Help! Astoria loose pots?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by DLW, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. DLW

    DLW Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    152
    I recently sold my Astoria Classic head to cover other gear costs. The seller asked to return it becasue he said it was not as loud as other 30w amps and would not work for his needs. I said fine.

    The amp arrived back yesterday and I gave it a good look over and noticed that all of the pots/shatfs seem very loose. Way more than any amp I have ever had. When touching them if you barely touch them you can turn the knobs without noticing but in general you feel it every time you touch them.

    They are only loose in one direction going down. So you could have it set to 1 5 or 9 and they are only loose/move to the down position. I took the knobs off thinking it was knobs only and its the pots/shafts. You can see there is free play on the shaft and and loose/gap where the shaft meets the pot. Only when slightly pressing down. Its all the pots except the volume pot which is of course is made different as its a push pull. All the others do it and its worst on knobs 2 3 and 4. They actually make an audible clicking noise a metal ping when the amp is off. The amp seems to work fine. No scrathcy sounds when on and all the pots do their proper function.

    The amp was packed as well as an amp can be packed. My concern is UPS mishandled the amp and dropped it flat on the face causing the box and packing materials to slam the knobs/shafts and damage them by not breaking them but making them loose.

    I have to hold up the refund till I can speak directly with Reverb and this sucks for both buyer and seller as we may have to file a shipping damage claim. I am an honest seller and I want to do whats right and not hold things up but I dont want an amp back with shipping damage even if its not trashed. I also want to be able to re-list it and need to know if this is normal for the amp or not. I have barely played the amp and it is possible I just may have not noticed this before but that would mean it came stock with very loose pots that have major play/wiggle to them. That seems very odd unless they were designed to have play in them to prevent snapping off when hit. I dont know I am just guessing.

    It seems odd to me that a hand wired amp at this price point would have very loose pots that even make noise when the amp is off.

    I am not above being wrong and its normal I would rather know and be a dumbass.

    If any Astoria players know the answer about the pots or could please check their amps/pots and post here it would be greatly appreciated and extremely helpful.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  2. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    12,804
    Likes Received:
    12,507
    Location:
    Taintville
    I just recently sold my Astoria Custom. I remember the pots had some play in them when turning them. I noticed it because they had more play than any pots on any of my other amps. I didnt notice any volume issues though and I never tried pushing on them to see if there was any slop.

    Did the buyer have it in Power Reduction mode?

    There are a few other Astoria owners here so maybe they can help more.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.
  3. DLW

    DLW Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    152
    Thank you! The seller said the amp was just not as loud as other 30w he was familiar with and that it would not work for his needs. Amps are all different and maybe the Astoria Classic is not as loud as other 30w amps he was familar with. It may not be as loud as say a Vox AC30 or some Dr Z amps that are 30 watts but will kill your ears they are so loud. Maybe it just was not going to be as loud as he wanted or maybe it was just a case of buyers remorse and needed the money back. I offer return policy on all my items so I was accepting of the return. Just tryin to figure out if these Astorias have unusual/atypical pots with notible play in them and never noticed before or did it take a flat hit in shipping and press too hard against the knobs this bending or loosening the internals of the pots/shaft area? The amp works fine as far as pot function and volume. Its loud as no issues. I would hope the buyer had it in full power mode to make his volume assessment but either way he did not want the amp so I accepted a return. Just want to make sure I received an amp back without shipping damage issues.

    I appreciate the feedback and response and if any other members have one to try and wiggle those pots and report back it would be greatly apprecitated. Thank you!
     
  4. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    12,804
    Likes Received:
    12,507
    Location:
    Taintville
    You are very kind. I hope you at least made him pay the return shipping, I would have. Buyers need to know what they want before they buy. Its different buying used from an individual versus a large box store.
     
    neikeel and tce63 like this.
  5. DLW

    DLW Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    152
    Thanks. I agree. Yes per my listed return/refund policy buyer is to pay return shipping cost. The buyer did not balk at that when I explained the refund will be minus the return fee for me to send it there and for him to send it back.

    I am not exactly thrilled that the buyer wanted to return the amp for that reason. My gut says it was just buyers remorse and he could have already bought something else before he even opened up my amp. Only the buyer knows. All other can just be gut feeling and speculation.

    I could pass on judgement for sure but just tried to be nice an accommodating. I include the standard Reverb return/refund policy on all items I sell just to be decent and assure buyers they are not going to get burned by me. I like to feel comfortable when buying stuff I can return it if something is wrong with it so just try and be decent.

    Returning a perfectly functional amp because you do not feel it is as loud as other 30w amps is not my idea of a legitimate reason to return an amp for a refund. All amps are different. I personally would be embarrassed to ask for a return/refund for that reason. My gut says its buyers remorse or someone just bought too much stuff and wanted some cash back. Now the amp gets shipped again and the goons in the UPS warehouse probably dropped the amp on its face and slammed the knobs/pots and I am left spending a lot if time dealing with this and the funny thing is I am still trying to help the buyer by trying to find out if somehow I am wrong and this wiggle in the pots is normal so I can just issue his refund and be done with this. But it does not seem normal. Seems the pots got damaged.

    So I really should not have to be dealing with any of this. Its not fun as a seller being treated like the local Guitar Center when you did everything right to sell and safely deliver a top notch item and have it returned for an its not my flavor reason. Lol

    Buyer..... if you reading this no offense meant. Just telling the truth as nice as I can.

    Hopefully this all gets resolved well and quick.

    Please if there is anyone out there with an Astoria especially a Classic..... if you could please check the pots and knobs on your amp for wiggle and report back it would really help some fellow gear heads out.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  6. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    5,242
    Likes Received:
    4,144
    Location:
    Looking for something I don't remember what.
    Just checked out my Astoria dual combo and the pot shafts seem quite secure, with just a little wobble in the push pulls (3). The shafts are different from the normal splined ones used in most amps, having a "D" shaped shaft....perhaps these are more prone to developing a "wobble". There is no notchiness or noise when turning any of the pots. If yours are making any noise I would suggest this is not correct and would indicate damage.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and DLW like this.
  7. marshalltsl

    marshalltsl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    392
    Location:
    Catalonia
    On my Astoria Custom his three push-pull pots seems loose. It has "loose" push-pull pots like the first day I played with it. It's like my '12 LP standard with push-pull pots.

    It's not something that worries me.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and DLW like this.
  8. johan.b

    johan.b Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,603
    Likes Received:
    1,694
    Location:
    Södertälje, Sweden
    Open it up and see if he spayed some unappropriate cleaner into the pots... if so confront him... one or two pots going funky is to be expected. All of them.. no...
    J
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.
  9. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    15,435
    Likes Received:
    9,301
    Location:
    Start the reactor... Free Mars!
    "The amp was packed as well as an amp can be packed. My concern is UPS mishandled the amp and dropped it flat on the face causing the box and packing materials to slam the knobs/shafts and damage them by not breaking them but making them loose."

    You didn't pack it right. It's your fault.
    This is not the fault of UPS.
    The fact is that when you ship any equipment that's fragile, it should have been double boxed. (one box inside another box with packing material at least 1-1/2" on all sides)
    The knobs etc are protected by packing materials and multiple layers of bubble wrap and cardboard.
    You failed to understand this and you packed it wrong. This does not make the damage responsibility of the carrier.
    You should have known better.
    I have seen this happen so many times when people pack equipment, and it's always been the packing at fault.

    If "I" packed this amp, it would not have even a scratch.
    It could be dropped on it's face no problem no damage.

    As far as damage to the amp, you will just need to remove / un-solder / replace all the controls on the circuit board.
    And this should be done by a professional with considerable experience. The circuit boards are very easily damaged by inexperienced soldering.
    The amp should be tested (with real test equipment) to diagnose and correct any further damage.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.
  10. DLW

    DLW Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    152
    Ampmadscientist...... I have to assume you are an amp designer and builder or someone who buys and sells a lot of gear and has been burned multiple times and had a lot of hassles with people packing amps poorly. Sorry if you have had hassles that have made you jaded but you have no idea how this amp was packed. None at all. Not sure if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed or started drinking early this morning but your post was out of line and based on your experiences and not mine. So take your transference issues and arrogance and point it in a different direction please. If you are big time here and want to ban me or get me banned fine.

    The seller when contacting Reverb to get a return shipping label told them the the amp was packed the best he has ever seen an amp packed and that it could not have been packed better by me.

    The packing....Stock box and packing including the 2 inch thick large corners

    Amp-plastic bag-Amp cover- plastic bag- Wrapped in multiple layers of 1/4” foam with extra additional layers covering the lower 1/3rd of the amp. Additional multiple layers of 1/8” on upper 2/3rd of amp and top. Then 2 inch thick foam placed/surrounding on all areas not already having the 2 inch thick corner protectors. Then I took piles of Priority Mail large flat rate boxes and folded them so at least two and some places four additional layers of cardboard surrounding the entire amp placed strategically for impact risk areas. I used the folded areas the boxes to make all the corners and edges stronger too. Then I cut out two inch by six inch area on the sides of the boxes to make handle areas these are supported by the two inch foam. I did all this because it shipped after black friday when shippers are busy and more careless. I did the handles to make it easier on the staff picking up the box and to decrease impact on the amp from awkward pick up and holding it. I also used 2 inch think neon yellow tape surrounding the handles and neon arrows pointing to the handles and neon arrows made pointing up and the entire box and neon tape labeled with black sharpee marker pointing to the handles. When I pack an amp I pack it like I would want to receive it!

    When I dropped it off at the UPS store the driver was there doing pickup and and picked up the amp to take to the truck by the handles and said thank you to me.

    Upon return the buyer use all the materials sent with the amp.

    I have been packing and shipping big heavy gear for 15 years and over 650 at 100% on Ebay and 180 on Reverb at 100% plus many private transactions and have never had one issue with anything I packed and shipped and I took extra care with this amp. I care about each and every transaction and make a point to go above and beyond to do everything right even if it takes me extra time to think it thru and design my packing methods and pack it right.

    Most likely in the hands of UPS it took a good flat hit on the face of the amp and despite how well it was packed the inertia went to the knobs and stressed the shafts and now they are very wobbly with way to much play in them. Its the holidays and UPS gets sloppy. Most likely in the warehouse not with individual drivers.

    The pots are not physically/directly connected to the board except for by wiring. The pots are chassis mounted on this amp and then several inches of wire from the chassis mounted pots to the board. The pots are specifically made with a particular taper and chassis mounted not board mounted. I am not looking to source the particular parts and do this work myself. I am not looking to keep the amp with this damage even though it is repairable by a tech or someone with experience or knowledge. It was damaged in shipping by poor UPS handling and a damage claim will be needed to resolve the transaction. I obtained the information I needed here and several other places by people testing multiple Astoria’s to confirm what I already figured that the pots and shafts have been damaged.

    Thank you everyone for all for the helpful responses and taking the time to do the checking. I really appreciate it!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.
  11. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Messages:
    7,002
    Likes Received:
    8,012
    Location:
    Lewiston, Maine U.S.A.
    I don't buy the amp fell over while properly packed and effed up all the pots. They are securely mounted and Marshalls are designed for road use. Something else happened here.
     
  12. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Messages:
    23,565
    Likes Received:
    10,627
    Location:
    US of A
    Like he used it for parts, forgot to tighten everything and returned it afterwards or something?

    Nah, that would never happen.
     
  13. DLW

    DLW Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    152
    Just to clarify to make things clear since it was way back in the first or so post...... the amp seems to be working so far and the pots are turning right seemed to be doing what they are supposed to but the shafts are loose and wobbly

    Not really the volume as that is a push pull and by design push pulls are not as sturdy. Its the other five or six regular pots/shafts. When you touch those knobs they easily push downward towards the bottom of the amp. Its a head. The shaft does not rock side to side really its mainly downwards. So you could have the knob pointer anywhere on the spectrum and they are loose going downwards.

    If you could picture taking a 2” x 4” piece of wood and coming from above wedged an edge of it on the top edge of the knob and held it there while in the other hand you took a hand held sledgehammer and gave the block of wood a good slam.

    The shafts sit straight but easily bend down with any touching and then when stop touching the shaft returns to the correct spot but its loose. Its not supposed to to that.

    I have had many amps and none have done this. What has me more concerned is its worst on knob 3 and bad on knob 2 and 4 and some on 1 and 5. With the amp off if I touch and press knobs 2 thru 4 it make a metallic ping sound when the shaft leans down and again when you let off and it return to position. Very noticeable on knob 3. Like WTF noticeable.

    When I sell before packing I test every amp and knob and function. Check for scratchy pots or noise or any issues. I know I would have noticed this prior. When I listed it I pulled the chassis and took detailed pictures. I would have felt this sort of give on the knobs.


    When the amp was returned to me I looked it over and signed for it. Nothing looked like it took an obvious hit. I took it out of the box and finished up work for an hour to let it acclimate to room temp before firing up. I notice right away just unpacking it and inspecting it over that the knobs felt loose and was like WTF I can believe this. I pulled it from the chassis as I do not trust stranger as I have been around and seen people try to pull all sorts of crap. Many people are funny about money. Its just a fact.

    I was suspicious and pulled the chassis and I gave it a basic look over to see if I could see any signs of foul play. Stuff like did someone swap amps, swap chassis, swap transformers boards or what ever one could do. I just looked a couple of minutes but did not notice anything odd. No obvious resolder areas or scratches in the metal front panel or inside from pliers. I may have to take a better look again just to make sure but if the amp was hijacked and guts swapped then it was done neat or with plastic tools. The pots are seated well and the nuts for the pots are tight feeling to touch. So nothing real obvious. But you never know what lengths a person will go to to save money and pull a scam.


    With the pots being what seems proprietary made with a specific taper for this amp I really do not want to search and pay for them and then pay a tech to rewire them and hope they get it right and then I have to disclose the repairs and then sell for less as people will be scarred.

    As far as the seller...... a couple of things that made me wonder....... He said he spent his last penny on the amp but had no issue when I said the the original shipping would not be refunded and he was able to purchase the new shipping label without issue. I packed it the same day as payment and he would have gotten an email with the tracking number. He sent me a message within the hour asking if I has actually dropped the amp off yet for shipping or just got a tracking number. My gut wondered if he maybe wanted to back out but it was too late. Then after I told him it shipped out there was an odd comment he said ok I hope its a really good amp? Then two days after delivery he says he wants to return it because it is not as loud as other 30 watt amps and it will not work for his needs. I accept the the return to be nice. I then ask him how many times he turned it on and for how much time and he says 3-4 times for a total of 30 minutes max. I asked that so when I relist it I can give an honest answer as to the actual time on the amp. Then two days later he messages me telling me he forgot to put the stock vinyl cover on the amp before packing and was sending it out. I got it in the mail a day after the amp. Who does that who forgets to include the cover for the amp when you are returning an amp for a refund. I guess its possible. With all that info I just figured it was buyers remorse and did not want a battle over money and I was trying to be decent. Now I am dealing with all of this.

    Maybe the seller is completely legit and honest. Maybe not. I dont know. But now I got an amp back that is damaged and hoping it gets sorted out. The best I can figure is that it took a flat hit on the face or lower face side and impact pushed hard on the knobs and pushed then hard downward and caused a permanent looseness in the shafts/pots.

    Sorry to include all this info but need to vent and maybe you all may see something I dont see in all this from a different perspective.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    Mitchell Pearrow and MarshallDog like this.
  14. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    12,804
    Likes Received:
    12,507
    Location:
    Taintville
    Dudd, just stop being so nice! The Buyer suckered u! Its a great amp!
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and DLW like this.
  15. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,943
    Likes Received:
    2,860
    Location:
    New York
    I occasionally sell gear on line, and I make it very clear that I do not take returns, and that the buyer should examine pictures carefully before purchasing.

    I had one bad experience with selling an ES 335, where the buyer claimed the guitar didn't match the description. There was a small ding on a 10 year old guitar that I hadn't captured adequately on the photos, and he claimed that there were dead spots on the fretboard. I wound up refunding the guy a few dollars so he can get the guitar set up with a tech. I didn't want to, but the cost of return shipping, and shipping out again to a new buyer made giving him a refund the better economic decision.

    I'm not saying the purchaser was dishonest, but he certainly could have been. Plus, you always take the risk of damage during return shipping. It's just easier to not take returns. And, I've sold quite a few amps and guitars on line, and people do buy them, even knowing that there will be no returns.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and DLW like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice