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The "Spare" amp.

 
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unbridled



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Montana

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: The "Spare" amp. Reply with quote

My rhythm guitarist brought his "other" amp to rehearsal the other night. He'd always said he had an old Fender amp in his shed that was given to him. Anyways, he brought it to rehearsal, and it's a mint 1958 Fender Vibrolux. Original everything, including tubes. I played it and it is pretty nice. It's not "OMG, that is awesome" kind of nice, but "Wow, that's a real nice amp," kind of nice. I bet if he re-tubed it, it would wake right up and I'd have to steal it from him. I told him he should pull the tubes and put them some place safe and throw some JJs in it. It should be pretty easy because there's no bias adjustment on them. The little Jensen speaker is really nice and covers a wide range of frequencies. Cool little amp! It was given to him by an uncle who'd had it sitting in a barn for years so he cleaned it up and it looks and plays very well. One little scuff on the tweed, but not bad at all. His uncle told him he can never sell it. He can give it away, but never sell it. I said I'd be happy to be the one it was given to.
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neat find indeed ...tweed Vibrolux is a cool amp.
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RKWilliams



Joined: 05 May 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you snap a pic next practice?
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suggestion - call him NOW.

Tell to NOT turn it on again. He's in major danger of having a filter cap blow and take out one of the transformers, which is 1) expensive, 2) will change the sound due to a replacement, and 3) lower the value significantly. I've had it happen, and it's not a happy thing - and it WILL happen.

If you guy were local I'd install caps and go through it for the price of a Starbucks card or something...but it'll be well worth the $150 or so a tech will charge for a complete checkup and cap job. Replacing caps does NOT hurt the value unless the amp is a glass-case dead mint one. Replacing them is like changing tires on a '55 Corvette - the value is not affected there either, and something that HAS to be done.

I'm not playing chicken little; if you check the amp tech forums you'll find the usual recommendation is to change filter caps every 10-15 years. When I had my side business as a tech I'd get a tweed or BF Fender every week or so with nuked caps, about a third of those with smoked PT's and some with blown OT's.

PLEASE talk him into it - I hate hearing about time bombs that I KNOW will go off at some point.
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Rick Towne



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:55 pm    Post subject: Great advice.... Reply with quote

Unless I had a suitable and equivalent backup I wouldn't gig with an amp that hadn't been checked out in this and other respects. As a result, my amp failure rate is 2 out of 1,000 gigs/church services over the last 20 years. PS: they were a Soul-O 45 and an English AC-15.
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unbridled



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Montana

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of forgot I had posted this.

For some reason, he doesn't want to do much with it so, there it sits in the bunkhouse. I want to at least make sure it's got a good 3 prong power cable but I honestly don't remember what it has.

I didn't look super close but I didn't see any weeping around the caps. I know that doesn't say much but I'd like to talk him into getting it looked over. I'm a wimp when it comes to messing with tube amps. I don't mind working on my Gibson GA5 but it's a simple as can be. I don't mind working on my Music Man HD150 either but I go really slow. Hopefully, I'll talk him into at least having it looked at.

He's got a Super Reverb combo we used at a couple outdoor shows this fall but he likes to stick with his solid state Marshall. I can't really blame him because it takes pedals well and gets good tone without needing a whole lot of care.

I'll snap some pictures of both the Fenders next time we use that rehearsal space. Might be a while because it's colder than heck up there and I don't feel like lighting a fire... Rolling Eyes
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unbridled



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Montana

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silverface wrote:
Suggestion - call him NOW.

Tell to NOT turn it on again. He's in major danger of having a filter cap blow and take out one of the transformers, which is 1) expensive, 2) will change the sound due to a replacement, and 3) lower the value significantly. I've had it happen, and it's not a happy thing - and it WILL happen.

If you guy were local I'd install caps and go through it for the price of a Starbucks card or something...but it'll be well worth the $150 or so a tech will charge for a complete checkup and cap job. Replacing caps does NOT hurt the value unless the amp is a glass-case dead mint one. Replacing them is like changing tires on a '55 Corvette - the value is not affected there either, and something that HAS to be done.

I'm not playing chicken little; if you check the amp tech forums you'll find the usual recommendation is to change filter caps every 10-15 years. When I had my side business as a tech I'd get a tweed or BF Fender every week or so with nuked caps, about a third of those with smoked PT's and some with blown OT's.

PLEASE talk him into it - I hate hearing about time bombs that I KNOW will go off at some point.


Hey, Silverface,

He might be coming around a bit on re-capping both the Vibrolux and the Super Reverb. Got an e-mail from him today asking about it. The Vibrolux started crackling on him, but that sounds like a tube deal. Montana sucks for good techs, but I'm looking around a bit. Shipping rates suck right now. The SR would be pricey to send out to anyone and the Vibrolux wouldn't be much better...
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cap jobs are easy to do and should be a skill learned by any tube amp owner. It's a basic service item, like changing tubes, which also just can't be done at random.

You can find instructions on the web on how to safely discharge caps (critical for safety), and the actual installation takes minutes.

Crackling isn't a cap (and weeping doesn't show you anything) - it's arcing. usually either corroded tube pins or a bad resistor. I again stress learning how to work on them...there are great resources available and parts are cheap.
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unbridled



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Montana

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, he re-capped the Super by himelf and it worked out fine. He found a loose connection in the Vibro somewhere and I guess it's workin fine. We don't play together much anymore, but I hope to get my hand on one of the amp come spring.
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