Amp doesn't reach it's full volume for at least 5 minutes warmup

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Craftmatic, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    It's a Fargen Blackbird 30 head I got in a trade. It was built last Sept. and has all the latest appointments including Mercury Transformers. I had my amp tech go over it thoroughly, retube it and bias it. Now I notice that if I turn on the power and leave it in standby mode for just a few minutes, then turn the standby switch on, it isn't as loud as it should be. When I turn on the power and leave it on standby for at least 10 minutes, it sounds great when I flick the stanby switch - full powered and the right volume level. One more thing - this amp is SS rectified, and I figure there is some circuit that won't let it come on full blast right away, but still - it seems like it takes a really long time to get where it needs to be.

    Anyone with similar experiences with this amp or other amps like it?
     
  2. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I don't know about full volume, but no tube amp I've ever played sounds its best until the amp has been played for 5-10 minutes. Standby doesn't get the tubes toasting.
     
  3. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    I just did a test. I turned on both power & standby switches at the same time, first on my '65 BF Tremolux, then on
    my Peavey Classic 30 (just powered on - no standby switch) and then on the Fargen while strumming my guitar:


    1) Tremolux (tube rectified & 6L6s) took exactly 14 seconds for any sound to come out and when it did
    it was immediately at full volume.

    2) Classic 30 (SS rectified & EL84s - no standby switch) took exactly 15 seconds for any sound to come
    out and when it did it was a decent amount of volume and reached full volume at about 30 seconds.

    3) Fargen Blackbird 30 (SS rectified & 6V6s) took exactly 18 for any sound to come out and when it did
    it was very faint - reached a plateau of about 60% in another 10 seconds and stayed there for another
    2 - 3 minutes when it hit a plateau of about 75% and finally reached full volume at around 10 minutes.



    This obviously is not a scientific test - my measurements are subjective and I'm stating perceived volume.
    However the
    Fargen really does take up to 10 minutes to reach it's full volume, not talking tone, but volume - and that doesn't seem right.


     
  4. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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  5. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    At the very least, it is an interesting question. Have you tried contacted Fargen to get their opinion?
     
  6. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    It's a used amp and I've already bugged him enough about other things. I'll have to take it to my amp tech again. This is very upsetting. I already paid him to replace a destroyed reverb tank and straighten both transformers that were tilted at quite an angle. According to him, UPS must have dropped the box it was in on it's side to cause the damage to the reverb tank and tilt the transformers toward one side. He said everything else checked out but I've noticed this problem since I got it back.

    I don't think I will being buying a used amp again after this and if I do, I will pay whatever it costs to overnight it via FEDEX. I almost wish I had kept the MAZ SR. I traded it for. :mad:
     
  7. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    Yeah, sounds like you are in a tough place. These things can weigh heavy on a guy.

    Personally, I may approach it two ways. 1) keep the amp as is and live with the warm-up time if I really loved the tone and everything else or 2) cut my losses and sell it.
     
  8. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    I hear what your saying, but I wouldn't sell an amp that has problems - I wouldn't do that to anyone and/or I'd lose money if I took a reduced price. I do like the amp very much and I am hoping my amp tech can take care of this. I'm just really angry about how much trouble and money this is causing me.
     
  9. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    Understood. Yeah, if I were to sell such an amp I would be honest about any issues and adjust the price accordingly. Put it up on eBay with a minimum acceptable sale price and see if it goes higher.

    Good luck with it. I hope you can get it squared away to your satisfaction.
     
  10. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    Thanks. What would you do if you were the person who sent this amp via UPS ground across country in a trade and it arrived this messed up. Not saying that it's the previous owner's fault - I just know I would feel pretty badly about it if I were in his situation.
     
  11. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a broken solder joint(s) that don't make full contact until the amp it hot enough. (metal expansion when heated)
     
  12. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    That would be my guess, too, or it's a bad tube. When UPS nearly destroyed my Marshall Studio 15 3-4 years back, I did all of the things the OP did. Finally it took resoldering/flowing all of the solder joints and it was solid again. Mine was full volume right away, and faded to nothing, not even mouse fart volume, after 5 minutes, so this can go both ways.
     
  13. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    If I were the seller I would be very interested in helping you resolve the situation. At the very least I would comp you some money for the tech visits. I doubt you would get much if anything out of UPS :(
     
  14. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    You're the second person who said that on this forum so it sounds likely (a friend said the same thing in a PM). I'm hoping my amp tech will feel "responsible" for not catching it when he was giving my amp the once-over the first time and won't charge me another $65 minimum bench fee to fix it.
     
  15. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    Thanks Jim! TGP is a great place - don't know what I'd do without it. I'm thinking it's a solder issue - the tubes are brand new.
     
  16. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    I hope he feels the same way. I finally wrote him - at first I didn't want to bother him because I thought it was UPS' fault, but these things are starting to add up and I'm feeling, well, ripped off. What can I say?
     
  17. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Just because the tubes are new does not mean one isn't faulty.
    If you have any spares around try substituting one at a time to see if it is tubes.
    If it is a solder joint problem it may be in the filter caps because it sounds like something is taking a long time to charge up.
     
  18. orogeny

    orogeny Supporting Member

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    was the amp insured during delivery?
     
  19. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

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    Did you play it before the tech went over it? or was the reason it went to the tech was because of the issue?
     
  20. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    Yes but I'm not sure how to go about doing anything about it since I had the reverb replaced and the tilted transformers and bent chassis straightened by the amp tech. I would imagine UPS is uncooperative at best about, well, just about everything.
     

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