Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Indie IT30 revalve

As well as doing a line of guitars I'm fond of, Indie also do their own amps. I got this IT-30 with my BFI, securing the pair for a pittance off eBay because one of the machine heads on the guitar had been replaced so didn't match.

The IT-30 is a Valvestate style hybrid amp with a ECC83/12AX7 valve in the pre-amp driving a 30W solid state power amp. There are two footswitchable channels, shared EQ and a real spring reverb tank. All-in-all a well specified amp essentially for free.

This has been my main 'marmalade' amp for the past couple of years. At 30W it's more than loud enough and the 'Tube Drive' channel does enough gain for all but the heaviest of material. The EQ is very flexible and reverb decent. It was never going to be a patch on a serious big name amp but I've always been happy with it.

Over the last few weeks I'd noticed the drive channel seemed to have got a bit 'fuzzy', where I'd previously been very happy with it.

Ordinarily I'd just see this as an excuse to spend money on something shiny (like a Blackstar HT5 or HT1) but I thought I'd have a go at changing the valve as they're only £10 if you stay away from fancy stuff. Pre-amp valves should last ages but then again this amp is probably 6-7 years old now and I've used it a lot in the time I've had it.

As it's only a pre-amp there's no clever stuff to be done, just open up the box taking sane precautions and carefully swap the valve, while avoiding getting oily fingerprints on it. Having done this, it seems to have cleaned the drive channel up again.

While in there I noticed there is a jumper on the board for an effects send/return that is shorted out. If I thought I'd use it I'd look into making this work.

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