Unlucky ,or is fender amp quality rubbish

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by PeterVV, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. PeterVV

    PeterVV Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't get me wrong, I was getting g a great tone for the hour it was working. But seriously looking under the hood chinese transformers, GT valves.....etc
     
  2. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    A lot of the cheap amps can sound great. Build quality doesn't necessarily equate to 'tone' but as guitar players we usually want amps that consistently sound good and dont break :eek: Also, let us not forget, that just because a cheap/low quality amp sounds 'good' or 'great' doesn't mean that an amp built with better transformers, better layout, and higher quality components, wont sound 'better'
     
  3. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    About seven years ago after trying all kinds of Amps (really wanted a fender) I bit the bullet and had a custom amp built kind of a Deluxe on steroids. As for the Amp it would be one of the last pieces of gear I would sell along with my Twin Reverb II. But whats a shame is the quality of quiet a bit of music gear has fallen (not just Fender) it all reflects a struggling industry and more about bottom line.
     
  4. thegreatwent

    thegreatwent TDPRI Member

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    Anything Fender using a PCB is going to be iffy.

    They cut costs by doing things like using really cheap and thin PCB's and mount the knobs direct to the PCB.

    I've had Fender PCB based amps and when playing them, if you should pick it up and put down just a bit too hard when they are hot, the traces on the PCB can fall off.

    I've since built a DC-30 kit form Ceriatone and now own a Valvetech Hayseed 30. I don't know that I'd ever own anything other than an amp that is point to point wired as they are just bomb proof and, though, they are more expensive up front, in the long run you are going to spend way less in maintenance.

    I wouldn't tour with PCB based amp without a backup or two.

    Modifying or swapping parts is also much easier in a point to point amp.
     
  5. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

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    This is me, too. Last week I saw an early non-MV SF Super Reverb with new Weber speakers for $875. That's like half of what a new RI SF SR costs.
     
  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I know I've been all over another thread recently, but yes, this is the route I've chosen, and I'm very pleased.

    I've had a new Fender amps (current production PCB). First off, the tubes just aren't that good. I hesitate to say 'crap' because I'm not a tube snob, and the amps sound pretty good. But my experience has been that you'll need to replace a few tubes within a year. Contrast that with those SFs, many of which still have some 40 year old tubes in them. Or, just get a good set of current production. Either way, when you buy say, a DRRI, you're not quite finished paying...

    OTOH, maybe I'm too generous, but I never get upset with a reverb tank problem. They're fragile. They're not that expensive. Brand new, yes, it should be refunded or covered. But the fact that it may arrive dead doesn't necessarily mean poor QC. In my opinion.
     
  7. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I see CME offering a BF SF for $1600. Huh. I purposely DID NOT click the link. I don't need another amp. It may need a lot of work. But still, what's the price of a new one?
     
  8. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    PCBs aren't the problem-cost-cutting by speccing cheaper components is. PCBs can be just as durable and reliable as any turret board circuit, but everybody focuses on the circuit boards as being the weak spot in cheaper amps when, in fact, everything is suspect in those amps. Companies such as Fryette and Mesa/Boogie have a solid reputation for reliability, and both utilize modern construction methods. Marshall has been using PCBs in their amps since around 1974. The Space Shuttle ain't point-to-point wired.
     
  9. Zipslack

    Zipslack Tele-Meister

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    Both answers are correct. They are being made cheaper and crappier, but they can be good amps. I am a former Certfied Fender Technician, Silver Grade and what I saw mostly was lousy soldering and wiring and broken jacks. Also, feel free to gripe about RoHS (lead-free) solder which is half the problem. When I taught high school electronics, my students could do better soldering after only a week of training. I would bring stuff into the class sometimes just for them to critique.

    I once repaired a Champion 600 that never made it off the floor. Filter cap looked like it had been run over by a forklift (bent and half the plastic wrapper missing) and they still put it in and used it!

    I still bought a BJ3, but that's because it was a great deal and I knew I could do any future repairs (I have). You're actually probably better off with their SS stuff.
     
  10. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Cheap parts fail + poor quality control.

    But, PCB's are utilized for serious industrial applications which require far more rigorous demands and reliability than a guitar amp. If you won't take your amp on tour because of a PCB you shouldn't be driving your car either.
     
  11. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's not all PCB's, it's cheap PCB's and the fact that many companies are using cheap one's now, for guitar amps. Of course there are exceptions, but for most of those exceptions, you're into 'hand wired prices'
    The advantage is mainly if it's a more complex amp, you can keep things more compact with a good PCB layout. For a simple amp, like most RI Fenders, there really isn't much advantage to a PCB, except possible cost savings, but it seems like Fender is taking all those savings for themselves. And the fact that they use cheap, thin ones, with pots mounted on them, is problematic, and terrible for reliability.
     
  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Exactly. My DRRI is PCB construction, as are all of my Boogies. However, looking at the guts of the Fender and any of the Boogies side by side clearly shows the differences in design and construction. The Fender seriously does look cheap by comparison (but I still really like the noises it makes).
     
  13. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]

    I really fail to see, from an engineering perspective, how this wouldn't outlast a hand wired model after 10 hard falls to the ground and still haven't seen one with a "broken" PCB.
     
  14. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's a PCB amp that was obviously designed more for inexpensive construction than long-term durability, yet there are plenty out there that make that fairly solid amp seem flimsy.
     
  15. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    So, then, please explain why PCB's are used for one-off industrial applications which require failure rates next to zero? Anyone can repeat a mantra.
     
  16. Kladen

    Kladen TDPRI Member

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    I often dreamt of a DRRI until I saw one opened... PCB is not the evil being some say it is, but it needs to be done properly. My laney lionheart was nicely done on pcb and my 76' JMP is also PCB but built like a tank :)
     
  17. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    So, you're in here spreading the propoganda that you didn't spend your days trying to order replacements for all the broken PCBs?? :lol:

    I mean, get a grip folks, it's 2015. The turret board superiority thing could certainly be debated 50 years ago. But, even in the crappiest turd amps a printed board failing/breaking is almost never a problem. I don't think many on here understand just how strong the average mass produced PCB is compared to the parts around it.

    Here's a good quote from wiki:

    I mean, this place is literally the last refuge for the turret board superiority officers.
     
  18. Kladen

    Kladen TDPRI Member

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    PCB is great if done properly:) I have 1 '76, 1 '90 and 1 '91 Marshall built with PCB and no problems at all (knock on wood)
    But PCB done bad is awful. Here in Denmark we had stories about foreign television manufacturers producing tv's with undersized capacitors which failed just shortly after the warranty was over. I've seen computers with undersized coolers and heat intolerant components placed near heat sources.

    Most things today is built to be thrown away in 5-10 years
    My 40 year old Marshall will probably keep going 40 more years :)
     
  19. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Well, there you go, heatsink issues and design issues..right? That's not the fault of the PCB. I have both types of amps myself, but they were all purchased just because I dig the tone.
     
  20. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Like I said, PCBs are only as good or bad as the designers specified them to be.
     
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