Author Topic: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion  (Read 2403 times)

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« on: December 11, 2014, 07:29:43 PM »
My "new" Mark II Suitcase (Haigler/Janus 100W amp) intermittently has a kind of fuzzy, trailing distortion on the left channel,especially when I hit a bunch of keys fairly hard.

I don't hear it through headphones.  Have I just ruled out everything upstream of the speakers (and the speaker wiring)?

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music" (Coming November, 2019)

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1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 08:38:37 AM »
Not necessarily. I have run into similar problems with this amp and cold solder joints on the amp boards where the wires were soldered in are usually the problem. The contacts for the headphone jack switch are also worth cleaning while you are in there. This may not be your issue, but it is the easiest to look at before replacing components. Best of luck,
Vance

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 08:51:15 AM »
Vance:

I'm thinking the same thing.  Last night, I decided to clean and re-seat the Molex connectors for the cables that run to the boards.  After I did, the left channel was completely out, but I could get sound from it by pressing on one of the connectors while playing.  A trip through the forum archives revealed plenty of opinion that the poor connection of these connectors to the boards is a major cause of failure in these amps.  (Are they held to the board solely by the solder on the pins?)

So, next step is to pull the amp and re-solder all the connectors.  (And maybe to use some hot glue to hold them in place.)  This may do the job.  But even if this does not completely solve my issue, it sounds like worthwhile investment in the long-term health of the amp.

Thanks Vance.

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music" (Coming November, 2019)

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
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1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 02:33:55 PM »
Yes, i do believe the molex connector bases are entirely held by solder. I am sure that is why so many people have seen issues here.
Adding the hot glue to the bases is a very good point to bring up. It would be an easy and effective upgrade that could possibly prevent future issues. I started adding the glue myself to these connectors after reading about someone else ( I think it was voltergeist?) mentioning it.

Offline voltergeist

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Re: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 02:55:03 PM »
Yes, i do believe the molex connector bases are entirely held by solder. I am sure that is why so many people have seen issues here.
Adding the hot glue to the bases is a very good point to bring up. It would be an easy and effective upgrade that could possibly prevent future issues. I started adding the glue myself to these connectors after reading about someone else ( I think it was voltergeist?) mentioning it.

Yeah, that was me.  Here's the thread:
http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=7916.msg41087#msg41087
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 04:34:43 PM »
Yes, that's one of the helpful threads I had found. Gotta love this list. (And the people who leave helpful things in the archives.)

So, the task is clear.  But as a Suitcase newbie, does anyone have a tip for the easiest way to remove the boards?  Do you remove the fin on the outside of the case, and then take out the screws beneath it that hold the boards in place?  Or is there an easier/better way?

Thanks,

Alan

Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music" (Coming November, 2019)

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 08:59:30 PM »
It may not be the proper way, but this is how I do it.
You should be able to pinch/compress the plastic tab on the plastic clips with a pair of needle nose pliers close to the board so that they can clear the holes in the board. Just apply gentle but constant pressure to the board as you go around to each of the clips and it should work off.

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 11:14:38 AM »
The happy ending:  My amp is working perfectly, and sounds wonderful.

I used Vance's method of removing the boards with connectors on them, except that I was wary of using pliers on potentially brittle 30+ year old plastic. So, I just used a finger tip to press in the plastic clips to free the corners of each board.  That worked easily.

I re-soldered all the connector pins, and then used Voltergeist's hot glue method to secure them. This appears to be a major improvement over the original assembly technique.

Thanks guys!

Alan



« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 11:16:24 AM by alenhoff »
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music" (Coming November, 2019)

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 11:38:24 PM »
Nice! Glad to hear that was the only issue.