Tag Archive for: bad tubes

What’s The Buzz?


The 5e3 circuit is my favourite design for a guitar amplifier. A minimalist design that really delivers a lot of tone.

I had a lot of trouble with my last 5e3 circuit, a 1957 Tweed Deluxe Reissue from the Fender Custom Shop.

I spent a lot of time and money trying to service the amp including several sets of tubes and three visits to my amp tech.

That amp still exhibits erratic volume dropouts. And life is too short to be wondering if an amp will make it through a gig.

Last month, I received a new Clark Beaufort. A beautifully built 5e3 amp. And the sound is just heavenly.

I noticed a bit of a telltale worn tube sound last week. The first preamp tube was a NOS 12AY7 and I don’t think it quite made the trip up from the United States. The tube was going microphonic.

No worries. I had lots of extra tubes from my attempts to salvage the Fender Tweed.

I switched out the tubes. And yuck! Buzz. Big time buzz. The video explains it all.