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Whistling Amp

Q: My guitar amplifier is making weird noises when I turn it on — crackling, pops, sometimes it makes a whistling noise. These noises stop after a few minutes. Any thoughts on what could be wrong?

A: Several things could cause this, but we would be willing to bet that you have a tube amp, and that one of the preamp tubes is going bad. What’s happening is that once the problem tube is thoroughly warmed up, the noise is abating. We suggest substituting a known-good vacuum tube for each of the tubes in your amp, one at a time, until you can isolate which one is causing the problem.

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