Hughes and Kettner Triamp MKII-Question for owners of this amp

Kazbek

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I also have a question for Triamp owners.

About 2 months ago I went into a Guitar Center and saw a new Lifeson triamp. Was blown away as I thought all of these were long gone.

Sat down and started playing it on channel 2a and after about 10 minutes noticed that it started to sound very thin. Turns out that the volume pot on that channel was having an issue. If I turned it it would pop back in and then cut out again after a couple minutes. Seemed like a bad pot so I asked the salesman if there were any others around. He found another lifeson at another guitar center an hour away so I made the trip only to arrive and have the salesman hook it up. He powered it up but it was otherwise dead... no sound. I should have given up then but I didn't. The new salesman checked the computer and found a couple more and told me he could have one shipped in that was new in the box. I had him ship it in and unbelievably it did the same as the first unit. Bad pot on channel 2. It would play ok and then cut out... He told me we could try one more and that he would have it shipped to me. I thought why not. Certainly I wouldn't have a fourth unit act up. Well I get the new about 3 weeks ago and it seemed fine except it was very hissy even on channel 1. I couldn't believe it. This was the first that I had actually gotten to use it at home so I thought maybe it was the nature of this amp. About 2 weeks ago I was on a trip to Pittsburgh and stopped in a Guitar Center and there sits another Lifeson triamp. I fire it up and decide to check how noisy it was and and while in the process Chanel 3 started fading in and out with the same symptoms as the other 3. I couldn't believe it. On top of that the s/n ratio was much better on it than mine. I was pissed!

After getting back home I called h&k (who were very cool) and had them ship me a couple new preamp tubes under warranty. Unfortunately they did not fix the loud hissing problem.

Then finally last night as I was playing and contemplating whether to send the amp to h&k for service of just return it suddenly my 3rd channel started to cut out on this amp. I am floored.

I just can't imagine that these amps are that unreliable. I have searched high and low and can hardly find a negative comment. The thing thing that all of these Lifeson's had in common was their serial numbers. They all had serial numbers that were very close. The lowest unit had a s/n that ended in 61 and the highest numbered unit ended in 79.

My BiG question...has anybody else had or heard of any similar experience with triamp's?? I love the tones of this amp but obviously it's not worth the hassle.

Perhaps this was a run with some bad pots. Maybe a new run of standard mk2's would be fine.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

I also recently got Alex Lifeson from Guitar Center and this one I have is the third one of I changed. They all had problems. 1 had bad pot and slight red plating tube, second had scratchy noises even volume down, third one and one that I end up has 2 red plating and compressed muddy lows and seller told me red plating was fine. Sounded great only at 100w mode until one tube sparked and blowed with pop sound and the anode fuse blowed. Now tubes glow at idle mode and no sound even with anew fuse. It also was started making scratchy noises randomly in out before fuse went out. Also my 1st preamp tube from right flashes when turned on cold. I am in love or was with the sound of the amp. I am so frustrated right now and don't know which way I go. I will get new quad matched tad tube coming in. Last hope. I will have to disassemble if that does not solve it and see any more fuses went down in it. My Worst nightmare output transformer. I refused to send it to service and shipping cost, scratched cosmetics, blaming me for miss use ect. I have to confront guitar center guy one more time rrrr. I spend my life to this dream amp. Never had anything this grade. My theory is they are all manufactured around August 2011 and set long time on shelves or played from hundreds of people in the store, drifted bias and tubes started failing. It tho sent sound like these are new amps and may be we are getting ripped off. Another theory that Guitar Center gets slight defected ones to begin with and making profits on purpose. We are doomed that they are not making Alex Lifeson ones any more. I am spending way too much to learn about tubes, biasing, testing, getting ready to shocked in proses to save my own new amp. I am being ridiculous OCD on this. Money and time I spend is not normal. I might have to break up with my love may be. Ill wait for your feedback and let you know with new power tubes installed in 2 days.
 

Kazbek

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I also have a question for Triamp owners.

About 2 months ago I went into a Guitar Center and saw a new Lifeson triamp. Was blown away as I thought all of these were long gone.

Sat down and started playing it on channel 2a and after about 10 minutes noticed that it started to sound very thin. Turns out that the volume pot on that channel was having an issue. If I turned it it would pop back in and then cut out again after a couple minutes. Seemed like a bad pot so I asked the salesman if there were any others around. He found another lifeson at another guitar center an hour away so I made the trip only to arrive and have the salesman hook it up. He powered it up but it was otherwise dead... no sound. I should have given up then but I didn't. The new salesman checked the computer and found a couple more and told me he could have one shipped in that was new in the box. I had him ship it in and unbelievably it did the same as the first unit. Bad pot on channel 2. It would play ok and then cut out... He told me we could try one more and that he would have it shipped to me. I thought why not. Certainly I wouldn't have a fourth unit act up. Well I get the new about 3 weeks ago and it seemed fine except it was very hissy even on channel 1. I couldn't believe it. This was the first that I had actually gotten to use it at home so I thought maybe it was the nature of this amp. About 2 weeks ago I was on a trip to Pittsburgh and stopped in a Guitar Center and there sits another Lifeson triamp. I fire it up and decide to check how noisy it was and and while in the process Chanel 3 started fading in and out with the same symptoms as the other 3. I couldn't believe it. On top of that the s/n ratio was much better on it than mine. I was pissed!

After getting back home I called h&k (who were very cool) and had them ship me a couple new preamp tubes under warranty. Unfortunately they did not fix the loud hissing problem.

Then finally last night as I was playing and contemplating whether to send the amp to h&k for service of just return it suddenly my 3rd channel started to cut out on this amp. I am floored.

I just can't imagine that these amps are that unreliable. I have searched high and low and can hardly find a negative comment. The thing thing that all of these Lifeson's had in common was their serial numbers. They all had serial numbers that were very close. The lowest unit had a s/n that ended in 61 and the highest numbered unit ended in 79.

My BiG question...has anybody else had or heard of any similar experience with triamp's?? I love the tones of this amp but obviously it's not worth the hassle.

Perhaps this was a run with some bad pots. Maybe a new run of standard mk2's would be fine.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

I just realized after my above post. I have the s/n number 79 you are talking about. Do you live in Houston like I do? We must have going back and fort trying same amps.
 

torqvaw

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I just realized after my above post. I have the s/n number 79 you are talking about. Do you live in Houston like I do? We must have going back and fort trying same amps.

I don't think that is the same unit unless they had it shipped from the rockville, md store in the past week or two. I don't remember the digit before 79 but I believe it was a 6.

If I were you I would save yourself the headaches and just return it. I believe they must have had a bad run or something. I didn't want to spend that type of money and have to ship it to somebody for a possible repair and end up getting it back damaged and still not fixed.

I too loved the amp but in the end gave up, and am now glad I did.
 

torqvaw

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One more thing I forgot to mention... I was in another guitar center about a week ago and they had another lifeson. I thought what the heck I fired it up and channel 3a was very muted. I talked to the sales guy and he said it just came back in from getting serviced. Lol. I would guess it probably went back to service.
 

Kazbek

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Wow. That makes me want to return it but today seems like I got sucked in to hope again.
I figured out the guy at the hardware store gave me fast blow ceramic fuses instead of slow blow. He kept saying yes yes it is slow blow. I couldn't tell the fuses were getting blowed instantly with out mark. Anyhow after researching I got the slow blows and finally got plate voltage reading before my tubes arrived. Today I got the tubes and the amp is alive. The bias is way way too high. 50ma instead of 27 to 32ma. They are running more then 100%. It seems like the bias drifted so much.
I will have to re bias and see.
 

gogbog

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I have an Alex Lifeson MK II It had gone down at a gig. Bummer lucky I have a Mesa spare. Anyways blew the anode fuse due to a power tube failure. The TAD tubes are chinese maker and not so great in quality. So i am waiting for new power tubes and fuses. See what goes on. No issues prior to this. I will be re-tubing with KT77s and give it a good bias. When getting tubes check out Euro Tubes. The most knowledgeable bunch of amp heads I know.
 

Kazbek

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I have an Alex Lifeson MK II It had gone down at a gig. Bummer lucky I have a Mesa spare. Anyways blew the anode fuse due to a power tube failure. The TAD tubes are chinese maker and not so great in quality. So i am waiting for new power tubes and fuses. See what goes on. No issues prior to this. I will be re-tubing with KT77s and give it a good bias. When getting tubes check out Euro Tubes. The most knowledgeable bunch of amp heads I know.
I had same incident. My bias has been so unbalanced. I had 2 sets of matched power tubes gone bad so far. I am about to sent it to service and nervous hoping it won't get scratched since it is not so friendly and forgiven with the plexi glass scratches when you take the shell out. I am curious how your amp will sound with KT77s. Let me know and I will keep you informed about the h&k service. FYI I have 0.5A fuse to insure a little better.
 

Kazbek

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I received the service manual for mk2 if anybody needs it by the way.
 

The Doctor

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Kazbek I have been looking high and low for the service manual for the Mk II.
 

The Doctor

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Wondering if the earlier posters resolved their amp problems?
 

irocdave12

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The best and most reliable way of contacting H&K is on their Facebook page. Their email response time on their own website blows but they seem to care about their public image about problems with their amps others can see. I've received same day help a few times from them via Facebook and they bent over backwards to show they will help
 

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