Multiple New Orange Amps needing Power Tube Replacements?

Orange Amps Technical Q&A's

Moderator: bclaire

Post Reply
rocketsquawk
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 5:38 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Multiple New Orange Amps needing Power Tube Replacements?

Post by rocketsquawk » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:41 pm

In the last 6 months, I've purchased a Rocker 32 combo and a Rockerverb MKIII 50 head. Great amps, but in both cases, within a few weeks of ownership, one power tube in each amp was scratching, popping, and squealing like a banshee. In the Rocker 32, the effects loop buffer tube was also humming and comically microphonic within days of first powering it on. In the Rockerverb, one of the 12AX7s failed the chopstick test.

Does anyone else have a similar tale? I've purchased tens of new tube amps over the years and never once had to replace tubes right out of the box ... until these two Orange purchases. Sure, the retailer should have caught some of this, but so shouldn't have the factory? FWIW, the tubes in the Rocker 32 were a mashup of generic Sino and Ruby tubes -- not sure of rhyme or reason there. The Rockerverb was loaded with generic PM EL34s/12AX7s. It's a bit of a bummer when you plunk down $2000 for top-o-the-line kit, and it needs $100 in parts and service within a few weeks of normal use. :?

I have many other tube amps running just fine on the same power. The cab load is correctly matched to the head. Etc., etc. Neither amp has ever left my living room, been played wide open, or been powered up more than a handful of hours. So, I know it's not environmental or "pilot error."

Is this common or just a concentrated tachyon beam of bad luck?
// Rockerverb MKIII 50 // Rocker 32 // Tiny Terror // 72 Fender Vibrolux // Vox AC30 Custom // 93 Fender Blues Deluxe // Lots of 5E3 homebrews // Various LPs, Strats, Teles, and Gretsch // A gazilllion fuzzes //

bclaire
Forum Moderator
Posts: 17680
Joined: Thu May 02, 2002 9:19 pm
Location: Outside Boston MA, USA
Contact:

Re: Multiple New Orange Amps needing Power Tube Replacements?

Post by bclaire » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:03 pm

Ask an amp tech how often he or she gets bad tubes out of a box... my tech says 1 in 10 with 12AX7's. Sounds like a run of bad luck, but of course a tube that presents fine at the factory can go bad just from rattling from shipping. You never know...

steamboat
Rocker
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Multiple New Orange Amps needing Power Tube Replacements?

Post by steamboat » Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:15 pm

I have purchased brand new tubes that have tested bad. Unfortunately it's part of the tube amp game. It's too bad that GOOD tube testers are so expensive. It's a tool every guitar player should have in my opinion. I have a tube tester and I have found a lot of bad tubes over the years some that still work in the amp but effect the tone in a negative way. Had I not had a tube tester I wouldn't have been able to single them out. This way i'm not changing a whole set just when one or two tubes need replacing. This also makes me think of all the people who buy a tube amp and think it sucks or don't get to experience it the way it should sound because there is a bad tube in it and they don't even realize it or think to check them out. I bet a lot of amps have been sold because the person didn't like the tone if only they had tried different tubes.
Rollin with a fat sack of Oranges

rocketsquawk
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 5:38 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Re: Multiple New Orange Amps needing Power Tube Replacements?

Post by rocketsquawk » Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:17 pm

Yeah, I figured that's what most folks would chalk it up to: premature "bad luck" ... but unfortunately that I've only ever had with Orange OEM tubes. (Of course, I've received DOA replacement 12AX7s many times over the years, but never 2 brand new amps in a row with power stage screechers,)

The replacement tubes in both amps sound great and biasing was super simple with the test points and ideal readings clearly marked on the boards. FWIW ...

P.S. I'm in Cambridge. @bclaire I should get out to see you guys sometime.
// Rockerverb MKIII 50 // Rocker 32 // Tiny Terror // 72 Fender Vibrolux // Vox AC30 Custom // 93 Fender Blues Deluxe // Lots of 5E3 homebrews // Various LPs, Strats, Teles, and Gretsch // A gazilllion fuzzes //

rocketsquawk
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 5:38 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Re: Multiple New Orange Amps needing Power Tube Replacements?

Post by rocketsquawk » Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:24 pm

steamboat wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:15 pm
This also makes me think of all the people who buy a tube amp and think it sucks or don't get to experience it the way it should sound because there is a bad tube in it and they don't even realize it or think to check them out. I bet a lot of amps have been sold because the person didn't like the tone if only they had tried different tubes.
Amen. I have a '72 VIbrolux that a guy sold to me thinking it was "broken." It needed new tubes. Score. More to your point: one can totally change an amp's character by rolling preamp tubes. We all know the 5E3 is a different animal with a 12AX7 in V1. Or a Tiny Terror with an AT7 and a 5751, for example.
// Rockerverb MKIII 50 // Rocker 32 // Tiny Terror // 72 Fender Vibrolux // Vox AC30 Custom // 93 Fender Blues Deluxe // Lots of 5E3 homebrews // Various LPs, Strats, Teles, and Gretsch // A gazilllion fuzzes //

Les Paul Lover
Duke of Orange
Posts: 6756
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:08 am
Location: Derby, England

Re: Multiple New Orange Amps needing Power Tube Replacements?

Post by Les Paul Lover » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:06 pm

Sadly, it's just bad luck. (Really bad luck :( )

My RV50 is still going strong with its 9yo set of original valves. I did replace the EL34 in my R30, but just out of curiosity, and the old EL34 still sound excellent.
Ant

Orange Gear: RV50 MKI, R30, AD15, AD5, PPC212
Past Orange: Orange AD30TC Combo, Tiny Terror

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, Vigier Expert Retro 54, Gibson SG 70s Tribute, Aria Pro II RS X80, G&L ASAT Special Tribute

bclaire
Forum Moderator
Posts: 17680
Joined: Thu May 02, 2002 9:19 pm
Location: Outside Boston MA, USA
Contact:

Re: Multiple New Orange Amps needing Power Tube Replacements?

Post by bclaire » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:38 pm

rocketsquawk wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:17 pm
P.S. I'm in Cambridge. @bclaire I should get out to see you guys sometime.
No kidding! That's cool - let me know when you're playing, too.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest