How to ask a technical question about your amp...

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Jeff Gehring, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    Seems like oft times the same old twenty questions game plays out regarding posts asking for help or advice regarding amp troubles. Thought I'd try to put down some suggestions about what would be helpful to include in those posts. I'm sure there's more, these are just what came to mind first...

    How to ask a technical question about your amp:


    (1) Include the make and model of the amp, and state whether it is a reissue or not.

    (2)If you are asking about a problem you are having, state any recent changes to the amp, like 'I just did the XYZ mod" , "The amp fell off the truck last week", or "I just had it retubed by this guy who fixes toasters and stuff"

    (3)Try to provide a link to a schematic for your amp. All the more so if your amp is non-garden variety, say like a Dribbelkupp & Ovenmitt Unterblaster 100.

    (4)When troubleshooting suggestions are made, acknowledge these, and provide feedback from checking out their suggestions.
     
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  2. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    +1

    BTW, my amp makes a sound like "bzzzdumpzap" what's wrong and can I fix it myself?
     
  3. xtian

    xtian Member

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    Make this a sticky! Along with basic troubleshooting steps.
     
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  4. guitarmind

    guitarmind Supporting Member

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    I like the " My amps broke, how much to fix it?"
     
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  5. zenas

    zenas Member

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    With vintage amps it's kind of helpful to know if we're talking about an amp with old electrolytics or relatively fresh ones.
    One example is the vintage Princeton Reverb farty speaker questions. It's nice to know if the cap can is as old as the amp. Because a weak one (some guru might have even said was fine) sounds alot like a bad speaker.
     
  6. xtian

    xtian Member

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  7. Muttlyboy

    Muttlyboy Member

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    I'm working on a Deluxe Reverb project amp. I'm going to be asking a lot of different questions.

    I'll try to post my questions as per the recommendations in this thread
     
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  8. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    My amp doesn't work. Is it a tube?
     
  9. Pete Cage

    Pete Cage Member

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    I can say with confidence that it is either a tube or something else.
     
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  10. twangbanger

    twangbanger Member

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    Very grateful for all the help you guys have given me over the years. Your free advice and expertise is appreciated!
     
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  11. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    "My amp sounds bad. Is it the power transformer?"
     
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  12. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    (5) If the amp was not made by an amp manufacturer please say so. If this is the case, specify whether the amp ever functioned properly or if it has always behaved this way. Completely different troubleshooting methodologies apply to amps that have never worked correctly! Don't wait until the 3rd page of the thread to reveal this important information...list it in the first post!
     
  13. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Would it be that hard to place a sticky of FAQ's at the top of each tech forum?
    Somebody would have to edit it to keep it real and eliminate anything but the bottom line info...no chatter, but it would save so many redundant questions and become a functional library of facts...mostly facts..at least decent practices.:D
     
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  14. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Hear hear !
     
  15. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    Just to toss another suggestion in: when you get advice from a tech on a forum like this, you are basically getting free advice from someone who themselves spent a lot of time and effort to gain. It's quite the gift and has real value; treat it and the giver as such. Now there aren't many here that disrespect the techs, but it has happened before, and the last thing you want to do is drive a knowledgeable person off the forum.

    And IMHO, the only stupid question is the one that goes unasked. Some folks rag on newbies about how little they know or how they asked a question; this should not be. All of us were clueless at one time.
     
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  16. Prattacaster

    Prattacaster Member

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    Of course not, its the output transformer.;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  17. jlectka

    jlectka Supporting Member

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    Lol. I’m guilty of a couple of those. Recently I replaced the preamp tubes on my 68 CDR reissue and it has some different characteristics, so it becomes an uncertainty of whether it’s supposed to sound like that or something is off. I think a lot of people love tube amps but don’t know what to do about the funny quirks or changes in sounds with things like tube changes or weather, or ghosts, so we ask dumb questions sometimes.
    Also for me and friends I play with, there is a huge lack of repair people for tube amps. In my town a good amp tech could make bank, but there are none here or anywhere close. So people like me become reluctant DIY-ers who depend on and appreciate people who are willing to give advice.
     
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  18. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Rule 1: If you change something and the amp sounds different (better or worse), it's probably because of whatever you changed. If in doubt, reverse the change.

    As for "making bank", how many wealthy amp techs does anyone know? Most amp techs who are good at their work AND good businessmen could make twice as much doing something else...which is why there are so few GOOD amp techs. Just sayin'. :)
     
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  19. Prattacaster

    Prattacaster Member

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    I Second this notion; for every Fender recap there are two Peaveys and 3 Line 6's that have issues but after testing for 5 hours the customer realizes he/she has a bad cable on their pedalboard.
     
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  20. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Or the 1+ hour it takes to disassemble and the hour to reassemble billed at $75/hour...plus repairing the crappy connectors that break in the process. For me it was just easier to say no to anything that's not handwired instead of trying to explain why. :)
     
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