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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

'53 Deluxe Problema

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Bluegroove, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Bluegroove

    Bluegroove Tele-Meister

    107
    Mar 8, 2013
    Tulsa
    I have an original '53 Deluxe that has a hiss that is noticeable when I turn up the tone knob. Does anyone know how to hunt down the culprit? I'm very handy with a soldering iron and Ohm meter, just not knowledgable on tube amp diagnosis. Thanks all!
     

  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    YMMV.....but imho an all-original '53 Delxue is not a 'beginner's amp' as far as amp tech work is concerned. IT is not that it is complicated but rather that it has some value that one would not want to see diminished by a beginner's error.
    That said, some 'hiss' is to be expected when the tone knob is 'turned up'. Whether or not your amp's 'hiss' is normal can be known only if you noticed a change or if someone with experience with these amps takes a listen.
    So, have you noticed a change in the amp?
     

  3. Bluegroove

    Bluegroove Tele-Meister

    107
    Mar 8, 2013
    Tulsa
    I have a ton of experience with the amps (I've owned fourteen of them). It is excessive, just a slow change. It's a lower pitched hiss than the normal high thin hiss that they all tend to have with the tone cranked.
     

  4. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    So this amp still has the original electrolytic caps? Those have to be about shot now. Then there's the problem with the early 50s tone caps some (or all) of those could be bad. Then given the age one of the trannys could be going out.

    I also have 15 to 20 amps that I serviced or built myself so I've learned a thing or two about tube amps in the last 20 years. Having said that if I had a real tweed Fender like this I would most likely send it to Wally.
    Tweeds aren't like the blackface stuff where about all you need to do is swap in some new filter, bias and cathode bypass caps anybody can do that.
    The more soldering and parts swapping you do the less their worth so I'd want someone with the expierance on them to know what it needs with out ripping the whole thing apart.

    Just my 2 cents.
     

  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    IS this a 5C3('53 schematic) with the grid-leak biased preamp 6SC7 and the 6SC7 paraphase PI? You have owned 14 of these specific amps? THe Deluxe changed radically the next year---5D3--1954....with a cathode biased preamp and a long tailed pair PI. THe 5E3 Deluxe underwent big changes the next year with the 5E3 circuit and went to a cathodynsplit load PI.
    I have found the earlier Tweeds to be darker overall than the later tweeds. But....e-caps, tone and coupling caps, tubes, resistors, layout....all are suspect if the noise/hiss is out of the norm, I suppose.
     

  6. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 14, 2004
    New England
    I agree with Wally. There are only three major possibilities. They are:

    Noisy tubes

    Noisy resistors

    Noisy capacitors

    Replace all the resistors, all the capacitors and all the tubes. That should do it. :lol:

    Oh, wait. It's a tweed which means it could be one more thing. Tweed rot. The circuit board may be conductive. If you replace everything else and it still makes noise the board is the problem. :rolleyes:

    These things are worth about three grand with untouched solder joints and all original parts. I might get used to the hiss for three grand. :rolleyes:

    You could 'scope the amp. The hiss is usually close to the connection that comes up all hash on a 'scope.
     

  7. Bluegroove

    Bluegroove Tele-Meister

    107
    Mar 8, 2013
    Tulsa
    Not 14 of the same year, but I have owned 14 of them made in '55 and earlier. I'm just saying I know what they should sound like. I'm not your everyday home player. My occupation is recording engineer/producer and I'm taking a break to do some touring. I am just wanting to source the problem with testing. I'm not looking to do any major stuff myself. The hiss means I can't use it. It's a studio amp and it needs to work.
     

  8. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Swap the two preamp tubes. If the hiss goes down it would be the first tube, mind you the second might have the same level of his but it is not noticeable in its location. Not a great test but cheap and easy.
     

  9. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    MA
    If, as muchxs says, it is worth three grand unmolested, I'd sell it for three grand, and get a brand new clone from muchxs, and pocket a couple of grand, or better. His 5e3 clones are stellar.
     

  10. Bluegroove

    Bluegroove Tele-Meister

    107
    Mar 8, 2013
    Tulsa
    The only problem getting rid of it is I'd lose some vintage cred over it. The vintage vibe is important to the clients that use it. Besides, finding a buyer isn't the easiest thing usually.
     

  11. BiggerJohn

    BiggerJohn Friend of Leo's

    Jun 1, 2009
    California
    I have worked on early tweeds with the old style components, grid leak biased preamps, etc. One thing I've noticed is those old style resistors, a lot of them, will have drifted **way** off value. Also a lot have gone noisy. You may have to replace most of them. the signal coupling caps are probably leaking like hell, replace them. Ditto for the electrolytics. I have brought back to life several who exhibited those symptoms. Yeah I know if you do a wholesale component replacement it loses it's collector value. so decide, do you want to play it, or do you just want to look at it.
     

  12. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 14, 2004
    New England
    Last '53 I worked on was for a studio over here.

    My least favorite part of these pre- '55s? It's no fun telling the customer every part in there probably needed to be replaced back in '65.

    Sure it will still work with the original drifted resistors and leaky caps.


    It's more about psychology than technology.


    I like the rat rod thing. I build rat rods. A rat rod is a rolling relic. It's supposed to look weathered, worn and bad ass. It has new parts discreetly substituted for all the worn out crap so it has performance to back up the attitude.

    I'm tellin' you that to tell you this: The best part of the last '53 I worked on was someone else had already replaced absolutely every part inside.

    If you can't identify the noisy part it's safe to assume they're all noisy and drifted. Bag and tag all the original parts. Replace 'em with freshies. Your clients can't tell what's under the hood when it's all back together.

    It's scary if you measure the original parts. Bet on the resistors bein' 50% high, the signal caps leakin' DC and th eelectrolytics bein' low and leaky.

    If you really want to go crazy you can balance the paraphase while you're in there. Fender didn't bother. Fender built 'em and sent 'em out the door.

    The real finesse is knowing what the drifted parts do to the tone. The original parts are "cherished original parts" for a couple reasons:

    Top of the list, people just don't know. You can get away with a junk original cap in a guitar. There's no voltage in there. The cap doesn't need to block 400+ volts. You probably won't notice the difference as it gradually drifts 50% high.

    Some of the drifted values may sound better. It's subjective. It's a matter of knowing exactly what each part does and how it does it.

    We get into the interplay of emotional decisions and rational decisions. It's not rational to have an emotional attachment to parts that don't work anymore.
     

  13. Bluegroove

    Bluegroove Tele-Meister

    107
    Mar 8, 2013
    Tulsa
    Today I'm benching it to test with a Oscilloscope. Hopefully I can figure it out without too many replacements. We'll see what I can figure out. Thanks for the suggestions and I'll let you all know how it turns out.
     

  14. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Maryland
    I'm very interested in this thread and therefore, I would like to hear what the outcome is. Most of this is way over my head but I'm still intrigued.

    In my own eyes as a consumer, I would never pay three grand for an amp that was on its way out the door with faulty old parts. For me, vintage starts and stops with the original chassis ...grill cloth, and control plate up top with the original knobs. Beyond that, I would prefer top shelf replacement parts and keeping it to the original circuit an output as much as possible... then, I would be willing to pay 3 grand for what I deem to be a vintage but reliable amp.

    I realize collectors see it differently however, authenticity for me, only goes so far.

    I sure hope you can get that amp fixed even if you have to replace most of the parts. It sure is cool being able to use something that old... at least in my eyes.
     

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