Guitar Amplifier Repair
We see many more guitar amplifiers than any other form of electronics stage equipment to repair, it's not because they are more problematic to failure it is just they are more popular and are often used for other things such as bass amps, piano amps and so on.
There are two main technologies we repair in guitar amps, this is solid state, and valve. The term solid state simply refers to no moving parts and all 'solid' referring to the silicone transistors and FETS used to amplify and deliver the current needed to the speaker. Valve amps however use electrons travelling through a vacuum to amplify the current. The blue glow tinge you see on power tubes is plasma and is as close as you can come to seeing electrons moving.
Both amplifiers technologies contain dangerous voltages and users are not recommended to start prodding around inside. We have had many amps in over the years where a video clip on 'repairing amps' is used and often creates many more faults. For many people their guitar amp is their tool to earning money, and needs to be carefully repaired and looked after.
We're authorised Blackstar repair agents, and recognised by all the leading brands as a repairer, brands include Marshall, Fender, Orange, VOX.
We get asked how often do I need to change my valves? This is subject to personal taste really as long as they've not shorted or failed otherwise physically. When valves age they tend to give a softer sound sounding like the speaker is wrapped in carpet slightly distorted and muffled. We generally say if you play every day for a few hours then 2 years is pretty good. If you are a bedroom player never thrashing it you could quite happily get 4-5 years without issue.
Replacing the valves is straightforward, relatively... the smaller tubes often marked 12AX7 or ECC81/3 can simply be swapped out without any worry or need to rebias. It's important
Read more: Valve Replacement & Biasing
A popular repair we get asked to carry out is often related to 'user interface' items such as jack sockets and broken or cracking knobs. Now we're not saying musicians are heavy handed, you guys know you are already! :) We're saying it is a common thing we get asked!
Sometimes a description of the "jack hums or doesn't work unless I hold it in this position, usually I just put a bit of tape in place or wedge the cable around the handle and it works"
Read more: Broken Jacks and crackling pots