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#1 2008-05-18 21:36:31

604
New member
Registered: 2008-05-18
Posts: 3

VT-22 troubleshooting

Hello all,

i recently picked up a early 70s (72?) non master vt-22 with altec 417-8c speakers. It's in really nice condition inside and out, and according to the original owner that i got it from, the only things done to the amp were tube replacement (all magnavox) and a new main power diode. The amp sounds beautiful, but as I have played it over the last little while, there seems to be a few issues, hopefully small ones. Playing certain notes, or chords gets me a terrible crackling distorted noise that stops when the sting does. Playing with the frequency selectors and tone controls helps, and the crackle seems to be aggravated by higher bass levels, but its always there. In addition, I'm getting some minor rattling noise that sounds like it might be coming from the reverb (almost unnoticeably quiet), and at normal playing volumes the reverb sometimes springs like crazy on certain notes, making it unusable past noon or so.

I am certainly no amp tech, so I'm not one to be cracking this beauty open and going to town. It's going into a tech asap. (anyone got any suggestions of where to take it in Vancouver BC, Canada??) Hoping to get some insight and/or help from those here first though! Thanks!

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c61/lsu1982/vt-22.jpg

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#2 2008-05-18 22:40:43

hangman
Banned
From: Seattle Washington
Registered: 2006-09-04
Posts: 1848

Re: VT-22 troubleshooting

welcome to the forum 604,  congratulations on your new amp! 

the crackling sounds like it could be as simple as a bad solder joint.    however... regardless of how simple that problem... Replace the filter caps as soon as possible.   your amp will thank you.

the rattle is normal with the VT-22 it is the lock on the reverb tank.  I would just remove it if I were you. 

as far as a tech in Vancouver.... I don't know.   I'm down in Olympia Washington.   Its not exactly close... but I do good work and I specialize in these amps.   So, if you can't find someone in Vancouver....

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#3 2008-06-14 04:49:53

604
New member
Registered: 2008-05-18
Posts: 3

Re: VT-22 troubleshooting

Thanks for the reply!
I'm still yet to take the amp in, Olympia isn't that far away...

There's an amp repair shop here, backline (http://www.backline.com/index.html), that I'm sure could do a good job, but I think they'd be on the pricey side. They do charge to look over the amp and quote for repairs if you decide to not to have them do it, and I would rather not get stuck with a bill if their pricing is too steep.
The vt-22 should probably have a three prong power cord installed, no? On top of that, for the (hopefully just) solder joint fix and a filter cap job, what would be a reasonable price to expect to pay?

Thanks!

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#4 2008-06-15 19:03:40

paully
Member
From: Northern New Jersey
Registered: 2007-11-02
Posts: 200

Re: VT-22 troubleshooting

Couple of thoughts.

Yes, recapping is a good idea, and the power cord switch is a must.

On the reverb, if someone replaced the tank with the wrong one, it could cause what I think you're talking about. If it's a tank that should be mounted with the open side pointing up, and you have a tank with the springs mounted the wrong way, they might be physically touching to lower part of the mounting plate. Excessive reverb causes the springs to move more, and it just might be enough to cause contact. Also, a tank with the wrong transformers can cause excesive reverb. BTW, you can't even get a replacement tank with the lock bar anymore. Too bad..  great idea.

The first thing a tech is gonna do is take a can of Caig DiOxIt and spray the pots, switches and jacks, and physically 'work' them immediately after spraying. This is something you can safely do. Leave the amp "off' and unplugged for a day before you remove it. Anything that has an electrical contact can build up oxide and get dirty. This includes the input and speaker jacks and their internal contacts. Tube sockets are another contact point and should be sprayed as well. Again, these are relatively safe, benign things you can do to save money. Just be sure the amp's unplugged and has drained for a day.

As far as paying a tech, thank whatever god you pray to that they're still around. They're gonna end up being your best friend, and most don't take advantage. This is dangerous territory to work in, and they are usually well trained(and hopefully careful) professionals. For trouble shooting, power cord swap and new caps, if I didn't get a price of at least a couple hundred dollars for labor alone, I'd move on to the next tech.

I's suggest that you Google "vintage guitar amp repair > vancouver" and see what pops up. Most will give you their specifics.

Best, Paul


WADAYAKNOW.. For the first time in my life, I'm wrong again!

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