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July 29, 2016

Need Egnater guitar amp repair? We’ve added another splendidly sharp arrow to our highly diversified quiver: Bammel TV Tech Services is now the Authorized Service Center in Houston for Egnater guitar amplifiers.  Scoring this certification adds another premiere guitar amp manufacturer to our (already illustrious) profile, which includes Marshall, Fender, Peavey, Crate, Hughes & Kettner, and Randall—add Egnater now to the mix.

Kudos to co-manager Dean Doba for liaison work with the manufacturer. In the course of seeking parts support for repair on an Egnater 4-100, Dean was able to break through the typical manufacturer firewall and get us set up. Lots of manufacturers still need highly qualified service centers to address occasional problems with their units. We fit the bill for them!

We received an Egnater product recently for service, brought to us by the local Music Go Round store, with a complaint that the unit’s high-gain channel was nearly inaudible. To judge by our overview of this Model 4-100 unit, it is an extremely well-built, versatile and rugged guitar amp, with numerous and flexible hook up and rigging options. According to their website, “Egnater Amplification is today the fastest growing guitar amp manufacturer in the industry.” To judge by the 4-100 product, we can see why this might be the case.

For this particular product repair, we did our initial assessment; technician at that point requested the product service manual. This is not always necessary for our expert technicians, but in some cases there’s simply no way to proceed without a service manual and circuit schematic, along with block diagrams, parts lists, and the like. Fortunately in this case, we were able to get the 4-100 amp repaired with a physical repair (repair of cold solder or connexion fractures) on the high-gain channel of the amp.

If you need Egnater guitar amp repair, call the professionals—call Bammel TV.

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RACK GUITAR PEDAL REPAIR: LINE 6 POD PRO REPAIR, ROCKTRON PROPHESY REPAIR, DIGITECH GSP2101 REPAIR

June 10, 2016

Our report on three repairs performed on a customer’s Line 6 Pod Pro, his Rocktron Prophesy, and his Digitech GSP2101.

This customer owns ALL THREE of these classic units! It’s guitar pedal repair time at Bammel TV Tech Services!

Pod Pro Repair

The Pod Pro is a classic 2-rack space effects unit from Line 6. Capable of multiple simultaneous effects of the classic sorts: distortions, delays, dynamic effects, tremolo, wah, reverb, pitch shifting—a wide tableau—no, make that a panoramic sweep of tones. With dual XLR-outs as well as digital outs, and multiple possible input configurations, these were excellent machines. We haven’t seen very many, but as the authorized service center/master service center in Houston for Line 6, when those products need some TLC and attention, we’re the destination of choice for the customer.

In this case the Pod Pro exhibited periodic loud screeching noises—obviously hideously unacceptable for a guitarist. Specifically, the customer complained of a “Works 12 seconds, screeches 12 seconds” phenomenon. Our master techs would have liked to get the Main PCB for this repair, but it was NLA from Line 6. That left us scratching our heads…We came up however a solution: we REPAIRED the main PCB assembly fault. We ordered up an IC from China and were successful at restoring this high-quality unit.

Rocktron Prophesy Repair 

The same customer also brought in a Rocktron Prophesy—one of the classic units designed by Tom Scholz of Boston.  This unit was simply dead, exhibiting a no-power symptom. We isolated and replaced seven discrete faulty components, and unit is restored and back to proper operation.

 Digitech GSP2101 Repair

Finally, customer also brought to us his Digitech GSP2101—another rack-mounted classic effects unit (and one of our personal favorites.) The 2101 was/is/remains legendary due to two 12AX7 vacuum tubes (or valves, as our British friends call them)in the preamp section, permitting a wide range of natural analog tones, from crystal-clear-clean to radically saturated distortions—that’s in addition to a huge range of digital effects, on top of an analog compression/EQ/gating stage. Altogether a wonderful unit, which fortunately in this case required only minimal service to restore.

Summary: When you need guitar pedal repair… 

Three more bite the dust, courtesy of your crew at Bammel TV Tech Services.

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Repair Blowout: THREE Reel to Reel Decks Restored!

Summer 2016

Amongst our many other specializations, we’re the go-to shop in Texas for reel to reel tape deck repair.

Included in the movie clip below are two Fostex decks and one Teac reel-to-reel tape deck repairs recently performed. In the background sits another reel to reel tape deck unit, awaiting its turn in line for service and repair.

So far in 2016 we’ve repaired and restored 5 reel to reel decks, with just one unit besides determined as BER/beyond economical repair—it had heavy damage to eight internal circuit cards and, while theoretically repairable, would have incurred too much repair time and thus a high bill.

Highlights of this year’s reel to reel repairs, by model and brand:

Customer brought a Teac X-2000R with a complaint of “Check All Functions,” probably for a basic cleaning and service. Drive belt replacement and cleaning/service brought the unit back to life.

On a Teac A-4010S with complaint of “Motor Overheats,” we repaired by replacing shorted capacitors in the power supply. Unit went home safe and sound and purring nicely.

On a Teac X-10R, customer asked us to replace the drive belts/clean and service, however we found additionally that the unit would also require a new capstan motor for full functioning. Fortunately, after various efforts and vendor misdirections, we found a source, procured the motor, and repaired the customer’s unit.

Finally some words on perhaps the most challenging reel-to-reel repair we’ve done, a restoration of a very attractive Fostex G16 machine. (This is the product on the right in the movie clip below.) This unit had the special misfortune of having been in another repair shop—a circumstance we heartily disrelish, as this almost inevitably means the product will have undergone butchery and/or mutilation. In this case, the repair proved especially difficult as the prior tech—let’s be generous here and call him a tech—had re-assembled the product improperly, leaving many of the internal wiring connexions barbarously mis-connected.

Once the mal-connectivity was corrected, we found some relatively straightforward issues in the audio record circuit and these were repaired and the unit bundled up for homecoming.

Need reel to reel tape deck repair? No problem—call the professionals—that’s us.

Just another save-the-day at Bammel TV Tech Services.

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How We Fixed a 24 Track MCI JH-24 Recording Deck

How We Fixed a 24-Track Studio Recording Deck

Customer brought to us an early-1980’s vintage studio recording deck: a 2″ tape, 24-track recorder—the MCI JH-24.

The MCI JH-24 is a rather legendary studio multi-track recorder—a very impressive piece of equipment, the first commercialized 24-track recorder. Many rock classics were recorded on MCI machines: Eric Clapton, the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and the Bee Gees recorded many of their 1970’s era hits on MCI 16-track machines. The JH-24 carried an original purchase price in the $30,000 range. Even today working units are being sold online for over $8000, not including freight.

By the early 1980’s digital recording was emerging on the horizon, but many artists then, and still today, prefer the perceived “warmth” of analog recording equipment. And so we found ourselves facing a non-functioning JH-24 deck—the first one we have seen.

Assessing the Repair Prospects on the MCI JH-24, and Phase 1

Customer’s complaint was that “Tape transport won’t function.”  Our diagnostic assessment found the following:

“MAJOR RECONSTRUCTION REQUIRED in POWER SUPPLY, STANDBY CIRCUIT WORK, and SYSTEM CONTROL CIRCUIT. ADVANCED TROUBLESHOOTING PLUS REPLACE OF MISC COMPONENTS INCLUDING DISPLAY LAMPS—HOWEVER IT IS OTHERWISE IN GOOD SHAPE AND REPAIR IS FEASIBLE & RECOMMENDED FOR REPAIR.”

After considerable efforts by one of our master technicians, our repair essentially stalled out—“I can’t fix it.” Despair set in. Eventually I transferred the ticket to our other master tech and assigned him a full time assistant for this challenge. The risk was considerable: should he and his team flame out, and the unit prove unrepairable, this would represent a large loss of valuable repair production time.

Phase 2: Breakthrough

The second tech team completed the remaining work, but having done so, we ran into additional complications with this very complex product. Customer had requested that at least 16 of the original 24 tracks be restored. As it turned out, each individual recording track presented individual electronic circuit issues. Both our master techs worked on the unit, and were finally successful in restoring 23 of the 24 tracks, each of which required individual troubleshooting and circuit repair, for a total repair cost below $4000—thus saving the customer over $4000 off the cost of purchasing a replacement.

Summary: We Fixed It

Finally, we presented the triumph to the customer: a restored, functioning MCI JH-24, at just half the cost of a working replacement. Just another save-the-day at Bammel TV Tech Services. Click on the video player below for a brief video review of the final, functioning unit.

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Restored Vintage Zenith Console Stereo

Console Stereo Repair

Customer recently brought to us for restoration a classic, vintage Zenith console stereo, model #MH2602M, bearing a chassis designation of 4G21 9H20. We estimate this unit was from the late 1950’s or quite early 1960’s. Customer reported “retro appeal” on the unit: it being fashionable to come to her home and listen to vinyl discs on the stereo console. But her kitty-cats had gotten out of line and clawed up the grill cloth—quite badly—one of the worst cases of pet clawing damage we have seen! BAD kitty! (Customer indicated she has subsequently declawed the little villains, or otherwise disarmed them.)

But, as pet damages go, this one wasn’t amongst the very worst. We did a restoration/replacement of the speaker grill cloth, using material supplied by the customer. Additionally we did some cosmetic treatment of some critical internal fixtures, cleaned all potentiometer controls, and repaired/re-aligned the display glass, which had slipped out of alignment.

We’ve fixed many, many vintage and console stereo units for customers. We’ll add more posts “in future,” as our British friends say.

For our Stereo & Electronic Repair Service main page, click here.

Summary: Vintage and Console Stereo Repair at Bammel TV…

Another notch in the Bammel Tech Services belt.

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High End Amp Repair at Bammel TV Tech Services 

February 12, 2016

We were successful this week in—finally—restoring a customer’s high-end Madrigal Proceed 5 channel, THX-certified power amp. This one was a challenge! The unit had been in another shop—a “chop shop,” as we call them sometimes—and numerous components were swapped into incorrect positions or else were outright removed (or perhaps pilfered, for other, less difficult repairs?) Additionally, getting service literature from this manufacturer is like pulling teeth, so final restoration (which included 9 different, discrete integrated circuits) involved great difficulty. However our team won out over the gremlins, as we usually do.

If we can’t fix it, we’re betting almost no one can. Proceed amp repair at Bammel TV Proceed amp 2

 

 

 

 

Summary: Amp Repair Time at Bammel TV

Another one bites the dust at Bammel TV Tech Services. For our Stereo & Electronic Repair page, click here.