Mesa Boogie Bass 400 Repair and Refurbishment

Craig was very proud of his rack-mount tube-powered bass amp.  But there were crackles and pops while playing.  He wanted to have everything looked-at.  Could The Unbrokenstring Crew get it tuned up?
This is a heavy monster.  Yes, that implies 400 watts out.

 

These are the tubes that were still alive.  We’re missing a couple of pairs.

 

Some contact cleaner/lubricant will be applied with a pipe cleaner into each socket pin.

 

The sockets are in good shape, but just need some chemical attention.  You can still get pipe cleaners, but instead of checking the tobacco aisle, you might look at the gun cleaning supplies section of WalMart to find them.

 

The individual pins on each tube are wiped with the contact cleaner/lube before they are inserted into the unit for testing.

 

The push pull class AB1 pairs are oriented from front to back in the chassis.  Once the operating point was established, pairs of tubes were sorted that had similar characteristics.  So we matched six pairs of tubes to within 2% of each other.  Power and output transformers are seen in the foreground.

 

The amp was driven by a sine wave and operated at 60 watts into a dummy load.  Each pair of tubes were verified in sequence.

 

And this is what six pairs look like while putting 400 watts into a dummy load on a messy workbench.

 

Craig gigged with this amp.  When someone asked what he thought of his rig, he said, “It’s brutal.”

Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

CONTACT – David Latchaw EE
281-636-8626

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