#1
Hey all, so my bass player has an old Peavey BAM 210 350 Watt solid state amp. I've found from researching that this, at one point, was a fairly high end, good amp. My bass player got this amp a year or so ago for an absolute steal. The amp was used...very used...it was dirty and extremely beat up, but it worked and was a good upgrade from his little 15 watt practice amp. He uses a spector bass.

My band plays hard rock, we have a pretty heavy-handed drummer, and we have 2 guitar players: me with my Peavey 6505+ 112 60 Watt tube combo, and the other guitar player with his Peavey Valveking 112 50 Watt tube combo.

Now, a year later, the bass amp has gone through hell a 2nd time an is now more beat up than before. However, its performance now has seemingly gotten worse.

The amp seems to be getting quieter and losing its power and when we push the volume louder the amp's clipping warning indicator is constantly lit up and the sound is very dirty. So, the volume of the amp can still get quite high, but only when we push it to clipping like crazy, which sounds awful.

Also, the amps tone is very poor, reguardless of volume. It's very dirty with almost a rattling sound, and we have tried all sorts of EQing.

Lastly, the left speaker (which is the 2nd speaker in the parallel chain) moves much more than the right speaker when pushed. Both are moving, but the left one moves much more.

I've removed the speakers and inspected them, they are certainly older, but do not have any obvious damage/rips etc.

What could be causing these issues?

Could the volume issue be attributed to anything in particular, or have we just accidentally increased our band volume and left our bassist behind?(this may be possible, but we all seem to remember the bass amp being quite loud a year ago without clipping so much). Could the old speakers cause this?

Could the old speakers also cause the tone and clipping issues?

Thanks so much for any help!
Check out my hard rock band!! Lying Awake!!
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Gear:
Epiphone 1998 Les Paul Custom
Boss GT-10 Multi-effects
Peavey 6505+ 112 60W Combo w/ Celestion G12-K100
#2
Could be a lot of things at that age and use, best to take it to a tech and have it serviced (like a 50 year old persons physical and colonoscopy :P)

maybe get it re tolexed or truck bed liner and paint to give it some life back.
#3
If it was dirty on the outside it's probably going to be almost just as bad on the inside. Soak the thing in a bathtub full of contact cleaner.
But really, take it to a tech and have it serviced. All sorts of stuff can go wrong with old amps, especially ones that have been mistreated like your bass players. It could just need a good clean or it could have cracked solder joints and god knows what else.
As for the speaker I'm no expert but I daresay a replacement or re-cone might be in order there. Or it could be that the wiring has been damaged due to it's previous owners poor treatment.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#4
Quote by consecutive e
If it was dirty on the outside it's probably going to be almost just as bad on the inside. Soak the thing in a bathtub full of contact cleaner.


Yup my Mark IV head I got was brownish tan, and the inside had more spider webs, dust, and dead insects than I thought possible. Cleaned it all up and it's tolex is back to jet black, chrome rust free and insides clean. Runs perfect, just need to clean a few pots.

Peavey amps are generally solid, and a good cleaning and once over by a competent tech, or friend could help tremendously.
#5
If your speakers are moving at different rates then there is definately something wrong with one of them.
If your output stage is clipping your speakers won't like the square waves.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#6
Thanks for your answers guys. Unfortunately, this amp isn't coated in tolex, its a carpeted outer cover, which is ripping and fraying in a couple spots. I did find that the piece where the wires solder to the speaker's + and - terminals had come loose. Infact, upon further testing we found that when it came loose and hung down, the electric signal from the wires would occasionally arc to the frame of the speaker, creating sparks. We firmly and securely re-attached the part to the correct spot on the speaker, so that is not an issue anymore. But the amp did not improve once we fixed this. The inside of the amp was dirty, but not obscenely so: some bugs, some spider webs, and dust, but nothing too major. We found that one of the wires leading from the amplifer itself to one of the speakers had a small knick in it, but it was not too deep, only exposing a small bit of copper wire. But all other wires around it are shielded and the only surface it can touch is wooden, so that can't be arcing anywhere, I dont think that is a problem???

Could a re-cone fix our problem or will we probably just need new speakers in general? Is this amp just too far gone to spend time/money on? Or is it worth repairing? Because my bassist certainly doesn't have $600-1000 to buy a replacement/comparable new amp.

Also, what do you mean by "If your output stage is clipping your speakers won't like the square waves." ? I don't know a whole lot about amps/sound.

Thanks again so much for any help guys!!
Check out my hard rock band!! Lying Awake!!
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Thank You!

Gear:
Epiphone 1998 Les Paul Custom
Boss GT-10 Multi-effects
Peavey 6505+ 112 60W Combo w/ Celestion G12-K100
#7
Also, what do you mean by "If your output stage is clipping your speakers won't like the square waves." ? I don't know a whole lot about amps/sound.


When a signal clips, it acquires similar attributes to a square wave, which isn't a healthy sound for a speaker to be trying to reproduce.
#8
Quote by Ziphoblat
When a signal clips, it acquires similar attributes to a square wave, which isn't a healthy sound for a speaker to be trying to reproduce.


Gotcha. So does anyone have any clue why it seems like the signal is clipping at so much lower a level than it was before?

Does this seem possible, or is it in my head?
Check out my hard rock band!! Lying Awake!!
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Thank You!

Gear:
Epiphone 1998 Les Paul Custom
Boss GT-10 Multi-effects
Peavey 6505+ 112 60W Combo w/ Celestion G12-K100
#9
Well, it's a tricky one. Firstly, does it sound like it's clipping, or is the amp actually warning that it's clipping? If it's the first, I'd suspect it could be the speakers. If a clip light is actually lighting up, all I can think to suggest is that either there's something faulty with the amp (loose solder or something, not sure if that could have that effect). Alternatively, I'm guessing your bassists Spector is active. Has he only recently started using the onboard EQ, and has he always used an active bass?
#10
Quote by Ziphoblat
Well, it's a tricky one. Firstly, does it sound like it's clipping, or is the amp actually warning that it's clipping? If it's the first, I'd suspect it could be the speakers. If a clip light is actually lighting up, all I can think to suggest is that either there's something faulty with the amp (loose solder or something, not sure if that could have that effect). Alternatively, I'm guessing your bassists Spector is active. Has he only recently started using the onboard EQ, and has he always used an active bass?


The amp is signaling that it is clipping. His bass is active, he has always used the onboard EQ (he does not use any pedals at all, just bass -> input of amp), and he has always used an active bass with this amp.
Check out my hard rock band!! Lying Awake!!
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Gear:
Epiphone 1998 Les Paul Custom
Boss GT-10 Multi-effects
Peavey 6505+ 112 60W Combo w/ Celestion G12-K100
#11
Quote by Slimjim5792
The amp is signaling that it is clipping. His bass is active, he has always used the onboard EQ (he does not use any pedals at all, just bass -> input of amp), and he has always used an active bass with this amp.


Unless there is a possibility that you're just imagining it, I'd definitely suggest a trip to an amp tech (or a new amp).
#12
Quote by Ziphoblat
Unless there is a possibility that you're just imagining it, I'd definitely suggest a trip to an amp tech (or a new amp).

Just ask yourself why anyone who is experiencing so much trouble with their gear hasn't yet visited an elecronic engineer.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#13
For the ratty carpet, just rip that stuff off it just gets grosser and grosser. Get a can or bucket of roll on bed liner, primer, etc and your amp will be finished strong and durable and not a fuzzy turd. Sand, prime, guard (maybe paint it a color other than black over top after guard layer has cured.

Go to a tech, it sucks, but just like a car or appliance, spending a little dough to get an answer or fix is cheaper than tinkering/destroying your amp and needing new speakers or amp or a major part like the trannys.

Also you sound like you have no clue what you are doing, and as soon as you see arcing sparks, it's time for a professional. Health Risk!
#14
Quote by Ziphoblat
When a signal clips, it acquires similar attributes to a square wave, which isn't a healthy sound for a speaker to be trying to reproduce.


Actually not true. The speaker doesn't care about square waves.

Quote by billfitzmaurice
No, it won't. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but physics aren't swayed by opinion, and square waves do not blow drivers.
Current Gear:

Warwick Thumb BO 4
Musicman "StatusRay" Stingray 4 - Carbon Fibre Neck
Musicman Stingray 5 HH
Sadowsky MV4 Jazz

Markbass LittleMark II
AccuGroove Tri12l
Sansamp VT Bass
Line6 BassPodXT Live

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#15
Quote by Killerfridge
Actually not true. The speaker doesn't care about square waves.


Really?
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#16
I'm confused? isn't half of rock music based on square waves? hot power tubes, fuzz pedals etc?
#17
Quote by askrere
I'm confused? isn't half of rock music based on square waves? hot power tubes, fuzz pedals etc?


It's only extremely high frequency content that can allegedly do the damage, the majority of which is lost through a signal chain involving lots of pedals, analogue effects, etc.

As for whether or not it can cause damage, I guess it's very up in the air. I've heard decent arguments for either case from reputable people. I certainly believe that there's a possibility to do damage with square shaped waves where tweeters are involved.
#18
is it like cigarettes over time damage or like being shot damage? I assume it's more of a silent killer if it's theoretical
#19
Quote by John Swift
Really?


Not as far as the drivers are concerned, at least as far as I am aware. Feel free to educate me if I am wrong.
Current Gear:

Warwick Thumb BO 4
Musicman "StatusRay" Stingray 4 - Carbon Fibre Neck
Musicman Stingray 5 HH
Sadowsky MV4 Jazz

Markbass LittleMark II
AccuGroove Tri12l
Sansamp VT Bass
Line6 BassPodXT Live

CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
#20
Quote by askrere
For the ratty carpet, just rip that stuff off it just gets grosser and grosser. Get a can or bucket of roll on bed liner, primer, etc and your amp will be finished strong and durable and not a fuzzy turd. Sand, prime, guard (maybe paint it a color other than black over top after guard layer has cured.

Go to a tech, it sucks, but just like a car or appliance, spending a little dough to get an answer or fix is cheaper than tinkering/destroying your amp and needing new speakers or amp or a major part like the trannys.

Also you sound like you have no clue what you are doing, and as soon as you see arcing sparks, it's time for a professional. Health Risk!


Removing the carpeting sounds like a good idea, we will probably do that, although we'd love the amp to sound great before we make it look great haha.

I talked with my bassist the other day and we had the idea to bring the amp to a guitar center and trying out some cabs with it to see how big an impact is made with different speakers before taking it to a tech. If it sounds great then we may just buy the cab without repairing the amp in an effort to save money, improve his sound, and allow flexibility with his rig down the road. Does that make any sense/is a good idea?

We did fix the arcing problem, the rivot holding the speakers' terminal to its frame broke, so we threaded the hole where the rivot was and used a screw instead, which we sured up with some 4000 pound epoxy dribbled down into the threads before tightening it down. So thats never moving again, and the arcing stopped. So were safe there thankfully.


Quote by Ziphoblat
Unless there is a possibility that you're just imagining it, I'd definitely suggest a trip to an amp tech (or a new amp).


Sometimes I think that we could be imagining it, but then I remember that this amp is 500 watts at 2 ohms and 350 Watts at 4 ohms (which is what its running at). Which, unless I'm mistaken, should be pretty damn loud without needing to clip and overdrive the speakers. So something must be wrong, or my hearing must have gotten really really bad for 350 watts pushed to the edge of overdriving to not sound loud to me.

I think a service is definately what I need to do then.

Thanks again so much for all your help guys! Any more opinions or info is really appriciated.
Check out my hard rock band!! Lying Awake!!
Facebook
Soundcloud
UG
Thank You!

Gear:
Epiphone 1998 Les Paul Custom
Boss GT-10 Multi-effects
Peavey 6505+ 112 60W Combo w/ Celestion G12-K100
#21
If you find out it is the speakers, Rip the head out and make it into a standalone head and get a 4 ohm cab or a couple 8 ohms.
#22
Everything apart from the speaker could be caused by a dead battery in the bass, Has he changed the battery?

As for your speaker issue, It's possible only the speaker moving is actually working, it's just air pressure acting on the second speaker making it move. Though the effect would be lessened by the porting.
Gear:
Washburn RB2500 (5 String)
Yamaha BB400 Fretless (1981)
Carlo Giordano 3/4 Upright (White)
Cort Action 4 (Stereo-fied)
Orange Bass Terror 500
Orange 1x15 Cab
Boss GT-6 Bass Multi-effects
#23
Quote by askrere
I'm confused? isn't half of rock music based on square waves? hot power tubes, fuzz pedals etc?

The overdirve/fuzz tones come from the preamp stage (the little valves/tubes) and reach the output/power stage (big valves/tubes) as a pure signal even though they may sound distorted.
When/if the output stage goes square wave then your speakers are likely to suffer.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#24
I thought the SVT tone was power tubes fully saturated pounding a fridge?