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Thread: vintage VOX AC30 1979 - mystery switch & pcb pots

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    vintage VOX AC30 1979 - mystery switch & pcb pots

    I recently got some beer to clean my both guitarists' AC30's - that both are from 1979, Rose Morris era.

    It's always fun to look at those guts inside. I'm wondering... there's a switch that is completely covered by a back wooden plate. You can see it only when you remove the back. Looks original to the amp. Is that a voltage switch or polarity switch or....? (pic attached). Second question. The two big pots on the main lower PCB - I assume they are not bias pots, as Voxes are cathode biased, what could those be for? Any thoughts? We need to replace the tubes, so maybe also clean the amp and set it right way.

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    From a contemporary schematic https://el34world.com/charts/Schemat...x_ac301978.pdf I guess that the switch is to select between 240 and 220V primary taps on the PT.
    The trimmer near the mess of HT ecaps may be the heater circuit humdinger, the other is probably the trimmer on the output of the modulation oscillator.

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    Allright, so the trimmer near caps is acrting like "hum balance" (in e.g. old ampegs)? and the left one controls strenght of the modulation of the vib-trem circuit? Right?

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    Yes, though humdingers are typically more of a ‘buzz balance’ than ‘hum balance’.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdf64 View Post
    Yes, though humdingers are typically more of a ‘buzz balance’ than ‘hum balance’.
    How this? What's the difference (language barrier)? What would be a real hum balance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    How this? What's the difference (language barrier)? What would be a real hum balance?
    I think he was referring to the 'sound' of the hum and the harmonic content, rather than the circuit type.

    As far as the language thing, I'm an english speaker and even my reading comprehension is not so good. I was wondering why boroman was going to clean the amp with beer.

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    In my experience the AC30 humdinger is very effective regarding compensation of 50Hz hum. The position of minimum 50Hz hum may not provide optimum cancellation of more audible higher line harmonics, though. Requires compromising.
    One of the reasons is direct hum injection/coupling between PT and OT in some versions.

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    Yes, it’s a higher harmonics thing; the interference from an out of balance heater circuit seems more like the ‘buzz’ from a bee, rather than the ‘hum’ of someone that knows the tune but not the words

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    effective regarding compensation of 50Hz hum
    I think that is the problem. Over here we have 60Hz, which is like 10 more Hertz, innit?

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    But this one (in my plane) goes to 400Hz...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    I think that is the problem. Over here we have 60Hz, which is like 10 more Hertz, innit?
    So what's the point?

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    They're just being silly

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    Helmholtz. It was just a joke. I was implying the line from the movie SPinal Tap, where all their amps "go to eleven... Well that's one louder, innit?" ("innit" being the written form of "isn't it?" when spoken unclearly.) And I was trying to nudge that into the buzz versus hum thing. Obviously the hum abatement pots work equally well at both 50Hz and 60Hz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Helmholtz. It was just a joke. I was implying the line from the movie SPinal Tap, where all their amps "go to eleven... Well that's one louder, innit?" ("innit" being the written form of "isn't it?" when spoken unclearly.) And I was trying to nudge that into the buzz versus hum thing. Obviously the hum abatement pots work equally well at both 50Hz and 60Hz.
    Thanks for explanation, Enzo. Don't forget we have much more line volts in 50Hz countries

    Actually there are some advantages of a higher line frequency, e.g. PTs have less core losses and thus can be built smaller which additionally reduces copper losses. Also supply filters are more efficient at higher frequency.

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    Actually there are some advantages of a higher line frequency, e.g. PTs have less core losses and thus can be built smaller which additionally reduces copper losses. Also supply filters are more efficient at higher frequency.
    Yes indeed. and that is why military and similar use 400Hz instead of 60Hz. And I suppose ultimately that is why we use SMPS with frequencies as high as MHz.

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    What I implied was that "export" PTs used at 50Hz can can be expected to get warmer than with 60Hz.

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    But then we get into the argument about whether the intermodulation distortion with regard to the ripple is better with 50hz or 60hz.
    I seem to recall that coming up in some discussion recently.

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