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Tube Amp Help

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by iancain123, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. iancain123

    iancain123 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    74
    Sep 13, 2016
    US
    Hello, so I kind of scored... Maybe... I think? I picked up a Crate Vintage Club 50 tube amp while helping a friend clean up an abandoned property. Its in fair cosmetic condition especially taking into consideration the spot I drug it out of. Anywho, its all there, and it looks to be in working order. However it produces no sound at all. The power light comes on and the tubes glow but no sounds at all. No hum, no buzz, no nothin!

    I'm a pretty handy person and can usually figure things out but I will admit I've never torn into an amplifier mainly because I've never had the need. I'm just looking for some advice on some common issues or some good places to start poking around. Also ant advice on things I might not want to do? I haven't taken it apart yet but I figure ill start with the input and go from there.

    Thanks I'm advance for any advice. It will be truly appreciated.
     

  2. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    Is your instrument cable in good condition and fully inserted? Does the jack feel loose at all? Is the speaker wiring connected, maybe mice ate a wire?

    Best advice is don't go poking around until that amp is fully safe! I am a good tinkerer and mechanic, but that can lead to over-confidence and get you killed. I remember standing in front of a 480v open electrical panel once and noticed a burned contact. I was dumb enough to try to point to it when the electrician threw me to the floor....could have been lit up like a x-mas tree by just inserting my hand into the air space of that cabinet.

    Just rule out the obvious safe stuff first. Cable is good and fully inserted, volume knob on guitar turned up, amp volume up, speaker is connected, etc. Does it have a stand-by switch? Those kind of things.
     

  3. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    If you are not sure, best take it to a repairman. It might be as simple as a blown fuse on the main board - but then you have to ascertain what caused that fuse to glow. Are the tubes glowing with power on? If the heaters aren't working it's a sign something is very wrong. If they are and none are visibly burnt could be a power, or tube, or short in the output transformer.
     

  4. iancain123

    iancain123 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    74
    Sep 13, 2016
    US
    Thanks, Milspec

    Yeah I've checked the easy stuff like you gave mentioned. I would imagine something is disconnected somewhere. I understand the dangers and like you I myself get a little over confident lol. Sometimes I do more harm than good. Any idea how to make the amp "safe"? Ill probably pull the cover off and make sure nothing obvious is going on for now. I won't get too crazy.
     
    Milspec likes this.

  5. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    If you can post a pic of guts of chassis it would be good. Leave power and standby switches in operating position for a couple hours with amp unplugged from wall socket and the filter caps should drain if they're charging. You'll need a DMM with a clip probe. Don't touch anything inside the chassis for the moment. Mark the power tubes with a sharpie so you can return them to original position and set them aside somewhere safe.
     

  6. iancain123

    iancain123 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    74
    Sep 13, 2016
    US
    I took the back cover off... Nothing apparently loose or disconnected. 2 fuses on board good still. All of the tubes glow. Its pretty dusty inside. It's kind of a cool amp I guess. Could use some TLC for sure.
     

  7. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    You have reached the end of the road for me most times. If the obvious stuff is ruled out, I take it to the shop. Being a used item, it likely needs the servicing anyway in addition to repair....maybe $150.
     

  8. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Dead tubes can and often do still light up, so that's a possibility. Speaker could be dead or disconnected.
    And it could be a whole bunch of other things too but it's probably something simple just might not be real easy to find.
     
    robrob likes this.

  9. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
    Around
    I had one of those once. Very heavy. If you have enough preamp tubes, and you have 1 good one. start and do them all. Be nice to do all at once, but, whatever.
    The power tubes should be ok since I believe there are 4 anyway. Check the output wire to the 2x12..and yes. the fuses.
    Wish you luck..that is a loud beast.
     

  10. corliss1

    corliss1 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    Touch a 9V battery to both terminals of the speaker(s). If the speaker makes a popping noise you know the speaker(s) is good. If not, that's one issue.

    Just because tubes glow doesn't mean they work.

    Would definitely be worth it to take to a tech to see if it's something minor. I don't recommend opening it up yourself unless your familiar with working with high voltage stuff.
     

  11. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Also, speaker might not be properly connected.

    I would cut the connectors on the wires and attach the wires directly to the lugs on the speaker as a test. If that's it, real easy to permanently attach.
     

  12. iancain123

    iancain123 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    74
    Sep 13, 2016
    US
    Thank you all for your input...

    I think the lack of any sound at all is strange. I mean, all of my other amps have some sort of hum or buzz regardless if its barely audible or kind of loud. This amp is 100% silent. Or I could be completely wrong about that too. I'm not sure if it's worth taking it to the shop or not. If hate to spend money on it and have it be a crappy amp. Ill post a pic of it tonight. Its kind of rough.
     

  13. corliss1

    corliss1 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    The amp itself can be had for around $200 - up to you what you want to try to put into it. Most techs (I usually don't) charge a bench fee just to look, but if you could find a local music store willing to take a quick look they might be able to find something easy as well.
     

  14. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    It could be something as simple as a loose solder join. Or a dead preamp tube, even if it lights up. A free tube amp is still a free tube amp.
     

  15. bigdog

    bigdog Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    174
    Mar 19, 2003
    Hotlanta Baby!
    I just stumbled on this a little late but I have. A Crate VC30 with the 12in speaker and reverb. I bought it off ebay with what I thought was burnt tubes and did a quick swap but still had no sound. I finally had a local tech take look and it was the speaker leads pinched coming out of the chassis and shorting. The symptoms were much like the OP’s with power everywhere but no sound.
    Was the OP’s problem ever solved?
     

  16. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

    539
    Oct 28, 2015
    Kalamazoo
    Check the speaker with a battery, swap in other tubes. The laws of probability are on your side, the majority of amp problems are minor and easy to fix. No hum usually means a blown speaker.
     

  17. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    I remember having the same problem with a Crate solid-state at someone's house back in the day.
     

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