#1
I have a VHT Special 6 head that makes a static type sound. It isn't a crackle/pop noise as much as just static. It comes and goes no matter if a guitar is plugged in or not. I have tried several different tube combinations to rule that out as a problem. I have it out for repair and the tech says it has a static discharge problem. He can't figure out what causes it or where it is coming from. Does anyone have any ideas or experience with an issue like this?
#2
Doubt that static discharge has anything to do with it. Don't go back to that guy. Could be some bad solder joints or tubes. Take out the tubes and spray the contacts with DeOxit and then work them in and out of the sockets. Try swapping out some tubes if you can. Solder joints require tools and taking the circuit board out of the chassis.
#3
Tubes have been swapped and sockets have been cleaned. Nothing I do (tapping tubes, adjusting controls, checking jacks) makes a difference to the static noise.
#4
Then I would suspect bad solder joints. I guess in a sense you could call that static discharge, although that tends to suggest environmental charge buildup. When you have bad solder joints voltages can build up and discharge making static noise. Does the static change as the amp heats up? Bad solder joints will sometimes behave differently as the amp heats up and you get expansion of the components and circuit boards. Have you ever tried giving amp a good smack with your hand while it's making noise? If that changes the static then it suggests mechanical issues like solder cracks in the circuit.

It might be a gamble for a tech to take apart the amp and resolder joints not knowing if that's the problem. If he can't fix the problem then he's out for his time. But I have had many amps exhibit problems like this because of cold/cracked solder joints on the pots and jacks. The cracks can be very small and not visible without a magnifying glass. I just go across the board and reflow all the pots and jacks. There are the most susceptible because of the mechanical stress between the chassis and circuit board.
#5
The static doesn't necessarily change as the amp heats up. It does take a bit for the static to start. It doesn't happen right away. I have not given it a good smack. I didn't want to mess anything up any more than it already is.

I emailed VHT and they said they have never heard of this problem and suggested checking all grounds. I relayed this to the tech. He said they've done that but would look further. BTW, am I in for a huge labor bill? I know their time is worth something, but if they don't really fix anything, what should I expect to owe them. They've already been told I don't want to sink much money into it as it's not that expensive to begin with.

Thanks for the replies.
#6
When you say that it takes a while that means it changes as the amp heats up. You can only ask your tech how much it might cost to diagnose. I searched and here is some comments I found wrt to static or fuzzy sound....

"I had some trouble with mine... Similar to what you are talking about. I found a bad IEC socket. Once I replaced that the problem went away... Kinda weird. The noise was intermittent and I discovered it by accident when I bumped the cord at the socket. I noticed the noise got worse and stopped when I seated the cable firmly. "

another...

"I'll contact them.....Even w/o a guitar hooked up it does it.... I researched bad filter caps and it seems that hum is the noise...this is static I'm hearing like a bad cable... but no guitar is hooked up.....we'll see, I've emailed VHT.

then he found the problem...

SCRATCHY POTS! SCRATCHY POTS! YAAAAY it's quiet as a mouse now....soon Ill pull the chassis and spray some contact cleaner in there. So far I've tried stock 6v6, jj e34l now a nos 6l6.....v1 5751 v2 12ax7 vintage and like the 6l6 for more articulate clean but the e34l just rocks the ultra and the clean with the watts turned down for that OD tone. What an amp!
#7
Hey, thanks for putting the time in. I have seen both of those posts as well. Not saying that it still can't be scratchy pots, but it didn't change when I moved either the Tone or Volume knobs. Those are the only two pots that I know of. I'll have to ask the tech about the IEC. I didn't wiggle the power cable myself. Thanks again, I really appreciate your time and effort.
#8
I dunno what was wrong with mine but my first one had more background noise than i'd have liked (maybe what you mean by static, maybe not) and also no headroom. I sent it back to get fixed and they swapped tubes and cleaned the sockets (WTF i tried that and it didn't work ), when i sent it back again they just sent me another.

So yeah I mean that's no help but QC does seem to be a bit iffy on them and since fly managed to flag up some posts on other forums by people who had similar problems, it'd suggest you're not the only one.

I'm guessing it's not new since you didn't just try to return it? Even if not it might be worth an email to VHT in case they could maybe flag up what might be wrong. I dunno what their email support is like now but when I was buying I emailed them a bunch of times and the head designer guy answered personall and knew what he was talking about (i.e. you were talking to a guy with tech knowledge, not just a salesperson).
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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#9
Yeah, I bought it used. I did email VHT. I'm not sure who replied, but they said they had never heard of one with this problem. Those posts that fly found I believe were from owners of the Ultra model of the Special 6. Not sure how much difference that makes, but could be some. I guess I wouldn't rule out scratchy pots, but would it make the static noise even when nothing is being touched? And wouldn't it make the noise or change it when you did touch something? I have a feeling I'm not going to be happy with how this turns out.
#10
i'm not sure. the other guys know way more about electronics than I do here.

FWIW mine was the bog standard (non ultra) one, but then I dunno if my problem was exactly the same as yours
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
I have a very similar problem with my egnater vengeance head. Maybe its the same problem, depending on how yours sounds. Ive made threads about it here and on the egnater forum but nobody has been able to help me. I did a quick youtube recording of how mine sounds awhile ago: http://youtu.be/flT13f-pqyU

It doesnt change based on how the pots are adjusted. Doesnt matter if guitar is plugged in or not. Doesnt change with volume adjustments or fx loop. I noticed that it is louder in the 120 watt mode than 60 watt, but after changing the tubes it didnt help alleviate the issue. I was thinking about bringing it to a tech too.

Let me know if you figure yours out. Our problems sound similar
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#12
What happens if you punch it? Hit it firmly on top of the amp while on and turned up (if it's got a reverb tank, turn that off first.)
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
Watterson, my amp static doesn't sound anything like that. Yours just sounds like hum to me. Mine actually makes a static noise, I suppose kind of similar to a scratchy pot, but just intermittent with nothing being touched.

Cathbard, I didn't punch or smack it. I did tap the tubes and move knobs and inputs. What would be gained by hitting it?
#14
It's a time honored method of fault finding. If it makes noise, you have a faulty joint somewhere.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#15
Got it. I can ask them to do that I guess.

The best way I can accurately describe the noise it makes is that it's like static interference you might hear through your amp during an electrical storm.
#16
I'd lay money on it being a dry joint.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
Dry joint? As in bad solder joint? Is there a way to find that or do you just resolder everything?
#18
Yeah. You can often see it under a magnifying glass if you know what you are looking at. Tapping components with some non-conducting object is another way of identifying them (yes, we techs hit things a lot. ) but often it's easier just to reflow the solder.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#19
Well I talked to the tech again today. He said he'll check all the suggestions. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks for all the replies. I really appreciate it.