When i'm playing through the amp, there is a strong fuzzy tone. occasionally there the signal goes into a wave, quickly going from loud to soft. occasionally it does work properly, producing a clear sound, but the instances where that happens seem to be getting less frequent. any insights would be much appreciated. thanks.
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You will need to isolate the fault to a particular stage.
The two large valves are the power output valves and operate in push/pull mode. The next stage is the phase splitter and driver stage. The next stage is the tone control and compensation. The first stage is the pre amplifier stage. To eliminate the output and drive stage you will need to inject a signal at the top end of the master volume control. Touching this point wth a screw driver will inject enough hum to give a strong buzz from the speaker, if this is the case then fault is in pre amp of tone circuity if not. Check screen feed resistors for open circuit (wire wound resistors to screen pins of output valves). Check resistors to anode and cathode pins of phase splitter for increase in value. If the output stage seems ok then isolate the fault further by touching the screw drive to the grid of the valve in the tone network and then the pre amp valve. The buzz will get louder as you progress if the stage is working ok. If not check anode voltages and resistors.
WARNING. dangerous high voltages exist in the circuits. Only ever use one hand when making contact tests, keep the other one in your pocket. If you feel this help is beyond you then please seek professional help.
All the very best from Vintie
My strong, strong guess is that the large filter capacitors on the power supply have come to the end of their life. open chassis and remove (desolder) the power capacitors - large cans - and replace with new capacitors of similar ratings (voltage and uF). This "noise" will be more like a fuzzy tone of 100 (Europe) to 120 (USA) Hertz which are pretty low frequencies.
Seems that there are some harmonic distortions.
You can try to swap some tubes (12AX7), there could be just one tube who's messes up your sound.
If there isn't any change off this distortion, you must visit a technician.
The output transistors are probably shorted. There should not be any DC voltage going to the speakers. DO NOT run it this way for long or you will damage the voice coils of the speakers. This unit needs service. Expect a parts cost in the $25-$40 range.
The cool thing about guitar amps is that you can mess with the knobs until you find the sound that you like. There is no particular way to use it, just try to find a tone that suits you. Start with gain controls down and tone knobs at 12o'clock. Turn up the gain(one at a time) to get distortion and more sustain to your sound. Turn the distortion up midrange down and treble up for metal sounds, more bass and midrange for bluesy sounds. just play around with it and you will see what I mean. Here is a guide from Fender on how to setup your guitar. If you are not sure, a good guitar tech can make any old axe feel and sound great with a good setup unfortunately, Fender do not have an electronic copy of your owners manual to download, but you can buy one for $5 direct from them here It is only a 1 page manual.... so you will get more from just messing with it.
Musicians spend there whole lives tuning and tweaking knobs to get the sound they are looking for. It wont take you long to start doing the same.:)
Try Earex wax softener, worked for me!
Seriously though, are you sure it's the amp, could someone have cooked your speakers without you knowing?
Have you checked the media source? Garbage in equals garbage out with any system.
Your terminology leads me to think you are an audiophile, so have you checked the stylus?
Have you put in some new furniture or rearranged the room. This can make a big difference to the way a system sounds.
Check all the usual things like your signal connections.
If you have a PC to hand in your listening room, use it as a sound analyser, plug a microphone in and connect the line out into your amp you should be able then to measure the responses of your setup with white noise, swept tones and impulses for room dynamics.
I seem to remember there are freeware utilities for this kind of thing.