Replace Tubes Before Bringing Amp For Repair?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Chont, Oct 4, 2021.

  1. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

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    Curious what your thoughts are here.

    A while back I posted about my Superchamp X2 with a power tube issue where the thing will intermittently start popping back and get bad static. When this occurs, one of the power tubes will glow really bright compared to the other. I flip flopped them and the issue stayed with the tube socket. I bought a set of JJs but decided to hold off because I spoke to the repair guy that Fender referred me to for the warranty service ticket and he said flip flopping was a good thing to do and a good indication that its probably not the tube. He's an hour away so carving out the time in the schedule has been tough but I'm planning on heading there Wednesday. I stopped using the amp until about a week ago trying to get the issue to pop up again but though it has happened, not as frequently as it was. I am however now noticing some added fizz on the tone in general.

    Should I leave it and bring as is? or swap in the new set of tubes and hope it fixes the fizz and not the pops? New tubes are not covered by warranty so I'm not sure If I'd get charged if the guy swaps the tubes and decides its fixed if the pop doesn't surface while in his possession.
     
  2. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    Not saying to do it, but based on my experience and personality traits, I wouldn't be able to help myself. I had a red-plating issue once in my Mesa where moving tubes between sockets seemed to make no difference, but when I just replace all four EL84s, the problem no longer existed.

    Again, though, I'd tell anyone but myself to listen to the tech and not risk damaging a new set of tubes.

    The old saying "Do as I say, not as I do," would probably apply to your set of circumstances.
     
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  3. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    Take the amp to the tech, the issue is not the tubes.

    Swapping tubes over will only ruin the other tube, and installing new tubes will do exactly the same thing.

    Could be a simple issue or you may have deeper issues. Either way, the tech is the person to make that determination.

    Remember it's also under warranty. Keep the good tubes, take them with you. make sure you get them back and he doesn't try and keep them for himself (most amp techs wouldn't, but lately I have heard the strangest stories, so forewarned is forearmed)
     
  4. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Yes I'm having a real hard time resisting the temptation of swapping when I have a brand new set of preamp and power tubes sitting in a box next to the amp.

    I hate to look cheap but It would be my luck to drive an hour and hand over my amp and a set of tubes and have the guy find nothing wrong with it but needing a tube swap and billing me whatever he charges for it when Fender told me to take it to him. And get it back who knows when... guy gets glowing reviews as the best repair tech in the area but sometimes takes a long time to get the work done.
     
  5. retrobob

    retrobob Strat-Talk Member

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    JMHO, generally when a tube glows red it is a current issue (too much). If you flipped tubes and it stayed on the same socket it would indicate an internal circuit issue not the tube.

    Installing new tubes without checking the circuit could lead to further damage to the circuit and/or damaging the new tubes. Continuing to operate the amp in this condition will lead to further damage as well.

    Again, JMHO, but with a unit that is covered by warranty and if you do not have the knowledge to check it yourself, TAKE IT TO THE TECH!

    No need to take your tubes (save them for latter), if the tube(s) were damaged by the circuit failure the tech will replace the tubes under warranty.

    You should not have to pay for anything you did not damage (except as outlined by the warranty). However, collateral damage caused by continued use or attempts to repair yourself may not be warrantied.
     
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  6. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

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    Ok... good points ... thank you.

    Not messing with it.

    Fender tells me tubes are only covered for 90 days so I guess I'll leave him with the JJ's and let him know all the things I've experienced with it.
     
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  7. retrobob

    retrobob Strat-Talk Member

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    If the tube failed due to a circuit problem it should be replaced as collateral damage and covered under the warrantee.
     
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  8. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    HI-JACK alert

    4 years ago
    Had a popping in my Classic 30
    Took it in.......
    Got it back.......
    Bill $175.00
    (New tube set of all 7)
    I said to shop owner where's my removed tubes
    They were(brand new set of Gold Lions)
    Get them for me please...
    Never did get them...

    Even through my protestations....
    The occasional pop remains...
     
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  9. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

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    you're not filling me with a lot of confidence LOL
     
  10. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    download (1).jpeg
     
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  11. retrobob

    retrobob Strat-Talk Member

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    JMHO, an honest repair shop will give you back any and all damaged/replaced parts. And, in some states it is required by law (check your state for your rights as a consumer).

    While pops and crackles can be an indication of a tube related problem, a bad connection can also do the same, no guarantees. Jacks, potentiometers, solder connections, even cords can cause noise.

    As for tubes, a tube tester will usually give the answers, most tube repair shops have a tube tester (or they should have one). Often it is just one tube that needs replacement. Ask for a tube test verification sheet (even phone pictures of the tube tester's results will work).

    When the bill is questionable ask for a written explanation and authorization of costs (you have the right to limit the repair costs and authorize anything above).

    To the OP, I believe your tech came highly recommended and you will be OK, BUT, to be sure stipulate your expectations in writing on the repair sheet and take a copy. Set a limit on any outside (not covered by warranty) additional cost, tell them you want defective parts not covered by warranty returned and an explanation of diagnostics and parts replaced. No reputable shop will be bothered by it.

    Good luck!
     
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  12. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    It's simple.

    Want to keep your tubes, leave them at home. Put the originals in and take it there. Leave it with him for the warranty work.

    Should not cost you a single cent.
     
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  13. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    [
    an honest repair shop will give you back any and all damaged/replaced parts.
    ]

    Ya think?
    YES!
     
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  14. stratnutz

    stratnutz Senior Stratmaster

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    These machines were everywhere back when tubes were the thing.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    Always got sent to Fred Meyers to test
    TV tubes
    And
    Radio tubes
    When i was a kid

    Parents were just a teensy bit Luddite
    [DAD]
    You like to take stuff apart
    You fix it
     
  16. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I remember going to the store to test TV tubes with my dad. in one of those machines. Found the bad one, pulled a new one from the shelves underneath, and headed to the register.

    The good ol' days.
     
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  17. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Supply the new tubes with the amp, do not install them or power it on. If swapping the old tubes did not cause the problem to follow the tube to the other socket, then the problem is elsewhere in the circuit and you run the risk of damaging the new tube(s).
    A good tech will be able to proceed safely and repair the root cause of the problem without risking the new tubes, and will then be able to properly set the bias for the new tubes.
     
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  18. jball85

    jball85 Strat-O-Master

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    http://www.geofex.com/ampdbug/ampdebug.htm

    Let the amp sit for 30 min, then pull the chassis out and take some pics to post here. Take care not to touch the circuit board while doing so, though with that amp you should be good after the said amount of time. Ideally, pics around the power tube sockets themselves on the circuit board/component side. This may or may not help, but it's worth a shot.

    If you're in North/East Texas I'd tell you to bring it to my shop. However, it seems your in a van down by the river.

    If the tech is a Fender warranty service provider he should be able to fix it no problem, if not replace the amp for you. Bring them the tubes to put in after the issue is found, mark them with a sharpie for id purposes.
     
  19. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

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    That’s the plan. I replied to Fenders support ticket asking about whether the tube replacement is covered or the circuit caused damage to the tube(s) and they said no.

    I thought that was kind of weird but whatever.
     
  20. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist El Salado Guitartist Silver Member

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    Swapping tubes just adds one more variable for the tech to deal with... bad idea. Do they need to be biased? Again, one more variable to deal with.
    In fact, I would not even recommend taking replacement tubes. If I read/understood correctly, this is warranty work, which will cover replacement tubes (if replacements are even necessary).
     
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