We see many Fender amplifiers in for repair. Why so many do you ask? Are they more problematic than other brands? Do they have inherent “common faults” (as reported by forums)(you can read about our view on forums here…).
No, we generally Fix more Fender amps because they’re a very popular amplifier! Take the Blues Junior and Hot Rod Deluxe amps. Not bad sounding, small, all valve and very loud for their size!
Having seen many many different weird faults with Fender Blues Juniors, Twins and Hot Rod Deluxes some of which we’ve outlined below, we have fully repaired and handed them back to their owners for many more years successful playing!
-Loud Humming with nothing connected
-Unusual self oscillation when turning tone controls and gain pots
-Issues with having to turn volume past 2 to hear anything
-Blowing valves, even new ones
-No noise at all
-Low distorted output
-No reverb or intermittent
-Crackles and pops
-Input jack issues
By far the biggest issues we find with Blues Juniors is their fixed bias. In most cases the UK voltage is much higher than that assumed and calculated by Fender, as such we have never had an amp in with an acceptable bias.
Is this an issue?
Every amp has measured with a very Hot bias setting. This dramatically shortens the life of the valves.
we fix an adjustable bias controls making it easier to set the right level, this should always be carried out by a professional as there are potentially lethal voltages present when carrying out bias setting on these amps
More info & arrange a Repair
We’ve written a blog covering this in greater detail, you can read about it here, and arrange a repair
Excessive background humming, loss of volume, weird oscillation noises? chances are the storage capacitors are past their best
Is this an issue?
We’re unsure if there is a fault with a batch of IC branded capacitors of if it is because of the excess heat inside the amplifiers which causes them to leak and prematurely fail.
Depending on the version HRD you have depends how many of these capacitors there are to change, however we only fit F&T branded capacitors. These are a premium German brand and are widely regarded and used by the audio industry in top end amplifiers. We’ve installed these for many years and so far have never had a failure.
More information & Repair
You can read more about our storage capacitor upgrades and make a repair booking by referring to this blog
One thing we get asked often and then have to fix properly after, is can I do these repairs myself?
Like all electronics with high voltages possible on the circuit board even up to an hour after being disconnected we discourage you trying.
Damage removing main board
Almost all work to Blues Juniors and Hot Rod Deluxes requires removal of the main board. This has all the pots and jack sockets on the top attached. Many repairs brought to us have the original fault and added snapped pots and jack sockets where the user or “a friend who knows a bit about electrics” has had a go at dismantling and removing the board.
Damage to circuit board tracks
Another popular damage to occur to these kinds of amplifiers is damage made by forcing components off the board without correctly unsoldering the wire legs. I don’t know why but we see more circuit board damage to these amps than any other. I think it may be because of how hard it is to remove the main board people try to do it all in-situ, either that or the legs of a component are cut and new ones are tagged on with a blob of solder to the old legs. We’ve seen some other companies who claim themselves as elite repairers and for whatever reason have done the same.