Damaging the PowerAmp

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  • 01-24-2004, 06:16 AM
    Damaging the PowerAmp
    Last night we had a power loss all over the city and I forgot my Rotel RB 1070 PowerAmp open. Then a few minutes later the electricity was back and as you know when it comes back it comes a lot more powerful than usual for a few seconds. So, a weird noise came from my Rotel which sounded like some woods burning inside it. I was afraid because I just bought the amp. But when I listened to it, it was working quite normal. The noise continued for 40 seconds and faded away then. Now I have 3 questions:

    Could that electricity damage my amp?

    If my amp was damaged would I definitely hear a big difference in the sound or would it go little by little?

    And my amp has a protection circuit. And during those weird noises, it didn't go active. The amp opened like everything's normal. Can that circuit protect my amp from those high voltage electricity if it happens again?
  • 01-24-2004, 08:09 AM
    Electricity can damage your amplifier or any other electrical device you own. A sudden spike where the voltage is many times normal for a brief second can damage equipment. If it is damaged, usually the damage is obvious and immediate. It rarely is insidious. One exception I'm aware of are computer hard drives. Sometimes damage doesn't show up for weeks. At least that's what the people responsible for them in several companies I worked for told me. They were able to trace the event meaning the time an electrical fault caused a problem and the time the problem first showed up. Would an amplifier protect itself? That's impossible to say. It depends on the type of protection circuit built in and the nature and magnitude of the fault. You can buy a surge/spike protector for very little money. $9 at Radio Shack. It's a white nylon cylinder with a neon light inside. You plug it into the outlet and you plug your equipment into it. Some power strips have them built in. But beware. There are many very expensive so called power conditioners with little or nothing more to offer you than this but the advertising hype and scare tactics have many people shelling out big bucks for them. In this business it's buyer beware.

    BTW, if you don't hear any difference, can's smell anything that suggests that something burned in the amplifier, and operates pretty much the way you remember it, it is likely nothing happed to your amplifier.
  • 01-26-2004, 03:03 AM
    Amps has protection circuitry on the output side for difficult speakers.

    It may have a fuse protection on the power input size. May have two fuses. check for them at the back or in the manual.

    Check for all the features in your amp. Are they all working ? check all source inputs and outputs...only then will you know.

    The crackling sound may just be static discharge but that can also cause damage to components.
  • 01-26-2004, 04:55 AM
    If the amp still functions, the fuses have not blown. There may be other protective devices and circuits as well, however, they don't ALWAYS work.