When should you recap an amplifier?

If the amp is between 10 and 20 years, then it’s probably best to leave it alone. Even with 30 year electronics, you may have to replace all of them before noticing a significant difference. Younger than that, and the work is probably not worth it.

How long do filter capacitors last?

10 years is the average life expectancy of filter caps.

When should I replace my filter cap?

Filter capacitors are usually electrolytic, which tend to leak or dry out over time. Often, bad filter caps appear to be bulging or are visibly leaking. In that case, they should definitely be replaced.

What does Recap mean in audio?

Recapping Audio Equipment Eliminating hum among others. The electrolytic compound in a capacitor decays over time. A typical receiver has on average, 40 to 50 separate electrolytic caps in the amp and power supply sections.

Can capacitors last 40 years?

40 years is not uncommon for good capacitors kept cool, but it’s also possible some have excessive ESR. It’s usually not a catastrophic failure, just an increase in ESR (equivalent series resistance) as the electrolyte dries out. At some point the circuit doesn’t work well enough.

How long do capacitors last in amplifiers?

electrolytic capacitors (and even ceramic and tantalum) caps in the power supply should be changed too – but 15 years is about average life expectancy for good quality ones.

What do capacitors do in a tube amp?

There are some components inside your amplifier that are highly stressed while doing a very important job. These are called the filter capacitors (aka smoothing caps) and sit in the high-voltage rail. Their job is to smooth out or filter any ripple in the rectified high voltage that feeds the valves. Fig.

Why are tube amps so expensive?

Tube amps are expensive because they adopt pre and power tubes as their primary amplification source. Each tube costs roughly $50 and can have up to 4 of them within a single unit. Secondly, these amps have more expensive components, larger cases, and more complex circuitry than solid-state amps.

How often do you change tubes on a tube amp?

On average, tubes can last from 500 to 1,000 hours, so if you play with your amp two to three hours every day, you can safely expect to get around a year or less from your vacuum tubes.

Why “recap” a vintage amp?

“Recapping” a vintage amp can alter the tone significantly. If you were lucky enough to own a great old amp, why in the world would you want to alter the tone significantly? Read “Recapping . . . the Saga Continues” Most “techs” make extra money by selling current-production parts and accessories that you probably don’t need.

How much do you charge to take apart an amp?

Your problems could be simple, ie: pre-amp tubes, or more complex, a relay may need to be replaced. I’d charge 3-4 hours at least to take that amp apart and diagnose everything. $70 minimum is a little steep in my opinion, but it does help keep out the riff raff! I charge $30/hr + cost of parts, with a $50 minimum.

How much does it cost to fix a crackling sound in AMP?

I paid a local amp repair guy 2x to try and trouble shoot my 64 bandmaster crackling noise. He tried a few things and charged me about $40 or $50 each time. Still no fix. I sought out a well respected vintage fender amp guru in a large city 3hrs dive away. He went through my entire amp, found a bad solder joint.

Should you restore or replace Your Vintage Amp?

Most “techs” make extra money by selling current-production parts and accessories that you probably don’t need. Restoring a vintage amp does not mean replacing all the parts. “Techs” who routinely advise wholesale parts replacement often do so because they don’t have the knowledge and experience to diagnose problems.