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Genz Benz Black Pearl Pirate's Den

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by ruger9, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. DrMarkO

    DrMarkO TDPRI Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I just discovered this forum a little while back. I've had my BP30-212 for almost 10 years and it's a great amp as you all know. However, last night it started acting up on me: static-like sounds, popping, etc. I got out my tube tester and everything seems OK although two of the EL84s were imbalanced: the readings were 82, 80, 100, 69.5. Before I buy a tube set, I'd like to do a bit more trouble-shooting. Does anybody know if the BP30 service manual is available anywhere?

    Thanks,

    Mark
     
  2. 1Coil

    1Coil TDPRI Member

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    I don't have access to a service manual. As I mentioned in a [recent] previous post, Andy Field (former G-B engineer, and current KAMAN service support) is a great resource and quite willing to help. You definitely should drop him a line. He can point you in the best direction.

    Best!
     
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  3. DrMarkO

    DrMarkO TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the reply and advice. I've ordered new tubes and I'll try that first and then go from there. If tube replacement doesn't solve the problem, I'll remove the chassis and see if anything looks obviously wrong. I was a radio tech in the Air Force when I was young so I do know my way around electronics a little.

    If I still can't find the problem, I'll see about contacting Andy Field for some troubleshooting advice.

    Thanks again and best regards!

    Mark
     
  4. 1Coil

    1Coil TDPRI Member

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    That seems like the best place to start. Most likely candidate would be "microphonic" tube.

    Just out of curiosity, what tubes did you order and from which source?

    My only tube amps are fairly new (to me), so I haven't had to find replacements. My BP30 came re-tubed with all JJs and a TAD rectifier.

    I'd be interested to know your experience.

    Cheers!
     
  5. DrMarkO

    DrMarkO TDPRI Member

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    Yes, I agree the noise is probably from a microphonic tube since I could get the static/popping noises when I tapped on some of the tubes.

    I ordered all the tubes from TubeDepot.com. They have a pretty nice website with lots of good info and tube comparisons. I chose Electro-Harmonix for all five of the 12AX7s and paid $2.00 extra to get "balanced triodes" on one of them to use as the Phase Splitter. This brand had a very low noise figure against microphonics which is important for the pre-amp stages of any amplifier. I also chose Electro-Harmonix for the four EL84 power tubes and Tube Depot offers free matching service for up to nine tubes. Finally, I picked a Genalex - Gold Lion U77/GZ34 for the Rectifier tube.

    I'll post an update after I've solved the noise issue.

    Thanks,

    Mark

    P.S. My family and I lived in Santa Clara for many years before we moved to Oregon.
     
  6. DrMarkO

    DrMarkO TDPRI Member

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    I installed the new tubes yesterday and that solved the static/popping noise problem. Very fast service from Tube Depot. :)
     
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  7. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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  8. RCC Passderkins

    RCC Passderkins Tele-Meister

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    Joined the club yesterday. Found an amazing deal on one, with the foot switch. Tone city!

    20170322_133631.jpg
     
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  9. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Congratulations! I am sure this will delight and surprise you in all the great tones you can get and at pretty much any volume.
     
  10. RCC Passderkins

    RCC Passderkins Tele-Meister

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    Thanks. I've already found an amazing number of tones. I'm making a chart of my favorites for reference. It's really nice to not have to worry about looking at amps when I go shopping. Now I can just stock up on Teles!
     
  11. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool. As I've noted before on these pages, I have other amps I love but if I had to go to one it would be the BP30 because the range, flexibility and quailty in one package. No wonder Fender bought them!
     
  12. shad9876

    shad9876 Tele-Meister

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    Just joined the Black Pearl train! I ordered a Black Pearl head today (should have it in a few days)!

    Now I have the dilemma of choosing the right speaker. I've heard that the Red Fang that comes in the combo and the extension cabs is very good and may end up going that route.

    I currently have two 1x12" cabs. A VOX w/ a Greenback and an Egnater w/ a Celestion G12H. Anyone have experience with these speakers adn how they would compare with the Red Fang through a BP?

    Thanks,
    Shad
     
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  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I sometimes put my GB BP30 through my VoxAC30 Celestion Blue x2 instead of (or alongside) the Red Fang. Sounds fantastic and is my preferred cab. Also sounds great if a little woodier and darker through my greenback 2x12. But the Red Fang speakers work perfectly well for this amp.
     
  14. shad9876

    shad9876 Tele-Meister

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    Found a Canis Major that I'm gonna a/b with the greenback in the Vox 1x12" cab. It should get here about the same time as my BP30 head, early next week probably (so hard waiting for new gear!)

    A thought just dawned on me as I'm typing this...can I even use the single Greenback with the Black Pearl on the 30 watt setting or will I risk blowing it? I guess I could always run the amp in the lower wattage setting. Doubt I'll ever need the full 30 watts as I like to run right on the edge of break up and try to keep stage volumes reasonable.

    I've been playing a Vox ac15 for the last year and have never felt like I needed anymore volume or headroom, even in a full rock band with 2 other guitarists.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
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  15. DrMarkO

    DrMarkO TDPRI Member

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    ^^^
    The Celestion website lists the Greenback rating as 25Wrms so you could probably run it on 30W setting but just be careful not to overload for too long a time.

    Mark
     
  16. BluesRoot

    BluesRoot TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Just started using my BP 30 again. I'm glad see some recent posts here. My BP was in storage a couple years. I think I'll put some fresh tubes in her. The current tubes have a few years use on them. I didn't notice their gradual decline when I was using it every day. Still sounds pretty good worn tubes and all!
     
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  17. 1Coil

    1Coil TDPRI Member

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    What tubes will you use? I'm always interested in others' tube experiences.

    For my head, the previous owner had re-tubed with JJs and a TAD rectifier. They sound fine and seem to be fairly durable.

    Cheers!
     
  18. BluesRoot

    BluesRoot TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I've had good luck with jjs in other amps. I was thinking I would go with Tung So or Ruby in the power section (these have also worked well for me) and either current production Tung Sol or Mullards in the pre amp. I'll let you know when I've decided what to do. Thanks for your interest.
     
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  19. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just my experience, of course.

    JJs = sound good & reliable.
    Tung Sol = sound great, not reliable.
     
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  20. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Anybody know how to get the knobs off?

    The 3 way Mode Switch on mine is loose - It securely clicks into each of the 3 positions, but the whole knob rotates further past where it should in both directions.

    I just pulled out the amp chassis to see if there was a loose screw or nut, but didn't see anything readily accessible, and didn't want to take it all the way out without pulling all the tubes so I didn't damage anything.

    The knobs seem REALLY securely attached from the front, and I didn't know if they just popped off...

    I don't want to make the problem worse that it is, and it's really not that bad, since you're hardly ever changing the boost mode.
     
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