Ibiza DJ 80 LED parbar problems

I bought these lights from an online retailer as the price was ridiculously cheap for what they were (2 x four LED lights for £130 odd quid). The trouble you have with lights at this price point is that they usually aren’t put together that well and so with a great sense of timing, one of the lights stopped working two weeks after I’d had them delivered.
I’d tried to get it replaced but the online retailer was being the very definition of an online retailer (truculent, evasive and generally a bit shit). So after a while I thought “sod it, I’ll see what’s inside” and it’s a lot less than I had thought.
Ibiza DJ 80 LEDThe piece that seemed to be doing the grunt work was this pcb located on the left had side of the unit. I had noticed that the power would come in and cut out when you rattled the light bar so I thought it would probably be a loose wire or a dry joint. Luckily it was the former. There are two connection blocks that I’ve highlighted in this hastily taken photo that deliver the power to the lights themselves and I found that they’d been screwed in but not tightened enough. A few turns of a screwdriver and my unit was working perfectly.
So my advice if you do buy cheap lights is don’t try to get them replaced, open up the unit and see if you can fix it yourself. This obviously comes with the warning that you should know what you are doing and the potential dangers inherent in working on an electrical item. Disconnect the power before working on anything. This unit does come with an led attached to the pcb that lights up when there’s power going to the unit. Make sure it’s off before doing anything!

New Stuff at the studio!

We’ve upgraded some equipment at the studio and also bought a new amp! It’s a Cornford Roadhouse 50 and it sounds sweet as! 50 Watts of raw power packed in a very discreet looking amp. Don’t be fooled though, it’ll rip your head off first chance it gets!

Firebird Studios Cornford Roadhouse 50 GuItar Amp
This little beauty is quite a beast!

Firebird Studios New Drum Skins
New Skins for the Yamaha Stage Custom and YD drums.

Firebird Studios Pearl Forum New SpursWe want to keep making this place better and better so you guys get the best rehearsal experience around! We’ll keep you posted on all the new developments we do. Hope you like them!
New Spurs for the Pearl Forum kit. NO more wobbly rehearsals!

How to re-valve a Marshall JCM2000 dsl100

JCM2000 what you will needToday I thought I’d run through how to change the valves and re bias a Marshall JCM2000 DSL 100. It’s important to say up front that if you’re a young un or haven’t had too much experience with electrical equipment then it’s probably not a good idea for you to tackle this job. The voltages that are running around an amp are dangerously high and could kill you if you touch the wrong thing. That said, the beauty with the JCM2000 is that everything you need to get at to change the tubes is visible and everything else is hidden away under panels.

Back Panel

Old JCM2000 tubesFirst thing to do is remove the back panel and gain access to the tubes you wish to replace. This could be a simple two in two out job (you should always replace tubes in pairs) or the full re-valve that I’m doing today. As you can see there are random tubes in the back of this amp that don’t appear to be matched which could have some bearing on the fact that the amp wasn’t very happy.

New Tubes

New JJ Electronics tubesOnce you’ve done this then you should install your new tubes. I’ve chosen the JJ Electronics Valve pack from Voc Rock Guitars. It contained the ECC83 pre amp tubes and EL34 power amp tubes, which are a classic combination for the JCM2000.
 

Replacing JCM2000 tubeGloves

As you can see I was wearing gloves when installing the tubes. This was to avoid any oils or muck from my fingers getting onto the tubes. It’s not necessary but I like to do it.
When installing the tubes there are very obvious ways to install them. On the preamp tubes there is a gap in the pins on the bottom of the tube. Line that up with the gap on the circuit board and they’ll slot in nicely.
With the power amp tubes, there’s a ridge on the centre pole underneath the tubes that lines up with a notch on the chassis. You shouldn’t have to force the tubes in, so if you are not getting them to sit properly, chances are you don’t have the ridge and notch lined up.

Marshall JCM2000 w/ JJ Electronic tubesAll in!

Here you can see all the tubes fully installed and ready to be biased, which is the next part of the process and a very important thing to do. A cool thing to note is that the lettering on the tubes all faces forward, which is another way to check that the tubes are correctly installed.

How to Bias

Marshall JCM2000 bias pinsThis is the bias test point, it is a set of three pins that stick out of the amp underneath the power tube section on the right hand side. You will be using a digital multimeter to test the voltages you are getting in a moment but the first thing to do is plug in your speaker cab and turn the amp on. You should then let it warm up for 15 minutes and switch it off stand by. DO NOT TURN YOUR AMP ON WITHOUT THE SPEAKER ATTACHED! You could blow tubes or damage the amp if you don’t have it attached.

JCM2000 bias pins tubesBias in pairs

If you’re wondering why there are three pins, it because on these amps you bias the tubes in pairs. The centre pin is the neutral and the ones to the right and left are for the two pairs of power tubes.

Multimeter

Testing Marshall JCM2000 biasNow you get your digital multimeter and VERY CAREFULLY touch the black probe to the centre pin and the red probe to ONE of the outer pins. The meter should be set to 2V DC current and you should get a reading of anything from 0.02 to 0.09. I was informed that .072 was a good number to go for as you get all the breakup and it doesn’t knacker your tubes as quickly.
Marshall recommend a value of 0.09 for these types of amps, which means the tubes will be running hotter and could wear out more quickly. In order to change this reading you’ll need a small flat head screwdriver that you slot into one of the mini pots that you find on either side of the test pins. Marshall JCM2000 Rock outYou only need to move it a little to make quite a big change in the reading so go carefully and be prepared to make an adjustment, take a reading and then make another adjustment until you get the desired reading. Do this for both pairs of tubes and then all that’s left to do is rock out!

Maintaining Drums

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One thing that we pride ourselves on is the equipment you can hire at the studios so to keep them in good working order they’re all given an annual service in-house. One of the things we’re looking at today is how to clean up the chrome on our drum kits and this is something that’s really easy to do and can make your drum kit look factory fresh again. Check the slideshow below for how to do this with the minimum of fuss.
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