#1
In general, how much hum is considered to be too much hum for a vintage tube amp? I was always under the impression that as you cranked things up, you'd start to get more and more background hum.

Let say for the sake of argument that I want to buy a 1965 Ampeg Gemini I amp that's had some (but not all) of its caps replaced. It also has the original tubes and an ungrounded 2-pronged plug.

Now, should this amp be dead silent now matter how much I crank it up? If it starts humming at about 12:00 o'clock is this "normal"?
"In Power Trios I Trust..."
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'65 Ampeg Gemini I G-12 Combo, Orange Tiny Terror
#2
i would expect some hum but nothin really bad
and replacing the tubes might definitely help the sound
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#3
It depends on the equipment - single coils vs humbuckers; how well the guitar is shielded; how much cabling; how many pedals; proximity to CRT TV/monitor or fluorescent lighting; lots of stuff.

In general I'd say it's probably fine. My JCM gets some mad hum boosted with my stratocaster and the master at less than 2.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#4
My amp has hums that come and go at any volume, but they are relatively quiet and stay the same volume as I increase the amp's volume. As long as the hum isn't unbearable, I'd say you're OK.
PS - You're still thinking about that Ampeg? Wear a cup when your wife sees it.

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[quote="'[BurnTheDusk"]']Boss pedals may be built like tanks but I would rather buy a cardboard box that is on my side than pay for a tank that is working against me.
#6
Any amp will hum when you crank the pre-amp. I have two old tube amps (1968 Sunn Sonic I-40, mid 90's Orange OR120) and they both have some hum. The Orange hums much more than the Sunn, which is obvious because I'm driving the pre-amp with it, and not the Sunn.

Just don't be too pick-y about it. If it's unbearable, then don't buy it. New tubes and new caps will obviously play a big part in how much it hums.

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#7
Quote by Dr.Pain-MD
My amp has hums that come and go at any volume, but they are relatively quiet and stay the same volume as I increase the amp's volume. As long as the hum isn't unbearable, I'd say you're OK.
PS - You're still thinking about that Ampeg? Wear a cup when your wife sees it.


Yep, I'm still thinking about it. When I talked to the repair tech before I tried it out, he mentioned the hum but made it seem like it was a potential deal-breaker. Turns out that I didn't find the hum to be all that bad...at least at the lower volumes that I'd be using at home.

The thing is: I'm not in a band, and I don't gig. Even if I did, I'd just be doing mellow Nirvana covers at a coffee shop, so I wouldn't need a cranked amp. And I'm convinced that there's a lot that can still be done to this old classic to reduce the hum:

  • swap in a grounded 3-prong plug
  • complete the partial cap replacement job
  • new tubes
"In Power Trios I Trust..."
Gibson SG Classic, Fender CP Jaguar Special HH, '65 RI Mustang
'65 Ampeg Gemini I G-12 Combo, Orange Tiny Terror
#8
The 3 prong plug should make a difference in the hum. I had an old 60s reverb-rocket, and its nonpolarized cable could be plugged in backwards. If it was in right it played fine if backwards it would zap you if you touched the metal chassis and hummed alot.
#9
Quote by Armchair Bronco
Yep, I'm still thinking about it. When I talked to the repair tech before I tried it out, he mentioned the hum but made it seem like it was a potential deal-breaker. Turns out that I didn't find the hum to be all that bad...at least at the lower volumes that I'd be using at home.

The thing is: I'm not in a band, and I don't gig. Even if I did, I'd just be doing mellow Nirvana covers at a coffee shop, so I wouldn't need a cranked amp. And I'm convinced that there's a lot that can still be done to this old classic to reduce the hum:

  • swap in a grounded 3-prong plug
  • complete the partial cap replacement job
  • new tubes

I just got my Fender Bassman from '75 back from the tech. He replaced the caps, tubes, and rebiased as well as replacing the hum control pot. This decreased the hum by a lot. The biggest thing, he told me, is getting the heater wires up and away from the rest of the wires coming out of the tube sockets. The heater wires have the most current and run through all the tubes down the line. He said just pulling these up vertically away from the tube socket makes a big difference. By the way, my Fender is SILENT with all the volumes on 10...

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#10
You really only need massive volume when the drummer bashes away, and so at that point any hum will be virtually indetectable, so it's really nothing major.
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