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Info@mansfieldeuitars.com 732-738-7776

Congratulations! By owning a Mansfield Guitars Bias Probe you're not at the mercy of a tech anymore and you am now in control of your tone. Our probes measure directly in DC Milliamps so you will need to set your multimeter to the DCA mode (DC Amps, NOT VOLTS!) and if the meter is not auto sensing then select the 200mA scale.
Insert the black plug from the probe into the "Common" input and the red plug into the positive input which is usually marked mA.

DO NOT CHANGE THE FUNCTION SWITCH ON YOUR MULTIMETER WHILE IT IS HOOKED UP TO THE AMP! This will blow the fuse in the meter and you will need to replace it! Make sure the meter is set properly and the probe is plugged into the meter before you plug the probe into your amp.
Remove one of your power tubes (6V6, 6L6, EL34, E34L, KT77, KT66 or KT88) and plug the probe in. Place the tube into the top of the probe. If you had to remove the amp from the chassis then make sure that you have plugged the speaker back in. You must have a speaker load on the amp when you are adjusting the bias! Turn on the meter and then turn on the amp leaving it in the standby mode for about a minute, then switch to the play mode. Your meter will read out the plate current in milliamps. Turn the trim pot to adjust the plate current to the desired setting. Wait about 5 to 10 minutes with the amp in the play mode and do a final bias adjustment aer the tubes are hot. Congratulations again! You have just biased your amp!

If you measure the DC plate voltage from pin #3 of any power tube to ground then you can use the formula below to calculate the current draw. (Remember to switch the mode on your multimeter to measure de volts) The formula for biasing is the plate dissipation of the tube (25watts for 6L6's, EL34's, E34L's or KT77's or for 6V6's use 14 watts and for KT88's use 35 watts) divided by the plate voltage (letsuse 480 for this example) times will just get you out of crossover distortion and you can go as high as percent but you will wear out the tubes quicker!
.7

.85

.0520

.7

.036

or 36 milliamps or 52 milliamps X Feel free to experiment with different settings to find the sweet spot. Always keep a close eye on the tubes to make surer the are not red plating. If they are then your bias is set to hot and damage to the tubes will result. 70% is usually hot enough and we never recommend going over 85%. 25 divided by 480
= =

Most 50 and 100 watt amps using these tubes will have between 450 to 480 plate volts so even if you do not measure your plate voltage you will find that a setting between 35 to 40mA will be acceptable.

Bias Notes Torres Engineering


If you have a TORRES BULLET PROOF KIT as part of your project, install it first. Follow the enclosed BULLET PROOF INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS and install the whole kit in the amp. a You will need a VOM meter to read Bias voltages. I use a digital VOM (actually, "needle" VOM is just fine (andalso sale" item from Radio Shack) but an older frequently allows you to do some tricks in PERFECT GUITAR #4 that the digital VOM can't do.)
"on

All of these instructions are for.Fender and Marshall type amps. A complete course covering all the other variations (such Ampegs and Gibsons) would be impossible to prepare. as There are complete charts and lots more information in my book, "Inside Tube Amps" available fromTorres Engineering and many book stores. OK, THE EASY WAY Marshall has it over on Find4he Bias trim pot. It is the only trim pot in the amp (usually.) down" pot mounted to the left hand, upper section of the circuit board. A Fender has an the chassis over behind the speed and intensity controls, or behind the master volume. In any case, if the amp's bias can be adjusted there will be a bias pot somewhere. It is connected to a "bias minimum) a reversed diode and reversed electrolytic capacitor to supply" that includes
"upside

provide the negative voltage the bias requires. If you have a Digital VOM you can hook it up normally. But if you have an analog "needle" VOM you need to hook it up BACKWARDS when reading Bias (redlead to ground.) Most analog meters can't display negative voltage. Plug the amp in, turn it on be sure the speaker is plugged in. No Guitar or any kind of input.
-

(at

You will be working around real high, deadly voltages, and with the amp ON!. If you are not experienced with electronics and don't know proper safety precautions you SHOULD NOT BE DOING THIS. Get someone who knows how to do it for you. It isn't worth $20 bucks to get injured, burned or killed. TORRES ENGINEERING is not responsible for any injury or damage due to following any instructions we provide. These instructions are provided with the understanding that you know enough about high voltage electronics to avoid injury. Set up your VOM meter ( on the 100 volts scale) with clips to read the bias on pin 5 of matter which one.) one of the tube sockets (doesn't Watch the bias go up on the meter. It takes a Marshall A LONG TIME to come up to correct bias (upto 3 minutes!.) Once you see this happen you won't start playing as soon as it come on anymore, it is a while before it is RIGHT. Set the bias with the trim pot to the voltages on the chart. There are voltage ranges and recommended voltages for most of the amps we deal

Amp Bias adjustment

Page 1

with. Read

the voltage at pin 5 of a power tube.


Tube Range Recommended

Amplifier

MARSHALLS and others with the


same tubes
-36 -45 -42

100 Watt

EL34
-34

to
-36, -37

50 Watt
100 watt 50 watt

EL34
-44

to 40
-52

6550
-38

to 55
-44, -46

6550

to 48
-

FENDERS and others with the same tubes


-48 -53 -52

100 Watt with Reverb 100 Watt Showman, or no reverb amp Pre CBS 4 X 10" Concert. 40 w Old Tweed 4 X 10" Bassman Bassman Head (black silver) or Deville and Hotrod Amps Bandmaster head silver) (black,

6L6
-48

to
-53 -52

6L6
-44

to
-50 -48

6L6

(2)
-46 -45

to
-50 -48

6L6, 5881 6L6 60W


-46

to
-49 -48

to
-48

6L6 40 W
-48

to 50
-53 -52

CBS Bandmaster Reverb Deluxe Reverb

6L6
-32

to
-35

(20 some

watts)

6V6

to 38
-

Hint. As the amp is coming up to voltage, you can lower the trim pot if it goes too far. For right example, if it goes on up to or more, and is still rising, turn the trim pot down a little away. No reason to send the tubes a higher bias is you can help it.
*
-50

Now, take a look at the tubes. Are they glowing Red Hot? If so, That is severe underbias, turn it off and find out what is wrong. Most likely the bias circuit has gotten completely disconnected. If they are normal and running just a bit too hot to touch (ifthey are cold it is overbiased, set it correctly,) you are ready to start testing. Set your amp up for a real clean sound and your guitar for a fat, full range tone. Yes, I know you don't always play real clean, but we are setting bias, not checking distortion levels, don't cheat!
Page 2

Amp Bias adjustment

Play a few chords and notes and vary the bias up and down a couple of volts each way to in the cleanest, tightest sound. If it is fuzzy, dirty or low on power it is overbiased. If the tune tubes are red hot, and/or the amp hums, it is under biased. You are looking for a clean, clear tone with "perfect bass" and crisp highs. Take note to be sure it is still within the correct range and maybe attach a note to the inside of the amp to indicate your settings. No matter how much technical equipment, scopes, meters, etc. are used, I still always check bias by ear. We are musicians, not technicians, the sound is the most important. Once the amp is biased on the one tube you are working with, check the others and determine if they are also within the correct range. They should be, or you have some bad tubes (atleast mismatched tubes.) If they are new and from a good company, the variation won't be more than a couple of volts from highest to lowest. The new parts included in the Bullet Proof Kit (ifyou have one) will help. Play a little while with the amp still out of the cabinet. Turn it up, get some distortion, it out. Listen and Watch the tubes as you test. If something goes wrong, shut it off right check away and check it out. After 1/2 to 1 hour of play testing, check the bias again and reset if necessary. Tubes need a little break in to learn just what you expect from them. I always recommend changing the "driver tube," the last 12AX7, or 12AT7 next to the first power tube, whenever I replace the power tubes. The driver works real hard and needs to be changed frequently for the amp to keep up to full power. More Detail and Precision Some people like to work at a higher level of detail, and may have more electronic skills and knowledge to apply to this project. Here are some more "wrinkles" to work with. After setting bias in the method above, and testing the amp as suggested, we can install a "Bias Check" resistor on each tube to allow you to make quick, accurate checks of the bias. This is only for amps with adjustable bias. 70's on up Fenders often have a bias" system that does not actually adjust the bias. You can't do it with these amps. See the drawing for instructions on converting these amps to an adjustable bias (absolutely necessary when changing to EL34 tubes.) Pin 8 of the power tubes is soldered to ground. Clip the wire at the tube pin, and insert an accurate 1 ohm, 2 watt resistor between pin 8 and ground for each tube. Put one end of the resistor on pin 8 and solder the other end to the clipped wire, still attached to the amp chassis. (You have to do this to all of the tubes or none!) Now you can check the bias in millivolts of current across these resistors. This is far more accurate and exact, and accounts for more variations. An amp with EL34's or 6CA7's, should read between 25 and 30 millivolts across the resistor, with optimum at about 28. 6550's and KT88's read a bit higher at 28 to 35 millivolts. An amp with 6L6's should read between 28 and 34 millivolts across the resistor. Optimum is at 28. An amp with 6V6's (two them) should read between 18 and 22 millivolts (19 of "cathode optimum.) Champ amps are biased" and already have a resistor at pin 8. Leave them as they are.
"balance

Amp Bias adjustment

Page 3

They can be set, but it is a more complex project. Again, You have to look at the tubes, and make a sound check Check all the tubes and use the highest one as your reference. Put the ones that read low in the middle and the ones that read high on the outside. With good Matched tubes they should all be within 20% of each other. If they are WAY OFF, you have some sort of problem, weak tubes usually or a fault in the bias supply. If one side is off and the other side is fine, check to see that the two bias resistors are the correct values and not shorted out. I recommend checking and setting bias by both methods AND sound testing to get the amp perfectly in tune. You can vary the bias (within correct ranges of course) to get different the sounds or a different level of "crunch." Always test voltages again after making "sound adjustments." Take your time, check several times, switch tubes around, install a BULLET PROOF and keep good tubes in your amp and it will give KIT, you great sound for years and years.

Copyright Dan Torres 1993 Bias Balance (Fenders)

I
Tap
DRAWING BV DAN TORRES

on

the pot

Adustable

Bias

'

Torres Engineering 1630 Palm Ave San Mateo CA 94402

Amp Bias adjustment

Page 4

General Concerns
round the dawnof modern musical time (the fifties), when electronic devices were so simple even your mother could fix a TV set, there was a great wealth of knowledgeabout the parts" inside home electronic devices.Unfortunately,the inner workings of today's solid-state amps and digital FX E processorsare incomprehensible to all but the few rocket scientistswho designand fixthem. This is a real shame, becauseto know howsomething works is to know howto get the most out of it. Lucky for us, we guitaristsstill use a good bit of ancient technology that even a mother could understand.

"user-serviceable

There are two main partsto everyamp: the preamp, where thetone is created and shaped, and the power amp, where the volume comes from.These are two very distinct parts, so much so that on many schematics (circuit aps) they're shown on sepam rate pages.Your stereo may consist of separate preu amp and power amp modules; nderstandthis and you're there. Because thev don't handlethe intense highvoltage and current that power amps do, tube preamps don't require as much maintenance. As you'll see in the next chapter, preamp maintenance is clear-cut and simple. Power amps. on the other hand, require faithful onitoringand care to alwavsbe their best. m

Manyof the earlysolid-stateamps had their transistors mountedin sockets, justliketubes. On the other hand, most modern solid-state amps don't actually but use single (discrete) transistors, instead use integrated circuits (ICs) and microchips. This makes them virtually impossible to fixor even troubleshoot at home.Fortunately,thereare some thingsyou can do to at leasteliminate somepossibilities,and we'll concentrate on these.

When solid-state ( amps were Brst introduced in a bigwas backin the mid sixties, they were heraldedas nothing less than the salvationof mankind. Solid-state amps didn't require upkeep, co and dik distort hke those nasty old

'transistor")

"Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear..."

IC the chips, but I can't C rf anything inside is broken

'em

Tube Amps
Even in their most complex forms, tube amps are simple devices. omake a fully T featured, tube amp, the designerstrings togethera bunchof common, simple circuits. Mostof these circuits were perfected years ago; the real trick in designing an amp is assemblingthe puzzleand gettingall the circuits to work well together. If you can visualize a blocksstrung together in a fashion group of building similar to the way modern EFX string togethdevices y er blocksof EFX, ou've got the picture.
"complex"

!!!!! WANNING !!!!!


!
_ _ _

For thosewho don'tpay attention,poke around where they don't belong,don't get enough sleep, drink alcohol, or take drugs or cold w medicines hile working on any amp, tube or transistor, the possibilityof deathawaits! All amps contain lethalvoltages; certain comThe ponents can store a lethalcharge for days! purpose of thisbookis to show you techniques and procedures you can perform safelyby yourself.Allof theinstructions hereinare clear and to the point;if youwant to infer any other meanings or venture beyondthe scope of this book,you're on your own!

Salvation by silicon? ! Early solid-state amps like the Vox Super Beatle, Baklwin Exterminator, Kustom 200, and Rickenbacker Transonic were expensive and big. There were a couple of reasons for this:They were beinghand-wired liketube amps, becausethis was the waythe amp factories ere set up; the transistors w of the time were expensive; and trannyamps were likefuzzand repeat pernew and hadlotsof features cussion. Becauseof this, they were placed at the top of theline. It didn'ttakelongfor guitarists to rebel against the clinical tones producedby early trannystui. They started screaming for the return of their beloved tubes. The era of big solid-stateamps was gonein a flash.Inevitably, hough,as tubesgot harder to find t and therefore more expensive, amp companies turned theirR&Deffortsto makingthe now-inexpenw sive transistors ork for guitars. Theresult is today's largecrop of economically priced,reasonablesounda ing, fully featured, nd reliablesolid-stateamps.

ou

Like, tubular
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CONCERNS

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Tube Amps
Tubes
havebeen ubes. These enigmatic devices purged from virtually all modern electronics except guitar amps and certain high-endaudio components. Though a matter of some Patent Officedebate,it is generally valve," or vacuum tube, held that the invented by Lee de Forest in 1907. He wasn't was really interested in amplifiers at the start; he was for looking a betterwayof receivingradio signals.In 1911 de Forest was granted a patent for a tube amplifier. Others, such as Sir John Fleming and Edwin Armstrong, also deservemuch credit, and were instrumental in advancingtubetechnology.
s

FilAMENT PIATE FIIAMENT "I,,HODEE

the plate, and the plate current increases. When it's made more negative, it slows the electrons down, and the plate current decreases. (The grid can becorne negativethat the tube actuallyshuts off.) so
GRID PIATE

"thermionic

o
PIATE

un
PIATE 6^T"E FllAMENT H INDIRECTLYEATED

CATHODE

FIIAMENT H DIRECTLY FATED

FIIAMENT I.EADS

Inside tube diodes (Basic Electronics)

Triode construction

(Basic Electronics)

t By thelateforties, ubeswere everywhere:in radios, 2 TVs (already0 years old), computers (the30-ton industrial machinENIAC was completed in ery,... but science marched on. The inventionof the cool-running and service-free transfer resistor, or b transistor, y a teamof physicistsat Bell Telephone of Laboratories in 1948 spelled the beginning the end of tubesin the real world. (It wouldn't be till the mid seventiesthat theywere trulygone.) But we guitarists hangon stubbornlyuntil this day.
'45),

by number of electrons emitted is determined the and heatertemperature remains constant regardless t T of other factors. he electronshat are freedfromthe cathode bytheheaterforma cloud, or space charge. Electrons have a negativecharge.This cloud would justhangtherelikea subatomic fog,except for...
The ACwall current alternates betweenpositive (+) and negative(-) (60timesa second, or Hertz (Hz], in the US; 50 Hz in most other places). The plate + alternates between and along with the wall curThe plate is made of metals that don't emit rent. electrons at normal operating temperatures. Therefore, when the plate is positive, the electrons around the cathode are attracted to it, and current flows. When the plate is negative, the rectifier for a sixtiethof a second, and there is no W flow. hatyou wind up with is DC,or a current that T in flows only one direction. hisnewlyrectifiedelectricity is whisked away into a circuit to do some work, and that working flowof electrons is called
-

that make tubes bad to Why?The very heads" are what we love:tubesdistort,they are unpredictable under stress, their operating characteristics change under different conditions,... Factis, we lovethe sound of tubesso much we'll put up with and even romanticize their very real drawbacks: ubes need expensive power and t t output transformerso do their job, the tubes themselves are expensiveand need to be replaced often, t they get very hot, they're fragile,here are only a few still making them,... How do thesemetalfactories filledglass bottlesweavetheir magic spell?It's actuallyvery simple"spec

"limitations"

around in a tube, There are lot of electrons floating waiting to make a lot of noise. The grid's voltage is 5 very lowand the plate's is very high(e.g., 00VDC). Because the little gridvoltage is controllingthe very big plate current, the signal (yourguitar) is now amplified!Most modern guitar amps use dual triand odes (twotriodesin each glass), like 12AX7s 12AT7s,in their preamps. Output tubes are most like oftenpentodes beampentodes, 6L6, EL34, or EL84, KT88, 6550, 5881,... A pentode is a more elaborate formof tube that adds a couple more electrodes to increase efficiency.

Troubleshooting
Because of the delicate nature of the tubes themmakeup of tube amp chasselvesand the heavv-dutv sis, it's easy to locateany number of problems in a tube faulty amp.

"sleeps"

theplatecurrent
This describeshowa half-waverectifier works. All rectifiers, like modern amps use fidl-wave GZ34/5AR4,SU4, 5Y3, or solid-state in These are simply two half-wavers one glass; they work in conjunction with a more sophisticated power transformerto create a greater amount of usable current.
"bridges."

Atube that's in good working order usually has a clean and clear look to it.
.

To understand tube operation, you need to knowa

fewbasicsfirst:

Electricityis made up of electrons. Whenelectronsmovefromone place to another, in theycreate a current (measured amperes). Oppositesattract. Whenthe negativelycharged electrons see a positive charge, they want to traveltowardsthat positivecharge.

The simplest form of tube is the diode. The diode consists of two internal conductingsurfaces, or elecc trodes, and a filament, alled the heater. The heater is what you see glowingred-hot when you look into a tube.In guitar amps, diodesare used as rectifiers. A rectifier converts the ACwall current into the DC that amps use internally. Inside a diode, the two electrodes are called the cathode and theplate.The heateris placed in close proximityto the cathode (In some diodes,theheater t is the cathode.), which is speciallyreated to giveoff electrons upon reaching a certain temperature. The
GUIDE GUITAR AMP

The next step in tube designis the triode. A triode adds a third electrode, called the controlgrid (G, in schematics). The grid is a spiral of thin wire placed between the cathode and the plate. "It gives to the tube its most useful function--theabilityto amplify" the (Basic Electronics). The spaces between spiral windings are big enough to let the electrons flow through them onto the plate, but close enough to control their flow
-38

1.

Look for a frosted inner coating; this is nice on Mini Wheats, but in tubes it signifies that the vacuum is broken. Replace and discard the tube. (Photo, left to nght: frosted, frosted, good, frosted.)
2.

r $en use. be blue haze can


-

a sometimes tube blhi

Thegrid is charged with a negativevoltage (e.g., VDC).This negativegrid charge is the bias voltage, and it's at the heart of tube operation. It varies up and down, or more and less negative, in a pattern that corresponds to the music you play.As the grid voltage is made more positive (less negative), it anows more and more electrons to pass throughto
AMPS

either vague or it's pronounced; caused by gas leaking into the " " eheenctr n through passes it ionizes the gas, of t gi end for this tube, thorkgh itKw rsti while.

nng

TUBE

fterbeingdropped,hit, and overdriven into oblivion,he littlebitsinside a tube can work themselvesloose.Acoustic t 6nd its way backinto the chassis (combos especiallyprone to thisbecauseof the proximityof the speakenergycan are ers), resulting in a high-pitchedsqueal or clangingnoiseknownas microphonics. Although highvolumeand modern superhigh-gainpreamps can push tubes to their limit,microphonics hauntbothclean and crunchy amps. A microphonictube needs \>elocatedand replaced.

1.

Turn the amp on and plug in a guitar or a dummy input. pl to nac toewthe (Turn the guitar's vol(Most amps have switching inputs, which short when the plug is removed. This keeps the amp quiet when it's on but not being used. To make a dummy plug, take a standard " plug and solder the tip and sleeve terminals together.)

2.

Using a wooden chopstick, tap lightly on each tube (preampand power amp) until you hear the microphonic sound. It may be difficultto tell which tube is the real offender if they're close together, so

a. Turn the amp off and replace the tube that is most affected by your tapping.
4.

Tum the amp back on and repeat the test. If the problem still exists, continue on down the line until you've found the problem.

fromsomeplace else.

It's possible, after testing or replacing everytubein an amp, that the problem still exists.This means that the noise is coming
NoisES FROM SOMEPLACE ELSE

percent of microphonic spits and pops are tube-related and will be cured bythe procedure above. Some other sources of noise are: loosewires, bad solder joints,poor shielding, dirtypots or jacks,and leakycapacitors. Manyof theseare not easily foundbythe novice.

Ninety

Read the warning at the end of the preceding chapter as many times as it takes for it to really sink in before you proceed with the following steps. I NOTE: f your amp is new, read your warrantv beforeyou open up the cabinet.
1. 2.

Make sure the amp is unpluggedi

2A

Remove the amp chassis from the cabinet. Most chassis are held in using one of the following methods: A. Top straps. Popularized by Fender and used on most combo amps, top straps are simple to undo. Remove the back panels and unplug the speaker and reverb wires, if any, making notes as to their position. (Don't try to remember! Write it down!!) Loosen the strap screws, making sure to catch any nuts that may fall loose. Check to see if there are any resting strips for the amp chassis to sit on when the straps are removed; if there aren't, make sure you catch it! s. Bottom screws. Marshall, Boogie, Soldano,... Most heads are held in their cabinets by four screws on the bottom. Remove the back panels and then unscrew the chassis. Don't turn the head upside down and unscrew it; this can cause twisting, which can bend the screws, and when you remove the last one, the chassis will crash upside down onto the top of the cabinet. Instead, stand the head on its side and hold the chassis tight against the cabinet as you unscrew it. s. Place the amp chassis in a well-lit area on a sturdy table. 4. Discharge the large filter capacitors on the power supply using the following method (See "Capacitors," later in this chapter, to learn how to identify filter caps.): Using a large screwdriver with an insulated handle, short the caps to the chassis. (You may get a big poM still makes me jump; don't worry Forget to do this and that spark willzap you instead of the screwdriver!) s. Look the chassis over closely for signs of burning or discoloration. On the output tube sockets of Fender amps, look closely at the large 1-Watt 470-0 resistors that are placed between pin 4 (screen grid [G2]) and pin 6 (tie-off screen grid supply). If they're burnt or to cracked, replace them. e. Poke around with your chopstick to try to dislodge any hidden broken connections. 7. Plug in the speaker. On combo chassis, this may require a malefemale extension cable. You can either make it, use a double female adapter and a store-bought speaker cable, or buy one. This cable must be made from speaker wire! 8. Plug in the amp and turn it on.
lo.

10

e. Insert a dummy plug into the input to activate the preamp. Place one hand in your pocket (This makes you think before you grab.) and with the other hand tap all the circuit bits and boards lightly with your chopstick. Try to locate any loose components or bad joints by slowly working your way around the chassis and listening for any crackles or other noises caused by your poking. If you still can't find the problem spot, close it up and seek professional help.

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he chart belowis reprinted, with permission, from The Tube Amp Book, by
AspenPittman.

NOSOUND.

SOUND. DISTORTED

PILOTLAMPANDTUBESLIGHTED.

N PILOTLAMPANDTUBES OTLIGHTED.

ALLCHANNELS, ON AMP. ORONSINGLE-CHANNEL

CHANNEL ONONLY ONE AMP). (MULTICHANNEL

Check controls s onampfor normal ettings. Instrument controls shouldbe allthe wayon. i Also checkStandby switch, f any.

Check walloutlet; plug in something that you knowworks.

volume). Lower control ettings(especially s

Check preamp tubes. Try interchanging tubes from channelhatsoundsOK. t

No sound.

SoundOK.

OutletOK.

Novoltage. Poor sound.

Sound OK.

Poor sound.

Sound OK.

Turnvolume allthe way up and listen for hum.

Checkfor blown house fuse and replace.

c Pickup, instrument, or connectingable one maybe defective; substitute known be good (especiallyable). c to

Take ampto r competentepair service.

No hum.

Hum.

Replacefuse onamp. (Fuse couldappear be OK to andyet be defective.)

Poor sound.

Sound OK;repair pickup, instrument,

or cable.

Substitute tubes withonesknown to be good,

Unplug cablefrom instrument and touchtipof plu0.

Fuse OK.

Fuse blows.

See thatalltubes are firmlyseatedin theirsockets andthatallinternal connectors resecure. a

No No

Check
Loud hum. line cord,plug,

Poor sound. for Check short in amp.

Sound OK.

sound.

Sound OK.

change
in hum level.

and
Power switch.

Check tubes. Substitute tubesknown to be good, oneat a time, with starting outputtubes. Unsolder one wire.Touch speaker 9-V battery to wife andspeaker ermt inal. Listenfor click. Check cable between instrument and amp.Repair or replace. Check and repair pickup on instrument. Substitute tubes to locate

shortedone.

No improvement.

Sound OK.

No clicks. Defectivespeaker, leads, or output

Clicks

audible.

Sound OK.

Amp OK.

Fuse blows

Replace rectifiertube.

transformer.

repeatedly.
No improvement. Sound OK.

Touch battely directlyto speaker

Speaker, leads, and

terminals.

transformer OK. secondaiy

Take ampto r competentepair service.

Followthe sameprocedure with the remaining tubesamplifier tubes. phase inverter andvoltage

Clicks udible. a

Noclicks.

No improvement.

SoundOK.

is Speaker OK:trouble in leads or outputtransformer. speaker

Voice coilon speaker open;

replace reconespeaker. or

Disconnect thespeaker. Use testspeaker r test amp o determine which is distorting. to

Take ampto r competentepair sentice.

Repair leads.

Sound OK. Speaker no good. Replace or recone.

repair service. Take ampto competent

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AMPS

Replacements and Equivalents


close downaroundthe world, the As tubefactories supply of qualitytubes is dwindling. new tubes The available todayjust don't sound as good as the old ones, especiallyin older amps. This is a factwe all must accept, and not just the nostalgic rantings of v some hysterical intoid. Side-by-side comparisons prove that a Fender amp with real RCA"BlackPlate Specials," or a Marshall with old stock Mullards, just sounds better.Even more recent designs,like the MESA/Boogie KI, II, and III, were designed M around the classic Sylvania6L6GC. hese ampsare T thathaveno biaspot and rely on very simple designs original-spec equipment to sound theirbest.

CA$$OTS Capacitors, caps, or condensers-they're all the same thing, and what they do is store electricity. They're composed of twoelectrical conductors separated byan insulator calleda dielectric;thesecan be madeout of all sorts of stuff,likefoiland paper, metaland air, silverand mica,... Theycome in what seems like a million sizes and shapes. The unit of capacitance is the Farad. There are two basictypes of caps in youramp: nonpolarized and electrolytic. The nonpolarized caps are relativelysmalland can looklikelittleboxes,rolled papertubes,littledisks, andbrown)candy drops.Theyare used or (orange the amp and in the tone controls. to Nonpolarized caps are also used to block current fromgoingplacesit doesn'tbelong.
"voice"

The following a list of some standardguitaramp is tubes and their industrial and military equivalents. Sometimesequivalents soundbetter,sometimes they sound worse; but theywill all There's no way to predict the outcomefor any given amp or and see. personaltaste.Try
"work." 'em

6L6GC: 5881*,7581, EL37,KT66,5932


They don't make
'em

like they used to

KT88: So what can you do? There are a fewdealers of N.O.S.(NewOldStock) tubeslistedin theAppendix. You'll haveto dig deep into your wallet to pay for tubes froma dealer,but if you'reserious about good sound, it's money well spent. The other great sources of all things old and electronic are hamfestsand antique-radio swap meets. You haveto get there at the crack of dawn, and you never know whether it'll be boomor bust,but that's where the bargainsare! I also must add that spending a weekend morning in a parking lotwith a bunchof people who share your amplio-archaeological interests, surrounded by electro-junque and drinkinglots-a coffee, is goodforthe soul. Yetanother alternativeliesin the explorationof tube equivalents.Overthe years there havebeen literally S tensof thousands of tubetypes. ome of what appear t to be differentubes are actuallythe same or at least similar tubes with different umbers. Why?At one n timetherewere three major users of tubes:industry, consumer electronics, and the militaly.A lot of the circuits these three groups used were the same, but the conditionsunder which thetubeswere expected to perform were not. For example:One of the most common powertubesis the 6L6. Consumerswanted an inexpensive tube to use in their amplifiers and radios-they got the 6L6G(G Glass).The military wanted a fewversions: one that could take a beating-the metal-cased6L6-and one that could take a bit of a beatingand fit into a small space-the 5881. The industrialists wanted a tube that didn't need to be changed too often in machinery-they 7 got the heavy-duty581. Add to thisthe European versions--KT66 and EL37-and you see that any number of replacement possibilitiesexist.
=

6550
KT77,6CA7 7189 6BQ5, Capacitors

EL34: EL84:

6V6G'n 5871, 7184, 7408 12AT7:

6 6201, 679

12AU7: 6189,ECC82, 680, 7730,5814A 6 12AX7: 7025, ECC83,5721, 6057,7494, 7729,

6681
lung-Sol or equivalent.Modern Russian 58818 willwork, butthey're not an exact replacement; significant powerlosswill occurin old amps.
** *01d-style

some similar; modification may be necessary.

The electrolyticsare thebigguysin your power supply.They are polarized, which means theyonly let A current flowin one direction. fterthe wall current is rectified, it stillhas someAC The leftover. electrolyticsact as a reservoir,filling fastwith ripup pled current on one end and letting a smoothed out streamon theother. Becausetheyremove theripple, they're often called filtercaps. On many amps, they'rethebigbrownor colored cans that stand up on the chassis or are laiddownoff to one side. On Fenders (and some otherAmericanamps) the electrolytics re placedlyingdownunder a metal cover. a This is because when caps dietheyhavea tendency theirgutsall over the place. to spew
"ripple"

Testingcapsrequires specializedand very expensive equipment. (Some modern digitalmeters have a capacitancescale.Thisis useful, buta meter likethis

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will set you backsome.)Besides,caps on the circuit to boardsare usuallythelastthings breakon an amp. physically. Filter caps tendto showtheirdistress

Troubleshooting Filter Caps Filter caps are housedin either a metal or paper cover.When caps are in good workingorder, they're likelyto look good as well. Electrolyticcapacitors When need exercise to feelgood andwell an amp is leftin storage for a longtime, theelements inside a capacitor can dry out and break down. There are twocommon problems that would make you suspect bad filtercaps:an excessive,unchanging lowhum,and tones."Both of theseprob lems are caused by ripple fromthe ACleakinginto the audio circuit. False tones are weird, traveling beats sounds as the leaking AC t against the notes you're playing,he same way tWO beat frequencies against each other when you tune guitarwith harmonics. your
"formed." "false "ghost" "note"

nfortunately,replacing filtercaps is not as simple as we would wish it to be. The electrolyticmateslowly.If you were simplyto cut out the old caps rial inside new filtercaps needs to be U and solder in new ones, theymight not work well and could blowup in your face. (Really.)New caps need to be broughtup to operating voltageslowly.
"formed"

To formcaps, you need another very specializedtool: a Variac. Besides beingused by Eddie vanHalen i and others to blowout power transformersn the name of tone, Variacshave a number of uses on the This electronicswork bench.Variacsare most often employedto set the linevoltage at exactly117 VAC. that all measurements, likebias and wattage,are relative over time. Variacs are expensive,but ensures V f shops and at ham-festsor under $50. ariacs are rated by can be foundin many electronics need one thathas an amperage rating higherthan your amplifier. amperage-handlingability;you
"junk"

1.

NOTE: on't confuse falsetoneswith intermodula D tion distortion (IMD).Allampshavesomelevelof IMD,which also causes traveling notes. Withexperitheability tellthe to ence, over timeyou will develop

twoapart

+-

Make a drawing of the wire hookups to your (exithet eeyhaa o ns arrows, or a stripe at one end. These markings indicate the polarity of the capacitor. If the cap is installed backwards, it won't workand there could be other Make clear notes as to their direction, and check, check, and check again.
"reactions."

1.

With the amp unplugged, locate the filter as described under caps and zap "Microphonics."
'em

2.

Replace

the caps.

2.

Look for brown pimples, dots, or leaking slime. Paper caps should be dry or a little waxy. If the wax is runny or slimy, the cap could be bad. On metal caps, look at the bottoms-around the terminals-for simiIar signs of degradation.

s. Set the Variac to OV and turn the amp on. (Speakers aren't necessary, as long as no signal is going through the amp.)

Cvolta V should take between five and 10 minutes to do and

to

teho biga
ornotrksnw
jump

s. Let the amp sit for a few minutes, then try it out with a guitar. It should sound clean, clear, and new.

T NOTE: his method should also be employedwhen turning on an old amp that may havesat unused for a fewyears.
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Capping it Off Electrolyticsare sometimes foundin the main cirsign is the pointing cuitry inside an amp. The telltale
arrow or stripe that indicates polarity.
Nonpolarized caps, especiallypaper axial ones, can

ful? Ela,S
The subtitle of this section should be "The canof Worms in Pandora's Box." As explained earlier in this chapter, without the control grid and therefore biasvoltage, therewould be no tube operation as we aboutbias knowit. There are a million analogies For example: It's like setting the idle on a car; you can't make a Chevyinto a Ferrari, but you sure can T make a Ferrari into a Chevy. he one I likebestfor a number of reasons is this: The control gridis like t a faucet, he biasvoltage is likethe spigot or handle Asyouopen the faucetbyapplyinga more and more T positivevoltage,more electrons flow. his is the ori gin of the European term for a tube: valve It's unusual for such an essential part of a consumer deviceto be hidden awayinside where you can't get to it. Biasingalso requires a highlevelof skill, con. a fidence, nd educated listeningability.For these and many other reasons, I feel that the whole thing"has gottenwayout of control (nopun intend"bias

MikeHill,and SteveGrindrod-and I am now passing this information on to you in the same spirit it was givento me.

suerrommanyof the same physicalsigns of degraf dation described for electrolytics.When replacing capacitors it's very important to takenote of the voltwillprobage rating of the original.Newercap types smaller forthesame rating thanold ably be physically ones. The voltage rating of the replacementshould be equal to or greater thanthe original.If a cap is in the audio path, the replacement should be of boththe same voltage and thesame constructionto ensure that the amp's tone remains true to the original. Manyof the cap values foundin older amps aren't made any more. (Unliketubes, which don'tdegradewhen sitting on a shelfunused, you can't use N.0.S.caps.) You
will have to get close and livewithit.

Fixed Bias There are a number of waysto figurethe biassetting on a fixed-biasmp. I willexplainthe twomost coma monlyused. But:The only one that can giveyouthe with your specific true pictureof what's happening amp and any given set of tubes is the oscilloscopelsignal generator method. This is the only method of biasing an amp that makes i f allowancesor the infinite differencesn transformI ers and tubes. Everybody know who's learnedtheir in tube-ology an engineering,college,Army,or business setting,where all the right equipment was readily available, uses this method. The others started their a out as hobbyistsnd grewfromthere,bringing

badhabitswiththem.

SG: "The smaller (1 fd or less) nonpo/arized capacitors are used fortone shaping and circuit coupling in amps. These caps come in diferent varieties, and just to confuse you, each variety covers the same capacity range as the others. But be warned: just becauseeach value is covered by each type, are they the same? No way! Dtferent types have dtferent tone, and therefore, when replacing capacitors you must use the same value and type,or you could lose your tone. "If replacing, say, a silver-mica, polypropylene, or c amp, polyester apacitor in your favorite make sure you use the right one; it's therefora purpose. They may cost more than ones your localparts

learnthe procedures, take notes, and practice, over the course of time you will get the hang of biasing
your amp Most guitar amps are biased in one of two ways: bias fixed or auto/self bias. Selfbias refers to an older type of biasingscheme that uses a high-curthe rent resistor between cathode and groundand a constant negativegrid voltage.As the name implies, the in self-biasing amps the tube itself determines bias,basedon its condition and operating circumstances. In fixed-biasmps the cathode is grounded, a and the biasvoltageis controlled bya biaspot in the grid circuit. These two terms can be confusing, since fixedbias is adjustable and auto/self bias is not. That's because you're thinking fromyour perspective.Think like a tube and theseterms becomeclear. NOTE:Some may take exception to the following information becauseI don't use their biasing procel dure. In myown defense,et me say thatI'm not trying to sell you anything;I don't make amps, I don't a havea tubebusiness, nd I don't run a repair shop. I, likeyou,am justa musician who's in search of my ultimate tone. But I've learned from people who generously shared with me their considerable of knowledge amps and electronics-people such as Dennis Kager,JessOliver,Mike Fliegler,George Saer,AspenPittman,TomImparato, Mark Sampson,

ed). Here's my take on it: If you get the equipment,

The amount of biasvoltageneeded in any particular t situationis dependent n a fewfactors, he twomost o voltage. important beingtubequalityand B+ (plate) The B+ is determinedby the output transformer. Output transformers ary due to design,age, condiv tion,and manufacturingtolerances. AMESA/Boogie output transformer can deliveras littleB+ as 350 VDC,while a GTSolo 75 can haveas much as 525 VDC the plates. Both are great-sounding at amps that for are designed the same tubes!The B+ measurement by itself means nothing; it's the interplay the between B+ and biasthat getsthingsgoing.

store can offe but it really is worth it. "Unfortunately, with the passingof time some classic capacitors are no longer manufactured, and replacing them is a problem. or instan, F the wax/paper caps used in old Fenders am no more. Myadvice would be to goforpolypropylene as the best choice for replacement. And remember,always use the right voltage, as small capac tors can go bang.... "Allthis can sound confusing, and in many ways out it is, but there are people there who knowthe dierence, so if in doubt,findsomeone to ash. involvedprofessionally electronics in Most people helpyou even tythey have no idea ofguitars can and amps, as capacitors are used everywhere in the modern world.
"

(L) and Both of these transformers-Silvertone Marshall (RMre intended for the same tube complement. The same? I don't think so.

s ou willneed thefollowingpecializedequipment to perform this procedure. It is expensivewhen new, but can be foundcheaply at surplus dealersand swap meets.

cheap one that works will do. Oscilloscope-any You can find an old DuMont at ham-fests for as little as $10. Variac-must be able to handle the current your amp draws.

Dummy load-depending on your amp, a 4-, 8-, or 16-O 50- or 100-Watt resistor, mounted in a fashion that allows a free flow of air, is ideal. A plastic-handled screwdriver or alignment tool from (available Antique Electronic Supply).

Sine-wave signal generator (audio)-can be bought at surplus dealers or at swap meets. Some synthesizers have a sine wave as part of their palette; this will do fine. Hookup wires-from the signal generator to your amp's input, and a "Y" cable to go from your and dummy load. amp's output to the
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Now to the procedure itself:


1.

Remove the amp chassis from its cabinet using the method described earlier in this chapter under "Microphonics." Zap the caps. Place the chassis on a firm table; use wooden blocks, if necessary, to stabilize it.
.5

2.

3.

mVAC) into the amp's input (volume Plug the signal generator output (set to off), plug the speaker output into the load and the oscilloscope (makesure the output impedance is set correctly), and plug the amp's AC cable into the Variac. Using your meter, set the Variac to read exactly 117 VAC at the AC input of the amp. Set your meter to VDC at the 100 V scale if it's not auto-ranging; if it's automatp ic, set it to VDC. Place the (negative) robe on a metal chassis point and the + probe on pin 5 of one output tube (6L6, 6550, EL34,...; pin 2 on (positive) EL84/6BQS). If you can't attach the + probe easily through a pin-hole, you will have to hold it or use well-insulated alligator leads.
=

4.

Turn the amp on, but leave it on standby. When the amp is warm, turn the standby to operate.
'scope,

s. Slowly turn up the amp's volume. You will see the sine wave develop on the and eventually it willget square on the top and bottom. Back off the volume until just before squaring. e. If the wave isn't symmetrical, play with the tone, presence, and volume controls to get it as symmetrical as possible.
7.

Ifyou're lucky, your amp will have a bias pot located somewhere on the chassis. Use a schematic or layout drawing to locate it. If you don't have a bias pot, first make sure you have a fixed-bias amp: Look at pin 8 (pin3 on EL84/6BQ5): Is it grounded, or is it connected to a big resistor and cap in parallel? If it's connectnetwork), you have a self-bias amp and ed to an RC net (resistor-capacitor should read the "Auto/Self Bias" section, later in this chapter. If you have a fixedbias amp without a bias pot, you need to have one installed. I recommend this be done by a service tech. Some Fender Silver Face amps have what looks to be a bias pot, but it's actually a tube balance and won't work here.

s. Watch your meter and turn the bias pot up and down a bit to get a feel for the action of the pot, and then set it for the highest negative number (-50 being higher than -49). The waveform should get smaller, and may clip, or square off. Lower the volume until you have a clean wave.
in

s.

You should now notice two humps, on the leading and trailing slopes of the wave. This is crossover distortion, and it's a by-product of push-pull operation (output tubes working in pairs).
-36,...)

lo.

and watch the waveTurn the bias pot in the positive direction (-38, -37, form. It will get bigger and start to clip. Keep lowering the amp's volume to keep the wave unclipped as you lower the bias voltage. As you do this, the crossover notch will begin to disappear. When all you have left is the merest hint of a hump, stop. Write down this voltage and label it V-A. Continue on down until the humps disappear-probably a volt or two more. Write down this voltage, labeling it V-B.At this point the amp is running too hot, and bad tubes could pop. Disconnect the dummy load and plug in the speaker. Plug your guitar into the amp. Reset the amp to V-Aand listen to it clean. Is the sound clear, or are low sounding? The higher the negative number, the more gravelly the notes clean sound willget. Move the bias pot up and down a volt, but never lower than around V-B and no more than about two volts higher than V-A. Play and listen. Leave it where you like it best.
"gravelly"

11.

12.

la.

Now turn the amp up to distortion and play. Is it shrill and a little too clean? Too low a negative voltage. Is it too mushy? Too high. Set it where you like it best. My bet is that it's about half a volt higher than V-Aif you're a rock-type guy, and V-A or a bit lower if your into country or blues. Write all the numbers down in the log at the back of this book for future reference-V-A, V-B, the final setting, and, for good measure, the B+ voltage as a reference point. Over the course of time you will see patterns emerge and be better able to draw conclusions before the fact. Put the amp back together.

14.

is.

This method requirespatienceand closelisteningWithsome practiceit willyieldrepeatt ableresultsthatwilldeliverhe mostpowerand thebesttone from givenpairingof tubes any with and amplifier(Asyouget better your you willalso be able to see and diagnose o a all sorts of other maladies,such as high-frequency scillations nd phase anomalies.)
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nother commonlyused method of biasing to measure the amount of current the tube draws. is The stream of electrons thatthe cathode emitshas to come fromsomewhere;if youmeasure this you canget someidea ofthe tube's operation. Theonlyproblem with thismethod is thatit doesn'tallow for the infinitevariables in tubes and transformers. On the positiveside, thereis a tool available,called the BiasProbe=, thatcan make your lifemuch easier if you wish to use thismethod. GS: "The better way to perform method is to use the BiasProbe, becauseit takes into account this the essential relationshi betweenplate voltage and grid voltage-i.e., bias. Thanks to Ohm's Law,you havea relationshi in which current is the same as voltage measured across a1-O resistor Allyou need to do is establishthe amp you're working on, the tubesyou're working with, and then consult the charts that are provided. oucan get within a 5% range ofa bias setting withY Out d Scop. This is t'ery cool, becauseyou're using a method that doesn't allow you to see what your signal looks like. "Eten rehen using the same tube-for instance, a 6550-in an SVT have the same 6550that's you used in a Marshall, but becauseof the difference in plate troltage (~ 600 Yin the SVTand~ 475 Y in the Marshall) the bias is going to be difwent on the very same tube. With the BiasProbe, becauseit doestake the current draw system to a fine-tuned degree, get a very close toleryou ance. It can also be used to match tubesyourselfJust keeppopping tubes into an amp that's set cormctly and zerite downthe current drawyou see on your meter Writethis number on the tube frith a Sharpie. Tubeswith the same (or close) numbers are matched
"

'

SidELD

Ro

The BiasProbe

WITH

THE

BIASPROBE

1.

Amp off! Look up your amp in the current draw table or estimating chart below.

2.

a. Connect the BiasProbe to a digital VOM and set the range to "mV". If your meter is not auto-ranging, set it to 200 mV.
4.

Remove an output tube, install it in the BlasProbe, and install the BiasProbe in the tube socket.

s. Locate the bias pot and turn the amp on. e. Adjust the bias pot for the proper reading.
7.

Turn the amp off and remove the tube from the BiasProhbe; wRait oral ecou irntheea ppotholdf t e

e. If you're using matched tubes, you're done. If not, repeat with the other tubes and get an average. If there is a large difference, you need to get a set that is more closely matched.

BiasProbe Current Draw Table


Amp Model Tube / Nominal mV 25.3 26.9 15.1 31.5 27.2 29.9 34.1 28.4 34.4 28.1 Maxi-

Quantity

mum
mV 30.3 32.3 18.1 37.8 32.6 35.9 40.9 34.1 41.3 33.8

Fender Bandmaster AD1269 6L6 / 2 DualShowman AC568 6L6 / 4 Deluxe6G3 6V6/ 2 Pro Reverb AA270 6L6/ 2 Super Reverb AA763 6L6 / 2 VibroluxRev AB568 6L6 / 2 Marshall 100 W 100 W 50 W 50 W 6550 / 4 EL34/ 4 6550 / 2 EL34/ 2

As you can see, there are certain parallels between like tube groupings, such as in the Vibroluxand Super Reverb.All thingsbeingequal, twoamps with similar plate voltagesand wattageswill drawa similar amount of current. Unfortunately,all things aren t equal. The BiasProbemanual also has a set of charts that show indows" of current drawfor amps of a par ticular wattage,tube complement,and plate voltage Some common examples follow.Simply find the plate voltage (measured from plate to chaSSiS ground; see the Appendix for tube pinouts) and wattage for your amp, and a general current figure will be at the intersect point. Remember,these are starting points; start cold and work up fromthere. And need I add: Be Careful!

Plate Voltage

Estimating ChartTwo Output Thbes:


350 V 400 V 450 V 31 mV 34 mV 37 mV 40 mV 43 mV 46 mV 31 mV 34 mV 37 mV 40 mV 43 mV 46 mV 21 mV 25 mv 28 mV 31 mV 34 mV 37 mV 500 V 550 V

Wattage
50 W 41 mV 55 W 45 mV 60 W 50 mV 65 W 54 mV 70 W 58 mV 75 W 62 mv 25 mV 25 mv 27 mV i 27 mV 30 mV 30 mV 32 mV 32 mV 35 mV 35 mV 37 mV 37 mV 17 mV 20 mv 22 mV 25 mV 27 mV 30 mV 17 mV 20 mv 22 mV 25 mV 27 mV 30 mV

Four Ou ut 'Ibbes
70 W 29 mV 21 mV 80 W 33 mv 25 mv 90 W 37 mV 28 mV 100 W 41 mV 31 mV 110 W 45 mV 34 mV 120 W 50 mV 37 mV
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Auto/Self Bias
Do-IT-YOURSELF

he BiasProbeitself is a very simple device you can make yourself;or your amp can be modified that a permanentlyinstalled"BiasProbe". It's important to remember,though, thatwhen you buy a BiasProbe you get a really great manual that lists many more amps and is a wealth of very specific information that'sbeyond scope of this book.The manual alone is worth the price. (The BiasProbe the is availablefromGrooveTbbes.See the Appendixfor information.)

T to have

Tomod your amp, you will need to get some 1-O, 1-Watt(orbigger)precision resistors (asmanyas your amp has output tubes). Precision resistors are accurate to 1% of stated value. If your electronics parts won't) or doesn't have 1%-ers, buy a bunch and dealerwon't let you measure beforeyou buy (most measure them. Youneed exactly 1

Asstatedearlier, a tube in an auto-biased amp works in C0njunction with a high-current resistor and cap its to determine own bias. Manyauto-biased amps, like the Vox AC30and certain Fender tweed amps, are particularly wonderful sounding. Unfortunately, thinkthatauto biasis theone and many only reason for their great sound. If that is true, I offer thisquestion: The "NarrowPanel" 4x10tweed Bassman is the Godfather of all vintage tone crea ators, yes?Well,it's a fixed-biasmp! Remember,an amp is an assemblageof manyparts and subcircuits; if conceived as a whole by a knowledgeable designthe resulting amp willsound good. Free yourself er, fromsimplistic slogans;you listenand you decide for yourself.
"tonellakes"

1.

Remove the wire or solder joints between the cathode and ground on all output tubes. (Pin 8 on 6L6, 6550, EL34,... pin 3 on EL84/6BQ5. Check for your tubes in the Appendix.) Solder a 1-D resistor between the cathode

Auto-biasingamps tend to run hotter and deliver less power than fixed-bias esigns.They're harder d the on tubes, and since the tube itself determines biassetting,the bestwav I've foundto ensure great sound in an auto-bias amp is to use good-quality matched sets. These are getting harder and harder to find.Mostnew tubes simplycan't handle the extra grief an auto-bias amp inflicts.For best results, dig deep and call one of the dealers listed in the Appendixfor some N.0.S.tubes.

2.

and ground.
Ohm's Law states that I E/R (current voltage resistance). If a resistance is 1 O, then I E, because any number divided by i equals that number=
=

s. Plug in the guitar and speaker. Connect one of your meter leads to the chassis side and the other lead to the tube side of the 1-D resistor. Turn on the amp. Use the BiasProbe charts to determine the approximate proper current draw for your amp.
4.

Once your amp is biased,you might want to see how much power it's putting out. This is very simple to do. It calls for the same tools and hookupas the oscilloscope biasmethod.

1.

Set the bias pot to draw a bit more current, then play and listen. Then set it to draw a bit less, and play and listen. As long as you pay attention, you're OK. If the plates glow red, you're too hot. Ifthe clean sound is gravelly, you're too cold.

u Get the biggest nclipped wave you can on the screen by plavingwith the amp's volume and tone controls. (A bit of bouncing ripple at the top of the wave is OK,butno clipping.)

s. When you get your best sound on both clean and dirty tones, leave the bias where it is and close up the amp.

Always tart bysettingyour biaspot at thehighest s number and work down negative fromthere.This method ignores or assumes all other factors that a sine wave throughan oscilloscopewould tell you at a glance,,3,......,3,,,,

Set your meter to MC and read the voltage across the speaker terminals. a. Wattageis equal to the voltage2 impedance. For example:
2.

17.5 MCsquared

306.25;
~

,,,,i ,

The ultimate guide to biasingis your ear. Use these methods to guide you to a close point and then listen.

306.25 8 R

38.28,or

38 watts.

This is an RMSreading;peak power is about two timesRMS. urnthe amp up all the wayand take T anotherreading to see what you get at full bore. (These measurements need to be taken with an RMS-reading meter-which most modern meters are.)

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BISS One fusecompany,I can't remember which, used to have their motto emblazoned on every package: "Electrics SafetyValve."Wellsaid, guys. Fuses protect your amp frompotential disastet As explained in the biasingsection, a tube that's operating properly will draw a certain amountof current. Numerous factorscan cause the amp or tubes to try to suck up more wall current than is safe; it's at this point that a fusewill blow. f the fuse I weren't there, any number of catastrophes could ensue: blownoutput or power transformer, blown tubes, fried resistors and caps, or fried you! Yes' when it comesto fuses,you get a lotfor your 50.

All amps havea Mains, or Power, fuse. (Solid-state amps usually have circuit breaker) This fuse is locatedright at the start of the amp'sACcircuit and monitorsthe overall flowof current into the amp. This is useful for most problems.Other amps also add a B+, or IIT,fuse.The B+ fuseis usually in-line with the circuitry that feedsthe power to the output transformer. If a sick tube tries to drawtoo much current, arcs, or startsbreaking downin some other way, pop! Another 50. This is a far cry from the $75-150 new output transformercosts (plus a installation).Allthis is bywayofsettingup the theme of thissection Read and obey all fuse values. If you must use a fuse that isn't the correct value, make it smaller, Never use a fuse that's larger than the recommended value. SD: "You want to be 100% thorougheverysingle timeyou set up, becausewhat might takeyoufive minutes to sort through nowmables, knobs, switches, etc.-can cause you gigantic embarrassment when the spotlight's on and you'vegot tofixor sort something out."
.

f your amp doesn'thavea B+ fuse,youmay want to use an underrated power fuse. It may pop inconvenientlynow and then, but it will also blowthat much sooner when danger loomslarge,possibly thwarting all-out disan
astet
1.

Check the value of your fuse. Replace it with one Amp smaller.
Turn your amp on and play for a few minutes at stage volumes.

2.

a. Repeat this procedure, in descending Amp increments, until the fuses blow too easily. Go back up Amp or so and you're set.

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Solid-State Amps
eviled, stomped on, shown no respect, and universallyhated-solid-state amps outsell tube models at leastthreeto one! Can theyactually be that bad? Of course not. Although it's a fact that most of the beautiful tones you hear on records, old and new, are tubedriven,it's also a fact that solid-state ampsare gettests even ting betterall the time. And in blindfold the most snobbish valvophilecan havetroubledistinguishingthe difference betweena good modern solid-state amp and a tube one. Fact is, there are some uses where solid-state amps excel: bass, jazz' country, and death metal all can benefit fromthe highlycontrolled and precise operation of solidstate circuitry.

Anothercost-cuttingfactoron solid-stateamps is that they don't require an expensiveoutput transformer. Transistors, becauseof their unique physics, can be hooked up directly a speaker,whereas tubes need to a transformer. I've heard a number of solid-state amps that incorporate a transformer in the output stage in an attempt to emulate all the of tube design, ut to myears they fail.Output transb sound" make. formersdo not a
"deficiencies" "tube-amp

1.

s we all know,solid-state amps are made Parts Inside, with "No User-Serviceable so we must "Refer All Servicing to Qualified w Personnel." Unfortunately, ith most all these
,,

"" paa2e

amps it's really true. The only hope a mere mortal can havewhen approaching a broken solid-stateamp is thatsomethingreallyobvious

Look closely for signs of e eating or burns. If you see what appears to be a burnt-out section, make a note and bnng to a your amp iceberg, tech. The burn may be the and replacing that sintip of the gle part may start a chain reaction when you turn the amp on.

hasbrokendown.
1. Rad

Remove the chassis from the cabinet or head and place it on a well-lit table. Use your chopstick to poke around and test all connections. If you find a loose one, resolder it.

2.

a. Many modern
"edge,"

"ribbon,"

or use connectors instead of solder Push them in tightlyto make sure joints. they're all making contact. amps Close the amp back up and plug it in. Test it with a guitar. If you've fied it, you should probably go out and buy a lottery ticket when you're done gloating.

4.

Better than tubes-for (Joe Giron)

some things

Earlysolid-state amps used individualtransistors in f circuits that weren't verydifferentromtubedesigns. Todayindividual,or discrete,transistors are virtually unheard-of, havingbeen replaced by integrated circuits, or chis. A singlechip can consist of thousands of parts that are photo-etched onto a very small surface. This cuts downon labor and greatly increases reliability,making solid-state amps a bargain to buyand own.

GUIDE

GUITAR

AMP

SOLID-STATE

AMPS

Speaker Cabinets
here are two common kinds of speaker cabinets: open-back and closed-back. The open-back cabinets are most often foundin combo amps. Theyhave a wider spread of sound and fillup a small room better than cabinet. Open-backslack the bottoma closed-back end punch and projection of closed-backs. Closedbacks are most often foundin head-and-cabinetformats. Theyhave a tougher, more focusedtone and don't sound very good off-axis (fromthe side). Somecompanies, most notably MESA/Boogie, make 4x12s that combine open- and closed-back designs to capitalize on the strengths of both. Which one's for you is a matter of taste, venue, and what amp(s) you re using.

Removingthe screws from a closed-back cabinet can be a real pain. I recommend the purchase of an electric screwdriver if you plan on futzing around with closed-back cabs. The material a cabinet is made fromhas a definite effecton the sound.Thiseffectis similarto the waydifferentwoodsaffectthe tone of an acousticguitar.The a heavier nd denserthewood,the betterthe tone of the cabinet. How tightiva cabinet is screwed and fitted togetheris also a factor. ood-qualits, enseplywood G d with for cabinets is expensive.and it (along speaker quality)accounts for a good ponion of the difference in price between expensiveand cheap cabinets.

jg j
are covered in some kind of vinyl or cloth.The"Tweed"cloth coveringof old was actuallyoriginallydesigned suitcases.Becausealmost for all amp coveringhas a cloth backthat shrinks a little when glued, it acts to keepthe cabinet jointstight in addition to protecting or hidingthe cabmet material. Cabmet vinyl is easily cleaned and renewed. The biggestworry with cabinet vinyl is rips. Some cabs are covered in a carpet-type matenal. While much more durable than cloth-backed vinyl or cloth, it's so uglyto most players (including yours trulv) that it isn't worth it.
.

Almost all cabinets

vinvl. Simplyfollow directions the

cleaners can be used on cabinet ny number of common household on the cleaner

For dust and light grime like beer, soda, burger grease,... plain soap and water is best. lJse a big sponge with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and water to wipe away the crud. If you use too much soap you might be rinsing for days; start with a drop and add more if necessary.
directly onto

For tougher dirt, graduate to glass cleaner and a sponge. Spray the surface and wipe.

Other cleaners you might try on stubborn dirt are ammonia, Lestoil, etc. These cleaners are pretty tough stuff, and I recommend using them outside. Read labels carefully; these cleaners can have dangerous reactions with certain chemicals.

All. The only drawback here is it can leavethe cab a little too shiny or Allavailablethat has a low-glossfinish; recommend this one. I 1 2

fteryou'vecleaned your cabinet, you may find it's a littlehazylooking. The beststufffor rejuvenatingcab vinylis Armor T looking. here is a new type of Armor
"faked"

2.

Let it sit for a while, or overnight.

ROTEC

s. Wipe it off with a towel or rag.

1.

Spray the Armor All onto the cabinet.

SPEAKER

CABINETS

COMPLETE

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AMP

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63

E T

ven if you're careful and use covers, rips are an inevitablepart of cabinet life. Depending on how largea rip you have,

m try one of the following ethods.


KRAZY GLUE

here are a number of differentypes of Super or Krazyglues. If you go to a good hardware store or hobbyshop, they'll t varietywill work, it's T filling." hisis the ideal stuff,and while the drug-store havea thicker type that's described as worth the trip to get the gap filler
"gap

1.

Place a dot of glue on the wood in the center of the rip.


2.

Using a guitar pick or a piece of waxed paper, press and hold the ripped flap back over to its original spot. Hold it there for a minute or two.

s. Place a piece of masking tape over the seam. Leave it alone now-no peeking! Come back in a few hours.
a. Remove

the tape.

'
.

s. If there are a few flips or ragged edges, place some glue in them and repeat the process.

CONTACT

CEMENT

F theday.
1. 2.

or biggerrips, contact cement is the order of

Paint the wood and the vinyl with an even, thin coat of cement and let it dry. Press them together

or to let the person who steals their equipment knowtheir name,many players emblazon n an effort to look with stencils. If you buyan amp or cabinet that hasbeendefiled this manner, there are a couple of things in their cabinets you can do to eradicate the mark of a formerowner. whitestencil.This lookspretty bad,and the white letThe usual fixon blackcabinets is to spray blackpaint over the (usually) in tering tends to ghostthrough. Mosthardware stores (especiallycities) sell some kindof graffitiremover.This stuffwill peel T the paint off a battleship. he only drawback that sometimesit melts the vinylcovering.Testit firston a spot you can't see. is Followthedirectionso theletter, including the ones about ventilation,and your cabinetwill be as good as new.A little t up" might be necessary with window cleaner or Ajax to remove paint haze.
"big-time"

"mop-

64

COMPLETE

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GUITAR

& AMP

MAINTENANCE

SPEAKER

CABINETS

Sound Posts
Good-quality(read: xpensive) 4x12shave a woode en sound post thatruns fromback to front msidethe cabinet. The purpose of the post is to exert pressure on the backpanel and keepit fromflapping around and making noise. In days of yore when smooth, bluesytones were the thing, these sound posts did theirjob and did it well. Todays jackhammer etal m t tones are a differenthing altogether
. .

If you playmetal and you think you're hearing loud a low-frequency everynow and thenwhen you've bang got your amp cranked, you probably need to secure the back of your cabinet. A quick test is to have a friendplaychunkyF#fifthsat show volume while you feelthebackof your cab. If thebackblows more out than a half inch and feelslikeit's about to flyoff its screws, you need to secureit better.

Dusty Speaker Holes


Over time, the space betweenthe front of your speaker cones and thebackof your grille cloth can collect all sorts of dust and other unwanted material. This is particularly unsightlyif the grille cloth happensto be black.To clean this stuff out, use a vacuum cleaner and the round furry attachment intended forvenetianblinds.Goeasy and don'tapply a lot of pressure.

Wiring Speakers
he cure for this problem is to add another screw to the center of thebackpanel. This is not as the easyas it seems, because post maynot be at the exactcenter of thecab, and it's usuallypretty small.Followthe steps below, utremember: Youonlyget one try to drillthe hole in the rightplace. b Measure twice, cut once!

A basic part of all speakers is the voice coil. The voice coil is a lengthof wire that's wound around a hollowformthat is attached to the speaker's paper cone. Around theformis a magnet. Whenyou play a note, your amp creates an alternating current that causes the voicecoil to change polarity according to of the frequency the note. The voice coil and the magnet start attracting and repelling each other (likepolesrepel, opposites attract), and thiscauses the speaker cone to move backand forth.

i.

Remove the back panel and locate the sound post. If you don't see one, close the cabinet back up and try to find the source of the noise (yourimagination?).

2.

Measure down to the center of the post. Write the measurement down. (AT square makes this job much easier, but it isn't necessary.)

Permanent Magnet

of Cone *
*

a. Measure across to the center of the post. Write the measurement down.
4.

Electron Flow for Audio Signal

Replace the back panel and estimate the location of the center of the post. Place some tape there.

lnlike Poles Attract

s. Retrace your measurements and mark them on the tape. Find the spot where they intersect. e. Drill there.
7.

i
of

Motion

Remove the back panel and look at the post. If you were careful, the hole is in the center. Widen the panel hole by redrilling it to the same size as the others. tGh haar raersscrree Ranbdth sm ew w bar of soap to ease its way in. (If you can't find a similar screw, use one from the perimeter.)

Permanent Magnet
-

cone

+
Reversed Electron Flow

Lom

Speakers: alternately repulsive and attractive (Television and Radio Repairing)

s. Screw the back on again.

The only part of the speaker the amp is the voicecoil.Typically, voicecoilshave DCresistanceof a 4, 8, or 16 Ohms,and it's fromthispoint thatwe start.
"sees"

Ohms
GeorgSimon Ohm was a Germanphysicistwho discovered and explained a lot of the electrical phenomena we now take for granted. For example,a formula knownas Ohm's Lawis the premisebehindthe BiasProbe,discussed the "TbbeAmps"chapter. in Another part of Ohm's legacy a set of equations was for calculating resistances or impedances. (Resistance is the word used when measuring DC circuits.Impedance is used when measuring cirAC cuits. Theyare bothexpressed in Ohms [R]. There is no such word as The signal your amps put out is AC,and therefore the word impedance is used in discussing speakers in an amp.) Usingthese equations, you can calculate the impedance of and figureout howto wire any groupof speakers.
"ohmage."

SPEAKER

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65

To calculate any number of impedances in series: R1 + R2 + R3... = O. To calculate twoimpedances in parallel: any RlxR2 O. For more thantwo impedances, R1 + R2
=

o Usually, x12cabinets are wired in a combinationf 4 parallel. The speakers are separated into series and two groups of two speakers wired in series.Those two groups are then wired together in parallel. Here's the math; if you get this,all the other combinations are easy:

Differenttube amp companies havevarious nomenclatures for setting the amp's impedance to match the cabinet(s). This can be confusing to a guitarist who justwants to play.I'll try to shed some lightby illustratingthe three major systems.

figurein pairs andthentreateach pair as a singleimpedance.


v If you think of the followingisual cues, the terms series and parallel re easy to understand. a

Take four 16-O speakers. Wire two groups of twoin series: 16 O + 16 O 32 O for each group.
=

O Series circuits are likea lineof dominoes. ne all dominoaffects the others: if it falls,theyall fall;if a dominois removed, the chain reaction stops there. R3

Wire thosetwogroupsin parallel: 1024 O 32 Ox 32 O 16 a. 64 O 32 O + 32 O


_

MESA/Boogie. Most Boogs have three jacks on the back,On most of these,two are labeled 4 O and one is labeled 8 O. The confusion here is this:If you haveone 8-R cabinet, you plugit into the 8 O input; simple enough. But, if you havetwo 8-O cabinets, you plug each the one into one of the two 4 O jacksand leave in 8 O jack empty.Two 8-O cabs (wired parallel inside the amp) = 4 O. Marshall. Marshall makes it a littleless confusingbyhaving selector switch on the back a of the amp. On older models there is a threethat wayswitch selects 4 O, 8 O, and 16 Q. On thebs ceh eew cchmbeo e1r6

R1

R2

Speakers in Series/Parallel
4x12, (4x15, 4x10)

Parallel circuits are like railroad tracks. The rails carry the current, and the ties are the impedances. If one tie is missing, the others can stilloperate.

80

80

between4 O and 8 O. There is a number in parentheses, either 4 or 16; this refers to an internal modificationthat can be performed to change thatswitchposition to the parenthetical impedance value. Marshall output jacks are wired in parallel. If you havetwo 16-O cabs, set the selector to 8 Q.

e ec

R1

R2

R3

SO

8Q

Practical Applications Ninety-ninepercent of the time, an amp or cabinet with twospeakers will havethosespeakers wired in parallel. This is a holdoverfrom the past, when speakers couldn't handlea lot of power and would blow out more than theydo now.Remember: if a t speaker in series blows, hey bothstop working.

8O

Fender. Over the years Fender has used a few s differentchemes. The one most often foundis two jacks in parallel. The one labeled "Ext Spkr" is switched,but it doesn't cause any change inside the amp. Atthis point thereis an impedance mismatch, but nobody's complained for 35 years!C'est la vie.

Virtually o everytubeamp followsne of theseexamples. There is a shortcutfor parallelimpedances. Any group of like impedances in parallel can be figured the out bydividing impedance of a single speakerby the number of speakers:

NtElenduce T Speakers are fairlymaintenance-free devices. hey fromsunlight,don'tlike liketo bekeptdryand away to be poked at, and most of all they don'tlike to do to more work thantheywere designed do. When a speakeris asked to do too much work, it usually returns the favorby blowing Before a speaker up. blowsit may smoke, make a rubbing sound,or proIf you experience duce a low-frequency ofthesesymptoms,turn it down. Or add more any a speakers.If a speaker's power-handlingbility is rated at 25 Watts,two speakers can handle50 Watts, and soon. If you havefour 25-Wattspeakers in your cabinet, thatcabinet can handlea total of 100Watts.
"flubbing."

For example, four 16-O speakers in parallel:


=

Speakers in Parallel

4 O.

80

80

4D

Speakers in Series

16D

Illnr

TA

IIITam

AMD

MAIAITWAIAM

Troubleshooting
A blownspeaker can take many forms.Sometimes they just blowout and stop working. With modern high-powered speakers, this isn't as common as it once was. Today'sspeakers usually breakin a more insidious fashion.Here are some symptoms and checks you can make to see if your speakers are OK. speaker that'sbeen traumatized beyond mbbingcan burn so hot it either melts

To Replace or toRsencone? is the That


Allof the speaker problems justmentioned require replacing or reconing. If you have new speakers with littlesentimentalor vintagevalueand don'thave a reconing expert in your vicinity,it may be most cost-effectivefor you to replace. If you're dealing with original vintage equipment and want to preservesome of thevalue, reconing is a must. Avintage speaker that's beenreconed will not sound the same as before.The new, toughercone willtighten up the tone a lot.Whatyou're really buying reconing is with the use of your old, aged magnet, with its individual tonaleffectand the vintagelook.

open or welds into a short. The easiest way to checkthis is with your Ohm meter.If you get nothing across the terminals, it's open. If you getanythingother than theintended resistance, it may be shorted. In either case you haveto
replace or reconeIf you don't havea meter, try this:
1
'

hen a speaker is overdrivenit starts to overheat.This can cause the voicecoil formto overheat and deform.This in turn can cause the coil to rub or get stuck in the gap it travelsin.

1.

a
1.

Take an ordinary 9-Volt batteryand connect it across the speaker terminals. If you hear a fairlyloud pop, there's hope.If you getnothing, it's gone.

Remove the speaker from the cabinet and place it, cone up, on a table.

2
1.

Look closely at the speaker cone for signs of damage. If there are any rips or punctures, this is bad. Speaker cone paper that's been exposed to the sun too long can dry out and crack. If a speaker's been stored in a damp place it can rot.

2.

the cone gently with the palm of your hand. If you hear any scratching or the cone is stuck, it's blown.

PUmp

SPEAKER

CABINETS

COMPLETE

GUIDE

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AMP

MAINTENANCE

67

Wrench Sizes
Fender Bass and GuitarSaddles (US) Saddles (Japan) Floyd Rose Saddles StringClamp Nut Gibson TrussRod Ibanez Trem Kahler Vibrato LockingNut PRS TrussRod Rickenbacker TrussRod Saddle Guild TrussRod " Socket " 2.5 mm Socket Allen/hex Vis" Socket
.050" .050"

Allen/hex 1.5 mm Allen/hex

Va" 2.5 mm

Allen/hex Allen/hex Allen/hex

3 mm

Me"

Socket

2"

Allen/hex

Allen/hex Va" Allen/hex

some nacesto any stuff


Angela Instruments 10830 GuilfordRd. Suite 309 AnnapolisJunction, MD20701 7 (301) 25-0451 Tbbes,tube manuals, old books,..' Antique Electronic Supply Stewart-MacDonald 21 N. Shafer St., Box 900 Athens,OH 45701

(800)848-2273
Tools, guitarparts,... Wm. K. Walthers (Hobby Supplies Catalog)

5601W.FloristAve.
Milwaukee,WI 53218 Tools, littlebits-o-hardware, grease, oil, bushings,... Local Hardware, Hobby, and Auto Supply Stores that Manythings appearto be specialized products, such as certain polishes,abrasives, files, or are common items available in a number of places. The sources listed above are convenient, but you pay for that convenience. Shop around a bitfirst.
"guitar ,,

6221MapleAve.
Tempe,AZ85283

(602)820-5411
books
1bbes, electronic parts and supplies, great vintage radio

Mojo Music Supply

524 San AnselmoAve.


Suite 204 SanAnselmo,CA.94960

(707)255-8284
Schematics,amp parts,tubes,...

APPENDIX

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Se

AMP

MAINTENANCE

71

Cool Magazines with All Sorts of Info about Swap Meets and Listings of
Parts Dealers
Antique Radio Classified (ARC)

Magazine CQ 76 N. Broadway Hicksville,NY11801

P.O.Box 2 Carlisle,MA07141

(508)371-0512

(516)681-2922
73--Amateur Radio Today

(800)289-0388

Resistor

Color Codes

TOLERANCE NUMBERS OF ZEROS OR


DECIMAL MULTIPLIER 2nd FIGURES SIGNIFICANT 1st
I

SIGNIFICANT COLOR NUMBER OF

FIGURE OR ZEROS

DECIMAL MULTIPLIER

RESISTANCE
TOLERANCE

PERCENT BLACK BROWN


RED
---. . . .

O
1

2
....

ORANGE
YELLOW GREEN
.....

3
. . .

BLUE VIOLET
GRAY

......

5 6
. . . .

7 8
---

......

---

WHITE GOLD
SILVER

9
--...

---

---

0.1
-----

5(J) 10(K) 2O(M)

NO COLOR

-..

SYMBOL DESIGNATION

ALTERNATE FOR COLOR

(Basic Electronics)

72

COMPLETE

GUIDE

TO GUITAR

& AMP

MAINTENANCE

APPENDIX

The following informationand diagrams takenfromtheRCAReceiving TubeManual. are

rubeInfo

5AR4/GZ34
Glassoctal typeused in power supplies of television receivers and other equipment having high DC requirements. Requires octal socket. It is especially important that this tube, like other power-handling tubes, be adequately ventilated.

RECTIFIER Fou,-WAVE VACUUM

6V6

BEAMPOWER UBE

, ' 6 , ,
,

, H,K

IC

G24 5Gi Metal type 6V6 and glass octal type 6V6GTA used as output amplifiersn i are a automobile, battery-operated, other and H 2 7 receivers III which reduced plate-cur. S:6V61 8 rent drain is desirable.Require octal SOcket. These tubes NC: 6V6GTA G3 are equivalent in performance to type 6AQ5A. Type 12V6GT identicalwith type 6V6GTA is except forheaterratings.
.::

Heater Voltage(AC/DC).......................... Heater current............................ Peak Inverse Plate Voltage........................ Peak Plate Current (perPlate)
....... ............................

...........................5.0

...........................1.9

............................1700

.........................825

V A V mA

SU4

Fou.-WWE SCLui

RECTUER

6V6 6V6GTA 12V6GT Heater Voltage(AC/DC) 12.6 6.3 Heater current.........................................0.45 0.45 0.225 Heater Warm-UpTime (Average) 11 Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak Value...........................200 max 200 max 200 max AverageValue max 100 max 100 max
.............................6.3 ........................................100

Y A sec V V

Glassoctal type used in power supplies of radio and color and black-and-white Po2 se * 6 television receivers having high DC PDT NC 3 6 requirements. Requires octal socket. This typemay be supplied with pins 3, F 2 7 Nc 5, and 7 omitted. Verticalmounting is preferred, but horizontalmounting is NC F permissible if pins 1 and 4 are in vertical plane. The coated filaments designed operate fromthe ACline i to through a step-downtransformer. Thevoltageat thefilamenterminals t should be 5 Volts at an average linevoltageof 117 Volts. It is especially important that this tube, like other power-handlingtubes, be adequatelyventilated.

12AT7CC81
Miniature typesused as push-pull cathode-drive amplifiers or frequency con VftfS in the FM and television broadcast bands.Require miniature 9-contact socket. Each triodeunit is independent of the other except for the common heater.

HIGu-NIU TWIN RIODE


H5T1 HT24 KT2 GT2 2 6PT1 y GT1

8 KT1 'HM

ey2'

FilamentVoltage(AC/DC).......................... FilamentCurrent........................... Peak Inverse Plate Voltage......................... Peak Plate Current (perPlate)
. . . .............................

.............................5.0

V
...............................3.0 ............................1550

A y
............................l

Heater Voltage(AC/DC): Series Parallel.......................... Heater Current: Series Parallel.......................... Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak Value
........................ . ........................ ........................

..........................12.6

..

..............................6.3

Y y A A max V

..............................0.15

..............................0.3

...........................90

6L6

BFat POWER BE TL
24 sG'

Metal type 6L6 and glass octal type 6L6GCare used in the output stage of e , ::. audio amplifyingequipment, especially H 2 7 H units designed haveample reserve of to , , power-deliveringability. Require octal NC C G3 socket. These tubes,like other powerhandlingtubes, should be adequately ventilated.Type6L6GCcan be used in place of type 6L6 and maybe supplied with pin 1 omitted.

12AU7CC82
Or

MEDIUM-MU TWINRIODE

Heater Voltage(AC/DC)......................... Heater current........................... Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak Value AverageValue..........................


...............................................180

...........................6.3

..........................0.9

Y A 6L6 max 6L6GC


200

Miniature types used as phase inverters HT1 ,,, PT1 5 push-pull amplifiers in AC/DC radio 4 KT2 GT1 equipment and as multivibrators or a Oscillators in industrial control devices. GT2 2 8 KT1 Also used as combined vertical oscillaPT2 HM tors and vertical-deiection amplifiers, and as horizontal-deflection oscillators, in color andblack-and-white televisionreceivers.Require miniature 9contact socket. Each triodeunit is independent of the other except for the common heater.Types 7AU7and 9AU7 are identical with type 12AU7 and 12AU7A/ECC82 except forheaterratings.
12AU7 12AU7A/ ECC82 9AU7 12.6 9.4

..................-

max 100 max

V V Heater Voltage(AC/DC): 7AU7 Series................................................7.0 Parallel Heater Current: Series................................................0.3 Parallel Heater Warm-UpTime (Parallel, Avg.)........11 Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak Value.............................200 max AverageValue max
.............................................3.5 .............................................0.6 ...........................100

4.7
0.225 0.45 11
200

6.3
0.15 0.3
--

Y Y

A
A sec V V

max 100 max

200

max 100 max

APPENDIX

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73

12AX7/7025/ECC83

HIGH-MUTWINTRIODE

7591
Glassoctal type used as audio-frequency a p0wer-outputtube in high-qualityudio AppiC21iOns. Requiresoctal socket.

BER POWER UBE

Miniaturetypesused as phase inverters s,, 6PT1 "T24 5 i or twinresistance-coupledamplifiersn GT1 KT2 radio equipment or high-quality, high3 7 audio amplifiers.Require miniafidelity GT2 2 8 KT1 ture 9-contactsocket. Each triode unit PT2' HM is independent of the other except for the common heater.Type7025 is identicalwith type 12AX7A except that it has a controlled equivalentnoise and humcharacteristic.

G24

SG3,K G1

_ -::

" 2 1 8 G2

7 N

..........................6.3

Heater Voltage(AC/DC): Series Parallel............................ Heater Current: Series Parallel.......................... Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak Value AverageValue............................
......................... ....................................................0.15 ........................... ............................ .........

..........................12.6

.........................6.3

Y Y A A
........200

Heater Voltage(AC/DC)............................ Heater Current........................... Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak Value AverageValue.........................


......................... .. .

..........................0.8

Y A max max V V

.............................200

.........................100

.........................0.3

EL34/60A7
used in the output stage Glassoctaltypes a of audio-frequencymplifiers. Require octal socket.
G2 4 P

POWER PENTODE
G1 5
_ _

.........................100

..

max max

V V

a
-

NC

H 2 1 G3 8 K

7 H

6550
Glass octal type used in the output audio amplifiers. stages of high-fidelity Requires octal socket. This tube, like other power-handling tubes,shouldbe adequatelyventilated.
G2 "

BEMI POWER TUBE


...........................6.3

G1 4

s
... -::

H 2 1 S
...........................6.3

7 H 8 K G3

HeaterVoltage(AC/DC)........................... Heater Current.......................... Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak value


........................

.........................1.5

Y A max

............................200

Heater Voltage(AC/DC).......................... Heater current........ Peak Heater-CathodeVoltage: Heater negativewith respect to cathode........................300 max Heater positive with respect to cathode.......................*200 max
........1.6

Y A
V

EL84/6BQ5
Miniature typeused in the output stage of audio-frequency amplifiers. Require s miniature 9-contact ocket. Types8BQS and 10BQ5 identicalwith type 6BQ5 are except forheaterratings.
EL84/
a4
K.G3 3

POWERPENTODE
H

e
--

ic 6 7

e
IC G2

io

The DCcomponent ust not exceed 100 Y m

7027
Glassoctal typeused in push-pull ower p amplifier circuits of high-fidelity audio equipment. Requires octal socket. This tube,like other power-handling tubes should be adequatelyventilated.
'

UBE BEMI POWER


G2 P G1 G1

.............................6.3

6BQ5
...............-

'

H 2 9 G2

7 H

Heater Voltage(AC/DC) Heater Current.........................................0.76 Heater Warm-UpTime (Average) Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak Value max AverageValue............................100 max
.............................100

8BQ5 10BQ5
8.0 0.6 11 10.6 0.45 11

Y A sec V
V

100

max 100 max

100

max 100 max

a K,G3

........................6.3

Heater Voltage(AC/DC).......................... Heater Current............................ Heater-CathodeVoltage: Peak Value AverageValue...........................


........................... ..

...........................0.9

Y A max max V V

.........................200

...........................100

74

CoMPLETE

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MAINTENANCE

APPENDIX

Schematic Symbols

Resistor

Potentiometers

Capacitor

Electrolytic Capacitor

Tube Pentode

Tube Rectifier

Solid-State Diode

Solid-State (Diode) ectifier R

NPN Transistor

PNP Transistor

Speaker

Fuse

Standard Jack

Switched Jack

Single-Pole Switch Single-Throw

Crircuitd

Connection

Chassis Ground Double-Pole Single-Throw Switch Double-Pole Double-Throwwitch S Ground Connections

No Connection Circuit Routing Shielded Cable

AC PowerSupply 110V 120 V 220 V 240V PowerTransformer

Plate CenterTap

16Ohms 8 Ohms
4 Ohms

Filament Plate Choke OutputTransformer Common

Things to Read
The 1bbe Amp Book, byAspenPittman Schematics,substitutioninfo, tube lore, mods,... Published by Groove Thbes Everything Every book, every magazine, every catalog; get them all. Read them, save them, and reread them a year later. The more you read, the smarter you get; the smarteryou get,the more you be able to separate factfromlictionin what otherstell you. Make friends,get in a band,get out of the house,talk about equipment untilyour girlfriend B wants (boyfriend) to kill you. Ask questions. e a pain in the neck at the localmusic store (buy something everynow and then). Smarter is better!Don't be afraid! Nowgo! FF: "Usecommon sense and don't be afraid to ask questions. Read as much as you can. Read the manuah but don'tget too goodand steal my gigs!"

(also the source for the BiasProbe).


'n'

(818)361-4500.$29.95
AMPS!The Other Half of Rock Roll, byRitchieFliegler The world of amps according to me. Ibbes, troubleshooting, transistors, history,...More fun than you can stand. Lots-apix! Published by Hal Leonard. At music and book stores everywhere.

$24.95.
Fixing Up Nice Old Radios, byEd Romney A book about radios? Yes. Under the guise of teachingyou how to restore antique radios, Eddie boygivesyou thefulltreatment n eleco tronic theoryand design.This is a great book,written with more attitude than even I can muster. Whew! Available fromARCand Antique ElectronicSupply.$19.95.

APPENDIX

COMPLETE

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To

GUITAR

& AMP

MAINTENANCE

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