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.