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Amp Abuse

boppa
Posts: 61
I have been shopping for a head and stack, because in my old age, size matters. In my, perusuals, I have seen a lot of used stuff, where the seller says the rig is good, except for a hum here, or cutting out there.

My question to you all is, am I better off buying new, or taking a chance on used equipment that may have suffered some form of abuse?

One seller went so far to say his head was fine, except for a hum when you turned up the gain from using his amp overdrive too much. So too much fuzz and distortion wipes out the value on an amp?

I respect your input and thank you all for your consideration.

Boppa
Marko1960
Posts: 2174
I've got a 1975 Peavey TNT 150, she aint pretty after 40 years of abuse but works perfect with no hums buzzes or rattles, and I love the simplicity of it. So I'd go for used, I've spotted some absolute bargain Ampeg SVTs on ebay, check em out
Sidsquishus
Posts: 1499
Personally, I wouldn't rule out used gear as it's price much more in line with what I can afford, but I'm careful. New gear has a warranty, used doesn't. I wouldn't hesitate if I could check out the item before buying, but that usually is not the case. I stay away from ebay, having been burned there too often. Feedback is not a very useful indicator on ebay, etc. I haven't bought from Craig's List either. A place I do feel better about is the used gear classifieds at TalkBass.com.

Wherever I shop for used, I try to get a sense of the seller through exchanged messages. If I get a bad vibe from the person, I don't buy. I don't buy without having ‘talked’ with the seller. If it is a big ticket item and really important to my being able to play (like an amp), I'd be inclined to save for new (and a warranty) unless I was after a vintage, no-longer-made thing.

I just (last January) bought a used Ibanez Silver Series P bass from a guy 1000 miles away from me. He had bought it new in 1979. As he was 74, he wasn't going to be playing anymore. He was straight up in answering my questions, sending pictures, even sent me his mailing address and phone before I committed to buying. He earned my trust, so I bought. And I'm glad I did, I really like the bass, and now I have both jazz and precision Silver Series basses.
IamMark
Posts: 863
Find out what sort of licensed technicians you have in the area. Find out what they service (eg, SWR, Ampeg, GK, etc.).

Then find out what their service fees are. Some techs charge $50 just to open up a head and troubleshoot problems.

If you're uncertain about a head, and know you're going to want to get that hum looked at, consider these service costs. You may find in the long run new might not be that much more. All things considered.
Get a tube amp Go used, you can get something a lot nicer used for the price of something new, honestly. Plus there's some real nice used stuff out there, I'd go Craigslist if I were you
boppa
Posts: 61
I appreciate and respect all of your opinions. Is there a risk of amp abuse, due to prolonged fuzz, distortion and overdrive? Or am I being overly conservative in my old age?

We do have a couple amp techs nearby, which could be handy. One of the rigs I was looking at, the seller said he would power it up, to show that all the lights lit up, but we couldn't test it with a bass, due to his neighbors in his apartment. He is firm on his price on top of all this.

Thanks again!

Boppa
Sidsquishus
Posts: 1499
I wouldn't buy it if you can stand in front of it but not plug in a bass and hear how it sounds. Sounds like an excuse to hide a damaged amp.
Quote:
I wouldn't buy it if you can stand in front of it but not plug in a bass and hear how it sounds. Sounds like an excuse to hide a damaged amp.
I agree with Sid. Can't even plug t in on low? Come on. Sounds like B.S. if you can't even plug it in. Would you marry a woman before sleeping with her? lol
Yeah there's a risk of damage but if it appears to be in good shape and sounds good, then chances are it's all fine. As for the whole not being able to test it, don't buy it. Chances are, it's a scam
Marko1960
Posts: 2174
Get a used valve amp and replace the valves, (Tubes), Bosh, new amp
IamMark
Posts: 863
My Yorkville 400B sat unused for years. I could power it up and all the lights would work, but the gain and volume pots were completely shot.

Cost $75 to replace the two. That seems like a lot for two pots, but the amp was a solid state amp, and once I opened it, it looked like something out of Star Wars on the inside. I didn't trust my skills, so I sent it to a tech.

Point is, the amp may light up and look fine, but could have all sorts of problems that will irritate you.

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