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Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 12:31 AM Reply   
My installer was tuning and I was there with him. He adjusted the amps then thought we could get a little more by adjusting the internal auxillary gain on the WS-240. He first switched the led color from blue to red then started turning the L and R gain up a little and the interior speakers and sub that's running off an Alpine 5 channel shutoff and then REV 10 tower speakers which are powered by an ARC 600.2 shutoff. He turned the gain back to the factory setting on the WS-240 and slowly turned the volume back up. Still no music from the interior speakers but there was some from the tower speakers but it sounded like garbage and was distorted. So what the hell happened? Did both of my amps just get fried by barely turning the internal gain up on the ws-240?
Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 1:57 AM Reply   
Edit: I mean the ws-420 not 240 -_-
Old    Tim (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       06-18-2014, 4:37 AM Reply   
Is your installer an audio shop or just a buddy that has hooked up a car stereo before?
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-18-2014, 5:47 AM Reply   
Although turning up and setting the amp gain first, then turning up the EQ is somewhat reversed, I just dont see this blowing both amps. What was the battery voltage when this happened? Has any of the gear been tested independently of the boat and other gear?
Old    Eric Scott (phillywakeboarder)      Join Date: Sep 2008       06-18-2014, 6:44 AM Reply   
Is the 5 channel amp an Alpine MRX V70? I've run that amp for about 5 years and I really like it but it'll shut down (the light will stay on, but it won't send signal) in a heartbeat if you push it without really solid power and ground connections with appropriate wire or if you have the gains set even a tiny bit too high. My ground wire was just a tad loose because of a stripped set screw in my terminal connection and it drove me nuts for a few months until I figured it out. Mine always came right back on though after I shut the system down and restarted it. Obviously, make sure you check out the two fuses in the amp.
Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 7:05 AM Reply   
Tim this is an audio shop. The interior speakers are still getting nothing from the Alpine and both fuses are good in the amp. The tower speakers either get really distorted music through them or just start going nuts and making static sounds so I have to turn the boat off for it to stop. Battery volts are good and everything seems fine. No burnt smell or anything like that. Honestly just turned the AUX gain adjustment a quarter turn up and BAM everything is haywire now.
Old    Danny Pacini (dp513)      Join Date: Jul 2011       06-18-2014, 7:09 AM Reply   
Do you have a head unit as well? Or just the eq. I had a similar problem in my truck. Nothing to do with tuning but my speakers would randomly start getting static and go crazy making popping noises. Would have to turn truck off. It turned out to be a bad head unit.
Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 8:36 AM Reply   
The factory head unit is still there and my power is tapped into it. It is a little strange when I first turn the boat on I have to scroll through the head unit till I come to the auxillary source for the music to start going through the equalizer.
Old    John K (jk13)      Join Date: Aug 2012       06-18-2014, 9:03 AM Reply   
Odd that two amps from two different manufacturers would display the same symptoms at the same time. More likely that something may have happened inside the 420.

Try a different test input source to the amps and see if they work--iPod to RCA or HU direct.
Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 9:48 AM Reply   
I pulled the fuse going to the 420 and ran the RCAs back to the factory head unit and same problem. Distortion from the ARC powered speakers and nothing from the Alpine powered speakers.
Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       06-18-2014, 10:06 AM Reply   
swap the tower and inboat RCAs on the back of the 420... if that switches things then you know it's the 420
Old    John K (jk13)      Join Date: Aug 2012       06-18-2014, 10:11 AM Reply   
Okay, outside chance but I'd still do the iPod to RCA check direct to the amps. Maybe changing the gain on the 420 changed it's input resistance (or the pot shorted) momentarily and took out the HU. Just like amps and speakers, there are input and output resistance ranges for RCA signal. Usually pretty universal, but things can happen.

If the amps work from there you can hook the 420 back up and try a different input there as a check for the EQ.
Old    David (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       06-18-2014, 10:21 AM Reply   
I still wonder if this is a voltage based issue where you have a corroded ground cable concealed inside the outer jacket or something else of this type.
It might be quicker to start with the first or last active electronic component in the audio path and totally take it out of the environment with a bench check. Different speaker, power supply & cables and input. Work through a sequential and systematic process to isolate and identify....and make quick work of this.
Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 10:39 AM Reply   
Right now I'm more irritated than anything. The amps are toast and I can't wrap my head around why. Using my iphone it has a low voltage output but no problem since the 420 has a built in line driver with the AUX gain adjustment inside right? Wrong. Barely adjusted the thing and pop there goes money down the drain. If me and the installer did something wrong please tell me so I don't make the same mistake again. All amps were dialed in but we could crank the gain up and volume to max and the REV10s wanted more because they weren't coming close to distorting so we figured low volume coming from the iphone so we popped the cover, turned the internal gain adjustments a quarter of a turn and now all hell broke lose. Talked to other stereo shops they all are saying we fried the input on the amps but why did this happen? Isn't that what the gain adjustments are for?

Last edited by Spence680; 06-18-2014 at 10:42 AM.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-18-2014, 10:51 AM Reply   
Here's what you do to check. Eliminate the 420 out of the setup for now. Hook it straight up to the head unit again, or even just take a 3.5mm to rca adapter and plug it into your phone, play the music straight from your phone to the amp. If you get audio, your amps are fine and there is something in the sq that got screwed up.
Isolate the problem by removing variables. Since you were adding and tuning the 420, take that out first.
Old    David (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       06-18-2014, 10:56 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spence680 View Post
Right now I'm more irritated than anything. The amps are toast and I can't wrap my head around why. Using my iphone it has a low voltage output but no problem since the 420 has a built in line driver with the AUX gain adjustment inside right? Wrong. Barely adjusted the thing and pop there goes money down the drain. If me and the installer did something wrong please tell me so I don't make the same mistake again. All amps were dialed in but we could crank the gain up and volume to max and the REV10s wanted more because they weren't coming close to distorting so we figured low volume coming from the iphone so we popped the cover, turned the internal gain adjustments a quarter of a turn and now all hell broke lose. Talked to other stereo shops they all are saying we fried the input on the amps but why did this happen? Isn't that what the gain adjustments are for?
Sure, you could fry the inputs of the amplifiers with straight DC but not likely with an audio signal at any gain level that the source or EQ could produce. I'm not going to speculate how DC could be applied to the amplifier inputs nor do I believe that is the case. You still haven't done enough in my opinion to arrive at a firm diagnosis. Confirm EXACTLY what is inoperable outside of the boat environment and EXACTLY what is damaged and then maybe go looking for the possible cause so you don't repeat it.
Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 12:01 PM Reply   
I hooked an RCA to 3.5mm to both of my amps and they played perfect. So looks like they might be ok. I then hooked them back to the 420. Seems like one of the inputs may be damaged on the 420. It played for a second then went back to the same problem with no sound from the alpine and distortion from the ARC. It must throw my amps into some timed out protect mode because I hooked my phone back to the amps and same problem as if it was hooked to the 420. I've sat here for 10 minutes with the power off to the amps and they still won't play like they did when I first came outside. Weird.
Old    David (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       06-18-2014, 12:13 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spence680 View Post
I hooked an RCA to 3.5mm to both of my amps and they played perfect. So looks like they might be ok. I then hooked them back to the 420. Seems like one of the inputs may be damaged on the 420. It played for a second then went back to the same problem with no sound from the alpine and distortion from the ARC. It must throw my amps into some timed out protect mode because I hooked my phone back to the amps and same problem as if it was hooked to the 420. I've sat here for 10 minutes with the power off to the amps and they still won't play like they did when I first came outside. Weird.
One of the input pots on the 420 might be damaged. If so, it may or may not impact the alternate input. It's worth a try.
You seem to be having some intermittent behavior from your amplifiers. If the amplifiers are improperly grounded they could seek a ground path from the above-ground shield which is connected to the next audio component upstream and finally referencing back the HU. That would mean that a DC voltage could be present on the amplifier input ground which could definitely flip out the amplifiers. This would not necessarily occur with a battery operated ipod/iphone that is isolated from the boat's DC system. Still have to get back to some hard diagnosis and there may not be any shortcuts other than isolated bench testing.
Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 2:39 PM Reply   
Ok here's one theory I have. Could my battery that all of my amps run off of be going bad? Here's my symptoms.

1. After asking for more gain it started throwing fits.

2. If I turn all power off then turn back on with my RCAs plugged directly into the amp and to my phone it will play then kind of fizzle out and get distorted then stop completely on the ARC amp.

3. This morning when I first went out and tried running straight to the amps with my phone both amps played great then once I hooked the 420 back it went back to the same problem and eventually had no sound but just some static and popping coming through the speakers and now even going back to just running my phone straight to the amps I get the fizzled out sound from the ARC amp and nothing from the alpine where as first thing this morning after the boat sat all night I was able to play both amps just fine off my phone.. So it's kind of like the battery built up a little juice overnight so it gave me power this morning then I drained it again after playing around with the stereo.
Old    Tim (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       06-18-2014, 2:43 PM Reply   
Have you checked the voltage of your battery?
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-18-2014, 2:55 PM Reply   
More importantly, have you checked the battery with a load tester?
Hook it up to a trickle charger overnight and see if it works in the morning. If you have a high amp battery charger handy (for jump starting) you can hook that up to the battery and leave it running and test it immediately. At the very least, even if you don't know if the battery is the problem or not, you will be able to tell if your problem is not enough power or something else.
Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       06-18-2014, 2:59 PM Reply   
Better question, why didn't you drop your boat off at the installer and let him find out why you are having problems...

If everything was working fine before and you introduced a new component into the mix, it is only rational that it is either a faulty component or human error on the install.
Old    David (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       06-18-2014, 3:35 PM Reply   
You've got to have a cheap multimeter ($15 to $20) so you can put an end to this wasteful speculation and get to some real defining facts.
It's important to check the voltage directly across the battery terminals. But it's also important to check the voltage across the primary terminals of your audio equipment as the voltage may be very different. Also, a multimeter presents no load so a bad connection and a resulting voltage differential may not show up without a load (the equipment being 'On' pushing some output).
The battery may present a decent surface charge but the voltage might drop like a rock with some load in just a few seconds of play. That would be an indication of a bad battery.
You really can't do any meaningful diagnostics without good voltage. 12.0 volts would be a rock bottom minimum.
Old    Spencer (Spence680)      Join Date: Apr 2014       06-18-2014, 7:49 PM Reply   
Hooked my battery tender to the battery and let it charge for about half an hour. Hooked everything back up and works flawless. So the battery is the problem. Now how exactly do I test with a volt meter to check if the battery is good and just needed a charge or that I need a whole new battery? Turn the stereo on and test with the volt meter to see if it drops off fast?
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-18-2014, 8:15 PM Reply   
A volt meter can tell you if the battery is able to reach a full charge and hold it after the surface charge is knocked off with a few minutes of light load. If the battery cant even get to a full charge, taking some age ans use into account, no need to load test.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       06-19-2014, 7:30 AM Reply   
Wow, if your installer couldn't do that simple troubleshooting, I sure as hell wouldn't trust his tuning ability.

Checking voltage and trying a different source would have been the first two things I did...about 10 minutes of troubleshooting tops.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-19-2014, 2:16 PM Reply   
^+1 on trusting your installer if he can't even check to see if the battery is charged.

^^That would be a good first test, but I would either take the battery into autozone or someplace and see if they can put a load tester on it, or even buy one yourself. They will be able to tell if they are good or bad. Since you aren't cranking with these, it's not as critical and the voltage test with the multimeter should be sufficient enough.

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