New Member and Newly purchased PRS Archon 100 questions

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by Lyric, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    Hi, everyone I’m a new member here and I just purchased a brand new PRS Archon 100 which shows a manufacturing date of January 2018. I have a couple questions and more below. Thank you

    So first thing that is annoying me is the effects loop. Yes, correct an annoying noisy effects loop. After purchasing I noticed this right away and after looking online here on the forum I noticed this was a pretty common topic but I’ve read that this was all remedied a couple years back and being my Archon 100 was built in January 2018 I assume it should have the mod to make the effects loop not so noisy but I’m experiencing a pretty noisy effects loop. Any thoughts? Could my January 2018 head have not the mod possibly?

    Next thing I find an issue with is the lead channel I seem to get a lot of buzz/hum noise if the channel volume is past 12 o’clock. I expected to be a able to push the head a little more without getting such a loud buzz/hum noise.

    Last thing is the clean channel on first start up is got a buzz/hum that’s a little loud but after about 15 mins of play it’s much quieter and seems to go away or maybe I’m deaf by that point lol.

    Appreciate any advice or help anyone can give. Thank you
     
  2. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

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    Archon is a killer amp...Congrats! (I have the 25W combo)


    Not sure about the effects loop mod...I have never used it on mine.
    Are you plugging directly into an outlet? Are you using any power conditioning?
    What's the power supply to the room...one circuit? Lighting(fluorescent?)
    Are the tubes snug in their sockets?
     
  3. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    Hi, thank you for the quick reply :) Love the amp so far and I’ve gone through a bunch of amps to get here lol.

    Well I ended up placing the amp further away which seems to have diminished the hum buzz a bit in the effects loop to a much more tolerable level and pretty much unnoticeable level which is great so that might be the ticket is I was sitting to closely - my fault lol.

    I do have the amp plugged directly into an outlet which I did try a power surge to see if any difference were to be had but no difference I notice.

    I don’t use a power conditioner although a couple months back I did purchase one for another amp head but it seemed to not make a noticeable difference with that head so I returned the power conditioner to my local guitar center. Maybe I should pick another one back up possibly.

    The room I’m playing in is my music room which is a finished basement. The room consist of regular lighting, although I do know the wiring in the house is rather old and sometimes acts a little funny lol. I think the lights which are regular lights are a little wired not properly because from time to time they act a little crappy lol but not very often.

    I checked the power tubes to make sure they were seated properly in their sockets which they are. I noticed that when I first received the amp yesterday and powered it up that one of the four power tubes top plates sit a little off which made it appear a little brighter. At first I wasn’t sure if it was the tube or the socket so I switched the tubes around and the tube stayed the same in another socket so it showed that the tube top plate was sitting a little crooked. I’m not sure if this is something to be worried about or if it’s ok. I haven’t checked the preamp tubes yet. Is there a way to access the preamp tubes from the front without removing the power tubes? I know the amp has the metal grill at the top and the maple wood across the bottom. Not sure if there is a way to remove these or not to access the preamp tubes.

    So I guess lastly I just notice the louder hum when I have the drive cranked on the lead channel. I guess this is common knowing it’s a high gain amp head.
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    One problem often encountered with effects loops is the existence of ground loops. These can be awfully hard to track down, but of course, the possibility of more than one signal path to ground has to be sussed out.

    One way of figuring out whether it’s a possible ground loop issue is to disconnect the devices in the loop, and connect the loop input and output with a jumper cable. If the noise goes away when you turn the amp back on, it’s probably not the loop, it’s often a signal ground issue.

    When doing this, also disconnect the cable going to the amp input. Then connect the guitar and any pedals going in front of the amp without connecting effects to the effects loop. If the noise returns, you may have a grounding issue in front of the amp. If not, go to the next step of exploring grounding on your loop effects.

    In other words, eliminate as many variables as you can, one thing at a time. There are lots of methods and products that will help eliminate ground loops, but obviously, first you need to find out what’s going on.

    As you discovered, most power conditioners do nothing whatsoever to help with noise and grounding issues, and in fact, poorly designed conditioners can make the issue worse.

    I’d be interested to know how your rig is set up, because it might not be all that difficult to suggest a few things to try.
     
    Wakester and bodia like this.
  5. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    I agree 110% that ground loops can be beyond a pain to track down lol. Last night I unplugged every pedal and started testing each one, one by one. I placed the Archon head and my cabinet on one end of the room and I used my Voodoo power supply with only 1 plug and started playing each one at a time. What I’ve noticed is that my Earthquaker pedals are just a slight noisy but then again those pedals can be a little spacey and atmospheric sounding - so for somewhat I think this is a lot of it. But I noticed placing the amp further away reduced a lot of the issue. With the Loop switch engaged it remained pretty quiet. There was the slightest tiny hum but very unnoticeable.

    I will try using one of my patch cables in the effects loop as you recommended.

    What I’m using in my rig is below.

    Amp:

    PRS Archon 100

    Cab:

    Orange PPC412

    Modulation (Effects Loop):

    Earthquaker Devices Space Spiral Earthquaker Devices Transmisser
    Earthquaker Devices Ghost Echo
    Earthquaker Devices Afterneath
    MXR M234 Chorus (Blue)
    MXR Phase 90

    Effects upfront:

    Electro Harmonix Big Muff Tone Wicker
    Wampler Sovereign
    Earthquaker Devices Palasades V2
    TC Electronics Polytune 3

    Pedal Power:

    Voodoo Lab Power Supply 2 Plus

    Guitars:

    Fender Jazzmaster
    Fender Jaguar
    Fender Stratocaster (Billy Corgan loaded pickguard Dimarzio pickups)
    Fender Duo Sonic 1964 original
    Ibanez SA220
     
  6. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    Btw can the front of the Archon be accessed easily to check preamp tubes instead of via the back to keep from removing the power tubes? Thanks
     
  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Yeah, the Earthquaker stuff sounds nice. So...sounds like putting your amp farther from your single coil guitars helps, as one might guess, since single coils will pick up more noise from transformers than humbuckers, and the Archon 100 has big ole transformers.

    Even when I use amps that have effects loops, I don’t use them; I’m one of those players who puts everything in front of the amp, even modulations and delays. I like the way the front end of an amp “glues” the modulation stuff together with the tone, and I even kinda like it with delays. I realize I’m a little unusual in that regard, but for the most part I use vintage style tape delay, anyway, and back in the day we used to run everything in front of the amps. In the 90s I was a rack guy and did use the loops, but even with the Mesas I had back then, I was always chasing noise issues in the studio.
     
  8. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    A friend of mine recommended running everything through the front and including the modulation pedals. Might have to give this a try. Can’t hurt lol.
     
  9. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    Here is a short video with a patch cable in the effects loop with no guitar plugged up. I’m assuming it sounds normal.

     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Actually, when you get close there’s a 60 cycle hum. I don’t know if that’s your phone’s mic simply getting interference and humming as you approach the amp, or if you have some sort of ground loop.

    Also couldn’t see the amp settings.

    Something’s seemingly weird.
     
  11. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    Yeah the buzzing and humming sound you hear in the video is from the amp. I only approached the amp closely so that my phones microphone could pick it up. My phone wasn’t changing anything, that’s the sound I’m getting from the amp though.

    Do you think this is just the 60 cycle hum?

    When you said something seemed seemingly weird are you referring to the buzz like hum I’m referring to? Does it sound like a ground loop issue? I’m not sure if this is normal or not so it’s what I’m pondering about. Basically if I need to exchange it for another Archon 100 or send it to PRS to check out or does it seem normal.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Does it make the noise when nothing is plugged into the amp, in front or in the loop, all cables disconnected?
     
  13. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    Yep the same sound when nothing is connected.
     
  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Is that with the amp cranked full, or at normal volume? Also, is the effects loop set full on, or at noon?

    If it’s cranked all the way, might want to try it with the gain set a little lower. Any amp with the gain fully cranked will have noise.

    Might be something as simple as a tube. The tubes that are made these days can go bad if you so much as look at them the wrong way, let alone during shipping!
     
  15. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    I have the clean channel volume set at 12 o’clock but the clean master volume is set at 1 aka 8 o’clock - otherwise barely on.

    And very well could be a tube as well. Hmm
     
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  16. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    Had a friend come over who plays guitar and experienced with tubes. He said it appeared to be a ground issue with the amp. We tried several outlets in the house on both 1st and 2nd floors of the house and same thing.

    We had no effects running through the amp but just the guitar directly plugged into the amp. We even unplugged the guitar from the amp input which made no difference whatsoever. We also turned all knobs to “0” and same sound coming through.

    I guess tomorrow I’ll contact PRS to see about sending it in for repair or if they recommend sending it back to the store for a direct brand new replacement. If PRS recommends shipping it to them then I hope the process goes smoothly :confused: I’ve never had to deal with PRS. I’m not sure if they’d make me cover the shipping or if they will cover the shipping. Well I guess I’ll know more tomorrow. I’ll report back and let everyone know how things go.
     
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  17. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Good luck Lyric!
    PRS is top notch to deal with.
     
  18. Lyric

    Lyric New Member

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    Thank you :)

    Hoping it goes smoothly
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    PRS takes really good care of their customers. Not to worry.
     
    bodia likes this.
  20. bodia

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

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    This!
     

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