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So I took my Ampeg V4 to a tube specialist, but he refused to service it...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by yoss, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. yoss


    Oct 1, 2003
    ...because it was too heavy.

    I thought he was joking too, but soon realized he was serious. This guy specializes in tube amps, and has tube amps and combos galore tagged for service or pickup that I'm sure weigh almost the same or more than my V4, but can't fix mine.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's not like it's an SVT or something. If that's the case, then friggin' put on your website that all amps over 40lbs will be denied service. That way clueless folks like me don't take off work and drive for 20 minutes thinking that a shop dedicated to tube amps would service old Ampegs. Then drive for another 30 minutes to the recommended guy that will (then another 45 minutes back to work).
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    That's curious - usually someone who is specializing in tube equipment knows about the inherent weight. There's not too much light tube gear floating around!

    At the same time, if he has some sort of medical condition or back problem and works alone, he has to set limitations. Those limitations can severely cut down on his possible business, but I guess that's up to him. Still, it's a pity you had to go all that way just to be denied service!
  3. Thangfish

    Thangfish ...overly qualified for janitorical deployment...

    Post his name and location.
  4. In MY experience, those guys fix mostly guitar amps... those are light compared with our beloved bass tube amps... But I could be plain wrong.
  5. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    He may have refused servicing your amp for some other
    reason, and just used the weight issue as a false excuse.
  6. The man was old?
  7. yoss


    Oct 1, 2003
    He's old-er, 50's probably. And he probably gets enough business from guitarists that he can pick and choose. He just took one look at it and goes nope, too heavy. Sounded like that's just his standard policy rather something to do with the amp itself. I don't necessarily blame him, but looking at a bunch of combos sitting there with 12's and what not, and the V4 being a guitar amp nontheless, and him not putting that on his website if that's indeed his policy, just irks me. If you only service to a certain weight point, then that's an important piece of info that should be shared as it seems that many tube amps, combo's, etc. weigh in the 40+lb range.
  8. guttermouth

    guttermouth Commercial User

    Dec 21, 2006
    milan tennessee
    Owner: Guttermouth electronics

    + 1
    a lot of techs are scared of old ampegs due to the high voltages in them.
    i had one blow the filter caps on my bench and would have blinded me if i would have been standing over it.
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge

    That and the complexity of the amps - and really - the weight as well - those are heavey suckers and if the guy can't handle the weight better he doesn't risk dropping it. What some amp techs seem to mean by 'I service tube amps' is that they work on the millions of Fender tube amps out there ...
  10. Exactly my point...

    There's nothing wrong in avoiding certain amps, but it is the way you avoid it what makes it good or bad.
  11. still-as stated- HE should say this to save ppl travelling all the way there to only be disappointed.
  12. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I have a vt-22 (same amp with a reverb and 2x12's) and in my online research, have found out about something called the "death cap."

    There seem to be pretty simple fixes for it, though.
  13. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    Sorry to hear you had to do all that driving. That was actually the guy that I was going to recommend to you or have him recommend someone else if he couldn't help you. I emailed him first, though, to see if he'd work on it. Here's his reply:

    "THANKS for your recommendation. A fellow did show-up with a V-4 today- and a box of tubes. I really couldn't take-it-in as I DON'T DO V4's, V22's, SVT's. HUH?- Well, I can't lift the chassis to work on it without hurting myself. (I've hurt myself for the last time trying to work these.).

    Also it's a money-hole. Though it was a great amp, every example "bought-for-a-good-price" needs about $500 in caps/tubes/work at a minimum. They take the 7591A but can be converted to the EL34. FORGET 6L6 AS THE PLATE VOLTAGE APPROACHES 700VDC PLUS THE AC COMPONET MAKES A 6L6 IMPOSSIBLE. 7591A's are available but very high dollar and "chancey".

    The guy does great work and he's a stand-up guy. (and yes, he's in his mid-50's) It's too bad that that he couldn't help you and you didn't know that before driving over there. I always call around before making the trip because I've had the exact same thing happen to me in the past.

    Glad you found someone who would help you out.
  14. Joth


    Apr 22, 2007
    This guy is a hack, sounds like another 'Fender and Marshall' off-the-shelf-parts restoration whiz.
    Heres several points he is wrong about
    a) The V-series use 7027A, not 7591
    b) better quality 6L6GC (the STRs and their derivatives)are equal in specification to the 7027A
    c) 6L6GC are up to the task of the 560v on the plates of the V-series (not exactly 700V), EL34 screens (rated 400v) cannot take the ~540v screen voltage of the V-series, ive been there and done that, they sound GREAT, but the screens want to melt. To convert to EL34s you need to jumper pins 1&8 together on the powertube sockets, but you cannot install the stock 7027s back in with this jumper in place, you can however, install 6L6 and 6550 with these jumpers in place.
    The only juggling act you have to play with the V series is the arrangement of filter capacitors, you need three 50uf 500v sections over on the output tranny side to filter preamp sections (two 50uf sections in the case of a V4B, because no filter is needed for a reverb tube), and you need two 'strings' of filters in pairs for the plates and screens, at least two 50uf (300v or higher) in series for the screens, and two 100uf (300v or higher) for the plates, and these can be made up of a combination of clamped can capacitors and axial types inside the chassis.
    Installing a bias control pot in these amps is straightforward.
    A 6550 conversion is great in these amps, the necessary mod is the removal of the stock tube base clamps and the installation of the marshall style spring clamps.

    SVTs are a different story with a different list of tech notes.
  15. +1
  16. yoss


    Oct 1, 2003
    Well, I'm glad someone got a better explanation for the refusal to service, although I have no quarrel with any reason he gives, it's just that I think if blanket brands or models are avoided all the time, or weights, and so on, that it needs to be put on his website.

    But, I'm sounding redundant so enough of that subject. He did give me a recommendation and that guy will hopefully work out fine. He looked at the tubes and said that all the pre-amp tubes looked good (Magnavox I think) and that all but one power tube looked really good (3 Sylvania 7027's looking good and one Magnavox looking a bit worn). I pray I don't end up spending a fortune, but I got the amp for $325 so I can afford to put a few bucks into it without feeling too bummed.
  17. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Hm. Strange to hear about that guy, sorry. The word hack never seemed to come to mind any time I have spoken to him, but I am not an amp tech either, so just took everything at face value.
  18. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    My first response to the guy when he said something about weight would have been, "What's that got to do with it?" I coudn't have left the place without knowing.

    Not a tube amp guy but what little exposure I've had to it I've gotten the impression that you may as well include guitar in speaking of tube amp repair and they typically won't even mess with bass.

    I wouldn't think they'd be that different but the previous posts indicate otherwise and apparently is reflective.
  19. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    I thought this shop owner deserved a chance to reply to this mater
    so I contacted him and was requested to post his reply that I've pasted below:


    Thanks for the heads-up. Most distressing... I was talking with a fellow about a Gibson that uses the 7591A's, at the time, and typed that rather than the 7027A's- now I'm a "hack". Oh well...

    I'm REALLY SORRY that fellow was offended. I've sent folks to Bill before and all has been cool, but appears the miles were just too much. I'm very sorry.
    He's right I'll make a What I Don't Fix page stating that "If I can't lift the chassis I won't accept it". I'm 55 but after a heart attack last November I realized that I would have to slow-up. I'll make such a page in the near future.

    Really, I do tube guitar amps, especially old Fenders, old Gibsons. I do a bit of old tube Hi-Fi amps, Do take a bit of solid-state crap but it's a crap-shoot now that RoHS is in effect. (Parts are harder to find every day...)


  20. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    Sheesh, guys! I'm sorry I stirred all this up! I meant no harm to anyone, nor any disrespect to anyone's skills or business practices. I was just trying to help everyone out. I apologize to everyone involved.

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