Home » Audio » Pro Sound » I need help! A real amp challenge….
I need help! A real amp challenge…. [message #27484] Thu, 04 October 2007 23:24 Go to next message
Tony is currently offline  Tony
Messages: 12
Registered: May 2009
I have a Crate GX-212+ combo amplifier that I bought in 1996. In about 2000, lightning struck my house and did something to the amp. A guitar cable was connected to the amp’s input, with the other end not connected to anything and lying on the hardwood/concrete floor in the basement. I figure the current must’ve entered through the guitar cable, since I saw burn marks on the disconnected end’s tip and that the area of hardwood flooring underneath it was basically damaged (Dad was pissed!)

Prior to the lightning strike, the amp was flawless and awesome. But since then, here’s how the amp is thru now:
– When powered on and guitar connected, the amp is ALWAYS stuck in the distortion channel. The distortion is not that heavy, probably where the distortion level was when lightning struck.
- Pushing the channel switch/button does nothing.
- Not sure if the clean channel works or not, since it won’t switch out of the distortion channel.
- The increase of actual volume level is limited at ‘2’ even though I can still turn the knob up to the ‘10’-mark.
- All other controls (e.g., EQ, reverb, shape) still seem to work fine.
- I removed and inspected the circuit board and found NO burn marks, exploded capacitors, or anything that would be considered obviously broken or damaged.

For a long time, I did nothing about this, but after remembering how much I really enjoyed the amp, I would like to fix it somehow before I take it to a repair shop (the diagnostic fee itself may not be worth the repair).

Based on this description, is it obvious to anyone where the issue lies or what I can do to fix the (1) channel switch and (2) volume limiting issues?

Any help or ideas are appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Re: I need help! A real amp challenge…. [message #27498 is a reply to message #27484] Sat, 13 October 2007 20:36 Go to previous message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17269
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Nearby lightning strikes are really a killer. Your case was worst-case: An open input. Best case is to have inputs shorted, but yours being open allowed the full potential of induced current to make the voltage across the input extremely high. As such, I would expect all solid state devices to be bad, and capacitors may also have arced internally.

If this is a rare amplifier or has sentimental attachment, then you might have a shop go through it for you. But if not, you may find it's not cost-effective to repair. Might be less expensive to buy a new amp of the same kind.

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