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bassbluestew

Tonehammer 500 issues

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Just purchased an Aggie 500 tonehammer which I love. However the mute switch is extremely noisy when activated. It's a really loud click, so loud you'd never use it live, if at all thus making it useless. I emailed Aguilar and got a very quick response telling me this was normal as " it's the sound of the signal going to the output stage". I have queried this as I have never had a noisy mute on any amp before, and I'm pretty sure the one I tried in the shop had a quiet mute ( I was in an isolated booth and not on the shop floor so I would have noticed this I think.
I have emailed Aggie again re-explaining the sound and my concerns, just incase I hadn't explained it clearly before.
Any one else have this issue???
I'll keep you posted??
S

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Thanks chaps, it's always been silent on any amp I have previously used, my soon to be sold (maybe) EA iAmp600 is silent when I mute to use it's built in sexy Sabine tuner!!
Have had a second email from Marco which makes me think it might not be normal. He needs to speak to his tech guys today ( they must have already left by the time ge fit my mails - good of him to redoing right away rather than wait )
Any other Tonehammer users ??? It sounds absolutely fantastic in the house even at low volume, it's a big full proper bass sound btw which is why this is so annoying. We are looking at potentially the perfect lil amp !!
I am doing a small local acoustic session tonight which I'm competing against 4 very strummy acoustic guitarists, never easy to cut through that at sensible volume, then proper 9 piece gigs over the weekend so I'll report back fully apart that.
S

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Silent on my amp...as is the mute on my Tuner when routed through the amp.

Got to say, a click would rather defeat the object for me...

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[quote name='JTUK' post='1357138' date='Aug 31 2011, 08:04 AM']Silent on my amp...as is the mute on my Tuner when routed through the amp.

Got to say, a click would rather defeat the object for me...[/quote]

Thanks for that JTUK, my point exactly. Who is going to want a noisy mute switch, you just wouldnt use it.
Have to say a big plus is the quick response from Marco.
S

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[quote name='bassbluestew' post='1357206' date='Aug 31 2011, 09:47 AM']Thanks for that JTUK, my point exactly. Who is going to want a noisy mute switch, you just wouldnt use it.
Have to say a big plus is the quick response from Marco.
S[/quote]

Hmm. Seems like a bit of an oversight I agree. Hopefully there is a quick and easy mod that can be done to rectify the problem.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' post='1357367' date='Aug 31 2011, 12:03 PM']Hmm. Seems like a bit of an oversight I agree. Hopefully there is a quick and easy mod that can be done to rectify the problem.[/quote]

It'll probably be something daft like sticking a capacitor wired across the switch so it takes the 'thump' as the switch contacts connect.

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Still no word from Aguilar, tried the one in the shop again today and lo and behold it does indeed have a little click, gomma ask out American cousins what they think too.

Any Tonehammer users had this experience ?
S

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Here's a reply I got fron Aguilar, oh and I used the amp for the first time in anger last night.
Played at a local session with FOUR guitarists thrashing away for all they were worth -2 acoustic, 2 electric. The amp was fantastic. Just used one cab (db112) and managed to get a great sound that cut through this rabble and still stayed nice and warm. The mute switch became less of an issue in the real world environment as it was barely if at all noticeable, and I bet only ever by me in any case.
I'm dead chuffed with the sound, it really is a huge sound and a one trip load in. Amp was in pocket on my gigbag, cables,strap, tuner etc in another pocket. So with gig bag on my back, cab in one hand, bass stand in the other, I was sorted. The cabs ain't mega light but they are an easy one hand lift even for a decrepit, arthritic old fogey like me. You could manage one in each hand, but I wouldn't want to walk too far - car to venue would be ok - like that.
Oh nearly forgot, hers Daves reply,

Hi Stewart,

Thanks for contacting me. The click that you hear is the connection to the power section being switched off. It won't get any louder when you turn up your amp. Also, it doesn't go through the D.I. output, you don't have to worry about it going through the P.A. system. I understand that this click bothers you, but it shouldn't present any practical problem or create any damage.
Please let  me know if this is helpful, and how I can assist you further.

Best Regards,

Dave Boonshoft

Now for those of a more electrical bent than me, does that figure out ok??? Or am I being fed a line, cynic that I am???
Thanks troops
S

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I have to say Aguilar have been really fast at replying to this, and looking at Talkbass it seems I'm not alone.
I have my first proper band gig very soon and looking forward to cranking both cabs up and letting rip. If the sound Im getting at the mo are any indication, its going to be fan - blooming - tastic.
Cant wait !!
S

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This reminds me of my old Ashdown ABM head.
A big plus for me was it had a mute. Not only did it click when engaged it never actually muted either. It would attenuate the signal quite a bit but it would never 100% silence my bass. Even at home levels i noticed this.
Ashdown seemed to think this was normal when questioned.

Never again.

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Quick update for anyone interested.

Havent heard back from Aguilar despite asking a few questions in my last email a few days back. I'd like to think they are busy little bees sourcing answers and not as my cynical self thinks just hoping I'll go away.

Having used the amp in anger now it sounds fantastic. Played in a large bar last night with FOUR, count 'em, FOUR guitarists all thrashing away in unison. Two acoustics and two electrics. Quite a challenge to cut through THAT din without just blowing them away, which would have been very,very easy. With some judicious knob twiddling I was very quickly able to get a nice clean warm sound that cutthrough but at a reasonable volume. A result. Looking forward to using it in a full 9 piece soul band next week.
S

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[quote name='dave_bass5' post='1360144' date='Sep 2 2011, 05:18 PM']This reminds me of my old Ashdown ABM head.
A big plus for me was it had a mute. Not only did it click when engaged it never actually muted either. It would attenuate the signal quite a bit but it would never 100% silence my bass. Even at home levels i noticed this.
Ashdown seemed to think this was normal when questioned.

Never again.[/quote]

Every ABM I have tried (I'm guessing around 10-15 from gigs/rehearsals) has had a similar mute. I attributed it to be a design feature rather than a fault, though I do wonder why a mute button that is not acutally a mute would be a useful design feature. So it joined the the VU meter and the subharmonic generator in the list of Ashdown features I don't really see the point of! Decent amps though.

Nothing beats my old Trace Elliot mute though, does make any click whatsoever and has a nice clear red LED to let me know when it is engaged. Of course it only works about 60% of the time.

So in my experience, having an amp that has a working mute would be great, click or no click!

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Im a good half a dozen gigs in with my tonehammer 500 now and loving it. I havent noticed any noise from the mute switch and Im usually a picky bugger (although my better half recons Im going deaf). Ive tried it at relatively restrained volumes with PA support and at more telling volume including a couple of outdoor gigs without PA support, Great bit of kit, loving it.

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Cheers waveydavey that's good to know. Could you do me a favour and use the amp the next ti
E you are doing some quiet home practises in ( I assume )a quiet environment and tell me if you get a click. There definitely seems to be a number of owners who say it is completely silent and a number of others who say it's not. ! I'd like to nail it one way or t'other. If everyone's is noisy then I guess I'll have to learn to live with it ( a small compromise for THAT sound I suppose ) BUT if only some are clicky then that's a whole new can of worms. Dave B was adamant that the noise would only come via the speaker and not the DI. If that's the case, why, and how did they get it not coming through the DI, some form of mod ? . Couldn't they do the same to the main speaker out then ??
I know it seems a little thing but I just shelled out £1400 and I was expecting to be over the moon, not making compromises.

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After a quiet practice I can confirm that my Tonehammer500 has a slight click when engaging the mute. None of the controls make any difference to the sound (including the Master) Click is only evident when engaging the mute, not when switching back to working again. Interestingly I haven't noticed this when Ive used it gigging- so it would suggest the click level is constant. Ive had gear with far noisier mute switches- EA and Ashdown spring to mind. Ill check it out when I'm next going through a PA to see if the click is audible through the DI- I havent noticed it at all at gigs but now I know its there so I will check. Still the finest sounding amp Ive owned

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Ok, time to eat humble pie.

Used it live in real anger on Sat and it was amazing. The mute click was completely un-noticeable in the live environment - and I was really trying to hear it. I can also confirm it doesn't come out of the DI.

So how does it sound ??
Bloody fantastic actually. The two little DB112's really push it out, the variable sounds from this head are amazing, it really will do Motown warmth or hi fi clinical and pretty much everything in between. The guys in the band who well remember my Mesa Boogie 400+ and its sprung flight case just simply could not believe the sound being produced by this dinky little head.

I'm sold, completely.
I'm off to email the Daves now to grovel a bit.

S

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Posted (edited)

just bought mine.  loved the features, tone and price. perfect... or so I thought. 2nd day kept cutting power after few minutes of playing. using 1x12 8ohm cabinet. switched out cabinet all cords and bass. used -db switch. problem persisted. getting it replaced from supplier but was still very disappointed. I'll see how new one is.

Edited by Gerry b.

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That’s a shame, I’ve had 2 of the TH500s and 2 of the TH350s, never an issue with any of them. They’re not an amp that I’ve read any horror stories about so this is probably a one-off, so don’t lose confidence in them, they’re usually super reliable.

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2 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

. . . . this is probably a one-off, so don’t lose confidence in them, they’re usually super reliable.

I've had 2 and this one for about 5 years. I've never had a problem.

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