"New-be" question amp noise/static (New to Tube)

Tmcqtele65

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Posts
134
Age
56
Location
Eastern Tennessee
Hey all - I've been playing my Fender Bassbreaker 15 for about a year or so now, and I'm experiencing some static sounding noise - most prevalent when I first start it up, less so - but still occasionally there - after it's on a while. Amp still sounds great, just has this static-like noise periodically. Is this a bad tube? Where do I go first?
 

AxemanVR

Friend of Leo's
Ad Free Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Posts
2,108
Location
Minnesota USA
First of all, you should always have a spare set of tubes.

The easiest way to eliminate a tube problem is to swap out all the tubes. Keep track of where the old tubes were located so you can identify which one is the bad one.

That said, sometimes just pulling the old tubes out and reseating them could do the trick.

Spraying a little contact cleaner in the tube sockets is even better.

Cracking and static noises can also be caused by cold solder joints or bad coupling caps, which are much more difficult to diagnose.

But I’d definitely start with the tubes first, then go from there…



 

Tmcqtele65

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Posts
134
Age
56
Location
Eastern Tennessee
First of all, you should always have a spare set of tubes.

The easiest way to eliminate a tube problem is to swap out all the tubes. Keep track of where the old tubes were located so you can identify which one is the bad one.

That said, sometimes just pulling the old tubes out and reseating them could do the trick.

Spraying a little contact cleaner in the tube sockets is even better.

Cracking and static noises can also be caused by cold solder joints or bad coupling caps, which are much more difficult to diagnose.

But I’d definitely start with the tubes first, then go from there…



Thank you....I do have a spare set of tubes that I recently bought when the supply became "scary".
Based on this advice, I am inclined to first remove each tube individually and clean the sockets with contact cleaner then put each original tube back in it's same location. If this solves it....great, my spares remain spares. If not, then I will one-at-a-time replace each tube, trying the amp in between, to see if one replacement makes the noise go away. Keep the "good" original tubes as my new spares and replace the one assumed to be bad to complete my spare "set".

Seem like a logical plan?
 

Dacious

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
10,505
Location
Godzone
First of all, you should always have a spare set of tubes.

The easiest way to eliminate a tube problem is to swap out all the tubes. Keep track of where the old tubes were located so you can identify which one is the bad one.

That said, sometimes just pulling the old tubes out and reseating them could do the trick.

Spraying a little contact cleaner in the tube sockets is even better.



Spraying contact cleaner directly into sockets is not wise. Particularly if it's the sort containing lubricant.

A guy bought a real 68 drip edge Vibrochamp from me and decided the trem should be stronger. He saturated the phenolic RCA switch socket with so much Deoxit, it turned it into a 14 megaohm resistor. It stopped the trem stone dead. Cost me $150 with an EE to find and cure it, after both of us desoldered and tested every component. Cleaning the socket with solvent fortunately cleaned it off.


Based on this advice, I am inclined to first remove each tube individually and clean the sockets with contact cleaner then put each original tube back in it's same location.

Seem like a logical plan?
Be advised there's two types of contact cleaner. One is designed to remove deposits and leave no residue. That's the best sort to use. You can spray it on a tissue or cotton bud to apply to the pins.

The other sort is a cleaner/lubricant which leaves a film of conductive grease and is intended for potentiometers and switches. That's less desirable to use.

I would not use WD40 or RP7 or any dewatering auto fluid for this purpose. They leave oily residue which attracts fine dust.

To clean sockets, remove the tube and spray the pins with contact cleaner. With the wet pins, slowly reseat the tube while gently rocking it, so as to ‘scrub’ the socket. I think this might be all you need.
This is sound advice. Also as far as possible keep a dust cover on the amp when not in use. Dust will accumulate on anything with heat/power running through it.

Yes, often specs of dust combined with damp air can cause crackling on pins especially from cold. The tiny corrosion film building up from dissimilar metals with current passing through will cause noise and in extreme cases arcing at tube socket pins.
 
Last edited:

Tmcqtele65

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Posts
134
Age
56
Location
Eastern Tennessee
I think the contact cleaner "scrub" did the job. Carefully pulled one tube out at a time and sprayed contact cleaner on the pins. Then while still wet, I pushed the tube back into the socket and tried to "scrub" the socket with the cleaned pins. I repeated this a couple times, and moved on to the rest of the tubes. When I fired it back up, there was initially a little of the static noise, but it went away fast and that was it. I'll keep monitoring - and might do the whole process again if I think there is still some noise (because it definitely seems to have helped).
 

schmee

Telefied
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Posts
20,115
Location
northwest
This amps not that old. Modern tube amps come with crap, low bidder pretubes. That's the first place I'd look.
 

teleplayr

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Posts
2,090
Location
Nicoma Park, Oklahoma
First of all, you should always have a spare set of tubes.

The easiest way to eliminate a tube problem is to swap out all the tubes. Keep track of where the old tubes were located so you can identify which one is the bad one.

That said, sometimes just pulling the old tubes out and reseating them could do the trick.

Spraying a little contact cleaner in the tube sockets is even better.

Cracking and static noises can also be caused by cold solder joints or bad coupling caps, which are much more difficult to diagnose.

But I’d definitely start with the tubes first, then go from there…




Change them out one at a time. That way if it's just a specific tube you'll know who the culprit was.
 




Top