Saturday, September 08, 2007

When Good Amps Go Bad

I turned on my "summer" amp this morning -- and nothing. Dead as a doornail. Seemed like it must be a fuse, so I opened it up, and sure enough the fuse was blown. The amp is an Assemblage ST-40 EL34 tube amp, the first amp I ever built, and it's worked flawlessly for years. I'm not sure I've ever opened it up since I built it. I figured that, after eight or more years (I think I put it together circa '98-'99), the fuse had simply died, much as light bulbs eventually do.

Wrong. I put in a new fuse -- and it promptly blew. I have no idea why. Is the switch bad? Is there a short somewhere? Why? Where? I haven't the foggiest, and troubleshooting is not my area of expertise.

To assuage my frustration, I put a good solid state amp, a 100W AKSA built from a partial kit, into the system and am blasting Lauritz Melchior. The picture above is of the AKSA in action. Poor Floyd the Farmer is in the field getting blasting by Lauritz singing "Vesti la giubba" -- in German, no less! He probably thinks I'm insane!

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