Fender 57 Custom Champ Reissue Issue

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by amateurastrologer, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. amateurastrologer

    amateurastrologer NEW MEMBER!

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    Hey all, been reading here a lot, just signed up hoping I could get some help. I've searched far and wide, read many posts here and elsewhere, still in the dark. I'm just getting back into playing after about a decade, so please bear with me!

    I just bought a used Fender 57 Champ reissue and it's got a noise issue, maybe that's why it was priced so low. Unfortunately I didn't notice it in the store. Here are some details:

    - Amp on, no cable plugged in, no hum at any volume
    - Cable only plugged in (no guitar), it starts humming at amp volume 4 (of 12), hum volume increases with amp volume, hum drops about 50% if I touch the metal cable end cap
    - Guitar plugged in (single coil tele or humbucker epiphone), guitar volume on zero, no hum at any amp volume
    - Guitar plugged in, guitar volume on full, hum is present, increases with amp volume, no reduction in hum if I touch the cable end cap, the strings, etc
    - I believe it to be 120hz

    Additionally, I tried multiple power outlets, multiple rooms, tried the 3-prong to 2-prong converter, tried a surge protector, none of this had any effect. I only own one guitar cable, so can't rule that out, though it's brand new. Unfortunately I haven't owned an amp in a long time so I'm not sure about the wiring/grounding in my 100+ year old apartment. Also haven't tested outside my apartment, but will tomorrow.

    From what I've gathered it's a grounding issue, so I'm mostly trying to discern if it's in the amp or from an external source. Again, I'm a novice so please correct me if I'm way off.

    Photos attached in case they're of any use. Thanks in advance!

    IMG-0551.JPG IMG-0552.JPG IMG-0553.JPG
     
  2. jdbodtker

    jdbodtker TDPRI Member

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    how bad is the hum? a slight amount is normal. Different cables and lengths can make a difference, too.
     
    EsquireBoy likes this.
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Several possibilities. Given its silent when nothing plugged in it's probably not the rectifier tube, and likely not the power tube.

    But it could be a preamp tube, especially as it happens plugged in a you wind volume up. You need to get another 12AX7 to swap for the small tube with gold cover in your picture.

    There's a very good chance it's a dud input socket - on these IiRC it's isolated from the chassis.

    Discharge the amp - simple way, play with amp on, pull plug from wall, keep strumming. Once sound dies that's voltage gone leave it unplugged and in power on position.

    Ensure all the leads to the input are soldered properly and not hanging loose.

    Make sure the volume pot is tight on the chassis, ditto the output jack and the transformer mount bolts.

    Make sure any leads with an eyelet under a bolt or spade connector are on tight.

    Don't plug the amp in again until hands are clear and ensure it's off first.

    What's the guitar - don't rule out a bad earth in that, especially bridge to common
     
  4. Tempotantrum

    Tempotantrum NEW MEMBER!

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    Hey there! I have the bigger brother of this amp - the custom deluxe. I can say I can only turn the volume up to about 1.2 on this amp or is it too loud - very powerful. I used to turn the volume down on my AO 50's and 60's teles and turn the volume up to 2-3 on the amp. I was getting more hiss than I wanted, and eventually I started maxing the volume on the guitar and turning the amp all the way down to 1. Still more than enough volume to hurt my ears but amp noise is negligible. I also keep the amp tone knob near the middle. Another thing I would check are the tubes - i spent the money on some NOS RCAs and GEs - I think it makes a noticeable difference when you find the right tubes. Some are just noisier than others. Other things that seem silly but introduce noise - laptops (especially if plugged in) near the guitar will add noise. Phones near the amp. Certain lights and IR remotes. The guitar being parallel or perpendicular to energy fields (rotate the guitar 360 degrees and you should hear the noise drop considerably at some point). Check that cable you mentioned - you don't need the most expensive to eliminate noise, but a cheap one is more likely to allow noise. Finally, play it and you wont hear the hum :)
     
    bumnote likes this.
  5. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    How many cables have you tried?
    I only asked because I didn't noticed if you mentioned that...if you did sorry I missed it.

    I ask because it starts when the cable is plugged in. A bad cable or a cheaply made cable could be an issue. I have had a noise problem once from a crappy cable.
     
  6. amateurastrologer

    amateurastrologer NEW MEMBER!

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    Turns out it was simply a bad guitar cable, a new cable did the trick.

    First TDPRI experience ten out of ten, thanks for your help!
     
    Lowerleftcoast and Foxguy like this.
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