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Thread: UGH- amp failure on a gig!

  1. #1
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    UGH- amp failure on a gig!

    I suppose it had to happen to me sooner or later with the amount of gigs I have played over the past few years.

    On our gig today the amp seemed to intermittently lose power/volume and when it was at normal power the amp was distorting unpleasantly. To compensate I jabbed all my chords and immediately muted them to try to mask the distortion so the audience wouldn't be able to tell. Luckily I am back line and the horns are playing melody all the time.

    The amp limped its way to the end of the set but it started happening early in the gig so I was really concerned that the thing would completely fail.

    This is the first problem I have had with the Peavey Classic 30, which has been reliable up until now. If it is the power tubes, clearly the amp is not at fault because they do wear out. Of course it will need to be repaired/ retubed or whatever but now I am asking if I should consider buying a 2nd modern amp as a backup or fix this one and get something else. We have gigs all next weekend so I do have time to react. I also know I do not really want to be gigging with one of my amps from the late 50's or early 60's. As much as I like them, any very old amp could fail for any reason and generally their output is relatively small for their size.

    dB

  2. #2
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    If I gigged I would have a back up--so I say yes--get a back up.

    I had this happen with my old bass--the sound conked out (Turned out to to be the wires from the jack.)
    It was before a service at church--so I didn't play that day & borrowed a bass for the next service while mine was being fixed.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I'm going to fiddle with it tonight. I suspect bad power tubes...

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    I'm going to fiddle with it tonight. I suspect bad power tubes...
    Well the easier it is to remedy, the better.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to bring this in for service- I fiddled with the tubes and I am still hearing things I do not like. I've owned the amp for 5+ years and it should be looked at anyway.

  6. #6
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    I'd probably get the Peavey fixed since you like the way it sounds and you've had pretty good service from it over the last few years.

    However, I think it makes a lot of sense to have a backup if you do have a failure. There are a few options.....maybe that pedal-size Traynor Quarter-Horse amp that KC's got, or even a used Fender Rumble head like the one I have....5.5 lb. and it'll fit in the storage pocket of a rectangular Fender guitar case.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

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    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Two things I do not like about Classic 30s are speaker related. One is they are 16 ohm, the other is that they are wired directly from the head. No jack and no plug. (Or at least this is the case with my 90s model.) If the speaker was 8 ohms, and there was a jack and plug, it would be easy to use the speaker with another head or use the head with another cabinet. So again, IF this was the case, I would recommend the amps that Spell mentioned.
    Since you cannot use the C30's speaker with another head, I would recommend a solid state amp as backup. I have a Bandit as a backup for when my tube amps are acting up. It never lets me down, but no, it does not sound like my tube amps. You should be able to find a used Bandit for about $150-$200.

    This is the model I have, although a friend put it in a different cabinet:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Peavey-Bandi...EAAOSwzaJX4eKM

    Here is a smaller one. It will be interesting to see how much it will go for:
    Peavey Bandit 65 65 Watt Guitar Amp | eBay

    Alternatively, have you ever tried a Roland Blues Cube? It will be a lot more money than a used amp, but I think it might give you the sound you want, without the tubes:
    Roland - Blues Cube Stage | Guitar Amplifier

    "That Pedal Show" used one in their most recent show. (Although they are always going for a bluesy-distorted tone.)


    But yeah - get your C30 fixed!
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  8. #8
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    One of the nice things about solid state is that they're more forgiving of impedance mismatches. Unlike a tube amp, a high impedance speaker load on a solid state is fine electronically, although the solid state amp will produce less power. I'm not sure if that would rule out the Traynor, because I think it's rated at 35 watts, but a Rumble 150 that's 160 watts at 4 ohms will still put out about 40 watts coupled with a 16 ohm speaker. I didn't realize the Peavey's used a 16 ohm speaker though. That would certainly limit the choice of amps. There's also a Fender Jazzmaster amp that's a mini with high wattage capability if a person wanted something more sophisticated than a Rumble. My idea of a backup amp is something that would fit in a guitar case or the bag you carry cables in, rather than a complete free-standing amplifier.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  9. #9
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Thank you for the suggestions!

    If I buy a backup amp, for certain it would be a new amp because I need rock solid dependability. We are out gigging too often for me to be trying to cut corners to save money and my tolerance for faults in the amp is zero. I was horribly embarrassed yesterday with that amp distorting- it was totally inappropriate to the style of music we were playing. Probably the audience didn't notice (the rest of the band didn't) but I definitely did. The intermittent sagging volume had me at my wits end as well. Bear in mind that in a pinch if I can't find a drummer I am the only rhythm section player and I am announcing too. If my amp goes down hard the horns will not have chords behind them to improvise over and they will have no rhythm to mark time. Luckily I held it together yesterday and I didn't panic, and simply apologized to the audience that I was having some equipment problems and to please bear with me. We did have a drummer yesterday too and like I said the amp limped to the finish so it wasn't a catastrophic failure- but it could have been!

    I am not even sure if Traynor sells amps in the US- I have never actually seen one. I would certainly try one out if I came across it. The Roland Cube I would also try- they are probably easier to follow but might be overkill for me. I like a really small amp that has adequate power and I don't need any effects at all. The Cubes look kind of big- but I can check them out. I've never really looked into the idea of a mini head and cab- that could be interesting because I do have other head amps that I could use the cab for- my only other cab is a 212 which is too big and too heavy.

    BTW you are right that the speaker choice of the Peavey is surprising. Blue Marvel @ 16 ohms- not the best choice. I have never had problems with it but I have never gotten the amp past 4/12- once you go higher it gets way too loud. I can usually fill out a 150 seat room with the amp at 3.0- 3.5 with my guitar's master volume rolled back to 7. Don't forget a pure hollowbody has much larger output than your solidbodies. I could easily imagine that the Blue Marvel falls to pieces as it distorts and gets over 6/12.

  10. #10
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    One of the nice things about solid state is that they're more forgiving of impedance mismatches...
    Good point about the solid state amp's being more forgiving… And some tube amps are made to accept different homage speakers, although they are usually marked as such when that is the case.

    So the ohmage of the C30's speaker may not be a problem. But the C30's speaker is wired right in to the chassis, so dB would have get an amp tech to put a jack on his amp's chassis, and a plug on the speaker wire, if he wanted to be able to use a spare head. If he did so, he could keep a Quarter-Horse or similar little amp on the C30's inside floor for emergencies.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

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