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Amp Crackling and Popping

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by HandOfIke, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    Hi all,

    I've got a Rivera Cluster 45 amp, last couple of days its been crackling and popping intermittently so I had a look at the tubes.

    2 pre amp and 2 power amp tubes....

    I tapped them with wood to see if I could see if one had gone off, but they all sounded fine.

    I unseated the pre amp tubes just to see if the contacts were corroded but they seemed fine.

    After reseating the tubes the amp is now constantly crackling.

    I'm in the UK and we are in lockdown for the foreseeable future so I can't take it to a repair guy.

    Would you think me unseating then reseating the preamp tubes and it now being worse suggests that one (or both) have gone bad? Or is my problem elsewhere?

    I've tried it with different guitars, different leads turned everything off that's near it and none of that has helped.

    Cheers for reading.
     
  2. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Afflicted

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    Could be many things, but that happens quite often when tube is about to depart for the big tube store in the sky.
     
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  3. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    did you try cleaning tube pins with deoxit or similar contact cleaner?

    how old is amp?
     
  4. fidopunk

    fidopunk Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I second this-- if you unplugged and reseated the tubes and it got worse, it sounds like dirty tube pins. DeOxIt makes a kit to clean them well. I had a problem in an old Ric with this and I couldn't get them clean. I eventually put in a new socket.
     
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  5. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    I didn't

    I'll give that a go

    Thanks
     
  6. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    I've had the amp 6 months, but it's much older than that and I've no idea if these are still the original tubes
     
  7. PeteWaller

    PeteWaller Tele-Meister

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    Let us know if you get it sorted:)
     
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  8. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    Used some contact cleaner....

    It's still crackling like crazy.

    Other than swapping tubes in and out I'm not up on amps...is it possible I could run the amp with only 1 pre amp tube (assuming the 2 tubes are for the 2 channels) to see if I can isolate which tube it might be?
     
  9. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    Actually it's crackling on both channels so not sure if a pre amp isolation test would tell me anything anyway....
     
  10. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

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    Does it pop and crackle with nothing plugged in to the input?
    12ax7's are inexpensive. I'd order one and test all three positions. If you don't have deoxit, that should also be ordered. These are both items that you'll end up using in the future, so it is money well spent, imo.
     
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  11. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

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    For sh!ts and giggles, plug on OD into the return of the fx loop. This will bypass the pre-amp. If the popping goes away, then you'll know the problem is definitely in the pre-amp section.
     
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  12. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    It pops with nothing plugged in....

    Yeah that's a good shout I don't need to buy all 4 to test it really, might buy a couple of 12ax7's just on the weird chance both are bad... I have contact cleaner but it's not the deoxit brand.
     
  13. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    Sadly there is no FX loop so I can't test it this way
     
  14. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    filter caps is next on the list of suspects. which means tech, unless you are good with soldering.
     
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  15. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    Def a job for a tech
     
  16. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I would order a full set of tubes first thing (It's always a good idea to have spares, no matter what). Replace the preamp tubes one at a time first, then do both power tubes (although you may need to bias the power tubes, if the crackling stops when you replace them, you'll know that was the problem before you take it to a tech to get it biased)

    You mentioned contact cleaner... What kind did you use? Also, how did you use it? My suggestion here is to use a good contact cleaner, and push the tubes in and out a couple of times to make sure you kinda scrub the gunk off.

    As for crackling from components, if it's more than tubes, it's obviously beyond what you are comfortable messing with. But, I had some carbon comp resistors that needed replacing and they were crackling.
     
  17. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    I think that's a solid suggestion

    I'm comfortable biasing my own tubes but when it comes to caps and resistors I'd rather not dabble.

    I used Servisol Super 10 to clean the pins and yeah I pushed them in and out a few times

    Thanks for replying
     
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  18. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    Another possibility is that Rivera amps use a similar channel switching design as the Fender Concert II, a Rivera-era amp at Fender.

    These LDRs--led light dependent resistors--the modern "tremolo bug".
    These can fail and make a crackling noise.
     
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  19. HandOfIke

    HandOfIke TDPRI Member

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    Thanks

    I'm ordering a set of tubes in the hope that'll sort it if not I'll have to wait until after lockdown to get it repaired....
     
  20. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    Check the input jacks and the resistors and connections there before picking up new tubes. Could be something broken.
     
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