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Discussion Starter #1
A friend has a Fender RUMBLE 150 Bass Amp, that he took in for repair, and they told him that Fender does not have the parts for this amp, and are going to replace it with a new Fender 200.

I have this very same amp, its not that old, and not able to get parts, that does not even seem possible...I know nothing about repairing amps, but dont they all have common parts...
 

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Lots of stuff goes out of production, especially chips.

Modern amps with type-D power amps will have analog-digital conversion (AD or ADC) chips that are being replaced all the time, with more or less functionality and the replacements are not always backwards compatible.

It is more technical to fix a printed circuit board than the old wires, and as the circuits and parts get smaller and smaller, those boards become impossible to repair. The repair is to replace the board.

If the amp is designed modularly, there may be boards or similar replacement boards, but if you have one huge board with little tiny traces, the board is only good for that amp and once they stop producing them, or no longer have the equipment to produce them, the whole amp is obsolete.

This doesn't look to me like it should be unfixable. There are no tiny surface-mount chips, it's not too tight to get human hands in there. I wonder what the chips are?

It could be a matter of cost. It is cheaper to replace the amp than pay $80/hr to fix it.

 

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Was it a warranty issue? Fender (and other companies) have 'do not repair' lists for warranty repairs. This means it is cheaper for them to replace it than have someone fix it as well as process all the associated claims and forms etc. Items on the list will be less expensive models, their cost is very low even to replace & ship a big combo.
If that's the case (5yr warranty) and it's discontinued they will replace with something similar.
If it's non-warranty, even if it's on the 'do not repair' list, it may or may not be repairable.
As Hammerhands stated, a lot of modern stuff uses SMPS and class D. This keeps the weight and cost down, but they are usually modules made by another company and often not repairable. In this case, it's an ICEpower module made by Bang & Olafson.
I'd guess that this particular ICE module is no longer available.

Hammerhands, that board is just the preamp, and like you say, it is quite repairable. However, the ICEpower module is not, here's a pic:
 

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Say it ain't so - an ICE module in a Fender amp. B&O change these things every couple of years. Once discontinued that's it. Even eBay is useless for finding modules. On top of that, they are not particularly rugged and don't stand up to abuse or vibration very well.
 

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Ultimately, all that stuff is planned obsolescence. I have my amp model UTR's. Why? Because as stated, the cost to repair usually far surpasses the value of the amp. Sad but true.
 

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This isn't surprising in a world where the current generation thinks it's normal to replace a perfectly good cellphone that's two years old. You know, the new green generation. It's a disposable world, but I still wouldn't want to paint it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Was it a warranty issue? Fender (and other companies) have 'do not repair' lists for warranty repairs. This means it is cheaper for them to replace it than have someone fix it as well as process all the associated claims and forms etc. Items on the list will be less expensive models, their cost is very low even to replace & ship a big combo.
If that's the case (5yr warranty) and it's discontinued they will replace with something similar.
If it's non-warranty, even if it's on the 'do not repair' list, it may or may not be repairable.
As Hammerhands stated, a lot of modern stuff uses SMPS and class D. This keeps the weight and cost down, but they are usually modules made by another company and often not repairable. In this case, it's an ICEpower module made by Bang & Olafson.
I'd guess that this particular ICE module is no longer available.

Hammerhands, that board is just the preamp, and like you say, it is quite repairable. However, the ICEpower module is not, here's a pic:



It is a Warranty issue and they are replacing the Rumble 150 with a Fender 200 thats sells for 600.00
 

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I also have a rumble 150. Bought it in 2010 and have used it for everything since. I have 1000's of hours into that amp... I'll be really disappointed if/when it stops working some day.

If mine craps out, I'll probably scrap it for the speaker and build the drive circuit into a pedal. They really nailed the drive with those rumble amps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I also have a rumble 150. Bought it in 2010 and have used it for everything since. I have 1000's of hours into that amp... I'll be really disappointed if/when it stops working some day.

If mine craps out, I'll probably scrap it for the speaker and build the drive circuit into a pedal. They really nailed the drive with those rumble amps.
I hardly ever use mine as i am a guitar player, so it should last forever..lol....All the reviews on this amp. have been great.
 

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Contemporary amps and effects do not have top of the line parts so Parts Stores popped up ala Moyer Mods Fromell Electronics.
 
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