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Who has a Vintage workbench amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by mgreene, May 9, 2018.

  1. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    661
    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    Who has a so called "vintage" amp permanently stationed at their workbench to test repairs?

    I bought and fixed a used 6G15 style reverb unit last week. I was testing it through the '71-ish Vibrochamp that stays at my workbench; and it (along with a Ed Roman Pearlcaster also kept at the bench) sounded so great that I realized that this could easily be my main set up.

    I kind of laughed to myself that some people would consider this a vintage setup in its own right - but its just stuff I have laying around. :p
     
    uriah1 likes this.

  2. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    '47 Rex Royal. Made by Magnatone, I think.
     

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    RodeoTex, RiverDog, stevemc and 3 others like this.

  3. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    661
    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    Cool - thats purdy.
     

  4. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    Does a 25 year old Crate BT15 bass practice amp count?
     
    Chunkocaster and mgreene like this.

  5. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    661
    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    If its a classic to youse - then I guess so!
     
    dan1952 likes this.

  6. RiverDog

    RiverDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    49
    Sep 23, 2007
    St. Augustine, FL
    That little amp is so cool!
     
    charlie chitlin likes this.

  7. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    Yes! Since I use one as well!
     

  8. AbisFjord

    AbisFjord Tele-Meister

    Age:
    28
    166
    Dec 21, 2017
    Texas
    I use my dad's '67 Bandmaster just for testing pickups and repairs. I use my Vox to play out with.
     
    mgreene likes this.

  9. wanderin kind

    wanderin kind Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    219
    Apr 24, 2018
    Olympia WA
    64 vibro champ,

    used mostly for pedal repairs and lunch time wanking,

    that 47 Rex is nice,

    real interesting story on that cellulose finish, Fender tried it once but it is pretty dangerous stuff, something about a fire, something about health inspectors, i dropped a Leani Aloha amp with that stuff once, the cabinet splintered into many pieces and fractured the cellulose, no way to replace it, a few places sell drum covering that is similar but very expensive, so be careful with that thing! the wood is probably very dry and brittle, i was able to super glue mine back to a reasonable level.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018

  10. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    Hey, it's a USA Built amp that's nearly 25 years old...according to some folks that's all that's required to be "vintage." I'm not normally that lenient but it's mine...:)
     

  11. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Not really "vintage", but close. I use a 1999 Holland Little Jimi (fixed bias) that can take 6V6, 6L6, (original) 5881,EL34 & 6550 power tubes for 1) preamp tube voicing tests, and 2) power tube matching (since a tube tester is useless for this - voltages are far too low).

    For testing "gadgets" I might use that or whatever is convenient - most of which are vintage amps.
     
    telex76 likes this.

  12. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Home built Champ type amp, not vintage, 15CW5 power tube rather than a 6V6. A lower voltage EL84, run it through an 8" mounted in an original sized Champ cab. Today I was thinking it is about time I put together a variable bench tube power supply. I normally throw something together that is appropriate for the amp and it would be nice to just hook up to the banana jacks and turn a dial or two to get the voltages I want. I recently salvaged a crappy organ but it came with a pair of 6V6's and a nice OT, the power transformer should do for what I plan on building.
     

  13. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Used to have a Vibro Champ on my bench, handy for checking preamp tubes. Traded that to my brother, it's a 6g2 now, and the best sounding Vibro Champ I've ever heard. :)
     

  14. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

    May 24, 2016
    Florida
    When you build that, make sure you post about it, I'm sure I'm not the only one around here who would be interested...
     

  15. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

    297
    Sep 26, 2010
    Iowa
    I use a mid '80s Peavey Studio Pro 40 for my bench amp. Not sure I'd call it "vintage"... just old. Those old Peaveys are built like tanks! I also use an '80s Garnet Revolution II in my shop if I want to test a guitar with something that sounds better than the Peavey.
     

  16. 24 track

    24 track Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    early 60's beltones and an early 60's pepco P1011563.JPG P3060074.jpg
     

  17. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Not anything special. A couple of VVR circuits as can be found easy enough. Not thinking to regulate the supply or any current limiting. Would be nice at some point but just a basic supply for now.
     

  18. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    661
    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    Yep - I got one of these also. That's useful info - as I recall the later ones XFs with switchable output impedance. Mine was supposedly a dealer demo - has tremolo - that I disconnected.

    I wonder if mine can take all those other tubes - it does have the probe points on the back of the chassis?
     

  19. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Disclaimer - I can't know the specs of yours and there are a few (usually minor) variations, so I suggest everything be checked by a qualified amp tech before changing anything - or contact Mike Holland at the Holland Amps Facebook page . He's back designing and building on a limited basis and is great at responding to questions. Just don't ask for a schematic - that model is very unique and he's never distributed it - but at least he didn't goop the parts in epoxy!

    Yes, mine have the external probe sockets and pot access for measuring/adjusting power tube bias, but I don't use them. I always check plate voltage, set to 70% dissipation, and then play at a "real" volume level (not bedroom level) - I adjust by ear for the best sound, recheck to make sure it's in a reasonably safe zone and note the plate voltage and bias for the specific tubes installed.l

    Since voltage, bias and tone vary with different brands/models/types of tubes, setting by "math" or just choosing a ma setting don't usually result in the best sound, and without knowing the plate voltage there's no way to be sure the tubes are running "safe" except by looking for redplating. Not the best way to go IMO.

    You'll have to do minor rewiring of pin 1 on the power tube sockets and beef up the grid resistors to use EL34's & 6550's. Look up "EL34 conversion for a Fender amp" with Google; I think Gerald Weber's 1st book had the info as well. Mike originally used the fairly standard Fender-style socket wiring, and EL34's will cause a short. Once done though you can use any of them with a bias adjustment. No bias resistor change is usually necessary, but if so it's easy to install a value that will allow decent bias adjustment range for all those power tubes.

    The power transformers in all the ones I've seen are beefy enough to handle the extra current requirement of EL34's or 6550's. If you install 6V6's I suggest going to a 5Y3 rectifier to drop the plate voltage a bit You don't *have* to as the existing plate voltage is generally no higher than some Deluxe Reverbs, but I find it allows a smoother transition into output section saturation.

    I run all my amps near the top of their headroom with guitar controls backed off about 25% (both volume and tone); this gives me volume boost and some voicing control for solos from the guitar, with enough travel on the volume control to push the amp into mild saturation without kicking up the volume. The Hollands are especially good used this way, but when I was still able to gig I'd use whatever amp had the lowest output to fit where I was playing and the overall band level.

    IMO these amps are nicely touch-sensitive with very rich tone. Very undervalued.
     

  20. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    661
    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    Good tips! Thanks.
     

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