Tuesday, March 12, 2019


A page from the RCA Tube Manual
Well, with this severe Winter going on and on, I have found myself doing less and less bicycle stuff. But that's okay, I am not a single focus person. I do have other interests. Really.

Of course, there is my family, and I have been trying to spend a lot of time with them of late. My daughter graduates from high school this Spring and my son is going to be 16 this Summer. They won't be around here much longer to enjoy as they branch out and spread their wings as adults soon.

Many of you know that I do play guitar as well. So, to that end I've been trying to work on my slide playing and I have earmarked a special composition to learn, (not slide guitar though) and I am trying to get the beginnings of that song nailed down. If I do finally get through it as I plan to, I may have to make a special recording of it. It can't be played softly though. It will be LOUD! That said, don't hold your breath. I have a looong ways to go before I get this nailed down.

Then I have been doing a ton of research into vacuum tube amplifier technology and repair. I have read a few books, (kindly sent to me by a reader of this blog), and now I know what equipment I need and I have a rudimentary knowledge of how to use it. You Tube has been an awesome resource in this pursuit of mine, that's for sure.

I have three test subjects lined up for servicing already, so I don't need any amplifiers! I have a 1984 Peavey Encore 65, which I purchased new, by the way. It quit working, so I will have a challenge of diagnosing and repairing that beast. I have the schematic for it and it is daunting, to say the least! Then I have a rather odd bird, and from what I can tell, it is a circa 1969/70 Univox 100 watt head. This thing has like 11 vacuum tubes in it! This one actually still works, but obviously, if you know anything about tube amps, it needs re-capping and probably a tube or two. Maybe. We'll see. I don't have a proper schematic for it either, which complicates things. Finally, my early '90's Tweed Blues Junior is in need of servicing. It has a buzz that isn't getting better, and while I have had it tubed and looked at, I am pretty sure it has the original capacitors in it, and those are due for a look-see.

So, when I have down time, and with no Trans Iowa to fret about now, I still have things to learn and to do. That said, I have the MAJOR itch to get riding, and the Gent's Race is less than a month from now!!


Skidmark said...

As a kid in the early/mid 1960’s, I’m now remembering the tube testing “machines” that stood in some stores like grocery and convenience stores (7-11, we called ‘um).

Anon said...

Have you been following the Truth About Vintage amps podcast with Skip Simmons? It's worth a listen. Lots of good info.

Guitar Ted said...

@Skidmark- I remember one of those at a local grocery/department store we used to go to in the 60's.

Guitar Ted said...

@Jonas Malever- I haven't caught that podcast before. I'll have to give it a listen sometime. Thanks for the suggestion.