Sonzera 20 Noise-Hiss?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rob C, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. bodia

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

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    Now that is cool! He seems like such a cool cat in the vids I've seen of him.
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Noise problems in amps usually come down to a bad tube. You might want to check the tubes by replacing them, one at a time, with known good ones to see if the noise goes away.
     
  3. BolinTrucks

    BolinTrucks New Member

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    My Sonzera 20 is dead quiet on the clean channel with a the expected increase in noise on the gain channel. I agree with the
    'check the tubes' advice.
     
    Alan Manning likes this.
  4. sacapuntas

    sacapuntas New Member

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    I got my Sonzera yesterday and had exactly the same problem. When I switched it on without any cable attached and volumes at zero the hiss on the clean channel was very prominent. First I thought that this noise is coming from the outside as it was so loud. It is very stable shhhhhhhhhhhh... it is much less on the drive channel. the sound of the amp is really nice and organic but the hiss is absolutely unacceptable. In the same room i have other tube amps being completely quiet ... i assume and hope it was bad luck and inadequate quality control. Returned the amp the same day. Very sad and disappointed as I liked it otherwise.

    cheers Sacapuntas
     
  5. Rob C

    Rob C New Member

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    I'm glad that I'm not alone regarding this issue and as I mentioned earlier, I had read about the same issue on another forum or review.

    As far as changing the tubes, the amp is brand new and that's unacceptable for $800. I've already shipped it back to Zzounds and just ordered a used PRS Dual Channel C combo from Guitar Center for the same price shipped. I played one a couple years ago and loved it, so we'll see how that goes.
     
  6. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    I have had this same issue on non PRS tube amps. Usually the problem is a bad tube or tubes. One might even be loose or not connected properly. I am with the others - send it back unless the PTC can help you with a simple fix that does not require a technician to do it.
     
  7. Rob C

    Rob C New Member

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    Again, if I purchased it used that may be a solution but not one I'm willing to deal with on a new piece of year and thus the one caveat for purchasing online versus local.

    Local here in Nashville means an additional 9.25% tax and online doesn't unless it's Amazon.
     
  8. Bluesberry Jam

    Bluesberry Jam New Member

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    Same here. Brand new 20 hiss was unacceptable. Clean channel, volume at zero, nothing plugged in. Dramatically worse with a pedal (BB Preamp). Very unfortunate. This amp I want. Sorta takes me back to my Blackface Bassman in high school.

    Considering getting again but I'd hate to return another. Seller should not absorb that, PRS hopefully does. I've seen enough complaints to make it something to be addressed. By now I am expecting PRS is. Manufacturing issue? Shipping? Maybe the tubes loosen, etc.?
     
  9. Rob C

    Rob C New Member

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    I did end up sending mine back and picked up a mint PRS Dual Channel C for the same price so it ended up working out well for me. It's a shame that "some" of the new amps are shipping that way (which is what I assume) since I could never play one locally to see if it was an anomaly or not.
     
  10. drawshot

    drawshot Just one more...and that's it!

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    I picked up one of the 20W Sonzeras when they first hit the stores...and the tubes were shot. Nasty hiss and pops, regardless of what was or wasn't plugged up.

    I took it back and got another, and haven't had a single problem with it. All in all, I'm thrilled with mine.

    That hiss noise was awful, though. Almost put me off of them, altogether. I'm glad I gave them another shot.
     
    bodia likes this.
  11. crclinch

    crclinch New Member

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    I'm adding to this experience. I just inboxed a new Sonzera 20 and heard the loud hiss and pops on the clean channel mentioned by others. All knobs were set to zero, nothing was plugged into the amp. Since I purchased this amp through Amazon (from GeraTree), I'm sending it back with paying return shipping. Two new Power Tubes would cost about $65, so returning it's the best bet. I'm giving this another try, purchasing a Sonzera 20 (demo) from Sweetwater. At least I know this one has no hissing on the clean channel.
     
  12. Richard Mills

    Richard Mills New Member

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    I want to change my tubes on my sonzera from 6l6s to el 34s for a better more british sound. Opinions?
     
  13. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    You can re-bias a Sonzera so go for it. It's reversible. I put EL34's in my Custom 50 and I like the change.
     
    Richard Mills likes this.
  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Quite a while back (like 15 years ago) I swapped out the 6L6s for EL34s in my Mesa Tremoverb. It changed the tone of the amp some, but it didn’t turn a Mesa into a Marshall. As it shouldn’t; the preamps of both amps were quite different, with different gain stages, different tone stacks, etc.

    So it was interesting, and the difference was a bit more on the subtle side of the coin than something that would hit one over the head.

    Of course, subtle is the name of the tube rolling game. Have at it (but you might want to double check with PRS Customer Service, since I don’t know if it’s safe to do that on the Sonzera or not).
     
    Richard Mills likes this.
  15. Richard Mills

    Richard Mills New Member

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    Thanks im gonna either do this, get a jcm 800 or 9000, buy a rocker 15 terror, or vox ac15 or20
     
  16. tabl10s

    tabl10s New Member

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    What time of the day does it happen? In the audiophile world, the system sounds better at night because there's less traffic electrically. Try is in different rooms and if the problem persists, have the amp looked at.If that doesn't fix it, ask an electrician to install a dedicated line which would benefit all item plugged into the room.
     
  17. Björn Egertz

    Björn Egertz New Member

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    I had one delivered and there was the same problem, a big HiSS on the clean channel. I got new tubes and changed them but there was the some problem. I sent the amp back to the distributor, very dissapointed after that I´ve been waiting for a year, with high expectations.
     
  18. Leif Robertson

    Leif Robertson New Member

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    Hi. Sorry for reviving an old post but for those that had this hiss I have a question or looking for advice. Ok, I bought this amp used at Sam Ash in what appears to be mint condition. I played it and said whoa this is a PRS (like the clean) so I bought it. Now Im getting Pops but they go away after 5 to 10 minutes of playing both channels and everything seems fine after that. I also have a faint hiss on the clean but its very faint sounds more like air to be honest with you and some noise on the drive channel. Ok when I crank the clean I get some noise expecting it to be dead silent.

    So I paid 400 talking them down from 450! So 400 plus tax. Does everyone think if I sent this to a tech for tube rebiasing that it would be worth it? I don't want to turn it back it its a great sounding amp. My other option would be to buy another PRS (now that I have a taste for their amps I want to try them all) but I still have this one and I like it. I think if I start tinkering with it well I don't know how to rebias tubes maybe if I read the manual better so is it worth you think paying g a couple hundred to a tech? Id think so. I really don't know another alternative. This is just a tube issue for sure right? Were not talking about a defect in some of the sonzera 20s? One of you replaced the power tubes and said you still had the issue correct? So..Not sure maybe new power tubes can't hurt. Mostly concerned with the pop and it getting worse or not being able to one day use it at a crucial time.

    Also the longer I play it it seems to sound even better lol..Not sure if thats in my head or the tubes warming up lol.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
    #38 Leif Robertson, Aug 20, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  19. Tim foshee

    Tim foshee Fosheti

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    Don’t expect any help from prs. I sent my sorenza back to them because the noise was unacceptable. They basically told me I was crazy. I’ll never deal with those guys again.
     
  20. Leif Robertson

    Leif Robertson New Member

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    Yes, they claim the noise is intentional to obtain the tone. If that were true why do some have a hiss and others do not? Right now I only use this to send modular effects with my Bad Cat sometimes and I used a 12Ay7 on the gain channel for a clean. However here is more info on the specs of the amp and troubleshooting. I am not so sure its tube related for those with hiss issues on the clean.

    https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/instruments-and-amps/336526-prs-sonzera-20-noise.html

    There re much better PRs amps but the Sonzera does have something special in the clean side of the 20 combo. Thats why I use the gain channel with a 12AyZ as its a tad muddy with the gain cranked anyway. So I use the gain channel as a clean for now as part of a rig. They really should offer to fix the problem and stop saying there is none. Also if your not using the FX loop, (I use A/B/Y) you can plug into the output of the FX loop and the hiss will go away. Seems like the issue is inside the FX loop..Or maybe I may try changing the tube of the FX loop lol. I really don't like tinkering with amps so Im not going too. Maybe its best not to buuy this amp if it bothers you because you have a 50/50 shot in getting one with the hiss.
     
    #40 Leif Robertson, May 14, 2019
    Last edited: May 14, 2019

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