Engl volume come and go

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by chopeth, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    That's that. I have an EVH 5153 50w and an Engl Ironball 20w and while I didn't have any problem with the first for 4 years already, the second, which is only 2 years and didn't go out of home started a few months ago to lose volume randomly. I thought it'd probably be something with the effect loop and took everything off there, but still losing volume, comes and goes, sometimes to half the volume, sometimes completely lost, then come back again... I thought it maybe ocurred at a specified moment but also paid attention to time and it is random, sometimes it happens after half and hour playing, sometimes after 15 minutes, sometimes it doesn't happen in 1h playing... dunno, but it is a pain to have such a "new" amp with only a few hours of playing and not being able to rely on it in case it goes off and decides not to work.
     
  2. DaZoner

    DaZoner SS.org Regular

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    Sounds like you may have a power tube on the way out. When the volume cuts out, does the sound get fizzy just before it goes? Do you have a spare set of power tubes?

    I'm only speaking from experience as this is exactly what has happened to me in the past. Is this a common problem with the Engl model you have? Sometimes manufacturers release an amp that has known issues, e.g. early generations of the marshall DSL50.
     
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  3. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

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    Yup, likely a power tube going bad. Less likely is a dirty potentiometer (amp isn't that old) or FX loop. Start with rolling new power tubes through.
     
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  4. xzyryabx

    xzyryabx SS.org Regular

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    I had the same issue with the same amp....it was the power tubes.
     
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  5. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    Sounds like a bad tube. Most likely a power tube since preamp tubes usually exhibit other issues. Still no harm on swapping one preamp tube at a time for a working spare to check all positions. Bad tubes can cause all kinds of shit on your amp.

    That's the nature of any tube amp, though (specially considering the quality standards of current production tubes).
     
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  6. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

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    When I had an amp that did that it was bad voltage regulation at my house :2c: it just affected one of my amps worse than the others
     
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  7. BurningRome

    BurningRome SS.org Regular

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    Yep, tubes. You could do some of the basic no cost / low cost options.

    1. Get a good preamp tube and check it in each of your pre's to see if you find a bad pre. Probably not the issue though.

    2. Confirm your head and cab OHM's are matched properly. Probably not the issue either.

    These are just quick no heavy cost ways to confirm. But I say it's your Power Tubes.
     
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  8. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    Power tubes would be my first guess.
     
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  9. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    Thanks everybody. I've had a child and last time a took the amp out was 8 months ago, I hope I can practice more from now on anyway...

    1. What is a good set of tubes? (I guess I have to buy two because I don't know which one is flawed

    2. Do I need to do bias adjust after swapping them even if they are the same type EL84 brand type?

    I don't know any tech to take it to and I'm thinking about doing it myself with all the precautions as I know it's something dangerous.
     
  10. DaZoner

    DaZoner SS.org Regular

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    First, look to see which type of tubes you need. You can do this without pulling them out hopefully. Next, go to your local music store and ask them who their local goto amp tech is.

    Now if you have electrical training, then you can try biasing yourself. If not, read up on it and maybe do it yourself another time.

    Also, alot of amps are fixed bias these days. Thus, you may only need to pull out the old tubes and put the new ones in. Also, do a youtube search on how to pull tubes without breaking anything.

    If they don't have tubes at your local store (I try to support mom/pop stores) then check tube depot.

    Good luck!
     
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  11. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    I'd do both because then you know its fresh. Physically swapping tubes isnt too difficult either.
     
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  12. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    If you replace the power tubes for the exact type and model, brand, etc, a rebias is not necessary. In your case I would do that.

    Preamp tubes don't need biasing, so you can freely experiment. My favourite tubes for Engl amps are NOS RFT ECC83s. Cheap, good availability, and much more rugged than any current tubes. They have a nice presence rolloff that really helps with engls. Kinda like a better JJ.
     
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  13. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    Probably a stupid question, but... how do I know the exact type, model and brand of the power tubes?... and another one as you are saying I can freely change the preamp ones without biasing, do I really need it if the work properly? I'm happy with my tone, but maybe there's a huge improvement I didn't even think about?
     
  14. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    Well, if you bought the amp new the most obvious answer would be buying Engl tubes. They might sell different 6L6 variations so you could just email them to find out. Or you can take the amp to a tech for a proper bias adjustment and use whatever tubes you want.

    About the preamp tubes, if they're not the cause of the problem you don't need to change them (specially if you are happy with your sound). If it ain't broke, don't fix it. There's no need to get into another gear rabbit hole!
     
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  15. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    I have the same amp and had to replace the power tubes after what felt like a very short time as well (compared to my 5150).
    I hear EL84 don't last long, but I think the Ironball might be brutal on the tubes. I've put in Tube Doctor ones and they've already lasted longer than the first set.
    I didn't bother with biasing the amp, TBH I thought it didn't need biasing, but after checking in the manual I realise I confused that with the Krank Rev Jr I had before.
     
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  16. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    Awesome, so I'll ask Engl what are the specific power tubes they put in their ironballs, buy the couple and swap them myself being careful to use gloves and stuff... as I don't have any tech available around. Thanks!! It's true that I spent like a hundred times more playing my 5150 and the tubes are all right there while the Engl only have several dozens of hours and started failing.
     
  17. skullfxr

    skullfxr SS.org Regular

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    I would get a pair of the NOS Russian 6P14P Power tubes. They are actually dirt cheap on eBay but take a few weeks. IMO they are a gamechanger over modern production EL84.
     
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  18. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    That's interesting. Are there any of these russian equivalents for 6L6GC or EL34s around?
     
  19. skullfxr

    skullfxr SS.org Regular

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    Much harder to find and not for the same price. I have eight octets of those 6P14P that are still brand new. I have them in two amps ATM. Going strong for sure.
     
  20. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

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    almost everything out of the new sensor factory is "close enough" russian equivalents, but not NOS like he's talking about
     

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