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Good Shops For Vintage Amps?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Torren61, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I’ve been buying from Reverb for years but for awhile it seems like people there have lost their minds on pricing their vintage amps (among other gear).

    For example, here’s a 1959 Fender 5E3 Deluxe for $5,000.

    https://reverb.com/item/38242233-fender-deluxe-5e3-1959

    That’s a pretty steep price. But, it gets worse. The amp has had the caps, resistors, tubes and speaker replaced. So, at this point, it’s a completely different amp. I messaged the seller to make sure He was correct in the ad. He says that the circuit is the same. Yeah, true but those Ajax yellow and blue molded caps make a huge contribution to the sound of that amp and basically, all I’m getting of a 1959 Fender Deluxe is original transformers (if they are) and original pine cab with tweed covering for five grand plus shipping and tax.

    So, I’m looking for a 1959 Fender Deluxe 5E3 that’s not being sold by a wacko.

    I’ve looked at Elderly Instruments and Gruhn’s. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Is it just me, or does that look suspiciously clean for a 62 year old amp?

    Aside from Reverb, I'm not sure where else I would look. FleaBay maybe? It all seems to be a crap shoot.
     
  3. SapoAmpRepair

    SapoAmpRepair TDPRI Member

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    I personally keep my eyes open on Craigslist and Facebook marketplace and try to spot and quickly snag original amps being sold at low prices.

    They don't show up often, but they do show up.
    I also try to get them untouched and in need of repair since that helps with the lower price and I can service them myself and to my standards.

    This isn't good for active shopping, but it's my passive approach. I do intend to flip many of the amps I get this way, but 9 out of 10 times I fall in love with them while restoring them and end up keeping them.

    I sure hope my daughter is into vintage amplification when she gets older...
     
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  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    This used to be the vintage guitar amp Mecca in the DC-Area, but now only online:

    Check Inventory at Southworth Guitars
     
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  5. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I've purchased numerous items, including my 1960 5f1 from Buzz Levine, I know him to be as honest a guy as I have known....I know that some of you are fans of Buzzy's little brother, guitar killer Duke Levine!
    20200224_182705.jpg
    http://www.larkstreetmusic.com/stock.html



    RJ
     
  6. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    What about a 5A3?

    https://reverb.com/item/9678014-195...xe-guitar-tube-combo-amp-tv-front-made-in-usa

    Honestly I don’t know anything about the circuit difference, so sorry if this is a dumb suggestion. But I can vouch for these guys (and I’ve played this amp), I’ve bought a few vintage pieces from them over the years. No nonsense. They actually have a lot more cool stuff they don’t list online, not sure why their Reverb is so bare bones.

    Cream City in Milwaukee has lots of vintage amps too, don’t recall a Deluxe recently though. Again, they don’t list a lot online for whatever reason.
     
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  7. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sometimes, it's just timing and luck. Here's a few where I do some window shopping. Nobody is just giving these away that I know of, but I'm no expert.

    Carter's in Nashville - don't see any Deluxe's at the moment, but they do get stuff from time to time.
    https://cartervintage.com/collections/amps

    Same with Wildwood Guitars in Colorado
    https://wildwoodguitars.com/product-category/used/used-amplifiers/

    Austin Vintage Guitars:
    https://www.austinvintageguitars.com/store#!/Amplification/c/28693119

    Dave's Guitar shop in Wisconsin:
    https://davesguitar.com/products/type/amp/condition/used/

    I think I've almost got over my need for Tweed, but then again...

    and once in a blue moon, Guitar Center gets some tweed on the shelves:

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Fender/Vintage-1953-Deluxe-Amp-Tweed-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp.gc

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Fender/Vintage-1950s-Tweed-Deluxe-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp.gc
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  8. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    Shiny caps and no dust?? Hmmmm.
     
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  9. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Whoever did the service on that one.........I just can't. It's also a recover. Price is total insanity for what you're getting. Lots of other options out there.
     
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  10. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    My Fender amps are a ‘79 Bassman 70, a ‘73 Silverface Champ, a ‘65 Blackface Princeton Reverb, a ‘62 Brownface Pro so I want a Tweed. I’d prefer a Deluxe or Vibrolux.
     
  11. clayville

    clayville Tele-Meister

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    I like to window shop vintage stuff online at RetroFret (in Brooklyn). They don't seem to be cheap, but do seem to fall into the neighborhood of "probably fair, but near-top pricing for stupid clean stuff". If you know exactly what you want and are willing to pay current market for it, it *might* be worth asking them to look for it. I have no experience with them however.
    https://www.retrofret.com/ampsfx/
     
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  12. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

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    Where I live both Austin Vintage Guitars and Guitar Resurrection can sometimes have great vintage finds. Both keep their sites fairly up to date.
     
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  13. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don't know much about what they are or what they're worth, but the several times I've been to McKenzie River Music in Eugene they've had a pretty good group of oldies but goodies on the floor.
     
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  14. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Bought a lot of vintage amps, never from a "vintage" shop!
    Trouble is they always want top dollar, even if they aren't selling top dollar amps.
    Now even the private sellers get on the "net", look a little and ask top dollar. Trouble is "asking prices" are crazy now. If you look at Craigslist or whatever you'll see people asking crazy money for amps that simply aren't worth it. Some moron wants $1,500 for an ultra linear Super Six for $1,500. Next moron see that and thinks his is nicer so he asks more.
    Get into amps people actually want and it's worse!

    It ain't just amps.
    I paid $2,000 for my Avion camper a couple years ago, the one that melted. Today there's Facebook groups for vintage Avions. A restored one in super nice shape used to have about a $20,000 price tag. Takes a lot of time and money to get one in nice shape! Now morons are pulling them out of the weeds, kicking out the raccoons and asking 20k, because, "that's what they sell for on the internet".
     
  15. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    You can try Russ at Music Guild in Danbury. That guy has more vintage stuff than anyone I have ever known. He is a little nutty, old, and not cheap... but he has an old store in Danbury CT that is in an old building and LOADED with all kinds of stuff. All kinds of vintage gear, amps, etc.
     
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  16. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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  17. Ed Storer

    Ed Storer Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I've been going to Emerald City Guitars in Seattle for about 20 years now.

    Proprietor, Jay Boone, and his son Trevor are great to deal with.

    Vintage amp selection is generally good - the prices are reasonable, but it's hard to find a bargain from a dealer who really knows what he has.

    The last amp that I bought from ECG was a '69 Super Reverb in excellent condition. It had a tag that made it obvious that it had been checked out by the tech that he uses - I highly recommend that tech. I could have bought off CL and then spent the time and money with a tech, but the amp I got was great. I had to part with it when we moved to a smaller house and I was finding it increasingly difficult to get that SR into the trunk of my car.

    If you're ever in Seattle, it's certainly worth visiting Emerald City Guitars. You can shop CL or GC, but you will have doubts about what you're getting. ECG doesn't sell crap.
     
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