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Tube amp problem

zachy

Member
Messages
25
Hi, I'm having trouble with my Allen Old Flame. I can play it for about five minutes before I get a strong clicking noise, as if someone were tapping on the end of a cable. It's not a cable or a guitar jack issue, as this doesn't happen with other amps, and does happen with every guitar and cable I use. It even occurs whenever I turn the master volume all the way down.
I'm pretty clueless when it comes to this kinda stuff, so I'll probably be taking it to a tech to look at it, just wanted to have some kind of idea of what to look for.

Thanks, Zachy
 

Dan40

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,269
Have you checked the tubes for any signs of internal arcing while the problem is occurring? Have you tried swapping any of the tubes yet?
 

zachy

Member
Messages
25
I haven't tried swapping any of the tubes, as I don't have any backups right now, and I have no clue with internal arcing means, so I haven't looked into that, either, haha :dunno
 

TweeDLX

Member
Messages
3,756
If you look at the power tubes (the big ones) and see sparks flashing inside of them, that's arcing. Time for a new set. I'd also have a tech look it over to make sure that nothing else is causing the tubes to arc.
 

zachy

Member
Messages
25
Thanks for the help! I'm off to a family thing about now, so I'll check it when I get home. After that I'll take it to my tech next weekend for a solid once over, and a set of backup tubes.:beer
 

zachy

Member
Messages
25
It's not the cell phone, though that has happened before, I tried it with my phone on the other side of the house. And there's no tremolo circuit on this particular amp.
 
Messages
826
I sometimes get a ticking noise through a high gain amp when my watch is close to the guitar pickups. (Just another possibility.)

Its a quartz watch with some kind of electric drive (stepper motor?). The watch also speeds up to 50 seconds per second if it gets very close to a big 50Hz choke!
 

zachy

Member
Messages
25
I don't wear a watch, and it's not quite a ticking noise, more as if someone were intermittently tapping on the end of a cable.
 

J M Fahey

Member
Messages
2,149
I sometimes get a ticking noise through a high gain amp when my watch is close to the guitar pickups. (Just another possibility.)

Its a quartz watch with some kind of electric drive (stepper motor?). The watch also speeds up to 50 seconds per second if it gets very close to a big 50Hz choke!
You wouldn't have that problem in the USA ;)

And clocks use the granddad of the stepper motor: an Y shaped "trinket/escapement" which goes back and forth pushed by a Pendulum ,letting a toothed wheel advance just 1 tooth at the time:

in a Quartz clock the activating pendulum is replaced by a quartz controlled electromagnet.


And yes, its ticking magnetic pulse can easily be picked by guitar pickups, and somewhat less by amp wiring, if real close by.
 
Last edited:

TweeDLX

Member
Messages
3,756
I sometimes get a ticking noise through a high gain amp when my watch is close to the guitar pickups.
That ticking noise made me crazy until I discovered the source! :)

I don't wear a watch, and it's not quite a ticking noise, more as if someone were intermittently tapping on the end of a cable.
Can we assume you've done some tube changes? I wonder if we can possibly be discussing the sound of a faulty cap charging and discharging?
 




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