yamaha stagepas 300 problems

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by Aladdin, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Aladdin

    Aladdin Guest

    Hey everyone. I use a Yamaha Stagepas 300 system for a musical theater show. We run the show every week. The system works well and fills every hall we play very well.

    Connected to the Stagepas's mixer are 3 wireless microphones and an MD player.

    The trouble we are having is that sometimes the sound just drops out. There is a small pop and then no sound at all. The mixer is still on and the LED's are showing signals to the mixers's pre-amp. The LED's on the mic tranceivers are reading a signal. Shutting off the mixer and turning it back on can solve the problem sometimes. And sometimes it just shuts off again. The unit has gone back to Yamaha to be inspected twice. They found nothing wrong with it and sent it back to us.

    Now, this is all taking place in Japan, where I live and work.

    The microphones are Maxons and the wiring is good quality Canare. We are never running the system near its limits. It is never very hot.

    I do not know what the topology of this amp is. I would assume it is a switching amp of some kind since it is very small and light. Also, we plug directly into the wall socket of the halls that we use.

    I wonder if a sagging AC current would cause this kind of problem with some amp types. The class A/B amps we used before did not have these problems. We bought the Yamahas to test them since they are lighter and easier to set up. We ship these things all over Japan by truck freight.

    Anyone have any ideas of what is going on here with this amp? Any advice or similar stories? Need some help on this one. Yamaha Japan is not being particularly nice or supportive at the moment.

    -Shawn
     
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    What you describe could easily be due to a brownout and/or the PA is overheating and the built in thermal shutdown is active. Do you have too many speakers connected or are you running lower than 4-ohms? Does the amp head get really hot? Make sure it is getting good airflow all the way around it and maybe even try to put a fan directly blowing on the on the power amp or heat sinking fins.
     
  3. Aladdin

    Aladdin Guest

    Not overheating. No Ohmage problems

    Neither of those are an issue. The Stagepas 300 comes with its own speakers. We are using those. The amp is stand-alone, on a table. It has a cooling fan and it is never hot to the touch. The one, small cooling vent is on top of the mixer-amp and is not blocked. There is nothing placed on top of the amp.

    Again, we never run it anywhere near full volume. The MD players' "idea" of unity gain is a bit funny. It is a tad lower than the Tascams we used before. So, the MD player (connected by RCA cables) is turned up a bit on the volume pot concerned with the "Line In" section. Sometimes we have it up to 80% or so. The master volume never leaves 70% (hash mark on the amp itself).

    The amp is a piece of molded plastic and metal. There are no external heat-sinks.

    -Shawn
     
  4. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    Hi Shawn.

    I have seen the Stagepass 300 and was tempted by it for a production. Things turned out differently so I did not buy one. To me it looked like a capable system in a small package. I did not really like the sound of the built-in fan in the demo unit I saw, it had probably been knocked around a bit. Probably easy to fix.

    Regardless, the box has a class D amplifier (not digital really, class D is still analog components). These can create a lot of volume in a small package as they create very little heat. I would guess it has a fairly sophisticated thermal shutdown system though to protect it. My guess is that this is what happens to the system - some part of it gets above the temperature treshold and it shuts itself down. The heat fins as I remember it are probaly only inside the unit.

    It is odd that Yamaha could not fix the problem though, it should be rather easy to fix.

    What I suggest is that you start searching for the caues:
    - shaking the box thoroughly but not violently. There might be loose components or even small pieces inside the box that shorts things out.
    - try blocking the air path (gaffa might be the way to go) to see when it turns off itself. Carefully watch what happens and compare.
    - visit an electronics shop and ask for "cold spray". You might use simple compressed air instead. Next time the machine stops, put the outlet inside the machine and swoosh it in cold air. If it starts immediately the culprit most likely is the temperature protection.

    Once you know it is the temperature protection, check things like that the fans moves freely and blows air. There might be restrictions in the air path.

    At the end of the day, my guess is that you have a faulty individual of the amp unit. I would try to use a bit of persuasion to try to get it exchanged if at all possible.

    Anyway, my two cents and a few ideas.

    Below is the Sound-on-Sound review.

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar06/articles/live_stagepas.htm

    Gunnar
     
  5. Aladdin

    Aladdin Guest

    Thanks

    Thanks for the advice. I will check those things out. As for Yamaha, they claim that they have checked out the unit for 24 hours and it is perfect. I would assume that, had they done that, they would have opened it to check for faulty/loose components. The truth is, I do not believe that they actually checked out the unit.

    This is only happening with one unit. We run about 7 stagepas 300s in different parts of the country at any given time. The other 6 have experienced no trouble.

    One of the sound people mentioned that she "kicked" a cable or power cord and the unit shut off. So, we will first replace all power cables and cords. I will then go through the sequence outlined above if that does not solve the problem. The one problem is that the boxes containing the amps don't always come back through Tokyo en route to their next destination. I can only diagnose on a day when I need the damn thing to work. Well, we will give it a go. Thanks for all the good advice!

    If anyone else has any ideas, please shout 'em out!

    -Shawn
     
  6. guitarbill

    guitarbill Guest

    Alladin, if someone kicked a cable and the unit shut off, there's a good chance they may have damaged the speaker output jack or some other jack. When jacks and controls are soldered directly to PC boards the result is a less than roady-proof unit. I would guess the problem is not your cables but a damaged or intermittant pc board. Another likey suspect is a cracked pot caused by a hit to one of the controls.

    Since you move your stuff alot I would expect that it took a hit in a sensitive area. Unless your a qualified tech I would take it to a tech for repair.

    Good luck
    gb
     
  7. Aladdin

    Aladdin Guest

    Everyone, thanks for the great advice.

    Guitarbill: The "kick" happened before we sent the units to Yamaha the first time. They said that they checked out our unit for 24 hours. It came back with a clean bill of health. They are shipped around. The amp/speakers are shipped in padded, custom-made boxes. However, I have seen Akabou and Sagawa (roughly UPS-like companies) drop the boxes on occasion. Our boxes are a bit special. They are 5-7 layers of corrugated cardboard box epoxied together and then completely wrapped in plastic tape (think: a box in a box in a box...etc.). The result is a light box that is strong enough for 3-4 people to sit or stand on. We stand on these boxes (empty) all the time. It also has good shock-absorbing capability when dropped.

    We may send it back and I will insist that they check on the Jacks and the jack-PCB connections. This actually was a problem with a different brand of amp that we used before.

    -Aladdin
     
  8. phoenix

    phoenix Guest

    Stagepas 300 problem

    Hi everyone
    I've just signed up to recording, and read about Aladdinn's problem with hes Stagepas 300 P.A. I've had the same problem on and off for eighteen months mow and its driving me crazy. We use two guitars, two mics and a C.D. player through it, sometimes it works perfectly and then when you're confidence is high, without warning the sound just cuts out conpletely. I returned it to Yamaha last November and they done a 24hr soak test and couldn't find anything wrong with it so th be on the safe side they replaced the two amp modules and the two fans, since it was returned we used it on five gigs and it worked perfectly then last Saturday it cut out twice after only five mins we managed to go on for another forty five nins(not very confidently) and it went again and again and again forcing us to take a early break, after the the break it worked alright for the rest of the evening, its fust as if someone had rulled the speaker cables out, everything else was showing normal no limiter lights and not over heating as it was only working for five mins before it failed, hoping someone can help me before I go off my head.
    Hoping with anticipation

    Phoenix
     
  9. phoenix

    phoenix Guest

    Stagepas 300 problem

    Hi everyone
    I've just signed up to recording, and read about Aladdinn's problem with hes Stagepas 300 P.A. I've had the same problem on and off for eighteen months mow and its driving me crazy. We use two guitars, two mics and a C.D. player through it, sometimes it works perfectly and then when you're confidence is high, without warning the sound just cuts out conpletely. I returned it to Yamaha last November and they done a 24hr soak test and couldn't find anything wrong with it so th be on the safe side they replaced the two amp modules and the two fans, since it was returned we used it on five gigs and it worked perfectly then last Saturday it cut out twice after only five mins we managed to go on for another forty five nins(not very confidently) and it went again and again and again forcing us to take a early break, after the the break it worked alright for the rest of the evening, its fust as if someone had rulled the speaker cables out, everything else was showing normal no limiter lights and not over heating as it was only working for five mins before it failed, hoping someone can help me before I go off my head.
    Hoping with anticipation

    Phoenix
     
  10. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    It your problem appears after being used for a period of time and then goes away after a break or a period of time, then it would indicate some sort of heat problem. Most over load lights just tell you when you are overloading or clipping the input and/or when you have used all available headroom and don't really give you any accurate heat temperature indication. The fact that the fans and amp modules were replaced is another sign that there is very likely some sort of heat related problem or maybe even a design flaw with the product which would mean that no repair may ever get the product to be fully reliable. Yamaha may already be aware of the exact issue and are dealing with the existing problems as they have to which may even include denial, as it is sadly a standard practice with mass produced gear makers.

    If it were me, I would find a way to sell, or demand a refund, or at least a whole new recent made replacement product.
     
  11. khafre

    khafre Guest

    I have had the Stagepas 300 for about 18 months, gigging regularly, with no problems ...until recently. I started experiencing the same problem as described in this thread with the sound cutting out. It wasn't the limiter cutting in, the fan was OK and the air flow good etc etc. Thinking what had changed I realised that a few weeks ago I had upgraded the speaker leads, as until then I had still been using the speaker leads supplied with the stagepas. The only reason I changed was that I wanted shorter leads.

    To cut a long story short, going back to the original leads has resolved the problem.

    As long as I use the original leads to connect the speakers it appears that all is well. As soon as I use anything different the problem comes back (I've tried this with several leads - all of which check out OK on other gear, so the leads aren't faulty - but the Stagepas doesn't like them.)

    So, if you experience this situation try going back to the supplied (cheap) leads to see if this resolves the problem.
     
  12. Capalito

    Capalito Guest

    I have the same problem!!!

    I have had my stagepas 300 since november of 2008. About 2 months ago I started having the exact same problem. I took it to Yamaha here in Chile and they replaced the fans that had started making noise. The Tech guy said that the reason for the amp to shut down unexpectedly was that it was overheating. After paying $240 dollars to replace the fans, the problem continued. I have taken it to Yamaha twice and they have said the amp is OK.
    This is so frustrating. If anyone finds out what thsi problem is all about, please let us know.
     
  13. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I have both the 300 and 500 in my hire stock, and they are among the most popular items I have. The people who take the 300 always ask for the 500 next time. The 300 feels underpowered, and I have also had it sometimes shut down on a loud transient. I don't think the shutdown is an overheating issue, as the amplifier does not get more than warm to the touch, rather I assume there must be a linkage from the internal limiter to the shutdown circuit. In the times I have used the 300 myself (as foldback monitors), it has shut down on me once. I also found it strange that a 300W system could make so little noise before the limiter kicks in.
     
  14. Capalito

    Capalito Guest

    issue

    I have owned the stagepas 300 for only a year, and have used it on small gigs and also as monitors. I love the sound and especially the portability, but I am staring to believe there is a serious problem on this model. Last weekend it shut down when I was performing at my sister's wedding. We were playing jazz at a reasonably low volume. I do not think it´s a volume or overheating issue. It shuts down on me sometimes when there is actually no sound coming out of the amp yet. The limiter starts clipping for no reason. I love the portabilty of this system. The stagepass500 would be too big for me, but I thing I will have to buy another amp to use with these cabinets. I can't trust this model anymore.
     
  15. majjic1

    majjic1 Guest

    Hello All:

    I just had my second catastrophic failure with my Stagepas 300. I am a professional stage hypnotist and last December I was performing at a show where the unit worked perfectly in sound check and then it cut out during my performance. Thinking that my mic was faulty, I replaced it and since then have bought a new computer which I use for playing my show music. Tonight the exact same problem occurred with the new mic and computer. Everything worked in rehearsal and then I went to change and when I came back 45 minutes later and started my show, the amp would not work. All lights were on and volume levels were not high at all as my venue was small. I quickly turned the power off and back on and the unit worked fine for about 20 minutes then it began cutting out every 2 to 3 minutes! My show was a complete disaster. I am about 2 months out of warranty and judging by these posts, I am not expecting Yamaha to admit fault or repair it in a timely manner. Any suggestions?
     
  16. Capalito

    Capalito Guest

    Update

    The guys at Yamaha had my Stagpass 300 for about 3 weeks and could not fix it. They said they could not find anything wrong with it. Since they had previously charged me $240 dollars to replace the fans claiming the shutting off problem was due to overheating, they ended up giving me another unit that works. It isn't a new unit but at least works for now.

    I am currently using the speakers of the stage pass 300 with a Yamaha EMX212 at home, which sounds great and is more reliable. From now on I may just use the Stagepass for small gigs, although it's going to be hard to trust this little bitch again considering that it let me down when I was singing at my sister's wedding.

    I believe there is a serious problem with this model. Not a recommendable product at all.
     
  17. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I don't know how many times you can afford to go onstage and have a faulty piece of equipment ruin your show before you put it in the trashcan. For me it is only once and it goes to a repair shop if the cost of the equipmentr is worth the high cost of repairs. Frequently this is not the case and intermittent problems are a nightmare to have diagnosed. I would suggest keeping the speakers and adding something like this

    Mackie - 4-Channel Compact Recording/SR Mixer - 402-VLZ3

    Crown XLS 202 | Sweetwater.com


    Extremely reliable well built equipment.
     
  18. Capalito

    Capalito Guest

    Yamaha EMX212s

    Yeah, but those Crown power amps are heavy as hell.
    I am using this right now: Yamaha EMX212S | Sweetwater.com with the Stagepass speakers.
    It's a powered mixer that sounds even better than the Stagepass and has more power. It is the size of one of the speakers that came with the Stagepass 300, and weighs less than one of them.
    The only drawback is that I will have to move three bags now rather than just two, but its worth it if reliability is your priority.
     
  19. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Are you absolutely certain your "upgraded" cables were speaker cables rather than instrument cables? The symptoms described in this thread closely match what I've seen when people use the wrong type of cable. Just having the right connector is not enough.
     
  20. Glycerol100

    Glycerol100 Guest

    Catastrophic Failure!! x 2

    I too own a Stagepas 300 (had it about 4yrs) and in general I am very happy with it. Recently though, like others, I have experienced 2 episodes where the system just shut down for now apparent reason. It cut out whilst using the microphone and/or guitar, although all lights where working. On the first occasion that it cut out I thought the speakers were too close to walls, so I moved them and it worked!:confused:. The second time it cut out I couldn't solve the problem for ages. I left the unit off for 1hour but it still cut out. I then unplugged all cables including the power cable just incase there was some kind of static build-up causing problems. I touched all the connection with my fingers (except for the power cable coming from the wall coz that would have have hurt I think!:redface:) incase this helped disipate any static. When I plugged it all in again it worked fine and has done ever since (2 weeks and allswell:biggrin:). Now I am no tekky nor do I know if the lead thing had anything to do with anything..all I know is that afterwards it worked. I hope it works for you too. I would love to know if it does so please post and let me know. Goodluck.
     

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