HX/DA INFO (and my NAD 50 W Head(s)) Share your HXDA knowledge with the world!

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by RickP, Aug 21, 2020.

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  1. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    New happening on the converted head to combo... Once in the cabinet, and just inches from the raging V30 speaker, I started to hear a rattle on certain notes. At first I thought it was something near the amp, but the more I traced, the more it became clear the sound was originating from inside the rear of the amp. I started with the preamp tube spring coves; a common culprit. But removing the covers and putting pressure on the tube produced no change.

    In case you’ve never chased a rattle like this, it’s comical to watch, but not fun to do. You’re trying to hold a guitar, fingering a note on a particular fret location because that’s where the ring happens, and it only happens for a second or two! There is never anyone around to assist when this happens. So trying not to bash my brand new, beautiful, most expensive guitar I’ve ever bought on hard things in the area, picking the note just right while contorting as needed to quickly reach inside an amp with scorching hot tubes everywhere, must have been quite the funny sight.

    I finally found that the power tube closest to the speaker would resonate at certain frequencies. Nothing affecting the sound of the tube... just an annoying metallic rattle that was audible on the outside. Touching it stopped the sound. These are German-made Siemens tubes, so it wasn’t poorly made innards rattling around. I’d seen people put o-rings on tubes until they looked like the Michelin Man to dampen vibration. Checking around, my old friends at Eurotubes had a more substantial, square section ring that they said would just take one per tube to dampen sympathetic vibrations. I received the dampers very quickly after ordering via Reverb, and worked one over each tube. With the amp up loud, the tubes were dead quiet.

    [​IMG]

    I’ve had this issue on other combo amps, such as my Road King II, so I’m going to add a selection of these for pre/power tube sizes to my tool kit for the future. I thought I’d share in case anyone else experiences this issue and needs a good quality product to fix it.

    The HXDA Experience continues!
     
    #221 RickP, May 3, 2021
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I use those very Eurotubes rings on my Mesa Lone Star combo. They're 100% great and necessary. They solved a very annoying tube rattle - so annoying that I couldn't record the amp and get a professional sound. Mesa's service department told me it's because new tubes aren't very good, which is absolutely true, but they didn't have a solution other than to get a head next time.

    I put these on, and...bingo! Problem solved. I've had them on for several years, they're great. I've only needed them on the power tubes, because the spring loaded tube retainers on the preamp tubes work well enough.

    I think I posted about these dampers here a few years ago. I'll never run a combo amp without them, which reminds me...I need backups! I mean, what if the Eurotubes guy retires, or something?

    I think I'll order...hmmm...do you think three or four dozen will last me a while? ;)
     
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  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Thanks for reminding me about these, Rick, I just ordered a couple of sets of spares.

    You just never know when you'll need spare stuff! :)
     
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  4. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I still need to get some for my Vibrolux. Definitely a tube rattle there. I mean, it’s my “grab and go” amp, so I guess you can see why it hasn’t been a priority lately.
     
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  5. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Ever on the lookout for HXDA info to share, I just ran across what I think is the most beautiful HXDA I’ve seen, courtesy of Brian’s Guitars via NAMM 2014:

    [​IMG]

    Ain’t that just smokin’ hot? Even a white jewel...

    [​IMG]

    Pretty coming and going...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    So hot!
     
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  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Oh my goodness! That is gorgeous!

    I'd guess it was a NAMM one-off, as you mentioned.
     
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  8. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Perhaps Brian still has it... I was surprised, not having seen that color combination on anything else! No way I could afford it, but it would be the pinnacle of the collection, for certain!
     
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Yup!

    These things work, or at least they did for my Lone Star. Mine is a 100 Watt 212 combo. You can imagine the kind of vibration those tubes are getting! I didn't even have to crank it before the rattle started, and it made the amp nearly unusable for serious recording until I discovered those damper rings.

    Now that I've installed NOS preamp tubes throughout, and put on the damper rings, it's a completely wonderful amp, and everything I hoped for when I bought it.

    But it took some doin' to make it into a real-deal recording amp. Not that I'm complaining, it's actually a lot of fun to take a good amp and make it sound great.
     
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  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    It's gone, I checked.

    "Of course you checked, Les, because you're the dweeb who'd buy an amp just because it's cute."

    "Who says I'll never need a backup HXDA?"

    "I do. You're not gonna be around long enough to need one."

    "Do. Not. Jinx. Me."

    "If I jinx you, I also jinx me. I'm just not as superstitious as you are."

    ":rolleyes:"
     
  11. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Of course you need it! What else would you bequeath to Rick?
     
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  12. DreamTheaterRules

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    Jaw, meet floor. :eek: Just WOW!

    I'm actually a little disappointed that one of the forum brothers doesn't own that one.
     
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  13. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    I can’t imagine it slogging around the bar circuit, but I’d like to think it’s being played somewhere. Maybe @Brian G will chime in!
     
    #233 RickP, May 10, 2021
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  14. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    Rick has a backup.
    I have a backup (a 30w combo and a 50w head).

    But you have a DG30.
     
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  15. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    The best message of the day!
     
  16. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    I spotted the amp in a 2014 NAMM video, where the focus was more on the new DG 30 and 50, and the Archon. Mark actually never mentions the HXDA at all, which was odd, but there it is in all its white & blue glory!

     
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  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I might need a backup for that one, too...:eek:
     
  18. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Newest happening on the HXDA front…. Covers!

    None of my HXDAs came with covers, and I don’t know if they were ever available. I’m no longer doing the kind of gigging with my tube amps that require hard cases, but I don’t want my gear getting all beat to hell. I’m not a relic guy o_O

    Years ago, I had covers for other speakers made, with varying levels of success. One cover I really liked was from Tuki… really the closest thing to a case in a cover. So I picked up one for my 50 head, and one for the 1x12 combo. Shipping was pretty quick for a not-made-until-you-order-it item, about 10 days all in. Both covers are well made, fit exactly, and give coverage on all but the bottom. A Velcro strip goes underneath from front to rear to assure the cover doesn’t ride up the amp during transport. Excellent covers at a reasonable cost. Recommended!

    Note that these have 1/2” foam in them, so don’t fold into a little flat package when off the amp. I mention that in case it matters in your situation.

    By the way, I had a set made for a Carol Ann Tucana 3 head and 1x12 cab as well. The head is standard, and in Tuki’s list of available covers. The cab was not, but they have a simple form you can fill out and get any size cover made. The Carol Ann cab is a bit different because it has a large grip handle (like on the sides of a Marshall 4x12) in the top instead of the normal strap handle. Awesome in use, but no one had a 1x12 cover like that! Anyway, I did some measuring, filled out the form and received a quote from them the next day. I placed the order and the cover arrived with the head cover, and fit precisely as measured!

    Good experience all around. After saving up a few more $$$, I’m going to get covers for two of my Mesas, which are no longer available from M/B. Just thought I’d pass it on in case someone was looking for a well-made, heavy duty cover.
     
    #238 RickP, Jun 14, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  19. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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  20. Davey

    Davey Just Jammin'

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    bodia and RickP like this.

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