#1
I only bought a Hot Rod Deluxe six or seven months ago, which still hasn’t been fixed because there’s no one who can deal with tube related problems and the warranty only covers tube issues for three months. NOW, it’s temporary replacement, a Fender Blues Junior - is also broken, after less than two months. Now I’ll admit, they’ve both taken some light knocks - but I can’t understand how both of them could mess up so easily.

In both cases, the amp started producing a far muddier tone, and then gradually over the space of a few hours, the volume has just faded until you get nothing. Is it this particular line of amps that seem to be temperamental, or are all tube amps really this difficult?

I’m going to try and return the Blues Junior, and I’m thinking about selling my Hot Rod too. Would a higher end Fender, say, a twin-reverb - be any more reliable?

ARGH. Makes me feel like f*cking giving up all together.
#2
Buy a solid state amp, they're far better, stops you having all this hastle, easiest cure.
#3
Quote by Anthony1991
Buy a solid state amp, they're far better, stops you having all this hastle, easiest cure.

Although this post might be ridiculed by the rest of the forum, I partially agree. Good solid states generally have awesome cleans.

I'd recommend the Line 6 Flextone, awesome cleans and decent distortion to boot.
#4
Although a solid-state partly appeals for reasons stated, I just can’t go back. For the most part, the warmth of tube amp is worth it (although right now it doesn’t seem that way).
#7
yes good tubes are the be-all and end-all, dammit. don't touch transistors.

i've had a fender twin reverb 65 reissue for a few years now and it hasn't really gone wrong at all. the usual tube hiccups, but nothing serious. you've taken your amps in to get checked out, right? cos muddiness and loss of volume is often the case with worn-out tubes

two good amps blown? could it be the power supply you're plugging em into?
Strats -> Twin = sexwaves
#8
Quote by usedillusions
have you thought about replacing the tubes?


A month and a half after buying the damn thing? Absolutely not. Tubes are supposed to last for years. I'm sure I could fix it by paying for them to be replaced somewhere (although that would still be difficult because the nearest place that does that is an hours train journey away) - but considering how new it is, I'd still feel worried that something else was up, even if it sounded fine after new tubes.

Quote by single-coil
yes good tubes are the be-all and end-all, dammit. don't touch transistors.

i've had a fender twin reverb 65 reissue for a few years now and it hasn't really gone wrong at all. the usual tube hiccups, but nothing serious. you've taken your amps in to get checked out, right? cos muddiness and loss of volume is often the case with worn-out tubes

two good amps blown? could it be the power supply you're plugging em into?


I'd say it's unlikely. The power supply I use regularly is certainly fine, I can't speak for the ones at gigs and my mates house - but they didn't seem dodgy and they've never messed up anyone else's tube amps.

-----

Anyway, I've contacted GAK (the guys I bought it from) and because I'm still under warranty they're offering a repair/replacement. I only have to shell out £15 for someone to come pick it up, so that seems reasonable. Not sure what I'll do when it comes back though. I'm still considering selling it and trying to get hold of a higher end Fender amp, although... I'm still not sure how much of a difference that would make.
#9
Quote by single-coil
yes good tubes are the be-all and end-all, dammit. don't touch transistors.

#10
Quote by Tomaz24
Tubes are supposed to last for years.

Tubes are pretty much the only thing which wears out on a tube amp... The amps you mentioned should last you a few decades, except the tubes in them which will need to be replaced every now and then, depending on things such as how much you play, at what volume, and if you let the tubes warm up properly before you start playing.

Also, I have a hard time believing that no one near you can deal with a tube amp. They are very simple little circuits, and anyone who is half decent with electronics should be able to find what's wrong with one. What you are supposed to be looking for is any shop which fixes electronics, not "the store which fixes Fender guitar tube amps".

Judging by the symptoms you described in your first post, I'd say that it probably is the tubes, and based on your apparent ignorance, it's probably because of you failing to read the manual and to take proper care for your amp.
Last edited by whoismilan at Sep 26, 2008,
#11
Quote by Tomaz24
I only bought a Hot Rod Deluxe six or seven months ago, which still hasn’t been fixed because there’s no one who can deal with tube related problems and the warranty only covers tube issues for three months. NOW, it’s temporary replacement, a Fender Blues Junior - is also broken, after less than two months. Now I’ll admit, they’ve both taken some light knocks - but I can’t understand how both of them could mess up so easily.

In both cases, the amp started producing a far muddier tone, and then gradually over the space of a few hours, the volume has just faded until you get nothing. Is it this particular line of amps that seem to be temperamental, or are all tube amps really this difficult?

I’m going to try and return the Blues Junior, and I’m thinking about selling my Hot Rod too. Would a higher end Fender, say, a twin-reverb - be any more reliable?

ARGH. Makes me feel like f*cking giving up all together.


The blues Jr is a great low cost amp but it's delicate and has to be treated as such. It's easy to cause huge amounts of damage to it if you are not careful.

The HRD is a much more solid amp and is usually very reliable. What exactly is the problem with your amps? Is it just that the volume faded untill you heard nothng? Did it get distorted in any way? Or did it just get quiet? Any poping noise? Do the amps fire up at all now or is it compleatly dead? If they do fire up is the tone different if you just leave it off for 5min than it is if you leave it off for a day?

If you live anywhere near Newtown Wales you can always bring them to me and I'll poke through them for you.

Or better yet, give up on fender all together and get yourself a hand made tweed twin from me

The fender "reverb" amps have a very VERY different tone than the tweed style amps so if I were you I wouldn't go with something like a twin reverb. You will be better off with a tweed twin, tweed deluxe, or tweed bassman.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Sep 26, 2008,
#12
^ Do it TS. Have a local UGer look at them.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#14
A tube amp isnt that tempermental. Ive had several tube amps the one I have now has the original tubes in it and Ive had it for 3 years. But they cant take as much abuse as a SS amp. You gotta turn em on right and let em cool off after use. Those tubes get hot and some parts are actually molten inside if not allowed to cool before moved they can break internally. You just have to take care of em mine isnt used as a shelf or as a coaster for drinks. And you gotta put it somewhere that air can get to it so it doesnt get to hot.
#15
It's tubes. They don't last a long time. Usually much less than a year with regular playing.

A month is pretty short, but not when you figure in all the times that it has been turned on wrong and just generally abused in the store. Not to mention, anything the TS may have done to it.
#16
My bluesbreaker is 16 years old and most of the tubes in it are still the original.
Quote by A Certain Death
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#17
Quote by MAYNARD
It's tubes. They don't last a long time. Usually much less than a year with regular playing.

A month is pretty short, but not when you figure in all the times that it has been turned on wrong and just generally abused in the store. Not to mention, anything the TS may have done to it.


if you're playing a 50 wat at bedroom volume the tubes should last for a long ****ing time...
#18
Tubes should easily last over a year if they are biased properly and the amp is not abused or badly ventilated.
#19
I had to replace the power tubes on my Traynor almost exactly once a year, at bedroom volume, 90% of the time. The amp was properly cared for and self biasing. I haven't had my Marshall for a year, but I am assuming, that I'll need them replaced.

Maybe you guys are lucky with tubes, but in my experience and with everything I have ever read, if you play regularly(every day) you are gonna need at least one set of tubes per year.


I realize all tubes and tube amps are different, so I am sure it varies greatly.

Does a 50 watt amp go through tubes faster than a 10 watt amp? I am not sure exactly what affects tube life, other than general use or abuse.


I stand by my first statement. I would be willing to bet that not one person that tried TS's amp in the store let it warm up properly. That is as hard as anything on tubes. Plus, I am sure they never allowed for cooldown, so who knows what kinda damage was done to the inyrds of the amp/tubes.
Last edited by MAYNARD at Sep 26, 2008,
#20
Quote by Hultan
My bluesbreaker is 16 years old and most of the tubes in it are still the original.

that's crazy man. Tubes begin to sound lifeless and dull after they are old, it's a physical process that creates sound, and it depletes them over the time they are used. Not only that, old tubes tend to fail catastrophically when they go, and can take out other parts of the circuit. That's why it's recommended to change them regularly depending on use, it's a maintenance item. You're gambling just leaving them in there until they die.

Old tubes that were produced back when everything used them were a made at a much higher standard, so they could last a lot longer. Tubes produced in the 90's were not built in that time period, or by those standards.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#21
Quote by Tomaz24
Tubes are supposed to last for years.

Quote by Swap-Meet
if you're playing a 50 wat at bedroom volume the tubes should last for a long ****ing time...

Quote by TheEsupremacy
Tubes should easily last over a year if they are biased properly and the amp is not abused or badly ventilated.

Sigh...tires are "supposed" to last for years, but sometimes you run over a nail and they pop.

That's pretty much what happened with your amp. You got unlucky, or there was a transient spike, or any number of things happened, and your tubes died. Modern tubes just aren't made that well, and there are no guarantees that they'll last "years" at all. Stock fender tubes suck, get new ones.
In short, sh!t happens. Deal with it.
#22
^I'm still not sure it's actually the tubes. If the tubes are blowing, which is possible but there could be other things too, then there is a very good chance that there is something else causing them to blow so soon.

Quote by MAYNARD
I am sure they never allowed for cooldown, so who knows what kinda damage was done to the inyrds of the amp/tubes.



Amps don't need to cool down before turning them off. You can just turn the off.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Sep 26, 2008,
#23
eh I had the same tubes in my TSL for 1.5 years, lpaying out at least twice a week, and four practices a week with the amp really cookin'. Tubes were still fine. I changed them recently just to see what a difference it made.
My Gear
Guitars:
-Gibson Les Paul Studio
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul
-Ibanez S470
-PRS SE Custom

Amp:
Marshall TSL100
Marshall 1960a cab

Effects:
Dunlop 535q wah
Visual Sound Liquid Chorus

Pickups:
Guitarforce
MHD
#24
Quote by CorduroyEW
^I'm still not sure it's actually the tubes. If the tubes are blowing, which is possible but there could be other things too, then there is a very good chance that there is something else causing them to blow so soon.

It does sound like a resistor in the bias supply that's come loose- BUT the first test in almost any amp diagnosis is to replace the power tubes.
Edit: why don't you just try returning it? If it's a tube issue, then you'll know you just have to fix them, and if it's not, or if they don't test for it, you'll get a new amp, problem solved.
#26
Quote by Erock503
that's crazy man. Tubes begin to sound lifeless and dull after they are old, it's a physical process that creates sound, and it depletes them over the time they are used. Not only that, old tubes tend to fail catastrophically when they go, and can take out other parts of the circuit. That's why it's recommended to change them regularly depending on use, it's a maintenance item. You're gambling just leaving them in there until they die.

Old tubes that were produced back when everything used them were a made at a much higher standard, so they could last a lot longer. Tubes produced in the 90's were not built in that time period, or by those standards.

I let a professional have a look through on my amp EXACTLY one year ago, and there was only one tube that needed to be changed. Hey, if it ain't broken, don't fix it

I have a friend who has a 1970 something Marshall super bass that have had one tube changed since he bought it in the 90-s, and I don't wanna know how many tours/gigs/loud jams he have cranked that amp - he (pretty much) always cranks his amp (which leaves the result of him being deaf on one of his ears). If his band are told to lower the volume, they pack their rig and just leave.
That one tube he changed HAD to be changed because it was completely dead.

But back on topic: I can agree with the guy who said that it's probably something else in the circuit that's not working properly and therefore the tubes keeps blowing.
Could be that.
Quote by A Certain Death
my mum is a retard
#27
Replace the tubes, if they blow again then maybe somethings wrong. Fenders come with cheap ten dollar tubes, don't expect miracles.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#28
Quote by Hultan
I let a professional have a look through on my amp EXACTLY one year ago, and there was only one tube that needed to be changed. Hey, if it ain't broken, don't fix it

I have a friend who has a 1970 something Marshall super bass that have had one tube changed since he bought it in the 90-s, and I don't wanna know how many tours/gigs/loud jams he have cranked that amp - he (pretty much) always cranks his amp (which leaves the result of him being deaf on one of his ears). If his band are told to lower the volume, they pack their rig and just leave.
That one tube he changed HAD to be changed because it was completely dead.

But back on topic: I can agree with the guy who said that it's probably something else in the circuit that's not working properly and therefore the tubes keeps blowing.
Could be that.

haha, good to hear you've had great luck with it. Honestly though man, and I'm not trying to be a douche, I don't know one professional amp maker/tech that would say it's a good idea to gamble on 16 year old stock tubes that have been used regularly. We're not talking about NOS tubes from the 60's/70's right, these are factory Marshall installed tubes from 1992? Seriously, I've seen old tubes go bad and take out other parts in the circuit. Not like it can't happen anyway after 5 minutes with today's tubes, but the odds go up when the tubes are modern production era and they are that old. Just a heads up man, I would get some second opinions.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#29
Yeah, I hear ya, and thanks for the advice. I'm not a very seasoned guitar player (only played electric for 1 year pretty exactly). I bought the Bluesbreaker as my first amp a year ago, and the guy who had it before me was the first owner and had barely used it and had never changed tubes in it.
Too bad I'm a very lazy person, so I'll probably just go on playing untill I can't hear the amp no more.
Quote by A Certain Death
my mum is a retard
#30
Quote by Hultan
Yeah, I hear ya, and thanks for the advice. I'm not a very seasoned guitar player (only played electric for 1 year pretty exactly). I bought the Bluesbreaker as my first amp a year ago, and the guy who had it before me was the first owner and had barely used it and had never changed tubes in it.
Too bad I'm a very lazy person, so I'll probably just go on playing untill I can't hear the amp no more.

ahh, well it's really all about how much he played it then. If it just sat, they are probably fine, that's the whole premise of NOS tubes. Killer amp by the way man, I love those things.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#31
Quote by MAYNARD

I stand by my first statement. I would be willing to bet that not one person that tried TS's amp in the store let it warm up properly. That is as hard as anything on tubes. Plus, I am sure they never allowed for cooldown, so who knows what kinda damage was done to the inyrds of the amp/tubes.


I agree....**** I tried out the Crate v-50 today at the store (REALLY ****ING LIKE IT!) and the stupid salesman didn't even put it on standby, just straight to on.

Never buy shit from the floor....everytime I do something gets screwed up (like my guitar...so many chips on it.. )