Crate BX 160 bass amp. Has intermittent problems and shuts down
Amp shuts down when the limiter in the amp starts to clip the signal amplification. Amp shuts completely down signal wise for about 30 seconds before reactivating. It does not take much signal to get the amp to start clipping.
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Re: Crate BX 160 bass amp. Has intermittent problems and...
Check your speakers cables for good condition-no touching between inner wires of each other- after you confirm from good cables condition- try the speakers one by one-make good ventilation around the amp and clean it with air blower-after that if the problem still found contact near service center for help.
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Afraid you may have blown an amplifier. If you have a AC voltmeter, audio generator and schematic, you can feed audio signal into unit and track the signal on both channels during amplification stages.and locate the spot where the amplification stops or one channel deviates from the other. And there is your culprit.
I recommend to check your speaker with something else before anything else. Sometimes they rattle when the voice coil gets hot and warps but, sometimes the blow out completely and make no sound at all.
Protective circuits kicking in. You may be overdriving the preamp to a clipping condition the amp sees as a problem. If it is under warranty, contact Line 6 and see if this is normal for this amp. It should not be, but you never can be sure.
If the treble is good and is working then the failure to adjust or increase bass output even when it is done can be due to faulty OP-AMP in the BASS circuit. The BASS frequency must be enhance with an amplification and a pass filter with amplification boost and so a failure of this stage can be the reason for non action.You will need to have a signal test on the bass section to confirm the faulty IC.Check for poor solder joint and faulty capacitors/controls.
it sounds like a bad sub woofer amplifer, as the unit heats up the capacitors start to leak and the amp will try to shut down. it would depend on how hard you are driving it, (heavy bass versus light bass) that would cause it to fail sooner than later. You need to replace the internal amp
does your bass have active pick ups? do the ratings on your amp match the ratings on your speaker? are you using a pedal? does your pedal have an output adjustment? have the ground on your bass checked. make sure you're using the right kind of cable. and be sure that the outlet you're using is grounded.
The next time it stops, unplug the cable from the guitar and touch the tip of the connector with your finger. If the amp hums, then the amp is still working and the problem is in the guitar. If there is no hum from doing this, then the amp has am intermittent.
Try this before it fails to see what to expect in the way of the hum from this test.
Common problems with the amp are OFTEN with a broken input connector or bad switch on the preamp output jack if it has one.
There are MANY other things and without troubleshooting it is hard to steer you to a fix.
You can reach the limiting IRRESPECTIVE of where the volume control is set when you have a guitar or other source that has HIGH output.
Guitars that have battery in them with internal amplifiers are an example of a high output guitar. Plain inductive pickups may require the volume control to be set at say 70% to reach limiting.
Please NOTE that the volume control is NOT linear, but is an "audio taper".
Limiting means you are probably driving it too hard. Many learn the hard way when speakers and thee power amp fail.
When the cone is driven too far beyond the pole pieces of the magnet, then the IMPEDANCE of the speaker becomes relatively low and can damage the power amp. The limiter tries to prevent this by sensing the current and or voltage and will back off the gain internally. This causes distortion when it happens.
I just saw your post. I happen to have a Crate BX-160 and was able to call Crate in St. Louis and talked with a tech there at the plant and he actually sent me full schematics for free.
Your problem, based on my electrical background and fixing audio equipment for 10 years, seems to be related to the built-in limiter in the power transformer. In other words, you might just need a new power transformer and it is a piece of cake to install (all push-on connections).
The schematic will show you the many test points for voltage checks, but unless you know what you are looking for, its just information overload. It is a rather simple amplifier and built resonably well. I have been using mine since 2003 and have fixed it a few times (age related problems like loose connections). There just is not much to go wrong on them except for the fact the amp is subjected to extream vibration. THis causes physical connections to fail resulting in vexing issues that are hard to solve. This is not unique to this amp (all bass amps).
I would bet anything your problem is the power supply shut-down circuitry is malfunctioning. In my expereience with amps, unless the amp is drawing current (failing power circuitry) and making strange sounds, the failure is usually not related to the power section failing (like power transformers going out). Likely, the built in limiter is the problem.
Sometimes an amplifier's preamp can't handle certain signals/frequencies at a high gain, so they cut out. Bass guitars are especially prone to giving such a strong signal. I bought an older, nonworking bass amp recently and fixed it just to find it had the same problem. Best solution is to put a low ohm resistor at the amps input, but if you turn your guitar down to half volume it'll have the same effect: should prevent it from cutting out.