Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 12: A Year Later

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Superfly problems revisited
Date: 9 April 2008 17:28:31 BST
To: zinky@zinky.com

Hi, you may remember me emailing early last year. To keep it brief, my problem was that the reverb on my Superfly Combo kept cutting out. No crackling, just one minute it was there and the next gone. An exchange of emails ensued discussing possible reasons and other issues with the Superfly but after 15 March 2007 I sent three more emails, none of which was replied to.

Jumping foward to where I am now:

1 I bought a new set of pre-amp tubes and figured out where the 12AT7 should be (not the socket where it was when I bought the amp!) This has not fixed the reverb problem.

2 I bought a replacement reverb pan direct from Accutronics. It sounds just like the original but has not fixed the reverb problem.

3 I bought replacement power tubes, taking care to get proper Sovtek 5881s. I guess I should have scheduled in a bias adjustment because when I fitted them and used the amp for band practice the amp developed a loud hum and smell of excessive heat after about an hour. The tubes are marked 42mV on the boxes. I have re-instated the previous set of tubes for now but would like to know what is required to get the amp running happily on the new set. It was also unclear from previous communications which amp tecs in the UK would be qualified to work on it?

I understood that, for a charge, there are some upgrades that can be done to the Superfly, but that the chassis would have to be sent back to you.

I have now bought a backup amp so I can get along without the Superfly for a period of time. I would like to send it back to you so I can get the upgrade done and the reverb problem checked out.

Additionally, I have found that the overall weight of the combo format is just too much for transporting it around. Can you supply me a case for the head alone - I have already transplanted the speakers into a separate speaker cab to use with my backup amp?

By the way, despite taking the chassis out of the cabinet and having another damn good look, I still cannot find a serial number anywhere.

I'll pay the cost of shipping, I'll pay for the upgrade, I'll pay for the head-only case, I'll pay for shipping it back to me. I would just like to get the issues resolved finally so that I can use the amp to its full potential. To recap: reverb, upgrade, bias, head-only case.

Please let me know how I should proceed.

Kind regards,

Dave Jackson

In the preceding year I had lived with the intermittent reverb but understandably was not happy at having to do so. As I outlined in my next email (opposite), I'd bought new pre-amp valves and even gone to the trouble of buying a new reverb pan (not particularly expensive considering it was sent from the USA), but that did not help the original problem.

By April 2008 the situation had changed partly due to the effect of having put in new (and supposedly good-quality) power valves.

The new power valves were, I was fairly sure, the source of an alarming burning smell and loud hum which could not be "lived with"! I was more determined to get the thing sorted out and was actively rehearsing for imminent gigs with two different bands, so I had gone to the expense of buying a backup amp (not a Zinky as you might expect) to use while the Superfly was away.

To minimise cost I was not proposing to send the whole combo case and speakers back, so I bought a valve head (Peavey JSX) and transferred the Zinky speakers into a cheap flat-pack speaker cabinet.

Doing that gave me the idea of buying from Zinky a wooden head-only amp case and having the chassis sent back in that, allowing me eventually to stick with a separate cabinet arrangement that wasn't so individually heavy.

Bruce's reply was pretty fast after all this time, but the first question in it did not exactly reassure me - see part 13.

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