Help with troubleshooting a '68 Custom Princeton Reverb

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by stevieraygovan, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. stevieraygovan

    stevieraygovan Member

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    Just got this amp, brand new. It's bone stock, and here are its problems...

    When it's running at its best it still gives off a pronounced hum at any volume, and there are metalllic sounding buzzy ghost notes that ring the exact same duration every time before abruptly stopping. This only occurs with certain notes on the low strings. Also, there is a seriously obnoxious buzz that comes from the chassis itself when the amp is turned up to 4 and certain low notes are struck.

    A far worse issue is an intermittent cutting out, whereby the amp either fades all the way in and out or it gives off a horrifically loud static-y whooshing sound. Giving the amp a good smack on the top can make the whooshing problem go away, but it returns fairly quickly. Conversely, when the amp is working as well as it can, giving it a good smack can make that horrible static-y swooshing sound come right back. Simply bringing the amp to a music store today was enough to induce the loud static sound. It's very unstable. Again, though, even when it's working at its best it still gives off the chassis buzzing and the metallic-sounding ghost notes.

    Playing my amp alongside an identical new one in the store, their amp was dead silent. Turning it up to 10 allowed for a normal amount of white noise hissing, but there was zero humming. It was a commendably quiet amp. Mine gave off a noticeable hum, in addition to the chassis buzzing.

    I just tried swapping out each tube, one by one. First the pre's, then the rectifier, then the power tubes. No change. Same hum, no matter what. Same chassis buzzing. More importantly, smacking the center of the top of the amp still causes it to fall apart and, conversely, return to its normal, slightly flawed state.

    So, it's not the tubes. In the meantime, yes, of course it's under warranty, but it's my only amp at the moment. Until my other new amp arrives, I don't want to turn this one over to a repair facility that will keep it for a few weeks. If I pull the chassis and have a peek inside, what might I look for that I could actually fix without a soldering iron and much greater electrical knowledge than I possess.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. zenas

    zenas Member

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    If there's a probelm inside you'll almost always need a soldering iron and some electrical knowledge.

    Only reason I said "almost" is some new amps use slip on connectors maybe if your real lucky one of those is slipping off. But even unplugged a tube amp can shock the **** out of you so that knowlage thing comes into play.

    I'd take it back to the store and demand a new one or my money back.
    There's no reason Fender should get away with selling crap. You paid for an amp not crap.
     
  3. telenut62

    telenut62 Member

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    Don't touch it, be patient...take it back to the shop.
     
  4. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    Sounds like you got a lemon in truest sense of the word. I'd want a replacement.
     
  5. telenut62

    telenut62 Member

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    Exactly, if you screw up the warranty you'll be left high and dry. Not worth the risk.
     
  6. twangbanger

    twangbanger Supporting Member

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    I would take it back and get a new one ASAP.
     
  7. tlpruitt

    tlpruitt Member

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    Take it back and get it fixed or replaced under warranty.
     
  8. stevieraygovan

    stevieraygovan Member

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    I have a call in to Sweetwater. They want to repair it, which would mean being without an amp for three weeks since my other new amp hasn't arrived yet and probably won't arrive for another month or so. I told them I don't want to go through their warranty repair process, particularly since this amp is still within their 30 Day Return window. I want them to send me a replacement amp.

    The tech said he'd check with his manager regarding a replacement authorization and call me back.

    Gah.
     
  9. stevieraygovan

    stevieraygovan Member

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    They're sending me a new amp.
     
  10. MisterBuddy

    MisterBuddy Member

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    Glad that worked out.
     
  11. stevieraygovan

    stevieraygovan Member

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    Yep, assuming the next one works properly, anyway. Fingers crossed.

    :)
     
  12. telenut62

    telenut62 Member

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  13. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Gee, that took a whole 12 hours from first post to Sweetwater replacing the amp...just remember, new stuff has warranties folks, and if it's defective out of the box, any reputable place will replace it.
     
  14. stevieraygovan

    stevieraygovan Member

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    True, and Sweetwater has been absolutely remarkable throughout this entire ordeal, going back eight amps now. There was a ninth amp, but that one was fine. No problems at all. I just decided I wanted something else. The other eight? They all had serious cosmetic and/or reliability issues, straight out of the box. Each time, Sweetwater graciously did the right thing.

    Zero complaints about that company. They couldn't be better. Honestly, I feel sorry for them for having to go through so much crap, none of which was their fault. Bottom line, I will definitely continue to give them my business.
     

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