Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SVS Sledge replacement amplifier ordered

I noticed a couple weeks ago that the pilot light on my SVS PB 13 Ultra subwoofer was not on.  I tried turning off and on (I couldn't see which was which bending over the top of the sub, so I tried both).  I also tried flipping the Auto switch.  Nothing happened.  Tracing the cord back through living room snarl was difficult so I didn't check the plug.  Or the fuse.  I vowed to do that ASAP.  But meanwhile, much other stuff was being done, such as fixing security camera DVR, setting up the new video doorbell (took all daytime Friday to finish the job).  And setting up the new pile of components, which I HAD to set up before the party on Sunday, because the RDV-1 needed to be moved off the coffee table, I wanted to put a second FM tuner online, and finally try the extra Sonos box I got from ebay.  Best not to clear stuff out of the living room which ultimately belongs in the living room, I thought.  Better set up the stuff now, which had been waiting the better part of the month of April to get done.  And I did really enjoy getting the second FM tuner online (for now, a Yamaha TX-1000 until I get the KT 6040 eq reset) and listening to KRTU, the local college Jazz station.

It wasn't until the last Saturday in April that I finally got around to better testing.  I unplugged the plug, removed the fuse with a screwdriver (surprised at how much easier this was than the hours I spent to get the Parasound fuse cover off…but not that it was loose or anything, the SVS was just right), and saw the fuse was blown.  I pulled out a Parasound HCA-1000A fuse (did I tell that story, of how I recently ended up with 8 of those fuses trying to get one, because the first Radio Shack store didn't have any in stock, but then I ordered some AND went to another store) which seemed to be the same 6.3A, and plugged in and turned on again.  There was a pop and the second fuse blew.  It was all black.

So this time I traced back the cord, which runs through an orange extension to the Belkin AVU1500.  Well that might not have been a good way to power, but it did work for years.  But for testing I disconnected the plug from the extension and plugged into the closest AC outlet.  I disconnected the input cord.  I turned on the amp then turned on the AC power from a wall switch.  The lights dimmed for a split second, there was a pop, and I blew the third fuse.

At work on Monday I scanned my email to determine that I bought my first SVS PB13 in May of 2008.  I assumed (incorrectly) that there was a 5 year warranty (actually it is 3) but even with 5 years, I would not be covered, unless this was actually my second PB13 (which is still over 3 years old).

I emailed SVS customer support about the blown fuses, asking about repairing the amp, and did it need slow blow fuse.  They emailed back that they did not repair the BASH amps, but would give me $200 off the $599 price of the new Sledge amp.  I wasn't sure I liked that idea, and I read about the possibility of replacing a burned thermistor (but my fuse blowing was likely not merely a burned thermistor) in the PB13 Bash amp.  But also people talking about the Sledge.  At least one person said Sledge sounded better.  Then I looked for pictures, and found this article showing the old and new PB13 amplifiers.  The SVS owner himself says the new Sledge amps are more reliable as well as being better sounding.  They look better made, too, FWIW, though it's hard to tell exactly, since in the new amp the power supply apparently is contained in a big box.  Some online speculated the new amps were cheaper, but it doesn't appear that way FWIW.

By this time I was deciding to get the amp, and I asked for discount code (as SVS suggested) and they gave it to me and I bought the Sledge amp on Tuesday night.  Considering what I spend on other stuff, $399 is not a lot to restore--and actually improve on--what used to be a kind of state of the art sub performance (with one plug, as I use it, PB13 is good on music).  I hope this Sledge amp is more reliable.

After I discovered the non-functioning sub a couple weeks ago, I tried to set the Behringer DCX2496 to play both channels in the other sub.  I could not figure out how to do that without reloading one of the presets.  So I've just been enjoying one channel of bass, but it was well balanced and nothing off center was noted.  I was also thinking of finally hooking up the RDV-1 and did in fact hook it up to the Tact (oops, it has to be hooked to the Behringer, best done with a 110 ohm to 75 ohm converter as I got with the Lavry, but couldn't find two weeks ago).  Then the Behringer gets hooked to the Tact.  But, going full range on the Acoustats, I *could* hook straight to the Tact.  I am tempted.

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