Kind of got screwed by my tech today.

PKYINK

Member
Messages
159
I haven't posted on here in a while and just feel the need to vent over this because its kind of a weird situation.

I dropped my amp and cab off with my tech the other day with simple instructions. I had removed my chasis from the headshell a while back in order to take a gutshot to send to FJA and when I put it back in I guess I caused a grounding issue which was causing a hum/feedback. I explained this to him and all I wanted him to do was reinsert the chasis.

I only had 3 power tubes in it when I dropped it off. I showed him the 4th which I had taken out myself on a whim and he said it couldn't be put back in b/c a pin was broken so I said thats fine, I'll just wait and put a matched set in later (I would have only wanted 2 btw, not a quad and probably not 6l6's b/c I've been thinking about switching to el34's or KT88's.

All I wanted him to do with the cab was switch the wiring from stereo to mono and tell me if the speakers were working properly. I've never had V30's and don't know what their supposed to sound like or how to check the condition of the speakers. I don't know what all is involved with this but since the cab uses quick connect wiring (I think thats what its called at least) I really didn't think there would be too much to it.

He told me I could come back the next day and kind of rushed me off w/out even taking my phone number so I assumed we were on the same page that I was wanting minimal work done. I came back to pick it up today and BAM! $200 bill. He put in a brand new quad of JJ 6L6's and a little mini switch on the back of the cab to switch from mono to stereo, which is very cool and all but I did not ask for it. He also said its hard wired to 4ohms and I really don't even know what that means. I thought since it was a 4x12 it would be 16ohm? Will it still be 4 ohms if I switch it to stereo and only use 2 speakers? Ohms aren't my thing so I might have to call him and ask.

I ended up not saying anything and just paid for it which sucks b/c I am young and poor lol. At first I thought maybe there was a miscommunication or something on my end but the more I think about it he kind of did the same thing when I took this same amp in a few months ago only that time he said the tubes were fine and that the guy who did my mods couldn't solder and that he had to re-shoot all the solder joints and undertake some other big task I can't remember.

I thought it was kind of suspect at the time b/c I had my amp modded by Zach at Titan amps and I'm pretty sure he can solder lol, but I ended up forgetting about it until today. Either way, that time I dropped it off and just asked him to make sure everything looked right, left my phone number, and came back to at least a $150 ticket (can't remember exactly) with no improvement in the sound of the amp.

I've been going to this guy for years and don't really have any other choice as far as nearby reliable techs are concerned (I actually have to drive like 80 miles one way just to get to this guy) so unless I switch to solid states or Amplitube or something I'm going to have to keep dealing with him. I guess I'm just going to have to get everything in writing before I leave anything with him from now on.

I just really didn't want to drop $200 on this amp today though. Sucks.
 

lendryesky

Senior Member
Messages
2,442
George Bernard Shaw, while a nut, said one of my favorite quotes, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place."
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,863
George Bernard Shaw, while a nut, said one of my favorite quotes, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place."
I love that quote. I've been on both sides of that. All I can say is that the OP should go back and let the repair guy know that what he did was not what was asked for, or at least not what was expected. You already paid for new power tubes, maybe get him to at least put in the ones you wanted.
 

Kyle B

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,099
You got a relatively cheap lesson: Don't be afraid to insist on a work order & estimate in writing. It's your scratch, you're within your rights. It wouldn't have taken him long and it's a perfectly reasonable request.

The world is not out to protect you, that's Mom's job. It's out to get you. Even if inadvertently, which I would hope this cat did. It's still your responsibility to CYA.
 

OilsFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,930
I always tell the guy to call me with an estimate before the work begins. Always. Even if he says he'll call me without me asking, I tell him to call me. He says "it'll be an hour and parts so 'around' $75." I say great but call me if it is going to go over, I need to know.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,194
I always tell the guy to call me with an estimate before the work begins. Always. Even if he says he'll call me without me asking, I tell him to call me. He says "it'll be an hour and parts so 'around' $75." I say great but call me if it is going to go over, I need to know.

+1. Notification of "going over" the estimated price is essential.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,420
Not sure you got screwed... but for sure your expectations didn't match up to what took place.

When you take something in for repair you have a couple choice. The first is to tell the tech exactly what you want him to do. The other is to say, "it's broken, please fix it". It sounds like you essentially did the later... so he did. You didn't request an estimate so he fixed it and handed you the bill. For $200 I'm not sure how much hand holding you could realistically expect.
 
Messages
1,657
I don't understand the whole "mono" and "stereo" thing.

Guitars only send a mono signal. If your amp has signal splitting abilities with multiple line outs, then you could run different effects/sounds to multiple locations for a "simulated stereo effect". But if you send a mono signal from the guitar to the amp, and a mono signal from the amp to the speakers, then it doesn't matter if your cab is wired for stereo because it will only amplify your mono signal.

So, no need to modify an amp from Stereo-to-Mono because Mono-in equals Mono-out.

As a 412 cab, I assume the tech added a stereo switch to accommodate two separate signals in a single cab; two signals to two speakers each. At mono, it will run all 4 speakers. Right?

Now, this stereo/mono speaker splitting would normally create an impedance difference. It sounds like you have four 16 ohm speakers, collectively running at 4 ohms. By splitting the speakers for stereo, you would normally have 2 sets of speakers running at 8 ohms per pair. However, the tech said that he "hardwired it at 4 ohms" which means he modified it to accommodate a 4 ohm signal, whether you run stereo or mono. Without it "hardwired at 4 ohms" you would be facing an 8 ohm / 4 ohm mismatch when switching between Stereo and Mono, respectively.
 

RussB

low rent hobbyist
Messages
11,157
What we have here, is a failure to communicate



You seem to really not know what you wanted, and lack the constitution to make yourself clear and discuss your "issues" with the tech when you picked it up.
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,273
So he gets it with a missing power tube and other faults and you expect him to fix it. ????
 

PKYINK

Member
Messages
159
I don't understand the whole "mono" and "stereo" thing.

Guitars only send a mono signal. If your amp has signal splitting abilities with multiple line outs, then you could run different effects/sounds to multiple locations for a "simulated stereo effect". But if you send a mono signal from the guitar to the amp, and a mono signal from the amp to the speakers, then it doesn't matter if your cab is wired for stereo because it will only amplify your mono signal.

So, no need to modify an amp from Stereo-to-Mono because Mono-in equals Mono-out.

As a 412 cab, I assume the tech added a stereo switch to accommodate two separate signals in a single cab; two signals to two speakers each. At mono, it will run all 4 speakers. Right?

Now, this stereo/mono speaker splitting would normally create an impedance difference. It sounds like you have four 16 ohm speakers, collectively running at 4 ohms. By splitting the speakers for stereo, you would normally have 2 sets of speakers running at 8 ohms per pair. However, the tech said that he "hardwired it at 4 ohms" which means he modified it to accommodate a 4 ohm signal, whether you run stereo or mono. Without it "hardwired at 4 ohms" you would be facing an 8 ohm / 4 ohm mismatch when switching between Stereo and Mono, respectively.

Thanks for explaining that. I'm actually going to save your reply to use in the description if I ever have to sell it lol.

Bobk, I don't understand the butler comment. Am I rich or am I lazy?

But yeah after thinking about it some more "screwed" isn't the right word it was just unexpected, I was thinking $80 tops.

Anyway, I didn't get to try it out until today and everything was fine but after 45 minutes or so the gain knob on the lead channel just stopped working so I have 2 clean channels now lol. I messed around with it for a couple of minutes after the gain cut off and aside from being totally clean the lead channel would also suddenly drop in volume and get thinner before reverting back to normal.

So it looks like I'm going to have to go back to the guy sooner than expected. And this time it will be a case of "I don't know what's wrong, fix it" as opposed to "take the chasis out and put it back in".

I really wish I knew what is up with this amp lol. Its just one thing after another (albeit the previous grounding issue was my fault) when technically it should be a really awesome amp. I will say though that the 2 clean channels did sound pretty cool before the lead channel started cutting out. Its reminds me of the vibrolux and bassman voicings on a Supersonic.
 
Last edited:

dbun

Member
Messages
844
I guess I caused a grounding issue which was causing a hum/feedback. I explained this to him and all I wanted him to do was reinsert the chasis.
But you don't actually know, right? It could have been coincidence that the hum started after you pulled the chassis, but the cause could be something else.

I know you think the faults were simple, but the fact is the tech would have had to check everything out to be sure.

It sounds like you may need to find another tech though as the vibe of your post is that there are some trust issues there.

I know how you feel though. Techs in Australia charge like a wounded bull and some are incompetent at best and still want to charge $100/h
 

PKYINK

Member
Messages
159
You are correct but I really think that's all it was otherwise I think he would have written it up on the receipt.

There aren't many local techs at least that I know of. I drive an hour just to get to this guy. There are three I know of and ones kind of a hack and a total dick to boot, I would trust him even less, and then there's a shop that basically mainly sells vintage Gretch's and parts who can do the work but don't really want to. Before I figured out they mainly sold stuff online I thought they were a drug front. I always get the impression I'm not supposed to be there lol.

This guy is pretty much the top tech within 100 miles of me. All the major shops, including our guitar center, farm all there amp repairs out to him.

I think the main thing I need to do is get a new amp lol. I've been going to this guy for close to 10 years now, actually longer considering the people I went to first just sent everything to him, and never had any kind of problem with prices until I got this amp.
 

AXEnGEAR4J

Senior Member
Messages
5,901
I always tell the guy to call me with an estimate before the work begins. Always. Even if he says he'll call me without me asking, I tell him to call me. He says "it'll be an hour and parts so 'around' $75." I say great but call me if it is going to go over, I need to know.
Ditto!
 

soundchaser59

Thank You Great Spirit!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,832
Did you say what kind of amp it is?

Did he give you your old tubes back? How do you know for sure he actually put all new tubes in it?

If you were comfortable taking the chassis out in the first place, and all you wanted was to reinsert the chassis to see if that fixed the problem, why not just do that yourself?

My gut reaction was "get a better amp" but I don't know what amp you are dealing with. If it's an old Fender, for example, you might be better off shipping it to someone who renovates amps.
 

Shiny_Beast

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,597
My tech has a $50 bench charge, so nothing happens for less than that. I wouldn't like the idea of someone selling me 4 powr tubes I didn't ask for, but at this point they're yours, not the worst thing.

I would have been very unhappy with a switch installed on the back of my cab, but tha's just me. Seems like you're stuck with this guy. I'm sure he does good work. Like others have said, leave nothing to chance.
 

donnyjaguar

Member
Messages
4,194
I hate getting took. And I got took a few times when I was in my teens. I ended up educating myself on electronics and it wasn't long before it dawned on me that I knew more than all of the "technicians" who'd fleeced me in the past. They were a buncha azzhoels to be sure.

To summarize, hang around here and you're certain to learn plenty. There are a number of highly learned tube amp types on this group.
 




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