#1
I just bought a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe yesterday, and I love it. It was used, but rarely played, and only a year old. I got home to find that it makes loud popping noises, but thought nothing of it. Now it seems that whenever I play anything remotely loud, the popping noises are always there. It also pops if i tap the tube, but I'm not sure if it always does that or if its a problem. Basically, I think one, if not both, of my power tubes are shot. One of them has a silvery coating around the bottom like normal, the other one is black. Also, where it says GT on the front (both GT6L6B), the one that seems to work is slightly brown, the other one is white. The one that doesn't seem to work so well doesn't glow all the time either. This is my biggest concern. When it does light up, a few minutes later it will start crackling and the tube will stop glowing. The sound gets diminished, and it starts breaking up wayyy earlier than it should.

Sorry for the disorganization, but could anybody help me figure out what is wrong? I'm thinking retubing will solve it. I know its not the speaker. Thanks in advance!
O.S.I.


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#3
yeah, that's an easy one if one of your powertubes intermittently glows. Both powertubes should have a healthy glow when you're playing thru your amp.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#4
Alright, thanks a lot. Although its used, I'm half hoping we can talk them into throwing in some tubes..

Out of curiosity, what is a "healthy glow"? The one that seemed to work had an orange glow in the center of the top, and around the bottom, above the silverish coating.
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#5
yeah, the orange glow is healthy. The only thing you want to watch for, is the plates getting red hot, then it's getting too much current. That can happen though, if one tube is shorting, and bringing down the bias on the other tube, they work in pairs with Class A/B.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#6
Alright. Also, can I tell by how it looks if its not biased correctly, aka too high or too low? I'm really new to tube amps and only know the very basics. The interesting thing is, my dad and I switched the tubes around, putting the left one on the right and vice versa. The left one was the one that glowed both times, the right one didn't. I think I'm going to take it in to have them check it out, but do you know any possible solutions?
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#7
no, can't really tell by looking. You can only tell if they aren't working at all, or if they are severely underbiased, and the plates are glowing red hot. You can also see them arc if there is a shorting problem, which isn't good, lol.

To bias an amp correctly, you need to know the plate voltage of that specific amp, the plate dissipation of the kind of tubes you used, and be able to measure the bias current in relation to the specific tubes you are using. Tubes from the same manufacturer, even same model, can have very different characteristics and properties. That's why you buy matched tubes, which just means they are tested to be very close to eachother in spec. Bias is like setting the idle on a car, if it's too cold, the car will run rough and sound like crap, too high, and it will sound fine, but rip thru gas. Same with tubes, if you set the bias too cold, you get crossover distortion, and the amp won't sound as good as it could. Run the bias too hot, and it will sound fine, but you'll burn thru tubes quickly. It's a balance between what sounds the best, and what allows the most life for your tubes.

As far as diagnosing your problem, that's something you should take it to a tech for really, I wouldn't feel comfortable in my own knowledge to give you advice about that. One thing you could try that's easy is a driver swap. I don't know the specs of your amp, but if it is a push/pull pair, maybe you could try swapping a different preamp tube in the phase inverter/driver position. Any other tube should do, just make sure you remember what position you swapped it with. It should be the preamp tube closest to your powertubes, and it controls the push pull relationship of the powertube pairs. That's an easy test where you don't have to take anything apart.
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#8
tubes HAVE to glow when they're in use. if not, try pushing them in, if that doesn't help, it's a blown tube. need a new one.

(i bet this was already answered, but as a repeat. cuz amps running with a blown tube can damage an amplifier.)
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#9
Quote by ECistheBest
tubes HAVE to glow when they're in use. if not, try pushing them in, if that doesn't help, it's a blown tube. need a new one.

(i bet this was already answered, but as a repeat. cuz amps running with a blown tube can damage an amplifier.)

he said he swapped them around, and only the left "side" glows.
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#10
that's either the tube socket problem, or his power supply problem.
Call me "Shot".

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#11
I'm still working on it. The shop i bought it from isn't open on Sunday, so I'm kind of left in the dust with a new amp that doesn't work right. It's actually quite disappointing. I am almost 100% sure it's the tubes, though. If they're anything like old batteries, they run for a few minutes each time you turn it on, and then sh't out on you.
O.S.I.


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#12
^do they do that? it might be the tubes... or a capacitor failing inside ur amp.
Call me "Shot".

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Est. 2007


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#13
they used to. Basically, played the amp in the store, worked great. A few months later when i finally pay it off, bring it home, plug it in. Hear a few popping noises, no big deal, or so I thought. After playing for like a half hour, I take a little break. Come back later, still works fine. That night, i notice one of the tubes isn't glowing. Turn it on, play for a little while, then the popping starts again. Except this time its worse. The sound isn't as clear and full as it used to be, and sounds muddy, like you can't turn up the treble. Take it over to my friend's house to jam today, and its basically dead. It works, but sounds like sht. Thats the disappointing part, because I know its not a bad amp, its just got bad tubes in it (i think.) As soon as we can, we're calling the store and talking about it, and then we're gonna take it in to get looked at.
O.S.I.


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#14
Dude, I had the same problem with my HRD when i first bought it a couple months ago. There were strange popping sounds coming from the amp and after a couple of months it just did not sound good at all.

I'm gonna be taking a trip to the shop soon to have them take a look at it, because it bothers me that its not sounding as good as it should.

Good luck with yours,

Steve M.
Guitars
Fender 60th Anniversary Strat
Warmoth Strat
Epiphone G-1275 (Burstbuckers)
Fender MIM Chrome Red Strat
Fender 12 String Acoustic
Amp
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
#15
i think the store just kept it out on the floor while it was still being payed for. basically you had a bunch of kids blasting through the thing everyday and the tubes wore out. no big deal really.
#16
no, thats not what happened. they store these things in the back. But i'm not sure how many people played on it. Generally, kids don't go into that store. Its mostly adults, I'm one of the few kids. But i'm not sure how many people played on it in the store. This one was a year old, played rarely, not a mark on it. Looked in better condition than the new one they had. But i still think its the tubes, although it might be the socket.
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#17
fender uses generally ****ty sockets on ALL there amps so yeah its a possibility, i have a hot rod deville and ive never had a problem, i dont understand why everyones HDR is crapping out on them all the sudden.
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#18
Huh...thats interesting about the crappy sockets, I've never heard anything bad about them. Nothing LOOKS broken, but I don't know much about how this amp is wired so it could be something there that I'm not seeing. Either way, I'm still really anxious to find the actual problem. Any other suggestions as to what it could be?
O.S.I.


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#19
Its probably just a tube issue, im gonna go get my tubes replaced in about a week, ill let you know if that fixed the problem.

Steve M.
Guitars
Fender 60th Anniversary Strat
Warmoth Strat
Epiphone G-1275 (Burstbuckers)
Fender MIM Chrome Red Strat
Fender 12 String Acoustic
Amp
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe