Ashdown Electric BLue 180 crossover distortion - diyAudio
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Old 6th March 2013, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default Ashdown Electric BLue 180 crossover distortion

I have an Ashdown bass amp and when played at low volumes you cna hear what sounds like crossover distortion where the power transistors are not biased correctly. There is no trimmer pot on the power amp board. How can I sort this out?

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Last edited by DubHertz; 6th March 2013 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 7th March 2013, 12:29 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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That description also fits a rubbing voice coil on a speaker. Does the amp still sound this way through a different speaker cab?


If it is the amp, you want to verify what the problem is before changing the bias circuit. You need to scope it to see if it is crossover and not some other distortion. You need to verify the power supplies are both up to the same voltage and free of ripple. You also would want to check the signal leaving the preamp to see that it is clean.

Bias would be adjusted my making the R25/R17 variable. I see the note "back of board" by R25, which leads me to wonder if it was a factory add-on to tweak bias already.
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Old 7th March 2013, 08:43 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply Enzo. I already tried a different cab, that was my initial thought that the speaker was no good. I will check the power rails and put a scope on various points tonight and report back.

I checked the underside of the PCb for bad solder joints yesterday and I don't remember seeing any resistors on the underside, but it was late so I will check again.

One other thing TR15 that says "On Heatsink" was actually sitting about 3mm away from the heatsink there was some heat transfer paste between the transistor and heatsink but it would not have an ideal transfer path.
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Old 7th March 2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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Checked psu rails and it all appears to be fine +- 61V. and +-15 on the preamp board is fine. I have an old valve oscilloscope with incredibly bad pots so scope measurements are difficult but the signal coming out of the preamp section looks like a nice clean sinewave.

I connected the DI out and the Tuner/Line out to a mxing desk and the signal is clean. You can see some anomalies on the attached scope traces.

Sorry about the poor quality, I will try to get access to a decent scope this weekend

[img=http://s11.postimage.org/osnsacxsj/20130307_214907.jpg]
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[img=http://s9.postimage.org/iqnlgsjv3/20130307_214832.jpg]
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Old 20th October 2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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Hi, did you get to the bottom of this? Mine is doing exactly the same. The distortion isn't particularly noticeable once you turn the volume up, but I only use it for home practice and it's really bugging me.
If the solution is replacing components, I'm ok with "replace R7/C4/TR12" type instructions but don't know what I'm looking at otherwise and I'm certainly not going anywhere near it to measure components whilst it's live!
Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 21st October 2013, 07:54 AM   #6
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R25 (marked as 'on back of PCB') is the adjustment for the bias - the lower you make it, the higher the bias.
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Old 1st November 2013, 12:50 AM   #7
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Agree and add: you might place a 10Kpot in its place, set it to 10K value (max), **carefully** lower it while monitoring voltage across , say, R20 until you get some 10mV across it.
If you used a regular pot hanging from wires, turn amp off, desolder pot carefully without turning it, measure its resistance off-circuit, and get closest standard value resistor , then you solder it in the place marked R25.
If you used a preset pot and mounted it well , leave it there if you wish.
That's what the Factory *should* have used to begin with.
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Old 1st November 2013, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMFahey View Post
That's what the Factory *should* have used to begin with.
I presume they don't for two reasons:

1) It's cheaper to fit a resistor than a preset.

2) It stops customer 'twiddling' it and blowing the amp.

Personally I've never designed an amp without a preset for bias, and always as part of a Vbe multiplier.
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Old 1st November 2013, 05:26 PM   #9
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Agree on both counts ... specially the second.

I have already seen posts about "tweaking it until it sounds good" and such nonsense.
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