Dwindling output in 5150 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Dwindling output in 5150

I just dug out my 5150 out of the shed after 10+ years. After I wiped off the cobwebs and rust, I powered up and plugged in. It seems to have the same problem it had when I put it on temporary exile. The clean channel's volume is very faint with lots of crackling, similar to a bad cable, and I have to switch to the distortion channel, then back to the clean channel (manually, I lost my footswitch), to jump start the clean channel. After playing for several minutes in the clean channel, it randomly goes into nearly silent mode again. The same phenomena occurs in the distortion channel, but not quite as obvious as the clean. The usual suspects are tubes, but the crackling noise leads me to think it's something else. To all you repairmen out there; what is your diagnosis on this type of activity?!?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 03:03 AM
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

Bad tubes can cause the crackling.
Also could be some dirty tube sockets.

10+ years of an amp sitting and then just cranking it up is not fun for the amp. Its kinda like someone not being physically active for a long time and then going to run a 100 yd dash.

Low output and crackling sounds like bad tubes and overall dirtiness.
Set aside $200-350 for repair total including tubes.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasondmckay View Post
Bad tubes can cause the crackling.
Also could be some dirty tube sockets.

10+ years of an amp sitting and then just cranking it up is not fun for the amp. Its kinda like someone not being physically active for a long time and then going to run a 100 yd dash.

Low output and crackling sounds like bad tubes and overall dirtiness.
Set aside $200-350 for repair total including tubes.
Thanks for the info. Actually, I sold it to a friend who's been bugging me to sell it to him for the past several months. I used the $200-350 for possible repairs to get a used JSX instead, which is TEN TIMES better than the 5150.

For the record, the exact same thing was happening to my Marshall JCM2000, which scared the crap out of me, but fortunately, it was only a bad speaker cord
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

The 5150 FX loop can do that too if it gets dirty, or a shorted connection. Also as said, power tubes are a likely culprit.

Good luck with the JSX, I'd argue the 10 times better thing. There's the reason the 5150 has become a cult classic amp and the JSX was practically dropped even by it's biggest endorser. Not even in the same ball park if you ask me.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

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Originally Posted by blackspy View Post

I'd argue the 10 times better thing. There's the reason the 5150 has become a cult classic amp and the JSX was practically dropped even by it's biggest endorser. Not even in the same ball park if you ask me.
Well, from my experience owning both amps, my reasons for choosing the JSX is as follows:

1. JSX has a much FATTER and clearer distortion tone compared to the tinny 5150 sound - not to mention higher gain.

2. The JSX clean channel is TEN TIMES "cleaner" than the notoriously horrid 5150 clean channel. Okay, the JSX clean channel may not sound as pristine as a Marshall. In full humbucker mode, I notice a slight break up. However, with single-coils or split/parallel humbuckers, the JSX comes alive with slightly more resonance than my Marshall JCM2000.

For me, those 2 qualities are enough to sway me towards the JSX. As far as Satch dropping the JSX for the Marshall JVM410 - hell, it's a Marshall. Never test drove the JVM410, but supposedly, it has more gain the the previous Marshalls, and with the Fender quality clean channel those Marshalls have, I don't blame Satch for moving on.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

I had a 5150 and I disagree with your gripes with it. I loved that amp. The JSX always sounded like a better version of the XXX. The 5150 was at the top of the heap.

I found that the lead channel on the 5150 was too much. I preferred the rhythm channel with the crunch button in. That was the baddest and thickest distortion on the planet.

Maybe the bad tubes or something else funky in it had skewed your opinion of it. Just my $.02.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

It all depends on your taste.
I sold my 5150 after I got my ADA MP-1, it had way more tones to work with.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 02:41 PM
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

Uh, the 5150 doesn't have a clean channel. Rhythm and Lead.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

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Originally Posted by blackspy View Post
Uh, the 5150 doesn't have a clean channel. Rhythm and Lead.
It has 2 channels. Gain channel and clean channel with crunch switch.

The crunch sounds great, but the clean sound SUCKS. Actually, when I ran my GB10 through it, it doesn't sound all that bad for strait up Jazz, but forgot about those crystal clear Funk rhythm tones that a Marshall or JSX can get - in addition to the high-gain Metal tones.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasondmckay View Post

I found that the lead channel on the 5150 was too much. I preferred the rhythm channel with the crunch button in. That was the baddest and thickest distortion on the planet.

Maybe the bad tubes or something else funky in it had skewed your opinion of it. Just my $.02.
I agree, the crunch sounds great - too bad it's not foot switchable.

Well, I purchased that thing brand new, and it didn't have any technical problems that I know of, other than being limited to one sound and style of music. It's great if you're exclusive to Rock/Metal, but as for doing different genres of music, the 5150 is as limited as Gibson guitars
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian View Post
I sold my 5150 after I got my ADA MP-1, it had way more tones to work with.
The lack of various tones is exactly why I sold my 5150 to a friend instead of repairing it.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

I don't disagree, if you're looking for a clean tone, the 5150 is not your best choice. It is a very one trick pony kind of amp, if you like it, you love it. If you need versatility, again probably not your best choice.

I've owned every variation of the 5150 and no matter what anyone claims, there's no real clean. There's essentially (clean-ish) mild overdrive, crunch and high-gain. It was never touted as a "clean" amp, ever. It is built for rock/metal and that's about it.

Last edited by blackspy; 11-08-2011 at 06:14 PM.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Dwindling output in 5150

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackspy View Post
There's essentially (clean-ish) mild overdrive, crunch and high-gain. It was never touted as a "clean" amp, ever. It is built for rock/metal and that's about it.
If you set the gain on 2 or less (Marshalls can go up to 4 or 5), you can have a bona fide "clean" tone without any break up. It's clean enough to produce traditional Jazz archtop tones, but doesn't have enough clarity or chime to produce modern day Funk rhythm tones. Like you said, it's essentially a one or two trick pony kind of amp.
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