Amps: the bit the music comes out of

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by postalblue » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:13 pm

Rimbaud wrote:
postalblue wrote:Wtf? And he still sucks?!
Are you mad?
Pretty much. But not quite enough.
New Postal Blue single out now on Cloudberry Records.
There are still copies of our Road to Happiness CD-EP here.
http://www.postalblue.net

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by Rimbaud » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:57 am

soft revolution wrote:J Mascis' set up, it just takes the piss really - but still, wow.

Image
If this is some great art piece then I guess this is minimalism...

Image

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by James_B » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:08 pm

Is anyone here particularly good at trouble shooting valve amps?

I've got a laney lc15r, it's not amazing and I've replaced it with a tiny terror as my main amp anyway, but it's nice to have a working back up, but not so nice that I want to pay someone to fix it for me.

Here's the problem-
It'll work fine when first turned on, sometimes for up to an hour or more but sometimes only for 2 minutes but at some seemingly random point any input is lost and is replaced by a very loud noise. The noise is at the same level every time regardless of gain settings and doesn't seem to alter in pitch at all either. It's a hard noise to describe, much more than a 'buzz', more of just a distorted 'ERRRRRRR' sound which doesn't have any relation to what the input is.

I've tried it with different guitars, different leads, power outlets, I don't think it's an over heating thing and it's not like the amp has been particularly abused. I emailed Laney and they weren't very helpful...

One logical thing would be that the tubes need replacing I suppose, but I don't care about this amp enough to buy new ones if they're not needed. I'm only really looking into it because I'm back at my parent's house where I left the amp over a year ago and have nothing better to do than try and fix stuff.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by Uncle Ants » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:37 pm

James_B wrote:One logical thing would be that the tubes need replacing I suppose, but I don't care about this amp enough to buy new ones if they're not needed. I'm only really looking into it because I'm back at my parent's house where I left the amp over a year ago and have nothing better to do than try and fix stuff.
Okay I'm no expert. I know next to nothing about guitar amps, but know something about hifi and have run tube amps in my stereo before. If the noise is the same whatever gain level you have, then it's in the power amp section rather than the preamp side, so look there. The tubes are the most likely culprit. They don't last forever. Some shops will test the tubes for you for a small charge. They need to be local obviously. Also some tubes are pretty cheap and even if that isn't it, if you get it fixed you will probably need new ones at some point in the future anyway. What does it use?
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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by James_B » Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:20 am

# Preamp Valves Premium ECC83
# Output Valves Premium EL84
apparently... I've heard of EL84s, but it doesn't mean much to me.
I suppose if I buy new valves and it doesn't fix it I'll have a spare set for when they need replacing on the tiny terror.

do you know if this is something i could do myself? i know the actual act of physically fitting them won't be too hard, but i've heard stuff about re-biasing and other scary things that i don't really get.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:12 am

James_B wrote:# Preamp Valves Premium ECC83
# Output Valves Premium EL84
Both common valves.

Valves vary a lot in price depending on the make and their rarity. ecc83s go for between £6 and about £30 each. El84s about £8 to £30 each.

Look here: http://www.watfordvalves.com/

there are other shops of course.

The preamp valves are just a straight swap, output valves need biasing. A few amps are designed so that you don't nee to do this, most aren't - depends on the amp. If they need biasing and you don't know how, you had best find someone who can do it for you. There's big volts inside a valve amp. Biasing involves adjusting the voltages that go through the valve. Too high and they'll run very hot and shorten their life, too low and one of the symptoms is hum and a nasty sound (so maybe your amp just needs biasing - unfortunately these are also symptoms of a duff output valve. Usually it involves a multimeter, access to a measuring point and adjusting a trim pot so that the reading is the same on both sides. Some amps have these easily accessible ... some don't.

Give the Watford valves guys a ring (they are good and know their amps) and ask them about the problem you have and biasing - it may be it needs it maybe not ... actually a google on the model number brought up a thread on your Laney amp in the Watford valves forum (about hotrodding the amp) - it does mention biasing, so it looks like it does. On the same site they have a piece in their "about us" section on biasing. otherwise, I don't know there may be someone local.

If the Tiny Terror also uses el84s, then yes you could use them as spare set.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by James_B » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:04 am

thanks a lot, that'll all be really helpful.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by Uncle Ants » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:22 am

James_B wrote:thanks a lot, that'll all be really helpful.
No worries. If you ring the guys at Watford Valves then be sure to tell them exactly what the problem is. Like I say they know their guitar amps pretty well and if it's something that isn't valves they may have an idea what. Of course there may be a good repair shop closer to you. Valve amps are 1940s technology and in electronics terms very simple unsophisticated things and it's doubtful there is anything which is broke that can't be fixed. It's more a question of whether it's worth it. To know that, the first step is getting a clearer idea of what it is that's wrong. You could also ask on one of the forums on that site. They seem fairly busy with lots of posts from solder sniffers on it, you may find a friendly local who can help.

Edit: - I found this thread on that forum , on exactly the topic of biasing your amp. It doesn't look for the faint hearted. In fact it looks downright dangerous if you don't know what you are about.
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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by James_B » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:18 pm

yeah, I'm too scared to even think about going near the inside of an amp with it on, especially with my very patchy record when it comes to anything to do with electronics.

One more quick question, should the big valves (that's the output ones, right?) be running so hot that I can barely even touch them after about 20 minutes quiet playing? I only just noticed how hot it was down there.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by Uncle Ants » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:22 pm

James_B wrote:One more quick question, should the big valves (that's the output ones, right?) be running so hot that I can barely even touch them after about 20 minutes quiet playing? I only just noticed how hot it was down there.
Yes the big ones are the el84s. Oh yeah. Even when they are running normally you would burn your fingers on em.
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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by jayen_aitch » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:18 pm

Ha, I just was googling some amp related stuff for advice, and I ended up on this thread. Good job anorak.

Anyhow, I may as well ask here... my amp has a couple of features I've never used... largely these are self explanatory... but one thing is that at the back there is an effects loop setup, with an output and an input... to use this... I'm guessing I would run a jack out of the output, through any pedals I would want to use, and then back into the input... does anyone know if that's correct?

What's the benefit of doing it that way... would my, for example, fuzz layer up in loops?

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by Concrete » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:37 pm

jayen_aitch wrote:Anyhow, I may as well ask here... my amp has a couple of features I've never used... largely these are self explanatory... but one thing is that at the back there is an effects loop setup, with an output and an input... to use this... I'm guessing I would run a jack out of the output, through any pedals I would want to use, and then back into the input... does anyone know if that's correct?
Yes, it's like in the old days when 4-track tape machines had effects loops. They're handy on 4-tracks because you can record something without the effects and add them when you mix the tracks down.
What's the benefit of doing it that way... would my, for example, fuzz layer up in loops?
I don't think so. My best guess is that the signal goes through the pre-amp and takes on part of the amp's tone before it goes through the effects, so the characteristic tone of the amp gets fuzzed up in the same way as the guitar tone. But I've not researched that or anything.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by jayen_aitch » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:48 pm

That sounds interesting, I'm going to have a play with this... see what difference it makes to the sound.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by soft revolution » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:45 pm

Speakers: the specific bit of the amp the music comes out of

Does anyone have an opinion on speakers, specifically Celestion V30s? I'm eyeing up some for my Twin.
And by me, I mean, Flexo.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by iainmayfield » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:43 pm

postalblue wrote:I've been telling myself that having only one amp is extremely limiting. If you're recording, you've got to have a least a couple of amps, unless you want a record that sounds the same all over. The only way to avoid this is to fiddle with it incessantly, which is a pain.
isn't that why they invented effects pedals? - they're a lot lighter to lug around than another amp!

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by James_B » Wed May 05, 2010 11:23 pm

I used to have a Laney amp, it broke and I bought a Tiny Terror with the intention of fixing the Laney one day. That's basically not going to happen since it broke about two years ago, so I've decided to either use it or get rid of it.

The speaker in there is fine, it's not a good one, just a 10" from a cheap fender, but it's alright. By all accounts it would cost more to repair the actual amp section than it's worth, so I was thinking of converting it to a small cab for my tiny terror so I can sell my 1x12" and get a 2x12" or something, is this difficult?

It seems to me that cabinets are little more than speakers connected to an input jack, I can solder a little, but not well (at least I own a soldering iron)... but maybe I'm misguided.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by James_B » Wed May 05, 2010 11:33 pm

soft revolution wrote:Speakers: the specific bit of the amp the music comes out of

Does anyone have an opinion on speakers, specifically Celestion V30s? I'm eyeing up some for my Twin.
This is what my broken Laney mentioned in the last post had before I put it in my little fender, the 10" version if you get different sizes.
I'm no expert, but it sounded good... in my very limited experience I've heard that Celestions are better suited to Marshall/ Orange type amps while something like Jensens might be better for that trebly fendery sound. But that could all be nonsense...

I've only heard good things about those speakers though, seem like the standard upgrade over stock speakers for a lot of people.

EDIT- Ignore all that, I got mixed up with the celestion tube 10, totally different speaker...

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by Devaughn » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:39 pm

I'm a fan of old loud amps.

I have a Sunn Model T, second generation head running through a Sunn 6x12. Both from the 70's (though not sure exactly what year).

I love it a whole bunch.

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by Final Loan » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:59 pm

I just got myself one of these. Mmmmm... loud...
I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

Pockets Filled With Matches are no more, but we still have copies of our e.p. 'If Time Heals You' for sale, if you'd like one

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Re: Amps: the bit the music comes out of

Post by iainmayfield » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:46 pm

mmmm.... very tasty!

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