Vintage AC50 trouble...low volume and static

bluesbreaker59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,704
So after a fiasco of returning another AC50 amp because of a leaking power transformer that my tech discovered... I found myself a newer AC50 that appeared to have been well maintained over the years by its previous owner. I just got in in today from Guitar Center.

I unboxed it and it was packed extremely well. Amp was at room temp so I plugged it in and tested. Very, very low volume and almost all static only. Imagine a fuzzbox turned to all fuzz and the volume barely on... Both channels and both inputs at all different settings and with different guitar cables and different speaker cables and speaker cabinets.

So I took out the chassis, noticed the EL34s were EXTREMELY loose, probably need new sockets. All tubes seemed to be functioning I re-seated them all. Looked for obvious things like loose wires, etc. Didn't see anything. Tomorrow it's going to my tech.

Anyone have any ideas? I really wanna own one of these amps, but at this rate I'm concerned about their durability.
 

pdf64

Member
Messages
7,755
Old equipment, made from parts that degrade with age and use, will fail once in a while.

You'll have to accept the necessity to get it repaired as required and maybe a limited amount of preventive maintenance.

Another option is to buy a modern clone.
Pete
 

bluesbreaker59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,704
So on the new (old) JMI era AC50 that I just got from a Guitar Center in IL, it turned out to be a few bad caps causing the static noise. A complete checkover by my tech and cleaned thoroughly, he said its one of the best AC50's he's ever heard. This one was recovered so I got it for a great price.

As for the other JMI era AC50 that I bought from a highly reputable midwestern dealer, it has been returned to their store. They gave me a full refund. I know that one has a bad power tranny, I have pics of it hooked to my tech's scope. Otherwise its in fine shape. It also does work. Maybe it would have never failed completely, but I didn't want to gamble for the price they asked.

In the end I'm very happy.
 




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