[HELP] Possible broken valve on Tiny Terror

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by Thiago, May 10, 2012.

  1. Thiago

    Thiago Senior Member

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    I've recently bought an used Orange Tiny Terror Combo which, as far as I know, had been really well taken care of by the former owner.

    I've been taken care of it as if it was a lady! I always turn it on at the stand-by position with volume and gain set to 0 and wait at least 5 minutes before selecting it to 7 or 15w and beating the hell out of it!

    Although I don't believe that's the case, I've already tried another guitar, another cable, another anything but the amp.

    The thing is: I'm taking it to somebody who understands and works with amps tomorrow but, considering I'm a newbie, I decided asking you guys first so I have at least the minimum input before the guy tries to "steal" me!

    Is it possible that I got a broken valve? What other issues may I have?

    I really do aprecciate any help and I am already very thankfull!

    PS.: That's the first thread I start. I'm familiar with forums and read the rules section and hope/believe I'm not breaking any rules nor posting at the wrong section. I so, I apologize!
     
  2. logen99999

    logen99999 Senior Member

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    what exactly is the problem with the amp? you have not told us this.

    also you dont need to wait 5 min after putting it in standby to play. i usually wait 10 to 15 seconds. all standby does is warm the tubes up and that happens pretty quick.
     
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  3. Thiago

    Thiago Senior Member

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    Maaannn... I was so worried about leaving a nice and clear thread I forgot to tell what's happening! I'm sorry!

    What happens is that I don't get the usual drive it delivers. When I got it I used to have the gain all the way up and the volume up to the third tick. It would give me lots of drive and it was loud enough.

    Now I put the gain all the way up and the volume half way up and all I get is a little drive (just above clean if you know what I mean) and not that loud...

    Thanks!
     
  4. logen99999

    logen99999 Senior Member

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    Swap the valves, preamp valves too, and see if that fixes it. It probably will. :)
     
  5. TOMMYTHUNDERS

    TOMMYTHUNDERS Senior Member

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    "an" used? come on, man.

    there is a problem with how you treat ladies.
     
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  6. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    1) I don't wait...
    I plug in the guitar before turning the amp on, and then play as soon as there's sound... about 10-15 seconds... tubes sound better when they get warmed up, but you don't have to wait THAT long...

    2) when I've had tubes go completely bad, usually they will fade in and out or crackle... just sound bad... before complete failure... tubes WILL go out. it's a fact. I'm not sure if your amp needs rebiasing to replace tubes, I thought most if not all amps are now cathode biased so you can just swap them out yourself to see if that fixes it. (a luxury I don't have :|) what you describe is consistent with my experience as well...

    if it just needs a tube replacement, the tech shouldn't charge more than 50-100 + the price of tubes... you can check out tubestore.com, and get an idea for the price of tubes... NOS tubes can be $100 each, new chinese cheap tubes can be $10... imo, the sweet spot for me is in the higher-end new, like JJ or EH, (in the $15-30) range depending on the tube... I've also heard good things about tung sol preamp tubes, but have not used them....

    if you are taking it to a tech you don't trust, why not find one you do? I called 3-4 before I found one that sounded a little more knowledgeable and asked appropriate questions.
     
  7. logen99999

    logen99999 Senior Member

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    i would not pay a tech for a tube swap on a cathode based amp like a tiny terror. if you can replace a light bulb you can replace a tube.

    get a set of JJs or tung sol from the tube store swap them out, and call it a day. it's easy :)
     
  8. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    I only sggested a tech because I wasn't sure if a TT is cathode...
     
  9. Thiago

    Thiago Senior Member

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    Grammatical mistake? I'm sorry! English is not my first language!

    :lol::lol::lol:
    Well I supposed the right way was to warm them up a bit then beat the hell out of them! They haven't been complaining!

    Good! Thank you for this information. I'm new to the tubed stuff!

    Well, I live in Brazil and doing those things you suggested are a bit harder than it might be wherever it is you guys live. I'm on a short budget and buying new tubes not being sure they are the issue wouldn't leave me any money to fix the real issue right now.

    I did what you said about calling people and I got a guy from a trusty friend! But still I am very suspicious. People around here tend to try to take more money than what it really costs.

    I've just got back from the guy and he told me there is a common issue with some Oranges and with some Voxes: there is a component (which I don't know the exact name in english) which is aluminum wired. He said it is weak and it breaks often. What he does is a recomplete copper wiring of this thing. Any ideas on that?

    Thank you guys and sorry for the spelling mistakes and anything!
     
  10. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    tell me about it :) I have 7 tubes, and have to have a professional biasing each change... maybe next tube change I'll just buy a new amp ;)

    I think the TT only has 1 power tube, yes? buy 1 power tube, even if it's a $5 chinese POS, that is the cheapest test you will ever have... pre-amp tubes tend to last much longer...

    also, check the seating of all of the tubes, make sure they are in their socket, this costs nothing. I was recently having some issues and one of my tubes was a little loose... bam, fixed.

    if you are having someone else look at it, ask to watch, you might learn something
     
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  11. logen99999

    logen99999 Senior Member

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    all complete re tube set will run you about 60$
    Orange Tiny Terror - Value Package

    you can ask in the classified section for any tubes people may be selling. you can explain your situation and maybe people will sell you their used tubes for cheap. if i had spare used el84s and 12ax7s i would ship them to you for cheap, so ask around and keep an eye out! :)

    good luck.
     
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  12. Zenzeypher

    Zenzeypher Senior Member

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    I don't know if anyones mentioned this but;

    The Tiny Terror tubes are soldered in!! Ive replaced the ones in mine and it was a shit bag..aha.

    If you can't handle an iron, id get it done by a pro.

    ..Or claim it's ****ed on household insurance and sell it.
     
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  13. logen99999

    logen99999 Senior Member

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    the power tubes and preamp tubes? how is that possible? mine were not soldered in.
     
  14. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    what?!! that's like a light bulb being welded in...
    well, the bulbs out, gotta rewire the whole house! wtf?!

    I have a hard time believing any amp mfg would solder in a tube... it's dumb.

    you sure you didn't melt a tube into the socket?
     
  15. BillB1960

    BillB1960 Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  16. lifele55

    lifele55 Senior Member

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    Hope you didn't unsolder the whole socket. :/
     
  17. Thiago

    Thiago Senior Member

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    Thank all of you guys helping and some special thanks for this quotation! At first I wanted the tubes to be the last things I wanted to be broken. Now I know they're quite cheap!

    I searched around and got the name of the thing: transformer. He told me it usually breaks 'cause it is weakly aluminum wired so the solution would be rewiring it in copper.

    Searching even more around the internetttzzzz I found that happens a lot and it may cause that fading sound. Some people even change them to Mercury Magnets (Mercury Magnetics -- Orange "Tiny Terror" Upgrade Kit). But that would be quite expensive for now.

    Well, let's wait and hope for the best! The amp is already at the tech. I'm definetelly gonna buy some spare tubes and keep them around for any future doubts!

    Again, thank you guys very much!
     
  18. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    Gawd, I don't recall seeing so much complete bullsh1t offered as advice in a single thread! This thread is full of win!!!

    Try the tubes first. The transformer problem is much more expensive to fix, so don't let some tech push you down that route first up! It should be a last resort after you've tried the simple and obvious fixes.

    1. The Tiny Terror IS cathode biased.
    That means you do not have to get it 'biased' when you change the power valves. You just need to buy a matched pair of power valves, take the old ones out, put the new ones in.

    2. The Tiny Terror has two power valves.
    Yes, it runs a pair of EL84 pentodes in cathode biased class AB push pull. You need a pair of EL84s if you want to replace the power valves. If you replace one, replace the other at the same time.

    3. Soldered Valves
    No. Nyet. Nein. Non. Just f**king no. The valves are not soldered in. They might be a little stiff, though. To remove a valve use a gentle, circular rocking motion as you gently pull it away from the base. It will slowly work its way out.

    4. Valve complement
    The Tiny Terror has 4 valves. They are:
    * the little preamp 12AX7 / ECC83
    * the little phase inverter 12AX7 / ECC83
    * and the pair of bigger EL84 power valves.

    So the amp has two small valves in cans near the front of the amp, and two bigger ones at the back. You do not need to replace them all at once. Only the big power valves need to be replaced as a pair. The other two can be replaced singly or together as you see fit.

    5. Trouble shooting
    My first suspect would be the preamp valve. That's the little 12AX7 jobbie closest to the input jack. Buy a nice 12AX7 (an ECC83 from JJ or a 12AX7 from Tung-Sol or something), put that in the preamp spot and see if your problem persists. If it doesn't you've found the problem. If not, pull the new valve, put the old preamp back, and replace the phase inverter with the new valve. If the problem's gone you've found the culprit. If not, it's probably the power valves. At this point it's worth going out and buying a pair of EL84s and repeating the process above with the power valves.
     
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  19. chef

    chef Senior Member

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    So, I have a question, after I've unsoldered my old valves in order to replace them, should I resolder the new valves, or use electrical tape?
     
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  20. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    Silly putty or stupid glue are best.
     
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