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

Unreliable tube amp – invest in more repairs or just give up?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by nosuch, Feb 11, 2019 at 5:30 PM.

  1. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2008
    I have a DV Mark DV40 212 I bought new in 2013 for 700 €. It had to be repaired twice so far in 2017 and 2018, each repair cost me round about 150 €. Now it is again defect and the estimate is another 146 €. i wonder if I should put that money in it or just abandon it.

    Pro: I never really bonded with the tone and I'm not sure if it ever will become reliable.
    Cons: I already have like 1000 € in it.

    I really don't know what to do. Maybe I should just tell them to trash it and count my losses. Or take the speakers and trash the rest? Or throw another 150 into that maelstrom?
  2. D_Henry

    D_Henry TDPRI Member

    Mar 5, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    This is the sunk cost fallacy at work.
    If you didn't really bond with it, it wouldn't make sense to keep putting money into it if you'll still be uninspired. With that being said, I wouldn't trash it. I'm sure someone would buy it off of you for parts at least. I'd bet there's a youngster who'd like to get some practice working on amps, or modding it.
    Dukex, Piggy Stu, nojazzhere and 5 others like this.
  3. Finck

    Finck Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2017
    São Paulo - Brazil
    In my opinion, a fix that costs 20% of the price of the equipment only justifies if the last is a rare, irreplaceable piece of gear, or for sentimental reasons.

    Being not the case, sell it as is by a fair price, or donate it, or use the parts to built something different.

    Just for curiosity, what kind of repair does the amp require?
    JayFreddy likes this.
  4. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2008
    they just wrote a mail saying "power amp repair".
  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Would you spend a couple hundred on buying that as a used amp from someone? No? Then part it out.

    However, is it the same amp tech every time? It's possible they are fixing a symptom and the true root cause has not been uncovered yet.

    nojazzhere, Wally, MadJack and 5 others like this.
  6. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 10, 2003
    White Mountains
    Be done with it.
    Roland Blues Cube Artist @ 80 watts 112 cabinet.
    Check out the demo videos on YouTube.

    As a long time member I've had my share of Tube Amps and Tube Combos.
    I've just had my second full hip replacement and I'll say it "SAVE YOURSELF!!!"

    The Blues Cube Artist is EXACTLY what The Doctor wants You playing through.''
    Stop hurting Yourselves...Please.
  7. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Cut your loses! Buy something that actually inspires you, and is (hopefully) more dependable.

    Also, don’t rule out your amp tech as part of the problem as @jvin248 mentioned.
  8. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    There’s your answer right there—sell it.
    ...and there’s the second part of your answer—sell it quickly.
  9. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2008
    Gee, unreliability isn't an inherent tube amp feature. I have a vibrolux and a blues jr. that get all the action and both run without a single problem for more than a decade. That's another reason to get rid of it: I have my amp needs covered.
    beninma, Wally, Finck and 1 other person like this.
  10. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2008
    I don't know who the amp tech is, I just brought it to the big music store in town because they also sell DV-Mark stuff (didn't bought it from them). Yesterday I tried to talk to the tech on his estimations and experience with the brand but didn't get through. Very few stores still carry this brand's tube amps and I suspect there's a reason for that.
  11. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    You shouldn’t keep it, that much is clear.

    Whether you should repair it, is a different and much simpler question.

    A.) You already know what the repair will cost.

    Just do the math:

    B.) What is it worth as-is?

    C.) What is it worth in good working order?

    If C - A is significantly greater than B, then fix it before selling it.
  12. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Holic

    Sep 26, 2015
    Maldon, England
    Modern mass produced amps are meant to have a certain service life, and then be replaced. Lead-free solder that cracks, brittle printed circuits, PCB mounted tube sockets, cracked ribbon connectors, poor quality components, the list goes on and on. You can do so much to keep them going, but eventually it becomes uneconomical. I got into building my own partly for this reason.
    Bob M and RomanS like this.
  13. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    Got to agree with srolfeca.

    It's similar to when a car starts to develop intermittent issues. Do you keep throwing money at it and use it, get it fixed up and sell it or sell it "as is"?

    If you have your amp needs covered and wouldn't miss this one, I'd do the maths and go for whichever option fits your pocket best.
  14. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Meister

    Aug 20, 2017
    It would be interesting to find out what repairs exactly where carried out previously.

    Is this a new repair (unrelated) or is this the same repair? Is there an undiagnosed issue causing these faults?

    A working amp is generally worth more than a non working amp, so I'd recommend fixing it and selling it.
  15. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2008
    That describes the past 7 years of my life with three different amps ... ha, ha. But I only go down that rabbit hole for vintage classic amps. In your case, I'd scrounge the speaker, or maybe remove the amp guts and use the cab as a spare outboard speaker. It's a money pit ... save yourself before it's too late.
  16. Finck

    Finck Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2017
    São Paulo - Brazil
    Do you have sufficient basic electronics acknowledgement to try fixing the amp by yourself, even needing tips about how to do it? It could be an opportunity to learn something and save some money.
  17. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2011
    Stirling, Scotland.
    New price is about 850 Euros, used should be worth about 450-500 in working condition. Sell it as is for maybe 150 Euros or spend another 146 and sell it as soon as you get it back for hopefully 500, your choice. Either way you need to get rid of that thing.
  18. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    What's it doing?
    Can you drive a desolder pump and a soldering iron?
    Fancy having a go yourself?
    What work was done previously?

    Does it power up well enough to use at 'demo' volume?, if so, sell it as you've not bonded with it. Consider desoldering the lead free stuff and resoldering with proper tin/lead solder at all points that either take serious power/voltage or get hot ( socket bases ). Dry/cracked joints can and do occur and are quick to fix, but can be a pain to find. The 'scattergun' of resoldering everything in sight covers many bases. Remove the old stuff first though.

    Move the problem on. I have doubts about the tech if the amp needs to keep going back, plus 'Power amp repair' as a description wouldn't fill me with confidence that they are doing anything other than swapping things out in the hope that, as a blind watchmaker, things come together and work. The price seems low, the description vague.
  19. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2008
    Not really ethical unless you disclose it's BROKEN, at which point, it might be hard to sell. No?
  20. Lynxtrap

    Lynxtrap Tele-Holic

    Feb 29, 2016
    Did they look at the amp before "estimating" the cost 146 euros? Such a precise sum probably means that they know exactly what is wrong with it. I would not accept "power amp repair" as a description.

    Whatever you decide to do, don't tell them to thrash it. I don't know what the speakers are, but you might keep them or sell them. You should also keep the tubes.
    If you're lucky, you could sell the rest to some hobby amp builder. Cab, chassis and working transformers can be used for making a new amp. I would buy it - if I lived in France :)

    I'm not really familiar with these amps, but I read somewhere that they renewed this model in 2014. If your amp is the older model, it will probably not be worth much even if working.
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