Peavey VB-2 Help - Couple Tubes Went Nuclear

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Arizona Jones, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Getting ready for a big gig opening for Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones at Pappy & Harriet's out by Joshua Tree this Thursday.

    Got out my fairly new - bought new here a couple months back - Peavey VB-2 head and wiped it down. Fired it up, no issues, played it for a bit, maybe ten minutes, and then the sound dropped and it went all distorted. I threw it into stand-by, thinking the bass output jack or the cord had gone sideways. Took it out of standby and it was the same. It was on a small cab, so I bent down to look, and a couple of the tube were glowing red, the entire tube. Shut it down, unplugged it. I could smell a faint "somethings burning" smell. Pulled the chassis out of the case and I don't see anything obviously wrong.

    What do you think went wrong? Tubes go bad?

    Any advise appreciated, as I don't have much tube experience, thanks.

    Real bummer, right before this gig. Looks like the 400RB will come through in a pinch.
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Sounds like a bias failure - get it to the shop. Nothing you can fix. Tube amps are kinda like boats - they require regular infusions of cash to keep goin' :( .
    lesliegl and Arizona Jones like this.
  3. That would be called "red plating". Bad news as the tubes are most likely bad and continuing to power the amp has likely burned up the screen resistors. Use your backup and get the amp professionally serviced (expect to buy output tubes but request the good tubes be returned to you).
    Arizona Jones likes this.
  4. Thank you, gentlemen, for your quick replies.

    I will in fact seek out a tube amp tech and spend the money to get it fixed.
  5. mntngrown

    mntngrown Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    The lost Sierra
    Bummer! Mine was reliable, and I hope same for my recent buyer. Great amps. Cool that you could open for those top notch brothers. Every time I hear "King of California", on my local alternative radio station, I reflect on what a great song writer Dave is. No back line at this gig? Just curious since I never open for anyone famous.
  6. Pretty sure that Dave and The Guilty Ones are bringing their road gear.

    I've been advise that I can use their cab, but not the head. So, it looks like I'll be taking my GK400RB, and my GB Uber 410 (just in case). Bummer is right. I just bought this head, here, a little while back. It was new, without warranty. I think it was left over Peavey stock. It hasn't seen much use yet, just two shows and a little practice. I guess I should have had it check out to start with.

    Pretty big deal for us, as we are all big fans of the Blasters and Dave Alvin.
  7. If it was indeed "NEW" not used Peavey will take care of you. The warrantee on new equipment is there to help with components that unexpectedly fail early in their "lifetimes". Tubes are a different story, new production tubes can fail without warning and the warrantee is short. You might drop a line to @BbbyBld or wait to see if he responds to the flagging.
  8. Following up on this one -

    The amp has been at a "well-respected" shop in LA for a couple weeks.

    The lead tech called me today and said that both of the internal fuses were blown and that it will need a new matched set of power tubes.

    He had never worked on one of these and wanted to know the history, because he was wondering why one of the fuses had already been replaced.

    I advised him that the amp was advertised as being "new" when I bought it, but that these amps had a fuse problem, which is why one of the internal fuses had been replaced.

    He didn't really have any idea why it blew up. He had received a schematic and some replacement fuses from Peavey. Said he'll have it ready next week. Three month warranty.

    Hope this corrects whatever the issue was, as I would like to rock this thing and have it somewhat stable.
  9. spankdaplank


    Jan 19, 2003
    As long as you are replacing power tubes, may I suggest a set of EHX 6ca7 big bottle tubes. At the suggestion of Bobby Baldwin, the amp's designer, I put a set in my VB-3. It definitely allowed the amp to show it's full potential. Tone and power wise I think you will be amazed. Well worth the extra cost.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
    Ghostinthemach and 99Z3 like this.
  10. Thanks for the input, but I don't want to derail the techs plans at this point, as a few too many days have passed since our discussion. I'm going to let him do what he thinks is best. I'm just hoping this service makes the amp reliable. I'll keep the "big bottles" in mind though, thanks.

    Has your VB-3 been reliable?
  11. spankdaplank


    Jan 19, 2003
    Yeah, absolutely reliable. I bought it used from GC six years ago, I was intrigued by the concept of replacing the heavy iron power transformer with the SMPS power section. After getting it I wasn't that thrilled with the tone of it. I never was a fan of EL34 power tubes for bass, but I thought that with eight of them it might be okay. After a discussion with the amp's designer, TB member Bobby Baldwin, he convinced to install the EHX 6ca7's. I wanted to use 6550's but he nixed that idea for technical reasons.
    The upgrade was pretty profound. The amp went from thin, midrangy,and fairly gutless to big cajones, grunting tube monster I was hoping for. I got the feeling that these were the tubes the amp was designed for but not used to keep the msrp down.
    99Z3 likes this.
  12. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    I once had a VB-2 and installed those big bottles ( 6CA7 ), it changed to feel/tone of the amp noticeably, I currently have an old Traynor YBA-3, that is running a quad set of them, and again it changed the feel/tone of the amp ... I acquired the tubes from, they will test and match and burn them in at the plate voltages, the runs at

    Here's a view of the amp, i acquired it off of E-bay when arrived, the case was busted up, made a new one, resolved the defective fuse issue
    4423474869_f83e454994_b.jpg P1010538 by Jessica Stacey, on Flickr
    99Z3 likes this.
  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    congrats on playing at pappys that's awesome, wish i could have helped with this thread, but the only amps of that wattage i have experience with are the mesa and the traynor, good luck