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  #1  
Old 12.20.03, 1:33 PM
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Help! Tubes glowing purple!

So I was rocking out along to "Ball and Biscuit" today, and all of a sudden a weird sound started coming out of the amp (I was going straight to the Gibson). My first thought was that it was the Micro-synth or the Big Muff, because it was making weird distorted screechy noises, so I took those out of the chain. Then I just went straight to the amp, and still nothing. I switched from my Wildkat to my Hagstrom, and nothing. So I looked at the top of the amp and noticed that the red power light wasn't on. Then I looked at the back of the amp. The first thing I noticed was the terrible smoke-y smell. The second was that one of my tubes (an Electro-Harmonix 6v6) was glowing purple! PURPLE! I'm very much freaking out over this, as it's my favorite amp and I really don't have the money to fix it right now. What's going on? Why did this happen? Is there something I can do to prevent it from happening again once I get it fixed?
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  #2  
Old 12.20.03, 3:34 PM
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um.... are you sure it was purple?!

that's a bit of an odd colour for tubes / valves to be glowing surely.
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Old 12.20.03, 3:54 PM
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purple? the filiment is glowing purple? maybe there is something on the glass that is making it look that color.... besides that i dont see how its possible...
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Old 12.20.03, 4:14 PM
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Dude, I wouldn't use the amp until you get someone to look at it. You risk blowing a tube or a transformer.

But the important thing is to make sure the plates inside the tubes aren't glowing cherry red.
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Old 12.20.03, 4:23 PM
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That tube's dead. You shouldn't play the amp any more until you replace it.

I'd guess that the purple is a mix of blue where the electron stream is grounding to the glass, and red where the collector plate is glowing red-hot. This is very not good and you want to trash that tube immediately.
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Old 12.20.03, 4:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by *Noodles*
um.... are you sure it was purple?!

that's a bit of an odd colour for tubes / valves to be glowing surely.
Now you can understand why I'm so concerned!
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  #7  
Old 12.20.03, 4:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ikkyu2
That tube's dead. You shouldn't play the amp any more until you replace it.

I'd guess that the purple is a mix of blue where the electron stream is grounding to the glass, and red where the collector plate is glowing red-hot. This is very not good and you want to trash that tube immediately.
Good to know that I wasn't hallucinating, and that there's a logical reason for everything. When you say trash it, do you mean I should take it out and throw it out myself or just let the repair guy deal with it?
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Old 12.20.03, 4:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nobody
Dude, I wouldn't use the amp until you get someone to look at it. You risk blowing a tube or a transformer.

But the important thing is to make sure the plates inside the tubes aren't glowing cherry red.
I unplugged it and am staying far, far away from it. Not to mention that it wouldn't work if I tried. What would the plates glowing cherry red mean?
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Old 12.20.03, 4:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rock A My Soul
I unplugged it and am staying far, far away from it. Not to mention that it wouldn't work if I tried. What would the plates glowing cherry red mean?
To much current going to the plates(bias is too hot) which leads to overheating and then death of the tube and/or other components.
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  #10  
Old 12.20.03, 5:02 PM
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A little history about the amp:

My dad found it in the trash, and I took it in to the shop where I usually take my pedals. It took 3 MONTHS for him to fix it. The reason it took so long is that there were a few busted capacitators that weren't made anymore so he had to order new ones plus modify it to accept them, etc etc. So it's a possibility that he messed something up and made it so that the tubes burn out faster. I got it back in October with brand-new tubes in it, and I know that tubes aren't supposed to be changed in 2 months, so there must be something wrong.

Also, the tubes are EH tubes, do those suck?
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Fender Jazzmaster/Univox Rickenbacker 360-12 copy/reissue Danelectro U2 -> Zoom Ultra Fuzz, Boss TU-2, Ibanez DE-7, Digitech PDS 2000, Boss DD-20 -> Fender Ultimate Stereo Chorus/Gibson Discoverer
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Old 12.20.03, 5:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rock A My Soul
Also, the tubes are EH tubes, do those suck?
No, EH tubes are quite good.
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Old 12.20.03, 5:12 PM
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I'd like my tubes to glow purple. you could be individual and show off to your friends. only if it didnt mean it had broke... that sucks
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Old 12.20.03, 5:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rock A My Soul
When you say trash it, do you mean I should take it out and throw it out myself or just let the repair guy deal with it?
I read what you wrote about the history of the amp.

I'd agree that EH makes decent tubes and that 2 months of light playing shouldn't fry a tube. (If you were playing it 8 hours a day every day, that'd be something else again.) But it's possible that you got a bad tube.

This is what I'd do: I'd call the dude who supposedly fixed this amp 2 months ago and see if you couldn't get him to at least take a look for free. If he won't be responsible for his paid handiwork he's not much of an amp tech.

If he wants money though, this is what I'd do: 1. get another 6V6
2. turn the amp off and unplug it
3. let it sit for a day or two so the caps are discharged
4. gently remove the purple-glow tube (hold the plastic base, not the glass, and tug it gently out of the socket, slowly rocking it back and forth until it comes out), and then put the new 6V6 there
5.Then just power the puppy up, let it sit on standby for a minute, and then play through it - softly first - watching that tube to see if it acts up.

If that doesn't work, then you're pretty much gonna have to go to a tech, but I'd suggest choosing someone different.
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Axes: Fender Custom Shop Strat (Fred) / MIJ Strat (Fralin '54s) / MIJ Tele / Dillion LP (Fralins) / Dot (SD Ants) / PRS: McCarty Brazilian / Custom 22 Rosewood Artist / Archtop II
Rig: -> 535Q wah -> DOD FX56/ProCo RAT -> E13 TBD -> loop { Digitech RDS 3.6, phase inverted { dry -> 3-knob EHX Bad Stone -> ADA Rocket 20}} ->
Mesa Maverick, or GarageBand.
* BC Rich ST3 (SD Custom) -> Boogie Mark IIC+; 2 1x12 EV 12S's
I gave the Maverick to nyrkickazz1, and man, I miss that amp. IT SURVIVED! I have it back now.

Other stuff: a Ric 360/12 in baby blue; an '83 MIJ Squier P-bass; a Martin HD-28V; and now I have a Mesa Mark IV long head too.
__
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  #14  
Old 12.20.03, 5:44 PM
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im guessing its also possible that something broke and got dislodged in the wrong place in a tube... when certain plastics/gasses produced by melting plastics etc burn im sure you get weird colors.
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Old 12.20.03, 5:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nobody
No, EH tubes are quite good.
mine might be duds, but my ehx's arent that great.
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