1968 Fender Bronco / Silverface-Drip Edge-Black Line

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Kitarkus, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    My local craigslist 'wanted ad' has paid off again. Thanks to muchxs for the expertise.

    All original ... pretty darn clean overall ... Power transformer dates to 48th week of 1967 ... output transformer dates to 7th week of 1968..Chassis A23XXX. Good tolex, grill, and hardware. Needs a 3 prong plug asap. Original speaker has a small tear and Seller included a pos functional replacement speaker. Cool Tailless original Fender badge on this one. Super solid find that I'm pretty thrilled about. And oh that vibrato!

    After my recent SF Champ acquisition I kept my ad up in hopes for a VC and this fills that nicely. I love these SF Champs/VC's and will have now have a very hard time ever passing up a good one at a fair price. Very cool VC of the Bronco variety.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    That does look to be in amazing shape. Beauteous.

    Someone has to ask, so I might as well. How much resto are you planning, esp. re cap can / e-caps / etc?

    Sounds like you know your way around this amp, so you'll know you may be able to re-purpose that death cap. My Apr '67 (BF) VC had been badly modded, and some resistors had drifted a ton (hint: the hot ones), but I think the final result doesn't look too 'modernized.'

    VC - 1.jpeg
     
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  3. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    Very nice, those are a cool oddity of the Fender lineup.

    I'm particularly interested to note the date in the chassis, as well as the brown putty caps instead of the blue molded caps.
     
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  4. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    While I had the chassis opened I did photograph the stamp....see photo here for the bottom of the chassis (exterior)

    [​IMG]

    And here is the photo of the stamp at the interior of the chassis

    [​IMG]

    I don't think that I can assist on the putty caps to which you refer....but here is the best that I can do for now

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    I really know very little about the electronics. I can date amps, clean them, and have some understanding (with muchxs assistance) of originality...but I'm electronics stupid.
    In fact...It has become increasingly difficult to find a amp tech in Kansas City. Some care about vintage originality...others only about functionality. I am now actually seeking some competent assistance to help with an amp or two...and need to figure out what should be done...or more importantly...what should NOT be done to these amps.

    First it needs to be made safe. Then I'd like to keep it as original as possible while having a functional, useful, and 'original as possible' amp.

    My luck...I'll take this in for a 3 prong cord and end up with a Frankenstein amp. Advice is welcome as to what I should be telling the amp repair tech.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  6. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    I wasn't clear, sorry. Thanks for the extra pictures but I was mostly commenting on the fact that the date of the chassis stamp was early 1968. From many amps I've looked at, you can still get blue molded capacitors in early '68s, but 1968-69 is the transition between the blue moldeds and the brown putty caps that you have here.
     
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  7. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    And is the wiring cloth or plastic coated? I can't tell.
     
  8. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    Cloth
     
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  9. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Champs, Vibro Champs and Broncos were the budget amps in Fender's lineup. They got "dog turds" while the larger and more expensive amps got the blue caps.

    ...except for the death cap. There's usually a blue cap there.

    They used "tropical fish" for the .022s in '67. They also used some astonishingly high end tubes.

    Wire is "cloth" through mid- '68, pretty much all models. They transitioned to plastic insulation as they ran out of certain colors. Some amps are a mix of both.

    Also, '60s amps have plastic insulation on their transformer leads while '70s amps have cloth insulation. Weird!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  10. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'd say I'm astonished how many techs can screw up something simple like a grounded cord. I'm not astonished. I'm shocked, no pun intended.

    See... the cord should have a proper Heyco strain relief or reasonable facsimile. Ideally the new cord should fit without hacking the old hole. The usual quick 'n' dirty is to run a 16/3 cord through the old hole, no strain relief. That's how they do it on the planet Wrong- O.

    Another way is to hack the hole larger. That's how they do it on Wrong- O Two.

    There's a right way but I'm not going to spell it out. For every bit of information on the internet two bits of misinformation are spontaneously generated.

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  11. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm curious what the date code is on that toilet paper roll bypass cap. They pretty much stopped using those a few years before this amp was made. Like about 1966 or so.
    Wonder if they ran short on white Mallorys and got some of them or found one laying around and used it?
     
  12. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    You are speaking Greek to me.
     
  13. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's Geek. Tube amp Geek, aka Nerd. Lol
    You'll get that way after looking inside a bunch of old Fenders too. You've been warned.
     
  14. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    It is odd, also, the logo badge should have a tail 68-69 right? I have never seen a lamp cord style AC wire on Fender either... but maybe that's just a Bronco Champ thing?
     
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  15. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Early Bronco amps didn't get a tail. They were tail- less in late '67.

    Champs up to '70 or so got the lamp cord. I think it's hilarious when I see Champs "upgraded" to the three conductor cord with the red plug. That came stock on later SF Champs.
     
  16. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, the Fender Field Guide say 68-69 with the tail, But cruising internet photos Broncos seem about 50/50 with tail and without. Strangely, many 70's ones also have the tail, as do 68's.
     
  18. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    IIRC the Bronco went tailless for a while, but maybe the tail came back before it went away for good.

    I recently quoted this from super-user Oatie on TGP a few years back.

    "Fender actually had several Tail-Less Logos, the first ones appeared in about late 1966 and was a metal cast logo and it did not have the Registered Trademark ® on the end... Piggy Back Bassmans and a few other amps had them. They were very rare. They also used these logos on some Black Tolex Guitar cases.

    In late 1967 Fender made the 2nd Tail-Less Logo and it was a bit smaller in size and make of plastic. It also has no Registered Trademark ® on the end. This was the New Silverface Transitional Logo...

    The 3rd Tail-Less Logo was in the early 1970s and this one was metal and it has the Registered Trademark ® on the end...."
    I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing this is v.2....
     
  19. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    If it was me I'd ask for a new cap can (the old one may sound bad and is a risk to your amp) and all other electrolytic caps (which can easily sound bad too), test the resistors and replace those that are out by too much (more than 10%-20%??), and of course modern AC power wiring. Bobby's 'TP roll' is that big brown paper cap -- *totally* has to go. Those dog turd caps aren't deeply loved, but they may actually hold up and sound OK. Likewise the ceramic (tan) discs aren't considered modern but are retained by many experts.

    Mine had been hacked up by a mod-man, so yours won't need all the other stuff I had to change -- but I still think I ended up with a vintage-sounding, vintage-function amp that doesn't look too 'worked.' If you're interested I listed all the changes here.
     
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  20. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    Whoahh...man....now I realize that I don't know sh$%. You did a BUNCH of stuff here. I'm planning to take to a guy who has been doing repairs for 50 years and was the Fender Authorized guy for most of that. His motto is 'less is more'. I'm going to allow him to tell me wassup...change the cord etc. Both amps that I recently bought...a 1968 and a 1971....both run quiet and sound superb. I just cannot imagine that I need to replace all this stuff....but like I said...I know nothing.

    I assume that if I need the cap can replaced.....I should put a new can in its place. The tech said it is MUCH cheaper to just leave the can...bypass...and put the caps in the chassis. Not sure if this impacts re-sale or not.
     
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