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  1. #1
    Top Of The World AtomicPunk91's Avatar
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    08.16.13 @ 10:05 AM
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    Default Fender Blues Deville 4x10 Problem

    Alright, so today I was playing my 1994 Fender Blues Deville 4x10, let it warm up as I always do then started playing at a low volume. I eased the volume up gradually as I played, letting the amp open up. When I got to about 5 1/2 on the volume, the amp got really buzzy sounding and then the sound slowly died. The amp was still getting power, tubes were all lit up, but there was a slight burning smell from the back of the amp. (Blown fuse maybe?)

    I plugged the power section into a speaker cab just to make sure it wasn't my speakers going bad; still no sound. So I think the speakers are fine.

    I am thinking it's either a blown fuse or a bad preamp tube. I have pushed this amp quite a bit, it's my main amp for small gigs right now. But I've never had a problem before with it.

    Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Got a few gigs coming up soon and need this amp!

    Thanks!
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    "Life is like music; sometimes it's the silence in between the notes that is most important..."

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  2. #2
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:16 PM
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    I'll try to help you with a little troubleshooting 101. First, check the fuses. If the fuses are fine, we will have to isolate the problem.

    We want to know if the problem is in the Preamp, or the Power section. Luckily, your amp has an effects loop, which will make this very easy. You will need another amp with an effects loop to find out.

    Turn on both amps, and come from the effects send (preamp out) of the Blues DeVille, into the effects return of the other amp. You will be using the preamp section of the Blues DeVille through the power section of the other amp. Only the controls on the Blues DeVille will work. If you get sound and it works, your preamp section is fine.

    Now, reverse it and come from the effects send of the other amp into the power amp in on the Blues DeVille. Again, only the amp running the preamp section will have the controls active, and you will be running only the power section of the Blues DeVille. If you get sound, and everything works, your power section is fine.

    Once you isolate it down to preamp or power section, try replacing the tubes. If, after the tubes have been replaced, you still get no results, take it to a repair shop.

    Could be any number of things, but it sounds to me like the power section. Either a tube or the output transformer. If it is the output transformer, get a good one to replace it. May be time to consider upgrading the transformers.
    "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
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicPunk91 View Post
    Alright, so today I was playing my 1994 Fender Blues Deville 4x10, let it warm up as I always do then started playing at a low volume. I eased the volume up gradually as I played, letting the amp open up. When I got to about 5 1/2 on the volume, the amp got really buzzy sounding and then the sound slowly died. The amp was still getting power, tubes were all lit up, but there was a slight burning smell from the back of the amp. (Blown fuse maybe?)

    I plugged the power section into a speaker cab just to make sure it wasn't my speakers going bad; still no sound. So I think the speakers are fine.

    I am thinking it's either a blown fuse or a bad preamp tube. I have pushed this amp quite a bit, it's my main amp for small gigs right now. But I've never had a problem before with it.

    Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Got a few gigs coming up soon and need this amp!

    Thanks!
    Since the lights and tube heaters are still on, you likely did not blow a fuse, but with the power off and unplugged, check all fuses and see if one is fried.

    Try plugging your guitar into the effects return jack. Make sure to be careful -- it might be SUPER LOUD. See if your amp plays clean guitar sound through that. If so, you have a problem with the preamp tubes.

    If you've never replaced the tubes since 1994, REPLACE ALL OF THEM. It's long overdue. If the power tubes are less than 4-5 years old, and the Preamp tubes are less than 2-3 years old, then the normal thing to do would be to troubleshoot it with 1 new preamp tube. Get a replacement 12AX7 (I believe that is what is used in your amp -- but check yourself) and with the power off and the amp unplugged, swap in that new tube for the first preamp tube, and then try firing up and playing the amp normally. Repeat the process until the amp starts working again. When you've found and replaced the bad tube by the process of elimination, the amp should function again just like it used to with the new tube in place of the bad one.

    It's relatively uncommon for 2 preamp tubes to go bad at exactly the same time, so that method often will solve the problem.


    However, the one thing I'm worrying about is that you smelled burning.

    When power tubes fail, or are going to fail, they can start to smell pretty bad -- just like the odor of regular burning electronics. I have not ever had a preamp tube that failed and smoked itself externally or smelled burnt. The other possibility is that your amp DID in fact burn up an internal component, in which case you would need to take it to a tech IMMEDIATELY before powering it up again.

    Because I can't examine the amp, it's hard to give you definite advice as to what to do. If you are already familiar with tube amp building and advanced repair, let me know and I can tell you some further things to check. If not, BE CAREFUL, and just take it to a tech. Tube amps are very, very, very dangerous things when you start opening them up. There are voltages exceeding 500V, and giant capacitors which can hold a lethal charge for DAYS after the amp is unplugged! I'm not trying to lecture here or be condescending -- it's just that I never know how familiar people on the internet are with tube electronics, and I don't want anyone to try to do something they aren't sure of and get zapped! So this is my general caution that I put on all amp repair posts.

    I'm concerned that your power tube(s) failed, and possibly fried a few components in the process, which is a pretty common thing. If that is the case, and you buy new power tubes and stick them in there, they might immediately fry too.

    If you are absolutely positive that the burning smell came from a power tube (you might see mini-cracks in the glass, or an abnormal burned spot on the glass, or even one that's completely hazed over on the inside of the glass, etc.), you can simply replace them. However, that will likely require a rebias as well, and so you may need to take it to a tech to do that anyway.

    As a general rule, whenever someone tells me anything about smelling burning, I'd recommend taking it to a tech to have a look over.
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 04.09.12 at 02:01 PM.

  4. #4
    Top Of The World AtomicPunk91's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick replies guys! It helped a lot.

    Fuses are fine. Plugged the preamp out into another amp and it worked fine. So I guess my initial thought about one of those tubes going bad was wrong.

    Did the reverse into the power section and I get sound and it works, but its thin and quiet. I don't have any extra 6L6's laying around so I'm going to have to order some. It has Groove Tubes in it now; I have had this amp only a couple months, so I don't know how new these are but they're definitely replacements. Probably should have replaced them all when I got it, but I was lazy and have gigged it without problem so I let it slip.

    Really hope it's just the power tubes and not a transformer.
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  5. #5
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    Probably a power tube. Mr. J makes some great points about being extremely careful when dealing with the lethal voltages in these amps. I would just take it into a repair shop to have the power tubes replaced, since you will probably want to have it re-biased anyway. Just ask them to check the board and see if it all looks okay.

    One thing that comes to mind is the tube socket. could be a cold solder joint in the tube socket on one of your power tubes. That would explain the smell. It could be arcing across the crack in the solder. Just too many possibilities to risk burning up a brand new set of tubes.
    "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.

  6. #6
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    When it comes to that series of Fender amps, one of the most common problems I've seen relates to the phase inverter (the last preamp tube before the power tubes). The plate resistors used are only 1/4 watt, and they should be at least double that...they tend to burn up and take the tube out with them. No phase inverter (driver), no sound. That would be the first thing I'd check. If that turns out to be the case, remember to replace the resistors with ones rated for at least 1/2 watt, lest you find yourself in the same boat again.

    Since the preamp out is BEFORE that tube, and it worked fine, you can eliminate the preamp section as the culprit. In my experience, a blown power tube usually blows the fuse as well, which only increases the odds of the problem being in the phase inverter.

  7. #7
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Probably a power tube. Mr. J makes some great points about being extremely careful when dealing with the lethal voltages in these amps. I would just take it into a repair shop to have the power tubes replaced, since you will probably want to have it re-biased anyway. Just ask them to check the board and see if it all looks okay.

    One thing that comes to mind is the tube socket. could be a cold solder joint in the tube socket on one of your power tubes. That would explain the smell. It could be arcing across the crack in the solder. Just too many possibilities to risk burning up a brand new set of tubes.
    Question for you as I had this happen on an old Marshall I was gigging with reqularily and using a Hotplate, and I had a burning smell too. I had a tube socket that went bad. It actually looked ok from the outside, but when I opened up the amp, the area where the terminals exit was all crumbled and burned, and there was chunks of the socket in the chassis. Ordered a new socket hoping that was the only problem and luckily it was. My tech who walked me through it said it could be from a poor/(sloppy?) solder joint causing some arcing, and when I started pushing the amp with the Hotplate it finally gave up. It can live for quite a while but once it reaches a point where it can't take any more, it'll just start cooking, char and fall apart.
    It's only happened once to me but it sounds similar. Hopefully it's as simple as this was to fix.

  8. #8
    Top Of The World AtomicPunk91's Avatar
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    Wanted to give an update. I appreciate the help.

    I replaced the power tubes and still no sound. Took it to a tech yesterday and I should find out Tuesday-Wednesday what the problem is.

    Also, it's an '93 model. All the pots and the circuit board are dated to '93. From what I gather they introduced the Blues Deville 4x10 in '93.

    There she is,
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    "Life is like music; sometimes it's the silence in between the notes that is most important..."

    "I'd rather be a failure with my own music, than a success off of someone else's music..." - Edward Van Halen

 

 

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