok Nuttboy311 heres the deal.

    The bulb on the back of the Vu meter can be replaced - its very easy to remove.

    Heres a picture of it.

    The bulb just slides out to the left easy enough.

    First problem - notice how each wire is red ? I had been expecting a red wire and a black wire to indicate the polarity. Its not an LED (or similar) its a small AC bulb.

    And heres the voltage


    15v AC.

    A quick trawl through RS components found nothing similar (doesn't mean they don't do one, RS stock so much stuff finding what you want can be very dificult)

    A quick google search was a little more fruitful - seems like a lot of train models use 16v AC for the lighting of stations, fires etc etc.

    So all you have to do is to find a 16v ac bulb no longer than 2 cm with a diameter of about 4mm.

    And now the real problem. The bulb works by lighting the housing which difuses the light to provide quite a soft back light. The housing is white plastic so a coloured bulb might not have the desired effect. I'm not saying it won't work, I'm just saying I'm not sure if it will.

    If you get it working then post back your pictures !
  12. Nuttboy311


    May 30, 2002
    WOW!!! THANKS MAN!!! That was a ton of very usefull info! I can't believe how indepth you went. Anyways, since it is summer, I will have some time to tinker, and when I get off my lazy can, I will try that. Thanks again!
  13. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Glad to help. I'm still looking for a bulb btw - if I find one I'll swap it out in one of my MAGS and take some pikkes.