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Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by caldera, Jan 22, 2019.
My J-MOD100 has no noise issues.
I’ve wanted a PRS Archon 100 for years after playing one in a shop in 2015.
I finally got one ... now what?
Mine is an extremely early one dated 12/2013. I was aware of the loop hiss/noise issue on the early ones before I got the amp and got that addressed by a reputable tech. I provided the diagram that has circulated for years. The amp no longer generates additional noise when the loop is engaged.
It wasnt a particularly quiet amp before I took it in, but it is significantly more noisy since I got it back. It still sounds great but I hear both white noise and a low level hum. I will obviously take this up with the tech to see what happened and if we can make it quieter, but are these early Archons hopelessly noisy?
This is not a “pile on PRS post” and I really like the tone of the amp. I’m not averse to a bit of noise in a high gain amp, but I find it unusable in this case.
Not to pile on your tech for doing poor work, what is your exact setup, including how everything is powered? You may have a ground loop that your tech does not.
Does the noise respond to guitar volume?
Do you have the noise with and without something in the loop?
Does switching the loop on and off affect the noise?
Shouldn't be hopeless, but there are lots of causes of noise.
FYI, still trying to find something to ship in. The shape makes for a rare box size, and I don't want to pay 3 times as much for a huge box. If I don't find something soon, I'll cut one down since it isn't a delicate item. Oh, and thank Elvis!
I’ve got other amps, cables, guitars. I know it’s not environment-specific to my gear. The noise persists if I unplug the the cable from the input jack. It’s definitely the amp.
I know I need to address it with the tech (and he’s not a hack, he’s very reputable).
Thank you, take your time!
I just wanted to update this thread since I saw it’s popped up again.
When I got the Sonzera 20 it made a lot of white noise on the clean channel and it wasn’t especially quiet on the gain channel either.
I had one tech decline the job but another accepted, and he attributed the noise to very noisy tubes and a need to bias the amp, so he installed all new JJ tubes and set the bias. The noise was reduced perhaps by half, but was still present.
After reading about how some tube stores ‘burn in’ the tubes for 48 hours or so before selling them (and charge extra for it) I wondered if this might help my amp, so I turned it on and left the amp idling for about 12 hours one day and 8 more the next day. All that was the amp just sitting there with the levels all turned down and no cable plugged into it.
I think that did the trick, because the amp is very quiet now! I am extremely happy with it now, and it sounds even better than it did before getting a new set of tubes and a tune-up.
So, for anyone wondering about the Sonzera, mine issue was just old noisy tubes.
Good to hear you have a working solution.
Can’t believe I missed the rammy!
@caldera glad to hear it.
As for my Archon, I’m going to bring it back to my amp guy so he can validate that everything is in order after the loop mod was done. After that, I’ll try tube swapping. The amp came to me with all JJ 12AX7 and I have no idea if they’re original or newer. Once I get the amp back, I’ll raid my tube drawer and see what’s what.
As for the home remedy “burn in” process ... pretty clever and I’m pleased for you that it worked to reduce noise! I’ll keep that in mind for the future. Did you have it on standby?
No, I had it full on. Based on my tests with the multimeter, I think the heater in the tubes is on when it’s on standby but current isn’t actually flowing through the tube otherwise so standby wouldn’t do the trick.
It makes very little noise now, the noise floor is lower than my other favorite amp, a Princeton, and it’s lower by some distance.
You're right. Standby disconnects the plate supply, so the tubes are not biased.
I purchased a used Sonzera 20 from Guitar Center online after reading reviews. Unfortunately, I did not catch the noise thread. Mine is noisy, especially Channel 1...like an AM radio off station...snap, crackle, pop Rice Krispies.... RRrgh. It's such a wonderful sounding amp though, which makes it all the more frustrating. I am going to ask my tube supplier (Eurotubes) about your burn in process, that seems plausible and promising. Thanks. I will repost results after installing new set of preamp tubes.
My Sonzera 50 is noisy too and it drives me crazy. Strange thing Is it’s worse I turn the reverb about half way up. All the way up or down and it’s quieter but still noisy
All of these problems sound like tube issues.
Hardly surprising, since tubes manufactured in certain parts of the world aren’t very good any more. It’s easy to find and replace a malfunctioning tube; if you don’t know how, Mesa has some information on their site that’s very helpful.
The tubes made in Eastern Europe (Czech Republic and Russia) are actually pretty good for new tubes; they hold up pretty well, and sound fine. They’re very inexpensive.
NOS is preferable, but very pricy.