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How I learned to like Fender amps + questions (long)

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by timfred, May 16, 2018.

  1. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Check the reverb tank fluid level.
     
    Telecasterless and BobbyZ like this.

  2. stratclub

    stratclub Tele-Meister

    Age:
    67
    251
    Mar 15, 2018
    PNW
    I would say that it would be a lot like putting a spoiler on a Stutz Bearcat automobile. If you own a vintage amp, it is your responsibility to leave it and maintain it as the manufacture sold it just as a matter of respect to a long gone design.

    We don't own these old amps, we are just the caretakers of them until they pass on to someone else.............
     

  3. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2008
    Texas
    No, I meant why install an IEC inlet in an old amp? What's the advantage of a removable AC cable versus a conveniently attached cable that won't unplug if someone trips on it, and will never get lost or forgotten?
     

  4. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2008
    Texas
    Use a cable clamp for strain relief ... use a 14 ga. extension cord for a longer power cable. That's easy.
     

  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Next week it will all make sense when the OP adds an extra tube for the high gain channel and cuts the cab down into a head to use with his Marshall 1960a cab..

    Only combos don't need those sockets silly!

    But on a more serious note, I'd personally use the original RA speaker plug and cloth wires for the new speaker. Those are nice parts to keep in place.
    Untouched speaker solder joints are not as valuable in a non museum piece amp.
    A buyer able to see the original speaker has been stored will be as valuable as selling it with the original speaker in place, suggesting it's been run for 50 years and is likely a goner.

    Maybe the OP doesn't realize that the cord runs down the side of the cab and is secured to the wood just below the back panel; since the panels are missing and I guess the strain relief clip is also missing.
    We keep the cord in the bottom of the cab!
     

  6. timfred

    timfred TDPRI Member

    33
    Mar 14, 2016
    Northern CA
    Actually, the strain relief clip is there, original screw and all. Right next to the thing that looks like a lightbulb but says "Amperex" on it and has a funny picture of something blowing a horn. ;)
     
    David Barnett and telemnemonics like this.

  7. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    As most are indicating don't change anything.

    I had a very high powered 70s Silver Face Twin Reverb ( with 12" JBLs) and thought a valve change was needed after a few years. I was SO wrong- it sounded tinny by comparison. The technician should have warned me that some services do NOT help the sound. If it's a gem- leave it as is.
     

  8. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    42
    Mar 1, 2010
    Kent, OH
    I'm of the opinion that they make better speakers now than they did back then. So I'd be putting in a different speaker.

    There is a small school of thought that espouses keeping the original caps, if they are OK. The idea is that the foil is thicker and they reform better than current caps. I'm in the camp that replaces electrolytics on old amps with new, production, 105C, 10,000 hour radials.
     
    timfred likes this.

  9. Are you speaking of the rectifier tube? If not, you've got me lost....:D
     

  10. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

    706
    Feb 9, 2014
    NE US
    Are you happy you asked these questions?

    The bottom line is you own a great vintage amp. And you may think it will be with you forever, but that is usually not what happens. We not only want you to get top dollar if you sell, but we want the potential buyer to have a amp that is as original as possible.

    Can it be improved and made more up to date? Sure, but then it's not really the vintage prize you have now. As an example, when you say you would like to have the ability to use different power cable lengths I say the solution is extension cords of various lengths.

    Things like speaker swaps are fine, but leave the original lead to the chassis on the original speaker so if you have to sell the amp it can be put back in without ever having broken the original solder joints. Believe it or not some people actually care about stuff like that and they usually will pay top dollar for that.

    Another extreme example. I have a '55 Pro amp I got from the original owner. He had some coupling caps replaced but still had the originals in a bag in the amp. I put them back in, found only 2 of the 5 were bad and only replaced them. I still have the originals that are bad in that bag just in case a potential buyer may want to have the originals. That may sound real dumb to you but the next owner might dig that like I did.

    Musically, a blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb is a sonic piece of art. We hope you don't paint a mustache on it just for fun.
     
    ifallalot likes this.

  11. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    Just don’t do that. The original design has worked fine in 10,000 amps. Don’t devalue the amp by fixing something that isn’t a problem.
     

  12. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2014
    down every road
    This is a cool story and an extremely cool amp. What a stroke of good fortune. Two of my friends have acquired DRRIs in the last couple years and swear they are the best amps they have ever owned. I've played through one of them, and I agree with you, wow. I can't imagine how good that original '66 sounds. Congratulations!
     

  13. timfred

    timfred TDPRI Member

    33
    Mar 14, 2016
    Northern CA
    My understanding is there is no such thing as an OK 50 year old electrolytic capacitor? That is, even if they have the same value and are not leaking, their reliability is suspect and failure can have serious implications for the rest of the amp...blown tubes, transfomers, etc. Am I wrong?
     
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  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    As a forum member who has experience with vintage amps, I'd say that the vast majority agree that old electrolytics should be changed out even if within spec and not leaking.

    However, there is also a niche belief that one should not make any changes to a vintage collectible amp, because it will reduce its value to collectors.

    Your new BFDR is certainly collectible, but with the missing back panels and handle it is not all original.
    Changing those caps will not affect the value.
    Even changing the original solder joints on the original speaker to store it will not IMO affect the collector value, because the loss of all original status removes it from the top tier of collectibles wherer it would be scrutinized with a fine tooth comb.

    Among collectors though, all is debatable, and debate is possibly the point of collecting, since use hurts value of top tier collectibles.
     
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  15. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Holic

    Age:
    34
    586
    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    Why dont you like starting with the tone controls at 5? That's what I do.
     

  16. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Good on ya!
    Take the bull by the horns.
     

  17. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    My 67 BFDR was untouched inside when I got it, didn't bother me one bit to replace all the electrolytics, didn't bother me on any of my vintage amps. Beats the heck out of replacing the power transformer.
    Those IEC things suck, and like others mentioned are a really bad idea to put on a vintage amp.
    I don't drill a vintage amp for anything, ground on a transformer bolt works for me. If you want to start talking legality, these amps were perfectly legal when they were built, with no ground at all, there's no law that says they must be grounded now. Crazy not to though. Tighten the dammed bolt, use Locktite if it makes you feel better.
     
    corliss1 likes this.

  18. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 29, 2011
    los angeles
    Where are the pics man?!
     

  19. timfred

    timfred TDPRI Member

    33
    Mar 14, 2016
    Northern CA
    Of the rectifier? Here you go, with the original (I think) RCA 6v6's next to it:

    [​IMG]

    I have to admit that I looked at the original capacitors and had second thoughts about replacing them.

    [​IMG]

    They looked good, but I know they hadn't been used much and were time bombs. I saved them in case the next owner feels the need to put the "mojo" back.

    So I went through it and replaced all the electrolytics with F&Ts, tested the tubes (one bad 12AT7 which I think was the reverb driver, one microphonic 12AX7). Replaced those with some new EH versions, and played around with the PI tube. I settled on a NOS GE 5751 which gives me a little earlier breakup than the stock 12AT7 but sounded warmer than a 12AX7 in that position. Right now it starts to break up around 4.

    I took out the stock Oxford with wires and packed it away for safekeeping. Replacing it is an Eminence Maverick with the built-in-efficiency-degrader FDM volume control for more family/neighbor-friendly volume.

    Turned down it's still loud, but in a really good way. :)

    For back panels, I didn't have any tolex, but I did have some curly maple and black dye and shellac. I'm not trying to fool anybody that these are original, and maybe I'll cover them with tolex at some point, but they do the job for now. I'm sure some of you are probably gagging, not sure what I think of them myself, but I don't plan to spend much time looking at the back of this amp!

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Holic

    Age:
    34
    586
    Apr 4, 2016
    Madison, WI
    Aged electrolytics dont improve your tone. Always replace filter caps when you have the opportunity. Otherwise you risk the magic smoke escaping.
     
    timfred likes this.

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