Amp Maintenance DIY

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jibudo, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. Jibudo


    Mar 13, 2010
    Porto, Portugal
    Hello there,

    Do you guys and gals, do your regular amplifier maintenance by yourself? If so, what do you do and how often?

    Thank You!
  2. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    In 26 years of playing/gigging hundreds of shows I’ve never once had to do any maintenance on any amp I’ve ever owned. Trace Elliot, Carvin, Ampeg, MarkBass, Acoustic, Mesa… the Acoustic especially. Guitar Center version not the original. Heavy 200 watt 115 combo. It’s got easily a hundred loud classic rock gigs with never an issue.

    I’m willing to bet I’m lucky compared to most.
    nbsipics likes this.
  3. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    On amps that have fans, I open them up every couple of years and clean the fan of the gathered dust.
    My Tonehammer has had this treatment about five years after purchase, because the fan started making noise.

    Apart from such minor cosmetic things, I do not tinker with bits of an amp that I do not understand 100%.
    MAXSPINRUN, petergales and DJ Bebop like this.
  4. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    I drain and refill the transformer oil every 50,000 quarter-notes or so... more often if I'm playing a lot of heavy metal. I usually rotate the casters at the same time, whether they need it or not. Hope this helps. :D
    clarke46, MAXSPINRUN, Poke and 24 others like this.
  5. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    Yes, some class AB amps needs some adjustment.
    There is a bias like tubes amps have and it needs to be adjusted.

    Plus regular maintenance like removing dust, tighten every thing to avoid rattling... Common sense.
  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Unless you know exactly what you are doing and have the tools to do this, leave it alone or learn how to do it right.

    I see a fair amount of damage from folks trying to do this themselves following abysmal internet advice and even even worse YouTube videos, ending up with expensive repairs (and even unrepairable or uneconomical to repair amps)

    For example, the guy who blew compressed air into the fan, spun it way up and damaged the fan control circuit. Or, the guy vacuuming dust off a PCB damaging a surface mount component cap he hit with the end of the hose.
    nbsipics, clarke46, ddnidd1 and 9 others like this.
  7. Not only this, but the fan can fly apart and cause injury if spun up to too high a speed with compressed air.

    Vacuum cleaners are great electrostatic generators and can damage solid state components on PC boards.
  8. Do you use pcb oil? (pretty cool bass)
    Rich Fiscus and Redbrangus like this.
  9. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I don’t...
  10. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    All my amps have survived specifically because I don't do this.
  11. Dominic DeCosa

    Dominic DeCosa Habitual Line-Stepper Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Winter Park, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    Only if there’s something wrong. I’ve replaced bad fuses, pots, transistors before, but there’s not much to maintain if it works.
  12. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    I’ve never opened up a working amp save to change a preamp tube and lo! I have never had an amp fail. Ever.

    They’re like computers (in a lot of ways, these days). The way to get the longest amount of life out of your computer is never open it, never move it, never turn it off and keep it at least at desk height off the floor in a clean environment. Some of these things are not practical for MI amps but you get the idea; the less you poke at it, the better.
  13. JohnnyBottom

    JohnnyBottom Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    petergales, agedhorse and digmeout like this.
  14. What he said ^^^
    While others may differ, I am pretty sure amps have no "user serviceable parts inside".
    agedhorse likes this.
  15. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Yes. Whenever it's needed
  16. CAUTION! TO AVOID ELECTRIC SHOCK.....:nailbiting:
    Bass4Brkfast and agedhorse like this.
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Very rarely.

    I repair medical equipment for a living. But I'm intimately familiar with many of the circuits. The others I have access to tech support and info not available end users. In other words, when I get in over my head, I cam get mote info than the people who operate the equipment. As such, nurses should not be repairing medical equipment.

    The same goes for bass players who aren't electronics techs....and sometimes even those who are.

    I have swapped tubes (with matched sets), swapped fuses, replaced two-wire power cables, and other basic stuff like that.

    I was happy to send my Mesa Walkabout back to Mesa for servicing. Again, those guys know those circuits, and have bins of parts in the shop that I don’t have access to. There is a lot of piece of mind that comes from knowing that factory techs went through the whole amp and sent it back ready to go another several hundred gigs.
    MAXSPINRUN and svlilioukalani like this.
  18. I run mine through the dishwasher occasionally nothing too crazy
  19. I have actually wondered why dust filters aren't a feature on the higher end amps, good computers have them and they can't be more than a few bucks to implement. Getting users to clean them would be a different story
    31HZ likes this.
  20. svlilioukalani

    svlilioukalani Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Seattle, Wa
    As a nurse by day I know not to screw with what is inside medical equipment. As a bass player I know not to screw with the guts of my amp. That’s why we have AgedHorse here anyway!

    I have changed out a tube or two. But that’s were I stop. No need for that anymore; cause of AgedHorse, (Andy). The man who designed my current Mesa Amps. No tubes in my new Mesa amps.
    MAXSPINRUN, two fingers and agedhorse like this.
  21. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 22, 2021

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