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New Fender Super-Sonic..but it has problems.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Darth Tater, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    I'm trying out a Fender Super-Sonic head, ordered from MF to get the 45 day trial.

    So far..not so good. It works for about 10 minutes, then you hear a little click through the speakers then nothing but loud hum..60hz hum I guess. Sometimes turning off and back on will clear it for another few minutes.

    Also oddly enough, it does not come on when you flip the power switch. You have to flip it on then off then on again, then it comes on.

    I've put new power tubes in it (one of the stock tubes was barely lit and was actually deformed!). Put some JJ's in it and it actually sounds great when it's working. It hums whether or not there is anything plugged into it. Preamp tubes all light up but I did not replace any of those. If I do that, can I replace the 12AT7 with a 12AX7 just long enough to try it out?

    I guess what I'm asking is if anyone might have seen this issue with Fender amps and what was done to fix it. If it's something simple I'll do it, but otherwise it's obviously going back to MF, which sucks because I feel I didn't even get a chance to try it out properly.
     
  2. Blindspot

    Blindspot Member

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  3. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    not acceptable IMO... played one for 10 mins. at a store, it was interesting/OK but certainly worked when fired up... nothing like you describe.
     
  4. Lasiurus

    Lasiurus Member

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    seems like someone at QC was not doing their job. do you know where these amps were made/assembled?
     
  5. myles loud

    myles loud Supporting Member

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    send it back. could be in the switch it self. tell mf the issue and ask for another to try.
    myles
     
  6. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    Acutally it was $850, scratch & dent which is one reason I went ahead and tried it. I think it was a previous return and I'm finding out why! That's why I'm not going to complain TOO much, but I would at least like to give it a fair shake.

    The first thing I noticed was the deformed power tube. It's crooked..or lopsided...or something, and it barely lights up. It sounded kind of pathetic until I put some JJ's in it then it came to life. Played for a while, then the humming thing started. I've now replaced two of the 12AX7's and it's been going strong for about 25 minutes.

    So Lasirus, I think you're right. Where's the QC? I think this is totally a tube problem. So far I know for a fact that one power tube was bad, and I'm hoping that preamp tubes are the source of the other problem. Of course it being scratch & dent you don't know what may have happened before, but I'll tell you what I think. I think these tubes were bad from the factory, and that why it was returned the first time. If it's tubes, I wonder if it's even worth trying to get some from MF or Fender?
     
  7. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    Oh, these are made in Corona, California.

    It's still going strong after replacing two of the preamp tubes. That also seems to have fixed the power switch thing. The two I replaced are actually V4 and V5. Why did I pick those? They are the closest to the back :)
     
  8. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Darth,

    Did the amp come with a warranty?

    I'd probably send it back anyway. I'm no tech but who knows what the real problem is. What if there's something inside causing tubes to blow?

    Really, even with a mass produced amp, what are the chances of three bad tubes straight from the factory?

    Not me. No way.

    Good luck to you.
     
  9. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    It's got a 5 year warranty, plus of course the 45 day trial.

    I'm not sure what the actual chances of the tubes being bad from the factory...but guess what...this amp has TWO!

    The power tube you can look at and tell it's farked..like I said it's deformed, melted, lopsided or something. It's Groove Tubes/Fender rebranded Svetlanta.

    And I have since determined that there is definitely a bad preamp tube. I put one of the stock tubes back in and it started hissing and popping and humming again. Plus I did something that I had forgotten about...hitting the tube with something while powered on. Tapping that tube with a screwdriver revealed some pretty ugly noises.

    So yes, TWO BAD TUBES. So far. Sheesh.

    As far as the power switch goes, I think it is the switch itself. If the switch is thrown with some authority, it comes on fine. This is something I feel that I can replace later on down the road if needed unless it gets worse over the next few weeks. And of course, there is the 5 year warranty. I think I can live with it considering the $150 discount.

    But now that the amp is working properly and I know most of the issues were just tube related, I actually love it. It sounds great. The 'burn' channel blows away every other Fender overdrive channel I've ever tried by far. It's not quite my Soldano, but of course it's not meant to be (plus you could buy 3 of these for the price of one new Soldano!).

    And why I put this in the emporium, I don't know. I'm sorry, I truly meant to go to the Amps and Cabs forum. I'll try to get it moved.
     
  10. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

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    hi. glad to hear you seemed to have the problem whipped.
    i also experieced problems with faulty GT 6L6GC's in my supersonic. as soon as the stock tubes were replaced with new JJ's, the amp woke up and sounded great. i think fender really got a (large) bad batch of tubes to use to launch this new product. one would think that QC on screening tubes would be top priority with a new line.
    enjoy your new amp!
     
  11. bigroy

    bigroy Member

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    Maybe an open grid on a preamp tube? Perhaps the first 2 were OK?

    Just my $.02
     
  12. IPlayHamers

    IPlayHamers Member

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    I tried that amp and didn't really care for it. But thats just me.

    IPH
     
  13. majornelson

    majornelson Active Member

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    You buy an amp thru a scratch and dent sale and then expect it to work? LOL
     
  14. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    Well, the way I see it is this...it's just a tube and I can buy a new tube for less than return shipping would be. PLUS since it's a scratch & dent, if I want another SuperSonic, I'll have to come off some more money. But here's the thing..after ordering the amp, they sent me a '10% off' coupon for my next purchase so a new SuperSonic would be $899....$50 more than I paid for the scratch & dent model so it's tempting. At the full $999 not a chance...but at $899 it's tempting now! I'm not sure that it would be worth the extra $80 to get a virgin amp though (the extra $50 + $30 to return the other one).

    I will say that this is by far the best Fender amp I've ever played, and NO I have not played any vintage Fender amps. But I did have a '78 Twin Reverb and I tried all the current amps, especially the Hot Rod series. This one kills them.
     
  15. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    No, the two bad tubes were the one power tube (deformed, barely lights up) and the one preamp tube (noisy). I have no idea how that power tube got through Groove Tubes or Fender QC. I noticed it right away, it looked like it was hanging out of the socket becuase it was sticking out at an angle. But it was plugged in, it's just that deformed. It looks twisted or something.
     
  16. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    Mine had a bad reverb driver in it when I got it. No biggie and I got a pretty good discount on it. I really like mine. Lots of character and really good OD channel. Nothing really not to like about it :)
     
  17. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    Hey have you (or anybody else reading!) tried different preamp tubes in the SuperSonic? Just curious what different tubes sound like in this amp.
     
  18. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

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    Every Supersonic I've ever played has sounded great, though I'm sure there are some stinkers out there based on some of the negative comments that have been posted in various threads. The overdrive channel is really nice though- the best I've heard in a Fender.
     
  19. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    I have replaced the tubes in mine and rebiased it and it is fine. I agree, this is the best sounding Fender I have ever hear and I have owned a few of them. I can't wait until people start modding them because I know there's more mojo in there just waiting to get out :)
     
  20. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Silver Supporting Member

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    It sounds like it was just a tube. perhaps the PI tube was bad, that's why one of the power tubes didn't seem to "light up".

    If YOU like it, and it is working now, keep it.
     

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