Marshall TSL + Beer = Bad. - Jemsite
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2003, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
Marshall TSL + Beer = Bad.

After long meditation, I think the word that best sums my current mood is "morose."

I was playing at a toga party at a frathouse on campus with my band tonight. You know the deal, they hire a couple dancing monkeys to come in and be a jukebox for a few hours... If you've seen Animal House, you've been there (just, we're white, and they all weigh more than we do). So we've mostly finished setting up, and I'm warming up- threw the TSL on 25 watt mode so as not to have to change my settings or deafen anyone, and am just shredding merrily away. My picking feels smooth, my tone's great, I'm happy. So, I throw the amp on standby, lean the guitar agaisnt it, take a sip of the cup of beer sitting on top of it, then help my bassist move some of his cases, etc. off the stage. Unbeknownst to me, my patch cord gets caught in his case, and when I pull it out of the way, the body of my guitar kicks out, the headstock slides across the face of my amp, and my and his beers are sent flying. The one on the edge just splashes down the cab, but the one a little farther in hits the corner of the head too, uncluding the vents on top.

He immediately turns it off, fearing a short. We dry it off and turn it back on- it powers up, but the last two tubes are now milky, and when i turn it off standby, I'm greeted by silence.

I was able to grab a friend's amp to play the gig, but i kept checking the thing over the course of the night anyway, just in case it'd dry out and would be fine. Turned it on a few more times, but by the end of the night the milky tubes weren't even lighting up anymore.

I'm assuming the cold beer contacting the red-hot glass of the tubes caused a crack or soemthing, and the tubes themselves are blown. However, am I looking at an internal short, too? I need to get this fixed ASAP, because I have two more gigs in the next week, and one of them is an outdoor gig where I'd really need that power.

And naturally, I didn't even get laid after the gig.

Well, at least I played well tonight... a pity it was through a Line6 Spyder 1x12 i had maxed out and was still barely cutting it...

Drew is offline  
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2003, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,989
I don't know too too much about amps, but my recommendation would be to get it re-tubed and work from there.

And, as much as I like Line6, I never liked the just seems to be the opposite of everything Line6 stands for
Two hands31 is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2003, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 111
argh! disaster!

Have you looked inside the amp for anything thats visibly blown? I'd be very careful about making sure its all dry in there before turning it on again.

If (hopefully) its just a case of two dead tubes, you can put the two working tubes in the central two sockets and run at half power (the half power switch on the back wont work, of course..)

If youre still getting no sound, then it sounds like a trip to the tech's in order :/

rilla is offline  
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2003, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
I didn't get a chance- we were supposed to start in 10 minutes, and the amp i was borrowing was about a 14-minute round trip away, so as soon as I realized it wasn't goint to work, checked to make sure the cable was fine and it wasn't like the channel volume had just got knocked back to zero, i booked it over to my friend's dorm, and i haven't picked the amp up from the gig yet. All I got was a quick look at the tubes, and like i said, the two ones closest to the edge clouded up and eventually didn't turn on when I powered the thingup to see if it was just a matter of drying out.

Worst thing about the spyder, aside from how digital gear sounds cranked, was that there wasn't a speaker output. It'd have been totally serviceable through a Mesa 2x12.

I priced quartets of Groove Tubes on musicians(buddy).com and they aren't as bad as I was expecting- about $80 for a set, half that for two. If I do have to replace tubes I think i might go withg a quartet- i suppose it wouldn't be a bad idea to have spares around. If I can't afford a backup head, then a couple backup tubes would probably be good...

I'll call or e-mail the marshall customer support people, and confirm that a marshall can be run with just its two center (or outer- i think mesas work that way) tubes. That'd at least get me through this week... However, the VPR switch isn't just a simple matter of shutting down two tubes, o I'm not sure...

Drew is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2003, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
Well, picked it up from the house 20 minutes ago, and got a good look at it under daylight. I'm feeling a lot better. Suprisingly, very little beer got inside the amp at all- there's a few drops splattered here and there in one little section, but the only place that got any substantial amount of beer on it is the right side of the two tubes that blew, and it looks like that just dripped in through the vents, rather than actually poured- there's a little visible crusted beer that dripped down part of each side.

The outside of the head wasn't even bad- I seem to have done a good job wiping most of it off at the time, and only the cab really got that wet, and, well, it's a cab, it's easy to clean.

The tubes are, of course, shattered- red-hot tubes and ice-cold beer (even ****ty ice cold beer) are a perfect example for temperature-related cracking.

So, it looks to be a simple matter of spot-cleaning the chassis (and even that's probaly just cosmetic), getting some new fuses (and backups are a good thing to have, i guess) and getting a new set of tubes (I only really need a duet, but I might do a quartet for the same reason- backups).

Moral of the story- never put a beer on top of a tube amp when you're playing an Animal House-like party. Also, backup amps are a life-saver. I really wanna grab one of these new $300 Ibanez 100-watt heads for the next time something like this happens.

Drew is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2003, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Somerville, MA
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Just took off the rear guard thingie that protects the tubes to get a better look at the damage- one of the power transformers (i think) definately got hit too. Im not sure how badly, or if the beer penetrated or not... Or even if it got into the chassis itself, the seal around the transformer looks pretty tight.

Any advice on cleaning this thing up? I'm about to call the Marshall contact in the states to see what they have to say...

Drew is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2003, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Woodlands, TX
Posts: 146
I repair electronics and I use a product called electrowash. It is an evoporative that jets eveything clean and dries quickly. It doesn't harm electronics. I have used this in printers computers and just about everything! Never had a problem with it.

Good Luck!
gtrcollectr is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-27-2003, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 121

I'm sorry to hear about your amp!!! Im sure it will be okay and all, but still...Im happy my DSL50 doesnt have vents on the top. I've actually spilled a couple things and have had no problems aside from cosmo-cleanup. You know how EVH,aside from others, holds his cigs on his headstock? Maybe you should do that with your beers from now on. Prolly woud be a bit cumbersome, but maybe some drunk chick would be amazed...and then you would finally get your gig lay

BTW, did you sell off your mesa combo? That would make a great backup.

RythmicIllusion is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-27-2003, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
Yeah, i thought it was a little weird that they put the vents there, especially since drinks getting spilled on amps isn't an altogether unheard of occurance... Next time I buy an amp (c'mon, who am I kidding, i know it'll be less than 3 years ), I'll keep that in mind.

I've noticed playing slide with a beer bottle goes over well...

Don't get me wrong, it's not that i'm really ugly and a crappy guitarist to boot, and when i just opened up on a cover of "Foxy Lady" early on in the set, I got a hell of a crowd response- you know, it's Jimi. It's just that they all go for the vocalists, and even they didn't get laid last night, because they were all going for the frat guys. :-/

Oh well. I brought it up to Advance Music in burlington- nearest authorized marshall repair center. I was quoted $100 for a set of Ruby tubes plus a week wait for them to arrive, and i think I can do better on my own- same set is $59 on musicians friend, and a good set of groove tubes would still be cheaper and faster having them rush delivered than would the ones they'd order for it. Since they stock them anyway and were just temporarily out of stock, I can't see it being an issue if I provide my own tubes...

Anyone played a set of Groove Tubes GT E-34-SL? They're E, not EL, but the MF site suggests it's a direct retorfit for marshalls and just have a slightly different heat wing design. I'm leaning that way, the added bass and clarity would be good for the 7-string...

Drew is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-27-2003, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and you're right, but the Mesa went for the speaker cab.

Drew is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2003, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 111
Originally Posted by Drew
Anyone played a set of Groove Tubes GT E-34-SL? They're E, not EL, but the MF site suggests it's a direct retorfit for marshalls...
erm, you'll still have to bias the amp unless the tubes you have in there at the moment are the exact same type (same manufacturer, model and rating - i dont know if GT even rate their tubes, if they dont it'll need rebiasing whatever)
rilla is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2003, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
Yeah, i knew that, but it was a little confusing on the musicians friend page- it suggested they were, but i wasn't 100% sure. Called them up, and the guy i got wasn't sure either, but managed to find someone who was. So I'll have a set arriving tomorrow or maybe thursday.

The amp is currently up at Advance Music in burlington- andy, I'm sure you know the place. Incidentally, they have a new '03 Jem7vwh they got in like a week ago. Anyway, i was quoted $100 for a set of Ruby Tubes, plus a week wait because they're out of stock- pretty damned high, seeing as the go for $59 on MF and i could have them delivered quite a bti faster. So, went with the groove tubes.

Hopefulyl by the beginning of next week at the latest I'll have the thing back. Downside is my cut of the gig it got "baptized" at, $50 (one of the downsides of being a 6-peice (7, now) is that a $300 paycheck doens't go too far), is about what I'm looking at for labor. Ugh. I'm so broke.

Drew is offline  

groove tubes , speaker cab , tube amp

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