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Finding an amp tech?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by jbrown013, May 19, 2011.

  1. jbrown013

    jbrown013 Member

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    I live in Kansas City and attempting to find a good amp tech. I know it sounds simple but I honestly don't know the area all that well. I have tried posting on Craigslist and haven't had any luck. I want someone to go over an old Princeton Reverb I have. Anyone in the KC area know someone.

    Thanks in advance!

    Joe
     
  2. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Silver Supporting Member

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  3. jamesrsmith

    jamesrsmith Supporting Member

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    i am down in southeast kansas,, i took all my stuff to rick potter in tulsa for several years,, he was really great,, however, he passed on recently of lou gherigs disease,, i questioned two professional full time guitarists in Kansas city a while back about someone in the KC area,,,, they could not recommend anyone in KC,, there are techs up there, but i trust their judgement,, you are better off shipping the chassis off somewhere,, i am in the same boat,, j
     
  4. Agitator

    Agitator Member

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  5. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    Ask the guys at mass street music in Lawrence. They have a solid reputation for being straight shooters. Tell the you are in KC and driving to Lawrence doesn't make sense.
     
  6. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    I wonder if any of the old dinosaurs fro Kustom are still around in coffeeville. That brand was sold and restarted (in California I think) but there still should be some electronics guys there.
     
  7. 1guitarslinger

    1guitarslinger Member

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    I'll bet they won't appreciate being called old dinosaurs. :hide
     
  8. wizard333

    wizard333 Member

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    Yes read it, then you'll know what not to do. A lot of what is there is bad advice, or even dangerous advice for you and your amp. But I'm sure there are some like the poster I quoted that read that hooey and take it for gospel.

    Ah the dangers of the internet.
     
  9. 1guitarslinger

    1guitarslinger Member

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    I have always thought that "advice" to be very disingenuous, along with the gross generalizations as well.

    Like you said, the dangers of the internet.
     
  10. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Member

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    Jeff Gehring is in that part of the world, if he's doing amp repair.
     
  11. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Maybe this is just me, BUT--

    I don't think reading one opinionated article on the internet--and then walking in acting as though you know more than the ACTUAL expert--is ever a good strategy to get a business relationship of any kind off on the right foot.

    In any case, there's a bit about that article with which I disagree. First of all, I believe that any amp that will be USED in conjunction with other plug-in gear (like a microphone) should have a properly grounded 3-prong cord installed. It's the law for a reason-- not doing so can be very dangerous to you, the player.

    Reasonable minds can disagree about the right course of action on a vintage amp, but replacing the power cord for safety-- storing the original for safekeeping-- is not objectively "wrong."
     
  12. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    +1. While I agree with lots of items on that page any amp used outside the home (and most that are used in the home) should be grounded. It's patently stupid for an "expert" to recommend something that has a .0001% chance of hurting someone. On that point alone I'd recommend against anyone giving such advice.

    Every situation is different. Sure, you should never have to replace all components, transformers are the least likely component to require replacement but tubes are likely the most likely to need replacement (and every tube amp owner should know how to figure this out and replace/bias his new tubes). I can imagine some techs replacing tubes that are fine, though.

    Generalizations are BS and people who use them are suspect.

    And yes, walking in pretending to know everything is a bad approach. My response would be something like "I guess you don't need my assistance then". :)
     
  13. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    Lol...yah, but I meant it on a very nice way. My dad is one of those... He used to drive the tube technology test equipment group at bendix in KC.
     
  14. 1guitarslinger

    1guitarslinger Member

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    Oh I know. I was just being silly.

    Now that's cool. So your dad is still kicking? That's excellent.
     
  15. wizard333

    wizard333 Member

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    The one thing you do not want to do on a vintage amp is replace the xformers. Resistors die, caps die, then there is general maintenance. Everyone expects that. But the sure fire way to drop vintage value like a stone is to kill an xformer and have a non-original in there.

    Really? Most vintage amps I see have ancient tubes, some of them the original 40-60 year old tubes. Take them out, wrap them up, save them for posterity. If you want to use them, remember: Tubes are not light bulbs. Don't use them to the point of failure. Power tubes especially. If you leave them in til they fail, often what you'll get is a short, and that short, if you are lucky, will pop your mains fuse. Keep popping mains fuses in, get unlucky, and you are putting other things in danger, including the aforementioned transformers.

    Do not be cheap and end up killing the value of a vintage amp by killing the transformers. Change tubes when they get old. With regular use that means a year or two. One way to evaluate old tubes even without a tube tester is paint. The paint will flake off over repeated heat/cool cycles. If you have ancient tubes where you can barely make out the lettering, or its just gone, play at your own risk. See above.

    You probably DO need new tubes. Because previous owner probably neglected the amp's required maintenance.

    Sure, if that mint tweed champ is going to sit on a shelf. If you have an amp with a two prong cord that you actually intend to use, replacing the cord with a proper 3 prong installation is JUST PLAIN SAFE. Not doing so is just plain dangerous.

    No the book was right. True, you might not need new capacitors. You *DO* need new electrolytics if they are original for sure, and even if they aren't, electrolytics have a useful service life of 8-10 years. That can be extended somewhat, but not to 20-60 years. See above regarding using tubes as light bulbs for the dangers of using ancient electrolytic caps. As for performance, I have yet to do a cap job where I said it needed doing and the amp didnt sound a WHOLE LOT BETTER with electrolytics that were actually doing their job.

    Would you buy a '68 Cobra Jet and drive it on the bald bias-ply tires and with the original '68 oil in the pan? Don't do that to your amp either. If you're going to bother to own/invest in a vintage piece, have it work it's best.

    Some of the rest of what is there is accurate but the above stuck out to me like a sore thumb.

    I give the same advice about changing strings to. I see more guitars where the frets were destroyed because people got cheap about changing a $5 set of strings and ruined a $350 set of frets. "You need a refret or partial refret" "well I just wanted it set up to play better....." "Yes but you have divots in the frets deeper than your strings and if you don't want it to buzz/fret out, I can set it with super high slide action, or the frets need fixing. By the way, changing strings when they oxidize prevents this"

    And its not because I make a mint on parts or strings, its because its good advice for performance of the product and for safety of the product and user. I never tell anyone to do anything to an instrument (guitars and amps are both instruments) I wouldn't do, and often tell them not to bother with some of it.

    Thing about the web is anyone can post anything, and they do. Usually the most vocal are people who have very little idea what they are talking about, but "read it somewhere on the web" then parrot as gospel without really knowing, and will argue til they are blue in the face with someone who actually deals with this for a living. Deconstructing bad web info/advice is a pet peave of mine because I have to deal with it regularly nowadays.
     
  16. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    We have odd conversations. I wish I'd paid attention when I was a kid and had just a fraction of his electronics acumen... And I wish he had more than 50% of his hearing left. His hobbies were wood working and an old sawmill... Tough on the ears.


     
  17. jbrown013

    jbrown013 Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone! Taking it all into consideration and thank you wizard333 for sending me that link ill be in contact with them soon. The amp still has all original tubes and never been serviced. It was a "Closet" find. Its over 30 years old and I am sure it can sound better than it does (although I think it sounds great right now lol).

    Thanks again,

    Joe
     
  18. epluribus

    epluribus Member

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    Why not ask the guys giggin' in the clubs?

    --Ray
     

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