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Ampeg repair in Houston?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by microknee, Apr 19, 2009.


  1. microknee

    microknee

    Aug 28, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Any SVT-CL users in the Houston area know a good technician? I love my Ampeg rig and can't settle for anything else. I need a tech I can rely on, like a good family physician.

    My SVT-CL ('06) has been having problems lately, with the signal cutting out intermittently. It sounds kind of like a bad cable or loose jack, but I've ruled both of those scenarios out already. The last guy I took it to fixed a couple other things but left this issue unresolved, and told me he doesn't want to see Ampegs anymore... something to do with unpaid warranty service.

    I put in new power and driver tubes about a year ago, new preamp tubes last Fall. I use it a lot (2 to 3 gigs a week avg), so maybe it's time for retubing again, but I've got to be sure there's nothing else wrong with it.
     
  2. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    I'm not plugged-into the repair options in Houston......

    But "cutting out" is not a tube issue, usually.

    if you can describe what it does a bit more, maybe we can point you at a solution.

    Do any lights come on? There was an issue with older ones at one time, but if yours is under warranty it is way newer than those.

    If you continue to have issues, and cannot get local service, LS Electronics in St Louis is stuffed full of ex-Ampeg folks, including the owner, and should be able to deal with anything. They are a Loud Technologies warranty station also......
     
  3. jastacey

    jastacey Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    You might want to take your amp to Reid Walker Services, in the Heights, Telephone # is 713-789-5296 and talk to John ...he'll set you up .... I've used these folks for years and they do high quality work
     
  4. microknee

    microknee

    Aug 28, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Hi Jerrold--thanks a lot for your reply.

    Well here's the whole history of the amp in a nutshell...

    April 2006 - bought amp new, everything works great

    November 2007 - amp starts losing punch, have to turn the bass & master up to compensate

    January 2008 - replaced all the power and driver tubes, amp performance back to normal

    Summer 2008 - I knock the gain pot off while loading in for a gig. Argh!

    November 2008 - replaced the preamp tubes after my bandmate who runs sound complained that the preamp line-out seemed weaker than it should. This seemed to fix that problem, although I clumsily drop a screw into the amp that I can't figure out how to remove. Double arrrgh.

    December 2008 - amp starts cutting in and out with a sort of crackling noise, unpredictably. The sort of noise you would expect from a loose connection in an input jack, only I can't find any evidence that this is the case--both jacks yield the same result. I take the amp in for service.

    Jan 2009 - I get the amp back. The tech had retrieved the screw and replaced the gain pot, but said he couldn't find anything else wrong with the amp. I take it out for a gig that night and have to stop using it after one set, as I notice it sounds underpowered and one set of bias lights aren't coming on. Call the tech about it, but he gives me this rap about unpaid warranty service and how he can't service Ampegs anymore. Weak.

    April 2009 - I decide to give the amp another whirl at home one day, and this time I get the flashing red/green light on the front, bias lights aren't coming on at all. So I start switching out the tubes, and finally narrow it down to the 12AX7 in the driver section -- replacing that fixes the flashing light problem, and both sets of bias lights come back on. Amp sounds great! Play a whole gig and several long rehearsals with it, no problems...

    ...until this past Friday, when that same cutting-out problem that started in Dec 2008 comes back again, right in the middle of a show. No flashing lights or bias problems apparent. Also I now notice that when it starts cutting out, gently knocking or jostling the amp seems to have an effect, as if something is loose in there.

    It seems to me my DIY ineptitude may have gotten me into this mess, but it doesn't help that I can't find anyone here who wants to service the poor thing!
     
  5. microknee

    microknee

    Aug 28, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Thanks! Although I could have sworn Reid Walker was one of the places that told me they don't really do Ampeg anymore. I'll try again ask for John like you say. Should I say I was referred by you?
     
  6. jastacey

    jastacey Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    I know that they Don't do Ampeg warrenty work ... Loud discontinued there warranty repair network ...you have to send it in, now a days ...from what I understand .... if they won't work on it try Allen's in the Height's
     
  7. microknee

    microknee

    Aug 28, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Allen's... is that Hoss Wendler's place? Power Audio?
     
  8. erik281

    erik281

    Oct 27, 2008
    TX
    there is also copperhead music in cypress. they are liscenced to work on ampeg i do believe. i was thinking about taking my ampeg svt4 up there to get it checked out.

    I can tell you to not to take anything to speaker surgeon or danny d's, their amp repair is laughable at best.
     
  9. microknee

    microknee

    Aug 28, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Thanks Erik! I did actually call Copperhead a few months ago. They were willing to have a look at it, but warned me that they have a $90 bench fee... meaning even if they look at it and determine they can't do anything, I still owe them 90 bucks. I was a little put off by that, but I have no idea how reasonable or unreasonable that is.
     
  10. erik281

    erik281

    Oct 27, 2008
    TX
    if they applied that $90 or even a portion of it to the service that happened afterwards if you decided to get it fixed by them i wouldn't find it outrageous. But whats $90 more to get you $1000 head fixed.
    but if you find someone that fixes your head lemme know through a PM or something becuase there are no good amp techs on my side of town.
     
  11. ZonGuy

    ZonGuy

    Sep 2, 2007
    I think Hoss is still there, but semi-retired. Allens has handled my amp/speaker needs for 40 years, but seems like it is taking longer to get turnaround. Plus on my last job - fix a buzz, they charged me $50, did nothing, and the buzz is still there.

    I guess every business has a life cycle.
     
  12. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    I know people that had their tube amps repaired by Allen Speaker Reconing, and they apparently know what they are doing. But if you take in a fancy Bogner or Soldano with a lot of features, they will moan to you about how the amps should've stayed simple.
     
  13. jastacey

    jastacey Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    Allen's is the Power Audio Service ....Hoss has retired ...although he does show up one or twice every few weeks ....I don't know if they charge a bench fee ...but Reid charges $50.00 ....and I've used shops that have charged as high as $100.00 ...but all of them will apply that, to the labor part of the bill, if you let them fix it .... really ...now a days ...you can't get anyone to work on your stuff for less that $100.00 in labor charges ... I don't work for free and I don't expect them to work for free ...and like the previous poster said what $90.00-$150.00, in labor charges, to get your $1,300.00+ amp fixed, I think is reasonable, I've been paying that and then some, to keep my old junk running ...... I've heard the same thing about those shops south of town also. ... I also heard that the Parker Music tech is pretty good, but I haven't had them fix anything ...I usually stick with one tech to work on my stuff, to build a some sense of loyallity
     
  14. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    that I woulda recommended esp Allens', used them for speaker and amp repair for many years but not recently.

    Don't know if they do warranty work or Ampeg work at all but after even Hoss could not fix my GK1001RBI shutting down issue. I decided on a whim to try the repair area at Evans Music City on Westhiemer a few years ago. Don't really know what he found wrong or how he fixed it but that cat has had my GK going now for severa years with no issues.

    That was several years ago and have not been in that store since so can't say what's going on there these days. Don't know if that helps or not. Good luck.
     
  15. microknee

    microknee

    Aug 28, 2007
    Houston, TX
    My experience with them is pretty much the same... several times now we've taken something to be fixed and they wind up telling us they can't find anything wrong with it... meanwhile the problem is still there.
     
  16. microknee

    microknee

    Aug 28, 2007
    Houston, TX
    You and Erik have a good point... maybe the bench fee is worth it.

    Parker Music (Mars Repair) is the last place I took my amp, and I'll never be going back. That's the place that told me they can't fix Ampeg anymore right after I got mine back from them. Frankly their work was kind of sloppy as well. They replaced a gain pot for me, but the knob itself was busted when I got it back, and I discovered the midrange knob had mysteriously been replaced as well. No explanation was offered. Fortunately I still had the original gain knob so my amp is still in one piece... no thanks to them.
     
  17. microknee

    microknee

    Aug 28, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Thanks Ernie -- I think I called Evans and they told me they don't do Ampeg... I could be remembering wrong. Probably worth a call.
     
  18. Call Rockin Robin and see if Scott Waugh is still doing their vintage repair.I think Robin has two guys doing repair,but I believe Scott is doing all the vintage stuff.

    Not that an '06 is vintage but it is an SVTcl.


    You could also call Orq and see who he uses............
    L
     
  19. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    I had a good outcome last year with Mike Fratus --

    http://www.tubemodules.com/

    He did a nice job repairing a Groove Tubes bass preamp for me.
     
  20. texasgreg

    texasgreg

    Oct 29, 2007
    Austintacious
    Once upon a time, maybe 6 or 7 years ago, Bart was sending the vintage stuff out. I don't recall where or to whom he sent it, but they did a great job on several tube amps (bass and guitar) for $$$. But it was worth it to get it done right. If they don't do Ampeg, surely Bart or one of his folks would know where to go.
     

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