NAD Fail - Advice?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jblake, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. jblake

    jblake Member

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    Hello TGP!

    For years, I've been lurking for info, but after today, I decided that I would just have to sign up. I did a lot of research (mostly here) when searching for my latest amp, and I finally made up my mind on a '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb. I really missed the DRRI that I traded years ago, so it seemed like a perfect fit. I guess it might still be perfect, except for this horrible, spitty static that occurs at idle.

    I've experienced this with new amps before, and noticed that it usually clears up by reseating the tubes and giving it a good workout for a week or so. This time, though, it is pretty persistent. I could best describe the sound as a worn out needle on a really scratched record. It happens with no guitar or footswitch connected. I started off rolling through a few preamp tubes and PI, and there was an ever so slight improvement with a change on V5. Otherwise nada. I don't have any 6v6's or rectifiers handy, bit I pulled them again to take a closer look. The rectifier tube is very noticeably defective from a visual inspection. The lower spacer is bent, and actually looks and feels as though it is protruding though the envelope.

    The question is this: The dealer has asked me to ship the whole amp back to them under their 30 day return policy; basically for an exchange. Apparently sending me a replacement tube is not an option. Has anyone had any luck contacting Fender for this type of thing? If it turns out that replacing the tube corrects the issue, I definitely want to keep the amp because it is killer in every other respect. Do the symptoms even indicate a faulty rectifier, or am I just scratching the surface of an even deeper pit of garbage?
     
  2. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    I have heard those symptoms from a faulty rectifier tube before.
    If the dealer is expecting you to pay to ship it back for warranty replacement, seems easier just to buy a new tube locally. If the are sending you a return shipping label, might as well return it.
    Tubes and shipping just don't mix well. It is not uncommon for run of the mill production tubes to just not survive the rigors of shipping. Old a Stock tubes are more robust. Dedicated tube dealers test tubes and have better shipping and handling procedures.


    Welcome to TGP.
     
  3. geek-mo

    geek-mo Supporting Member

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    Excellent advice. Tubes are fragile and the ones made currently and installed in production amplifiers are usually of lower quality. Try replacing the tubes first.

    Then, give us a full report. I am very curious about the '68 Custom line.
     
  4. Barnzy

    Barnzy Member

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    I'd replace the tubes before any exchange. It seems clear that you will be a deluxe reverb owner, whether it's this one or another, so to buy a set of power tubes and a good rectifier would not be a waste. If your fresh tubes don't cure the issue...ship it for an exchange!
     
  5. jblake

    jblake Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I had been planning on just replacing the tubes, but I was wondering if anyone had experienced any further QC issues that would just be "the next problem" after replacing them. I have about 3 days left on the return period, and even though Fender's 5 year warranty is pretty great, I'd rather return it than spend the next five years wishing I had gone with something else.

    Also, the defective tube in question is definitely not a victim of rough shipping. It was obviously made poorly, and the fact that it made it out of a tube factory and into an amp has raised some serious doubts about Fender's current level of QC. I can't fathom how someone actually held that tube and thought, "Eh, I'll go ahead and try it in there."
     
  6. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    So you waited 27 days to think about this? You should have swapped tubes 3 weeks ago, then you could make a more informed decision
     
  7. damian1

    damian1 Member

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    Tubes. Change them, work it out. Its a tube amp they take care and attention but what they give is the most beautiful lovin
     
  8. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    This...
     
  9. Drumnbum

    Drumnbum Member

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    I know I'm going against the grain by saying this, but I'd return it if you're not happy. Here's why: if you look around on this board, many folks have had issues with the 68 Customs (myself included). Now, having said that, if you absolutely love the amp and can live with the issue (assuming you can't sort it out with tubes), then by all means hang on to her. Otherwise, I feel like it could be something you regret.

    Just my .02
     
  10. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    I assume this is a new amp? Not a used vintage type amp?

    Prediction: You will have the same noise after you swap the tubes out.

    If not: then congratulations, all you needed was new tubes......which is a bummer with a brand new amp. Check with Fender to see what tubes come stock with new amps, then make sure that's what actually came in your amp. I bought a new Mesa once from a dealer, and none of the tubes in it were Mesa tubes. Mesa chewed out the dealer and made them send me a full set of Mesa tubes, and a few months later that store was no longer an auth'd Mesa dealer. Even cheap Chinese tubes should work correctly in a brand new amp, at least for a while.

    If so: then congratulations, your new amp likely has a bad plate or screen resistor. I know that static sound like a scratched vinyl record, or like someone frying bacon on an am radio, that kind of sound, I know it well. It probably sounds worse whenever you tap firmly on the top of the amp with your knuckles, right? The last 3 used amps I have bought (a Rivera and 2 Mesa's) had that sound, and new tubes did not have any effect on it. I opened up the amps and visually found swollen, scorched looking resistors. Schematics proved they are plate and/or screen resistors. PITA fix for me, even though I managed to replace them all myself, but a good tech would be able to fix that in an hour or two tops. But then you need to ask yourself why a brand new amp has bad resistors....... here's your clue....
     
  11. jblake

    jblake Member

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    It turned out to be the rectifier tube. Popped in a new production Mullard from a buddy's drri and all idle noise is gone. So I returned the borrowed tube and put in an order for some tubes.

    The thing is, it just wasn't noticeable in an unmiced rehearsal situation. I'm not one to sit in front of the speaker in a quiet room. I unboxed it at the rehearsal space, turned everything to 7 and let it rip. The noise wasn't really apparent until I dropped by alone to do some clips. With a mic on the grill, it was definitely unacceptable.

    On the whole, I still love the amp. The custom channel sounds amazing with a Strat on input 1, and the vintage channel is really well suited to my Sheraton on input 2. It's been a while since I've played an amp that worked well with both guitars without having to turn a lot of knobs.
     
  12. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    Several guys above called it! I'm glad it was not anything more serious than a bad tube! Nice!
     

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