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jackjenney

Spider Valve MkII HD100 switching channels randomly

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I had a recent problem with my Spider Valve MkII HD100 head - it would randomly switch channels for no reason.  I removed the shortboard and took all my effects out of the effects loop and the problem still occurred - about every10 seconds it would switch channels a couple times.

 

I spent some time searching/reading forums to see if anyone was reporting similar problems.  I saw two things

  1. Thermal problems with the HD100 MkI
  2. Someone suggested that if you play loud, sometimes the vibrations can cause the amp to think you are moving the knobs - suggested turning all the knobs to zero.

I decided to take the amp apart and inspect it.  Nothing seemed obviously wrong, but I hoped that disconnecting and reconnecting all the cables to the digital section might magically fix the problem.

 

No such luck.  Problem still existed.

 

I decided to turn all the knobs to their zero position - I wasn't playing loud, but had nothing else to try.

 

BINGO!  Turning all the knobs to zero and the problem went away.  I played for about 20 minutes with no phantom switching - previously it would switch every 10 seconds.

 

A little more investigation, and I noticed that when I moved the Drive or Bass knob, the channel would switch.  Looks like some cross talk between the first three knobs  (first 3 knobs are Channel, Drive, Bass - in that order).  None of the other knobs cause any problems.

 

So now the amp is usable - although I am a little hesitant to use it in a gig.  It still doesn't work right, but I don't actually use the Drive and Bass knobs much if  at all.

 

QUESTION #1 - anyone seen phantom channel switching like this?

 

QUESTION #2 - anyone got any suggestions for how to fix the problem I have with the Drive and Bass knobs causing channel switching?

 

Note: I bought another HD100 amp so I can play gigs.  I had to buy it used since they don't make new ones anymore.  Huge bummer because I think this is a fantastic sounding amp - and great for me since I play in a cover band and I need a versatile amp.

 

QUESTION #3 - if they don't make the HD100 anymore, what is the replacement in the Line6 product line?

 

Jack

 

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I've heard of the knobs getting the jitters before but not the physical switching like you describe.

 

As far as fixing the knob issue the cheapest easiest thing I can think of would be a small shot of Deoxit into the potentiometers themselves and then work them a bit by hand after. I should mention the old thing about tube amps packing enough wallop (electricity) even when unplugged, to kill a person so know what you're doing or take it to a pro.

 

I own the HD 100 mkii and as far as I know they made extra DSP chips for them so they are still somewhat "serviceable" should something go awry with them.

 

Conversely the HD 100 doesn't. Therefore I always thought it might be an okay idea to buy a plastic Marshall vent grill for the top and install it right over the 4 6L6's.

 

That way all the heat leaves the head quickly and dissipates upwards leaving everywhere else cool. Now people will say "Well tube amps are meant to get hot".

 

Well that is true but real full blown tube amps don't have finicky digital preamp chips in them that have proven time and time again to be extremely susceptible to excess heat.

 

They (the vent)  can be had online for about 15-20 bucks from what I recall. Then I'd say just take a drill and jigsaw to the top to cut the perfect slot.

 

I mentioned this a few years ago on here somewhere. Just my two cents, for an amp that basically is toast if that chip goes, so I thought an ounce of prevention might make it last many many years longer.

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