The Boogie Board

Discussion Forum for Mesa Boogie Products
It is currently Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:26 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:21 pm 
Offline
Mark I
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: NYC
bandit2013,

Once again thank you for your in-depth response to my questions. I followed all you advice and the new tubes are working great in my Roadster. I did however leave out the springs in the preamp tube casings. I think the tension created by the springs some how caused me to damage some of the tubes last time I reinstalled them into both of my amps.

Now I'm left with the two sets of old tube from both the Roadster and Road King. I now want to reinstall a working set left over from the two sets into the Road king. I thought I could spot the damaged preamp tube be sight but I can't see any obvious damage to any of them. I was hoping I could test the preamp tubes heater pins with my multimeter to find the bad tubes but that didn't work. They all tested fine. Even an old cracked power tube I had tested fine. Is there another way to fine the bad preamp tubes besides just popping them into the amp one buy one? Thanks again for all the wisdom!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:46 pm 
Offline
Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2577
Location: North Carolina
No problem at all...

Unfortunately if you do not have a tube tester, the only way to find out what is bad is to plug it into the amp. A cracked tube is an easy one to spot even if you do not see the crack in the glass as the heater will glow extremely dim if at all. It may start out bright but then dim. It is easier to see that on the Power tube but the preamp tubes will also look dark if they have damaged glass. Heater may test out fine impedance wise but may not get hot if the vacuum has been relieved (cracked). I have dropped a few expensive tubes and learned a few things from that.....

As for the springs I never tried to remove them. They are a pain to get on over the wick of the preamp tubes, especially V1 on most amps if hidden behind the OT transformer. The long extended tube shield I generally do not use as I can use the small one easier. I bought a few from Mesa along with some bear claw clamps as I broke a few on the Mark V. Hint, do not bend them too far or they crack where they get screwed to the chassis. To spring or not to spring, in some respects the springs act as a heat sink since they make contact with the glass but on the cooler areas at the top. It is the sides that get hot, similar to a power tube but they do not heat up as high in temperature. Tube shields are not really necessary but seems to be the trend. The Mark III I had for 24 years only had one on the V1 tube which was more painful to install than the current ones at it was a bayonet style of clip. The other tubes did not have any shields.

I would say my preference would be to go without, if you do not hear radio signals or other interesting stuff (shields will not prevent that anyway) you can live without them. amps that have tubes facing upward like the Roadster and Roadking as well as the RA100 are prone to aluminum metal dust contamination on the surrounding surface of the preamp tube socket on the PCB. Enough tube changes or too much fighting on getting the shield back in place causes enough friction to shave off small metal flakes. Compressed air usually helps to clean that out. I am generally conservative with the tube shields if I am tube rolling, they remain off until I am satisfied. That small rubber gasket is normally black in color, I use a liquid was (liquid ice automotive wax) to clean and lubricate the o ring. That makes installing the shields so much easier. Even an oil may help like 3-in-one as long as you wipe any excess off. The liquid ice is an oil as well but also protects the rubber o ring from drying out. For amps that have the tubes facing downward, I believe the Roadster combo and perhaps the Roadking have the chassis inverted, may be good idea to keep the shields in place. I have taken the shields on and off so many times I can tell by feel if the spring is over the tip and not on the side of it. However going from one amp to another, not all tubes face in the same direction. The Mark III was the most difficult as the preamp tube was at a 45 degree angle or something similar vs the others were the missing pin may be at 90 degrees or facing the front of the amp.

_________________
Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:23 pm 
Offline
Mark I
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: NYC
bandit2013,

Again, thank you for all the great advice. I will do what you sugested and just pop them in and look for the lightly dimmed preamp tubes. Should take that long.

I do own the combo version of the roadster with the tubes hanging down. Right now I don't have any of the Tube shields on and it sounds fine. At some point i will try to get them back on but I really don't want to crack or damage any of the new tubes right now.

I will say I can't believe how much better my amp sound with the new set of tubes. I know it's crazy but I've had this amp for 9 years and never changed a tube. I always loved the sound of the amp so I just didn't bother. But wow, what a difference the re-tubing did for the amp.

At first I was struggling a bit with the change in sound but now I'm getting used to it. I'm really noticing the increase in treble. It's almost like there is another presence pot in the amp now. Because of this it sounds like there is less bass but I'm sure I can just readjust the controls a bit. The other thing is that there is so much separation between the notes when you play a big chord at high gain. I remember John Petrucci using that to describe the characteristics of the boogie sound and thinking to myself, my amp doesn't sound like that. Lastly, everything screams more. Notes, pinch harmonics, everything just sings so much more. It's really crazy. Maybe the tubes are still getting broken in because it sound better now than when I first put them in. Crazy.

I ended up just getting the tubes from Boogie but at some point I definitely experiment with some other preamp tubes to see what other tones I can get. I can't believe I waited so long. Stupid.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:18 am 
Offline
Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2577
Location: North Carolina
To be honest, I actually prefer the stock tubes in the Roadster. There can be a bit of change with selection of V1 or V2 (one being stock and the other something else). I did like the tone I was getting with all stock tubes and used a Jan/GE 5751 in V2. It may drop the gain just a small amount but enhanced the tone far more than I expected. Typical users stick a Tung Sol in V1 and the rest stock tubes. That does change many things especially with the brightness. Generally I found the Mesa SPAX7 tube curbs most of the low end drone and still retains the character of the amp.

I am surprised you had not issues with the 9 year old tubes. The cathode follower tube in V3 (only used on CH3 and CH4) will degrade overtime a bit faster than the others. The one on V5 position is not as degrading as it is used to attenuate the signal for the loop. If you notice your tone is suffering on CH3 or CH4, the suspect tube will be V3.

I have also heard the Beijing tubes work well with the Rectifier amps. I had a few old stock Mesa Chinese tubes of that variety and loaded up the amp with them (including the cathode follower circuits) and did not notice much of a change. They were well used tubes so perhaps that may be the problem. I do have new one's I got for use in the Mark V (NOS Beijing 12AX7 with square foil getter, same tube as the 1990 Mesa 12AX7) and those are awesome in that amp. Considering I have not fired up the Roadster in some time now (been busy with TC-50 and JP-2C for the past few months). The Roadster is a beast for sure but also has two great clean channels. So far, the Roadster is the only amp that I never had issues with the footswitch control or cable. The Mark V uses the same cable but slightly different footswitch control and I am having issues with that, reason why I do not use it).

What I love about the Roadster is the different gain characteristics you get with the rectifier tubes. Spongy or variac operation is also fun for some effect. I generally go for the extreme on Modern settings but had found that Vintage on CH3 set to 50W is an awesome setting especially for lead. There is so much about the amp that I have not learned yet. Another trick is to use an inverted V shape on an EQ pedal in the loop as that seems to act as a gain boost. Taming the bottom end is the key on this amp as it has plenty of it.

_________________
Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:17 am 
Offline
Mark I
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: NYC
bandit2013,

Well, I did start to have power tubes fail. That's how I ended up swapping tubes from my other boogies until I got some new tubes. I actually took your advice and stuck with the boogie branded tubes. I always loved the sound of this amp so why mess with perfection. However, in the future I will definitely explore some of the other preamp options you mention in V1 and V2.

I too haven't explored this amp as much as I could. I do spend most of my time in the modern mode in Ch 3 and 4 since I'm heavy into playing Metal, Progressive Metal and Shredding. I will say I've been using a OD pedal in Ch 2 in Brit mode and I'm really liking the classic rock and non metal tones I can get. And I've always loved the clean tones that Ch 1 provides. I've owned boogies off and on for over 30 years and I always seem to keep coming back to them. This truly is one of the best and versatile amp I've owned from them.

So I didn't have any luck this weekend figuring out my issues with the Roadking. I reinstalled the original tubes and looked for the signs you mentioned but everything looked good to me. All the tubes glowed evenly with the power tubes glowing the brightest. Nothing looked super bright or dark.

The issues I'm having are a bit weird. Ch 3 and 4 sound fine but Ch 1 and 2 have barely any volume. They work but they are super quiet. I decided to take 2 preamp tubes that I know work and put them in V1 and V2, then 3 and 4, and lastly 5 and 6 but that made no change. I then did the same with a set of matched power tubes, switching one pair and then the other but still no difference. Next I tried switching the Rectifier tubes with no change. I also tried all the amps channels in both the diode and rectifier mode and in all the power tube options with no change. Lastly I removed my G-system effects unit out of the loop and just plugged my guitar into the amp but again no change was heard. I wonder what I could have do to my amp to create this issue? All I did was swap out the tubes between the Roadster and Road King. Crazy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:40 pm 
Offline
Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2577
Location: North Carolina
What RoadKing version do you have? I or II ? and when it comes to the progressive linkage system, the Roadster does not have that feature.

The Roadking II and the Roadster are very similar from what I recall others saying in reference to the preamp section (not sure if there was a previous Roadster model based of the Roadking I).

I would try turning off the FX loops on the RK with the toggle switch on the back and use the channel masters for setting the volume to see if you can get the CH1 and CH2 loudness up. Check your gain level on CH1 and CH2, if you have them too low they will influence the volume of the channel. The obvious will happen if they are set higher than 1pm as that will get the amp into clipping. I would try increasing the gain just a bit and see if that helps. Also check the progressive link on the back of each channel and confirm you are running the same settings for all 4 channels. Sometimes the rotary knobs can be cleaned just by rotating the control from selection to selection (most switches of this type are self cleaning as the wiper pole is surrounded by pressure on both sides and movement of the wiper will clean the surface of the switch contacts. No chemicals are needed unless it is really bad. Most chemical cleaners tend to remove the lubricants in the switches or pots, so it may depend on construction, that would be a last resort thing and not recommended as general maintenance. (caution on cleaners or de-oxit if used, never spray that into a live circuit, that stuff is a last resort if normal use does not correct the issue, many of the products used in cleaners are Ether based organic compounds and are very flammable). Just a few turns of the knob should clean the contact surface from friction. Check and see if the progressive link is actually switching. I would try each setting on all channels and compare the differences. That amp has a lot of features to it. There may be some other differences I am not aware of as I do not have the RoadKing so my help may be limited at best regarding that one..

_________________
Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:21 am 
Offline
Mark I
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: NYC
bandit2013,

As always, thanks for your suggestions. I have the Road King II. It's a 2010. I did try most of your suggestions the first time however some of them I didn't so well see if any of them work. The Road King is very much like the Roadster except it has the progressive linkage, a second FX loop and two speaker outs instead of one. Everything else is about the same. True their are a lots of modes and switches but it's not confusing so I'm sure I'm not doing anything wrong.

I'll try reaching out to Boogie support and see what they say about it. They are usually very helpful when trouble shooting an issue. I'll also start a new tread on here to see if anyone else has any ideas. Their are a lot of people on this forum like you with wells of knowledge. I've gotten some great advice and information on a wide range of issue so hopefully someone will have some suggestions that lead to a solution. Thanks again for all your help.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:33 pm 
Offline
Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2577
Location: North Carolina
Mesa is a good resource for diagnosing issues. I can only help to a certain point but tube swaps and such are considered maintenance tasks.
Based on my Roadster, I found CH1 and CH2 to be serving with plenty of volume to compete with the other two channels.

The only notable volume drop I have ever encountered is with the vintage and raw settings on CH3 or 4 that would be expected due to the change in gain which also impacts the volume level. Gain is generally at the front end of the circuits and the channel volume is usually at the tail end of the channel circuit. With some amps it may be more than obvious with the affect the gain has on output volume (RA100 for example) It may not be all that apparent with the Roadster but there is a relationship.

Good luck with a resolve on the CH1/CH2 volume drop issue. If you have used old tubes from one amp to the other, it may be probable that one was used in a cathode follower position which does lead to weakening of the triode in half of the tube over time when the amp is used. I would suspect either V1 or V2 to be the two tubes to recheck with one that is either new or known to be good (one that was not used in the V3 or V5 positions).

_________________
Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:47 pm 
Offline
Mark I
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: NYC
bandit2013,

Well, I tried some of your suggestions this weekend and the good news is the Road King is working, I repeat the Road King is working! And the F'ed up thing is it wasn't even bad tubes. I'm pretty sure both sets of tubes in the Road King and the Roadster were fine. It ended up being the Mini Amp Gizmo I use to switch the roadster channels via the G-system. Weirdly enough when I would connect the G-system to the RK I always forgot to unplug the MAG from the G which was also connected to the RS. So when the G was connected to the RK there was still a connection from the G to the RS on stand by obviously. It must have been confusing both amps somehow. When the RK was connected I would have issues with CH 1 and 2 and when the RS was connected I would have issues with Ch 3 and 4.

This weekend I took the G and MAG out of the loop. I turned the FX loops off of both amps which takes the Solo and Master out as well and just used the foot controllers and everything worked fine. Then I slow introduced everything back into the loop and both amps worked fine. Crazy. The Roadster still needed new tubes anyway so I'm glad I did that. I'll just keep the old ones as spares for now. Thanks again for all you help and suggestions. I can't tell you how much it help me. I'm fairly new to some of this and the signal flow can become confusing after a while. Not like when I was growing up and play some pedal into the front of an amp. What a different life that was.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:14 pm 
Offline
Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2577
Location: North Carolina
That is good to hear. It is always best to reduce any diagnosis down to the basics. What is plugged into the amp (including the FX loop but it is one thing I do not use that often so it is far from my thoughts). Enjoy the new tubes....

_________________
Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:02 am 
Offline
Mark I
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: NYC
bandit2013,

I am so enjoying the new tubes. I definitely wont go 9 years between a re-tube ever again. I guess I'll keep my ear out for when I start to hear a change or maybe every couple of years just re-tube it. I know tubes are made to work for 1000's of hours but somewhere along the way they really lose there color. My amp really started to loose it's definition and tone years ago. I figure I put about 1000 hour a year at the most on them.

Since your a Roadster owner I have another question for you. Do you ever use the solo function on the amp? I have a G-System running through the effects loop so my loop is active which engages the master volume and solo. On Ch 3 and 4 I keep the channel master up really high and the master volume really low if I'm playing in my bedroom. In order to have Ch 1 at the same volume with 3 and 4 and not have it break up at all I've been using the solo feature as a way of getting more volume and keeping it really clean. The problem I'm have is when I switch from Ch 3 and 4 to Ch 1 I get a loud pop. Going from Ch 1 to 3 or 4 doesn't give me a pop. If I don't use the solo then the pop is also gone. It clearly seems like its coming from the solo being engaged. I wonder why I would be getting such a loud pop.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:18 pm 
Offline
Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2577
Location: North Carolina
I barely use the solo feature on any of my amps that have that option. I have tired the function just to hear the effect but have not made use of it. Cool idea to use that to balance out the clean the gain channels. For some odd reason I always found the clean channels to be louder than the gain channels if I am not using the Modern voice on CH3, CH4.

Channel pops, just about all of my amps do the channel pop except for two models, RA100 and the TC-50 but I doubt they are prone to the issue. Since relays and switches are used to switch audio circuits, there is that risk of getting the noise especially with circuits that have capacitors as their main element (tone stacks) and in some cases any inductance in the circuit that changes abruptly. This causes a change in current in the signal path if associated channels do not have the same operating state or some initial charge in their associated circuitry, it may actually happen if a charge potential builds up in a circuit or a lack of charge in that circuit when the channel is changed. The Roadster is not prone to the pop but it can be minimize or rendered non existent if you cycle all of the channels and modes on the footswitch control once the amp is taken out of standby or some have success with cycling the channels after the amp has warmed up and is still in standby. I generally found a couple of cycles of the channels and even the mute eliminates the popping noise for the entire time I use the amp. Mark V, and JP-2C, have this issue too. The JP-2C is a bit different due to the method how it switches channels since it is all handled by a midi controller that strobes a mute signal during channel changes. Mark V, Roadster and the Roadking all use the same switch logic control which is supposed to have the mute dynamic during channel changes to eliminate the electrical discharge or sudden spike in signal due to impedance changes between channels and other circuits. I believe there is a sticky note in the forums on the Roadster or just a general note about pops and such and ways others have found to defeat the issue.

_________________
Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:53 pm 
Offline
Mark I
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: NYC
I learned that little solo trick from a fellow Road King owner. I also always play Ch 3 and 4 in the modern mode. I keep the channel volume at about 12 o'clock on ch 3 and 4 and then keep the master volume really low. That way I can really get the amp to scream and even feedback a bit when I'm playing in my apartment at low volumes. The only problem with this is I can't get the Ch 1 to sound clean and equal to the channel volumes of 3 and 4 without using some type of boost or the solo function which gives me the pops when going from Ch 3 or 4 to Ch 1. I don't seem to get the pops going from Ch 1 to 3 or 4.

I did read the sticky about the cycling through the channels and and modes on the footswitch controller. I don't use the footswitch, instead I'm using the Mini Amp Gizmo which is connected to my G-system via a midi cable and into the foot controller input on the Roadster via special cable. I did try cycling through the channels and and mode using the MAG with my amp in standby but that didn't solve the solo pop issues. I'm gonna reach out to the Mesa support to see what they say. Lately I've just turned down the solo really low and turned down the channel volumes of Ch 3 and 4 to even the volume out with Ch 1. Hopefully there will be another way to do what I want since the Ch3 and 4 sound better when the channel volume is turned up higher. Maybe it's using a boost pedal for Ch 1 instead. Not sure that would work any better.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group