What to look for when buying used amp? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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What to look for when buying used amp?

I am going to look at a JSX head and cabinet and wondering what I should be particular about. I will be bringing my guitar to try it out but what should I look out for? There are some scuffs and dings on the cab but the head LOOKS good but used.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Jeff
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 10:40 AM
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Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Make sure all tubes work. Also, make sure they ate not dim.
Check all knobs and witches for functionality.
Look for tears in the speakers.
Most of all--make sure it sounds good!



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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Just like a car, take it to the tech and hae them go over it. Caps, iron, proper wiring. People are idiots and have no idea how to even hook a head an cab together in most cases.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Thanks!!!

How worried should I be about tears and scuffs in the tolex of the cab and some bumps on the head unit? I am worried that it has been gigged extensively I guess.

Jeff
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Depends, tears and scuffs could just indicate that it's been toured with and banged around but don't necessarily mean that anything internal is damaged. I ask lots of questions, including how some of the scuffs got there. I check to make sure that knobs, jacks, etc. are all tight. I check to ensure the tubes aren't red plating. I always play for at least 30 minutes at various volume levels (including really loud) to get a feel for how it handles power and if there's any major issues, those will likely show up within those 30 minutes.

I don't do this to private sellers, but if I'm in a store like GC and an annoying sales clerk is pushing me to buy, I'll also adjust things to sound worse than the amp actually is just to try and haggle a lower price on something that doesn't sound so great

If it passes those tests and I like the amp, I buy it. If I don't like it, am unsure about the durability or still have questions, I point those things out to the seller (haggle a little depending on how major the issues are) and then sleep on it. Sometimes I'll ask if I can come back another day to play it again, or if he wouldn't mind me playing it a little longer to be sure. The point is, I keep testing until I'm satisfied with an amp and then I either buy it or walk away.

It's annoying as a seller to have someone walk away so, when that's me, I always try to give my reasons for why I'm not just handing them the cash. I've tried selling enough things myself and had people leave me hanging and it's not fun, but at the end of the day, when I'm the buyer and it's my money, I want to be sure.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 11:48 PM
 
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Talking Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Good advise Smooth. One thing to remember,tubes can be changed, and amps can be biased, so if you know what it should sound like and its close, it prolly just needs some tubes or a bias. I happen to have a Peavey JSX head and I think it sounds great! I took it to band practice and hooked up my rack to it and it wasn't any where near as good sounding as my 5150. Sounds great just plugged in direct from guitar to head.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 01:54 AM
 
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Talking Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Someone delete me please
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 05:25 AM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Scuffs and scrapes mean nothing, hell, some of the best running amps I know of LOOK like **** because they get used a lot, but the owner has enough sense to take them to the tech every few months to get them serviced. Thats why it pays to protect your investment and have it gone over, if it does not show signs of regular maintenance, walk away unless you can get a deal.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 11:07 AM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Dim tubes are not a sign of dying tubes. JSX's aren't fixed bias and some tubes don't always glow hard blue when driven (a sign of excess gas in the tubes) so if the amp sounds good when you turn it on - make sure and crank it and listen for any noise on all the channels, and check the noise gate. If the tubes red plate (not orange) the tubes are shot, but if the amp doesn't crank loud then something is wrong. If the power tubes don't all glow blue it may not be synonymous with a problem, it may just be that the bias has drifted a bit cold or they have hot tubes in it and the bias is cold.

Cosmetics is all up to you on negotiating the price. Just make sure it powers through with no unscrupulous noises (especially after getting nice and hot).

Last edited by SonicProvocateur; 07-11-2012 at 11:10 AM. Reason: tube technology...my Sylvanias are hot tubes biased cold, they dont glow blue
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Correct, in fact an overly bright tube is more worry some than a dim tube. A good tube will have little going on light wise. Light is gas and gas does not exist in a perfect vacuum.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 04:10 PM
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Re: What to look for when buying used amp?

Overall they are well built amps that don't have a reputation for breaking down like some others on the market. Tubes, fuses ,etc. are expected to be replaced like oil and tires on your car.

If you like how it sounds and the price is in your ballpark - you probably won't be taking a big chance by buying it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Good luck.
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