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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

Alright, enough's enough...

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by DannyStereo, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    I've had great PCB amps and others not great. No way to generalize based on construction alone IMO. With one exception, most likely a function of cheaper parts. A Hot Rod Deluxe and chinese made VOX AC30 we had in a rehearsal hall both crapped out early on and repeatedly, broken input plugs. Too fragile for daily use. Experienced the same thing with other Hot Rod Deluxes, and with a Traynor YCR 40. Several times I've been to studios where they have two HRDs ... with only one functional. Seems a little too often to be coincidence.
    MD
     

  2. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Jam Music? I seem to recall the name, but during those years I still lived in Farmers Branch, so even Eugene's was small hike, and would have probably escaped me if it hadn't been for a keyboard player I met. It was a great shop. Last I heard Eugene *still* had his pawnshop up and running. But I bought just about everything there, even though I had Lightning Music, Carrollton Music and Brook Mays Pro Shop nearer to me.

    South FW is still FW. I've really grown to love this entire area, and find it hard to imagine living back in the N. Dallas area.
     

  3. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    46
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    I am wondering why Fender does the PCB board on the control knobs? Seems to me they did do pretty well with the rest of the amp design. Tubes are not board mounted for example.

    I guess it's just easier to plug in the green control knob circuit board to the main PCB board. Faster too. I just tend to think that these knobs are sprone to bumping and damage. I like the separate mounted design of the earlier Fenders.

    [​IMG]
     

  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Keith, some of us might not realize that the chassis you show is that of a Reissue type of amp. This method of construction is NOT found in the lower cost Fenders....the Blues/Hot Rod series of amps. Those less-expensive Fender amps do have board-mounted tube sockets, and the PCB's are not of the same quality as the board above. Fwiw, The SuperSonic series is constructed in the manner of the Reissues.
    The Fender Pro Sonic was constructed with chassis mounted tube sockets, pots, jacks and switches.....and a high quality PCb. The Pro Sonic makes the amp above look like a poor cousin, imho. IF Fender were to build an amp like that Pro Sonic today, it would be a hard sell to a public that is losing their capacity to indulge in the market day by day. The list price would be above everything except the handwired CS amps.....Tone King, Dual Pro, VibroKing....are they even still building those amps???
     

  5. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    IOMO you can generalize as far as the Hot Rod, Blues Deluxe & Jr and other cheaper models as Wally notes below. Some have board-mounted tube socket, which have commonly caused heat-related failures. Cheaper, light-weight circuit boards also suffer trace failures from heat . Most of the Hot Rod series amps I see are in for heat related repairs, both newer and older ones; older ones are rarely brought in for normal service as most players, as mentioned before, are not aware amps *need* service.

    IMO nearly all tube amp manufacturers (ALL major ones) do a terrible job of advising buyers of future service needs. They simply ignore the subject - buyers that have onto amps for years can end up with catastrophic failures; those who sell their amps pass potential problems on to other buyers.

    This is why I recommend that non-techs take every purchased tube amp over 10 years old directly to a tech (preferably before sale!) unless the seller provides proof of electrolytic filter/bias cap replacement and normal "checkup" service. because 9 out of 10 of the amps like that I see have either never been serviced, only partially done or hacked. And usually the sellers had NO idea.

    Yep. And the ones like the above still have issues with board-mounted and/or hard-connection pots (not using flexible wire). I see quite a few with damaged connections from amps being dropped or suffering repeated rough handling - some from simple vibration. Amateur techs also are sometimes careless and do not realize how sensitive the pot/board connections are and bend/damage them, later being unaware of why the amp isn't working right.
     
    JD0x0 and Wally like this.

  6. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    I'm comparing the playability/responsiveness and the relative clean to breakup characteristics of the amps. Find a used PTP Deluxe that's been properly serviced and it's likely in somebody's house not in a music store where you can compare them. You have to go where the amps are and in this day an age it's either a club or a guitar center which is where I did my shootout. Of course the amps I compared to weren't properly maintained, but that's the point. A modern DRRI sounds better in many cases than a lot of the amps you find out there for sale. Maybe a little less so once those amps are tuned up. You can get a great sound out of a DRRI. In fact, there was one 1977 Deluxe I played recently which had been serviced and I wouldn't have sold my DRRI to get it. Truth in lending however, there are some that I would. So it's really hit and miss and why not get something newer that's generally on par.

    RE: My 2006. When I start getting a little much too break up around 5 on the dial, yes, it will be time.
     

  7. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Not if the RI hasn't been serviced and is overdue. Your comparisons are invalid. Apples and oranges. Compare amps in the same condition.

    And I don't doubt it was more expensive. Again, the comparison doesn't make sense. If a vintage amp is purchased and serviced if necessary - not usually an expensive proposition, and what I recommend in every case (unless service records are available and current) - then, if comparing to a newer RI, a comparison can be made.

    But IMO comparing a badly maintained amp and newer one just doesn't make sense. Compare a badly maintained vintage amp and a badly maintained, older RI - then you're on a level playing field.
     

  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    If I'm reading correctly, he's comparing a serviced SF to his DRRI.
     
    chezdeluxe likes this.

  9. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    No - if you read his first "comparison" post he's been comparing non-serviced vintage amps and ones with "newer filter caps".
     

  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    The post you quoted says the SF was serviced.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017

  11. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Jun 16, 2009
    austin texas
    I like the reissue Fender amps despite their non-correct vintage specs.They sound nice even if they are not perfect replicas.I had the unique opportunity to A/B a 1959 Bassman amp vs a 59 reissue once at Guitar center.They did sound quite different from eachother but both were nice for different reasons.The original 1959 one had a more naturally compressed tone with a heavier midrange woodiness wheareas the reissue had a wider bass to treble range(not as compressed as the original).At the end of the day it is about making music and not notpicking over which specs are hip.
     

  12. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Ok, to clear things up, I did do a shootout with a couple of amps, one was a blackface amp and one was a silverface. This was at GC over a year ago.

    Recently another comparison with a 77 DR, serviced so the studio owner said, was very unappealing to my ears. We were checking out various amps for a recording I was helping out with. Likely the bias but when you are doing a shootout you can't control such things. I personally felt it did not sound as sweet as my DRRI.

    The conditions of each amp are irrelevant, it wasn't a science experiment. It was just put them side by side and let it rip. Overall every one of these amps sounded like a Deluxe Reverb.

    The problem with vintage amps is that people like to experiment with them and when you buy one you never know what amount of money or reverse engineering may be required. That to my mind makes a DRRI a safer bet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017

  13. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Well, except most people who've been inside a ptp Fender can just about instantly pick mods and changes, the moment you see funky wiring or new solder, new orange drops or bright yellow caps or radial leads you know to dig deeper.

    I take your point: Joe Average can walk into a Fender dealer or mom'n'pop shop and walk out with a decent sounding amp at decent $$$$.

    And it's all the amp many people need. And, it can be improved/augmented at relatively low cost.

    Yes, if you bought a tired SF with saggy cone or just wrong speaker it's a crapshoot. OTOH, even the worst working examples can be a deal for a DIYer or an economic revamp to get a tech to give it a once over. If you detail the cabinet and grille yourself which isn't beyond most people.

    But I also understand the attraction of convenient, new or clean used with warranty. That way you can try before you buy. And reissues are decent amps, certainly.
     

  14. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Most people don't pack posts with stacks of previous ones in an ongoing discussion. It's often a good idea to check - especially if correcting someone.
     

  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I have no idea what you are trying to say. But I'm not going to get into some online argument over it. Here's your post, with quotes of his post. I'll just drop out of this thread.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "In fact, there was one 1977 Deluxe I played recently which had been serviced and I wouldn't have sold my DRRI to get it."
    And I don't doubt it was more expensive. Again, the comparison doesn't make sense. If a vintage amp is purchased and serviced if necessary - not usually an expensive proposition, and what I recommend in every case (unless service records are available and current) - then, if comparing to a newer RI, a comparison can be made.

    But IMO comparing a badly maintained amp and newer one just doesn't make sense. Compare a badly maintained vintage amp and a badly maintained, older RI - then you're on a level playing field.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
     

  16. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    No worries! It was an ongoing discussion and I just didn't put all the previous information in the post you quoted - it was a discussion with one other member. By "stacked" I meant how my post would have taken up a whole screen if all the previous info was included. No sweat.
     
    MilwMark likes this.

  17. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    41
    Mar 1, 2010
    Kent, OH
    The Pro jr I worked on, a 93 in tweed, IIRC...I got it because it had heated the traces and trashed them on the power tube sockets, which were board mounted. This amp had seen serious duty and also had bad voice coil rub. So it was used up, to be sure. Silverface is correct about board mounted tubes in these amps.

    I've busted as many chassis mounted plastic Cliff jacks as I have board mounted jacks (which are ubiquitous, these days). My preference is to wire up a shorting mono jack on isolation washers (or not) for input jack duty, and use flying leads to the board (if it's a repair). They are a bit more robust, IME.
     
    DannyStereo likes this.

  18. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    27
    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    Both, vintage eyelet board amps and PCB reissues can be PITA's under the right(wrong?) circumstances. I'd prefer a dirty vintage to those low quality PCB's though. I can't stand when traces start lifting, even when you're being very careful and aware, because it's a low quality board that was not designed with servicing in mind. The eyelet board, even in a messy silverface, will be easier to work on and properly done repairs will outlast the PCB. High quality PCB's are nice to work on, especially if you dont need to remove the boards to service parts.
     

  19. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 13, 2014
    Kelso, Washington
    Man, lots from both sides. Nice to hear from everyone!

    I will be the first to admit two things:
    - I rarely hang on to something long-term. I move gear a lot. So longevity is something I can't necessarily weigh in a ton.
    - the stuff I DO keep I baby. So the wear and tear is minimal. I'm not a "dime it" kinda guy, so my amps run relatively low to medium duty use. Maybe my amps would require a different type of maintenance if I did dime them regularly?
     

  20. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    I missed this earlier.

    These decisions are cost-based. It makes assembly far easier - in this case the "pot board" slides into place in seconds. Some high-production products like this are at least partially assembled using robotics. But in this case hand assembly takes one motion to slide pots/jacks and board into place, with one or two ribbon cables connecting the board to main circuit board. Then it just takes a practiced hand seconds to spin the nuts into place.

    On vintage amps each pot was installed by hand along with each pot-topot and pot-to-board connecting wire -plus caps and resistors mounted on the pots. It's far more labor intensive and time consuming, which significantly increases cost.
     

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