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LucSulla

Budda Amp Has Bit the Shed

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So my old Budda SD 18 has an issue.  I just retubed it, and it sounded great.  The next day, I turned it on, and there is almost no signal.  You have to crank it up to get much of anything.  It sounds like the preamp section is fine, but something is amiss with the power side I think.  The signal you can here sounds fine, but there just isn't much of it. 

I tried rolling back in the old power tubes, and nothing.  Switched V1 with a different tube, and nothing.  Bought a new rectified tube, and nothing.  So, at this point, I'm wondering if the output tranny may be shot. 

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Posted (edited)

Dumb question but I’ll ask it. Check the signal chain. Plug in direct w different cables?  Active pups battery check. I think you’d of noticed a tranny burning out. I’ve had speakers cook and experienced similar things. 

Edited by Dutchman

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I'm running straight in, and switching cables makes no difference. 

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Found the problem... rolled more preamp tubes and found that V2 - brand damned new - had cracked.  I guess that's why you have to check all of them and not just V1. 

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Time to open it up and check voltages. I’m not familiar w that amp but if it has an effects loop check that too. If you’re not skilled w tube amps it’d be best to take it too a tech. There’s voltages that will kill. 

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Awesome!! 

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The old Mesa Boogie “manual” has a pretty good troubleshooting guide.  Assumes most problems are simple, like tubes.  If you think you need to open it up to check voltages, be sure you know what you are doing. Luckily, your fix was simple.

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3 hours ago, LucSulla said:

Found the problem... rolled more preamp tubes and found that V2 - brand damned new - had cracked.  I guess that's why you have to check all of them and not just V1. 

I smoked a brand new V2 in my SD30. Lasted about an hour. I maybe had an hour one it and the next day it was gone. LOL 

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11 hours ago, bubs_42 said:

smoked a brand new V2 in my SD30. Lasted about an hour. I maybe had an hour one it and the next day it was gone. LOL 

Just curious what brand of tubes you guys had problems with?  I’ve had some recent troubles with new JJ’s not testing well. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dutchman said:

Just curious what brand of tubes you guys had problems with?  I’ve had some recent troubles with new JJ’s not testing well. 

JJ 12ax7MG purchased from Euro Tubes.

Edited by bubs_42

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7 hours ago, Dutchman said:

Just curious what brand of tubes you guys had problems with?  I’ve had some recent troubles with new JJ’s not testing well. 

JJs from Tube Depot.  I've been buying from TD for years; they're just right up the road from me.  I think it had more to do with JJ than them. 

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I think I’m going to stay away from the JJ 12a series for a bit. I’ve had a few new ones test low or bad lately too. 

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I had problems with brand new JJ el84's last year.  It's not uncommon for brand new tubes to bite the dust very quickly.  I always buy new production from sellers who will stand behind the tubes.

As far as 12ax7's there are two that I think sound really good and are affordable.  The Tung Sol reissue and the Chinese 12ax7B.  The chinese ones are under $10 at Antique Electronic Supply.

But you cannot use the tungsol on any position that is a cathode follower or it will fail very quickly.  The Chinese ones will do well in a socket that is a cathode follower.  You can search about your amp and try to find out if you have a cathode follower in the circuit.  Both Voxes and Marshalls have cathode followers. So you can't use certain preamp tubes that have a spiral filament.

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Poof, another JJ Pre Gone! I don't think i've had two fail this close together EVER. Could be just random luck, but both have fail at startup coming off of standby. Two different amps. 

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I’ve had great luck with Mesa tubes.  They really test the power tubes. What they ship amps with and warranty. Down side - you get what they have, not much variety if you don’t like the sound in your amp.

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Ruby, TAD, and other rebranders also test their tubes, though I don't know if their testing is as rigorous as the Mesa Boogie process.

For my MESA amps, I usually just use the Mesa tubes, especially since for EL34s, Mesa has the best prices around for the out of production SED EL34s.

For preamp tubes though, they are just tested JJ tubes, which is good, I guess, but JJ tubes as of late just have not been as reliable as other brands. There are many great tubes coming out of the Shuguang factory in China, and the Reflektor Plant in Saratov Russia.

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You couldn't get me to you Mesa Tubes if you gave them to me. The 6v6's are horrible and the 12ax7's weren't much better. Really "cools" down the amp you put them in. 

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I don’t mind the Mesa el84s in my TA15...

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30 minutes ago, bubs_42 said:

You couldn't get me to you Mesa Tubes if you gave them to me. The 6v6's are horrible and the 12ax7's weren't much better. Really "cools" down the amp you put them in. 

It all depends on what rating they are, and what amp you put them in. The 6V6's are JJ 6V6s, which many do not feel sound like a "real" 6v6. The 12AX7's are also JJs currently, so it's really a case of needing to know what the tubes really are. I don't recommend their preamp tubes to anyone, or the 5881 tubes, which are really 6P3S tubes, not true 5881s. The Rectifiers they offer are all overpriced, but their 6L6GC and EL34 offerings are nice.

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What's recommended nowadays for a good, reliable, easily available EL84 tube pair?  I use 18-watt cathode-biased Marshall clones, with those I don't need to bother getting them in quad sets, unless they're cheaper to buy that way.

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1 hour ago, crunchee said:

What's recommended nowadays for a good, reliable, easily available EL84 tube pair?  I use 18-watt cathode-biased Marshall clones, with those I don't need to bother getting them in quad sets, unless they're cheaper to buy that way.

What do you use currently? Most of what's out there are the Sovtek EL84s or the JJ EL84s. The Electro Harmonix are also nice.

The one thing to look out for is tube diameter. Some EL84 amps have the socket buried inside the chassis, like with a preamp tube. Some tubes are too wide to fit.

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11 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

What do you use currently? Most of what's out there are the Sovtek EL84s or the JJ EL84s. The Electro Harmonix are also nice.

The one thing to look out for is tube diameter. Some EL84 amps have the socket buried inside the chassis, like with a preamp tube. Some tubes are too wide to fit.

The ones in my VHT 18 Standard heads are the stock unknown brand Chinese EL84s that the amps came with, the amps were assembled/handwired at the VHT shop in Brisbane, CA (SF area), but all the parts look to me to probably be Chinese-made.  They sound good to my ears, regardless.  The Mojotone Marshall 18-watt clone head that I bought from HFC member Fractal came with JJs, which I believe are what Mojotone supplied with the head kit.  I've had the Mojotone head for at least three years, and Fractal probably had it that long too, so the JJs are probably older production.  Sounds really good, too!  I don't need EL84 tubes at this time as my amps are doing fine, but it never hurts to find out in advance.

Both my VHT and Mojotone 18-watt Marshall clone heads have all the tube sockets mounted directly to the chassis (the way I like 'em, and the way they should be, IMO), and are NOT the types with the tube sockets sunk inside the chassis, and/or physically attached to the circuit board.  I'm not a fan of those types, and I've been lucky enough to avoid getting them.

Edited by crunchee

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12 hours ago, crunchee said:

The ones in my VHT 18 Standard heads are the stock unknown brand Chinese EL84s that the amps came with, the amps were assembled/handwired at the VHT shop in Brisbane, CA (SF area), but all the parts look to me to probably be Chinese-made.  They sound good to my ears, regardless.  The Mojotone Marshall 18-watt clone head that I bought from HFC member Fractal came with JJs, which I believe are what Mojotone supplied with the head kit.  I've had the Mojotone head for at least three years, and Fractal probably had it that long too, so the JJs are probably older production.  Sounds really good, too!  I don't need EL84 tubes at this time as my amps are doing fine, but it never hurts to find out in advance.

I'm not sure that the Shuguang factory in China makes any EL84 / 6BQ5 type tubes. They might be making some for Tube Amp Doctor, but I can't find Chinese EL84s from any of the major suppliers.  Unbranded EL84s are usually Russian of some type, or possibly JJ. You can tell by the plate structure.

I have 3 amps with EL84s, most came with Russian tubes, but the Mesa Maverick has JJ's.

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