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Old 25th February 2011, 07:56 PM   #1
Dr Zeus is offline Dr Zeus  United States
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Default 'Fix' customer gain controls

Customers are very important, and sometimes pay the bills - so those who work for customers must be treat them fairly, friendly, and professionally. I have this one customer (actually, this probably goes for a lot of 'our' customers) that regligiously thinks turning the gain up 100% is right thing to do. I printed out some documents on how to set the gain, and told him as nice as I could that gain controls need strict attention, but the installer insists that his client base requires the gains to be at "maximum volume". He states that even if he sets the gain down, most of his customers will just go and turn the gain back up after the install anyways.

Unfortunately this customer has been a great business partner and I dont want to lose him, but I dont want to keep fixing something which keeps breaking either. The last amp blew again after I fixed it because he ran it at 1 ohm where it is only 2 ohm stable, and the gain was of course at the maximum setting. Also, the amp likely also suffered from being under volted as the car he installed it in is still getting a classic engine rebuild. I even measured the battery at 11.2v when I picked the amp up.

Comment:
I dont really want to tamper much with the design of an ampolifier, but...

QUESTION:
For this customer, would it be appripriate if I could somehow re-circuit a gain control so that it will be only like 1/2 the control width as stock?? Also, I really wish amplifier manufactorers would get rid of remote gain controls... Who needs them anyway when headunits can supply up to 5v?

-AHH!! Just venting... Any ideas? Does digikey have a sub replacment for installers?

Last edited by Dr Zeus; 25th February 2011 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 25th February 2011, 08:14 PM   #2
poynton is offline poynton  United Kingdom
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Location: A life on the ocean waves when I'm not at home in N. Wales (but I'm not Welsh so no sheep jokes!)
Customers .. you can't live with them and you can't live without them ...or something like that !

Like the one who, after removing the "tamper-proof" cover, moved the power supply switch from 220v to 110v to "see what would happen"!




Do I think it is ethical to tamper with the volume control from original?
Alas, No.



Andy

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Old 25th February 2011, 08:43 PM   #3
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He's not a good customer and you don't need him if he's costing you money. In the future, either tell him that you can't repair it or charge him at least double what you would normally charge. That will cover the second, warranty, repair when he blows it.

You should also explain to him that you can only return it to original condition. If he blew it when it had factory installed parts, it's going to blow again when he connects it to the same unsafe load.

One solution may be to tell him, before you do any work, that the you will show him that the amp works in your shop when he picks it up (play it until he's satisfied that there is no problem) and there there will be no further warranty.

Generally, when someone picks up an amp, I ask them who will be reinstalling it. If it's someone I know to be trustworthy, I generally don't show them it works. If they say they don't know or that a 'buddy' will be hooking it up for them, I connect the amp, show them that all individual channels work, tell them to notice that the amp isn't drawing excessive current and to notice that no smoke is coming from the amp. Then, if the amp begins smoking immediately after it's installed, they know that the installer is to blame. I tell them to notice that there is no smoke coming from the amp because too many times, I've done this and the amp was installed before leaving the shop and they brought it back 10 minutes later and smoke was still coming out of the amp.
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Old 25th February 2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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Dr Zeus, A famous redneck once said "You can't fix STUPID". < spoken with a very heavy accent and drawl..lol..

All customers pay the bill's, but some clients need management to keep as clients. Think outside the box, or in this case outside of the car amp..lol...

PS If you tamper with the internals to control gain they will just return the amp saying it does not play as loud as it use to, and they will still be asking for a warranty on your time and efforts. Read the PM I sent you, both Perry and I have similar ideas

Last edited by 1moreamp; 25th February 2011 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Addendum
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Old 26th February 2011, 02:26 AM   #5
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If they find it necessary to crank the gains you should maybe try to talk them into a larger amp. One that can produce the power they seem to crave.

Then there is the conversation about how it takes power to make power...

Last edited by Deadly Sones; 26th February 2011 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 26th February 2011, 02:39 AM   #6
Dr Zeus is offline Dr Zeus  United States
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Quote:
If they find it necessary to crank the gains you should maybe try to talk them into a larger amp. One that can produce the power they seem to crave.
The amp I speak of is a Kicker ZR2500.1D - They dont get much bigger than that! Even the big ones fall hard. Actually I think the smaller amps can take more clipping abuse as they dont tend to blow speakers as badly as a clipping BIG amp.
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Old 26th February 2011, 02:52 AM   #7
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Awww... nice lil amp... maybe a better enclosure design? Just my Being "loud" has a lot to do with the enclosure the subs are in...

Is their power supply/reserve up to snuff to power an amplifier that size? I'm quite familiar with large amps... I own an Atomic 7K for my daily setup and actively compete in the Canadian DbDrag circuit.

2500 watts is usually enough for most people, lol. Maybe your customer needs one of these...
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File Type: jpg IMG_3067.JPG (768.6 KB, 91 views)

Last edited by Deadly Sones; 26th February 2011 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 26th February 2011, 03:24 AM   #8
Dr Zeus is offline Dr Zeus  United States
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whoops sorry I was mistaken. The amp that just died from abuse was a Rockford Power T5002 amplifier. Not the Kicker. I've just been looking at too many things.

Wow that box is terrible. Just terrible. I wonder how it sounds though.
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Old 26th February 2011, 03:40 AM   #9
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You could always replace his gains with the appropriate resistive load and tell him he blew the gains too.
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Old 26th February 2011, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Zeus View Post
whoops sorry I was mistaken. The amp that just died from abuse was a Rockford Power T5002 amplifier. Not the Kicker. I've just been looking at too many things.

Wow that box is terrible. Just terrible. I wonder how it sounds though.
gee thanks, lol... maybe they do need something a little larger. I can see how fixing the same amp over and over can get frustrating, lol.

As for my box its great on music and extremely efficient. I use it for bass race 149.9 class (playin music for 30 sec). It does 151.7 @ 44hz, and 146db @ 31hz in the back of our family minivan (daily driver). I can assure you it is VERY musical... I'm not one of them burp guys with boxes tuned into the 50hz and up stuff, lol. I love my music.

As already mentioned... if you really wanna cut back the gain... could you not just use a different potentiometer (gain pot) with a "safer" top range? I've never personally tried, but if they are use to their distorted version of "loud" the only real way to fix it is a better designed enclosure (more efficient), more cone area or power...

Good luck.

Last edited by Deadly Sones; 26th February 2011 at 11:29 AM.
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