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Bruce Wayne

Valve Jr. woes (again)

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had to take my Valve Jr. back to the shop for the second time in less than a year. first time it was due to glue from the "board" getting hot and getting in the tube socket. that problem was fixed and new tubes installed. last night it started cutting out,I pulled the cable from the input on the front and it made a high pitched scream. turned it back on a few minutes later,no sound at all. turned it off then back a few minutes later,worked fine the rest of the night. took it to the shop today and as soon as he plugged it in and hit a note on his Tele,it just cut out. he said the tube was "cherrying" (is that a word),getting to hot to fast is what I got out of it. he said it could be just a tube,which is not under warranty anymore since he replaced them already. no big they are only $15,he uses Ruby tubes. or it could be something else like a power transformer.

 

this is my replacement from the original that I bought last January.the original had problems within the first two weeks of purchase and was returned after waiting 5-6 weeks for this replacement.

so 1 replacement and two repairs in less than a year.

does this qualify as a "lemon"? should I ask for a replacement from Epiphone?

 

anyone else have likewise problems? thanks

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had to take my Valve Jr. back to the shop for the second time in less than a year. first time it was due to glue from the "board" getting hot and getting in the tube socket. that problem was fixed and new tubes installed. last night it started cutting out,I pulled the cable from the input on the front and it made a high pitched scream. turned it back on a few minutes later,no sound at all. turned it off then back a few minutes later,worked fine the rest of the night. took it to the shop today and as soon as he plugged it in and hit a note on his Tele,it just cut out. he said the tube was "cherrying" (is that a word),getting to hot to fast is what I got out of it. he said it could be just a tube,which is not under warranty anymore since he replaced them already. no big they are only $15,he uses Ruby tubes. or it could be something else like a power transformer.

 

this is my replacement from the original that I bought last January.the original had problems within the first two weeks of purchase and was returned after waiting 5-6 weeks for this replacement.

so 1 replacement and two repairs in less than a year.

does this qualify as a "lemon"? should I ask for a replacement from Epiphone?

 

anyone else have likewise problems? thanks

Well... if it is just a power tube (or any tube for that matter) that is not bad in one years time. Probably what your tech was talking about was "Red Plating" of the power tube. Like you said, it is only 15 dollars and no bog deal. If there is a problem in the bias circuit that caused the red plating, then that may need some attention. The amp is a single power tube, cat biased amp, so that would only involve replacing one resistor and maybe a cap, but it is some work. I doubt it is transformer failure, but I guess you will know that soon.

Good Luck

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I suppose that one of the drawbacks to cheap tube amps is that folks who haven't had experience with tube amps feel an opportunity to do so, and then to expect the same type of reliability as solid state provides. Tube amps require maintenance that SS amps do not, and the main focal point of that is tubes. You could consider a tube to be a light bulb, so consider the fact that light bulbs can go south very suddenly, sometimes even when nearly new. It happens.

 

I'm not sure how "glue from the board" (I suspect that this was actually resin, not glue) would've gotten into a tube socket, but I do know that these boards are extremely gassy and full of resin that can leech out when heated, so I suppose it's possible. That certainly would've been considered a factory defect, imo. It sounds now as though you've got an output tube that's fried. This COULD be simply because the tube is worn out, or it could be the this is a symptom of other issues. You could try just plugging a new EL84 in to see what happens, but watch it closely and shut down immediately if it red plates. Otherwise, let your tech fiddle with it again. While he's in there, if he goes in, have him get the bias dialed in. These amps, in stock form, are notoriously wacky in terms of output tube bias.

 

Btw, JJ makes a very good EL84.

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I suppose that one of the drawbacks to cheap tube amps is that folks who haven't had experience with tube amps feel an opportunity to do so, and then to expect the same type of reliability as solid state provides. Tube amps require maintenance that SS amps do not, and the main focal point of that is tubes. You could consider a tube to be a light bulb, so consider the fact that light bulbs can go south very suddenly, sometimes even when nearly new. It happens.

 

I'm not sure how "glue from the board" (I suspect that this was actually resin, not glue) would've gotten into a tube socket, but I do know that these boards are extremely gassy and full of resin that can leech out when heated, so I suppose it's possible. That certainly would've been considered a factory defect, imo. It sounds now as though you've got an output tube that's fried. This COULD be simply because the tube is worn out, or it could be the this is a symptom of other issues. You could try just plugging a new EL84 in to see what happens, but watch it closely and shut down immediately if it red plates. Otherwise, let your tech fiddle with it again. While he's in there, if he goes in, have him get the bias dialed in. These amps, in stock form, are notoriously wacky in terms of output tube bias.

 

Btw, JJ makes a very good EL84.

 

must have been resin. he replaced both tubes (he used Ruby's) at this time as well,about 5 months ago. called Epiphone today and talked to Bob Burns and he says I have to send it back to Nashville for repair. he said it never should have been fixed by my local tech the first time even though someone at Epi. said to take it to my tech,who is an authorized Epi. repairman. if it is a tube,I hate to send it 1200 miles to get it replaced,but on the other hand there is only 2 months left on the warranty and I need to get it checked by Epi. before that warranty expires. i do have a SS backup that I can use.just frustrating having to send it back to Nashville when there is a guy 15 miles from me that can do it.worst part is I dropped it off on Saturday to the local tech who is closed until Wed. and bob at Gibson will not be in until Saturday the 27th for me to give him the serial # so I can get a RMA to send it.

heard nothing but good things about the JJ's.

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shipped it off to Nashville today,$25. sure hope there is something terribly wrong with it and I get a new one,but then I may be back to square one with the original problems I had. better yet maybe they will just send me a check for what I paid for it (and my $25 for shipping) and I can buy something else.

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Good luck with that, Bruce.

 

Do you mind if I asked you why you chose to go to all this trouble to have this repaired to original form under warranty, rather than look at some of the rather impressive mods that are widely utilized? It would be very simple to replace that OE PCB with a rock solid turretboard, as well as a beefier output transformer, and you'd not only resolve your problems, but you'd end up with a far better sounding, far better-built amp as a result. Not only that, but if you trained yourself on the skills required to do the job yourself, you'd inevitably learn a whole lot of valuable, lifelong information/knowledge along the way.

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Good luck with that, Bruce.

 

Do you mind if I asked you why you chose to go to all this trouble to have this repaired to original form under warranty, rather than look at some of the rather impressive mods that are widely utilized? It would be very simple to replace that OE PCB with a rock solid turretboard, as well as a beefier output transformer, and you'd not only resolve your problems, but you'd end up with a far better sounding, far better-built amp as a result. Not only that, but if you trained yourself on the skills required to do the job yourself, you'd inevitably learn a whole lot of valuable, lifelong information/knowledge along the way.

 

for one,it is under warranty and should be replaced but it's more the principal of the thing. thought about the mods,I'm not comfortable doing them myself and I'd rather buy a better amp than pay someone to do it. talked to a guy who has one for sale on CL here,he had it for four years and hasn't even replaced a tube. my friends guitar player has one as well and has had no problems in the two years since he bought his. found out today that Gibson is sending me a new one.I may just take the new one to GC and trade it for a Jet City 20 watt combo,sell it on CL or try it one more time. third times a charm!

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Warranty on such a cheap amp wouldn't be a valid justification for me keeping it a medicore amp, imo, but I can see where if you're nervous about digging into it yourself, it can make sense to let them warranty replace it. Sounds as though you've got that, so that's cool.

 

The JC20 is a far different beast. It's significantly louder, more articulate, and punchy than the Vjr, for sure. In stock form, it's actually quite usable, although it can tend to be a tad harsh, with mucho mids and highs. It takes some effort to dial it in, and what you find acceptable at one volume will have a tendancy to sway off kilter with volume changes. It's rather finicky, imo, in that it can sound really great at one setting and venue, and not so much so in the next. I'm going to gut and rebuild mine as a Maz Jr. clone, when I have the time. In the meantime, I've made a few changes to it, to make it more usable for me, but I still find it a bit too finicky for my liking. You definitely want to upgrade the tubes in this one when you get it, btw. That's a good chunk of the harsh edge right there.

 

One thing I've learned...don't expect any cheaply produced, mass-market amp to be "all that" out of the box. There are a LOT of compromises that go into making an amp that can be sold at astonishingly low price points, so that means there's a LOT of room for improvement. There's a reason why boutique hand builders get the kind of cash they get for their amps...they're entirely usable, and in fact, rather impressive, right out of the box, because they're making the effort to ensure that every amp that they sell is as good as it can possibly be. The mass producers simply cannot mass produce, sell at low price points, and make that same sort of commitment to quality and tone.

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I'm just learning how to play ta age 45. had carpal tunnel surgery just over a year ago and I can actually hold onto a guitar now without my hands hurting. I bought the VJ because it was simple,cheap and sounded good. it seems it has been out of order at least half the time I have owned it. time for something more reliable.

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I was going to buy a Valve Jr. The display model did not work. The saleman opened up 2 new boxes in front of me & both of them did not work either.

 

Craig

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-Man, that's gotta suck! I have my 1st gen VJ combo and it's still running good. I bought it about 6 months to a year after Epi introduced them. Even AFTER I did some of the mods that were popular when they were first released, she's still making sweet tone. Hope you get things sorted out...

 

L8R,

Matt

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-Man, that's gotta suck! I have my 1st gen VJ combo and it's still running good. I bought it about 6 months to a year after Epi introduced them. Even AFTER I did some of the mods that were popular when they were first released, she's still making sweet tone. Hope you get things sorted out...

 

L8R,

Matt

Yeah, I have one of the old combos. It has AC on the heaters, no noise problems, but I did some mods and also addressed some lead dress issues. These amps are great for the bedroom, studio, or live when you send them trough a 2x12......

Best

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Too bad about you guys having reliablity problems. I have two lightly modded VJr. heads, ver. 3, and have had zero problems. They get used alot and are stone reliable. I love'em. [thumbup]

 

Here's a tune I did with one of the heads through a line out I installed on the amp. Rhythm is full volume and highest gain setting. Lead has an Ibby TS9 and an Ibby Weeping Demon Jr. wah set as a fixed wah.

 

http://superrick.bandcamp.com/track/plead

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Yeah, I have one of the old combos. It has AC on the heaters, no noise problems, but I did some mods and also addressed some lead dress issues. These amps are great for the bedroom, studio, or live when you send them trough a 2x12......

Best

 

-Mine buzzed worse than a beat up Honda Civic with a cheap resonator on it! I did the DC conversion, changed a couple resistors and caps, and rerouted the ground to eliminate the ground loop. Sounds WAY better than it did stock. Even when the volume was down, the ground loop hum was down right irritating. It's not dead silent, but man what an improvement...

 

L8R,

Matt

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found out today that my replacement Valve Jr. will be here on the 14th. it will be retunred to GC on the 15th.

looking to replace it with a new Egnater Tweaker,new Vox Night Train or a used Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. have to see what else they have in that price range when I get there.

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I have an Epi Valve Special which is great fun and reliable

Essentially a Valve Junior in a larger, very well made cabinet

Including quite usable DFX and master volume, at the time of purchase not much more cost than the Valve Junior

And sounds surreal through a suitable large cab....

 

V

 

 

:-({|=

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took the Valve Jr. head I got from Gibson back to GC and traded it for the combo version. was able to get the combo,2 year warranty and a couple of cables for only 6 bucks out of my pocket. if it goes on the fritz this time at least I'm covered on repairs and shipping. plus I can use the 8" speaker in the combo as a "cabinet" for my Tweaker head.

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