Tube Amp Repair in Houston
I am so sad about the many people that had losses from the flood. I'm not sure what I can to help, but if you have a
need or have questions, I will try to help where I can.
If your amp or equipment got water inside it during the flood, please don't turn it on. If you do, you could ruin it or severely
damage it and possibly cause a hazard. Get it checked out by someone, unless you know what you are doing.
There are many good techs around that can do that work for you. Talk to them see what it will take.
If you want to try and check it out yourself, then first inspect it carefully. With extreme
caution and with it NOT plugged into line current, take it out of the cabinet or open any
covers BUT DON'T TOUCH anything. You should be looking for signs of water entry. Mud, silt and leaves and stuff is
a sure sign that water got in there. Even little spots of water is not a good sign. It should be completely dry and free of
Only if it never got wet inside, can you then put it back together and try it out.
If it DID get wet, there are varying degrees of damage from the flood. Reversing the damage all most always has to do with cleaning
out debris completely and getting any water out from inside places you can't see. Motors and transformers are the most vulnerable
because of the intricate windings.
Even fairly clean flood water leaves a film, and sometimes that film stays moist, creating paths for electricity to flow to places where
it should not be, like onto the chassis or exposed metal. So, places around the high voltages need to be cleaned. Silt needs cleaned
out of jacks, switches and controls. Sometimes you have to disassemble the unit to clean stuff out. It is not easy or fast.
Here's a general tip: For the cleanest audio on any amp, turn the master volume most of the way up, and the gain at 1 or 2 to start.
Tube amp repair and custom amps in Houston, Texas.Guaranteed work
and knowledgeable technicians. I will be honest with you about the work you need
done to your amp, what parts we replaced, and what work we actually
If your amp ever sounded good, it can be that way again. If you never have been
happy with it, we can look into improving it instead. Or, you can start over with a
completely new custom amp,
designed for you.
However, if you just want a prototype to see how an idea would sound, I can do that for about 60% of my custom prices.
It will look like a prototype, but it will be fully functional. Just not made for its looks.
Since it is nearly impossible to give an accurate estimate without fully repairing
an amp, I don't really do estimates except for perhaps re-tubing or installing sets
of output tubes, but I will talk with you about your amp and then we can have some
general idea of how much it might cost.
People listen to you, but they also hear your amp. It can add to your playing or
distract people from your skill.
You may not notice the gradual decline in dynamics and breadth of tone that your
amp has undergone over years.
Even the best player sounds bad on an amp with hum, buzz, and peculiar noises that
are not part of your playing.
Get in touch with me about your amp's sound. Maybe we can get the sound you want
out of it again by repairing it.
We might be able to improve it with a small modification, or maybe by restoring the
If it was a good ever a good-sounding amp, it can be again.
What is it that makes an amp or particular piece of equipment sound
If its a good design, then there is hope for it. If its a poor design, then
probably no amount of good components will make it good. You may be able to make it
as good as it can get, but there will be limitations based on the design.
If ALL of the Model X amps sound bad, then probably its a bad design. If SOME
of the Model X amps sound good, but others don't, then it is probably poor-quality parts or loose tolerances.
And, if you can make any Model X amp sound wonderful by simply upgrading the parts, then it is
almost certain that the problem is poor-quality parts.
But, in my thinking, if nothing you do parts-wise takes a Model X from bad to
wonderful, then its probably a design problem.
Sometimes the design problems are correctable, and sometimes you just need to start
over or make major architectural changes. One example of that is Blackfacing a
Silverface Fender Twin. The engineers (in most people's opinion) took a
great-sounding guitar amp, changed the design to include several new feedback
paths, and made it a really good HiFi amp... but a lousy guitar amp, when compared
to the legendary sound of a classic Blackface Twin.
You had to reverse those changes, and in other words change the design, to make it
sound like the old Twin. No amount of fancy new parts would have done it, you had
to change the design.
So, if your amp sounds bad, ask yourself, "Do all amps of my model (and version)
sound like this?"
If they do, then design changes are probably in order. If some sound great, then
basically you can view yours as "broken."
Whether its broken or needs changes, simple or radical, or if it just needs some
better parts, we can look at it and see what the problem is, and correct it.
Call Mike at , but please don't call before 9AM.
Signs that your amp needs looked at include: "Red plating" (tubes are glowing red); Blowing fuses, either
constantly or occasionally; Loss of power; Crackling, buzzing or hum from the
speaker; Any smell of something really hot or burning, smoke, or fumes from inside
the amp chassis. Drop-outs are not good, and neither are microphonics or strange
reactions to certain notes.
I also design and build Custom Amps, both Guitar Amps and Audiophile amps.
Great Video from Gerald Weber
about doing Amp Repair.
The Grateful Dead's - 'Wall Of Sound'
Repair is usually a turn-key process. People drop off their amp with their problems
listed, and get the amp back with all of that repaired and the whole amp checked
out. We repair anything that is going to prevent the amp from functioning. If
something is "iffy" or optional to repair, we generally ask the customer if they
want that issue addressed. But what you as a customer get back is a
fully-functional amplifier at a reasonable cost, and reliable repairs that don't
need to be re-done. If your budget is tight, we can deal with that as well.
Repair time is usually 2 weeks or so if I don't have to special-order parts and if
my workload is not too high. I'll let you have some idea when I know what model
unit you have. Be sure and let me know when your next gig is, and I will try to
work you in if I can. Same-day repair is available if possible.
Priority is given to working musicians or others with a
recording schedule or who are on-tour. Please give me as much time as possible to
repair your amp.
If your amp needs a special-order part or an expensive, non-stocked part, I need
payment for that part up front to order it. When I have the part, the repair
process can continue.
Labor Rates are as follows, based on a semi-flat rate adjusted for
Now, why would I tell you my labor rates? Because I'd
rather that you knew what repairs cost these days, up front. Check around and you
will find few places that will tell you what they will charge for a given repair.
Most places will insist that you bring it in first, then hang a bench fee on you
even if you don't want the work done after all! I'd rather you not bring it in if
its not in your budget.
- Minimum charge: $65 labor, which covers hookup and check for
proper operation, and perhaps a fuse or two.
- Minimum repair: $85 for an hour of labor, parts extra.
- Normal charge: $165, which is about 1 1/2 hours of labor,
- If you have a large or heavy unit, like an Ampeg SVT or Monoblock
Audio Amp, I have to warn you that I automatically charge a lot of
labor, plus parts. Its not easy moving those heavy units.
Estimates are hard to do sometimes. Basically I need to find and
probably repair the major problems with your unit before I can tell you what was
wrong with it! So be prepared to have some idea of what you are willing to spend on
your unit. Please be realistic about it, as even what seems to be a minor problem
can take an hour to go through the stages of:
So unless the problem is with something we can get to without removing the
chassis, we could be looking at some significant bench time. Usual charges are over
$100 to actually repair something.
- Verify the problem
- Test again
- Burn-in listening test
- Final Test
All repairs are concluded with a final test:
- Noise, Hiss, Hum and Microphonics check
- Function of Controls, Switches, Inputs and Outputs
- Test of all channels, including Clean and Overdrive Channels, or whatever it
- Audio Quality at Normal and High Volume Levels
- Output Power before Clipping
I can rebuild, re-cap, or restore your amp into whatever shape you want it to be.
Or, I can repair just what you want fixed, as well.
I NEVER put in parts that you don't need, unless it is part of the
diagnostic process. If I do put in a part that does not contribute towards the
repair of your amp, I don't charge for them, and all old parts are returned.
Mods: If you don't like the way your amp sounds, we can discuss
what would help it. I don't believe in blindly doing other people's mods to your
amp. I could, but there would be no warranty that it would solve your problem or
not hurt your amp.
First, let's make sure your amp is working the way it should. Then we can talk
about how to get your amp to sound the way you want it to sound.
I've been chosen by Mesa-Boogie as
one of their authorized repair centers in Texas.
I am also listed for support of Ceriatone Amps, a semi-kit
Call Mike at
from 9AM-6PM, Monday-Friday.
The "Amp Repair Guy."
Donate to the Red Cross!
Feeling appreciative? Like what you see here? Drop a few coins in my tip jar.
Sorry, no sound effects. But its so empty-looking!
Contact me... from 9AM-6PM, Monday-Friday.
Why was this site called Tubemodules.com?Well, I've been developing some
plug-ins for tube sockets. My first product was the HushPuppy. It plugged into your
output tube socket without any changes to your amp circuit, and reduced the power
output dramatically. That way you could practice or record without having to turn
down the volume. It worked pretty well, and in fact I incorporated them into some
of my amp designs. But they were a pain to build, and people complained about the
But products keep getting better! I have released limited quantities of a
solid-state replacement for 12AX7 tube. It has many good qualities, and the HiGain
version has more gain than ANY 12AX7 tube. Give your amp an instant gain boost! See
the Products Page for details.
Or go to Synthetic Tubes for the full
story. They are not like the Fetrons that made the scene quite a few years ago, and
they are not at all like a more recent offering that I read about.
On A Personal Note: I'm a technician who really enjoys the
sound of guitar music. So most of my time is spent on repair, design, and
I've been doing technician work since the mid-70's, in audio, digital, video,
radio, and in industrial and computer electronics. I've worked on lots of things,
but I've now chosen tube-type amps to repair.
Serving the areas in and around Houston, such as
West University Place and all the Greater Houston Area.
If you are up to the drive, serving Austin, San Antonio, New Braunfels, Corpus Christi, Bryan, Round Rock, Georgetown, Huntsville, Beaumont, Lake Charles, Port Arthur, Victoria.
Receiving UPS, USPS, and FedEx shipments of amps from all around. It is best to ship "return shipping paid" to get a better shipping rate.
Acoustic, Alembic, Alesis, Allen, Ampeg, Ashdown, B-52, Bad Cat, Behringer, Carvin,
Crate, Crown, Diezel, Earth, EBS, Eden, Electro-Voice, Epiphone, ENGL, Fender,
Fuchs, Gallien-Krueger, Genz-Benz, Gibson, Hartke, Hiwatt, Hoffmann, Ibanez,
Johnson, Kendrick, Korg, Krank, Kustom, Laney, Legend, Line 6, Marshall, Matchless,
Mesa/Boogie, Metaltronix, Orange, Peavey, Randall, Rivera, Rocktron, Roland,
Silvertone, Soldano, Sound Research, Sovtek, Squier, Sunn, SWR, Tech 21, Top Hat,
Trace Elliot, Trainwreck, Traynor, VHT, Vox, Yamaha, Yorkville Sound.
Would like to see:
Andrews, Ashton, B.C. Rich, Blackheart, Blackstar, Bogner, Bruno, Burgera, Carr,
DÃaz, Cornford, Elmwood, Framus, Garnet, Heritage, Hughes & Kettner,
Koch, Matamp, Mojave, Naylor, Reeves, Rick-Tone, Ross, Selmer, Session, Sewell,
Soultone, Stephenson, Straub, Suhr, Supro, Synaptic Amps, THD, Tone King, Two-Rock,
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