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Ampeg tech in Illinois?


 
4/7/2000 8:16 PM
Mark Chatterton
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Ampeg tech in Illinois?
Hi everybody. Can somebody give a reference to a good or great Ampeg tech anywhere or at least in Illinois? I love to work on Fenders and Marshalls, but I am intimidated by Ampegs, especially my friend's SVT. It powers up, but when playing it, it starts to make loud crunchy (as in bad) sounds like a speaker is popping.  
 
I'm located near Peoria, IL, but my friend wants his SVT up and going.  
 
Thanks in Advance,  
 
Mark C
 
4/7/2000 10:29 PM
Carl Z
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Mark;  
 
I'm located in Princeton about 50 miles north of Peoria straight up rt 29.  
 
You're going to be hard pressed to find somebody that's any good at working on Ampegs. They just don't show up often and the hand wired stuff is a nightmare to work on. I got hit with several porta-flex amps and a few Gemini's a while back. The next time one of these come through I may charge double my normal rate! HAHA  
 
Just out of curiosity, did your friend take this amp to Elmore's for service about a year ago? I seem to remember they had one in that was giving their tech fits.  
 
Regards;  
Carl Z  
Summit Amplifiers  
http://www.geocities.com/summitamps
 
4/8/2000 12:07 AM
Rob B.
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Re: Problematic Ampegs
Just what is it about Ampegs that makes them so hard to work on? I have heard this several times from amp techs from Cleveland OH to SC. How about some discussion and a list of problem with specific models and solutions.
 
4/8/2000 3:42 AM
Benjamin
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Rob,  
 
I just finished working on an SVT bass amp that was about 100 lb. and took two guys to lift it up on the bench! The biggest problem with servicing SVT's is some of the layout issues regarding Ampegs. On the SVT series they chose to enclose the preamp and power section in two separate enclosures with a fixed conduit running between them. This poses a problem because the the conduit and the connector become brittle and they are very fragile. Both preamp and power section must be connected together to run the amp..... so both chassis have to be pulled and laid out on the bench to service either section.  
Other issues are the non standard tube complements and the layouts can be very intimidating the first time you open one up. I think they are built well, but require a just little more TLC than other standard tube amps.  
 
Just my 2 cents,  
Benjamin
 
4/8/2000 4:35 PM
Carl Z
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The newer stuff isn't all that bad actually. Pretty standard PCB construction. The hand wired stuff is a mess!  
 
First off everything is screwed in with those damn clutch head screws. You need a special driver for them. If you try to use a phillips you'll probably wind up rounding out the screw.  
 
Second, the Gemini is the worst offender here, is that the chassis is damn near impossible to get out of the enclosure. The screws are in goofy locations that a 5 yr old couldn't fit his hands. Took me an hour to drop the chassis on one of these!  
 
Third, once you get in there the wiring is usually a rats nest. There's no layout in any way shape or form. The wire's are just stuffed in and usually glued down with what resembles contact cement to keep them from moving around. They're usually the same color too so you really can't tell which wires go to where or from where. You wind up having to trace the circuit.  
 
Fourth, the parts are generally crammed in pretty tight too! The parts are just flung in any old way. This is definetly intentionally designed into the layout because all of this stuff runs to pads on the boards. You'll wind up having a really hard time getting an iron into some of the corners without burning the insulation off of some wire, so you need to be really careful.  
 
Last but not least, they use oddball tubes that are impossible to get hold of these days. They were oddballs in the 60's but then you could at least get hold of them. Now....good luck!  
 
All of the above things I mentioned slow you down to a crawl. It takes at least twice as long to do a simple repair on an ampeg as it would a Marshall or Fender.  
 
Regards;  
Carl Z
 
4/8/2000 8:10 PM
eric
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now come on dont be so harsh. it sounds like you just dont like them in general. but they really arent that bad, i will agree on the tubes, but that was only with two diff tube types and only the 7868 is the bitch to replace. the other tube is easily subsituted with a 6v6 (cant remember what tube it was though)
 
4/9/2000 1:49 AM
Carl Z
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Hey, I do like the amps! The reverb rocket sounds incredible. I just don't like working on them, and I'm not alone on this point either. For what it's worth amps like the B-25 are a LOT easer to work on.  
 
Regards;  
Carl Z
 
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