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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Fender RI Reverb Tank hiss

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How much inherent noise is to be expected with a unit like this? I don’t hear very much buzz or anything, but there seems to be a good deal of hiss. Is this normal? I recently picked up a used RI. It was described as having been retubed with new caps to make it sound closer to a vintage unit.

That last sentence would have me very suspicious as to what exactly the cap job (if that's really what they meant) involved, since it hints that caps other than the spec'ed values may have been used, which in turn can contribute to unexpected anomalies.

When you say "re-tubed" that typically means different vacuum tubes were put in (6V6 vs 6K6, etc) not capacitors (caps). Changing tubes out is a whole lot more straightforward than caps. I'd start by pulling the tubes and seeing what's what.

When in doubt... glissando!

“6V6 Groove Tube
12AX7 preamp tube
12AT7 tube
Dwell, Mix, Tone controls
On/Off footswitch included
10-1/2"H x 18-7/8"W x 7-1/2"D
13 lbs.
Bought used from Guitar Center in 2016. Taken directly to Jeff Olinger at Tripoint Audio, where this unit was properly cleaned, tested, re-tubed, new springs and modded. *Mod: A few caps were swapped out to render this unit tonally closer to it's original counterpart.”

That is language of the original ad. Not sure if that helps.

Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 07:49:58

They are tube units so there should be no hiss at all. Hiss comes from transistors. If there's any noise it would be a hum.

Replace the tubes with stock and start identifying the non stock components from there. Check the earths as well, it's possible it's picking up some interference from somewhere.

Make sure your phone and computer are nowhere near it - these can cause some interference if the unit is more susceptible to it

www.thewaterboarders.net
http://thewaterboarders.bandcamp.com/

Okay, thank you! The sound is kind of like white noise but light and a light buzz/hum. It isn’t terribly loud and the unit sounds great, I just notice this sound when I turn on the reverb tank. When I deactivate it, there isn’t much noise. I tried placing a noise gate (boss pedal) before it but it cuts out the guitar.

Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 08:16:29

Are you using any other pedals? It could be the hiss from those you're hearing.

When I built a 6G15, I was amazed how quiet it was compared to the transistor-based pedals I'd built in the past. They should be very quiet, with no hum or hiss.

Replace the tubes and see what it does. Also, try swapping the reverb pan cables, they could have been swapped inadvertently. Or try another pan. If the noise is still there after those checks, then I'd take it to be serviced. It's not a good idea to use faulty tube equipment.

www.thewaterboarders.net
http://thewaterboarders.bandcamp.com/

Okay. Thanks, I wasn’t sure if this was normal. I will try those things.

(duplicate post deleted)

When in doubt... glissando!

Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 09:41:13

Sonic_Blue wrote:
*Mod: A few caps were swapped out to render this unit tonally closer to it's original counterpart.”

If the hiss/hum persists after putting in known good bottles per the advice above, personally I would try to get more info on what caps were swapped out and what the difference in values were. There are well-meaning amp techs out there that make such modifications based on their own ideas of how things should be done, with the result that it sounds worse to everyone but that tech. Not saying you have a bad tech, just saying it should be ruled out too. Particularly if you didn't ask for those mods...

When in doubt... glissando!

Stoopy wrote:

Sonic_Blue wrote:
*Mod: A few caps were swapped out to render this unit tonally closer to it's original counterpart.”

If the hiss/hum persists after putting in known good bottles per the advice above, personally I would try to get more info on what caps were swapped out and what the difference in values were. There are well-meaning amp techs out there that make such modifications based on their own ideas of how things should be done, with the result that it sounds worse to everyone but that tech. Not saying you have a bad tech, just saying it should be ruled out too. Particularly if you didn't ask for those mods...

There's a lot of emphasis on making equipment sound 'good' to someone playing blues. This is not the same as sounding good for surf, so you have to be careful which mods you do. I replaced a tube in my reverb unit on the advice that it sounds 'better', but it sounds worse for surf. Some mods seem intent on removing the drip. The same goes for a lot of amp mods. A good Blues tone is an obsession with guitar players and amp techs, but that doesn't make it good for us.

www.thewaterboarders.net
http://thewaterboarders.bandcamp.com/

Actually, I think it may the effects loop on my amp. I am learning that it has problems like this. Also the auto bias lights keep running left to right and the burn channel basically sounds like the clean channel, so yeah. I bought a used super sonic 100 from guitar center so I think it is going back.

Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 10:50:58

I replaced the cable going to the pedal that came with the amp! It’s all good now.

Smooth surfin!

image

I found an even better solution by running just the reverb tank into the preamp in and any other effects through the effects loop.

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