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NAD Silvertone 1459

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Nickfl, Jan 12, 2018 at 3:37 AM.

  1. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Holic

    768
    May 24, 2016
    Florida
    I found this for sale on craigslist last night a picked it up today.

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    Its a neat little amp, true bedroom volume, sounds good, surprisingly clean and takes pedals pretty well (it liked my tube screamer and tone bender, less so the rangemaster and big muff).

    Unfortunately, its going to be a bit more of a project than I expected. It is completely original and in good shape, including the original tubes. Which is where the trouble begins, this is a version of the common "american 5" circuit that used line voltage without a power transformer. I though this version was build from the factory with an isolation transformer since it was a later model and was referenced as being that way here and on an old TDPRI thread I found on one. Upon opening it up, no such luck... It has an OT and an isolation transformer for the 12au6 (seems like they could have gone the extra mile and isolated the whole thing instead) but the rectifier and ground are connected directly to the mains! This one is also lacking a fuse and of course doesn't have a modern grounded power cord. So, in addition to needing to replace the power cord and that big red firecracker cap (which is notable for containing both the filter caps and the cathode bypass cap for the power tube) I need to install an isolation transformer (also possibly a bridge rectifier since the rectifier tube is half wave) and a fuse holder. The back panel says 117v at .22 amps, so I figure a 35va iso transformer should do the trick (if using a bridge rectifier).

    In any case, the whole thing is a bit more work than I bargained for when I bought it, but it should be an interesting project and it really is a great sounding little amp as long as it doesn't shock you when you plug into it :D.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.

  2. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.

  3. dunner84

    dunner84 Tele-Meister

    232
    Jul 15, 2014
    Victoria, bc
    I have a few thoughts on this amp. I do not believe in the erroneous destruction/alteration of vintage/antique objects; however, this particular one presents a safety issue if you intend to use it. I can't count how many amazing, valuable antiques I have encountered over the years that have been modified over the years rendering them useless, or greatly reducing their value. Collectors love originality.

    Bringing this amp to a state that is safe and useable, will erase any of that value. It does add value to a player though. So how does this circuit sound? Its neat, but not neat enough to warrant the work/expense to get it where it needs to be.

    I would take a stock of the useable parts, and turn it into something known using as much as you have... A champ, 5 watt Marshall, any 5 watt Gibson, or even something like a micro bassman/jtm45... Increase its usefulness. Have a cool looking vintage amp that will actually be played.

    Sorry if this sounds bossy. That is not my intent, and is just me thinking out loud. I have been down this road before, and most of the time, I would have been better off following my advice.
    Optimistically, the worst case scenario is you spend some money, make it safe, and hate how it sounds. At least you learned something, and gained some valuable skills/insight
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.

  4. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Holic

    768
    May 24, 2016
    Florida
    I hear what you are saying and I think you make some fair points. However, I am probably going to just go ahead and do what I have to in order to make it safe without turning it into a different amp. It just needs an isolation transformer, some electrolytic caps, diodes, a fuse holder and a power cord. So, probably <$50 in parts and a couple hours of my time. The amp really doesn't have any collector value, at least not at the level where it would interest the sort of people who worry about someone having serviced the amp and made it safe. I would have tried to talk the guy down another $30 or so if I realized it needed an isolation transformer, but I didn't spend much and I'm comfortable spending a few $ more, plus I'll enjoy the project.

    I'd be tempted by your suggestions of other amps I could turn it into, except I already built a champ and a micro bassman, so part of the appeal of this is it being something different with the oddball tubes and archaic circuit.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.

  5. dunner84

    dunner84 Tele-Meister

    232
    Jul 15, 2014
    Victoria, bc
    I completely understand your situation. I wasnt trying to dissuade your current path. You are right about the fact that it isn't a "collector" item, which is why I suggested turning into something different. In your case, keeping it as is offers you something different, and that is a completely valid endeavour.

    I just know that, for myself, I have been down this road before with all kinds of restorations for things that are meant to be used, or be functional where a restoration ends up being counterproductive to a repurposing...

    Anyways, I'm excited to see how it turns out, and If you play harmonica at all, you may be pleasantly surprised.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.

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