how long can pcb amps last?

jay24

Member
Messages
128
I know that vox ac30's and other PTP amps have been around and functional since 1960's. I'm fairly new to amps and I find that really amazing. So I was wondering... can the newer vox ac30cc or any current pcb tube amp last for such a long time with constant use (assuming that it is properly taken care of)? Will the pcb eventually fail? I have a vox ac30cc and I'm sure it will have maintenance issues as I'm sure PTP amps will.. that's all fine. I'm just wondering if this PCB amp will still play after 30 or 40 years down the road.
 

Steve Dallas

Member
Messages
8,298
It completely depends upon the quality of PCB being used. A well-executed, heavy duty PCB can last a very long time.

I'm not familiar with the newer Voxes, so I can't offer an opinion on those.
 

Lyle Caldwell

Member
Messages
542
JMI AC30s were never PTP. They used tag strip boards. I work on them a lot, and the old contacts corrode, the plastic insulation degrades, etc.

You'd find the same problems in a 40 year old good quality PCB design, assuming the same exposure to heat/humidity. Nothing is forever.

That said, a good design, be it tag, turret, eyelet, or PCB, will last a very long time with regular maintenance (at least once every 15 years, particularly for the electrolytic filter caps).
 

67super

Member
Messages
1,505
It completely depends upon the quality of PCB being used. A well-executed, heavy duty PCB can last a very long time.

PCB's can outlast us all if good quality and well assembled. Ampeg's have been that way since at least the 60's. I've seen PCB's from the 50's that work just fine.
 

Red Suede

Member
Messages
2,829
Can you fix an imbedded trace? I know a repairman I used to deal with says he hated to see the pcb amps come in because it was hard to troubleshoot them and it was just easier to get a new pcb or just get rid of the amp altogether than try and run down the problem of a broken trace on one of the pcb layers. We'll just have to see, won't we?
 

mesanatic

Member
Messages
667
Plenty of '73 and later Marshalls out there. All PCB.
A well made amp is a well made amp. There have been amps with faulty design and amps made with poor quality parts, both PTP and PCB , that have been prone to failure.
 

jay24

Member
Messages
128
What about average budget amps like vox ac15/30cc, fender hot rod deluxe, fender blues deluxe... are these quality amps that has the potential to outlast us with proper maintenance?
 

Rosewood

Member
Messages
1,864
I run into old circuit boards of poor quality and they some how seem to keep on ticking. If there's a connection, there's a connection, otherwise they just have the same problems as any other amp. Working on them, now that's a different problem.
 

digital jams

Member
Messages
1,084
Can you fix an imbedded trace? I know a repairman I used to deal with says he hated to see the pcb amps come in because it was hard to troubleshoot them and it was just easier to get a new pcb or just get rid of the amp altogether than try and run down the problem of a broken trace on one of the pcb layers. We'll just have to see, won't we?
Any repair man that is good can repair a trace very easy, all it takes is a sharp knife, a good trace replacement material, epoxy, and some above average soldering skills.


OT.......1986 JC120 still running just fine.
 

Scott Auld

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,304
I have a bakelite radio w/ PCB, from the 1950s, still listen to it when cooking outdoors on the grill, in FL that is not a great environment for electronics. Before here it was in East Texas, again, as an outside radio. :)
 

Chito

Member
Messages
94
I have a 1988 Fender Red Knob The Twin. I've gigged with it for over 10 years until a couple of years ago. Still play it once in a while. I've only had it serviced twice in the last 15 years.
 




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