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 Bogner Alchemist Problem - Please Help 
dgaemc2
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Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 2
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Hi everybody,

I recently experienced a problem with my Alchemist 112 combo amp and request ideas as to what may be the problem. Firstly, I'd like to say that I have regularly been playing my Alchemist since purchasing it 8 months ago and have not had any problems with it at all until now. Secondly, I'd like to mention that I love the amazing tones that I am able to get out of this amp when it is working properly!

Here's the deal. Yesterday, I powered up my amp in standby, but neither of the channel indicator lights on the front panel of my amp turned on. The power tubes were energized as was the indicator lights on the footswitch....just no indication that the preamp was energized. I flipped the standby switch to 20W and sure enough the power tubes glowed blue as expected, but the preamp tubes were not lit nor was the front panel channel indicator lights of the amp. I tried to play the amp and notta sound at all. I then switched from 20W to 40W. Once again, neither of the front panel channel indicator lights illuminated and notta sound out of the amp when playing my guitar.

Yes, the speaker cable was plugged in at all times while experiencing this problem.

I am certain that it is not a power amp problem, and do not think that it is a preamp tube problem as everything had been working just fine a couple of days ago.

Any ideas of what can be the cause of this problem?

All suggestions welcome and appreciated in advance!!
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augmented
Level I

Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 36
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Hi welcome its Just42Dave from Rig Talk
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TheMagicEight
Level II

Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 316
Location: Storrs, CT
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Seems like it shouldn't be too big of a deal, but I don't know much about the Alchemist. Have you tried slaving something into the FX loop to bypass some of the preamp? Unless you can open the chassis and visually see something wrong, your best bet will probably be a tech.
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dgaemc2
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Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 2
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Hi Just42Dave and thanks TheMagicEight for your reply.

I suspect I'll have to open it up and visually inspect for a problem. Has anybody else experienced a similar problem with their Alchemist? Please let me know if so!
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live33
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Joined: 12 Nov 2008
Posts: 3
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I just encountered a similar problem today (likely the same problem as yours). There was some buzzing from inside the amp and amp indicator lights faded. After that, no sound. Haven't got around to check the tubes and back as it was quite late. Will check tomorrow morning.

Sigh. This is the second time the amp died on me, the first one just went blank, no sound whatsoever. Then the footswitch grew a brain of its own. Now this. Shucks... =(
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Dweege
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Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 1
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Same exact problem I am having with my brand new Alchemist. No sound. Front panel indicator lights not on. Foot switch is lit but no sound from amp. This happened before and it was determined that nothing was wrong. Now it has happened again. Hoping someone may have a clue as to what is going on.
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romvert2
Level III

Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 651
Location: MI
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Has anyone contacted Bogner or Alchemist support about this? I'd be ringing their phones 24/7 if I were you.

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mcconnachiea
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Joined: 02 May 2010
Posts: 3
Location: London
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Sorry to bump an old thread, but I just had the exact same problem! I LOVE the sound of this amp, and really don't want to trade it, but its had 3 problems already.

1. Before I owned it, it shut off unexpectedly, which is why I got it as B-stock.
2. The FX loop doesn't work.
3. This! I was playing, and then I got a loud hum and then it shut off.

What did your tech do to fix it?

Cheers, Alex.
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 Modern Amplifier Construction Methods Contribute to Problems 
pacAir
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Joined: 03 May 2010
Posts: 5
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If you have never seen the inside of an Alchemist you might wonder why some of these amps have had a wide variety of problems reported while others work flawlessly. They appear to be quite well made on first glance. If you HAVE seen the inside of an Alchemist (or any modern PCB amp design) you can probably understand.


Mucho Connectors

Modern amplifiers in general are typically filled with many connectors of various types on one or more wiring harnesses. I have found many problems associated with bad contacts due to incorrectly installed, loose and unplugged connectors as well as wire harness bundled so tightly (no "service loops") that any movement due to vibration and shock can damage, deform or unplug a connector! The Alchemist in particular uses quite a number of connector styles that are typically used in the computer industry and these are held in place only by the friction of the pins when plugged in. The factory tries to minimize the possibility of these cables becoming loose or unplugging due to rough handling (and vibration due to playing ) by smearing a dab of green goop on the mated connectors to keep them in place. This doesn't always work if the amp was lightly "gooped" (or missed) and is somewhat abused during the multiple shipping trips between the factory and your house.

I have fixed several problems on a number of amps (Bogner Alchemist and Egnater Rebel/Renegade come to mind most often) by simply checking every plug-in connection in the amp, re-seating any questionable connector, relieving stress by loosening wire bundles a bit and making sure all mounting screws are tight (prevents PCB vibration from contributing to the problem). This isn't to say that a problem won't be due to a bad tube, poor solder joint or a failed component. Problems can easily occur between the abuse heaped on the circuits/connectors due to transport handling, vibration from use and the repetitive heating and cooling cycles these amps are subject to. The "classic" point-to-point amps typically don't suffer from these kinds of problems nearly as much because every connection is soldered individually and is very robust.


Keepin' It Cool

Speaking of heat, I noticed that my Alchemist 212 combo chassis gets quite hot after a night of playing! This is not good for the reliability and lifespan of a tube amp. The tubes have to be hot to work but heat slowly kills the rest of the circuitry. Egnater uses a built-in small computer-style fan to keep the chassis cool and it works quite well ...especially considering that the Renegade has twice the number of output tubes when compared to the Alchemist!

For combos, I would suggest buying a small 4" desktop fan and have it blow air upward from the bottom of the cabinet (not to "cool the tubes", but to promote the constant airflow which keeps the chassis cool). I have done this for every amp I own that does not come with its own built-in fan and combined with reasonable care when handling and transporting the amp I have had few unexpected problems pop up and even when they do it is usually tube-related.


Warranty & Death

Of course, I have to mention that any remaining warranty will be voided if you disassemble your own amp and there are lethal voltages residing inside the chassis, even when unplugged. These things CAN kill you and are just waiting for the opportunity. If you are not trained or experienced at working on tube amps then leave it to your local technician.

YMMV


Steve
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 Alchemist Problems 
GVC66
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Joined: 14 Aug 2010
Posts: 1
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I am here to say I am having the same problem and that these problems are far to frequent for a newer 1000+ dollar amp.

I will say this I love the tone. I do not think anyone would be here if they did not.

I think Bogner and Line6 need to work out an agreement on a recall. Bogner because his name is on the amp and therefore he is risking his brand and Line6 because they actually contracted the obviously suspect craftsmanship of the amp. Line6 needs to forgo margins to make this right for the part of the community that would actually gig with there products and, lets face it, the alchemist is the only thing close that the pros would use from that company outside the DL4 which is nowhere near the entry point.

Here are just a few reports:

http://www.rig-talk.com/forum/ucp.php?mode=login

this one actually references this thread:
http://line6.com/community/thread/42132
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 Bogner Alchemist wont work, no sound when turned on 
livewire78602
Newbie

Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 1
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Just got the amp today, plugged it in and let it warm up, tried both channels and no sound come out of amp, this is a brand new amp I bought. Checked the tubes and they light up and get warm. but channel and gains and volumes do nothing. Very dissapointed in this. Seems like these cheap chinese amps are made crappy. Like junk. I am not going to recommend this amp to anyone since reading all the problems with them. Im sending it back for a full refund. These amps should be recalled for being defective. I did notice the box looked like it was opened and re taped, also the tolex had buff marks and the front panel was scuffed. Now I have to repace the heavey beast, get packing tape and make the box better than when I got it, then take it over to the postal place to send off. Should not have to do that if they would send me a new one from the bat. I paild for a new one, not a returned one or floor model. Last time I buy from them anything, and now I dont trust bogner, seems the stuff is made worse thn line 6 products. lots of plastic junk and tube mounted circuit boad crap. Only thing I see good was the speakers.
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Tom M
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Joined: 25 Jun 2009
Posts: 128
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Show me a pic, I think your full of shit. I think you just want to bash the amp.
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Tom M
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Joined: 25 Jun 2009
Posts: 128
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Yeah I'm talkin to you livewire
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Carvin Knight
Level I

Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 70
Location: San Antonio Texas
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Before I bought my Alchemist 112 I've read both sides about the amp. I almost didn't want to buy the amp but the darn thing from the demos just sounds too good so I took a chance. I had in mind that I'm going to pull the chassis and check all the connections before firing it up. I knew the warranty just sprouted the wings and flew away when I did that, I didn't care but maybe I didn't blow it. Good thing I did though, one connector clicked when i pushed on it. It was just halfway in. This amp worked beautifully and sounded good.

Did I say it sounded good? It was biased cold! When I retubed the power tubes (not that it needed it) I set the idle at 70%. Sweet and warm. I went ahead and dropped it to 60% and got a little headroom for my pedal. Still have a little warmth.

Yea, I love this amp. Smile

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phildo2000
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Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 1
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haha yeah same thing happened to me today as well. lights came on on the footswitch and heard humming inside but no sound on front panel action at all. I took it to my tech guy and upon testing it there it decided to work haha. typical. i guess the vibration in transit prolly re-connected the the connection?? anyway hope that's all it is. don't have any other info to go on apart from the previous post talking a bit about the pc boards and fragile connections. hope this is all it is. really thought this kind of thing wouldn't happen with a higher end amp. but there you go..

Phil
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