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Another Day, Another 50's Tweed Deluxe.

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by Luthier Vandros, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Afflicted

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    There really is a season to things -- and apparently we are right in the middle of Tweed Season, or the Ides of Tweed, as it were.

    Here's another mid 50's diamond in the rough. She's got her hair all messed up, but she came to party. Owner wanted some Immortal Amp mods, so I obliged and cleaned the place up a bit. Despite the old grounding and heater scheme, this is one of the quietest amps I've ever played on. It's in stark contrast to the last one I serviced.

    The owner drove 2 hours down from LA and asked to "wait for it", so I sent him down the road to the old Mothership in Fullerton to have a look about and soak up some of that spirit-of-Leo juju they put into the beverages over there. The shop's now a furniture mfg, ironically. A guy told me the other day he had friends that worked there in the 60's - unsavory types who wold "throw necks away" in the dumpster, then perform their civic duties by emptying the bin in the wee hours.

    Anyway, here are a few pics of the job. I had no time to polish it up and do the usual deep cleaning, so there are no low flying pics. I've been so busy with the kids and the fallout from COVID that I haven't had time to stop and enjoy what I'm doing in the ol' amp garage. Kind of a bummer to have had this amp for a few hours without being able to lavish myself in the frayed suitcase covering. I just want to get into my skivvies and roll all over it like a dog in fresh-cut Louisiana grass. I feel blessed to be busy with this type of work regardless.

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    The BIGGEST disappointment is not knowing...
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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  2. NTC

    NTC Tele-Holic

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    I assume the cone on that speaker is ribbed...

    A beauty.
     
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  3. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Afflicted

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    For your pleasure
     
  4. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    That screw on the P-clip looks like it fell out of an Ampeg.
     
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  5. Intubator

    Intubator Tele-Holic

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    What a beauty! I love the Surf Green paint on the tube socket bolts... I guess they just grabbed whatever was around. Does the label say "Lilly" or "Lupe"? Can't tell.
     
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  6. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Afflicted

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    That does look like an ampeg part.

    I tried editing that tape photo to bring out the ink, but no luck :(. Really bummed.
     
  7. NTC

    NTC Tele-Holic

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    That's "her pleasure. "
     
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  8. Pasta Player

    Pasta Player Tele-Meister

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    Now I have to smoke a cigarette...:rolleyes:
     
  9. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Afflicted

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    My wife hates my music. You lucky dog, you.
     
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  10. NTC

    NTC Tele-Holic

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    I thought you were talking about the ribs. My wife tolerates mine, but that is it.
     
  11. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Afflicted

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    I was — made a comedic overreach haha. Trying to tie in a few metaphors that failed to mingle.
     
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  12. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    "Owner wanted some Immortal Amp mods, so I obliged and cleaned the place up a bit."

    I don't even know what that means, but it reeks of arrogance.
     
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  13. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Afflicted

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    Immortal amp meds :lol:
     
  14. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    @Luthier Vandros
    In the name of all that is sacred and holy, you DIDN'T actually do any mods to that, now did you? Other than maybe a power cord, death cap disconnection and general wellness check/maintenance, of course! That glory machine has obviously been well loved on an exceedingly regular basis! I'll bet it sounds like the second coming is happening right now!
    Thanks 4 Sharin'
    Gene
     
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  15. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

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    Cool to see those photos. Too bad you didn't have longer to enjoy it. I always like seeing what you are up too, its always interesting.
     
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  16. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    For the uneducated like me, what could be done to mitigate the frayed tweed covering without affecting it’s value.
    I’m guessing that grill cloth is not original.
     
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  17. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Afflicted

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    I can’t answer the tweed repair question. Grill cloth is a replacement as is the output transformer and all electrolytic caps. I received the amp with a poorly performed cap job (guy did an awful job soldering and also installed used, leaky caps with high esr.

    The present owner is a kid who saved money for a long time and bought the amp to play and he came across some of the amp mods that protect the ot and pt. I added those as outlined in the old immortal amp mods articles and as aggregated by our own Rob R.

    I empathize with the emotional response to seeing a classic amp under the knife—It’s always a balancing act and about understanding where the customer is mentally and financially. He can’t afford to replace this amp and wants to use it daily at 10/10 and this is reversible insurance.

    I’ve been through a lot of iconic/classic amp restorations over the past 18 months and do the will of my client, while offering advice about future value. But at the end of the day I put their needs first and make it a point to not worship golden calves. I’d rather do the work correctly and with all of my heart and passion than turn away a customer who will go and have it botched elsewhere.

    It was heartbreaking to realize what was done to this amp, but I can’t judge. Someone was privileged to work on it and took a shot. I don’t want to assume they intentionally ripped someone off, but it’s in the back of my mind.

    Apologies for the long response, but I only receive flak for this online. With all I’ve seen since covid and other family tragedies I’ve reorganized my thinking around things that are only animated by electrons. I treat all amps on my bench as equals. All get my best.

    Nightclub, you changed your avatar on us. Oh no you don’t! I miss the monkey lol. Thank you and everyone else for reading my posts and I hope all’s well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  18. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    @Luthier Vandros
    My apologies if my post was construed as giving you "flak" as that was not my intention. I was merely expressing dismay, if and only if the amp was a truly original survivor! If already messed with, a good "resurrection" with modern parts and best practice techniques is certainly a worthy endeavor! :cool: From what I've seen, you do fine work and I'd never hesitate to bring a cherished piece to you for service!

    As far as preserving the patina of that cabinet. I think one way to approach it may be to give it a "haircut," clean it as best possible (possibly with DNA) and apply a fresh coat of either lacquer or shellac to seal the wood and encapsulate the remaining fabric, helping to minimize future fraying.

    JMHO, Of Course,
    Gene
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  19. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Afflicted

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    Gene,

    I didn’t take offense and I thought you were very tactful. Apologies for the tirade, as it wasn't meant to be aimed your way. Friendly fire! My wife tells me I have no self awareness and I’ve little doubt she’s onto something haha.
     
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  20. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Man I just admire anyone with enough know how to be able to competently work on these old beauties!
     
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