Mesa Boogie Heartbreaker

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by stephen sawall, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. stephen sawall

    stephen sawall Member

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    This thread has been really helpful to understand the range of the Heartbreaker. Maybe tonight I will plug in for awhile. In a fuzz mood lately.
     
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  2. cdawg22

    cdawg22 Member

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    I dig your rig. Is that the deck of a skateboard?
     
  3. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Haha yes! Old Powell Dirtboard from when they first came on the scene.
     
  4. cdawg22

    cdawg22 Member

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    I have to say I've never seen that done before. Righteous!
     
  5. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Well got the amp back from Mesa today. I put the el34's in and I tend to prefer it. Changes the range of the bass/low mid freq's. I also just got a Kanji Handwired Eternity.

    I am plugging in to a tuner-Fulltone '70 Big Box [back off on the guitar] for cleans and dirt when I dig in [always on]-Pettyjohn Chime [for Vox-like response grind]-BAE Hot Fuzz/Treble Boost-Kanji [for more upper mid voiced grind]-TC Jauring Luxury Drive [always on].

    The amp loves this kind of pedal where the mid voice has it's own thing going on. It absolutely LOVES Treble Boosts!

    This is one fine amp. Worth the time investment.
     
  6. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Aaaaaaaand.... The amp went down again. Same blown fuse. This is the second HB that I have owned that Mesa missed something on. I guess I don't get the same treatment as Prince.
     
  7. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Maybe you're just having really bad luck with power tubes?
     
  8. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    No I have a stash of Mesa tubes that they certified were good the last time the amp was up there a month ago. I picked up more fuses and swapped tubes... all blowing fuses. The last time the amp was there, I told Mesa that the amp was still blowing fuses even with all power tubes and recto tube pulled. They did not address that except to tell me that their tech has 40 years experience blah blah blah.. evidently my amp didn’t get that memo or doesn’t care how much experience he has. As much as I like them, I’m thinking of selling both my Mesa amps now after they are thoroughly fixed and buying a Clubman... for the third time around.
     
  9. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Bummer - sorry to hear that.
     
  10. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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  11. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    My thought too, BUT he said specifically it was blowing fuses with the power tubes and rectifier tube pulled
     
  12. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    Missed that.
    Weird.
     
  13. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    So I did some tube rolling today. I found that the new rectifier tube that mesa supplied me is causing the short.. I am hoping that it is simply a bad/brand new tube. Something in my gut tells me that there is something in the circuit causing this tube to short out. I had asked Mesa to go through the amp circuit entirely to bring the amp to top operating condition.

    At that, what fault in the circuit would cause a new rectifier tube to blow out?
     
  14. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

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    Wondering if you can hook a current meter (loop/clamp style) across one leg (the active one) of the the input AC power mains and watch the current readout as you play it.

    Funny thing is I am having some power issues on most of my amps. I get weird white noise spikes every now and then and my standby switch sometimes "pops" and other timesit doesnt.. almost like my ground and neutral of my house power supply arent at 0V together.
     
  15. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the reply..
    My studio is on filtered power and I run my computers/recording hardware/recording rig/amps through it and have been doing so for many years. I have never had an amp have as much as a hiccup in this studio unless it was a bad tube.

    I had my recording rig on and doing a session when the amp died. I After having this SS plug in and keeping it on the amps SS setting, I left the amp on all day and played it periodically and zero hiccups. It is for sure tube recto associated be it tube or in the circuit.

    After giving this info to Mesa, they have remained innocuous about the tube they supplied me a month ago. They say that "a tube can last 2 minutes or 2 years, you never know" and that's it. While true, it is my understanding that the tubes deemed worthy of the Mesa silkscreen are tested to be good. They have not confirmed that they would replace the tube they installed a month ago.

    Am I out of line expecting them to replace my new recto tube after about 10 low to moderate volume sessions?


    This is all just leaving a crappy taste in my mouth.
     
  16. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

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    If you paid for the tube and work and still having probs.. I think they might get a little more serious about things now.

    I have seen some really easy money made in the tube amp tech biz - there is a certain % of people who need an electrician to change a lightbulb for them... and I am sure some of that is bread and butter work for tecs.

    I was demoing an amp for sale and 5 mins into the demo, a preamp tube failed. The owner scurried me out and called me a few weeks latwr and said he had it fixed.

    I looked at the invoice: 160 bucks to diagnose and replace the tube. I should have made the guy a reduced offer when it failed so 160 bucks didnt disappear into the aether. I knew the schematic and what channel the fail occurred. It was a 3 minute fix.

    By and large, tube amps are pretty darn robust, and it is rare for something to fail outside of tubes...

    However: there are freak events in all electronics.. and once outside the easy stuff diagnosis can be difficult.

    If not an internally arcing rectifier, then what could it be?

    A remote possibility is that a tiny pinhole spot of compromised insulation on the transformer windings could cause a momentary arc and blow the fuse. Be tough as hell to diagnose something like that. But over time each arc would open the pinhole and failures would happen with increased frequency.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  17. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    in science (and troubleshooting) you always go with the most likely / obvious hypothesis first.
    Only lf that fails to explain the issue, you will go one step deeper.
    In this case, 2 or even 3 semi-wonky * (current production) rectifier tubes in a row seem to be the most plausible explanation, ime. :dunno
    been there, done that with the HB, used a TAD diode "rectifier tube" to troubleshoot.
    once I found a good tube, things went back to normal, zero issues ever since.
    ymmv,
    Rhino

    * they might even work in other, less demanding amps, who knows ?
     
  18. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

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    Onto funner things.

    I just discovered (ID'd) I have 3 rebranded Mullard manufactured 12AX7s in an old late 70s amp I picked up a few years ago for a couple hundred $. Sweet.

    I put one in V3 of thr Heartbreaker and plugged into my Scumback M75 cab.

    Amazing. Marshall is actually the sound of Mullards and PreRola Greenbacks. So open smooth dynamic not lacki g brightness.. lots of air, articulation without clangyness.
     
  19. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    why am I not surprised ? :D

    congrats - you're spoilt for life now ! :drown

    lol,
    Rhino
     
  20. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Gary, who I am emailing at Mesa said that they do a complete inspection of all components of an amp being serviced. His take is that it’s the tube. Warranted for 6 months. From what I understand, filter caps can have a play in this rectifier issue as well. I can only hope they did what I asked and checked those.
     

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