Is this worth fixing?


Platinum Supporting Member
Bought a Dr. Z amp from a TGP'er. I won't say who, because he's a good guy and it's not my intent to besmirch him. Anyway, amp showed up with one of the transformers crooked, like this:

The seller isn't sure whether it was always that way or whether it was done in shipping. To his credit, he immediately offered to pay the cost of repairing it if necessary. Probably just a matter of bending the thing back into shape. I tried to move the thing myself, but it wouldn't budge. I find it hard to believe that this could have happened in shipping, but I also can't believe that Dr. Z would have shipped an amp this way.

The amp works fine (sounds great). Does anybody think this is more than a cosmetic issue? Thanks.


As long as it's still in there solid, no flopping around and the wires (internal and externally) aren't pulling on their connections or rubbing or abraiding on anything it's probably just fine.

Kind of a pain to fix in that you really need to de-solder all the wires and remove the tranny from the chassis, remove the (formerly<G>) 90 degree stand-offs and pound them back to 90 degree angles and then replace it all. It might be possible to just remove the 90/stand-offs w/ out removing the tranny, and, if you're careful, that'd make the fix somewhat easier.


What Walt C said. If the wires still have a little slack and are not in a place where chafing can occur and if the mounting screws feel/look/sounds tight and solid then you might be better off to leave it alone. Are you gigging with the amp? If so you will want to ensure that the trannie isnt going to drop in the middle of a set.


Why don't you try posting this on the DrZ forums, there's lots of helpful folks there including many Z employees.

Prairie Dawg

Bought a Dr. Z amp from a TGP'er.

The amp works fine (sounds great). Does anybody think this is more than a cosmetic issue? Thanks.

I've fixed more than a few things like this. Appearance wise it sucks, so if that bothers you. remove the chassis, remove the nuts and screws securing the transformer, straighten out the legs with a pair of duckbill pliers and reinstall. You might find the chassis itself raised up a bit especially if it is aluminum. That's a lot of weight hanging off of some very thin mild steel-it probably got dropped in shipping.

Remember UPS means Ur Package Smashed.

brett s

I've got two different amps with bent transformers like that from shipping, definitely possible.

I left them alone as everything works fine, wasn't worth the hassle.


Can not tell much from the pictures, but it does not look like the mounting tabs are broken.

You could easily bent them back as mentioned above, they are very soft.

Make sure the leads are not being pulled to tight on the internal chassis connects, get a few larger diameter washers(Fender Washers) bolt it back down and it will be fine.

Heck, I have seen new tubes that lean that much in the bases LOL

In the UPS employee handbood
Fragile = Throw Underhanded


Just a tip -- it seems appropriate for this thread -- I like to ship combo amps upside down because most of the weight is in the top, usually. I mark the box accordingly and hope for the best.


Silver Supporting Member
I had a Z28 (looks like that's what this might be?) shipped to me brand new from a dealer that arrived on almost the exact same condition. The end of the box that the bent transformer was on had all the padding crushed flat to the cardboard, though the outside of the box was pristine. It must have fallen a long way and landed perfectly flat.

The shipper came out and inspected and pointed to the crushed foam padding and said it was deficient. I pointed out that the foam on the other end of the box that was still inches thick is what that end looked like when it was shipped. Claim was paid, I kept the original undamaged cabinet and Dr. Z shipped me a replacement chassis.

Cpt. Picard

+1 to shipping damage, it does not take a box-crushing fall to tear out a chunk of iron that big. Props to the seller for offering to help, as it looks like it might be too late to even try a claim with the shipper, even IF they would go for it (unlikely).

As long as no wires are getting a tug, and it's handled with great care from now on, it seems cosmetic.

I bet a tech (or you) could pull the chassis, add washers, bend it back.
Right as rain with minimal expense, and a nice battle-scar to boot.


I find it hard to believe that this could have happened in shipping

I've seen lots of amps damaged in shipping. Some the hole top has broke loose and is sitting on top of the speaker. The transformers are heave, those mount legs are bendable, and not hard to bend. A good drop the transformers can and will end up like the one you have. Its easy to fix if thats all it is. Usually when one is dropped hard enough, it also pulls the chassis, so the chassis will have a hump in it..That is not that easy to fix..

But yeah, i'd say that was shipping.


The amount of inertia experienced by that PT when handled by a place like UPS is immense. So I would not be surprised if it happened in shipping.

The crooked PT would drive me nuts, so I'd end up doing as Prairie Dawg suggests. But that's just me.


Platinum Supporting Member
Just a tip -- it seems appropriate for this thread -- I like to ship combo amps upside down because most of the weight is in the top, usually. I mark the box accordingly and hope for the best.

Hmmm-that makes sense! Bob


Gold Supporting Member
I have had a couple of amps with leaning transformers... not sure either of mine or yours was actually damage. Could very well be the way it came from the factory. Mine was. After reading about it on other forums I decided not to worry about. It sounded fine and there was no mechanical reason to suspect any risk.

I can't quite see on yours... is the chassis damaged? If that's the case then it's certainly worth having it looked at. If its just a bent bracket... then it wouldn't seem to be a big deal. The poster above is correct, there was a lengthy discussion of it on the Z board.
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Demoed a used Dr. Z Maz Jr. 2x12 at Dave's a while back. Had just been unpacked and was suffering the same malady but worked just fine and it was a matter of minutes for them to take in the back and re-attach.


I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if my amplifier looked like this under the hood. :) It doesn't look like the chassis is bent. The screws/nuts/bolts were probably already loose which aggravated the problem. This is classic gigging damage. Fix it!!!


It doesn't appear that the chassis is bent.
Just the mounting legs of the PT.

I would take the screws and nuts off of the PT then see if you can straighten the legs with some long nosed pliers.
Be careful of stretching the wires.
I think you can probably straighten those legs without unsoldering anything.

I always cringe at the thought of shipping tube amps.
The transformers carry a lot of inertia when the box is dropped.
If there was some way to reinforce the trannies so they can't move side to side that would be great.
Maybe pull the tubes and pack them separately in bubble wrap.
Then use large blocks of styrofoam between the cab and trannies and on top of the trannies.
I don't know, just thinking of stuff to try.....


You can reinforce the mounting tabs on the transformers by using the largest fender washers you can fit in there.
Space fitting, it is best to use them on the interior and exterior of the chassis.

That will spread the load considerably better than using no washers at all.


Wait, wait . . . Is this a common thing with tube amps in general or with Dr. Z amps? I once had a Dr. Z amp shipped to me and the Xformer was hanging by one tab. The other three were TORN from their screws! As someone had described, the foam on the bottom was pressed flat. If the amp was subject to that level of inertia to tear metal, then how did the other components survive the fall? I think Dr. Z himself expressed concern for the laminates in the Xformers shifting, the elements inside the tubes out of spec, etc.

There's no way any amp company would allow something like that to leave their factory.

I returned it. I didn't pay for damaged goods that needed to be repaired. I paid for a pristine high-functioning amp, and that's not what arrived at my door.

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