Thinking about my Fender Hot Rod Deville

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by GuitarsBuicks, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    So last October my 2005 Fender Deville was dropped on its face. I checked the tubes and everything works as it should. There is just one problem. Any time I play it there is a strange extremely high pitched whistle-like ringing from the amp specifically. I don't know if its the speakers, the reverb, the tubes, my tele. Although it does it with other guitars the most pronounced is the tele. Suggestions?

    Also, i am seriously considering replacing the stock fender-designed eminence built made in china speakers with something else...maybe Celestion vintage 30's or Celestion Rocket 50's. If I could get a set Peavey Black Widows, I would probably put them in there just on the principle that I like those speakers better than any other 12" I've ever played period. Hopefully paired with some better tubes. Not a huge fan of Groove Tubes. Although maybe she just needs to be re-biased.

    I don't really want to get rid of it because its my normal backup and super-saturation tone when called for (Not very often. although if I ever get to play Jesus Christ: Superstar that would probably be amp number one on the list.). Its also my very first amp. 60 watts was a little much for a bedroom amp when I was in high school but it gets used in live settings. Like I said I don't want to get rid of it. It would also be nice to get a slightly more "Britishy-tone" from it as well. Although I suspect that would involve a totally different tube set and circuit.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. JKjr

    JKjr Tele-Holic

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    I have an old Blues (not HR) DeVille, but I understand they are basically the same amp. A high pitched whistle is usually (but not always) a noisy tube. If you replace the tubes you will need to rebias the amp, and if it hasn't been serviced since new it will need a cap job. They're 15 years old and were the cheapest thing they could find.

    Here's where I get wordy and stuff. I have a slew of vintage Fender amps around here; I'm old and never get rid of anything. The DeVille sounded pretty good until you put it beside an old Super, Bassman, Twin etc... After a bunch of tries I've got it to where it can hang with the old guys. Here's what I did:

    Changed out the power tubes for TAD large bottle 6L6s. They sound remarkably like my favorites, blackplate RCA's. I kept the first two preamp tubes 12ax7's but changed the rest to NOS 12at7's. You keep your preamp drive but everything is smoother and it kills the ice pick in the treble. They are still relatively inexpensive. I also changed out both volume pots from linear to audio taper. They're available from Fender, and really tame the volume. It still gets just as loud but doesn't go to full volume at 4 like stock. That makes it much more versatile. And as far as speakers go I've found that keeping one of the stock guys and mixing out the other is my favorite combination. A Vintage 30 is a great match. And a Jensen Neo is good for the classic american sound.

    Seems like you're already headed for a tech for the whistle and routine maintenance. Have him add a bias pot for each tube and do the above swaps. As he is in there already it won't be much more $. And you end up with the amp you always wished yours was. Mine is paired in stereo with an old Bassman and stands up nicely
     
  3. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    The more I think about it the more I'd almost rather swap it for something else, as I have 2 other amps. I really prefer my SRRI or my Peavey Heritage VTX to the Hot Rod. Maybe it is time to get rid of it. I've almost sold it several times already. I just hate to get rid of something with sentimental value like that. I have an acoustic guitar I don't really like either, but I can't bear to get rid of it because my parents gave it to me as a gift. It's probably the only guitar I'll ever get from them.
     
  4. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    As long as the board does not have a hairline crack in it - it shouldn’t be too pricey to get it up and running. I don’t see a need to get rid of it if you don’t want to? It’s not like it’s going to fetch a ton of cash. I had a DRRI that made strange noises after it was dropped. I ended up selling it as “not working” and to this day believe the board had a hairline crack somewhere. I say this because I replaced everything but that, yet the noise remained.
     
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  5. corliss1

    corliss1 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Another vote for a microphonic tube issue.

    Turn amp on, tap each tube with a pencil. See if that makes some noise through the speaker. If so, replace that tube. If it's the power tubes, have a tech look it over and bias. At 15ish years old, it's getting time for a full cap job anyway.
     
  6. Brian L

    Brian L Tele-Meister

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    I sprinkle some magic stardust on my amps and everything is wonderful.
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Often a tube.
    Could be a reverb tank issue....?
    Aren't Eminence Speakers made in the USA?
     
  8. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Turning off the reverb didn't help the whine...Couldn't find where it pluged in to the amp part to un hook it completely. Definately suspecting a tube.

    In regards to the speakers, I do not care where the speakers were made if they don't sound good I'd rather replace them with something that is supposedly "better," i.e. Celestian Rockets, Scumbacks, Celestian vintage 30's, or possibly something from Jenson, although I'm looking to go more saturated tone that doesn't collapse into mud. A speaker that holds together when getting hit with 2 boosts, 2 overdrives, and a compressor + noise gate, to get that saturated yet clean Eric Clapton/Brad Paisley sound would be nice. You know that clean yet crunchy sound. These things just always sound straight flappy mud or crappy clean. Think the studio version of Cocaine from Slowhand and Lynyrd Skynyrd's original studio version of "That smell."
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    OK I hear you. Not sure what that amp came with. Is it 2 x 12? or 1 x 12?
     
  10. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    2X12 Fender Special Design Eminence 75W special built in USA. They don't sound good clean, and they don't sound good distorted. Hopefully a new set of tubes will help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  11. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Nevermind. Changed my mind
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  12. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Okay, I am officially ready to buy tubes for the DeVille. Any suggestions on how to tame this thing a little, particularly getting rid of the whistle/howl and killing the ice pick? Which tubes should I get? Do they need to be matched? Are the Peavey tubes on Amazon a good option? What about JJ or Groove-tubes? Should I be considering EHX tubes (I'm not overly impressed with their pedals although I do own and use two (Hot Tubes nano & Bad Stone nano).) Can I bias the amp myself or do I need a tech to do it? Can I do caps myself? Thoughts in general?
     
  13. corliss1

    corliss1 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    The whistle/howl is likely a bad tube, so that should get fixed as part of the process.

    Personally, I would just take it to a tech anyway. He can get the tubes, make sure they're good, get them in and biased, and also do the caps.
     
  14. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    I would but the nearest three amp techs are an hour away and in a red zone for Covid...sooo yeah..
    Was kinda hoping to do it myself.
     
  15. corliss1

    corliss1 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    If you wanted to try and do it yourself, all you can really do is swap the preamp tubes to see if that cures anything. If you were planning on getting all new tubes anyway, you might as well start there.

    The cap job is major surgery.
     
  16. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    So I replaced all of the tubes and that seems to have helped the problem some.
     
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  17. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Curious now. What do you mean by "some"? Is it still whining or not?
     
  18. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, it is still whining quite as noticeably, but it is more buried under the overall volume of the amp now. That is going straight in no pedals of any kind. Just Tele and a straight cord into input one or two. Depends on which time I'm plugging in. Reverb turned up, reverb on 3, and reverb knob down to off. Its still there. It's like a glassy ringing that rests just under the overall tone of the guitar.

    Definitely looking for any advice anyone has at this point. My uncle didn't seem to think it could be the capacitors. He claims they don't go bad unless it doesn't get used of years at a time. I tend to rotate amps very few weeks just to keep all of them in use.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  19. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like a high frequency oscillation. You need a tech, brother.
     
  20. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks. I guess I'll have to take both Fender amps to a tech. That is exactly what I didn't want to hear. Probably will have to wait until Covid dies down in my area and theirs. No reason to risk lives for a tube amp or two.
     
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