When to get a cap job?

coyoteblue

Member
I'd like to know how to tell when it's time to get a cap job. What do you hear in an amp that tells you it's time to get a cap job? What are the signs? What begins to happen to an amp you've had for a while? What should you listen for in an amp you're going to buy?
 
I'd like to know how to tell when it's time to get a cap job. What do you hear in an amp that tells you it's time to get a cap job? What are the signs? What begins to happen to an amp you've had for a while? What should you listen for in an amp you're going to buy?



If it isn't hum or popping noises, it's usually the bass response
you notice getting looser/flabby.
Other problems such as premature tube failures is another thing.
 

PRNDL

Member
The best way to evaluate a used amp is to play it and compare to what you've heard similar amps sound like, in terms of volume and tone. Of course, appearance is also important, but, sometimes amps that are worn, tattered and torn are that way because they sound fantastic and are used. As with everything, experience helps.

In general, electrolytics last about 15 years, so you have to factor that into the price.

The tube amp debug page has a list of warning signs
http://www.geofex.com/ampdbug/ampdebug.htm

 

Tonefish

Member
Deja Vu all over again.

I was looking for the link to give you to this same thread from a couple weeks ago, but can't find it.....so good job...this is important stuff.
 

coyoteblue

Member
Thanks for the great info. I bought an early 70's Vibro Champ that I'm thinking may need one. The previous owner told me his amp tech said these Champs run forever without needing a cap job, but I find that the volume is a bit lower than I would expect and the volume of bassy chords fall away pretty quickly. Didn't notice this much when I first checked it out. The speaker's original and a bit flabbly as you might expect, but maybe that's a sign too. I guess I need to visit my friendly neighbourhood amp tech.
 

mrface2112

Member
I guess I need to visit my friendly neighbourhood amp tech.
it sounds like it. i picked up a '74 vibro champ about a month ago and as soon as i plugged it in, the crackly, staticky signs of a needed cap job were immediately apparent. as was the "fwap fwap fwap" of the tremolo.

a trip to the amp man for biasing, blackfacing, recapping and a pull-pot for a gain boot......add in some new old tubes and a weber speaker later and she's a *hell* of a little amp.


anyway, no point other than get it tuned up and you'll be a happy camper. :dude


cheers,
wade
 


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