Orange Tiny Terror “gains” a new lease of life.

The law of averages is a lay term used to express a belief that outcomes of a random event will “even out” within a small sample.

Roughly translated, if you play your equipment enough times, at some point it WILL eventually break. This holds true for your guitar, your drums, your mixing desk and even your unbreakable, Sherman Tank encased Orange Tiny Terror Valve Amplifier.

So what are you going to do when disaster strikes and your trusty steed decides it’s had enough?

Well if you’re smart, you’ll have a spare? No? That’s right ask the tech guy in the band to fix it for you, if your are lucky enough to have one. Otherwise, pay through the nose to get it repaired or replaced.

Well perhaps it’s just as well I used to disassemble my Xmas presents as a kid to see how they worked instead of playing with them!

Before I begin, the usual disclaimer. Valve amps are very dangerous and operate AND store high voltages that can kill. I/We take no responsibility for any disasters if you try any of this.

THE PROBLEM

So Lees’ (Rhythm Guitarist/Cool dude) amp, the aforementioned Orange Tiny Terror, developed a problemo. The GAIN knob started becoming ‘scratchy’ and losing gain, not working, cracking. Basically all sorts of nasty stuff. So he stuck it in the cupboard and bought another amp. Until one day I asked for a shot to to test as a backup. It sounded poor.

So I decided it was time to change the GAIN CONTROL for a new one. This would require stripping the amp down, taking out the main board and removing the old pot. Something I have done many times before.

Orange Tiny Terror

Orange Tiny Terror

There are TEN screws to remove on the top cover AND FOUR screws on the bottom cover. Take the top off first and then remove the valves carefully.

BEFORE you do anything, DISCHARGE the capacitors and OBVIOUSLY MAKE SURE IT IS NOT PLUGGED IN!!!

Remove the control knobs and the nuts from the pots, the input jacks and the speaker jacks. Remove the speaker jack PCB, the remove the screws from the PCB. It is pretty easy to get the main board out.

Here it is.

Inside the Orange Tiny Terror - Board removed

Inside the Orange Tiny Terror

And the board.

Inside the Orange Tiny Terror - Board

Inside the Orange Tiny Terror – Board

The pics were taken randomly hence the pot has already been opened. So the easiest way to get this off is to open the pot and cut it off. This will allow you to de-solder and remove the six pins one at a time. Much easier. Bend the metal lugs back to get the metal sleeve off.

Orange Tiny Terror - Gain Pot

Orange Tiny Terror – Gain Pot

 

Orange Tiny Terror - Gain Pot Opened

Orange Tiny Terror – Gain Pot Opened

Now we can see what the problem is, the carbon tracks are worn AND right at the point where the pot was crackling.

Orange Tiny Terror - Gain Pot Track Worn

Orange Tiny Terror – Gain Pot Track Worn

Now it’s time to remove the old pot. Cut off the legs with side cutters CAREFULLY.

Orange Tiny Terror - Gain Pot Cut

Orange Tiny Terror – Gain Pot Cut

Heat up the solder till it melts, then grip the legs and pull out when the solder melts.

Orange Tiny Terror - Gain Pot Remove

Orange Tiny Terror – Gain Pot Remove

Once you suck up all the solder with a solder sucker then it’s time to give the site a little clean. I use the wives nail polish remover, but you can use any ethanol based product.

Orange Tiny Terror - Cleaner for the board

Orange Tiny Terror – Cleaner for the board

Nice and CLEAN!!! Ready for new pot

Orange Tiny Terror - Gain Pot Site Cleaned Ready for new POT

Orange Tiny Terror – Gain Pot Site Cleaned Ready for new POT

And here it is. The new pot! A shiny Dual Ganged 500k Audio Taper bought from eBay for only £4.99.

Orange Tiny Terror - New Gain Pot

Orange Tiny Terror – New Gain Pot

And finally installed.

Orange Tiny Terror - New Gain Pot Installed

Orange Tiny Terror – New Gain Pot Installed

And the verdict. It’s just like brand new and sounds as good as it was before it broke.

Just a one hour job if you have the skills and tools. All for only £4.99 (cause my time is free for the band of course). Now we have a spare amp again!

About Neil Ferguson

Neil provides the vocals (mainly) and much of the lead guitar work. One of the three founders of the band Neil also delights in the bands technical responsibilities.
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