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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Rewiring my '59 Bassman Reissue?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Axis29, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    So, I started doing a cap job on my Bassman Reissue and am bit frustrated... I am trying to figure out the easiest way to get the board out to get to the backside. I'm looking at all these hair thin wires to the tube sockets and to the control board. I just don't like it.

    I enjoyed rehabing my Twin earlier this year and think I will really enjoy doing the Bassman as well. I know I can re-use a lot of the parts and started looking at a bill of materials and trying to place as few orders as possible (this time around). I started at Hoffmanamps.com and did the kit parts list for a Bassman. Then pulled off the chassis, transformers, tube sockets, filter caps, swapped out the turret board for an eyelet board (I just like the look a little better). I know I will probably have to make a custom filter cap board (the Reissue's dog house doesn't look like it's the same size as the vintage one on my Twin... Wonder if the Hoffman board fits into the Reissue chassis? Guess I'll have to do some measuring.

    I'd like to turn my Bassman into a lifetime amp. I really want to make sure I have the very best components going in (other than the parts I plan to re-use) without breaking the bank. What reasonable substitutes do people recommend?
     

  2. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia

  3. corliss1

    corliss1 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    If you think that's fun just wait till you work on a Hot Rod one day :D

    That's how a lot of these guys are built - pull the knobs/nuts/washers from the pots, undo the nuts/washers from the jacks. undo the screws holding the board down, cut some of the zip ties around the wire bundles so you get some more room to move the board around, then figure out the best way to wiggle the board out to the pot shafts clear the chassis lip and you can get to the back. It goes pretty quick once you get used to it.
     
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  4. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    The first amp i ever messed with was an original DeVille. Half of the pCB mounted pots and input jacks were bad. I had a friend who helped me. He taught me about the magical solder sucker!

    The scariest thing I've seen recently was someone showing the interior of one of those new Bassbreaker amps! It had like three boards folded up inside there.

    I do need to do the caps on my '63 Vibroverb Ri. Maybe I'll follow your directions and do this amp before too long. I'm currently afraid to turn it on as it's older than my Bassman and my Bassman had physically leaking caps. I can't imagine that the Vibroverb is in better shape somehow!


    Doing the Hoffman parts list, outside of wire and a few other small things, the parts list cost was under 70 bucks. But, the Mojo parts might be a little higher quality in some cases.


    I've said this before, but I am honestly going to try to use some patience here. I mean, there's a first time for everything, right? Although, I will admit to itching to have my Bassman back up and running. Luckily I have a few other great amps to keep me gigging in the meantime.
     

  5. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2015
    Idaho
    Bingo. Slip all the jacks, pots, etc into the chassis and tilt the board out slowly and gently. Even works on a 5F1 Champ if you're patient enough.
     
    Axis29 likes this.

  6. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    46
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    It does appear to be a bit of a nightmare, getting into the '59 Bassman RI LTD. Patience is the key. It can be done but certainly intimidating and time consuming.
    I am not sure there is a way to lift the board without removing many wires. The pots won't tuck into the chassis as they are on a separate circuit board as seen here in the pic. Looking at this RI Bassman pic today, I struggle to accept so much extra wire. The amp was simple back in '59 and it was effective. PCB design is a lower cost to build I suppose, despite the extra lengths of wire jumping to various parts of the board. Then there's the current safety code that the RI must adhere to. I must admit it was a little liberating with a pair if wire cutters in hand, snipping all the wires to gut this one.


    [​IMG]
     
    Axis29 likes this.

  7. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2015
    Idaho
    Ugh. I'm pretty sure I was thinking about the more handwired version of that amp. Hard to tell from that angle, is it possible to slip out the pots board as a unit? Obviously they got that whole mess in there somehow, the trick is trying to reverse the sequence.
     

  8. corliss1

    corliss1 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    Yup - pot board, then main board. Similar, but way more flying wires than the hot rod series.
     

  9. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    I'll give the pots/board-down-and-tilt-out a try on Monday... Just because I really do want my Bassman back out on the gigs. I can probably get the pots/board down as a unit, but the input jacks are separate as well... and the switches... If it works, I think I may still stock pile parts and do the eyelet board thing down the road.

    The Hot Rods have the ribbon cables connecting boards... On the Bassman, there are separate wires running for all the tube pins on one side and all separate wires running up to the control board. The tubes and jacks are all chassis mounted. My biggest fear is that they are all so tiny. I would guess 24 ga at the thickest. They look so delicate.


    So, I'll report back after messing with the current board. But, let's talk seriously about what I should replace to get me that ultimate Bassman? I'd like to talk brands, values, etc. i.e. What are the best pots to use? Should I consider changing out the transformers? What else to consider?
     

  10. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    46
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    The Power and Output transformers were Schumachers in the RI I gutted. I figured they were pretty good. In my thread someone gave a glowing review on the Mercury Magnetics OT and recommended it as an upgrade. I did not upgrade though. The choke was a made in Taiwan of some type. Could be replaced with a USA built however I believe the choke is only power supply filtering, so it will have limited effect on the amps' tone. Made in USA chokes on Hoffman site are only $20, so WTH if I had an order on the way, I'd add one.

    The input jacks were pretty thin, weak quality in my opinion. I replaced them with Switchcraft. Those lead wires in the RI certainly leave something to be desired. Sure felt like the cheapest crap that could be rounded up and pass electrical code. I felt that the RI switches were pretty good. Can't recall if they were Carling or not, but in a dream amp, that's what I'd put in.

    Solid core push back wire, Hoffman all the way baby! I am partial to the yellow. I dodn't know why. It just looks killer me. Then I put the upper rear cover on and hide every likeable visual. :rolleyes:
     
    Axis29 likes this.

  11. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2015
    Idaho
    Least trouble might be just order a Mojotone small parts kit and build it up with that. Mine sounds pretty killer.
     
    Axis29 likes this.

  12. tubeswell

    tubeswell Friend of Leo's

    Jul 1, 2008
    NZ
    I serviced an LTD last year (replaced the OT with a Mojo Tweed Bassman OT) - damn finicky PCB layout. Only designed to be installed once.

    If I owned one, I'd definitely gut it and do a new eyelet board-based layout. While you can reuse the PT, OT, sockets, switches and fuse holder, I'd upgrade the OT to something more vintagey. And ditch the Italian Jensens for Weber Alnico Vintage series 10s (but not the ones with the Nomex coil formers)
     

  13. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    A quick update... What a pain in the patoot! Pulled the control pot board, all four inputs, and had to pull the power light holder as well. Then was confronted by the irritating design of the choke wires feeding through the middle of the board. I really didn't want to have to pull every one of the wires off of their respective blade connectors... So, I carefully, bent the board forward and got the two new caps soldered in place.

    Gonna try to get it fired up this morning and back on the road... And, really, this little tet a tet with PCBs has motivated me to begin stock piling parts for a gut and hand wired re-build.


    Very finnicky...

    As for speakers, right now, I have a pair of modern Jensens and a pair of Eminence 1028's. I have a pair of Weber P10Rs (yup, P10R, predecessor to todays version, what 10F125?) that were recently reconed. I was thinking of popping them in when I put it back together. I'll have to spend some time breaking them in.



    So, I'm gonna ask again... Anybody got brands/part numbers/suggestions for the ultimate Bassman build?
     

  14. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2015
    Idaho
    I'd still suggest a Mojotone small parts kit, or if you know exactly which parts you need look at Hoffman Amps. His kits let you delete or substitute parts as needed, and he stocks a few of the nice tone chaser parts like Jupiter caps.
     
    Axis29 and D'tar like this.

  15. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Having over purchased for my 5f8-a, I will probably go the Hoffman route. It is nice to have everything on one list, from one vendor.
     

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