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Thread: Any amp techs in north eastern MA area?

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    Any amp techs in north eastern MA area?

    Like the subject line says.

    I have a blackface Super Reverb that needs some care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by air_bouquet View Post
    Like the subject line says.

    I have a blackface Super Reverb that needs some care.
    Hi, I live in the area as well. I don't know, but my brother is a fine guitarist, and knows lots of musicians. I will ask him tonight and post a message. What year is your amp, and what do you need done?

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    1967. It has a master volume mod that needs a bypass switch so I can use the amp without it.

    The trouble with the mod is it robs highs. It had died on me, and I had a relative work on it. He must have changed something in order to get more highs out of it with the MV. The trouble is, now it sounds harsh, and the reverb sounds shitty too. I don't want to criticize my relative's work, so I've not talked to him about it (yet).

    In the late 70's a tech put in a solid state rectifier, and I think I should have it reconverted to tube rectifier. The socket has been removed and a plate put over the hole.

    So, three things:
    1. Master volume disable switch
    2. Find and replace the part that causes excessive treble
    3. Install a tube rectifier.

    What town are you in?

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    Just got a reply from my brother. Check out Aztech electronics in Watertown.

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    Last edited by mikepukmel; 01-13-2018 at 03:06 AM.

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    There are some AMAZING techs on this blog as well. Mostly I don't know where they live. I do know one guy said he was in MA but out West, towards NY. Can't remember the town. They might check in on your thread as well, if they're close.

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    67 super, that's an awesome amp. Good luck getting it setup the way you want.

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    I'm in Haverhill. Thanks for the tip about Aztech. Watertown is a bit of a drive for me but it might be worth it.

    I just took it to a shop and they couldn't fix it, had no idea what to do, the owner was 50 yrs old and they didn't give him tubes in college lol. wth.

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    Too bad, but better than the guy doing some hack on your amp and making it worse. yeah, Watertown is a hike. I'll ask around, know an electronics tech I used to work with lives near you. He's not an audio guy but might know one closer to you.

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    Watertown is confusing to drive in and the traffic is too fast and my reflexes and brain are too slow now lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepukmel View Post
    There are some AMAZING techs on this blog as well. Mostly I don't know where they live. I do know one guy said he was in MA but out West, towards NY. Can't remember the town. They might check in on your thread as well, if they're close.
    I think that was me,mike.I'm in NY,about a mile from the Mass border just south of Grt Barrington.Sorry if I mislead you to think I was in Mass.

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    Are you mjstokes from youtube?

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    As to the OP ques.There could be multiple things causing the harshness.The ss rect will increase voltages which could cause the AX7's to be more stiff,brittle sounding.Instead of switching the master vol.I would just remove it.If you dont think it sounds good,you should just tell your relative what you dont like,its not really "criticizing" after all tube tone is very subjective and he may not hear what you hear.When I do work on someones amp,I want them to use it in my shop and critique what they hear,that way I can make adjustments before the amp leaves with a satisfied client.In fact I insist on them trying the amp with me,saves a lot of guess work.Anyways,getting back to the matter at hand.If you can do it,I would suggest you start by replacing the ss with a tube rect and check/rebias the power tubes.If its till harsh,get that master volume and whatever mod he did to "get more highs".Barring some unseen ( and theres a lot I cant see from here) problem,I think your harshness will be solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by air_bouquet View Post
    Are you mjstokes from youtube?
    Nope,I'm Carl Stokes from NY,formerly NYC til about 2 yrs ago

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    Quote Originally Posted by air_bouquet View Post
    I just took it to a shop and they couldn't fix it, had no idea what to do, the owner was 50 yrs old and they didn't give him tubes in college lol. wth.
    wth indeed! I learned basic tube electronics in college but NOT in the classroom. Early 70's transistors were definitely in, tubes were deemed obsolete. See how well that worked out, right? Not only did I have to repair my bands' and my own stage equipment, I got a part time job in my college, repairing and maintaining lab & demonstration equipment, much of which still had vacuum tubes. So, if he had a little more gumption that tech could have learned then. And what's preventing him from learning now? Probably the same thing that prevents my from learning how to fix computers, smart phones, and every new piece of gear that involves digital electronics and switching power supplies. Laziness AND the way a brain seems to not absorb new knowledge as it gets old.

    A little south of you, there must be a Boston area tech or two that can help, what with the always burgeoning music scene there. Hopefully someone will speak up themselves, or an area MEFster will point them out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by air_bouquet View Post
    I'm in Haverhill. Thanks for the tip about Aztech. Watertown is a bit of a drive for me but it might be worth it.

    I just took it to a shop and they couldn't fix it, had no idea what to do, the owner was 50 yrs old and they didn't give him tubes in college lol. wth.
    Didnt give me tubes in college either...oh,wait,I didnt go to college.I skipped early 70's transistors and went straight to tubes,working for a tv repair shop in the neighborhood from '69 til '74 when Jerry the tv repair guy closed shop.He didnt pay me much,but the practical experience he gave me was priceless.Like someone already said,theres gotta be some choices in the Boston area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    wth indeed! I learned basic tube electronics in college but NOT in the classroom. Early 70's transistors were definitely in, tubes were deemed obsolete. See how well that worked out, right? Not only did I have to repair my bands' and my own stage equipment, I got a part time job in my college, repairing and maintaining lab & demonstration equipment, much of which still had vacuum tubes. So, if he had a little more gumption that tech could have learned then. And what's preventing him from learning now? Probably the same thing that prevents my from learning how to fix computers, smart phones, and every new piece of gear that involves digital electronics and switching power supplies. Laziness AND the way a brain seems to not absorb new knowledge as it gets old.

    A little south of you, there must be a Boston area tech or two that can help, what with the always burgeoning music scene there. Hopefully someone will speak up themselves, or an area MEFster will point them out.

    What's stopping him? For one thing he probably goes 400 lbs and can't hardly stand up without huffing and puffing. He's not going to see 60 so he might as well not bother with learning anything, never mind tubes.

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    "Early 70's transistors were definitely in, tubes were deemed obsolete. See how well that worked out, right?"Actually worked out real well for me.From the late '70's til the "90's I was scouring "ham fests" and buying NOS tubes for dirt.The ham guys all considered tubes obsolete,and for their purposes,they were.I once scored a quad of brand new,never used RCA black plate 6L6GC's for $50.Saw them under a table and asked the guy how much?He says,well I bought them in the '60's and never used them,I think I payed about 30-40 bucks,so I handed him a 50 dollar bill and said keep the change.He then pulled out a box of about 25 various branded AX7's,all NOS,$30.But somewhere along the line somebody told them what tubes are worth to us guitar guys and things dried up.I still go to the ham fests,but dont find so many tubes anymore.

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    What's stopping him? For one thing he probably goes 400 lbs and can't hardly stand up without huffing and puffing. He's not going to see 60 so he might as well not bother with learning anything, never mind tubes.
    What does this mean? I am trying hard to read it in a way that is not rude and uncalled for. Do you know the guy personally?


    Tubes haven't been taught in electronics schools/colleges for decades. Tubes ARE obsolete. We like them in our amps, but tube guitar amps are a tiny portion of a tiny market. How many tube amps do they sell in a year? Now how many TVs, Computers, smart phones, etc do they sell. There are a tiny few of us with careers engineering tube circuits. How many careers are there for folks with that expertise? A guy could take a couple years and study tubes in depth, but would there be a career waiting for him when he was done?

    My customer base - greater Lansing - is close to half a million people, and there is barely enough pro audio repair business to keep a couple technicians busy. If you were in say Helena, Montana - I think the metro area is about 80,000 it would be a lot tougher. If a guy learned electronics there, would he be better off learning tube amps or TV sets?

    When I started, there were no commercial transistor things. I always worked on tube circuits. In the coin-op world, I repaired CRT monitors, rebuilt old tube jukebox amps and control centers. (Tube driven core memory on some, pretty cool) But that is an even smaller niche of a niche of a niche.

    SO I find it hard to fault budding electronics techs from passing on tubes and going to transistors and digital. Besides, tubes are fairly simple to learn if you have any electronics background. SO if it comes up in your life, you are not all that far behind.

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    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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    Definitely check out Aztech. I work there
    Call first and talk to Tom, we’re stacked with work and there’s only so much space. So, just confirm when you’re planning on dropping it off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by air_bouquet View Post
    Watertown is confusing to drive in and the traffic is too fast and my reflexes and brain are too slow now lol.
    Dude if you take rt90 eastbound, its less than 2 minutes off the exit. Its a little intimidating navigating the rotary getting off the offramp, but even if you miss a turn we are still right in the area so won’t set you back that much

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    If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

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