Covid-19 update – in response to the current crisis, Essex Amp Repairs will be working limited hours with immediate effect. All work in progress and in the queue, will be completed. However, timescales will, by necessity, be slightly extended.
We respectfully ask all customers seeking to make enquiries to do so via email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do phone the workshop and we are not able to answer, please leave a message. We will respond as quickly as is practical, though this may not be “same day”.
We value your support, and look forward to returning to normal business as soon as circumstances allow.
In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and wish everyone the best of health. Stay safe everybody.
PS: We will post updates here and on Facebook as the situation progresses. Check regularly to get the latest news.
Thanks again, your Essex Amp Repairs team.
Cables are one of those often overlooked items that usually get taken for granted.
They can be the cause of intermittant problems and difficult mid-gig failures. Cables don’t last for ever, but there are a few simple ways you can get the best service life from them.
1/ Always coil your cables carefully, using their natural “lay”. All cables have a natural “lay” in them which stems from the manufacturing process. If you coil your cables carefully and naturally, less stress will be applied to the conducting cores. This will avoid core fractures.
2/ Do not yank on cables which are trapped in some way. Doing this will put strain on the cores, and/or the connectors. This will lead to strain and early core failure.
3/ Avoid placing objects upon the cables (such as speaker cabinets, drum stools etc).
4/ Keep all post-gig “helpers” at bay. They will not care about your cables or the rest of your gear.
5/ Try to arrange things so that there is no “weight” on any of the connectors. For example, if you are plugging into a keyboard, use a cable with right angle rather than straight jacks.
Finally, if you do have a cable failure, quarantine the failed item so that you don’t unwittingly use it at your next gig.
Crackly control pots can be a nuisance on any amp. You can extend the service life of your pots by using one simple technique.
It’s often the case that most control pots end up being set a certain way, and then they get left, or moved very little. Airborne dirt and other contaminants then find their way into the pots. This results in annoying crackles and pops when the pots are turned.
To help prevent this problem, all you have to do is, once in a while, turn them fully from one end of their travel to the other a few times. Then restore your favourite settings.
This takes adavantage of the inherent self cleaning action that most pots have.
Clearly the technique will not repair genuinely worn out pots, but it will help with those that are simply dirty.
Here at Essex Amp Repairs, we’re often asked for amplifier modifications. A common request is for a standby switch to fit an amp that doesn’t have one. Fortunately we can offer the ideal solution to this problem. At very modest cost, we can replace the standard on/off switch with a three stage item, giving “standby” in the centre position. No extra holes or switches in the front panel, just a neat solution that keeps the appearance right. What’s more, if you have your amp serviced at the same time, we’ll fit the switch at no extra labour cost.
This is a great solution for owners of amps such as the Fender Blues Junior, Peavey Classic 30, and old Vox AC series models.
Keep your amp nice and toasty hot between sets with an Essex Amp Repairs standby switch.
Gallery page updated!
There you will find pictures of some of the many interesting items that pass through our workshop.
Those of us that find our amps to be a little too heavy for comfort often find that fitting wheels is a helpful way of making things a little easier to move around.
However, there is a downside to this elegant solution. Please read on….
Here at Essex Amp Repairs, we see a good number of amps that have suffered valve failures, or solder joint failures that have been caused by shock and severe vibration. This type of failure occurs more frequently to wheeled combo amps than to heads or combo’s without wheels.
The reason for this is simple enough. The amps get pushed or dragged along over rough surfaces, such as concrete paths, cobbled streets, unevenly paved footpaths etc. With the result that they get a very severe shaking indeed.
This severe shaking results in premature valve and joint failure.
To give your amp the best chance of an easy life, here are some simple handling tips:
1/ Allow your amp to cool down thoroughly before moving it. Switch your amp off completely immediately after you’ve played the last song of the evening. Then pack away all the rest of your gear first. By the time you’ve done that, helped your bandmates, and received plenty of praise from your adoring fans, your amp will be cool enough to move.
2/ Only use the wheels on smooth indoor surfaces. Get your bandmates to help you carry the amp over the rough stuff
3/ Place your amp carefully in your vehicle, don’t drop in in there. Take folklore stories that run along the lines of “I chucked my old Marshall into the back of the Bedford after thousands of gigs, & it never let me down once” with a pinch of salt….
4/ Pack your gear securely in your vehicle so that the amp does not slide around and collide with other stuff during transit
All fairly obvious stuff really, but it’s easily forgotten.
Take care out there and enjoy your music.
Dave at Essex Amp Repairs.
Quality is important to everybody. Our customers expect the highest standards of workmanship. Our reputation depends on meeting or exceeding those expectations. It follows then that quality control is of paramount importance. For this reason, at Essex Amp Repairs we believe that bench testing alone is not good enough to pass a piece of equipment as being suitable for return to the customer. To be certain that our work has been effective, each item of equipment is play tested after the bench test programme has been run. Using guitar amps as an example, it is quite possible for an amp to pass all the bench test parameters, and yet still fail to perform adequately as a musical instrument. The play test will reveal any such shortcomings. Any amp that does not pass the play test gets sent back to the bench to be reworked. Only when an amp passes both tests do we deem it as meeting our quality standards.
We won’t accept second best, neither should you.