Lonestar Special Problems

Classics and Specials

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georgeatt
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Lonestar Special Problems

Post by georgeatt » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:39 am

Hi. I am new to this forum so hello. I have a Lonestar Special that is two years old. I have had it in my Authorized dealer's shop twice in the last month or so. The first time the rectifier failed as well as some el84s. He replaced them and checked over the component Boards and said everything looked fine. It worked for a couple of weeks and then the rectifier 5y3 failed again and, this time, I smelled some burning I assumed came from the 5y3. I took it to the dealer again and Mesa customer service recommended the dealer put some 5 watt (instead of 3watt) turn on switch. He put that in mine and I took it some time later and after about 5 minutes playing, a new 5y3 fizzled and died. I took the 5y3 out and then tried the 30 watt alone. After a few minutes of playing, the 30 watt channel sounded like it was faltering so I turned off the amp. I then smelled the burning smell again, only a little worse than the first time. And now, even a new rectifier tube will not turn on (remains cold to the touch), while the el84s are working on the 30 watt side - even though I don't dare leave it on. What the heck gives....I was wondering if anyone else had some ideas?
Last edited by georgeatt on Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

BluesAndBooze
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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by BluesAndBooze » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:17 pm

:shock:
I presume you're Stateside and should have a good Mesa dealer network, a Tech not simply a dealer, and even Mesa direct. I don't know if they've had recent batch issues, but I've had mine from new since their launch date and never a problem even with original preamp and rectifier valves. Obviously I've had a power valve change but that was only after 5 years of heavy use.
Valves can fail instantly, have you had original tested Mesa valves installed. A tech should be capable of testing a valve even if it has come factory tested. I recently had a batch of Mesa 12AX7's from my supplier who had had to reject quite a few before sending out mine for my Lonestar Classic.
The only mod I did to my LSS was a speaker change, simply 'cos my ears can't stand the Celestion.
Have you raised this issue again since their advice to change from 3watt to 5watt?
Mesa, from my experience are usually pretty good, and offer a return back to factory of the amp chassis for a fix.
I've many Mesa's without problem apart from the C'p speakers
I'll do some investigation with my tech.
:evil:
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georgeatt
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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by georgeatt » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:19 am

It is at my techs (mesa dealer) shop now for the third time. He is going to change out the resistor plates (not sure what that is) this time. The tubes have all been changed out and I think I am on my 5th rectifier tube. The first year I had the amp it was fine but now it is frustrating. Hopefully, this will resolve it...the dealer is pretty knowledgeable about his field.
Last edited by georgeatt on Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by BluesAndBooze » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:37 am

8)
Resistor plate issue is not uncommon and wise to change all Mesa carbon resistors in plate load of preamp tubes and wise to change all for metal film type!!
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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by BluesAndBooze » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:39 am

What's the age of the amp?
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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by georgeatt » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:23 pm

It is aprox. 2 years old.

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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by BluesAndBooze » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:09 pm

Resistors usually in the earlier model releases, both my classic and special were first release models, were carbon and prone to failure, the later ones tend to be metal, but have your tech check. He should recognise the visual difference and as they are a cheap component get them all changed for metal type, they're better quality anyway. Also there have been bad batches of rectifier valves. Spoke with my tech earlier today and reckoned nothing lost in a power valve change, always best done as matched pairs and not just any old valve as there are huge variations in current and the Lonestars do not have a bias adjuster, stick with the boogie valves as mismatched valves can be running anywhere between too cold and too hot with disastrous/disappointing results (sounding crap to burning out)
When a LSS is running right there is nothing like it, not as much tight bottom as a LC, but a good beast in its own right.
Boogie tone controls are more sophisticated/variable than most! Did you get the manual with its suggested settings as a starting point, if not it is downloadable from Mesa, review your controls when you've got the problem out of the way.
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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by BluesAndBooze » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:17 pm

ps. my tech said the 3watt to 5watt swap is BS
:!:
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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by georgeatt » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:21 am

yes...it definitely did not work. So we will try the resister plates. I have the amp instruction book with the suggested settings but any setting should not adversely cause problems - I always play on lower volume and gain settings and never drive the amp beyond what it should be able to do. I will keep my fingers crossed. O yea....tubes were all replaced in pairs and the proper mesa rectifier tubes.

georgeatt
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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by georgeatt » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:05 am

So do you think the burning smells came from the resister plates? And perhaps the excessive burn out of the 5y3 's?

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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by BluesAndBooze » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:21 pm

georgeatt wrote:So do you think the burning smells came from the resister plates? And perhaps the excessive burn out of the 5y3 's?
Rectifier burnout yes!! Power Valve burnout yes!! Resistors usually simply create noise levels and bs tone, the carbon type more problematic

I can run mine with channel volumes at around 3 o'clock if not using the loop/master volume and with loop in and set at about 1 o'clock I'll run the channel volumes anywhere between 11 o'clock and 3 o'clock and master around midday and solo boost around 3 o'clock to 5 o'clock. Channel 1 gain is usually around 11 o'clock and Channel 2 gain around noon with drive at 1 o'clock.
Sometimes I'll run a line booster in the loop that can give me anything up to +24db and back down on the channel settings. But that's my taste :D
The only thing I've found with the Lonestars is to not overdue channel 2 drive level, like past 2-3 o'clock, it can create V1 problems.
Don't overcook the tone settings, they have a cascading effect and can defeat each other if pushed too high.

Any variation/elimination of problem with the 3 different power settings?
You should be able to crank up the volume in any of the power settings!
Have you had any improvements, 'cos it sounds like you're digging into your pocket too much? :evil:
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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by georgeatt » Thu May 15, 2014 8:36 pm

Ok back to the shop again...same problems. I never set the amp past 10:00 so this issue of playing to loud on the 5watt mode does not apply. I really wish I had never bought this amp. You would think that Mesa would just declare these things lemons and replace them with something more reliable.

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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by Authorized Boogie » Thu May 15, 2014 8:46 pm

Have you contacted us here in customer service? We can get you sorted out...thats what we're here for! Give our service manager a ring at 707-778-6565 ext 324 Thanks!
MESA/Boogie - Product Specialist/Customer Service - http://www.mesaboogie.com/support/index.html

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Re: Lonestar Special Problems

Post by rfrakes » Sun May 18, 2014 3:50 pm

I sent the chassis to MB shop. It only cost me $20 in shipping from Illinois and they fixed the problem. Thanks guys.

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