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PostPosted: Tue, Jan 29, 2019 10:02am 
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Calling all Ceriatone Chupacabra Owners/players:

I was jamming through mine last night, and I love the amp. I notice it's Very picky about guitars/pickups as brighter guitars tend to sound thin and harsh through it. But the guitars that match up with it sound incredible.

To the point: I've always had issues with this amp being pretty noisy. Lots of white noise and microphonics to be specific. I got it off Ebay about 2 years ago for a killer price. When it showed up, it did not have any tube shields on it. Last night, I robbed the shields from my JSX and put them on. Still noisy. I tapped on all 3 12AX7's while the amp was on and making noise through the speakers, none of them reacted. I changed them tubes out one by one, no difference.

I use this amp for thrash metal, relatively high gain with a boost out front. I have a great tech who does fantastic work, but I like to try to give him a starting point. What's the best way to get rid of some of this noise on the amp?

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PostPosted: Tue, Jan 29, 2019 1:33pm 
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Tube shields don't do anything for the kind of noise you're experiencing.

1. Amp into cabinet. Nothing plugged into input (no guitar, no cable). Nothing in loop (no pedals, no cables). Just amp into speaker cab. Bright switches in the middle. Era switch in the middle. EQ at noon. Gains at noon. Gain 1 pushed in. Slowly bring up the master. Is there noise? What kind of noise and at what point on the master?

MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HAVE ANY PEDALS OR GUITARS OR CABLES PLUGGED IN.
Too many times people report noise issues and when troubleshooting they leave a boost pedal plugged in or something. Don't do that.

2. Now engage one of the bright switches. Right side and left side. Do the same for the other bright switch. Is there noise? What kind?

If the noise you're experiencing is NOT there in step 1, it's your guitar and/or instrument cable. And the noise is being picked up externally.
If the noise you're experiencing IS there without a guitar plugged into the amp, the noise is coming from the amp or being picked up externally by the amp.

But let's start there.

I do not experience any noise problems with these amps. Most, if not all noise comes from external sources like lights, TV, cell phone, power lines, RF, etc. Rarely the noise will be from the amp itself. And in those cases it comes down to lead dress, tubes, a bad solder joint, or the type of resistors being used.

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PostPosted: Tue, Jan 29, 2019 1:41pm 
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Step 3:

If you determine it's the amp, and it's just inherently noisy, there are ways to minimize it. But you need to determine what kind of noise and its source. For example resistors can be a huge source of noise. "White noise" and "hiss" are usually types of thermal noise. The 1M ground reference resistor and the 27K input grid resistor are usually the first major source of thermal noise. In the Chupacabra, they are 1/2 watt carbon film. Change them out for 1 watt (or higher), metal film. This will reduce SOME thermal noise. If you want to reduce even more thermal resistor noise, start replacing more of the carbon films with metal films, beginning with the plate resistors for each stage. Good resistors to use would be PRP 1-watt, 500v from PartsConnexion or Vishay/Dale RN65D or similar or Beyschlag MBE0414. Those are just my personal preferences but they're all good quality resistors.

Could also be a bad solder joint somewhere. Your tech would need to hunt it down.

Could also be bad lead dress. A wire (or wires) could be too close to another component.

Could also be a bad filter cap. Tech would need to test for this.

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Last edited by FourT6and2 on Tue, Jan 29, 2019 1:46pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue, Jan 29, 2019 1:43pm 
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Step 4:

The Chupacabra has a very low plate voltage on the first stage. Somewhere around 97v. That is why the amp has a small capacitor on the input grid. It's there because that low plate voltage can lead to DC on your instrument cable and on your guitar, which will cause a scratchy volume pot on your guitar. That cap blocks the DC. But... you are using a boost pedal. And if there is any residual DC getting past that cap, then it can be reacting with the pedal. Just another thing for your tech to check.

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PostPosted: Tue, Jan 29, 2019 1:55pm 
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Thanks for all of the info! I will have to try that one night this week.

I will say, it is noisier than my other amps with or without the boost, no matter what guitar / cab I use, and I do not experience the noise I get from the Chup with any other amp that I own.

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PostPosted: Tue, Jan 29, 2019 2:00pm 
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Bad.Seed wrote:
Thanks for all of the info! I will have to try that one night this week.

I will say, it is noisier than my other amps with or without the boost, no matter what guitar / cab I use, and I do not experience the noise I get from the Chup with any other amp that I own.


Yeah I've experienced the same phenomenon with other amps. But it turned out to be the guitar picking up external noise and the amp was just more sensitive to it. Not saying that's what happening here. But you have to check for it. So step 1 would be to unplug EVERYTHING from the amp's input and loop. And bring up the master volume. If there's no major noise then... it's not the amp.

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PostPosted: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 6:24pm 
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So, going back to this. The amp seems to make some white noise even with nothing plugged in. Seems to fluctuate in and out with no changes made to the amp. Not sure if that's indicative of a particular problem?

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PostPosted: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 6:59pm 
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Bad.Seed wrote:
So, going back to this. The amp seems to make some white noise even with nothing plugged in. Seems to fluctuate in and out with no changes made to the amp. Not sure if that's indicative of a particular problem?


tubes

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PostPosted: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 7:07pm 
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FourT6and2 wrote:
Bad.Seed wrote:
So, going back to this. The amp seems to make some white noise even with nothing plugged in. Seems to fluctuate in and out with no changes made to the amp. Not sure if that's indicative of a particular problem?


tubes


I changed the preamps out one by one with a good tube from another amp, didn't seem to help.
Could power tubes be the culprit?

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PostPosted: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 8:01pm 
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does the noise volume change if you adjust the master volume? If it does, then the noise is coming from the preamp.

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PostPosted: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 8:19pm 
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Damn good info in this thread

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PostPosted: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 8:35pm 
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Divide and conquer. Pull the PI tube. If you still get the white noise, it's power if not pre. Most like pre though. Power tubes typically hum, snap, crackle or pop.

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PostPosted: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 11:35pm 
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Great trouble shooting guide if anything. Thanks 46and2

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 2:43am 
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I have a Chupa 50. No more noise than any other amp. Give your tubes the chopstick test for microphonics.

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 7:14am 
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It's a noisy amp, period. I had the Yeti, and it has a shit-load of gain. There will be noise. Buy a noise gate - problem solved.

You have 35 amps in your sig. Never invested in a noise gate?


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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 10:19am 
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napalmdeath wrote:
It's a noisy amp, period. I had the Yeti, and it has a shit-load of gain. There will be noise. Buy a noise gate - problem solved.

You have 35 amps in your sig. Never invested in a noise gate?


Dude, Not sure why you insist on the snarky comments. You're assuming I don't own a noise gate in a dickish manner. Why do you feel the need to reply like that? You do it quite often and honestly you come off pretty douchey.

I understand high gain amps are noisy. As my sig that you referenced implies, I'm well versed in them. Yes, I own and use multiple noise gates. The reason for this thread is that the Chupacabra has an EXCESSIVE amount of noise compared to all of the other amps that I own or have owned, and I could not fix the issue with tube swaps.

46And2 provided good info. Thanks for adding your 2 cents.

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 10:21am 
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racerevlon wrote:
I have a Chupa 50. No more noise than any other amp. Give your tubes the chopstick test for microphonics.


That was the first thing I tried, and I didn't get anything through the speakers with the volume turned up quite loud.

I may just send my tech to this thread and hand the amp over to him. I love this amp, but can't use it with any of my guitars with covered pickups, it just seems to be way to quick to feed back.

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 11:15am 
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Bad.Seed wrote:
racerevlon wrote:
I have a Chupa 50. No more noise than any other amp. Give your tubes the chopstick test for microphonics.


That was the first thing I tried, and I didn't get anything through the speakers with the volume turned up quite loud.

I may just send my tech to this thread and hand the amp over to him. I love this amp, but can't use it with any of my guitars with covered pickups, it just seems to be way to quick to feed back.


How are you EQ'ing the amp? Are you running the thing with all the bright switches engaged at once?

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 11:39am 
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FourT6and2 wrote:
Bad.Seed wrote:
racerevlon wrote:
I have a Chupa 50. No more noise than any other amp. Give your tubes the chopstick test for microphonics.


That was the first thing I tried, and I didn't get anything through the speakers with the volume turned up quite loud.

I may just send my tech to this thread and hand the amp over to him. I love this amp, but can't use it with any of my guitars with covered pickups, it just seems to be way to quick to feed back.


How are you EQ'ing the amp? Are you running the thing with all the bright switches engaged at once?


If my memory serves me right, both bright switches are flipped left, in 80's mode. One of the gain pots is up 3/4 of the way, the other is at noon and pulled out. The pussy trim is at 1 oclock or so, BMT is 6-6-3

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 11:56am 
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Bad.Seed wrote:
Calling all Ceriatone Chupacabra Owners/players:

I was jamming through mine last night, and I love the amp. I notice it's Very picky about guitars/pickups as brighter guitars tend to sound thin and harsh through it. But the guitars that match up with it sound incredible.

To the point: I've always had issues with this amp being pretty noisy. Lots of white noise and microphonics to be specific. I got it off Ebay about 2 years ago for a killer price. When it showed up, it did not have any tube shields on it. Last night, I robbed the shields from my JSX and put them on. Still noisy. I tapped on all 3 12AX7's while the amp was on and making noise through the speakers, none of them reacted. I changed them tubes out one by one, no difference.

I use this amp for thrash metal, relatively high gain with a boost out front. I have a great tech who does fantastic work, but I like to try to give him a starting point. What's the best way to get rid of some of this noise on the amp?

1. Buy a different amp.
2. Buy a different amp.

Kinda joking here, but I've played a bunch of the Ceriatone amps, including the Jube clone, AFD clone, Yeti, and owned a Fortin Cali modded 2204 clone. With the exception of the Fortin, they ALL had this upper register white noise.....that's a good way to describe it. It was very annoying and disappointing when EVERY SINGLE ONE I tried had it. Except the Fortin.
Sorry, just my experience. Oh, and the transformers can go POOF. The Fortin mod died the day after a gig..and the tubes were good and I match my impedance lol. PT went out, the amp itself was a year old. Put a Classictone in and it sounded better. Highly recommend pulling the stock transformers and putting something else in.

Oh, I forgot to mention this high end noise was present on each of the amps' clean channel as well....so it had NOTHING to do with a high gain noise.

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 12:02pm 
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Bad.Seed wrote:
FourT6and2 wrote:
Bad.Seed wrote:
racerevlon wrote:
I have a Chupa 50. No more noise than any other amp. Give your tubes the chopstick test for microphonics.


That was the first thing I tried, and I didn't get anything through the speakers with the volume turned up quite loud.

I may just send my tech to this thread and hand the amp over to him. I love this amp, but can't use it with any of my guitars with covered pickups, it just seems to be way to quick to feed back.


How are you EQ'ing the amp? Are you running the thing with all the bright switches engaged at once?


If my memory serves me right, both bright switches are flipped left, in 80's mode. One of the gain pots is up 3/4 of the way, the other is at noon and pulled out. The pussy trim is at 1 oclock or so, BMT is 6-6-3


There's your problem. The bright switches are large value caps. 4700pF each. With both engaged you're going to get a lot of hiss... They boost the gain in those upper mid and treble frequencies. Ceriatone really shouldn't have given users the option to run both simultaneously. They did it a little better in the Yeti since they cut the value of those caps in half. So you can run both at the same time to equal the same value as just one on the Chupa.

You shouldn't need to run two bright caps. Try this to see if it reduces your noise issues but keeps the same amount of gain/feel:

Gain 1: Pulled out, 1:30 - 2:45
Bright 1: Center (off)
Gain 2: 11:00 or so
Bright 2: Left (mid boost)
Pussy trim: 100%
B/M/T/P/D to taste

The key here is to only use one bright switch and run its corresponding gain below 12:00. As you turn up the gain control, its bright switch has less and less of an effect. Then you run the other gain control higher to compensate. Think of it in terms of a "dark" gain and a "bright" gain instead of Gain 1 and Gain 2.

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 12:14pm 
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FourT6and2 wrote:
Bad.Seed wrote:
FourT6and2 wrote:
Bad.Seed wrote:
racerevlon wrote:
I have a Chupa 50. No more noise than any other amp. Give your tubes the chopstick test for microphonics.


That was the first thing I tried, and I didn't get anything through the speakers with the volume turned up quite loud.

I may just send my tech to this thread and hand the amp over to him. I love this amp, but can't use it with any of my guitars with covered pickups, it just seems to be way to quick to feed back.


How are you EQ'ing the amp? Are you running the thing with all the bright switches engaged at once?


If my memory serves me right, both bright switches are flipped left, in 80's mode. One of the gain pots is up 3/4 of the way, the other is at noon and pulled out. The pussy trim is at 1 oclock or so, BMT is 6-6-3


There's your problem. The bright switches are large value caps. 4700pF each. With both engaged you're going to get a lot of hiss... They boost the gain in those upper mid and treble frequencies. Ceriatone really shouldn't have given users the option to run both simultaneously. They did it a little better in the Yeti since they cut the value of those caps in half. So you can run both at the same time to equal the same value as just one on the Chupa.

You shouldn't need to run two bright caps. Try this to see if it reduces your noise issues but keeps the same amount of gain/feel:

Gain 1: Pulled out, 1:30 - 2:45
Bright 1: Center (off)
Gain 2: 11:00 or so
Bright 2: Left (mid boost)
Pussy trim: 100%
B/M/T/P/D to taste

The key here is to only use one bright switch and run its corresponding gain below 12:00. As you turn up the gain control, its bright switch has less and less of an effect. Then you run the other gain control higher to compensate. Think of it in terms of a "dark" gain and a "bright" gain instead of Gain 1 and Gain 2.


I'll certainly give it a shot. May have time tonight to mess with it real quick.

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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 12:26pm 
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So you can run both at the same time to equal the same value as just one on the Chupa.


So the Chupa is THAT bright? had no idea


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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 1:43pm 
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Bad.Seed wrote:
napalmdeath wrote:
It's a noisy amp, period. I had the Yeti, and it has a shit-load of gain. There will be noise. Buy a noise gate - problem solved.

You have 35 amps in your sig. Never invested in a noise gate?


Dude, Not sure why you insist on the snarky comments. You're assuming I don't own a noise gate in a dickish manner. Why do you feel the need to reply like that? You do it quite often and honestly you come off pretty douchey.

I understand high gain amps are noisy. As my sig that you referenced implies, I'm well versed in them. Yes, I own and use multiple noise gates. The reason for this thread is that the Chupacabra has an EXCESSIVE amount of noise compared to all of the other amps that I own or have owned, and I could not fix the issue with tube swaps.

46And2 provided good info. Thanks for adding your 2 cents.


I'm just saying, have you tried a noise gate? Nowhere have you mentioned this. Sorry to come across as "douchey", but, damn. "My high gain amp is noisy" is, well, to be expected. It wasn't my intention to be snarky, but listing a gazillion amps in your sig, (many of which are pretty high end that take up half a page), then coming off like a rookie, well..... Nevermind..


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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 2:25pm 
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napalmdeath wrote:
Bad.Seed wrote:
napalmdeath wrote:
It's a noisy amp, period. I had the Yeti, and it has a shit-load of gain. There will be noise. Buy a noise gate - problem solved.

You have 35 amps in your sig. Never invested in a noise gate?


Dude, Not sure why you insist on the snarky comments. You're assuming I don't own a noise gate in a dickish manner. Why do you feel the need to reply like that? You do it quite often and honestly you come off pretty douchey.

I understand high gain amps are noisy. As my sig that you referenced implies, I'm well versed in them. Yes, I own and use multiple noise gates. The reason for this thread is that the Chupacabra has an EXCESSIVE amount of noise compared to all of the other amps that I own or have owned, and I could not fix the issue with tube swaps.

46And2 provided good info. Thanks for adding your 2 cents.


I'm just saying, have you tried a noise gate? Nowhere have you mentioned this. Sorry to come across as "douchey", but, damn. "My high gain amp is noisy" is, well, to be expected. It wasn't my intention to be snarky, but listing a gazillion amps in your sig, (many of which are pretty high end that take up half a page), then coming off like a rookie, well..... Nevermind..


That's your interpretation of the situation, and you seem to be alone in your thoughts and remarks. The other info provided was actually helpful. I guess not specifically mentioning I have a noise gate somehow makes me a rookie. Also, you seem to be hung up by me mentioning the amps that I own in my sig. Sounds like bitterness/jealousy.

Did it occur to you that, maybe I would have started a thread about "Noise from all of my amps" if I had this issue with every high gain amp that I own? Nothing popped in your head when I specifically singled out 1 amp out of a large group of high gain amps? Maybe think a little next time. This isn't the first time I've called you out for your snarky remarks when someone was just looking for information. At least this time, you didn't backpedal.

You can throw shade at me all you want, but you just look like a jealous douche. Otherwise, I'm asking legitimate questions, looking for legitimate answers. I don't assume I know everything because I'm fortunate enough to own a bunch of high end gear, hence, me looking for information.

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Friedman JJ-100
Diezel Herbert
Splawn Quickrod x2
VHT Deliverance 60
VHT Pittbull CL/50
Ceriatone Chupacabra 50
Mesa Stiletto Trident Stage II
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa 2ch Dual + Triple Rectifier
Engl Powerball V1
EVH 5150III 50 V2
Peavey 5150 FJA/Ultra +/XXX/6505+


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PostPosted: Thu, Feb 21, 2019 2:52pm 
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Zado wrote:
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So you can run both at the same time to equal the same value as just one on the Chupa.


So the Chupa is THAT bright? had no idea


Yes. It's much brighter than the Yeti.

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