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Post subject: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:03 pm
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Trying out my new Fender Expo in the living room and noticed a buzzing noise in the Mid-High speaker section of the tower when thumbing a low E string on an Ovation acoustic electric guitar. The noise is coming from the top 4 tower speakers and is only audible when the "Sub Level" knob is turned up. To make sure the guitar or my mixer was not the problem, I plugged a CD player directly into the RCA jacks on the back of the unit and played a CD with test tones. The noise is very noticeable in the 40-80Hz region. I'm sure a bass guitar would also duplicate the problem. I really like this system and would hate to return it for another and have the same problem. Has anyone else experienced this?


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:21 pm
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Rock Star
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Disconnect the tower; inspect connections & clean if necessary, and then reconnect your tower. Turn your sub level down. Then what happens? Use a mic too. How are vocals? You've got nothing going on sub 120Hz anyway.

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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:49 pm
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As I've said before I'm a user of the Expo systems and by no means an expert on, well, anything. It sure sounds as if you have an issue with your system. The only buzz I've had to contend with using the Expo's was handled with a ground lift in my bass amp. Otherwise they are very quiet.

You should be able to return them if they are still a recent purchase though.


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:41 pm
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Thanks for your replies. The unit is brand new and the connections look clean and perfect. Vocals are fine. The noise is noticeable especially during attack and decaying low notes.

Here is the test that I performed to confirm that something is wrong...

1. Turn SUB LEVEL knob down completely.

2. Plug a CD player into RCA jacks and loop an 80Hz tone from my test CD.

3. Turn MAIN LEVEL up, tower sounds fine with 80Hz tone. (sub still down).

Turn SUB LEVEL up slowly and buzzing noise in upper half of tower increases as sub gets louder. Not a rattle but an actual buzzing signal from the speakers themselves. It's as though the circuit that powers the sub is somehow interfering with the mid speakers in the tower.

Anyway, I really like this thing and want it to work but somethin' definitely ain't right. Could be a bad unit I guess.


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:01 am
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Take/Send it back. :(

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2016 Rumble 200 Combo
One day they shall name a GREAT city after me, and they shall call it LINNINGRAD


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:08 am
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Sure sounds like you've done a pretty conclusive test to prove out the issue. I'd get it replaced right away, shouldn't be a problem. Between band members we have 3 of these and had no trouble like that.

Good luck.


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:25 pm
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Aspiring Musician
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The weird part about what you are describing is that 3" midrange speakers can't play an 80 Hz note. That's barely in the range of the subwoofer, which only claims to go down to 50Hz.

It's like there's something bad in the crossover circuit that shouldn't send that note to those speakers. In fact, until you got the test CD, I don't see where anything you play through the speaker should even have a frequency that low. So, it is puzzling, and it may very well be a bad unit.

Keep us all informed. I'm on the edge of buying one of these things and would definitely like to know if this problem is baked into the unit by mistaken design.


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:53 pm
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Yeah, 80 Hz is audible through the tower alone. Not loud but it is there. I'm sure there is some bleed over in the crossover. I noticed the weird noise problem while testing the Expo out in my quiet livingroom. I was playing the beginning of "The Proclaimers - 500 miles" muted E chords chunk...chunk...chunk on my Ovation acoustic electric guitar when I was hearing something that sounded like a jaw harp. I would hit the muted chord and lay off and the jaw harp sound would quickly trail off. At first I thought the guitar was to blame but then I ran some test tones and was able to duplicate the noise.

Sending the unit back tomorrow and will visit a local music store and try out a floor model to see if that sounds OK. I did get to use this thing on a gig the first night after I received it and was very impressed! (solo/vocal/guitar) Of course the weird noise was not noticeable in a noisy bar. I especially like that there is weight to the sub and tower making for a nice solid bottom end. For years I have been hauling around (2) 15 inch Yamahas with a power amp and decided to give a line array system a shot.

I like the simplicity of the Expo, just a powered speaker! I don't need mixers, tone matching, toaster ovens or any other crap built into my speakers, I prefer a small outboard mixer that I can set next to me.

Anyway, hopefully I just got a bad unit all will be well soon. I will keep you posted and thanks for all your input!


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:29 pm
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I have a fender expo that is doing the exact same thing. Did you get this resolved?


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:29 pm
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While waiting for a reply from the guy who said he'd keep us posted (and didn't), I'll just suggest a potential source of the problem. The subwoofer box has all the amps in it and the crossover -- the electronics that decide which notes go to which set of speakers.

While it consistently happens with a 40-80Hz test tone with the sub cranked to the max, note that music doesn't usually happen at 40-80Hz. Sound guys often kill anything below 120Hz on many mics quite intentionally because that's mostly the noise of handling a mic. So, if you push a signal really loud and low through this box, you could be maxing out the crossover. My guess is you have achieved digital clipping.

This usually sounds like clicking, and the crossover will send it to the speaker that plays the higher frequency of the click sound itself, not the low frequency of the rate that it is clicking, so it would come out of the upper-midrange or even the tweeter.

Basically, don't push the bass so hard and you won't get that click. Clipping never sounds good, and any system will clip if you push it too hard.

This system makes good musical, full-range sound, but it's not like having a 400 watt, 18" subwoofer for chest-thumping bass. If you want that, add a 400 watt, 18" subwoofer and let the Expo do what it does well.

Just a suggestion.


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:32 am
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Just so people don't read what I wrote and think the Expo lacks bass, I happen to own two Expos and a 400 watt 15" subwoofer. The damned subwoofer weighs 67 pounds and I hate lugging it around, but a few months ago, I was asked to bring it for a dance because the band preferred having one.

It's a community center auditorium, so it's pretty good sized. I used the two Expos and the subwoofer, and as I walked around the room, tweaking the sound, I eventually decided to turn off the subwoofer because it wasn't adding anything to the music. I was getting lots of clear bass out of the Expos.

This was with the Expos turned to maybe 60% volume for both the sub and the tower. Any louder and people would complain that it hurt their ears when they got near it, and I could hear it plenty loud in the back of the hall.

Nobody complained about not hearing enough bass. Not even the band. They saw a big, black cube subwoofer and they heard all the bass they wanted to hear. It didn't occur to them that the subwoofer was not turned on.

So, if you are running a disco, or teaching aerobics, maybe you want to invest in a dedicated subwoofer to add to your Expo, or if you are cranking the Expo volume to the max because you are outdoors, or in a huge hall and your music needs deafening, concussion-inducing bass, then add a subwoofer and knock yourself out.

Otherwise, for great sounding music for a concert of up to 300 people, or a dance of up to maybe 100 people, you probably don't need to turn the volume up so high and the bass up so high that the system clips, giving you a click that, if you walk up and place your ear next to the upper four 3.5" speakers in the tower, might bother you.

It's sort of like the way that sticking your hand into a blender while it is running might bother you. One might argue that perhaps you are doing something with the product that you shouldn't do.

That's MY opinion, not Fender's. I don't own stock. I don't work for them. I just like my two Expos a lot.


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Post subject: Re: Defective Fender Expo or just the way it is?
Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:29 pm
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I hear what your saying Contra.

Here's my experience, for what it's worth. :D

Before investing in the 3 Expo's we use with our rock band, we used two Sonic 15" bass cabs, and some Bose 802's for our main, bi-amped. Plenty of bass and sounded good overall.

Once we got the Expo's there was remarkably less punch to the kick drum through them in comparison. I would never assume that the Expo's could equal the punch from those two Sonic cabs. So we added a subwoofer, kept the drummer happy and it does sound good now that I've had time to play with the settings.

The sub is also useful in our acoustic group on the cajone. It adds nice punch even without going past 1/2 volume.

And yeah, I still like our Expo's, it was a great purchase for us.


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