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Installing a 3 prong cord on a 1953 5c1 Fender Champ?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by scottiel, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. scottiel

    scottiel TDPRI Member Vendor Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I recently picked up a 1953 fender champ (5c1 circuit). It has had recent work done including some of the caps and resistors, a speaker out (switchable 4/8 ohm), and a new 2 prong cable added. It works very well and sounds great, but every once in a while i'll get a light, pin and needles type shock.

    My Questions:

    - Is a 3 prong conversion doable/advisable on the 5C1 champs?
    - What is the approximate cost of the job?

    Pics of the amp for those curious: http://imgur.com/a/Zkb42
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  2. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    Yes

    30-45 min of someone's time (rates vary) + a cord ($10-15).
    $50 if a cool tech
    $100 if a greedy tech (assuming no other work done).

    (All values within a 20% tolerance due to cost of living) (bad joke...)

    Edit, you do realize more pics are in order :).
    Cool score! Did you see the guts and what the amp has had done? I guess it has a new Output transformer? Did you get the original in the deal?
    Do you have a variac? :)
     
  3. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

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    Yes it's doable and advisable. I had a champ with a 2 prong cord and got bit quite a lot especially when on a concrete floor. Retrofit before you play any more or you'll get wary of playing it. Remove any death caps that may or not be there if its been recently serviced. It worth to pay to have this done
     
  4. scottiel

    scottiel TDPRI Member Vendor Member

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    Thanks for the info guys! Here are a couple more shots (close up of the new handle, and one of it in its current home).

    http://imgur.com/a/Xt971

    I haven't had it open and I'm not sure about the OT, it was a good deal either way (swapped my old Premier drum kit for it which was taking up way too much space).
     
  5. Amstrat

    Amstrat TDPRI Member

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    Did the same cord Change on a 1957 Gibson GA-5. Very similar amp. Mine has all original tubes and speaker. Looks about four years old. No marks and a shine gold logo on the front. Needs a new handle though.
     

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  6. Amstrat

    Amstrat TDPRI Member

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    Sorry multiple pics!
     
  7. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not sure either, the original did not have multiple ohm outs which makes me curious, but maybe it's some weird switch thing I'm not aware of.
    Nice find :)
     
  8. old goat

    old goat Tele-Holic

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    The reason the old tweed is so dark is that the previous owners were all electrocuted.
     
  9. pete-strych

    pete-strych Tele-Holic

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    Put the 3-prong cord on yourself if you're handy with a soldering iron. I zapped the daylights out of myself once working on an old Champ

    Sent from my iPhone using TDPRI
     
  10. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Question. Is there a way to ground a two prong amp with an alligator clip and a wire to a ground source?
     
  11. pete-strych

    pete-strych Tele-Holic

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    Answer:
    Clip one end to the amp chassis, and the other to the center screw of an outlet....or just come to senses & use a 3-prong cord (just kidding). That should work fine for say a bedroom amp.

    Sent from my iPhone using TDPRI
     
  12. Harpboy

    Harpboy TDPRI Member

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    I know I'll get flamed for this, but I have a '56 Magnatone (have owned and gigged with it for years) and it still has the original two-prong cord. I've been snapped a few times, but about 10 years ago, I determined which way the plug should be inserted to result in grounding (in North America, this is the left-most slot in the outlet, usually wider than the right one) and notched the top of the plug on the cord so I always plug it in with the same orientation. I know there are "risks", blah, blah, blah, but it's worked for me for years, and I prefer not to change out the original cord. I've never been snapped since.

    But if you choose to have it done, it's fairly trivial to do, or to have someone do it for you.
     
  13. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    Haha. I don't think that's flame worthy :)
    That is one solution, especially if it's an heirloom type amp.

    +1 on the idea to DIY. That's a good learning experience, if you don't have any of the tools though and no desire to use them again you should just get a pro to do it.
     
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