Vintage valve amp repair policy:
If I am requested to undertake any work where components are replaced, I will ensure all old components are returned to the client with the amplifier.
On vintage amps, components will only be changed if absolutely necessary and with suitable quality replacements.
I will undertake modifications if requested - example Fender SF to BF conversions, but only after discussing the implications of such changes with clients, I am a firm believer in keeping amps as original as possible (I have 4 unmodified SF Fenders of my own, which to my ears sound fine just as they are!)
Typical valve amp issues:
Over the years of repairing valve amps, I have found that faults generally fall into one or more categories and these can be identified (and often rectified - parts permitting) within the first hour.
- Valves problems - low emissions, grid shorts, physical damage, loss of vacuum, O/C heaters etc.
- Transformers - shorted turns, internal arcing, underrated from new causing overheating and eventual burn out.
- PCB faults - dry joints, cracked tracks, faulty valve bases, often caused by excessive heat over time..
- Component failures - high wattage resistors O/C, electrolytic capacitors, carbon comp resistors out of tolerance, reverb tank spring or transducer failures etc.
- Physical damage - the amp has been dropped or fell over in the back of the van, causing one of more of the above.
- Broken switches, pots, sockets due to misuse over time.
- Solid state component failure - op-amps, transistors e.g. reverb drivers, relay switches etc.