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Noisy Thunder II Active Electronics Troubleshooting?

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Post by smuprof on Sun May 31, 2020 4:15 pm

Hello All - 

First, I have a Vantage VA900 I believe, the equivalent of the Thunder IIA with active electronics, neck-thru, etc.  If it's inappropriate to post this question here, please remove and accept my apologies.

If not, I have a question:  Electronics are very noisy - awesome, but noisy.  Because of the complexity, before I start carefully disassembling, was wondering if there were any regular culprits I should check on first?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

John (smuprof)
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Post by corsair on Sun May 31, 2020 4:28 pm

Ahhh, nice! I used a VA900 as a gigging guitar for 25 years and have not long retired it! 
Define "noisy", John...
First thing I'd be trying is to get some contact cleaner into the pots and switches to see if that makes a difference! Not WD40 or the like, but electronic contact cleaner.
The wee light I can't remember too much about as I didn't use the boost circuit at all, preferring to add boost and EQ outboard.

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Post by smuprof on Sun May 31, 2020 4:43 pm

Ahh, thank you sir.  I am a long-time Alembic bass player and "neck thru with active electronics" is my favorite recipe in all things stringed instruments.  A prior owner did (or had done) the addition of a Kahler locking tremolo with locking nut - very well done.  

I worked a bit with DeOxit on the jack (which is mildly intermittent), but seems like simply a very high noise floor - doesn't really change if I move around the amp, doesn't seem to matter whether or not the brass back plate is on.  Perhaps just the vintage and what seems to be high gain overall?  Oh, and the preamp doesn't seem to affect it (obviously when on it's boosted a bit, but proportional to the overall boost of the signal).

I'm attaching a photo - you can see the typical wiring, and two (one large, one small) circuit boards wrapped up in black electrical tape.  Not sure if they were all wrapped like this or if this is extra "safety" added by someone later.  

Thanks for your help again.

PS - is it really an 18V system, or do the 2 9v serve different purposes?

John (smuprof)
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Post by Westbone on Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:39 pm

Change the capacitors.
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Post by Barry on Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:54 pm

Hello smuprof and welcome.
You might find the informstion on our web site helpful: LINK

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