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Will a bad power source bugger up tube amps?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by co-intelpro, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. co-intelpro

    co-intelpro Member

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    Our bass player has a studio, and we jam there exclusively. I have had so many problems with my amps when I'm there. I experience a lot of blown fuses, blown tubes, and other intermittent problems, etc.

    Just yesterday, I was playing my amp (it wasn't dimed) and I blew a fuse. Today, I went back and replaced the fuse and turned it on. It was on 2, then it blew again. I decided to try putting a plain old power bar in between the amp power cord and the cord coming out of the wall socket. Voila, no problems->yet (fingures crossed).

    So, did I fix the problem? He has an old house (think 80+ years old), and there is often noise that accompanies everything that is plugged in. Is it fluctuating voltage that has been causing all the problems, or do you think it's something else? The amps I had problems with include a '68 Deluxe Reverb, a '96 VOX AC30 TBX, and a '66 Traynor Guitar Mate Reverb YGM-1.

    ...maybe it's a ghost?
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Is the power bar grounded? Does it have built-in surge protection?

    If it isn't grounded and fixed the problem, there's an issue with voltage on the ground wiring in the room. If it has a surge protector, most likely the incoming voltage is very erratic.

    Either way (or even if it's neither of those things) I probably wouldn't play there until the wiring has been properly checked out by an electrician, and yes I am serious.

    Just FWIW, John Rostill, former bass player of The Shadows, was electrocuted in his home studio and died. Tell your bass player that if he doesn't think it's a good idea to get the wiring checked.
     
  3. co-intelpro

    co-intelpro Member

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    Thanks for that...problem is that it's not his house, it's his landlord's, who happens to be a friend of his...and very cheap.

    I'm not sure of the power bar, it's just a run of the mill computer power bar...white, 5 inputs, with a reset button.

    Since jam space is hard to come by, I'm going to do my best to get this problem taken care of.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    If it's a computer type it will almost certainly have surge protection - it sounds like it's not just a spike suppressor but actually has an overload trip if it has a reset button.

    Unless you can get the wiring checked, always use it, it will give you a measure of safety. But don't treat it as a proper cure, it isn't.

    Don't ever touch any other equipment that is not plugged into the bar while you're holding your guitar either - that includes mics, if the PA isn't run off the same bar (and it would be a good idea to do so, if that's something that could happen).

    It would be worth mentioning the problems to the landlord - he would be legally liable if something happened to one of you.
     
  5. co-intelpro

    co-intelpro Member

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    I've already sent the band email a message outlining the severity of the situation. I'll follow that up with a legal-liability message if the previous one falls flat.

    Thanks for the advice and info, John!
     
  6. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    Even if he is renting, the cost of having the electricity updated is worth it. Sometimes landlords will adjust the rent (might have to spread it out a few months). Having a properly wired electrical system is worth someone not dying any day of the week.
     

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