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Repair: Putt...Putt...sound from Dayton SPA 500 Subwoofer plate amplifiers ???

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  • Repair: Putt...Putt...sound from Dayton SPA 500 Subwoofer plate amplifiers ???

    To: PE Tech

    I have two SPA Dayton 500 Subwoofer plate amplifiers, each in a different subwoofers for different purposes in different systems. Now the 2nd Dayton 500 plate amp is doing this same consistent low-volume thud-pop putt putt putt kinda sound every 10 seconds. And super fast putt putt putt sound about 6-7 times on startup power-on. Think of it as slow motor boating every 10 seconds. I disconnected the RCA input cables and the amps will do this just sitting there powered on with no input signal connected. It's not my preamp causing this, ruled that out already.

    The first plate-amp unit started this behavior every 10 seconds (very low volume Putt..... Putt...Putt....) while playing. Then noticed the same on amp startup at play time, (Putt.Putt.Putt) real fast 5-6 times and it stops after it gets charted up, then it goes back to putt putt putt every 10 seconds. Its almost like a capacitor or transistor or something may be going bad inside these plate amps. Not sure what to check for. If I switch the phase switch to Rev, the amp goes putt putt put real fast 10 times like a cap discharges. Its then stops for a while, a few minutes later the putt putt putt sound starts all over again every 10 seconds.

    Now the second Dayton 500 sub plate amp in my other home theater system is doing the same.

    Age: these were both brand new plate amps from PE about 1.5-2 years old. Always on StandBy. Used moderately. Have a Richard Gray 1200 Powerstation for power regulation and protection. No issues there.

    What to check with a multi-meter inside the Dayton 500 amps?
    • Caps? Which ones, values?
    • Transistors, which ones, values?
    • Resistors, which ones, values?

    Thanks in advance if you could look through your knowledge base for tips on what to check. Would prefer to repair these vs. replacing them unless you want me to send them back and you can send me new plate amps. My prior Rythmik Audio amps did not do this in 10 years of use. Hopefully something simple going bad inside. I did read DA puts the caps "too close" to each other whatever that means in terms of design issues, I don't know. Hopefully you do know what to check inside and a few parts can be replaced to fix it. What Say You "Parts Express" ???

  • #2
    Found one somewhat uninformative thread on avsforum. Of course the poster doesn't follow-up and one slightly bulging capacitor might not cause anything. Gives you something to look for though.
    Looks like voltage regulator circuit for the preamp board? Hard to tell from photo and no schematic.


    • #3
      Thanks for the link. The "fluttering" or "morse code" that member amb7247 describes on the avsforum is very similar. Now mine occurs every 3-4 seconds, with a slight thud...thud...thud. If I hit the polarity switch it goes flutter really fast then stops. Tried the same on my other SPA 500 and it does not do this, so one of the two SPA 500s is worse than the other. Cool handle by the way. I just gave up dirt single track after 45 years.

      PE Tech:
      hoping you reply with some ideas on the possible reported problems, fixes, and/or returning the SPA 500. The first SPA 500 I got was Dead on Arrival. This 2nd one went bad quickly, and I hardly play this thing. The 3rd one is working intermittently w/wo the flutter sound. Both work, they just have this same morse-code fluttering sound also reported by amb7247 on the avs forum. What say you?


      • djg
        djg commented
        Editing a comment
        AFAIK, Parts Express doesn't monitor this forum looking for product complaints. You should call or email them. I think.

    • #4
      Thanks djg. I did call PE customer service today at break. Spoke with Adrian there. Said he felt they might possibly warranty the SPA 500, mine must be faulty. Saw some older threads where PE techs monitored this site, perhaps not anymore. Thanks for the tip.

      We'll see, until I get an RMA# and new amp shipped, will be keeping my fingers crossed. If I could get a replacement and have it last for at least 2yrs I'd be happy, and then go after a good Class-D plate amp next.

      My former two Subwoofer plate amplifiers (from another Co.) lasted me 10 years with no issues, and I gave them away working for free. Will be on the lookout for a really good subwoofer plate amplifier after this.