Please help me with this noise, Fender DRRI

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Hello, I'm getting loud noise out of my Fender deluxe Reverb reissue. I've owned a lot of tube amps, but am no expert by far. I had a similar problem in the past with a Fender DeVille and it went away after swapping power tubes. I did that here, but it didn't fix things. I'm wondering if it's some kind of radio interference, but the only problem is that this amp has been in this same location of my studio and the problem only started happening a couple months ago. I'm going to try and attach a video link with audio of the problem.. It's a hum and crackle that comes and goes. Seems to not be there at first and then come in as I play a bit, and it's loud. After it comes in, it doesn't really go away. It may fade a bit but comes back. It seems to be independent of knob settings or if anything is plugged in.

Any insight or shared experiences much appreciated!

 

OldPup

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Clean the tubes pins and sockets. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, take it to a tech. Just that should be the bench fee and barely, if any, additional charge.
 

Dacious

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Did you try a V1 and PI swap yet ?

I don't know what those are 😀
Does the amp make noise with volume turned to zero? The row of small valves visible at the rear on the right with aluminium covers. It might be easier to pop the top cover off.

Take the first tube out of the right rear. That is Valve 1 (V1) which is the normal channel preamp. The normal channel won't work.

Exchange this valve into the far left tube position closest to the power tubes. That's the phase inverter tube which @uriah1 refers to as P1. If all knobs are turned down and the amp still makes that noise the only tube it could be is that one.

Cleaning the tube pins as @OldPup suggested is a good idea too. Dust and moisture over time can cause a film on them which can manifest as odd noises.
 

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Does the amp make noise with volume turned to zero? The row of small valves visible at the rear on the right with aluminium covers. It might be easier to pop the top cover off.

Take the first tube out of the right rear. That is Valve 1 (V1) which is the normal channel preamp. The normal channel won't work.

Exchange this valve into the far left tube position closest to the power tubes. That's the phase inverter tube which @uriah1 refers to as P1. If all knobs are turned down and the amp still makes that noise the only tube it could be is that one.

Cleaning the tube pins as @OldPup suggested is a good idea too. Dust and moisture over time can cause a film on them which can manifest as odd noises.
Thanks, I'll try this. yes, the amp still makes the noise with volume knobs set to 0
 

Dacious

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Thanks, I'll try this. yes, the amp still makes the noise with volume knobs set to 0
If the phase inverter is noisy you will need a 12AT7 - JJ makes a sturdy new production tube. There's two 12AT7s in your amp, the reverb driver and phase inverter tubes. The 12AX7 from V1 will work as a standin for a few days and suffer/cause no harm but you might notice a bit of a tonal change as it has more gain.
 

uriah1

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Sorry didn’t post location
As others said. v1 is your first
Small tube and your PI phase inverter tube is the last tube usually next to your first large power tube in normal layout. Wish you luck
 

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Sorry didn’t post location
As others said. v1 is your first
Small tube and your PI phase inverter tube is the last tube usually next to your first large power tube in normal layout. Wish you luck
Thank you, will try this tonight!
 

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This seems to have worked. I played the amp for about an hour and the noise did come in for a bit but it was much quieter and it went away instead of getting worse. Thank you! The only thing is the amp is noticibly different. Volume is less than it was as the same knob settings, and the eq is darker? Am I crazy or is this possible? And, from here, what's the actual fix I need?
 

Dacious

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So changing V1 to the phase inverter worked? What tubes were in the two positions?

V1 should have been a 12AX7/7025/ECC83 which is higher gain than the original phase inverter which should be a 12AT7/ECC81.

So V1 in the phase inverter should have been louder and brighter if anything.

It may be you have some dirt in the tube socket pins causing the problem. Get some Caig Deoxit or a similar electronic cleaner from Tandy or Mouser. For this job you want the one without lubricant (which is for pots and switches).

Spray a bit into the tube pins or onto cloth and wipe onto the pins and work the tube carefully in and out of tube socket a few times. If you do this with the original tube you may find it fixes it

If not, you need a 12AT7 for the phase inverter position.
 

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So changing V1 to the phase inverter worked? What tubes were in the two positions?

V1 should have been a 12AX7/7025/ECC83 which is higher gain than the original phase inverter which should be a 12AT7/ECC81.

So V1 in the phase inverter should have been louder and brighter if anything.

It may be you have some dirt in the tube socket pins causing the problem. Get some Caig Deoxit or a similar electronic cleaner from Tandy or Mouser. For this job you want the one without lubricant (which is for pots and switches).

Spray a bit into the tube pins or onto cloth and wipe onto the pins and work the tube carefully in and out of tube socket a few times. If you do this with the original tube you may find it fixes it

If not, you need a 12AT7 for the phase inverter position.
The left-most small tube was an ECC83, the right-most small tube was a 12AT7. Then I swapped them.
Sorry, I should have taken pictures. It definitely affected the volume, not just by my ear in the room, but I have the cabinet out going into my recording setup and I've had the same levels for a while and saw it's coming in a lot quieter. And whatever change I made definitely seems less bright to my ears. Were the tubes in there correct for factory? I purchased this amp from musicians friend, but I think it was refurbished..

i believe I have the wrong deoxit, so I will buy the one without lubricant.

so, I need to buy a new 12AT7 and put it in the P1 in position? Then leave the rest as is after the switch I did?
 

Dacious

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By leftmost you mean viewed from the front? So it may be dirty pins on the tubes or socket. This is especially so if the amp hasn't been serviced for a while. The dissimilar metals on steel pins and CV copper socket clinches will create a corrosion film and/or a dust buildup will increase resistance which attenuates signal and can introduce noise.

The fact you had noise even after tube replacement suggests dirt. I'd try clean the tube pins definitely - even working the tube in and out to expose fresh metal traces will help. The original 12AX7 in V1 may be weak - if it's marked ECC83 it's probably old, which indicates someone may have been tube rolling in your amp.
 

uriah1

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I would get a 5751 for your V1
and maybe a new-12AT7 for your PI
Hard to tell which one of the 2 was crapping out on you.


Just saying

Enjoy
 

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By leftmost you mean viewed from the front? So it may be dirty pins on the tubes or socket. This is especially so if the amp hasn't been serviced for a while. The dissimilar metals on steel pins and CV copper socket clinches will create a corrosion film and/or a dust buildup will increase resistance which attenuates signal and can introduce noise.

The fact you had noise even after tube replacement suggests dirt. I'd try clean the tube pins definitely - even working the tube in and out to expose fresh metal traces will help. The original 12AX7 in V1 may be weak - if it's marked ECC83 it's probably old, which indicates someone may have been tube rolling in your amp.
By left-most, I mean from the back view. Here's a picture of the back of the amp. What's "tube rolling"? This amp was refurbished from Musicians Friend... I forgot what they call it, maybe "scratch and dent" which I think means damaged in shipping or possibly returned.

Thanks for all your guys help here
 

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Paul G.

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Not wanting to be the stinkbug in the garden, but doesn't Fender have a tube chart pasted inside the cabinet anymore? If there is one, there's your guide to where the 12AT7s go (should be phase inverter - V5; and reverb driver - V3) counted from the right side viewed from the back.
 

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Not wanting to be the stinkbug in the garden, but doesn't Fender have a tube chart pasted inside the cabinet anymore? If there is one, there's your guide to where the 12AT7s go (should be phase inverter - V5; and reverb driver - V3) counted from the right side viewed from the back.
that's funny, I didn't even notice that in there! thx.
 
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Dacious

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By left-most, I mean from the back view. Here's a picture of the back of the amp. What's "tube rolling"? This amp was refurbished from Musicians Friend... I forgot what they call it, maybe "scratch and dent" which I think means damaged in shipping or possibly returned.

Thanks for all your guys help here
Scratch and dent usually means a demo or otherwise new amp that's been marked or has a minor cosmetic defect.

Yours is a 'refurb'. That's not a bad thing, BTW. You've scored a Celestion Redback - that's a $250 speaker. Most people wouldn't put one in a DR but if it's doing it for you that's great.

Your amp also has JJ power tubes - did you put those in? Were the originals Groove Tubes or Fender- branded? Tube rolling - OMG, should we start you down that rabbit hole? JJ 6V6s are considered the toughest current production power tubes for a DR which does run them hard

Manufacturers don't usually fit the 'best' tubes. They do a deal for bulk purchase of tubes that will get the amp sold and last through warranty.

There's tubes, and there's tubes. All 12AX7s are not created equal. JJ preamp tubes are not as revered as their power amp tubes. Except in Mesa Boogies which seem made for them. 'Marshall' branded tubes are made by Shuguang, a Chinese company. As are most Ruby and a few other brands. 'Tung Sol' and 'Mullard' tubes are holy grail brands resurrected for marketting purposes but are made in Russia. Many people will fit different tubes - you will hear terms like 'bloom', bright, dark, gainier, smooth, harsh etc. There NOS meaning 'new old stock' or brand new tubes in boxes from forty years ago. The general consensus and experience is the old production tubes are better sounding and last longer.

The fact you have a tube marked ECC83 indicates someone has been trying different tubes. ECC83 is the old Euro designation for a 12AX7. Not commonly used since tube factures thee shut down in the 80s. So that was probably an old tube. Might be a good one for V2. That's the first preamp tube of your reverb channel.

If that tube was in V6, the phase inverter position it could provide a volume boost because it has more gain. But it will also make your eqs more active and possibly increase noise floor and make reverb a bit more twanky. It is likely the source of your noise combined with dirty pins

I'd try cleaning the pins of all tubes - power off, unplugged.

If you prefer the sound with the 12AX7 in the phase inverter position, you will do absolutely no harm leaving it there. Ditto the Redback. Depending on what sort of music style you play it could work. Mostly the Redbacks are used in higher wattage Marshalls as they handle 150 watts. But there's no rule that says you can't use one in a Fender.
 
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