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Old 14th October 2005, 02:03 AM   #1
pjpoes is offline pjpoes  United States
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Default Tube problem in my combo amp

Ok so I posted a bit back that I wanted to upgrade my tube amp. I recieved the EH EL84's and various 12ax7's. All are brand new new production tubes, and all came from the New Sensor factory.

I have heard before that Combo amps like mine tend to be harder on preamp tubes because of the vibration, and certain ones dont work well. I am wondering if anyone can tell me if what I am experiencing is another tube failure, and if its because I have a combo that I am having this repeat failure, or if its something else.

When I plugged in a booster pedal and turned it up all the way, along with having my tube amp on the high gain channel and gain all the way up(ie full distortion). I dont really get great distortion from this setup, instead I get a great deal of feedback crappy sounding distortion. I turned off the pedal and suddenly had this strange wooshing crackling sound. Almost like it was picking up a noise. I switch channels back to the low boos clean channel, and the sound is fine, no wierd crackle woosh sound. If I change the tubes out, the sound goes away as well, but it seems that, as soon as I run a lot of gain into that channel, it happens again. This is the third time its happened, I think its the tubes, but I can't figure out if its because that amount of gain and volume causes too much vibration and causes the tubes to go, or what. Is it possible something is wrong with the amp. It seem's to work fine if I dont run tons of gain through it first, the tubes seem to remain reliable. Also, if I use the tubes that are making the noise, and just keep playing them at a normal level, the noise seems to go away. However it comes back if I run alot of gain again.

My last question is gonna sound wierd. I am not a heavymetal guy, but they are the only ones that do what I sometimes do, so like I said, it gonna seem wierd that I would even want to do this. I like to fool around with sound, what can I say. How is it that people like Dime Bag Darrel and others could run a very high gain booster distortion pedal into something like a Marshall stack with everything turned up to max gain. Not that they get great sound, but they get decent sounding distortion it seems. I try this fooling around, and I get distortion and noises that sound more like something is wrong. I find I get better sound if I do that using my low gain channel instead of my high gain channel. Any idea what would cause this.
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Old 14th October 2005, 03:42 AM   #2
Optical is offline Optical  New Zealand
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So the pedal making the distortion, or are you using built in amp overdrive?
Im not sure i follow exactly what you're doing but the pedal could be at fault.. what sort is it?

i have two all valve amps that sit on top of quad boxes and run full power for hours on end without issue.. they must withstand a heap of vibration so im not sure that is the issue?

i find the best way to get good heavy distortion is to use a high gain pedal with a good eq control, or seperate eq pedal, then run it into the amp with it set to a clean sound, then when the amp volume is right up the power amp overdrives a little bit and smoothes out the overall sound.
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Old 14th October 2005, 10:30 AM   #3
pjpoes is offline pjpoes  United States
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Well like I said, I was simply fiddeling with different setups to find what would make what sound. I had read once, I think in a guitar players magazine, that a certain guitar player from a heavy metal band would take a high gain distortion pedal, turn it up with lots of distortion, then run it through his dirty channel turned up with lots of distortion. So he had distortion upon distortion. I tried it and not only got really crappy sounding distortion, but also got this problem. Afterwords the tube amp without anything else plugged into it, my guitar straight in, was making this noise, regardless of the gain level.

The reason I was even trying this was in an attempt to get more sensitivity at the guitar. Its a 1957 telecaster copy from Chandler, so the pickups are fairly classic sounding with pretty low output. My problem, as far as not being able to achieve what I want, may be that. I just recently went guitar shopping and tested a bunch. I was really hesitant to accept that I might like an Ernie Ball Axis, but the shop was insistant. I sat down and played the guitar into an ampeg Reberb Rocket. My instore test for the speed of the neck and the gain of the pickups is tapping, like EVH(gah! I know, but it works), and I was doing it with more precision than I ever can on any of my own guitars. It has gotten me in the mood to try and find a new guitar. I even put myself on two different lists to have custom guitars made. Thanks for any help.
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Old 20th October 2005, 01:16 AM   #4
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Hey, After you plug in your pedal and achieve the horrible sound and then the wooshing sound, do the tubes ever work properly again? I usually back off my settings if the amp starts to sound really bad, like "the speaker is ready to pop and the caps are flying around" bad. If your amp is eating your tubes, it may have a problem, or like you said, you may be using inferior tubes. BTW, what amp are you using exactly?
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Old 20th October 2005, 03:04 AM   #5
pjpoes is offline pjpoes  United States
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Its an odd ball Custom Shop AD30 orange amp. I say odd cuz I never saw this amp listed on there sight, nor was it ever listed in any other way. The dealer I bought it through said he had it custom made because he wanted a compeltely handbuilt AD30. I called Orange, it is authentic, they remembered making it and sent me all its extended documentation. It's a pretty cool amp for anyone who likes the orange sound.

Actually, I live about half an our from voodoo amps and took it in for repair. They are actually doing some modifications to it whiles its in as well. Changing some caps and resistors for better ones, changing a few values, modifying the tone circuit, other things I can waste money on. I gave up trying to figure out what was wrong and decided to have a propper shop work on it. They are also changing the pickups on my Gibson with some lollar p90's, which I expect to be a lot better than those P100's.
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Old 20th October 2005, 11:16 AM   #6
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I see. You have a complicated situation. Maybe the repair shop will fix her up right. You P90s will definately be different from what you are used to hearing (lots more bass). Peace out.
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Old 20th October 2005, 10:00 PM   #7
pjpoes is offline pjpoes  United States
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yeah I hope so. The Gibson had P100's which I believe was a humbucking or hum free modern version of a P90. I think everyone who has owned them agree's they are nothing like a real P90. I have been ready to sell this guitar so many times, but I love the way it plays, it really just needed some minor work. I think that with a new set of pickups, a proper setup, a new delrin nut, and some new tuners, it will be like a whole new guitar. We shall see how it works out.

By the way, Orange Amps warranty sucks. This is a hand built in England tube amp. They warranty it for one year against manufacturer defects. My last amp was like 5 years, and I am pretty sure that most Badcats and other decent boutique amps offer more than a year, atleast offer some better support. I like this amp, but I dont think I would ever buy another one.
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