#1
In the last year I’ve bought two new tube amps, a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and a Fender Blues Junior - and both of them have broken. The HR’s tone has become horribly muddy and one day the Blues Junior just started decreasing in volume until it stopped all together.

I’ll admit these amps have probably taken a few minor knocks, but they’ve never taken anything that should brake them in this way. No crashes, nothing major at all, juts accidental knocks against door frames and things like that.

I figured, maybe it’s this line of Fender amps. So I started considering selling both the amps and investing in a much higher quality Fender amp (I presumed this would also mean more stability) - but searching Twin Reverb on UG brings up a load of threads where people are having just as many stupid amp issues.

So what gives? Are these people just unlucky? Am I just unlucky? Are there reliable tube amps in this world?
#3
Tube amps can take quite a bit of abuse... But that said there are some do's and dont's and if you dont follow them your asking for a broken amp.

In your case it sounds like they need a re-tube like already stated.
#4
have you thought of a brand that isn't fender?
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#6
Stock tubes aren't the best but I would expect a year out of them as I am sure you did. But these both sound like tube issues. The HRD preamps and BJr power tubes, from what you posted.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#7
I’m looking into new tubes for my HRD, the Blues Junior however is so new that I just emailed the website I ordered it from and had them take it back (the tubes are under a three month warranty, everything else a year) - so they’ll either replace the tubes or replace the amp itself.

My point is though, these amps are new. How on earth could the tubes need changing when I don’t push them at all? Shouldn’t I be worried something else is wrong with them?

My other problem is I live pretty far away from anywhere that replaces tubes. To sort my HRD out would mean a hour and a half train journey (damn expensive) on top of whatever they charge me for the tubes.

Edit:

Quote by gregs1020
Stock tubes aren't the best but I would expect a year out of them as I am sure you did. But these both sound like tube issues. The HRD preamps and BJr power tubes, from what you posted.


In that case, would it be safer to replace all the tubes regardless? At least that way, if anything went wrong again (in the near future) I'd know something else is probably up.
#8
ah but did you consider that valves are immune to the effects of radioactive fallout?

take that SS brigade
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#9
you sure its not just bad cables? if they were unreliable I dont think anyone famous band would get up in front of thousands of people and play with them cranked up...

and are you giving them time to warm up before you turn them on?
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#10
Quote by Tomaz24

In that case, would it be safer to replace all the tubes regardless? At least that way, if anything went wrong again (in the near future) I'd know something else is probably up.
A wise UGer told me he always gets a set of new tubes when he gets an amp and uses the stock tubes as back ups. I miss slats. But certainly since the BJr is under warranty go that route - you paid new prices for something. I would re-tube the HRD if it isn't your cable/cord/lead to the guitar. Since it faded out I doubt it's the fuse - but that is worth looking at anyway.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#11

My other problem is I live pretty far away from anywhere that replaces tubes. To sort my HRD out would mean a hour and a half train journey (damn expensive) on top of whatever they charge me for the tubes.
QUOTE]

I used to play with a guy who owned a blues junior- It was reliable for him. And from what I can remember is that on the BJ you didnt even have to open any the amp up to change tubes- just pull the old ones out and plug the new ones in. Therefore, you can order tubes off the internet (or buy them next time you're in town), then replace them yourself in about 2 minutes.

Of course, theres a pretty good chance you already knew this. if so, ignore.
#12
I'd give it a retube, or you're just extremely unlucky. Alot of people have these ollllddd fender amps, it couldn't be that they're not reliable
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#13
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
ah but did you consider that valves are immune to the effects of radioactive fallout?

take that SS brigade


lol. there's no way I could ever go back to solid state.

Quote by ICANSEEYOU7687
you sure its not just bad cables? if they were unreliable I dont think anyone famous band would get up in front of thousands of people and play with them cranked up...

and are you giving them time to warm up before you turn them on?


I have two £25 guitar cables and obviously that's one of the first things I'd check. It's definently tube related - and I allow plenty of time for them to warm up before I turn on!

I used to play with a guy who owned a blues junior- It was reliable for him. And from what I can remember is that on the BJ you didnt even have to open any the amp up to change tubes- just pull the old ones out and plug the new ones in. Therefore, you can order tubes off the internet (or buy them next time you're in town), then replace them yourself in about 2 minutes.

Of course, theres a pretty good chance you already knew this. if so, ignore.


That's very wide indeed!

And I was tempted just to replace the BJ tubes but it was so new I just figured I might as well send it back, seeing as it'd be free that way.

I'd give it a retube, or you're just extremely unlucky. Alot of people have these ollllddd fender amps, it couldn't be that they're not reliable


Yeah you're right. Sigh... more expenditure for me then.
Last edited by Tomaz24 at Oct 10, 2008,
#14
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
ah but did you consider that valves are immune to the effects of radioactive fallout?

take that SS brigade


Not the fallout, but the electromagnetic pulse generated by the explosion itself. We'll still be playing our guitars during and after armageddon if we can find old school generators to power our amps.
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#15
Maybe its just some newer tube amps. I do seem to read alot about new amps that quit soon after purchase or dont even work out of the box. But seems alot of companies put some pretty cheap tubes in stock. My kustom coupe is 3 years old with the original tubes in it. And I had a 60s ampeg that when bought had some really old tubes with no standby switch still worked. I replaced em once in the 15 years I owned the ampeg. Tubes arent as fragile as some seem to think, the russians were using them in tanks and high performance aircraft into the 90s.
#16
Right then, consequently, what as I know very little about tube-brands - what tubes should I buy to get a very similar sound to the stock hot rod? Just excellent cleans really. I'm not looking drastically change overdrive or anything like that.

#17
I would check out Eurotubes if I were you. You can probably get a kit that has all of them, but I haven't bought from them. Tubedepot as well.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#19
Quote by timi_hendrix
Nope. Take the Peavey Valveking - reliably shit, 100% of the time.

*Stirs the stew*


Mines reliable 100% of the time so that knocks ya down to 99% ha ha lol
#21
Quote by timi_hendrix
3/10, you could have improved on humour, grammar and generally making sense.



Mine is reliable 100% of the time... and it's not shit post-speaker swap.


That, and I'm the only one I know (who lives near me) who owns a tube amp...
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#22
Quote by timi_hendrix
3/10, you could have improved on humour, grammar and generally making sense.



My appologies, its late and I have 20 minutes before im off work lol
So I will take that 3 and wear it with pride
#23
what are you using the amps for, and also have you considered VOX, in my opinion they look better built(very hansome looking), and come with better materiels, you can tell just by hearing the verb.