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Help with soldering preamp!!

Mr. Phil

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I recently bought a 1995 carvin A500B preamp from Sweet Willie. Now my problem is (besides it me having to rectify my control cavity to make it fit), that I might have trouble soldering it. My dad said that if I heat the contacts up too much by accident, then I could fry the circuit board, thus, killing the preamp. Another problem is that I could possibly bridge 2 conections together and also f*ck up the preamp.


the soldering iron I use has a tip about the size of a ball point pen. I was think if I could either buy a finer tip or maybe wrap a paperclip around it and use that (because it is finer).


My last option is taking it to Sam Ash or a local music store and have a professional soldering for me, so if it doesnt work, then I can blame it on him ;) .


So if anyone has had any experience with doing this, I would appreciate some tips. But I know that most after market preamps (or any for that matter) don't use circuit boards.





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I am totally unfamiliar with the preamp but all you need is some soldering skills. If your soldering tip is the size of a ball point pen, that is fine. If the soldertab on the circuit board is small you would have to quickly pretin it first before soldering any wire to it. That is have the solder ready and place the soldering iron on the circuit board quick and apply the solder to spread the solder onto the solder tab and remove the heat. Now take your wire from preamp and without any more solder,place the iron on the circuit tab quick, place wire there,watch the solder flow over wire and solder joint and remove the iron. The quicker you can apply the heat and remove while soldering the better.Too much heat on the circuit board pad can lift the pad. Practice on something else first for speed. Also the solder joint should be shiny when finished, if not,then it is not a solid connection,try again. Good luck...
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It's not the size of the tip but the watts of the gun (no, that's not an intended double entendre). I prefer a 15-25 watt iron for close circuit work. And you've got some very good advice from mro.


Make sure the tip is clean, for the best heat transfer; if it is new, "tin" it by melting a little bit of solder on it, and wipe it against a wet sponge in between uses. Also, don't put just the tip against the connection, approach it at an angle and use the side of the tip for the quickest heat transfer so you can get it and out.


Secure your work so it doesn't dance around, you need two hands, one for the iron and one for the solder. Don't apply the solder against the tip and coat the connection, heat the connection and feed the solder into it so it completely envelopes the work. A smooth and shiny result means you did a good job. A lumpy, gray-looking connection is not good.


You can also use an alligator clip or something as a heat sink, depending on what you're soldering, place it on the other side (sensitive side) of the connection to draw heat away from sensitive components.


His advice about practicing is an excellent suggestion -- mess around with some wires for a bit to get the hang of it, first.

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm


[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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I installed an Carvin active pre-amp in a Carvin LB20 a few years ago. I used a 15w soldiering iron. It was one of my first attempts at soldiering, and it went fine. The contact points are already soldiered, so you just heat them up and slide the wire in.

What was scarier for me was drilling a hole in my bass for the extra control knob.

If I can do it, so can you, just take your time and be careful.

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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