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Amp Crackle
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Old 11th April 2005, 06:40 AM   #1
DoubleWammy is offline DoubleWammy  United States
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Location: Ohio
Default Amp Crackle

I have a 120 watt crate amp. it recently started making crackle noises, and producing mass ammounts of fuzz when played with distortion. i have tried numerous chords, and guitars and the problem is still present. What should i do ?
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Old 11th April 2005, 12:20 PM   #2
tom daghdha is offline tom daghdha  United Kingdom
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Does it crackle when you more the input jack, adjust a pot, or just when it's sat alone without you changing it?
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Old 12th April 2005, 04:59 AM   #3
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Location: Lansing, Michigan
Answer Tom's questions. Also, try probing every jack on it with a plug a couple times just to wake up the contact surfaces. A common problem is effects loop jack contacts. When you are NOT using the loop, there are contacts inside that carry the signal past them. Dirty contacts, crummy sound. Take a spare cord and plug one end into the effects send and the other end right back into the effects return. If it restores the sound, the return jack needs service. This will not harm the amp in any way.

Beyond all that, plug the guitar into the effects return or better yet the power amp in jack. Does the noise stop? If so, then the power amp is clean. You can also run a cord from the preamp out or effects send to another amp. If the noise is present int h eother amp, then the preamp is the source of the noise.

And it is always helpful when asking for assistance to tell us what model amp you have. My binders full of crate amplifier schematics take up a foot of shelf, plus the CD ROM ful of more. Narrow it down from the hundreds of choices, if you would.
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Old 22nd April 2005, 07:53 PM   #4
thedoctor is offline thedoctor  United States
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: So. Illinois
Default Crate crackle

I love it! Crate Crackle! Should be a breakfast cereal! Your problem is the common Crate speaker/headphone jack issue. The power to the speaker jack is interupted by the headphone jack when you plug in a headphone. These little pieces of crap need to be taken out or bypassed unless you use headphones on a regular basis. I have made many Crate owners quite happy when they bring their "not-repairable" amps in and get them back for a $20.00 repair bill. Marshall has the same problem on their low-end amps. While you are playing, plug a headphone into and then unplug a few times. You will find it changes the "crackle" each time you do. Now send me $20.00!
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Old 23rd April 2005, 02:51 AM   #5
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Location: Lansing, Michigan
Crate, Marshall, or anyone else using the normals inside the jacks to carry the signal are prone to this. In Crate amps I look to the efects loop first, but phones jack is certainly way up the kist on head that have them.

The CLiff style jacks Crate uses are easy to serviec though. I have a small burnisher (it is a GC 9337) that fits in the slot the contact lives in - about 1/8". Lift the contact and insert the burnisher, then release the contact onto it. Stroke the burnisher a couple times to polish the contact surfaces and like a miracle the jack is saved. They almost never come back after that. If they wwon't clean up in the first place, then we replace, but if it cleans, it usually stays working.

ANother favorite failure in Crates is the solder cracking on the large cement resistors.
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