Fender DRRI metronome-like noise

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by kiboo, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. kiboo

    kiboo TDPRI Member

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    Ever since I moved to this new apartment my 65 DRRI is making a metronome-like clicking noise that is audible even when the Tremolo and Reverb are switched off.

    I say metronome-like because the clicking is constant in speed and it doesn’t get louder when you turn on the gain in either channel.

    The noise wasn’t there at my old place.

    Is it a grounding issue? Any ideas?
    Cheers.
     
  2. brokenbones

    brokenbones Tele-Meister

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    You could be picking up some sort of interference through the amp. Does it sound like a click or a hum? I just watched a video on youtube where the power transformer outside this guy's house was causing a constant ticking in his amp. If the ticking is near 50 or 60 bpm, it's bad power.
     
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  3. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Clocks or something on the same circuit? Try moving the amp to a different area (preferably on a different circuit breaker) and see if it still happens.
     
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  4. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Holic

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    Are you playing through pedals which are plugged in using an adapter?
     
  5. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister

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    Maybe its the tremolo ticking. Is it in both channels?
     
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  6. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Sure sounds like a tremolo oscillation, seen that a few times with vintage amps as they age.
     
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  7. kiboo

    kiboo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone.

    At the moment nothing is plugged in the amp and the tremolo/reverb are off.

    @brokenbones You may be right.
    I tried moving the amp around using different outlets. It didn’t go away :/

    The amp worked fine at my old apartment..
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Does it change speed with tremelo speed adjustment? (Even with tremelo off?)
    It could very well be something in the building passing it through AC.
     
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  9. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Holic

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    Mobile phone?
     
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  10. D'tar

    D'tar Tele-Afflicted

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    I get this type of thing occasionally. I believe mine is the actual meter at the service entry to the house counting Kws. Turn on AC, pool pump, fridge= faster. turn off AC, pool pump, fridge between cycles= slower. YMMV
     
  11. EddieLocrian

    EddieLocrian Tele-Afflicted

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    Lights - does the new place have a dimmer switch or strip lights - these are bad news for noise.
     
  12. GuitLoop

    GuitLoop Tele-Meister

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    This...adjust the tremolo speed to rule out your tremolo as the source. If the click changes speed it's your trem.
     
  13. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Holic

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    I get a ticking like this too with amps on my bench, I know it's electrical interference of some kind (I've heard it in multiple amps) but I've never narrowed it down. I've got a lot of computer gear in the vicinity though.
     
  14. LudwigvonBirk

    LudwigvonBirk Tele-Holic

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    If it isn't there already, try shielding the interior top of the cab with thin sheet metal. Made a world of difference for me in two amps recently.
     
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  15. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    I hear that sound on every DRRI I’ve ever played. It’s more prominent on some than on others. The opto-isolator in the tremolo circuit is noisy (some worse than others). The click is there whether the tremolo is engaged or not. I would suggest that the only thing that has changed is your listening environment/situation. Your new place is quieter or your proximity to the amp makes the tic more notable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  16. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yea, mobile phone.
    Unplug both rev send and return wires.
    think you can do that.
     
  17. francis57

    francis57 TDPRI Member

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    I had a similar issue with a Tone King Meteor which turned out to be radio frequency interference. At the time I was renting the house across the street from mine because my house was being rebuilt after a fire. Once I took the amp back home, the issue disappeared and never returned. My 'little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing' guess is that RFI is your issue.

    FWIW, I've own 2 DRRIs and '68 Custom PR and all of them had lousy trem which I could improve a little with bias adjustments but I never really became a fan so they're long gone. The only trem amp I now own is a post-naugahyde, tolex (but original circuit, no Ironman) Tone King Imperial which has trem to die for. My Champs and Bassman have pedal trem.

    Interesting article about identifying & locating RFI...

    https://interferencetechnology.com/identifying-and-locating-radio-frequency-interference-rfi/

    Best wishes to you & your tone.
     
  18. kiboo

    kiboo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions,
    I tried a few things based on your input.

    The speed of the click doesn’t change with the tremolo speed, level or even the gain of the amp.
    Moved all mobile devices away. I also unplugged all electronics nearby.
    There are no dimmers in my apt.

    @LudwigvonBirk I could try shielding, it can’t hurt.

    @BelairPlayer you would have to be deaf to not hear a consistent click like that regardless of the environment :)

    @francis57 I’m gonna look into RFI
     
  19. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Put the amp into your car, drive to a buddy's place and power it up there.
    1) If the noise is still there, it's your amp.
    2) You get to see your buddy.
    3) The amp gets a ride in the car. Amps like that. They're jealous of dogs.

    What sort of frequency is it?. Both the noise ( ie, is it bass, mids, treble ) and the interval. Does it sound anything like a burst of white noise?, If it does, possible Wi-Fi ( or mobile 'phone ) acknowledgements.

    Without electrocuting yourself, which is to be considered bad form and rude, its chopstick time. An iffy resistor/capacitor pair can charge then discharge with a regular interval.

    Do you have an inverter you could power if off?, that'd eliminate mains borne bursts.
     
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  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If the ticking continues with the amp in another location, then start pulling tubes. Begin with V1 on the far right as seen from the back of the amp. That is the Normal channel input stage. V2 is the Vib ch input stage. V3 is the reverb driver. V 4 returns the reverb signal through one triode while the other triode is a third gain stage for the Vib ch. V5 is the trem function tube. V6 is the phase inverter. Pull these tubes one at a time to see if the ticking stops. If the noise stops when a certain tube is pulled, you have found the area of concern. If the ticking continues with a certain tube pulled, reinstall that tube and move to the next one.
     
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