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Post subject: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:38 pm
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I have a hot rod, made in USA if that helps date it, that has the same channel switching issue again. The amp has needed regular “hot rod” maintenance over the years. It doesn’t get used much maybe 12 times a year but at full volume (well 4 which is full hot rod volume ha ha ). I was surprised last session when I noticed the reverb and channel switching out again. Should I keep repairing it, ditch it, or just use it with clean channel and be done with it? Never use the other channels but I want them to work and the reverb too.


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Fender Play April 2019
Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:40 pm
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Ditch dabitch -- get yourself a pre-2006 blackface re-issue and use quality pedals for saturated distortion and organic overdrive. Get yourself a Radial Big Shot A/B/Y if channel switching is required.

Arjay

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"Here's why reliability is job one: A great sounding amp that breaks down goes from being a favorite piece of gear to a useless piece of crap in less time than it takes to read this sentence." -- BRUCE ZINKY


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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:02 pm
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If you only use the clean channel, then you have too much amp.
A single channel would have a tonal advantage over the HRDX.

You can probably fix it by resoldering the white sand box resistors on the board.
You can resolder them from the top. Heat the leads and feed solder down from the top. It will flow to the bottom and reconnect the resistors.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:22 pm
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Thanks for the fast replies. I’ll do both. I’m gonna check the prices on used twins. Honestly played a real 65 once and it is the best. Have good shops near me but for fun I may take a look just to see if I can see the split resistors. I understand replacing them but if it keeps happening it’s to unreliable.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:42 pm
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Tone Chaser wrote:
I have a hot rod, made in USA if that helps date it, that has the same channel switching issue again. The amp has needed regular “hot rod” maintenance over the years. It doesn’t get used much maybe 12 times a year but at full volume (well 4 which is full hot rod volume ha ha ). I was surprised last session when I noticed the reverb and channel switching out again. Should I keep repairing it, ditch it, or just use it with clean channel and be done with it? Never use the other channels but I want them to work and the reverb too.


Made in the USA you say? Why.... that would put that PCB amp being made somewhere around 1996-2000. Hmmmmm... For being labelled a POS on some internet gear sites, those amps sure last a long time .. 19+ yrs

It's probably the resistors at R78 & R79 that need replacing (well-documented issue Fender had with the early HRDs) Regardless if you have or have not played the amp, the Electrolitic caps are well overdue for replacement. Those caps have a shelf life. In 2007... I aquired a 2001 HRD. I had a "real" amp tech go over it, never had an issue (after 100s of gigs.) Sold it when I got a HRD III in a trade. Took that amp to the same "real" tech ... had him go over that one and even mod it. That HRD III keeps up with all my vintage Fenders ... HRDs are extremely fun to play and many working musicians use them.

I've cited "real tech" twice ... There is a difference between the guy who can work on early Fenders (we all know them) and the expert who works on all things electronics. First one cringes at a PCB, the other makes his living repairing PCBs (i.e On TVs, Appliances & Computers, etc. ) First one attempts a hack repair job using a solder sucker, the second one uses a Solder wick like he's a jeweler cutting stone. The first one thinks amp schematics are complex, the second one thinks amp schematics are simple linear wiring diagrams. First one charges big fees to even look at your amp, the second one see's your amp no different from the dishwasher motherboard that was brought in an hour before and charges you the same $20 flat fee to diagnose the problem. First one, when faced with an intermittent problem, freakouts & stalls for time, asks for even more money, then shotguns the repair job by gutting half the amp ( cause they can't find the problem ) the Second one easily goes right to the problem and repairs it and returns the amp in a timely fashion. Lastly.. the first one works out of his house, wears street clothes when he takes your money. The second one has a place of business and is wearing a lab coat and sporting some repair magnifying glasses & after he hears your story, directs you to his customer service who writes you a service ticket and takes your $20.

Do these simple things and that amp (after repaired) will last another 20yrs

A) Let the amp cool down to room temp before you move it.
B) Never expose the amp to extreme temp changes (e.g. warm your car up after the gig before you take the amp there)
C) Treat the amp with the same respect you would give an expensive laptop computer. (wrap the cord around the handle before inserting it in the jack, don't throw it in the truck of the car, don't yank on the tubes like they are a a cow utter, etc..


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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:47 am
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Just curious, how many times have you had it repaired for the same problem? One or more?


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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:36 pm
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vinyl wrote:
Just curious, how many times have you had it repaired for the same problem? One or more?


The Hot Rod Disgrace has always been known as a "hangar queen".

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:08 pm
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Indeed.

Everyone knows a "real" tech only uses solder wick. Some of them may even solder like this....

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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:50 pm
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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:37 pm
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Not sure how many times it was fixed for same issue. I think twice before. I have some receipts I’ll check. It’s older and has seen a tech over the years so having trouble remembering. I do know the the last repair wasn’t that long ago. I think no matter I’ll get it fixed. Would be better if I needed to sell it. I can say that I think it sounds really good. When we finally get to practice it’s full loud for four hours. We don’t move it after playing.
I think I have good techs although I never see their shops. Just the stores I drop off at. The last repair was fast like the tech has seen this issue before. Channels switched and reverb was back. I’m not knocking the hot rod but the last repair should have lasted longer. I could switch stores this time but maybe same store guy will realize his last repair didn’t last


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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:00 pm
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Thanks for they reply, Tonechaser. Not really necessary to dig up receipts, but you have helped.

If you like how it sounds, and want to repair it again that's entirely up to you.

If you want to say where you live, there are others here that can make recommendation for a tech possibly. Again not really necessary.

Regards,
vinyl








Regards,
Vinyl


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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:49 am
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pcalugaru
Just curious here.
Do you predict the newer versions to have the same longevity as the original USA made ones?

(PS - as a friendly FYI, it's udder, not utter .... on a cow)

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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:17 pm
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Well I was wrong. Only one repair for the channel switching. The last two receipts I found were:
10/22/14 - blew fuse after checking preamp tube - replaced output transformer repaired tube sockets resoldered cold connections on board repaired reverb connections replaced both input jacks $215

11/26/17 - drive more drive not engaging - installed customer supplied tubes and biased unit. Located 2 bad connections on main pc board in 16v supply. This caused drive and channel problem cleaned pots. $105

So it was longer than I thought for last repair. I think I have access to good techs I’m in bucks county near Philadelphia. Arjay your post was funny as _hit !


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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:17 pm
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That's a lot of jack to keep one mediocre amp in the game......

I haven't spent half of that on servicing five vintage Fender's in the last fifteen years.

You sure you want to continue flogging that dog?

:shock:
Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Fender Hot Rod no channel switching, again
Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:46 am
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BMW-KTM wrote:
pcalugaru
Just curious here.
Do you predict the newer versions to have the same longevity as the original USA made ones?

(PS - as a friendly FYI, it's udder, not utter .... on a cow)


Sure why wouldn't it? Granted there are always exceptions

(Aside from the led free solder issue, in which I've yet to read any legit technical data stating that there is a longevity issue with Lead-free solder, seems the only people I see pushing the lead free issue and longevity are outside the actual manufacturing base. At this time (and it might change) not sure their opinions count for much... yet... ) if true, the data will come out. As far as I know, once printing technology got a handle on the higher heat needed for the lead-free solder, printing/screening quality improved across the board in manufacturing

I should clarify ... The premise that I'm standing on when I "pontificate" is from a Materials Manager for a Tier 1 supplier and a player of 35+ yrs in which many of those I would consider myself working as a professional.

Before the HRD line Fender was doing ok, I don't have their financials in front of me but I think it a fair statement. The HRD line IS a huge success and greatly contributed to the stability of FMIC (which dominates the market right? ) The HRD line is one of the main amps you see on a backline and has sold 100000+ since its conception. And it's extremely popular even with working musicians.

I don't want to go all into manufacturing 101 it would bore you. That said, all modern manufacturing has strict quality procedures driven in the end by controllers (i.e accountants ) That plant in Mexico is no different. Quality and PPMs (parts per millions) are big with every company and that drives profit. There is no way that Fender has gotten as big as it has or the HRD line achieving the popularity it has if the HRD line had/had a high defective rate.

That notion of being defective is driven by a select few.... although very knowledgable in amp repair, are unaware of the bigger manufacturing picture. (like PPMs etc)

On a side note:

Youtube has several sites dedicated to the HRD line, there you will find 100s of satisfied users. One site currently has a thread were everyone is parading out there mid-90s in perfect working order. One guy claims he has 20000+ hours on his (I know I put a boatload of hours on my 2001)

A site like this (Fender's) gets that one guy who has an issue, those Youtube sites get the other 99% that don't have an issue.

:) Udder whoops


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