Mesa DC-3 Help

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by supersoldier71, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    I bought a Mesa DC-3 a few weeks ago, but when I fired it up, it had an intermittent rattle on certain notes.

    Tech checked it out, the rattle persists. Changed the power tubes with a matched set of JJ EL84s. Rattle.

    The rattle seems to come only when I play certain notes, 13fret, 2nd string C for example.

    What do I replace next?


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  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Have you done a tap test on the tubes? Did your tech? If the tech did not do this tap test, find another tech. Have you run the amp on another speaker. If the noise is associated with a tube-originated noise, it will still come through the speaker. If there is no noise, the one might suspect the Dc30’s speaker and/or cab. Running the in amp speaker with another amp can dipetermine if there is a problem with the speaker and/or the DC3 cab. Did the tech try any of this? If not.......
     
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  3. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Tap test the old tubes, yes.

    Thanks for the idea swapping the speakers...my Jet City has the exact speaker I’m thinking of swapping in anyway


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  4. 68silverw/black

    68silverw/black TDPRI Member

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  5. 68silverw/black

    68silverw/black TDPRI Member

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    Q: What do I replace next?
    A: Your Tech
     
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  6. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can't recall - is the DC3 a tube rectifier amp? I had a Champ with an annoying 'rattle' that turned out to be a loose element in the 5Y3. Low As caused a sound like tinkling glass.
     
  7. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Fair enough.


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  8. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Chasing down rattle sucks. Wally outlined the main stuff. If you find it's the cabinet itself...well...no good way around it except ripping pieces off until you eliminate the issue.

    You can try sticking on your finger on various points of the amp to see if it eliminates the rattle - handle, logos, corners, back panels, try it all.
     
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  9. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Crappy part...I can’t sell someone a bad amp!

    I’m stuck with this problem.

    There’s a guy in town who’s got a lot of experience with Mesas in general, DC-3s in particular, but he’s up to his neck with work, so getting on his calendar is tough.

    He’s thorough and what I like about him is that when I get it back from him, it WILL work, the problem will be solved.


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  10. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Snoop around carefully in the speaker area of the cab and see if there's any loose objects hiding out. Musicians and toddlers seem to like hiding things in there. Case in point, I was working on the Studio version of that same amp and found a set of power tubes, a 6" patch cable, and a hemostat carefully tucked into a corner.

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  11. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Hemostat? Is that a roach clip for medical marijuana?:lol:
     
  12. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Can't attest to that, but they do work great for pulling hooks out of fish.

    We think the previous owner hid it in there. I asked to keep it in exchange for a 5 credit on the bill and polished it up. I love those things for working in tight spaces in amps and now have three sets last I checked.

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  13. tonejam

    tonejam Tele-Meister

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    Don't know about the DC-3, but some Mesa amps have a great big bolt through them, that seems to be doing nothing, but I think is actually to absorb vibrations. If its got loose, that could be your problem. Have you asked at the Mesa site?

    http://forum.grailtone.com/
     
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  14. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    I'm pretty sure it's not tube rectified, but the sound is similar to what you've described.
     
  15. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

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    Did you swap the preamp valves too, or just the EL84?

    I have had 2 rattles before.....

    One was a random washer in between the cone and the speaker frame, the other one was a loose choke (the choke is fitted within the chassis on that amp).

    Like your rattle, the choke only vibrated on certain frequencies......

    I've had another type of rattles occasionally, caused by the amp but not from the amp. Something in the room, vibrating in unison with certain frequencies.

    Weird how some things, not necessarily particularly loud, will decide to make to noise with an A, but not a G# or a B flat....
     
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  16. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    I didn’t change the preamp tubes but those and the speaker are the next things I’ll look at.

    I was traveling for work last week and this week is going to be busy catching up, but I’ll make time this weekend to check the speaker mounting to see if I can find something that might be the culprit.

    To your point, I may try it in another room also. The Mesa rattles the ceiling fan in the music room. Neither of my other amps do that and so it’ll just be easier to work on without that added noise.


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  17. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Ordered a WGS Retro 30 speaker and will drop off the new speaker and the amp with a tech on Thursday.

    It may or may not be the speaker, but that speaker makes everything sound better. It’s supposed to be an “improved” Vintage 30, and to my ears at least, it does what it supposed to do. It sounds like a Vintage 30 with more articulation and clarity, and maintains that clarity even when pushed.


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  18. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Update: squeal solved, mostly.

    New speaker installed.

    This thing is loud. LOUD!

    The squeal was a loose reverb tank mount. It only squealed at 525hz, so it was harder to track down. It’s still there, but you can only hear it at low volumes when standing close to the amp.

    This thing hums a bit, but that disappears as soon as you start playing.

    It’s not a bedroom amp or practice amp because of the weird noises. This is a gigging amp.

    Now about that: Rhythm channel sounds fantastic. I was not expecting this much depth and content from the any channel on a Mesa amp. It’s easily my favorite clean tone of my three amps.

    Lead channel: it took several hours of tweaking, but I’m happy with the sounds it makes. Different from my Jet City, which is more open, aggressive and raw. The Mesa has that Mesa lead tone, high gain, refined, compressed and smooth. I prefer the Jet City.

    The amount of adjustment this amp affords is nuts, and I won’t be surprised if I can dial in some of that Soldano aggression on the Lead channel.

    Even if not, this one is staying. The clean channel alone is worth what I paid, with a usable gain channel thrown in for free.

    Now that I’m in the ballpark, the rest of the process will be fun.

    I’ve never played any other amps like this: set everything at noon and it sounds awful. I didn’t even know where to start, and the suggestions in the manual didn’t sound great to me either.

    So I had to start with BMT rolled off on the Rhythm channel and add T then M and then B to taste. And then roll B all the way back to 1 because it got muddy quickly. Once that was sorted, the gain knob didn’t completely change the character of the amp.

    Repeat for the Lead channel, but here tiny changes of the knobs mattered even more.

    It may have made my Classic 50 obsolete.


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  19. red57strat

    red57strat Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    These amps have a nice clean sound! There's a cap in the dirty channel that you can remove to open the sound up a bit. I can't remember which one. I can look for it on my thumb drive if you're interested.
     
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  20. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    If it’s not too much trouble, that sounds great. Thank you.


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