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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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  • laurent Julia May 23, 2012

    Hi Folks
    I also have a BN 160 amp with the same problem
    Could you tell me if you found a nice solution to it ?
    Thanks
    Laurent (from Paris)

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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.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009

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do the ratings on your amp match the ratings on your speaker?
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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.

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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.

I hope this helps!

-mike
(development engineer)

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