#1
Problems I am currently experiencing:

1. When turning 1 of the volume knobs (in particular the 'Volume 2' knob), the amp makes crackling noises. I read that this will happen as tube amps get older, and it can be fixed, but some manufacturers seal off the knob area, something like that, so it prevents the user from being able to clean out the dirt which is causing the noise. When I tried out the amp at the store with my guitar, turning my guitar volume knob caused the same crackling. The owner of the store got out some compressed gas with god knows what, and sprayed it over my pots and knobs (from the inside), and after that it worked just fine. I could tell it wasn't just any old can of compressed air because the smell was very strong.

2. One of the tubes is glowing bright orange, the other glowing very dim orange and only the filament is glowing.

3. The sound is a bit harsh to my ears, on high gain especially. Will a simple re-tube of EL34s (the current tube type) solve this? Or should I go with some 6L6s? If I should replace my tubes, what brands would you recommend?

4. Do you reckon I could re-tube and re-bias the amp myself? Is there a particularly helpful video or guide on the internet?

5. How can you tell when your tubes are really getting old? I've never heard a tube amp with its tubes nearly dead so I can't really relate if all that is described is that 'it loses volume'.

6. Is it true that if your tubes die, it takes some components with it?

thanks all for helping a tube newbie

-HB
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Last edited by HellBoy9393 at Dec 13, 2009,
#2
Put some new valves in there for sure.

I would take it to a tech if it's your first time and get them to show you.

6L6's should sound harsher.
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Last edited by SOADriff at Dec 13, 2009,
#3
Quote by SOADriff
Put some new valves in there for sure.

I would take it to a tech if it's your first time and get them to show you.

6L6's should sound harsher.


Power tubes or preamp tubes or both?

One of the EL34s is glowing orange quite brightly, the other very dim orange. So just replace the ONE dim tube?
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#4
Firstly, this should really be in Gear Building and Customising.

Secondly, No, replace all the tubes, as they will most likely all be pretty old, and if they aren't ****ed now, they wont last long.

Finally, You can't replace EL34s with 6L6s.
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#5
1. Contact cleaner.

2. Tubes need to be replaced before they burn up the amp and you have more serious problems.

3. The EL-34s will more than likely get you more gain as they break up earlier, 6L6s will smoothen the amp out and lose even more of the aggressiveness. Ruby EL-34BSTRs.

4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o199VoZm-E0 (and the associated videos - there's many other guides online if you Google it) Just so happens I was in that store like... 2 days ago They take FOREVER to get stuff repaired.

5. Loss in gain, volume, lots of feedback, shitty tone, etc. If you can turn that amp up past halfway and your ears and about to bleed, you need to replace the power tubes

6. Not all the time, no. Unless they are redplating (which it sounds like yours are), then it shouldn't do anything but maybe blow a fuse. Redplating/arcing can fry components inside. Replace the power tubes, now. The preamps would also be a good idea to replace as that's the main factor in the tone that comes out of the amp (besides the circuitry).

Quote by Boogie Man
Finally, You can't replace EL34s with 6L6s.

Yes you can.

If the amp's transformer and screen grid resistors can handle the swap, both are easily interchangeable.
Quote by Dave_Mc
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Last edited by MatrixClaw at Dec 13, 2009,
#6
Quote by HellBoy9393
Problems I am currently experiencing:

1. When turning 1 of the volume knobs (in particular the 'Volume 2' knob), the amp makes crackling noises. I read that this will happen as tube amps get older, and it can be fixed, but some manufacturers seal off the knob area, something like that, so it prevents the user from being able to clean out the dirt which is causing the noise. When I tried out the amp at the store with my guitar, turning my guitar volume knob caused the same crackling. The owner of the store got out some compressed gas with god knows what, and sprayed it over my pots and knobs (from the inside), and after that it worked just fine. I could tell it wasn't just any old can of compressed air because the smell was very strong.

He probably used some connection spray to make sure there isn't any bad connection, never heard cracking knob noises had anything to do with tubes though.

2. One of the tubes is glowing bright orange, the other glowing very dim orange and only the filament is glowing.

I once had the same problem it was because the tension of my tubes were all f*cked up, because I carried it around to much, The tubes must have a blue glow and a mild orange glow, looks like your going to have to buy some toooobs

3. The sound is a bit harsh to my ears, on high gain especially. Will a simple re-tube of EL34s (the current tube type) solve this? Or should I go with some 6L6s? If I should replace my tubes, what brands would you recommend?

JJ electronics or svetlana's for te EL34's, 6L6's I'll leave to someone else, never had a 6L6 amp


4. Do you reckon I could re-tube and re-bias the amp myself? Is there a particularly helpful video or guide on the internet?

Some you tube videos, I've never done it myself though.


5. How can you tell when your tubes are really getting old? I've never heard a tube amp with its tubes nearly dead so I can't really relate if all that is described is that 'it loses volume'.

The sound of your amp will sound harsh, the gain won't have any structure and your waves won't be split decently if your pre-amp tubes are dying, it will only lose power if the poweramp tubes are dying.

6. Is it true that if your tubes die, it takes some components with it?

Jup, had this problem quite a few times, I guess there is some tensions in the amp that, if your tubes are dead, don't have anywhere to go and fry up some stuff in your amp. Every time I waited to long to get a retube there were other components in my amp that had fryd, so do it quick

thanks all for helping a tube newbie

-HB


NP for helping
#7
I really don't want to take my amp to a tech. I live in the suburbs and I have no car. Taxis are ridiculously expensive and theres no way I'm lugging this 30kg monster on public transport.

I'm going to go by videos and intuition... ...

EDIT: thx guys.
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Last edited by HellBoy9393 at Dec 13, 2009,
#8
Quote by HellBoy9393
I really don't want to take my amp to a tech. I live in the suburbs and I have no car. Taxis are ridiculously expensive and theres no way I'm lugging this 30kg monster on public transport.

I'm going to go by videos and intuition... ...

EDIT: thx guys.


Well, one of my good friends is a tech and he always biases for free, but if I had to pay some extra monies for it, I would probably be looking into doing it myself to, I think you should be fine, but I think it will be a whole lot easier to bias if you put in some EL34's.
#9
Quote by henis
Well, one of my good friends is a tech and he always biases for free, but if I had to pay some extra monies for it, I would probably be looking into doing it myself to, I think you should be fine, but I think it will be a whole lot easier to bias if you put in some EL34's.


Yeah I think I'll stick to EL34s. I asked a friend of mine who's a semi-pro guitarist, and he told me that as long as I don't change the tube type, I won't need to re-bias the amp.

For me, it looks like re-tubing my ECC83 preamp valves will be a pain, since I have to take off the entire circuitry casing to remove them.

Now that I think about it, I might need to get ALL of my tubes replaced. The manufacturer labels are fading, there are brown streaks of soot on the glass, and the tip of the tubes are whitening. Can't really tell the condition of the preamp valves but I guess I'll replace them as well.

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#10
Here's some pics to help illustrate my problems:





^ You can easily see the faded text and soot.



Here you can easily see my 2 EL34s side by side.






Sorry for being a noob but what the HECK is that thing? It appears to have been taped on. Looks like a power transformer, maybe to convert UK power standards to Hong Kong ones?
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Last edited by HellBoy9393 at Dec 13, 2009,
#11
Quote by MatrixClaw
Yes you can.

If the amp's transformer and screen grid resistors can handle the swap, both are easily interchangeable.



Are you sure?

Cause I asked in the GB&C thread a while ago, and they said you couldn't.
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#12
OK so I'm going to be replacing the tubes by myself. Do I have to worry about getting an electric shock from the filter capacitors or transformers? Can I get by without grounding them by wearing rubber gloves and rubber shoes? Any other workarounds? Thanks

The actual process of taking the tubes out and installing them doesn't look too difficult, I'm just worried about the static charge in the caps.

thx.
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#13
Quote by HellBoy9393
Yeah I think I'll stick to EL34s. I asked a friend of mine who's a semi-pro guitarist, and he told me that as long as I don't change the tube type, I won't need to re-bias the amp.

Your friend is wrong.

You should rebias every time you change power tubes. Sometimes you can get away with it if it's the same type and same brand, but you have no idea what it's set at currently so it could be completely cooking those tubes, or set way too cold.

Quote by Boogie Man
Are you sure?

Cause I asked in the GB&C thread a while ago, and they said you couldn't.

I don't know who told you that, but it's certainly possible with a few component swaps.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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#14
My amp has no exterior bias switch, so is my amp fixed-bias or is the bias switch inside the chassis?

Thanks.
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#15
It 'probably' has a bias trim pot inside the chassis next to the power tubes. If not you would have to install one.

Yes, filter capacitors can hold deadly voltages even if the amp is turned off (unless it has bleeding resistors installed - doubtful on this amp).

To bias without an external trim pot means you have to have the chassis open and the amp turned ON for several hours potentially. DANGEROUS if you don't know what you are doing.

Never put two hands inside of an amp at the same time. That way if you do get shocked, your likelihood of dying is minimized.

Some amps can take the EL34 to 6L6 conversion easily. Some need to be modified. Not sure on your amp.

Buy power tubes in matched sets. Preamp tubes won't matter so much and don't need biasing.

Your tube on the right looks too hot and the tube on the left looks too cold.

Not sure what that round covered thingy is.

Fina a schematic, post in teh You Leik Laneys Thread, other gear forums, and possibly contact Laney.

I know it is not convenient but I would seriously take this to a tech or find someone locally that knows how to do this stuff and work something out that way.

Good luck,
#16
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
It 'probably' has a bias trim pot inside the chassis next to the power tubes. If not you would have to install one.

Yes, filter capacitors can hold deadly voltages even if the amp is turned off (unless it has bleeding resistors installed - doubtful on this amp).

To bias without an external trim pot means you have to have the chassis open and the amp turned ON for several hours potentially. DANGEROUS if you don't know what you are doing.

Never put two hands inside of an amp at the same time. That way if you do get shocked, your likelihood of dying is minimized.

Some amps can take the EL34 to 6L6 conversion easily. Some need to be modified. Not sure on your amp.

Buy power tubes in matched sets. Preamp tubes won't matter so much and don't need biasing.

Your tube on the right looks too hot and the tube on the left looks too cold.

Not sure what that round covered thingy is.

Fina a schematic, post in teh You Leik Laneys Thread, other gear forums, and possibly contact Laney.

I know it is not convenient but I would seriously take this to a tech or find someone locally that knows how to do this stuff and work something out that way.

Good luck,


Thanks for that. I'll be taking it back to a tech and this overhaul will cost almost a third of what I paid for it.
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#17
What's the difference between a bias PRESET and a bias SWITCH? The Laney tech support told me there's a bia preset inside the chassis, but not a switch.
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#18
^not sure


Preset bias sounds to me like it is = non adjustable fixed bias

Switch bias sounds to me like it is = fixed or cathode bias


Also listen to Matrix Claw and henis.


that wrapped cylinder may be a transformer (well probably an OT or PT._)
#19
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
^not sure


Preset bias sounds to me like it is = non adjustable fixed bias

Switch bias sounds to me like it is = fixed or cathode bias


Also listen to Matrix Claw and henis.


that wrapped cylinder may be a transformer (well probably an OT or PT._)


The wrapped cylinder was a power transformer according to the diagram.

If it's a non-adjustable fixed bias, does that mean I can NOT bias my amp?

thanks for the help!

I'm listening to you all but the tech hasn't replied so I'm just trying to learn a bit more about my amp while I'm waiting.
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#20
I honestly do not know if it is non-adjustable fixed or not. Ask 'em.

If it is, then yes - you cannot adjust the bias of the power tubes without modding the amp.


Fixed means YOU have to 'fix' the bias manually yourself using (the external trim pot) or a screwdriver, bias probe, multimeter, and shock proof hands following the manufacturers' rec.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Dec 17, 2009,
#21
Quote by HellBoy9393
The wrapped cylinder was a power transformer according to the diagram.

If it's a non-adjustable fixed bias, does that mean I can NOT bias my amp?

thanks for the help!

I'm listening to you all but the tech hasn't replied so I'm just trying to learn a bit more about my amp while I'm waiting.


The "wrapped cylinder" is your power transformer, it looks weird because it's toroidal. No touchy.

A word on the biasing, I won't comment further because I don't know these amps:

If it's non-adjustable fixed bias, then no, you cannot bias your amp without modification. I don't know Laney's, but if an amp is non-adjustable, it's either cathode biased (highly unlikely in an el34) or just set so damn cold it won't matter. Call Laney and ask a tech.
I've never used the term "preset bias", but I'd reckon that means it IS adjustable, meaning you WILL need a re-bias. Let the tech handle that, cheap job.

If it IS non-adjustable, just swap in a new set of matched el34's.
NOT 6L6.
Chances are, 6L6 wouldn't be a problem, but you don't know that and neither do I, sorry.
Call Laney, they will know.
#22
Quote by Rutch
The "wrapped cylinder" is your power transformer, it looks weird because it's toroidal. No touchy.

A word on the biasing, I won't comment further because I don't know these amps:

If it's non-adjustable fixed bias, then no, you cannot bias your amp without modification. I don't know Laney's, but if an amp is non-adjustable, it's either cathode biased (highly unlikely in an el34) or just set so damn cold it won't matter. Call Laney and ask a tech.
I've never used the term "preset bias", but I'd reckon that means it IS adjustable, meaning you WILL need a re-bias. Let the tech handle that, cheap job.

If it IS non-adjustable, just swap in a new set of matched el34's.
NOT 6L6.
Chances are, 6L6 wouldn't be a problem, but you don't know that and neither do I, sorry.
Call Laney, they will know.


Yep I just shot another e-mail off to them. I'm actually hoping this amp has a non-adjustable bias so I don't have to deal with all this! It is unlikely though, because the Laney TT50 is one of their higher-end models, plus it's 50W.

I'll be sure to use EL34s, thanks.
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#23
According to the 4th review on Harmony-Central, the TT50 Combo has a bias pot in the schematic, so it is adjustable.

Where? I have no idea
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
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#24
Here's something else that's strange. My amp has no standby switch

How can I substitute for this missing standby function?
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#25
I wouldn't worry about it. There are lots of amps that do not have a stand by switch. Technically, you don't need one. Just turn your guitar volume all the way down, turn your pedals off, turn amp vol down, and mute the strings when turning on and off.

Obviously wait a minute after turning on before playing.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Dec 17, 2009,