Why is there smoke coming out of my switch when i turn on my Gk 800RB head??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by WarwickBassist, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. When i turn on my Gallien-Krueger 800RB bass head smoke comes out of the switch, it doesnt smell like a normal smoke smell, but rather a kinda electric smell...if anyone knows what this problem is please post....thank you
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Probably a faulty switch, SWR's of a certain era had the same problem. This isn't a lawnmower, it needs to be fixed. Call GK customer service.
  3. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    That's the magic smoke! Put some duct tape over the switch so it doesn't get out.

    If it does, your amp won't sound good anymore.
  4. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    Phone up GK. i wouldn't take it apart either, unless you are very sure of what you are doing. Just wait until GK reply
  5. the smoke doesnt smell like a burning smoke, its more of like an electrical smoke smell and today while i was playing at school during show choir there was like a little cloud of smoke coming out of it and its been doin this for about a month each time i turn it on and play. Has this ever happened to anyone else? I asked my old bass teacher if hes ever heard of this happening and he said he never heard of such a thing. But thanks for the replys and im gonna contact GK and see whats up.

    -Giving up is a dangerous trait-
  6. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    do you smoke? maybe the fan is on backwards and constantly sucks in smoke.
  7. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Funny you should mention that... the SWR Redhead at my school just had that problem. They brought it in to be repaired about a week ago; not sure when it'll be back. At least they got an Ampeg Portabass 2x10 combo to use while it's being fixed. :)
  8. the 800RB head doesnt have a fan in it, the smoke goes away after a little bit and after that i can play just fine, but i dont know why smoke comes out of it, its weird. Should i have a concern about this problem or just let it do its routine? Has anyone had this same problem with this same bass head?
  9. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Either way,,, electricity & smoke do not go together... it needs to be checked out... unless you want a fire on your hands...
  10. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Do NOT turn your amp on again until it has been checked out by an authorized service tech. Powering it up can be doing permanent and more expensive damage than what's already occurred. Smoke and electronics don't mix, its a bad, BAD sign. Don't risk electrocution, don't risk fire, don't risk catastrophic and permanent damage to your amp and its components. Leave it turned off, and get it to a qualified tech.
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Call me nuts, but I figured this should be kinda obvious... ya know?
  12. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    It's probably an arcing problem in the switch. I go with the general consensus taht you should get it serviced immedately. Unless you want to fry your power source in the amp.
  13. ah dang, man that sucks, i have to play with that amp everyday at school and i have a gig this saturday with my schools show choir and thats the only amp i have i use the 800RB with a Gk 410 cab and dont have anything else....so i dont know what to do...any thoughts?
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    What to do???? Dude, listen to what we're saying. GET IT SERVICED by a qualified local tech. In most cases, they can get it back to you the very next day if you request a rush. Its probably something simple in the switch or another standard component. Its possible they will have the parts on-hand. If they have to order a part from GK, they'll tell you. Either way, you should know in short order.
  15. JerseyFunk


    Jan 8, 2004
    Get it serviced. It'll probably crap out either right before or during the show according to Murphy. You can probably rent another head while that one's getting serviced. Just check the yellow pages.
  16. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Actually, I'm starting to think he should just let it fry... Maybe it'll go up in flames, during his schools show! That'd ROCK!

    OK OK,, I'm being a smart alec...
  17. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Take it to the service shop. If it takes longer than a day, then go to GC and tell them you are buying a new amp, but want to see if it is what you want. Take it home and use it. If you decide you don't think it is better than the 800 when you get the 800 back, take it back to them. That is what they 30 day return process that they have is for. I always end up keeping the stuff, and the are betting on most people doing the same. You could also rent something for a week, but that $50 is a big chunk of change that could be put towards something else.
    Regardless, that smoke thing is interesting. Make sure you ask the guy what the problem was. You would think that if a switch was bad, it would just go out, and if something was wrong with the amp, it would just stop. I would think that you could test out the switch by leaving it engaged and plugging the cord into a wall outlet, Bypassing the switch operation. Regardless, something is wrong, and it isn't safe to power up. It can cause damage or fire. Not good things.
  18. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    When you take it in ( which you should--just like everyone else has said), you may want to ask them if they have any amps that they rent out. Most shops around where I live have rental programs at fairly reasonable rates. Of course the GC idea works as well--I've done that a few times myself........
  19. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    My guess is that your power switch is shot. The smoke is probably coming from the insulating material within the switch. It's getting hot because the switch contacts are getting really hot because they aren't making a good connection or even worse, they're arcing and will eventually catch the materials in the switch on fire.

    If it was something inside the amp (other than the switch) that had failed, I'd guess that you would be blowing fuses or the amp would be completely dead by now.

    As many others have said, don't use the amp again until it gets fixed!!!
  20. thanks to everyone who posted comments and for the replys, i took the bass head in today to our local music shop and the guy there that i do good busniess with took the head and is gonna send it off to GK and have them repair it, sense i purchased it almost 2 years ago, i dont have to pay a dime for the cost of repair due to the 2 year warranty on the GK product. :) but sense they are sending it to authorized GK personals, my music guy let me borrow one of his bass heads for our show this weekend and everything looks to be working out A ok. Thanks again for the replys, they helped me out a lot, i appreciate it. :bassist:

    -Giving up is a dangerous trait-