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Help! Output Issue - Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by BackwaterJunction, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction TDPRI Member

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    Help! Total noob in terms of amp tech here. In a national lockdown, I've turned to the good people of TDPRI for help.

    Lately I've got an issue with my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. The amp is distorting in general, even at low volumes on the clean channel, and when turned up doesn't gain volume massively, only distortion.

    Hopefully this is something that can be seen in the attached video - starting with the volume on around 3 on the clean channel, the amp distorts. When I turned it to 12, which in my house should be shaking the windows, it was still at a volume around talking level.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what this might be, and if I'll need professional help or it's something a complete moron like myself can fix?

     
  2. Sweet Lou 275

    Sweet Lou 275 Tele-Meister

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    Is the speaker plugged into the correct jack? I believe these have one for main and one for an extension. You could have tube issues, but hard to walk through that unless you're familiar with it. Basic things like visual inspection might tell you something. I know I've seen some info on an 82k resistor in those that seems to have some failure issues, but you would need to get some plate voltages on the tubes or test the resistor itself to narrow that down. Not exactly something for a novice. Tube amps can kill. Make sure your speaker jacks are clean, no corrosion, etc. Have you changed tubes recently? Possibly some cap issues? Are the tubes glowing evenly, or are there visible issues? One glows hot, one barely or not at all, etc. Just spitballing, but just some ideas. Unless you're intimately familiar with tube amps and their function and are comfortable poking around one, I would say wait until you can see a tech. People die messing with these things. Just having it unplugged isn't enough. I'd try and do whatever visual inspections you can for anything obvious and see what you find. If still nothing, I think you're in for a trip to the shop.
     
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  3. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I've not changed tubes on it at all since buying it a couple of years back. Whilst I'm not at all well-versed in amplifiers I am aware that messing with it could be all kinds of problematic safety wise so no intent to doing so.

    Otherwise, I totally agree - I'll get someone qualified to look at it! Largely seeking to clarify it's not something super easy here.

    I'll check the speaker jacks as that seems most likely - pretty sure I was poking around there to see if there was an extension socket before so perhaps I've plugged in the wrong one. J've not noticed anything immediately off with the tubes but I'll do a visual double check for any differences in colour/temperature.
     
  4. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction TDPRI Member

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    Well, I can't thank you enough for saving me the time (waiting for a lockdown to ease), the expense, and the eventual embarassment of a trip to a tech.

    A few weeks back a friend had asked if the amp could take an extension cabinet, and I went to investigate. In my haste I must have plugged the speaker cable back into the extension socket, not the main speaker. As soon as I read your response, I wondered if that was it

    The positive, a problem caused by a rookie is in the case solvable by a rookie (with a bit of considerate experienced guidance). Swapped the cable and hey presto, like a new amp.

    Thank you @Sweet Lou 275!
     
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  5. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    Glad you fixed your problem, but just wanted to say you are not liable to hurt yourself in just changing tubes in an amp, without removing the chassis. People have been doing that forever. I know that these days the manufacturers are trying to scare people away from doing any amp maintenance at all, making it necessary for you to take the amp to a service center for even the simplest things like changing a tube or two, but as long as you are not putting your hands near exposed components in an open chassis, there is little chance or none of getting electrocuted just moving tubes around. Those tube cages they are now putting in many amps are just to meet the recent European regulations that to me are way too overprotective, amp manufacturers have to put those in the amps in order to be able to sell their amps in Europe.
    Al
     
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  6. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    to neuter the caps, simply keep playing the guitar when you turn the amp off. once the sound goes away, the caps are drained. don't forget to unplug it before you dive in
     
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  7. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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    A common occurrence. Do not feel bad because you’re not the only one.

    I had a customer bring me a HRDX amp that he took to Guitar Center to fix. It sat there for months and they couldn’t sort it out. He picked it up and brought it to me. I looked in the back, plugged the speaker into the correct jack and fired it up. It was fine. I didn’t charge him a dime.
     
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  8. Sweet Lou 275

    Sweet Lou 275 Tele-Meister

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    No problem at all. I've had plenty of help myself from the fine folks here, so glad I got a chance to return the favor. Enjoy!

    Well said. I don't always get every thought from my head onto paper, so to speak.
     
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  9. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction TDPRI Member

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    Thanks - from what I had read online, changing tubes (or as it happened, swapping a cable over) was about as happy as I'd be comfortable to go. Anything involving diving into the chassis would be an absolute no. Appreciate the tip though :)

    I'd never thought of that. What a good, simple way to tell. Thank you!

    I think the two speaker jacks are about the only things not labelled on that amp! Good on you for not charging though. Sounds like the customer and I have similarly paid in mild embarassment at the simplicity of it!

    My experience here has been that most, possibly all posters, are helpful and gracious with their advice, and you anf others in this thread have done nothing other than reinforce that :)
     
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