Uh, oh. Amp volume question.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by johmica, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. johmica

    johmica Tele-Holic

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    Just bought a used Orange AD30. I've had it for a week now, and I've played it probably half a dozen times. The entire time I've played it, I've thought that the volume was a little weak, given it's 30 amp rating (noticeably quieter than my 22 w DDRI). But the tone was great, so I wasn't too worried. It's a basement amp, anyway.

    However, I was just playing it, and after about ten minutes of play, the volume suddenly jumped drastically. It's now playing at a volume much, much louder than it's been playing for the last week.

    Usual suspects?
     
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  2. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    basement amp?
    amps stored in a basement environment can be victims of oxidation
    I have found that a DeOxit treatment on all pots, tube sockets, AND jacks can restore optimum performance
    I would try that first
     
  3. johmica

    johmica Tele-Holic

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    I should clarify. By "basement amp," I meant that my purposes with the amp don't require a lot of volume. I just bought it from a little shop, and by the looks of the amp, it had been gigged pretty hard.

    The change in volume leads me to believe that it's probably a connection issue. There wasn't a swell - instead, it was like someone flicked a switch. I've been playing it for an hour now, and it continues to maintain it's volume. But it's weird that I've logged probably 6 hours on the amp already, and the volume fluctuation happened only today.

    I've got a fantastic amp repair guy nearby (he's been a licensed Fender/Marshall/Orange repair tech for decades - I'm glad he hasn't retired yet!), and I'll get him the amp next week. I just know nothing about amp repair, and I figured that if this were a common (and easily diagnosed) issue, that I'd ask the community.

    I got the amp for a good price, so I wouldn't mind dropping another couple of hundred bucks in it to get it tip-top. Obviously, I'm just hoping that the issue is neither fatal nor prohibitively expensive to repair.
     
  4. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    first thing is first

    tubes.
     
  5. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, oxidation, including in jacks, occurs to me first, too. A solder going bad. Could be bad power tubes, a tone-stack short that sends the whole signal to the circuit, dirty/weakened tube sockets, etc.

    In other words, take it to your tech friend. Even if DeOxit would fix this, you want to make sure your investment is not gonna zap out on you into a truly expensive/not-worth-fixing-it repair. Likely, it's a simple and inexpensive fix, but you don't wanna gamble with this.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
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  6. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Before going to the tech, try this. Spray contact cleaner into the tube sockets. While wet, use a tube to gently ‘scrub’ the socket by working the tube in and out of it.
     
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  7. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

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    Very possibly power valves on the way out. They can pop, swish, crackle or go up and down in volume before they fail.

    It could be something else altogether.

    If you check the power valves and they have heavy black markings on the plates (something I'd fully expect having bought an amp that looks like it was heavily gigged), replace them with a matched quartet.

    The good news is, if you already like the amp, and the power valves are shot, you'll love it even more with a fresh set of EL84. You'll get more definition, articulation, more bottom and more high end.

    The AD30 is a great amp.
    Which one did you get? Single channel, twin channel, or the AD30 reverb combo?

    I had a twin channel, and have had 2 AD15 and 2 AD5. I still own one AD15. Such a lovely amp. Those AD amp have some of the best clean tones I've ever heard.
     
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  8. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Kinda sounds like a bad connection to me.
    Finding those can be easy or very frustrating.

    While back I was playing a 1987 Marshall, all the sudden no sound, figured one of the 12ax7s died. So I pull the three of them and try um in the V1 spot in a Twin Reverb, all worked fine.
    Pop um back in the Marshall, let it warm up, no sound for a second and then it just starts working.
    When I get around to it I'll have to pull it apart and take a real good look inside. Being from 1974 it could be lots of things. . .
     
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  9. johmica

    johmica Tele-Holic

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    It's the TC. I just purchased a Fender '63 RI Reverb unit to pair up with it. I love the overdrive on an Orange.
     
  10. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

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    I hope you'll soon figure what the issue is. The OD is incredible. Thick, fuzzy yet it remains completely articulate at all times, chimey, really pretty exceptional.

    You may find the reverb only plays well at reduced gain levels. Without an effect loop, I find reverb the only thing that doesn t play very well with it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  11. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I respect your opinion but I have a different one. I think it's a bad idea to spray anything into the tube sockets. However, it's a great idea to clean the tube pins. One can use DeOxit or (flame suit on) WD40. This is how I use them... spray a bit onto a Q-Tip and coat the tube pins. Now, work the tube in and out of the tube socket. You don't want to use too much of any cleaner and spraying directly into the socket is, imo, a horrible idea. And, no, WD40 won't gum up anything or cause any other problems. You just have to not use too much which is why a Q-Tip is a good applicator.

    Another cause of the problem as you describe it is oxidation of the speaker plug and/or jack or a speaker plug that's having issues. Also the connection to the speaker itself. I just scored a '62 Brownface Fender Pro and the pancake speaker plug was bad. I was getting low volume and occasional volume spikes but it sounded fine when I used a different speaker cable into a different cab. Try doing that.
     
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  12. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Got that trick from an old, respected tube amp tech. I’ve been doing it annually to my amps for years.
     
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  13. SapoAmpRepair

    SapoAmpRepair TDPRI Member

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    Can you see your tubes glowing in that amp? If you can get it operating in both loud and quiet mode, watch the tubes in the dark. I'm taking a guess that all are firing correctly when the amp is loud, and some aren't when it's quiet. Watch out for the power tubes in particular... See if any go out/dim or worse red plate when it's in quiet mode. That might give a good hint at isolating the problem somewhat before digging in further.
     
  14. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Same here except he said never spray anything into the tube sockets.
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Aside form the tube rec that's all nine pin miniatures so you can just gently rotate the tubes in the sockets to make sure all contacts are fine, and if you do that with the amp running you'll hear a crunching if the contacts were iffy, which will diminish and go silent with a few rotations. By rotate I mean put your fingertip on the nib at the top of the tube and move it in a circle, smaller than say 1/4" diameter or about 1/8" in every direction from center.
    Similarly you can rotate all the pots and hear crunching or dead spots if any have problems.
    If not those two things IDK, but those are easy to do and require no products.
    Again though, do those things with the amp running so you can hear what if any contact problems there might be.
    Not cranked to ten but normal volume is generally fine.
     
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