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Thread: New 5e3 build, faint sound..

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    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    New 5e3 build, faint sound..

    Hello everyone, new member, just finished my 1st build (newbie to this) and I can hear only a very faint signal through the speaker, volume has to be cranked.
    Tubes light up fine. Any suggestions on what to look for?
    Here is a link to the layout.
    http://site.triodestore.com/5E3Delux...-18021120V.pdf

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    The fault could be almost anywhere. Along your signal path, In the voltage supply, mistake in the grounding, etc. A signal trace and voltage check will probably locate the problem. Since your new at this it's most likely a simple little miswire somewhere It's the same formula for everyones first couple of builds... Build amp, track down errors, then tweak.

    Chuck

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    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Thanks Chuck, I have gone over it a few times - can't seem to find a wiring error. Is there any info out there will tell me what the voltages should be, and where to check?

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    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01bcat View Post
    Thanks Chuck, I have gone over it a few times - can't seem to find a wiring error. Is there any info out there will tell me what the voltages should be, and where to check?
    If Triode has ever built one of their own kits, they should be the ones you're asking for that info.
    I can't imagine them not having that info right at hand or not being able to help with it.

    Why don't you tell us what the voltages are on your amp and something might jump put.

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
    Denver, CO. 80022
    www.missionamps.com
    303-955-2412

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    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Hey Bruce,
    I chose the triode kit because they are a few suburbs away, picked it up the same day ordered. They give you a layout, that is it.
    I will check voltages and post them. Any common newbie mistakes that I can look for?

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    01bcat,

    I built a Triode kit a year ago. My first build also.
    Am very satisfied with it. It's been used more or less daily
    No problems at all.
    There are several schematics on the net with voltages
    for the 5E3. Google will find them for you.
    Google fender 57 Deluxe schematic
    ...and you'll find link to a schematic with voltages near the top.

    I used the Triode layout and the Fender layout for reference when I built mine.
    FWIW, the Triode print is correct... enough.
    (I changed the grounding on mine for quieter operation)
    I was very careful, double-checking and triple-checking everything as I
    built the amp and still made a couple of dumb wiring mistakes.
    Lucky I didn't let the smoke out of something.
    Beginners luck I guess.
    I had the output jacks mis-wired. The symptom was very similar
    to what you described. I'd mixed up the external and output jacks.
    In my case, plugging into the external jack gave me normal operation.
    Just corrected the wiring problem and have had no problems since.

    One thing I did find was that since the PT is wound for the old 110Vac
    of the 50's, voltages were a little high.
    For my 120vac wall outlets R.G. Keen's Vintage AC solution
    gave me pretty much the same voltages as the Fender schematic
    on the Fender site.


    Hope this helps

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    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Zephyr,
    Nothing wrong with the kit, and getting it the same day was really cool. Saved on shipping as well. Looks like quality stuff. A way to mount the board, and grommets for the transformer wiring would have been nice though. Spent a bunch of time at the local hardware store.
    Thanks for the info on the voltages, I will check it out.
    Did you choose the Mallory caps?

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    I just finished my first build. I am no expert, but mine had a similar problem. Things all seemed fine, but very low volume. I finally found I had somehow placed a 100 ohm instead of 1 meg resistor on the input jack. I guess I was bleeding the input signal to ground.

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  9. #9
    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Thanks gsr, I will recheck all my resistor values..

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    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01bcat View Post
    Thanks gsr, I will recheck all my resistor values..
    Another common error is to swap the 100 ohm filament balance/ground reference resistors with one or more of the 100K resistors on the plates of the preamp tubes.

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
    Denver, CO. 80022
    www.missionamps.com
    303-955-2412

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    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Hey Everyone,
    I appreciate all the advice.
    Just rechecked the entire circuit, including resistance values. Could not find an error. While I know the larger caps have a polarity - do the mallory 150s?

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    5E3

    Check every preamp pin #1 & pin #3. Pin #6 & #8.
    Plate & cathode .
    Measure it at the pin.
    The 6V6 tubes check pin #3 & #8.
    Plate & cathode.
    Measure it at the pin.
    Please advise what you come up with.
    This a just a routine static amp check to see if the amp is functioning.
    If all appears well, a signal test is next.

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    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Will get to it tomorrow Jazz, thanks.

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    Hey Everyone,
    OK- Here are the numbers:
    12ay7
    1-120 2-0 3-0 4-0 5-115 6-0 7-2 8-0
    12ax7
    1-150 2-0 3-1 4-0 5-0 6-114 7-0 8-0
    6v6
    1-0 2-0 3-395 4-360 5-0 6-0 7-0 8-23
    6v6
    1-0 2-0 3-393 4-358 5-0 6-0 7-0 8-24
    5y3
    1-0 2-404 3-0 4-368 5-0 6-370 7-0 8-404

    Any advice is appreciated!

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Heater Voltage

    I do not see correct heater voltages.
    The 12AY7 pin 5 at 115 volts is not good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce / Mission Amps View Post
    Another common error is to swap the 100 ohm filament balance/ground reference resistors with one or more of the 100K resistors on the plates of the preamp tubes.

    I did that and you caught it from looking at the pictures I sent!

    When I fired the amp up for the first time, all the tubes lit up but no sound. There is a shielded wire from the volume pot to a preamp tube. I did not trim the shield good enough and one tiny wire was touching a lug on the tube socket. After I fixed that, glorious sound!

    Don't know if the Triode kit has the shielded wire, but if it does, check it.

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  17. #17
    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Jazz,
    I should have worn both pairs of glasses! - operator problem.

    Try Again:
    12ay7
    1-120 2-0 3-2 4-3ac 5-3ac 6-115 7-0 8-2 9-3ac
    12ax7
    1-150 2-0 3- 1 4 3ac 5-3ac 6-114 7-0 (am radio though) 8-0 9-3ac
    The 6v6 heater elements check out too.
    thanks!

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  18. #18
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    No sheilded, cloth pushback wire. Thanks though.

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    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Hey Jazz,
    Operator problem, added another pair of glasses...
    12ay7:
    1-120 2-0 3-2 4-3ac 5-3ac 6-115 7-0 8-2 9-3ac
    12ax7:
    1-150 2-0 3-1 4-3ac 5-3ac 6-114 7-0(with am radio) 8-0 9-3ac
    The heater elements check out on the 6v6's as well (the other info on them should be accurate)
    Thanks!

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  20. #20
    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01bcat View Post
    Hey Jazz,
    Operator problem, added another pair of glasses...
    12ay7:
    1-120 2-0 3-2 4-3ac 5-3ac 6-115 7-0 8-2 9-3ac
    12ax7:
    1-150 2-0 3-1 4-3ac 5-3ac 6-114 7-0(with am radio) 8-0 9-3ac
    The heater elements check out on the 6v6's as well (the other info on them should be accurate)
    Thanks!
    Filaments are fine.
    Radio on lug 7 is bad...
    Check lug 8 of the 12AX7 with respect to ground... it should be at least 35vdc to 60vdc in order for the tube to even turn on.
    I suspect an error there... maybe too many glasses now though.

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
    Denver, CO. 80022
    www.missionamps.com
    303-955-2412

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    Hey Bruce,
    I can't help the eyes much - but I will check it out - thanks...

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    O voltage on pin 8, also none across the cap it is connected to... ?????

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    Its Alive!
    Thanks for the help, I missed a connection under the board.
    It is humming like crazy, but the tone is there, just need to clean up the wiring, maybe change some grounding as Zephyr suggested.

    Zephyr- can you tell me the changes you made to the grounding?

    Bruce, your comment led me right to it.. Thanks.

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  24. #24
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    The hum could be another wiring error. Miswired grounds can hum but a bad hum is usually indicative of a bigger problem like a miswire or a cold solder joint.

    Chuck

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  25. #25
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    Chuck,
    I am going to go over everything once more, an re-do the heater wiring.
    My volume goes from nothing the really loud in like 1/100s of a turn, if I dime it (or $0.12 it in this case) it squeals.
    Any suggestions on where to look for the cause there?

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    a volume pot lead contact to ground (due to rotation and not much room) will cause problems too

    don't ask how I know this

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    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    It also sounds like an input jack could be wired wrong and or not grounded right.
    Short lugs 2 and 7 of the first preamp tube right to ground with an alligator clip lead and see if that kills the noise.

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
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    Member 01bcat's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will do that. There is NO clean headroom either.

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    OK - Stupid question:
    If I touch the leads dropping to the 68k resistors on the normal input jacks, it shows continuity with ground. The brite jack leads do not. Normal?
    Thanks.

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  30. #30
    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    No... the switching jacks should have the two resistors grounded at the input jack end.
    I think that point should read about 32K-36K range on both pairs of resistors with nothing plugged into the jacks.

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
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    I was checking the resistors, that is how I caught it, switch on 1 jack wasn't working.
    I also tried grounding the tube pins, no help. Still distorted, volume jumps in one spot on the knobs. Sounds terrible.
    What next? Could it be a bad OT?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce / Mission Amps View Post
    It also sounds like an input jack could be wired wrong and or not grounded right.
    Short lugs 2 and 7 of the first preamp tube right to ground with an alligator clip lead and see if that kills the noise.
    Bruce,

    I just completed a first-build 5E3 myself, which I believe is a little noisy. If I short lugs 2 and 7 of V1 to ground as you described, what specifically should I look for in my jack wiring, presuming that does stop the noise...

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    Raspy tones.....

    I completely rewired my heaters and it substantially reduced the hum.
    But I have absolutely no clean headroom at all, and when it does break up, it sounds like a blown speaker. Very little volume until 2 then it is just raspy sounding. No good tones at all.
    I rechecked the pot wiring, and the input wiring, and re-flowed the joints.
    Does anyone have any ideas what it could be, or have you had similar problems?
    Thanks.

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  34. #34
    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phildaman View Post
    Bruce,

    I just completed a first-build 5E3 myself, which I believe is a little noisy. If I short lugs 2 and 7 of V1 to ground as you described, what specifically should I look for in my jack wiring, presuming that does stop the noise...
    Is it one of my kits and if so did you download the 110 megabyte photo album builder guide work?
    I'd review the input jack's lugs vs the 1M resistors and the middle switch lug to be sure they are correct.
    With no 1/4" phone plug inserted into any of the jack, the two grids of the preamp tube are at very very low potential and should be very quiet unless the preamp tube is bad.

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    Bruce

    Mission Amps
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    www.missionamps.com
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  35. #35
    Senior Hollow State Tech Bruce / Mission Amps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01bcat View Post
    I completely rewired my heaters and it substantially reduced the hum.
    But I have absolutely no clean headroom at all, and when it does break up, it sounds like a blown speaker. Very little volume until 2 then it is just raspy sounding. No good tones at all.
    I rechecked the pot wiring, and the input wiring, and re-flowed the joints.
    Does anyone have any ideas what it could be, or have you had similar problems?
    Thanks.
    I have to assume you've double checked all your wiring but triple check to see if you have the wires from lugs 7 and 8 going to the right resistors on the circuit board... they could be flipped around on the 12AX7 socket, the one closest to the speaker jacks.

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    Mission Amps
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