NEW AMP DAY!
I tried ignoring the local craigslist ad for this Sunn Solaris for 2 weeks, but the price was too good and nobody else was taking it. Both of those probably due to the fact that it was advertised as being in unconfirmable functional condition (” Fuse (and fuse casing) is blown, and needs to be replaced. I have both but no soldering iron. So it’s not currently playable but easily fixable with the right gumption “).
So I made an offer conditional on me coming over with my soldering iron fixing that fuse and testing it after that; it ended up working so it is now mine. This is the little brother (2 6550s vs 4) of my 1200s, but the tremelo is MUCH better. Amazing really. There is something weird with the reverb however. We’ll see if I can get to the bottom of that.
The fuse change did not go smoothly tho. Apparently this amp was serviced at a store I have had dealings with before, and amazingly had the exact same issue I am about to describe. Don’t buy/rent amps or have yours serviced at Capsule Music. I don’t trash talk them online lightly, but what they did to the seller, and me years ago, is preposterous and shows a pattern of not giving a shit.
So I showed up and started installing the replacement fuse holder. I was about to put the fuse in and noticed 2 problems: 1) the fuse was 5A not 3A as specified on the amp (DANGEROUS! especially with an amp of unknown functional condition that hasn’t been used in a while) 2) the fuse was not the right size for the fuse holder. Not even close. Any amp tech would know this (amps don’t usually use that style of miniature fuse; hilariously small).
So how to test the amp? I did something bad and not recommended, but only because I needed to know if the amp worked and I was gonna be quick and careful. I put the too small fuse in and then used the solder tabs off the old/broken fuse holder (soldered together to make a thicker single piece) as a conductive spacer to take up the rest of the space and make contact at the other end of the fuse holder. I then removed the rectifier tube (the tubes won’t power up), and flipped the power switch to confirm that the fuse was completing the circuit (pilot light on). Then turned off and put back the rectifier tube. On again. Give it lots of time to heat up. Guitar plugged in, vol at 1, strum a chord and then flip the standby to on - prepared to turn off again quickly in case of anything weird (odd sounds or no sound). But it’s fine; chord ringing out nicely, so I test out all the functions and take her home.
So I mentioned Capsule did the same thing to me above, so after the seller (good dude; one is always hesitant when meeting people for craigslist or kijiji sales) told me that he was given the fuse and holder by Capsule, I told him my story. I once went in there to rent an amp. I needed more power for a gig than my head at the time had. They had a Traynor Super Custom Special on the floor so I got excited and grabbed it. Luckily I didn’t live that far (heavy!). Got home, plugged her in, hit 1 note and pop, fizz, dead. Wot? So I call them up and the amp tech at Capsule says “oh, yeah, I was worried that would happen,” Say what. “I didn’t have the right fuse on hand so I stuck a smaller [in terms of current rating not physical size] in there.”
I was stunned. I told him that I could not believe he would put an amp on the floor until he got the proper fuse. He said he was too busy to go get the right one (as if that somehow makes it OK; as if not putting it out on the sales floor until sorted out wasn’t an option). I reminded him that there was a hardware store across the road from his shop. He ignored that and told me to go get the right fuse and they’d toss me the dollar it cost me when I returned the amp. I could not believe this irresponsible and unapologetic behaviour, but I needed the amp working so that’s what I did. Incidentally, the cheapskate bastards refused to refund me that dollar when I returned the amp.