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Crown CE4000 Repair


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#1 Bud Bolf

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:38 AM

Hi all,
I just had a CE4000's 3rd Failure and I sent the Amp to Elkhart for it's 2nd of the 3 repairs.
The Amp is now on it's way back to me.
SRA # 302437
I have a couple of questions though.
I called and spoke to Jeannette and she read the repair notes to me.
It is as follows.

1) Viper IC on Low Voltage Power Supply was not Soldered.
2) Replaced LVPS (which I would assume is the Low Voltage Power Supply, is that correct?)
3) Repaired Main PCB Trace
4) Passed all tests.

My questions are:

1) How could it be possible that the Viper IC was NOT Soldered?
Especially since this Amp was previously at Crown for Factory Repair.

2) Why would a Trace in the Main PCB be repaired and not the Main PCB,
be replaced due to a faulty trace?

Per Crown Support in a previous post it was written by Jerry:

[quote]jstutzman  May 9 2006, 11:52 AM Post #23 

Group: Crown Staff
Posts: 4
Joined: 22-October 03
Member No.: 90

[QUOTE(A_Guy @ May 8 2006, 01:54 PM)
there is nothing burnt. as i said it was a fault that came and went... and now it is here to stay. there is no burning spell.

Hi Bud,

I understand your desire for the PC boards to be repaired at the component levels. I use to work on computers (main frame, not pc's) and fix them at the component level, but after the advent of the high density IC's it was no longer feasible to repair to the component level and it was more cost affective to replace the circuit boards.
This is due to the time and cost of locating the failed component compared to the price of a new board. Unfortunately amplifiers today are falling in to the same category with the advent of IC's and SMT's in use.

These new components allow us to give you more features at a lower cost, but also have the side affect of making it more complex and costly to repair to the component level. I am sure that you would not be willing to pay $60+ per hour for a service tech to try and locate a failing component with in a complex circuit compared to the cost of a replacement circuit board.

Yes the cost of a component is less then the circuit board, but the labor cost of locating and replacing the right component is much higher in most cases. This also allows us to have the units repaired and returned to the customers in a short time. This is important as most of our customers use our products for their business.
[/quote]

I would imagine the answer about the Trace repair would be because it was not a Component and it was a Trace that did not require hours of Component troubleshooting.
The etched traces however are the primary Base of the PCB Etching process and PCB's are Epoxy covered.
I would think that if a Trace was compromised, the PCB itself should be replaced.
Could a Crown Rep please Clarify this for me.

If Crown Repair says that the PCB is perfectly repaired, I will not have a problem with this.
I am a bit concerned, that since this is repair number three and my Extended Warranty does not expire until 2010 that this was the best course of action.

I am looking forward to getting my Amp back tomorrow and checking it out.
I also appreciate the quick turnaround for the Repair!

Thanks,
     Bud

#2 okilroyo

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 02:57 PM

Bud,

I have looked into your amps history and did some investigating. Here is what I have found. Your amp was sent to a service center for the first repair of an intermittent Ch 1 distortion problem. Apparently its issues were not fully resolved. We then received it here at Crown. The intermittent problem was root caused to be a resistor on the BFG board. In the repair/ troubleshooting process the technician replace the viper chip. I can only speculate that it was an oversight on the technicians part that not all viper connections were soldered completely.

To answer your second question, traces do get damaged from time to time. They are usually easily identified and can be repaired. We at Crown use IPC (The Institute For Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits) standards as a guideline for any circuit board repair. Once a circuit board has been repaired to IPC standards the board is deemed to be as good as a new board.

Rob Arch
Technical Supervisor
Crown Audio

#3 Bud Bolf

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 06:14 PM

QUOTE(okilroyo @ May 22 2006, 03:57 PM)
Bud,

I have looked into your amps history and did some investigating. Here is what I have found. Your amp was sent to a service center for the first repair of an intermittent Ch 1 distortion problem. Apparently its issues were not fully resolved. We then received it here at Crown. The intermittent problem was root caused to be a resistor on the BFG board. In the repair/ troubleshooting process the technician replace the viper chip. I can only speculate that it was an oversight on the technicians part that not all viper connections were soldered completely.

To answer your second question, traces do get damaged from time to time. They are usually easily identified and can be repaired. We at Crown use IPC (The Institute For Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits) standards as a guideline for any circuit board repair. Once a circuit board has been repaired to IPC standards the board is deemed to be as good as a new board.

Rob Arch
Technical Supervisor
Crown Audio
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Hi Rob,
Thank you very much for the information and candor in your response.
It would have been just as easy to CYA and say that the Viper chip had a Cold Solder Joint,
rather than tell the truth that:

QUOTE
I can only speculate that it was an oversight on the technicians part that not all viper connections were soldered completely.


That fact alone says a lot about the Honesty and Credibility of Crown and it's Service Technicians!
Granted, it is honesty that is easier for me to take, because it happened in my living room and not in the middle of a performance!

I have worked in the Technical Service Industry for 20+ years!
It's hard to step on the carpet and admit that a mistake has been made either by myself or my Company!
The fact that it is a very rare occurrence, along with my long standing relationship with the customer and the many times than I have gotten them up and running, when things were very very bad, can count for a lot of understanding in those situations!

However, so far, Crown does not have that great relationship with me.
First repair was unresolved and led to the second repair (at Crown) which was not totally resolved and led to this third repair, at Crown!
I hope that the resolving chain has now been broken with this repair.
I'm sure that you can understand though, that in the back of my head, I will be a bit skeptical and every time I turn it on, wondering about a fourth repair.

I have been a loyal Crown fan and user for 30+ years!
Hey, nobody's perfect, hence the saying, "Sh_t happens," and thank God for Warranty's
but this is starting to get a bit crazy with this amp!

Now I, am in the understanding Customer position.
Strange being on the other side, LOL!

  I do thank you again Rob.

  Take care,
      Bud

#4 Bud Bolf

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 08:45 PM

Hi again,
I got my Amp back this afternoon (5/24/06) and after installing it back into my Rack, I have been using it for about 4 hours.
So far so good and no hiccups.

I do wish that the internal burn smell was gone, but maybe with time, that will go away.
I thought about hanging a Bounty Dryer sheet in front of the amp
but then it would smell as if I put the amp in the dryer, LOL!

Thanks again to Crown for the repair and quick turnaround.
We will see how it goes from here.

Later,
    Bud