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My amp is broken.

  1. May 12, 2005 #1
    Hi, I've got a Hartke 3500 bass amp and the fan's broken. I need it fixed by Tuesday but I haven't got any money and the gaurruntee's expired :cry: I'm thinking a fan shouldn't be too hard to fix myself. Is this incredibly ill-advised? I know virtually nothing about how to fix stuff but I'm assuming it will all become apparent when I crack it open. It was damaged in a fall so I thought maybe a wire's come loose or something, this being the case I think I could fix it but I don't want to make things worse. Any advice?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2005 #2

    brewnog

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    Same thing once happened on my old Laney.

    Firstly, I'm gonna cover my arse. Don't mess about if you don't know what you're doing.
    Secondly, I'm gonna cover my arse again. I have no electrical qualifications, I just happen to have fixed a guitar amp's fan before.

    As someone once said in another thread, there are three rules:

    1. Make sure it's unplugged.
    2. Make sure it's unplugged.
    3. Make sure it's unplugged!

    The least you can do is to open it up and have a look. You need to start being careful when you've got into the amplifier itself, you'll find some pretty big capacitors which are more than capable of giving you a nasty bite. If there's any risk of you accidentally touching the terminals, short them out using a voltmeter or something.

    If you're not a regular tinkerer, be extra careful when disassembling your baby to make a note of which screws went where, what order things came apart in etc. Make drawings if you need to. It shouldn't be toooo complicated, but you might have to take knobs off (mark their positions first) and disconnect speakers (mark polarities), that kind of stuff. Just generally take your time and think about what you're doing.

    Knowing amps, it's unlikely that a wire has come loose. If it has, you shouldn't have too much trouble soldering it back on again. But decent amps (especially bass amps, for big, fat, clumsy, bass playing buffoons) such as Hartkes are built to be thrown around stages and dropped down stairs, wires tend not to just come loose. Fans do wear out though, mine was so full of crud that it has just jammed up. A bit of a clear out and a few squirts of compressed air sorted it out, and all was well.

    At the end of the day, unless you really spanner it up, you're unlikely to make things worse.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on. Incidentally, what city are you in?
     
  4. May 12, 2005 #3
    I'm in Huddersfield. Not so far from Manchester, maybe you could come fix it? :biggrin: :tongue2:
     
  5. May 12, 2005 #4

    brewnog

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    Not far at all! You're not keeping an eye on that pie thread...
     
  6. May 12, 2005 #5

    Math Is Hard

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    I think you should go give icvotria a hand, brewnog.
     
  7. May 12, 2005 #6
    I think that is an excellent idea.
     
  8. May 12, 2005 #7

    brewnog

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    Then she'd find out that I don't really know what I'm talking about...
     
  9. May 13, 2005 #8
    I fixed it!!! Hooray!!! I totally fixed it and it's all better. A little plug thing had come loose and I put it back in and now it works. Yippee!! Thanks for your advice Brewnog, I think I'd've been too chicken to try if it wasn't for that post. It's really cool inside an amp. There was this really weird thing inside a glass case, it sort of put me in mind of a flux capacitator. I could have so much fun with my amazing time-travelling bass amp.... Wow, I feel so good now I've fixed it, what a high! I'm going to go drop something else.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2005
  10. May 13, 2005 #9

    brewnog

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    Fantastic news, good for you!

    Things in glass cases? I didn't think those Hartkes were valve amps! Oops...

    Ah well, at least I don't have to come all the way to Huddersfield now. Woo woo!
     
  11. May 13, 2005 #10
    Ahhh, the mysterious valve, I've always wondered what these were for. Are they the same thing as a tube cos I found out that's what the thing in the glass case is. I wish I knew more about this kind of thing. I'll dedicate the summer to learning it all. Maybe.
     
  12. May 13, 2005 #11

    brewnog

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    Ic!

    You're ENGLISH woman, they're valves, not tubes!

    But yes, they're one and the same. I actually looked into designing and building a small valve amp for my guitar a few years ago, but never quite got around to it.
     
  13. May 13, 2005 #12
    No ic!!! It wasn't my fault... Now I know, I'll never say 'tube' again. I was hoping they were the same thing cos valve-amp sounds really cool and 70's, it must be the inherrent British in me. I'm thinking of putting a guitar together from my friends' old parts, should be interesting...
     
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