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  1. #1
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    Default Amp help: little volume on a 5150iii

    Hey guys,

    So my boss just let me pick out a new amp for us to use, so I grabbed us a 5150iii on ebay.

    Amp came in today, looked great, but the volume on the amp would barely go above that of a whisper.

    Plugged the preamp out in the return of our old amp, and this jerry-rigged set up will work for now. Anybody have any ideas as to what the problem is?

    Hopefully it's just a power tube, or something cheap to fix?

    Thanks, guys!

  2. #2
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    Fucking Ebay!

    It is probably a tube, but it could be your output transformer.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  3. #3
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    Eek, I hope it's not the transformer.

    And it wasn't a bad seller on eBay. I'm sure the damage happened during shipping. Guy had tons of great feedback, good eBayer.

  4. #4
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    So, I just fired it back up, and the amp worked properly for about 2 minutes. Then it went back to doing the same thing it did last night.

    Loose power amp tube?

  5. #5
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    I have a 5150 Combo with the same problem -- it is way too quiet. I have not had a whole lot of time to work on it, but I know that the power tubes are NOT the problem with mine -- because I tested it with a good set. Once I have time to troubleshoot my amp some more, I'll get back to you and tell you what what was wrong with it, just in case your 5150 III has a similar problem.

    For now, I would recommend making sure the power tube sockets are secure, and try (carefully) removing ALL of the power tubes and putting them back in a few times, just to make sure they are making contact, etc. If that doesn't fix it, try a set of power tubes you know is good in the amp, and see if that is the problem. BTW, I have had tubes get internally damaged in shipping.

    Hope you can fix that amp!!

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    UPDATE:

    I worked on my 5150 Combo, and it turns out that it had a loose preamp tube socket/connector and the preamp tubes were starting to go bad (not microphonic, just bad). The tube with the bad socket was the tube that brings the signal back up to power after it runs through the tone stack (I think it is labeled V3 in the 5150 head schematic) so that explains why the amp was way too quiet, but had decent tone.

    With yours, does the preamp seem to not quite have enough gain? I figure your power tubes are bad, but if replacing them does nothing, it's something to try.

  7. #7
    Little Dreamer bonedish's Avatar
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    The 5150 III head I have owned for a year is technically my 2nd head. The first one had a huge volume drop and lack of gain on channel 2 only. I tinkered with the preamp tubes and found that this was the source of the problem as well. In any case, I took mine back to GC and had the salesman order me another. The one I have now worked perfectly the first time and still works great. I have had a preamp tube go out on me completely, and I got absolutely no sound/signal. Luckily for me, I had a couple of spare preamp tubes and once I figured out which one went out, I was back in business. I don't know if other tube amps react this way when a preamp tube gives out, but you will get no signal at all (at least IME) if one goes out in the 5150 III.

    Just a "fair warning" to all of my fellow 5150 III owners!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonedish View Post
    I have had a preamp tube go out on me completely, and I got absolutely no sound/signal. Luckily for me, I had a couple of spare preamp tubes and once I figured out which one went out, I was back in business. I don't know if other tube amps react this way when a preamp tube gives out, but you will get no signal at all (at least IME) if one goes out in the 5150 III.

    Just a "fair warning" to all of my fellow 5150 III owners!
    That will happen with just about any amp if a preamp tube goes completely, because the signal cannot pass through the bad tube. Kinda like getting no light from a bad bulb...

  9. #9
    Little Dreamer bonedish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    That will happen with just about any amp if a preamp tube goes completely, because the signal cannot pass through the bad tube. Kinda like getting no light from a bad bulb...
    Cool, that's what I kinda figured but wasn't 100% sure about. Thanks for posting that!

  10. #10
    Little Dreamer bonedish's Avatar
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    Well, funny thing happened yesterday. After almost a year my 5153 head is in the repair shop. IDK wat happened, but when I flipped it on, the volume on all 3 channels were way down. I had to turn the volume up to 10 o'clock just to get sound to come through my speakers. The gain was really awful sounding on all 3 channels, splatty and just nasty sounding (not the way it normally sounds). I also started smelling something burning, so I turned off the amp and took it to my local "Fender/EVH authorized" repair person. Says it should take about a couple of weeks.

    The service tech also told me that many of the 5153s that came out needed a circuit upgrade of some sort? Any of you 5153 owners ever experience these kinds of problems w/ your 5153???


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonedish View Post

    The service tech also told me that many of the 5153s that came out needed a circuit upgrade of some sort? Any of you 5153 owners ever experience these kinds of problems w/ your 5153???

    That is terrifying to think about -- I hope they got it right the first time... or fix all the current ones out there FOR FREE ...

  12. #12
    Little Dreamer bonedish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    That is terrifying to think about -- I hope they got it right the first time... or fix all the current ones out there FOR FREE ...
    These were my thoughts. I never even received notification that mine needed an "upgrade". The techs at the shop were talking about it like it was old news.

 

 

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