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8/21/1999 12:35 PM
Howdy folks. Being on both the manufacturing epair and product development end of a test equipment manufacturer for the last fifteen years, I have found out several facts:  
1. Some inexpensive equipment is NOT designed to be repaired, such as televisions and small appliances like Walkmans. Especially since transistors and IC's took over. They gotta keep the price down, so intelligent product layout ceases to be an issue.  
2. Repairability and testability is usually designed in as an afterthought, if at all. Engineering is concerned that the circuit will work, marketing cares about the appearance, and then the poor mech engineer and PCB designer has to squeeze the entire mess in a too small box, on time and under budget. Repairability is usually a luxury.  
Not everyone operates like this; take a look at how many H-P and Tektronix equipment still works fine thirty years later, also note the quality of the construction and availability of service manuals. Does anyone here have a twenty year old TV??  
Also, have you noticed how new tube amps with PCB's seem to be designed like consumer appliances, like radios and TV's, as far as internal arrangement is concerned? Fenders were wired point to point because that is how they did things in the sixties. The Peavey amps are designed like modern equipment is designed, with all parts on PC boards (including tube sockets)because that is how stuff is designed these days. Maybe to make use of available parts, or to accomodate their assembly equipment? Or maybe because it is the least expensive way?  
IMHO, off the soapbox I go.
8/21/1999 2:21 PM

"Maybe to make use of available parts, or to accomodate their assembly equipment? Or maybe because it is the least expensive way?"
I would say it's all of the above! (ha, ha) Companies such as this are concerned with two things.  
1.) Make is sound good (or exceptable at least depending on the price range)  
2.) Make the profit margins are always favorable. (hence, make sure they are making a lot of money)  
The biggest problems with this sort of thinking is pretty simple. The products "longevity" or "lifespan" is pretty darned limited with this type of thinking in mind when they design amps for the manufacturing line.  
They are more concerend with saving (or making) a few extra cents on each unit rather than thinking "if we spent those few extra cents then perhapes we could offer a better quality product to people that will stand the test of time as opposed to a "disposedable" amp."  
If Peavey hired a few good amp tweakers then perhapes their entire amp line would sound much better. To be honest the best move they ever made was building Eddie's "dream amp" because it at least put them in the "serious about tone" catagory as far as guitarists are concerned and it definately boosted their image in the average guitarist's mind.  
The have mourning "pow wows" where they all pray and they are very "family oriented" in the work place which is great! I think if they listened to some of the repair guys over the course of a two year time frame their company might just be thought of as one of "thee companies" in terms of great amp makers. Let's be honest, to have to remove EVERYTHING in the amp just to replace a pot because the shafts are super cheesy and shear off all to easily is just plain silly.  
(sigh) For what it's worth  
8/21/1999 2:50 PM
Steve A.

    You brought up some great points there! But if I think that if Peavey designed their Classic 30/50 amps with the idea of them being thrown away if they were to develop problems, they should have let their marketing dept know. < g > Their ads sort of imply that since the original Fender tweed amps are still working after 30+ years, you should expect their Classic amps to last just as long. I think one of their ads show a father and son both next to a Classic 30 and you just figure that when the boy grows up, both he and his son will still be playing that same amp... (Or am I reading in something there?) FWIW the latest batch of Classic 50 have switched over to black tolex from tweed.  
    With a lot of consumer electronics, when you return them to the factory for repairs they either replace the entire guts inside, or just send you a new replacement. For them to troubleshoot and repair the pcb would be too expensive.  
Steve Ahola
8/21/1999 2:06 PM

"While it can be a real ego boost to be known as the tech who can fix anything, most banks do not accept boosted egos as legal tender for deposits... So I've decided to leave my Superman costume home when I go to work these days. < g > "
Steve, I only repair amps for friends and I'm trying like hell to stay out of the repair business as a whole but every day it seems I get at least one phone call to fix something because "so and so" said you could fix ANYTHING! (ha, ha) I have no idea where people figured I could fix everything!! (ha, ha)  
While it's a good feeling of self satisfaction and definately makes you feel good about yourself, you are doesn't pay the bills.  
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