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Here's a video about cheap and leaky filter caps that Fender uses on their mainstream tube amps

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by DougM, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's pretty scathing. What do y'all think?

    BTW- This video is from Psionic Audio, but it sounds just like Uncle Doug to me. So, does anyone know if it is? If not, this guy has an identical sounding voice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  2. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Is it a true problem?
     
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  3. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    He seems to think that it is
     
  4. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I meant are there users of these amps reporting problems? Sometimes, good enough is good enough...
     
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  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    had to replace these on my super 210...

    Leaky Cap2.JPG
     
  6. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    To make this video useful, you'd have to establish that more expensive caps don't leak or fail over time. As far as I know, all alectrolytic caps need replacement sooner or later
     
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  7. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've had my 1999 blonde Blues Jr. since 2000 ( got used online) and though it has needed maintenance thru the years (we have a great DC-area tech), including control pots replacement, and 2 years ago a power transformer, the filter caps are still original- knock on wood!
     
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  8. cmm71

    cmm71 Tele-Meister

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    I just watched the video and I see his point. I'm well aware that my Pro Jr won't have the longevity of a comparable amp from the golden 1960s (or 70s). My fear is that without spending obscene amounts I can likely expect similar quality in anything I buy. I spent a considerable sum on a new Supro and, while I'm impressed with the build quality, I suspect it's got the same issues as any modern production amp. So I just live happily with my Pro Jr knowing that I have a good amp for what it cost me.
     
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  9. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    The very point I'm making. I expect if this was a real problem, there would be many threads detailing the failures. I don't see them.
     
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  10. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sadly ( well not really 'sadly'), my BJ isn't being used right now- it's TOO BIG for my little gigs.
    I'm just opting for smaller/lighter amps in my old age.

    And even at just 31 lbs., with a Neo speaker- it's heavier than what I want to carry now

    But it's ready when needed! Sounds very good.
     
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  11. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did not bother to listen to him, no. Twenty minutes to tell me fender uses inexpensive caps that need replacing. Heavens, stop the presses! I've never heard THAT before!
     
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  12. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I was going to post the same to the thread on tube vs ss reliability. It all comes down to the usual product design and manufacturing details that determine long term reliability. These include:
    - electrical design choices (like using weird 16V and 5V sensing circuits for footswitches),
    - thermal / mechanical design (like mounting the power resistors for a weird footswitch circuit too close to the board for airflow),
    - manufacturing cost choices, like choosing cheaper, less reliable caps as in the video, or one sided PCBs without plated through holes that are fragile to service (when replacing cheap components or correcting poor design issues).

    How a company manages all three is difficult for anyone to assess without some long term knowledge of their products. So I like that video a lot. And to paraphrase another thread, shame on them.
     
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  13. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    Oh no, another negative thread about Fender this week. This is not gonna end well :confused:
     
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  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have replaced IC electrolytics that have not just shown leakage but failed in less than 10 years. I do not use ICs in replacement applications. All amp companies build to a price point. That demands certain choices when the price point is low, I suppose.
     
  15. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    They do. It would be bad if the failure rate is high enough to hurt their reputation. They may have made this calculation, even. I think this one in the video is a DRRI, not a cheap amp even at the price from three years ago. As the tech says, it's not a big cost savings up front. But it's a good chunk of change to have this serviced later.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  16. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Donut hv 24:35 to watch the video.


    In a short statement, what is it's generalized message, beyond the title?
     
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  17. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    The first few minutes he's showing and replacing the leaky (and apparently low cost) electrolytics on a three year old DRRI that had noise and a squeal from the reverb. He talked about how it's a common repair job on these and BJs and HRDs, but more involved disassembly on those (been there!).

    I skipped through the rest. He found some issues with the pots, and determined the amp had been dropped on its face, since several shafts were bent. Also several loose nuts to tighten.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    on a manufacturing scale such as Fender deals with, the difference in the cost difference between different components can add up to a large sum of money.
     
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  19. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    We also need to remember that we see the funky ones. For every "my Hot Rod amp melted those two white power resistors" threads we see on here, how many thousands of others are running just fine with no maintenance?

    That being said, I don't buy IC replacement parts due to their questionable reputation, but it's dumb to say Fender is using "bad" or "things designed to fail" in their amps. Their certainly don't want to pay for warranty work (although the warranty period is now very short) and they likely want people to continue buying their product.
     
  20. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I did some work on my dad's 1965 Deluxe (NR) fairly recently. He had replaced the electrolytics around 16 years ago, using IC caps for the filters and Xicons everywhere else. All of them checked out good except the tremolo LDR lamp driver cathode bypass, which I replaced with a 25uF/50VDC Sprague.
     
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