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What Is The Life Expectency Of A Average Ampifier?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by canadian bass, Jan 29, 2006.


  1. Hi
    I recently bought a Mag 300 115 combo and I really love it. I have read alot on this site and others about how much people loved thier amps until it started distorting, crackling, or whatever after a year or two, and they have gone on to replace it with something else. My question is what is the average life expectency of an amplifier that is practiced in a band setting 40 times a year, played out live 10 times a year, and practiced quietly in bedroom 3 to 4 times a week?
     
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I would venture to say forever. That's what I would call light duty use. In my view, a larger problem is that gear can break, but is either difficult to repair or not worth repairing when compared to the cost of replacement.

    One thing I have read, and it makes sense, is to keep sunlight off the speaker cone and surround. Also, make sure all cables are not supported by the connectors. The easy trick is to run each cable through the handle on the amp.
     
  3. hammer2748

    hammer2748

    Feb 22, 2002
    Hartford, CT
    I think there's way too many variables to consider to factually answer this. I've had amps last 15 years w/ average use being steady and moderate. That said, the same rig has been exposed to some extremes and held up rather well. Ashdown makes good gear and taking care of your gear, like anything else, will help to minimize your risk of breakdowns. Tips like fdeck mentioned are good things. Just take care of it and it should take care of you. Abuse and neglect are surely the root cause of many breakdowns at an age. Seasoned equipment can break down due to age-related failures, but these issues usually are repairable, and if they're not, after 10, 15, 20 years, hell, it probably doesn't owe you anything anyway.

    Just my .02

    Cheers,
    Hammer
     
  4. jake_tim

    jake_tim

    Jun 28, 2005
    North Carolina
    IMO, an amp can stay working for a REAL long time, almost forever, as long as you take good care of it, but it may also vary if the amp is made good or not.

    -Jake
     
  5. I agree, that something that is taken good care of should last a long time, I still have my Peavey TKO 75 that I bought new in 1988 it works fine for what it is and actually has giged with me the last five years until I bought the Ashdown in Dec.
    I guesse that I am cocerned that things are not made as well today and that they are disposable, 2 to 3 years seems like an awful short life span and I have even read were people would sell their Epi's after 2 years because of problems, it's just hard to imagine.


    Thanks
     
  6. 19 years, 7 months, 3 weeks, 4 days, 8 hours, 2 minutes, 14 seconds.
     
  7. MANYof the issues that are posted on TB as 'amp problems' are not functional problems with the amp but are rather the way the amps are being set and used by inexperienced bassists.
     
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    This thread should be morphed into "how can I take care of my amp to make it last a long time."

    Like canadian bass said, the "disposable gear" issue certainly exists. For instance on my latest amp, it looks like I would have a hard time replacing the output devices if it became necessary, but on the other hand, the same "flaw" probably makes the amp more rugged in the first place, so it's a toss up.

    The most common failure modes are essentially mechanical -- jacks and pots wear out, and stress on those components damages the printed circuit boards. The trend towards printed circuit mounted pots and jacks does pose a long term reliability issue that was absent in historical tube amps (for instance).

    A crucial preventative maintenance is to make sure all the lock nuts on the connectors and pots remain tight. If a jack gets wiggly, don't wait even until the end of the gig to fix it.

    On extremely powerful gear, under-design of the power supply and thermal components becomes an issue. I know that on a lot of PA power amps, the VA rating of the transformer is less than the output power rating of the amp. This is one good reason to welcome the shift towards switching power supplies and Class-D amplifiers, both of which can be over-designed with only minimal cost penalty.