Is the repair worth It?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by longgonedaddy, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. longgonedaddy

    longgonedaddy Supporting Member

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    I have a Fender Super Sonic from the original run a few years ago. I’m the second owner, been well cared for with both of us. Recently, it developed an issue where, long story short, preamp shuts off, and amp just hums.

    Took it into my local shop for a diagnosis. Got a call back, that “something” blew out the preamp tubes, and left the power side unharmed. I found that a little incredulous, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s not debate that, unless it’s complete BS. Also, he recommended a few solder joints to be redone.

    So now, I’m debating putting about $100 of tubes into the amp, just to see if they can figure out the issue that blew them. Plus, the labor of fixing it. A conservative estimate puts it over $200 for a $600 amp.

    Am I throwing good money after bad? The money isn’t going to make or break me, so that’s not really an issue. And I’m certainly not married to this amp, although I do like it a lot. I’ve never had an amp fail like this, so this is all new ground for me, and looking for some guidance.

    What I’m looking for, i guess, is what others have done in roughly similar circumstances. Fix a non-treasured amp, or give it the old FIDO treatment, and look for a new one.
     
  2. 70 Mach 1

    70 Mach 1 Supporting Member

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    Thats the way the ball bounces today
    Most everything is disposable due to high labor costs.

    I cant see why the shop cant throw in a set of testing tubes. He must have drawers full that he can use.

    $200 can easily go to $350.

    Which is in the neighborhood of buying a used one. But then you dont know what youre buying......another headache?


    Imo take a shot at the repair.
     
  3. 0010 0001 0011 1111 1110

    0010 0001 0011 1111 1110 Member

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    My opinion is that if it's going to fix it and make it a reliable amp, I'd do the work. Tube amps are going to need tubes, no matter what, that just comes with the territory.
    But I'm curious as to why you would have to replace all the tubes? If it was just a bad preamp tube, you'd only need to replace the bad one. The power tubes wouldn't need replacement, unless they are bad or worn.
     
  4. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    The real question is: how much do you like the amp?
     
  5. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    So, they tested all the tubes, and they're all bad, and need replacing? I'd tell them to repair the amp using known, good "shop" tubes, and once the amp is functioning, only replace the tubes that fail on the tube tester. There's the tiniest of chances that something went catastrophically wrong in just a way that would damage every tube on a heater string. A tiny, tiny, ... tiny chance.
    If they don't have any shop tubes used to test and troubleshoot, take the amp to someone else. If they don't have a tube tester, take it somewhere else.
    That amp is chock full of solid state stuff. I would take it to an authorized Fender shop where they have all the service info and have seen a few of those.
     
    HotBluePlates likes this.
  6. jamme61

    jamme61 Supporting Member

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    run to a different shop for repair IMHO
     
  7. blackba

    blackba Member

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    I would go ahead with the repair, just make sure you get the bad tubes back, as some may be good. It does seem strange to me that all the preamp tubes are bad, in my experience the power tubes are more likely to be bad than the preamp tubes.
     
    Les Paul Lover, Baxtercat and jamme61 like this.
  8. doc

    doc Member

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    Maybe missing some info, but I'm not sure what could blow all the preamp tubes. I'd be tempted to pay the bench fee, pick up the amp and all your tubes and take it somewhere else for a second opinion. If you like the amp and the transformers are okay (which this tech seems to think is the case) it should be repairable, probably for a bit less than his quote. Worst case is he's right, your preamp tubes are all dead, you still need a diagnosis and you're out the same amount plus his bench fee if you press ahead. Generally I never give up on a vintage amp with good transformers, a more modern PCB amp is more of a judgement call. One other course is to offer it up on Craigslist as a broken amp, take the little you'll get for it and put that toward something you might like better.
     
  9. Jr Deluxe

    Jr Deluxe Member

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    Some folks like the super sonics. But ive heard the can have prblems. You should find an amp thats turret board wired . Ok, not all my tube amps are turret board. But im not you. Im not stuck with a supersonic with a mystery problem that blows up a whole row of preamp tubes. Ditch the supersonic.
     
  10. oneblackened

    oneblackened Member

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    I'm immediately suspect of something "blowing out the entire preamp". Like, the failure for that would have to be ridiculously catastrophic.
     
  11. HotBluePlates

    HotBluePlates Member

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    Run to a different repair shop.

    The "solid-state stuff" includes relays (not SS themselves, but...), transistors & JFETs, and the associated power supply to enable the switching for the different functions provided on the footswitch. If the +/-15v power supply
    feeding these fails, or if the interconnecting ribbon cables are loose, it's conceivable to not get preamp signal. Not because the "preamp burned out" but simply that the signal path is disrupted by the support-circuitry failure.

    You need a place that understands the switching circuit arrangement, and how to step through testing it. It's more likely troubleshooting time to find the failure rather than actual failed parts that will be the bulk of the bill.
     
    Les Paul Lover and oneblackened like this.
  12. longgonedaddy

    longgonedaddy Supporting Member

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    Thanks everyone! I called the shop and let them know that I won’t be having them do the repairs.

    Not sure what direction I’m taking, but away from them is for certain.
     
    Les Paul Lover and Prof.Fuzz like this.
  13. rolandk

    rolandk Member

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    If you decide to get a second opinion, take it to a Fender authorized repair shop. They have all the schematics, service bulletins, and access to Fender tech support.
     
    frankg11 likes this.
  14. slybird

    slybird Member

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    If the total repair cost is less than the replacement cost it is worth repairing.

    If the replacement cost is less than the repair cost it isn't worth repairing.


    FWIW. I once spent $250 to repair my old Scwinn bike from high school. New chain, new rear wheel, tires, bar tape, chain, seat. . I could have purchased a similar quality working Scwinn at a garage sale for less than a $100. I don't even like riding the thing, ride a newer bike instead. The Schwinn sits in the garage unused reminding me to never again spend more fixing something that I could get for less new or used.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  15. longgonedaddy

    longgonedaddy Supporting Member

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    The only Fender authorized close to me is guitar center. I don’t have a great feeling they’ll be able to help me any more
     
  16. frankg11

    frankg11 Member

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    Op

    I had a prob with my ss22 took it took cert fender shop. A tube and a bit. Out of there at about $100. That ss22 is still on of my fav amps. Don’t toss it just because. Also I did a vos replacement and it rocks.
     
  17. blackba

    blackba Member

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    Looks like I may be getting a ss22 to fix pretty soon and no it’s not @longgonedaddy’s amp.

    One thing I really like about fender amps in general is that the schematics are typically easy to get.
     
  18. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Either something got lost in the communications (old telephone game?) or the repair guy may not be very competent. Like you, I find it very difficult to believe that "something" took out all the preamp tubes. That aside, anyone in the business of repairing tube amps MUST HAVE spares of every tube for testing purposes or they shouldn't be in the business.

    Do you have any other amp tech options? This one sounds shaky enough that I don't even trust the repair estimate.

    Good luck!
     
    oneblackened and Laurence like this.
  19. rolandk

    rolandk Member

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    They would likely send it to a repair shop to get fixed, you can ask them where.
     
  20. longgonedaddy

    longgonedaddy Supporting Member

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    So, I got the amp back today, no service done. More importantly, I spoke to the tech who I thought still worked at the shop. He does not. Told him what the shop told me, and he echoed many of you in saying that it was quite a stretch to blow out all the preamps at once.

    As soon as I can get it to him, he’s going to take a look at it.

    Thank you everyone for your input. I appreciated all the different opinions, and really took them all into consideration.
     

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