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trying to fix a solid state vs. tube

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ben R, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. Ben R

    Ben R

    Jun 13, 2009
    I was thinking about buying a broken tube head and giving it a shot trying to fix it myself. I have little knowledge of electronics other that how to solder and basic understanding of schematics and symbols for resitors, diodes, etc... However, i was just wondering are tube heads, especially svt classics or V4's, somewhat simple pieces of equipment to work on compared to solid state heads? i mean they do only have like 6 knobs and two switches compared to all the other stuff seen like on a solid state heads.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Absolutely they are. However, they do require specialized skill and you can't just open them up and start ripping.
  3. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    +1. But if the problem is a bad transformer, the parts may be expensive...or not available.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If they were just "simple" then you wouldn't find a broken one. They are costly to work on. They have high voltage components which cost more than what a SS would use. And you need some degree of knowledge of working high voltage, especially with older amps, tube or SS, that are not up to safety standards required these days.
  5. I recommend you get stuck in to building a distortion pedal or booster like the ehx LPB1 first to give you an idea of how amplifier circuits work. - then get a thorough understanding of tools and safety requirements involved in jumping to tubes. The actual circuits are much simpler than SS amps but voltages are much higher.
  6. dj150888


    Feb 25, 2008
    Belfast, Ireland
    And how exactly are you going to work out whats wrong with the amp with such a basic knowledge of electronics without highly specialised equipment?
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    ....going in over your head......
  8. Very costly- yes- Almost to the point of buying a new one depending on the amp you are working on.

    I do this as a hobby and before you know it all those bad and crappy little parts start to total up hundreds of dollars. It is different if you are doing it for someone but be ready to lay some out if this is just for you.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    OTOH, I just dropped $600 into my old SVT and it was totally worth it.
  10. Ben R

    Ben R

    Jun 13, 2009
    Ha, figured it would probably be over my head. When you look at the schematics to these things they seem kinda like, maybe i could follow these, buy tubes/parts, and fix this broken svt classic on ebay...
  11. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Think about it! If fixing a tube amp is that simple, why are people selling them broken??? The voltages inside tube amps are lethal. Touch the wrong thing and you won't be posting anymore!