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So I start by inspecting the circuit connections under a powerful inspection lens then measure the voltage and scope out the amp stage by stage: Power supply, pre amp (stage by stage), Phase inverter and the power stage.By taking this methodical approach, i can usually spot the apparent and future faults.I have some great tools for dealing with this and re tensioning the pins so the sockets grips well and there is no movement or accompanying annoying crackles.Having gained some experience with AC30 now I have build up a good database of accurate measurements around the amp.Normal Channel volume control is set on FULL volume (clockwise).TONE KNOB SETTINGS: Treble, Bass and Cut controls are all wound fully off (anti-clockwise).This latter situation means that the EL84 power valves will be pushed even harder than normal, giving extra sustain and distortion, but making it essential that the EL84s used are robust and extremely good quality, as well as being good sounding valves.
The earlier one is from 1964 and is a great example of how a complex fault of various un-related problems can really be difficult unless you stick to as well disciplined diagnosis routine.
Unfortunately this gradual drift is difficult to notice, however repair and restoration is not expensive or difficult.
If you are having AC30 troubles please feel free to get in touch.
For AC30s built in the 1960s (JMI) or 70s (CBS-Arbiter), or 1980s (Rose-Morris Era) the following preamp tube configuration applies almost all of them: Normal Channel needs No.4 and 5 Brilliant Channel needs Nos. Dave felt that because of the great stresses placed on the GZ34 during Brian May full volume operation that the Chinese tube was working only marginally within the limits of failure. Suggested types: Radio Spares Catalogue Numbers: 1.
4,5 and 6 PREAMP TUBE SELECTION: The AC30 Normal channel has a very clean low distortion preamp section and requires a 12AX7/ECC83 that is not a high gain type, but above all has low microphonic characteristics. The Mullards proved to be bullet proof and delivered a superior sound.
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