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Guest Jecklin

amplifiers without fans

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Guest Jecklin

And so it goes....

I'm on the hunt for an amplifier head again for use with my bassoon and bass guitar and it must not have a fan due to the acoustic environments I perform in.

I don't need mega power - I'm still deliberating over a Phil Jones briefcase or double4 or markbass micro mark, but I think a separate head would allow me more flexibility.

I know acoustic image heads don't have fans, but they are well out of my price range.


Any suggestions or pointers gladly received. Also if anyone has successfully added a cut off switch to a fan in an amp I'd like to hear about that.

Cheers
Thomas

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If you don't use mega power, the variable-speed cooling fan in the G-K MB200 doesn't come on at all unless you're really pushing the amp. It will operate slowly (and quietly) if necessary, getting faster in proportion to the heat generated by the amp. I had one for a while and never had the fan come on even once, and I wasn't exactly going out of my way to play quietly.

They sound great too, and are a bargain.

Edited by discreet

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Guest Jecklin

That is a great pointer thank you discreet.

All my amps of old had fans on constantly which is fine until that sound is louder than a quietvsection of music :)

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I've got an old (1993) SWR SM400 that hasn't got a fan, nor have a lot of the early Trace Elliott kit. If you don't mind a bit of weight then I'd have a look at something like these.

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[quote name='Jecklin' timestamp='1419945310' post='2644158']
That is a great pointer thank you discreet.
All my amps of old had fans on constantly which is fine until that sound is louder than a quietvsection of music :)
[/quote]

You're welcome - I wouldn't recommend the G-K MB500 Fusion, however - a fantastic amp in every way, except that when the fan kicks in it sounds like a 737 about to take off... :)

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Also, unless you're looking at the AI gear, I wouldn't recommend [i]any [/i]amp without a fan - too high a risk of failure, imho.

Edited by discreet

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'owner switchable' fans are not a good idea - the chances of forgetting the thing is off simply begs for trouble, imo..........

:)

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[quote name='Low End Bee' timestamp='1419946530' post='2644179']
I saw the title and thought it was another Ashdown thread...
[/quote]

Ha! I thought it was a TC thread... :P ;)

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1419945645' post='2644167']
Also, unless you're looking at the AI gear, I wouldn't recommend [i]any [/i]amp without a fan - too high a risk of failure, imho.
[/quote]

It just means that the amp will need to be built better, IMO..and that is against a lot of companies remit and pricepoint.
The early SWR's didn't have fans and were designed and very capable of running very hot. My amp tech says that
is because the build and componets are so good... military spec he called it.. but then they weren't cheap new.
so I'd be on the look out for an old SM400 or even SM220 for lower power output.
Bollocking amps still to this day, IMO and can be had for a steal...
I can't think of a better bargain out there tbh...and not THAT heavy at around 15-18lbs..

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[quote name='Low End Bee' timestamp='1419946530' post='2644179']
I saw the title and thought it was another Ashdown thread....
[/quote]

I've got an old Ashdown Mag200 2x10 combo that I used to use until I upgraded. I always loved the sound off it and it's now being used as the amp for my electronic drums we use for rehearsals. Never let me down and has a great bottom end.a really warm sound. I bought a Hartke 2x10 combo after that and what a horrible sound from it. No real low end at all and tinny as hell.

Sorry to go off on a tangent there

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I seem to remember the Genz Benz Shuttle 3 not having a fan - it was 300W.

They 600W and 900W versions do have fans.

That being said, I play in similar environments as the OP and most of the time I use my little Roland Bass Cube 30. No fan, no transformer hum, no hiss. It's a brilliant little thing.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1419951236' post='2644245']
It just means that the amp will need to be built better, IMO..and that is against a lot of companies remit and pricepoint.
The early SWR's didn't have fans and were designed and very capable of running very hot. My amp tech says that
is because the build and componets are so good... military spec he called it.. but then they weren't cheap new.
so I'd be on the look out for an old SM400 or even SM220 for lower power output.
Bollocking amps still to this day, IMO and can be had for a steal...
I can't think of a better bargain out there tbh...and not THAT heavy at around 15-18lbs..
[/quote]

True - I paid £250 for mine from this very boutique. Love it. :gas:

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Most noisy fans can be replaced with quiet ones too, which is exactly what I've done with my Orange Terror Bass.

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Guest Jecklin

Some good pointers here.

I would have a preference to nofan at all so an old swr sm202 sounds like an interesting option, but my need is beginning to develop an urgency so I might just commit to a gk mb200, although I'd like to hear one in the flesh first.

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Guest Jecklin

Just had a peek on eBay at sm220 amps.
Fairly optimistic pricing from the sellers.

A modern head is the way to go I think. :)

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[quote name='Jecklin' timestamp='1420028881' post='2644957']
Just had a peek on eBay at sm220 amps.
Fairly optimistic pricing from the sellers.

A modern head is the way to go I think. :)
[/quote]

Saw one SM220 at £220 ish and the other over £300... which is quite a nice surprise for me if I ever decide
to sell my 400.
The issue with fans or no fans is that the amp has to be built very well to run that hot..and SWR run VERY hot, IME..
so the inference is that they are very very good amps.
Mine hasn't missed a beat for nearly 25 yrs..except it being knocked to the ground under power which didn't do it much good..
but it was an easy and cheap fix to someone who knew what they were doing.
At £250...which is what I've seen them go for here.. they are a fab amp and a pure classic, IMO.. so maybe ppl are
now realising this and hence the prices..??

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ive had alot of amps but even ones with loud fans like the Aguilar db750 or ampeg svt pro 8 never were so loud that as soon as anyone was playing the noise couldnt be heard.

and more and more amps have the heat sensitive fans now so only come on when needed.

andy

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Guest Jecklin

Sadly Westwood the sort if music I'm involved with is quiet contemporary classical where acoustic instruments are playing very quietly and there are sections if silence.

The small combos I mentioned would all be adequate volume wise, but I'd like the versatility a modular set up would allow.

Cheers
Thomas

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It's been a while but I'm sure my Gallien Krueger 800RB had huge heatsinks on the back in lieu of a fan. As opposed to the 700 and 1001RBs which have a fan on the top for some reason :blink:

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Don't know if they're out of your price range, but I've never heard the fan on a MarkBass (I even checked to see if it was working).

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And now I'm going to get all complicated with an idea that will make you say "Yeah, I'm not going to do that, Dude.", again...

I have an old PC hard drive caddy (it's actually a tray that sits inside the PC case) with a thermostat and fans built into it. It was cheap and works well, I just don't need it anymore. This year I am finally going to get around to finishing my pedalboard, including building the power supply myself. And I am going to include the large heatsink and thermostat in the PSU, but with larger fans. I've designed the PSU in such a way that the thermostat will probably never, ever kick in, but it will have a nice little display and by making the heatsink a feature of the case, it will look cool, too.

I have been trying to decide whether to try to find a fanless, lower powered, power amp for my music room because the one I currently have has two very noisy fans in it, on constantly. So now, thanks to this thread, I am thinking of either buying another one of those caddies or trying to build my own adjustable thermostat and build it into the power amp (there is plenty of room in there). Also, someone already made the very good suggestion of changing the fans to quiet running ones. Most amps use standard PC sized fans, so they are easy to get and fit, not expensive and some of them have pretty lights in them! So I will replace the two in my power amp and the one in my main bass amp (Peavey T-Max 500) with quiet ones (and maybe with lights in, too...).

You can get fan controllers, but I really think that a set and forget thermostat would be the safer option.

Just for added safety and confidence, you could also have a look inside the amp to see if any of the components that should be attached to heatsinks, such as transistors, in fact are. You can buy little clip on ones and they make a huge difference.

Get your DIY on, Dude!

Edited by KingBollock

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[quote name='Jecklin' timestamp='1419944010' post='2644144']
And so it goes....

I'm on the hunt for an amplifier head again for use with my bassoon and bass guitar and it must not have a fan due to the acoustic environments I perform in.

I don't need mega power - I'm still deliberating over a Phil Jones briefcase or double4 or markbass micro mark, but I think a separate head would allow me more flexibility.

I know acoustic image heads don't have fans, but they are well out of my price range.


Any suggestions or pointers gladly received. Also if anyone has successfully added a cut off switch to a fan in an amp I'd like to hear about that.
[/quote]

There are zillions of used old heavy fanless amp heads that you can get for cheap. In the US Peavey or older G-Ks would be the default suggestions. Something like a MKIII or MKIV Peavey would have two preamp channels, which might be handy in your situation?

Edited by Passinwind

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[quote name='taunton-hobbit' timestamp='1419946168' post='2644177']
'owner switchable' fans are not a good idea - the chances of forgetting the thing is off simply begs for trouble, imo..........

:)
[/quote]

this! the fan is switchable on my power amp (demeter minnie 800d) and it went all weird and super nasty (awful distortion) on me at one gig until i realised the fan switch had been knocked, been fine ever since

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