Are casters on amps harmful?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Milspec, May 15, 2019.

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A skate . Name only.

    I have used my longboard in a pinch when I needed to move something big and didn’t have a movers skate handy.
     
  2. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    You're going to feel the vibration your amp is getting through your hands while you're pushing it. Does it feel okay to you? Then no problem. I don't like casters because sometimes I want that floor coupling bass enhancement. I am endlessly bemused by bass players who have casters in their bass rigs. There goes 3dB of your low end response.
     
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  3. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Meister

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    But you can compare that same rolling to that same amp sitting on those same small hard casters as it sits on the wood deck of a truck or van as it travels down the freeway at 70 mph, crossing bridge joints & hitting potholes, even in an ATA case.
     
  4. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Only carry your gear on your horse, donkey or camel, the vintage way.
    camelback-gear.jpeg
    Elephants are acceptable for Marshall stacks.
     
  5. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    If your tube sockets are that loose get em replaced!

    It's a relatively easy thing to have done.
     
  6. Wildcard_35

    Wildcard_35 Tele-Meister

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    Probably everything.

    But to be more specific, I used to roll around a Fender red knob twin that had casters (I think they put them on in the factory). Anyway, I was fine with rolling it on smooth concrete, but when I would hear the "pop pop pop" of rolling it on asphault, I'd pick it up and carry by the handle, since I figured it couldn't be helping anything on the inside of my beast of an amp.

    My solution was selling the Twin and buying a Vox AC15 that I could conceivably carry from car to stage with little to no back injury! Maybe one day I'll own another lesser watt Fender tube amp that isn't so heavy.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  7. simond

    simond Tele-Meister

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    I used to move my PV TKO bass combo around on a skate board. Tilt to steer. Lent it to a friend. He wheeled it into the venue and let it go expecting it to stay upright. It fell flat on its face and refused to work. The jolt actual broke the fuse holder on the circuit board. I wrapped an elastic band around it to hold it together to get it working and it was years later before I fixed it properly. Bought it new in 1983 and still have it. Played the Albert Hall in London with that little combo!
     
  8. scout2112

    scout2112 Tele-Meister

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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well that's a fine argument!

    I just happen to have amps from the '50s with soldered connections and a car from the '50s with those crimped spade connectors.

    Guess what?
    The wire breaks right at the end of the crimped collar on the spade!

    I've had to replace numerous runs of wire due to flex and vibration breaking off the connector, then a new connector being put on, enough times that eventually the wire gets too short to reach its destination!

    My old tube amps?
    They pretty much all have all the original runs of wire.

    Except for an early '70s Ampeg with the tube sockets on the PCB.
    One tube socket burned out and took a large portion of the circuit board with it, leaving a big black hole where the socket used to mount.
    So that section of the board got hand wired....

    I'll add that I'm also a hobby bicycle mechanic and build up frankenstein bikes with parts that don't belong together.
    All the cable ends get soldered over the last couple of inches to reinforce and prevent unraveling.
    A typical cable end will break after a while, right where the component clamps it down.
    Solder makes the cable last a lot longer.
    I avoid buying stainless cable because I can't solder it properly with my 140w Weller.
     
  10. Rich724

    Rich724 Tele-Meister

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    When I used my Super Twin back in the 70s I tried to minimize the effects of rolling it on concrete by half lifting it until I got to a tiled floor. It was just too heavy to carry it completely any distance. Never had a problem with it.
     
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  11. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Afflicted

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    Are casters on amps harmful?

    only to the income of back doctors.....

    casters have been on amps since the caveman invented the tube amp.
    obviously if they destroyed amps, people would not use them...

    yeah if the amp gets away from you and runs into a wall or slides down a ramp into traffic they are detrimental.

    the only way to keep everything perfect, is to never use it, everything degrades with wear and tear.

    I rolled my fender twin reverb around for years without any harm to it, other than the casters getting roughened up by the wear and tear.

    guess they wouldn't put them on amps if they didn't want us to use them..
     
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  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

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    I would agree that the reverb tank takes a beating from vibration.
    The foam bag it used to mount in helped with the worst hits, but it's basically the most delicate part of an amp AFAIK, and it always bothered me to hear it shaking and clanging about during transport.
    Seems many amps have the tank hard mounted in the cab, with maybe little rubber grommets that hardly do anything to reduce the jarring.

    While I read Gerald Weber telling us how to fix our broken $25 reverb tanks by soldering the tiny connections between springs and transformers, and did do some of those repairs as well as reinforcing a couple with crazy glue; eventually I realized a reverb tank is about the price of one tube, and can be replaced when the springs get stretched.

    Then I went a step further and decided I'd heard that sproing on all my notes for long enough and switched to Marshall and analog delay!

    The old Ampegs with the reverb lock down were a good idea, funny nobody else offered that feature.
     
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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

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    I would love love love to be able to trade all the damage I did to my back lugging Super Reverbs and a VT22 etc around, for the cost of servicing some tube amps.

    Sadly, a hand wired tube amp can be rebuilt, but my back really can't.
     
  14. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Afflicted

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    God made Sherpas for a reason, hard to find them in the southeast though, guess the mountains are too low..
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

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    Alla you young fellers (and gals) take heed!
    If you want to be able to lift a DRRI when you're 60, roll roll roll your heavy amps!

    Wait, what?
    Young fellers don't use heavy amps any more?

    Never mind.
     
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  16. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch TDPRI Member

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    Just my $.02, I can't imagine standard caster travel is much of a threat. As long as you aren't trying to take your twin off-roading or slamming it into raised door thresholds instead of lifting it over them, probably plenty fine.

    Casters have been on amps since amps have been on stages. And tubes are surprisingly hardy once mounted. Just think of all the places they've been crammed, jammed, and slammed in history with military use.

    Solder joints could be an issue, but if some concrete boogie worries you about them that much, might be time to check if they need resoldered or connecting leads replaced entirely.
     
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  17. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Responses have been very interesting. I do agree on the back being more valualbe than any amp, I am not a small guy (6'3" 215 lbs) but I have to carry that Twin held against my chest to save my back. At over 100 lbs, that is not a long distance carry proposition. I really don't think anyone could carry it by the handle without doing severe damage to the back over time, so the casters seemed like a great compromise and mine are factory. Having said that, I still have to listen to my amp guy on this one, rolling it over carpet or hard floors is fine, but on concrete can't be good.

    Then again, it isn't good having your home studio on the 3rd floor either...lesson learned quickly.
     
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  18. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Meister

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    Most of it was made with tongue firmly in cheek. Don't read too much into most of it; the point was that a lot of the stuff that gets obsessed over doesn't really matter. Wait 'til someone starts a thread about the effects of alpha particles on tone.

    Have the wires in your '50s amps been through as many stress cycles as the ones in your '50s car?

    Crimps for modern industrial applications are nothing like they were 60 years ago. The materials and manufacturing of the terminals are light years better and they're applied to the wire by machines that can do precisely the right thing over and over. At some point after the 1950s, they figured out the benefits of supporting the insulation as part of the crimp, which cuts the stress on the wire considerably.
     
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  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

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    I figured there was a 50/50 chance your were half joking, but also half serious!

    FWIW the '50s car is a '56 Chevy that was stripped for drag racing in the '60s, and spent it's life sitting in garages between short quick drives in a straight line!
    So it has a full roll cage but isn't street legal due to stuff like wipers and blinkers being removed along with luxuries like heat and a horn.

    But back to crimped connectors both modern and vintage: IME modern cars can last more than 20 years, but by that age their weakest link is all those crimped connectors in the computer control electronics.
    At 20 years or so, the connections start to fail, and you get warning lights that mechanics can't keep up with tracing and fixing, so the cost of all the electronics repair becomes higher than the book value of the vehicle.

    IOW, those superior connectors are the weak link that kills cars.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 12:21 PM
  20. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    if you run over your feet, it is dangerous. but, seriously, it could harm the tubes with any bouncing motion but particularly if they are still hot.

    play music!
     
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