#1
So i posted this thread a while ago when i had a problem with my Ampeg GVT52-112.

I took it to a qualified and experienced amplifier technician, who changed the 6L6 power tubes and checked the internals of the amp.
He tested it for a while, and since everything was perfectly fine, he sent it back to me.
It worked well in my hands for a week when the same thing happened.

I took it back to the tech. The tech re-checked the internals. Once again measured everything, all the readings were perfectly fine and stable.
He tested the amp by running it for at least 48 hours, both in 25-watt and 50-watt modes, with no problems whatsoever. He sent it back to me.

Back at my house, it ran fine for less than 6 hours before "blowing" again yesterday.


Now, i'm thinking the problem may be in my house. The electric instalation is good, the house was built from scratch a little over 10 years ago.
But we do have problems with the electric company. The "quality of the electricity" seems to be very poor.
For example, the lamps always "flicker" -- they shine really bright for a while, then they decrease the shine, then they shine bright again, and so on.
Another example, we can't have the washing machine working at the same time as the dryer. If we try, the washing machine keeps trying to start but never actually starts.

Can this be what's causing this problem with my amp?

It's my first tube amp, so i don't know how affected they are by this. All i know is that the amp's fuse didn't blow, and nothing is burned inside the amp.
Also, no other electrical equipment inside the house is damaged (computers, TVs, etc.). The only detail i think worth mentioning is that we seem to go through lamps faster than we should.


As always, thank you for your help.
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#2
That could be the issue. Look into a power conditioner, Thomann sell a rack mount one
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#3
If you get a surge it could cook the tubes. Some sort of over-voltage protection could certainly be in order.
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#4
Definitely sounds like your house power is to blame. It doesn't sound like this is a problem with the electric company so much as is it with the wiring in your house. Ideally you need to get an electrician to assess the issues, but a stopgap measure for your amp would be to get a power conditioner that can provide you with a safe voltage. Note that there are some power conditioners that only filter out RF or only suppress large surges, so you need to look for one that specifically regulates voltage.
An easy diagnostic would be to use a voltmeter on one of your outlets to see how far off your power is. Sounds like it might be high.
#5
Quote by Roc8995
Definitely sounds like your house power is to blame. It doesn't sound like this is a problem with the electric company so much as is it with the wiring in your house. Ideally you need to get an electrician to assess the issues, but a stopgap measure for your amp would be to get a power conditioner that can provide you with a safe voltage. Note that there are some power conditioners that only filter out RF or only suppress large surges, so you need to look for one that specifically regulates voltage.
An easy diagnostic would be to use a voltmeter on one of your outlets to see how far off your power is. Sounds like it might be high.


Yeah, sounds like in addition to extremely unreliable utility power, the house is insufficiently wired for the expected loads. (Washer won't start when the dryer is running? WTF! Sounds like a loading issue, and grossly insufficient circuit protection...)

As an aside, I think we in the US/UK etc. often take rock steady utility power far too much for granted. Can you imagine if every power supply had to be designed to handle 30% transients from nominal on a regular basis without output degradation?
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#6
Quote by Roc8995
Definitely sounds like your house power is to blame. It doesn't sound like this is a problem with the electric company so much as is it with the wiring in your house. Ideally you need to get an electrician to assess the issues...

Quote by Arby911
Yeah, sounds like in addition to extremely unreliable utility power, the house is insufficiently wired for the expected loads. (Washer won't start when the dryer is running? WTF! Sounds like a loading issue, and grossly insufficient circuit protection...)

Just talked with my father. He told me he had a qualified electrician examine the house wiring a while ago, and everything was normal.

The electric company is known to have poor service quality outside of major urban centers.
I live in (what you would call) the suburbs of an average-sized city, and it's still classified as a "B" or "C" area, i'm not sure which one, by the electric company. (Only the actual city center is an "A" area, which they regard as having higher importance.)

Apparently, the tension provided by the electrical company is not enough for these areas, and those tension "dips" are causing these issues.
I didn't know they could harm the amplifiers' tubes, though.

Quote by GABarrie
That could be the issue. Look into a power conditioner, Thomann sell a rack mount one

Quote by Roc8995
...a stopgap measure for your amp would be to get a power conditioner that can provide you with a safe voltage. Note that there are some power conditioners that only filter out RF or only suppress large surges, so you need to look for one that specifically regulates voltage.

Would something like a Furman AC-210 A E power conditioner work?
Thomann has them for 189€... Are there any cheaper alternatives?

Quote by Cathbard
If you get a surge it could cook the tubes. Some sort of over-voltage protection could certainly be in order.

But wouldn't a surge blow the amp's fuse before cooking the tubes?

Also, from what i've talked with a couple of people, the tubes can be harmed by low tension. Would that Furman power conditioner also protect my Ampeg from those dips in electric tension?
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#7
Quote by Linkerman


But wouldn't a surge blow the amp's fuse before cooking the tubes?

Also, from what i've talked with a couple of people, the tubes can be harmed by low tension. Would that Furman power conditioner also protect my Ampeg from those dips in electric tension?

Not if it isn't that high. If it's a really big surge yeah, it will probably take out the fuse but a smaller increase in supply voltage has the same effect as biasing the tubes too hot. You could also end up cooking the heaters as well. Low voltage isn't going to kill anything, it will just make it sound shitty or fail to function. High voltage though ...... not good.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Oct 21, 2013,
#8
Tomorrow i'll have an electrician friend over to analyze the house wiring and make sure that everything is as it should be.
If everything's fine with my house, and there are issues with the electric current then it's time to file a complaint with the electric company.


But as a preventive measure, would that Furman AC-210 A E power conditioner guarantee that the amp is running with optimal electric current conditions, anytime, anywhere?
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#9
(removed - please don't post your own questions in someone else's thread)
I can honestly say I have really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like.


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#11
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Good luck Linkerman. Hopefully something like a power conditioner will help.

Thank you!

But i still haven't had a reply to this question:
As a preventive measure, would that Furman AC-210 A E power conditioner guarantee that the amp is running with optimal electric current conditions, anytime, anywhere?
Would it maintain a constant, controlled current, even with both current peaks AND dips?


I only ask this because i want to play gigs with the amp and use it in different places, and i can't have guarantees that the power quality is always good enough.
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#12
Quote by Linkerman
Thank you!

But i still haven't had a reply to this question:
As a preventive measure, would that Furman AC-210 A E power conditioner guarantee that the amp is running with optimal electric current conditions, anytime, anywhere?
Would it maintain a constant, controlled current, even with both current peaks AND dips?


I only ask this because i want to play gigs with the amp and use it in different places, and i can't have guarantees that the power quality is always good enough.


No. That's a guarantee only a battery backed power conditioner can make, and of course there are even limits on them.

Something like this...

http://www.apc.com/products/family/?id=310
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#13
So, the electrician just left my house and everything is perfectly fine on my end, it's the electric company's fault. The voltage keeps oscillating between 215 and 255V.
I'll have to file a complaint.


And this is what he suggested i buy to protect my amplifier:
G-TEC UPS PC615 850VA - 480 Watt
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#14
Quote by Linkerman
So, the electrician just left my house and everything is perfectly fine on my end, it's the electric company's fault. The voltage keeps oscillating between 215 and 255V.
I'll have to file a complaint.


And this is what he suggested i buy to protect my amplifier:
G-TEC UPS PC615 850VA - 480 Watt


He's right, that will work.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#15
Quote by Arby911
He's right, that will work.

Perfect. It's cheaper than the Furman, too. It costs 60€ (versus the 189€ of the Furman).
Thank you for the feedback. Then i'll get one of those as soon as the Ampeg is back from the shop.

I'll never feel confident in plugging the amp straight to a wall outlet again.
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