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Mute Coming on by itself on Promethean Clone - Harley Benton BA5110C

short circuit? easy fix? sell me a new amp then

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#1 Dave Vader

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:00 AM

Some of you may remember the craze about 5 years ago for Ibanez promethean clone amps.
I bought one, I'm very fond of it, and it's served me well these last 5 years.

However, in the last week the mute switch has started to turn itself on randomly for as long as it wants.
I took it apart and cleaned it out with servisol the first time it happened and it seemed to come back. But it happened again at rehearsal last night. It has coincided with me starting to use a behringer BDI in front of it for more EQ as well, but I can't see how that would make a difference.
I have seen in the manual that sticking a footswitch in should disable the mute switch - which is all I really want to do at this stage, am going to put a spare jack plug (nothing on it) in the footswitch socket for now.
My question is, is this fixable? Can I permanently disable the mute (never use it anyway) or should I be glad that a very cheap amp lasted me 5 years, cut my losses and buy a new one?

Any help much appreciated (or offers of old indestructible 300 odd watt amp heads like Trace, Hartke, Peavey etc for not too much money)
:)

#2 MoonBassAlpha

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:33 PM

Are you sure it is the mute switch operating, not the amp going into thermal shutdown, especially if you are eq-in more bass in to it? Just a thought...
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#3 wateroftyne

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:43 PM

View PostMoonBassAlpha, on 11 January 2017 - 03:33 PM, said:

Are you sure it is the mute switch operating, not the amp going into thermal shutdown, especially if you are eq-in more bass in to it? Just a thought...

^^ my thoughts also.
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#4 Dave Vader

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 04:09 PM

The red light comes on above the mute switch, which made me think it was that. It didn't feel terribly hot either, but it's certainly an option, will run it without the EQ for a few rehearsals (am borrowing a Peavey for gigs from a mate).

Didn't think it was clever enough to do a thermal shutdown. I do hope that's what it is though.
I'm certainly not going to use it as an excuse to buy a Hartke HA3500 that I saw on ebay and really want now....

#5 Ghost_Bass

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 05:15 PM

Only way to know for sure is to take it appart, check the PCB for any signs of oxidation that may cause short circuits near the mute area and replace the mute switch for a new one.

If you want to troubleshoot the system before buying a new switch you can remove it from the PCB, find out witch tracks are connected when it's disengaged and do a temporary link with a bit of wire. If it still mutes at will then the problem isn't with the switch. If it doesn't come on again for a period then get a new switch.


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#6 neepheid

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:26 PM

It's started happening on my RedSub 5110 combo (basically the same thing as yours but a different badge and red speaker cone). I think the fault is the headphone jack. Next time it happens, try plugging something in the headphone socket then remove it - on mine the light goes out and the mute comes off right away. I have a 1/2" > 3.5mm adaptor permanently in the Aux in socket so when it happens for me, I just reach over and use that to clear the muting.

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#7 neepheid

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 02:16 PM

View PostDave Vader, on 11 January 2017 - 09:00 AM, said:

Some of you may remember the craze about 5 years ago for Ibanez promethean clone amps.

Did you try to see if the headphone jack was involved in the problem? Would be keen to get a confirmation from someone who appears to have the same issue as me :)

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#8 Dave Vader

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:24 PM

I found a Hartke 3500 for 140 quid in a pawn shop in Exeter. I got over excited and bought it.
Haven't tried the HB out since, will try it again at some point though.
Sorry neep.

Was all primed to try the headphone trick though.

#9 neepheid

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 12:24 AM

View PostDave Vader, on 17 January 2017 - 04:24 PM, said:

I found a Hartke 3500 for 140 quid in a pawn shop in Exeter. I got over excited and bought it.
Haven't tried the HB out since, will try it again at some point though.
Sorry neep.

Was all primed to try the headphone trick though.

No worries. My first proper amp was a 3500 - good amps those.

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#10 Dave Vader

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 12:44 PM

Took it back to practice last night, fired it up, mute on.
After a few goes at sticking a plug in and out on the headphones it came back - then stayed on all night.
Think you might be on to something Neepheid.
Ta.
:)

#11 neepheid

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 11:41 AM

View PostDave Vader, on 01 February 2017 - 12:44 PM, said:

Took it back to practice last night, fired it up, mute on.
After a few goes at sticking a plug in and out on the headphones it came back - then stayed on all night.
Think you might be on to something Neepheid.
Ta.
:)

Nice one, thanks for checking. I think I'll look into replacing that headphone socket, it looks like a standard PCB mount switching jack socket and it's on a handy wee daughterboard (see bottom right of pic below) so assuming there's some adherence to standards then it should be a straight swap.

My guess and hope is that the sprung contact(s) which are supposed to be connected when there's nothing plugged into the socket have partially failed, hence why the action of plugging something in there then removing it remakes the connection for a while, until presumably vibration eventually resurfaces the fault.

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