Have a second Soundstream Reference 500 not working that has internal differences - diyAudio
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Old 13th October 2011, 01:48 AM   #1
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Default Have a second Soundstream Reference 500 not working that has internal differences

So I took a look at another Reference 500 I have that is down as well and it's got some differences inside. This one is burnt up where the LSE.Q dial comes into the board and is labeled VR303. Also D110 & D111 are also burnt.
Click the image to open in full size.

I have no idea what these blue things are called but as you can see in the photos they have different values on them between the two amps. Also one has some resistors to the left of the VR303 (looks like R206 and R306)and the other doesn't.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Also R113-R118 are totally different between the two.
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Click the image to open in full size.

Is it odd to see these differences or is this really no big deal?
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Old 13th October 2011, 02:33 AM   #2
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The differences are insignificant.

The potentiometer VR303 is likely OK. It likely got covered in soot when R125 failed.

The missing resistors are normal.
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Old 13th October 2011, 02:34 AM   #3
JLH is offline JLH  United States
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Just slight changes between production runs. Have you owned these from when they were new? If not, the previous owner must have abused the crap out of these. I've never seen the LSE potentiometers burned up like that.
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Old 13th October 2011, 02:53 AM   #4
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I've got (4) Reference 500. I am the original owner of (2). One works perfectly. The other has a problem with output out of the right channel. It's not totally dead but it's very faint.

The two I've posted photos of are ones I picked up years ago. Although I think this one with the burn marks on the pot blew up under my watch. The one with all the burnt up resistors and FETs was like that when I got it for free.

I've also got (3) Ref 300, (1) Ref 705, (1) Ref 160S, and (2) Ref 200s. These all work fine.

I've only had issues with the 500. They have always been run at 2ohms mono switched to High Power but they are supposed to be safe at that load.

I'm hoping the one with only the right output being almost nil is an easy fix. I've been out of the car audio game for a good 6-7 years. Have a teenage boy who just got his first car and wants tunes so it's lit the fire again. So I want to put these to use in the 3 vehicles we have.

Was going to send these in to Wade Stewart for repairs but something went south on that according to the DIYMA site so I decided I'd try to fix these myself. Been trying to understand as much as I can from the info on BCAE. I literally just started down this road yesterday. I really should have done a lot more reading and learning before I started posting here but it's hard when there seems to be so much willing assistance and knowledge here.
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Old 13th October 2011, 11:22 AM   #5
azvrt is offline azvrt  Netherlands
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If you wish I can forward you the schematics of your Ref 500.
Please post some pictures of the board, from less close.
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Old 13th October 2011, 05:29 PM   #6
JLH is offline JLH  United States
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2 ohm mono is not recommended in high power mode. Even if the manual shows that it can be used that way you shouldn't run these amps like that. This is Soundstream's fault for stating it can be run like that and why the company didn't survive due to too many warranty claims. The main indicator that it shouldn't be ran at 2 ohm mono is it doesn't make any more power as you drop from 4 ohm mono to 2 ohm mono. This basically tells you the power supply is all tapped out. When you are in 2 ohm mono, each channel is only seeing 1 ohm, this is too low for high power mode. Switch to high current mode anytime a channel will see anything below 2 ohms. This would include 2 ohm mono. The amps will be so much more reliable if you use high current mode in the way I describe.
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Old 13th October 2011, 05:38 PM   #7
azvrt is offline azvrt  Netherlands
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We currently use a Ref 300 at 2 ohms mono in high power mode, no problems whatsoever, the amplifier doesn't even get hot.

But I do agree that low impedances caused many problems including the demise of the company. Some of their Class A models can be run at 1/2 ohms mono (1/4 ohms stereo !) but I would never, ever do that. 2 ohms mono is the lowest I go and I agree, at this impedance people should try high current mode first. If it's powerful enough, leave it that way. However, on some of the later models one cannot choose between these modes as there was the automatic switch.
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Old 15th October 2011, 12:06 AM   #8
JLH is offline JLH  United States
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If the amp isn't getting hot, then you are not using the available power from the high power mode. I would go ahead and switch it to high current mode to make it easier on the amp since you don't appear to need all that power anyway.
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Old 15th October 2011, 04:52 AM   #9
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I've read a few times in various Soundstream repair posts about the switches having reliability issues. What are you guys using as a good replacement switch?
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Old 15th October 2011, 04:55 AM   #10
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eBay My World - jandrelectronix

Contact this seller. He sells the OEM parts.
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