#1
I'm having some issues with my Carvin VT50 head and I'm hoping someone can help me out. I've asked around quite a bit and nothing has solved the problem.

Basically, my amp will begin to make a crackling/popping sound after playing for a few minutes. I have cleaned all the dust out of the electronics (also used contact cleaner on all the pots and the jacks), I've tested multiple guitars, ruled out all my pedals and patch cords, and even tested different cabinets to make sure it was in fact the head.

I basically just want to find out if it is my tubes or not at this point. Theres a local guy who will repair it, but he charges $50 an hour, and I would rather just fix it myself for that price. I've recorded the sound and I'll post the link below. It's basically me strumming open strings and causing the sound to occur.

Any info at all is greatly appreciated! I really want to get this solved.

http://soundcloud.com/advina/amp-crackle
#3
Hey,

For reason soundcloud is not working for me right now.

Anyway, have you tried the pencil test? Tap on the tubes and see if you can hear that through the speaker cab. You can do it with both preamp tubes and power tubes but mainly for checking preamp tubes to see if they are overly microphonic.

You've cleaned all the tube sockets with contact cleaner?

If you had any arcing at the pins that might cause crackle too but I'm guessing you've already inspected the boards as you've cleaned the pots.

Outside of these things and checking all solder joints/insert jacks - I'm not sure what else I could offer up but I'm not an amp tech. You may just need to take it in.

oh, anyway here is a vid I made on checking tubes. i over did it a bit because I was trying to hard to make a vid

http://s545.photobucket.com/albums/hh384/buckethead_311/Amp%20stuff/?action=view&current=Microphonicpreamptube.mp4
#4
I did try the pencil test before and didn't find any noise from the tubes. I'm taking it all apart again tomorrow and inspecting it all once more. I really need to have it fixed soon as my band enters the studio on Friday, so if I do need to order tubes, I'll have to do it soon.

Thanks for the video too. It will help me for sure. Any other ideas?
#5
Try cleaning the valve sockets as well. Pull the valves out, spray some contact cleaner on the valve pins and work them in and out of the socket a few times.
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#6
I tried using contact cleaner on all the valve pins as well as on the actual sockets too, but to no avail. I've also noticed that when I'm turning standby on, it tends to begin crackling even if it hasn't been while playing. It'll fade out because the amps turning off, but it does get quite loud for a few seconds before disappearing.

I checked all the solders and connections while I had it apart today as well, and theres no broken connections that I could see.

I'm beginning to feel like I've checked every possible problem aside from doing a complete tube change (which I'm going to do this week). I just don't think my tubes would be causing something like this, so I'm not even sure that'll fix it.
#7
i'm running out of ideas


have you swapped preamp tubes? Like V1 with V2

have you used the Line Out feature to listen for crackle there?

have you jumpered the effects loop jacks?

have you turned off the digital reverb?

make sure all the preamp tube sockets are clean of burns or scarring - where the pins come in.
#8
this may be completely stupid.

back when i had my valve king, it developed this cracking and poping while on, i checked the tube to see if one had gone microphonic, cleaned out the jacks (didn't do the pots), but did a few other things as well, but...

it was my speaker cable. it had just been sitting at that angle for so long suspending its 6 feet of length that it got tired and decided to pop.

free solution, return no questions asked for another monster speaker cable. the cable was about six years old.

so just a crazy chance, give it a try.
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#9
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
i'm running out of ideas


have you swapped preamp tubes? Like V1 with V2

have you used the Line Out feature to listen for crackle there?

have you jumpered the effects loop jacks?

have you turned off the digital reverb?

make sure all the preamp tube sockets are clean of burns or scarring - where the pins come in.


I haven't tried switching V1 with V2. Would that really be something that could cause that problem?

I've patched the effects loop and it still continued, and I've had the reverb off.

Quote by trashedlostfdup
this may be completely stupid.

back when i had my valve king, it developed this cracking and poping while on, i checked the tube to see if one had gone microphonic, cleaned out the jacks (didn't do the pots), but did a few other things as well, but...

it was my speaker cable. it had just been sitting at that angle for so long suspending its 6 feet of length that it got tired and decided to pop.

free solution, return no questions asked for another monster speaker cable. the cable was about six years old.

so just a crazy chance, give it a try.


I've tried the head on different cabs with different speaker cables, and it still persists unfortunately. I wish it were that simple
#10
I don't know dude. I'm just throwing out ideas on things to troubleshoot. My old Valveking had this crackling problem once and it turned out that the pins arc'ed on one of the preamp tubes because it was not seated all the way in. Sometimes just the act of swapping things around can fix the problem. Sorry I can't help any further.