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stevedenney

Spider Iv 75 - Volume "sputtering" Fluctuations

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I'm just wondering if anyone else has run into a similar issue. I bought my Spider IV 75 + Shortboard FBV MkII about 11 months ago, and I like it very much. But I've noticed a problem developing over the last few months. At some point during a gig, the volume will start fluctuating rapidly - I can only describe it as a "sputtering" sound, almost like it's cutting in and out. It started doing this a few months ago, and seems to be happening more often - at least once if not more often a night. I'm fairly certain it's the amp itself, as I've swapped guitars, patch cords, the Cat 5 cable for the shortboard, and even run without the shortboard connected, but still the problem occurs. I've also done a factory reset, and checked the master volume pot - as best I can tell, it's not scratchy or physically damaged. This occurs on a number of different patches, so not limited to a particular tone. I'm speculating at this point, but it almost seems as if it might be a flaky solder joint or other component that gets intermittent once warmed up. Any other suggestions to try from Line 6 land before I haul the amp into a service center?  Thanks in advance.

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i think you got a problem for the techs to solve, unless you can get schematics and functional description and know a little about electronics.

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Hi toneman,

 

Yep, I think you're right. I do know a bit about electronics (enough to be dangerous), but with the amp under warranty, the service center is probably my smartest option. Just wondering if anyone else had experienced a similar problem - didn't want to overlook any possible easy fixes. Thanks.

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Hi Guys,

 

Just purchased a Spider Valve 112 mk2 and came across this post. Like previous posts I love this amp however, whilst not exactly the same issue as stevedenney, I too am experiencing a bit of an issue with the master volume. On gig and rehearsal levels there's no problems - channel volume at 12 o'clock, master at 10 o'clock, its when I use the amp at home at lower volumes the niggles begin. Still with channel volume at 12 o'clock and bringing the master up from zero, I get a couple of dead spots on the master volume round the 7 o'clock mark. The only way I've found to circumnavigate this is to dial the channel volume back and then bring the master volume up beyond these 'dead spots'. 

So I guess my question would be that does it warrant a trip to a service center for a replacement pot, as I'm assuming that this pot is no different to any other carbon/conductive plastic track type of pot and the issue I'm experiencing is not down to some weird interaction between channel and master volumes. Thanks

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If your amp is under warranty, definitely get it to a service center for evaluation.  The problem is unlikely to fix itself!

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Just returning to my post to put in a follow up. I did indeed have to get the main board replaced. So far the problem has not recurred. 

 

RickySamosa, I would agree with fflbrgst's advice. Try a factory reset, and make sure you're running the latest firmware on both amp and shortboard (if you have one). If your problem continues, get thee to a service center, as it's not likely to resolve itself. The master volume pot is the only "analog" control on the amp (I think), and it may be something as simple a flaky pot or solder joint. Good luck.

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I'm having the exact same issue as the original post with my Spider IV 75 cutting out. Did this problem ever get resolved? If so, was was the fix?

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esands, long story short, the problem turned out to be the shortboard. More specifically, the volume pedal on the shortboard. My playing style depends heavily on volume pedal usage, for attack swells and rapid volume changes while accompanying, and frankly, the pedal on the shortboard just isn't made for heavy usage. I wound up buying a heavy-duty Boss expression pedal, and connecting it to the expression jack on the board, so now I use that for volume control, using the built-in shortboard pedal only for occasional wah or other effects. That eliminated the intermittent "sputtering" problem. This took forever to diagnose; after the main board replacement mentioned above, the problem reoccured, and Line 6 was nice enough to swap me a whole new amp - which behaved the same way, so finally we focused on the shortboard. It was deceiving because (as I wrote way, way above) at one time the problem occurred without the shortboard connected - I'm speculating this may have been a second, distinct issue which was corrected with the new main board, but the original issue with the shortboard remained. In any event, using the external volume pedal fixed the problem. Unfortunately, it introduced a new problem, in which the shortboard occasionally gets confused and loses connectivity to the external pedal (suddenly, mid-song, the green shortboard pedal LED lights up and we jump to full volume). I have to unplug and re-plug the expression cable to make it work again. This doesn't happen frequently, but often enough to be annoying. Honestly, after 5 years with my Spider, I'm pretty disappointed with it for live gig usage. It's light, portable, and versatile, and sounds good when it behaves, but just isn't reliable enough for onstage. 

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stevedenney, thank you so much for the reply! This is very helpful in my troubleshooting of the issue I'm experiencing. I have the FBV Express MkII foot-board that connects via ethernet cable to the Spider IV amp. As part of my troubleshooting, I disconnected the foot-board to see if the issue still persists and unfortunately, even with the foot-board removed I get the intermittent volume/sputtering problem. 

 

Here are all the things I've tried to fix the issue:

- New instrument cable

- Removed foot-board

- Reset amp to factory defaults

- Made sure firmware was up-to-date

- Tried different guitars

- Tried different patches and amp models

- Tried different volume and gain levels

- Ordered and installed a new Input PCB Assembly

- Checked all circuit-board connections 

- Tried new power cable

- Tried different power outlets

 

None of the troubleshooting options above helped.

 

Again, the issue I'm having is that after a few minutes of playing after turning on the amp, the sound cuts out and drops. If I play the guitar heavily, the sound sputters and is very distorted. Sometimes the sound will return to normal volume but then it will intermittently cut-out again.

 

Also, when I plug headphones into the back of the amp, I still get the volume/sputtering problem. 

 

I'm wondering if this is a problem with one of the motherboards on the amp that might need to be replaced. Any other thoughts before I take it in to a Line 6 service center?

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esands, sounds like you've been methodical and thorough in troubleshooting. If it were me, I'd definitely take the amp AND the board to a service center. Even though you tested without the board and still have the problem, you may have multiple issues and the board could still be contributing to the overall problems (based on my personal experience). Let them test the combo as a set, since that's how you use it. My $0.02 for what it's worth.

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my POD HD300 just working on, but the sound like "down signal" in 20 - 30 minute. after that the sound is normal. it becomes a problem every time I'll be used.

the question is why be that?

anybody help me, please.

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itmamyzd, since your question is about a completely different problem with a completely different piece of equipment, you might want to create a new post for it instead of using this thread. Good luck. :)

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Thank you all for the responses and advise. At this point, I will take the amp in to a Line 6 service center to get it diagnosed. Will provide an update once I get it fixed. 

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Hello Esands

Malta calling here....  I am experiencing the exact problem and symptoms with my set up and am very interested yo know the ''Source of fault and the 'Corrective measure' taken to rectify your problems.

 

I am an engineer so i do understand a level of technology, however with electronics this is somewhat virtual to diagnose. The bigger issue is that Malta is a small island, and although there is a LINE 6 agent, they would not have Line 6 trained techy's and the number of units on the island is low for repair experiences.

 

So.... my set up is .... Spyder IV 120W + FBV shortboard connected by Cat5 & J45's + Ibanez guitar + Brian May Treble Booster. I have been using this set up for the best of 5 years without a hitch. I have implemented most of the corrections that you listed, namely: 

 

- New instrument cable

- Removed foot-board

- Reset amp to factory defaults

- Made sure firmware was up-to-date

- Tried different guitars

- Tried different patches and amp models

- Tried different volume and gain levels.

 

There is one action you did not mention. I opened the FBV shortboard and cleaned the white round reflector placed on end of the 'Plunger under foot-board'. This is the one that regulates the height above the 2 electronic eyes on the circuit board. I suspected that some oil or dirt could have effected the interaction of white round reflector. Note: the oil came from a little lubricant i put in the screws seating the footpedal to the unit.

 

The incidence of  intermittent volume/sputtering originally started after a period of warming up but came and went on its own accord. Just no rule to it.

After all the actions , it has somewhat reduced but have to admit it does still happen.

 

CAN YOU LET ME KNOW OF A PERMANENT FIX THAT YOU HAVE IMPLEMENTED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE.

Thanks & regards from Malta

 

Matthew Joslin

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClWeMjPyvDkdpgNxPgmn7fQ

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Matthew, you can scroll up to see my reply to esands back on Aug 28, 2018. The problem was resolved when I went to using a heavy-duty external expression pedal for volume control instead of the pedal on the shortboard. But that introduced a new intermittent problem with loss of connection to the external pedal, as I described above. Sorry to say that I ultimately gave up on the Spider combo, and replaced it with a Quilter amp and custom-built pedalboard instead. I simply couldn't rely on the Spider for live performances. Best of luck to you, I hope you have a better experience.

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