1949 V Front Super Restoration

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by Ron W, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Ron W

    Ron W Cable Guy MLP Vendor MLP Sponsor

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    I recently acquired this '49 Super in a trade. Yes, it needs a lot of help, but it has very good "bones". It will be brought back as close as possible to original. Thought it might make for an interesting thread...

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    As you can see, the tweed is long gone. The story is that the original owner's band mate's all had matching yellow amps. The grille cloth is some funky 50's upholstery fabric.

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    Not sure what the story is on the stainless steel plate; will have to see what's going on under there...

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    Somebody shotgunned this with orange drops and added some different filtering. All of that will come out and be replaced. The coupling caps will all be replaced with .05 600V Red "Astrons" from Jupiter. Filter caps will be Sprague Atoms in the correct values. Note all of the carbon comps are the large 1 watters. I believe most of these to be original with the exception of a some 220K's subbed in for the original 250K's (going to be hard to find, I bet).

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    Speakers are original Jensen P10R's with a date codes indicating 51st week of 1949. Both of them sound ok at first blush. One may have a slight buzz...we'll have to wait and see if a recone is warranted. Speaker mounted output tranny is original, as it the power transformer. Wiring is a dog's breakfast, and will be put back to original.

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    Cab is in pretty decent shape (aside from the obvious). Back panels are original to the amp as well. The cab and panels are all marked "16" in pencil.

    Well that's it for now. Anybody have a NOS roll of early 50's tweed?


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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  2. Ron W

    Ron W Cable Guy MLP Vendor MLP Sponsor

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    New Imgur links added...you stay classy Photobucket.
     
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  3. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    So looking forward to seeing this pan out.
     
  4. Soul Tramp

    Soul Tramp Speaker Snob MLP Vendor V.I.P. Member

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    What a great project, Ron! Take your time, be patient, and have fun with it.

    Do a DCR test on the speakers. Considering their age, I'd send them out for a rebuild. Very likely the magnets need to be recharged, the surround and spider have to be marginal.
     
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  5. marsten

    marsten Senior Member

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    That is box of mojo if I every saw one.
    Congrats on a heck of a find and very much looking forward to your progress with this amp.:)
     
  6. Ron W

    Ron W Cable Guy MLP Vendor MLP Sponsor

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    Disassembly complete. Power tranny is original and beefy.

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    Inside of cab looks pretty clean. Note interesting cutout pattern in speaker baffles. Labels are in great shape.

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    Reassembled cab for shipping. Pretty light for it's size; only 12.5 pounds

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    Cab will be restored by Will Dyke at Armadillo Amp Works. Going to do a heavy relic. Something very close to this:

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  7. BluesRock

    BluesRock Senior Member

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    Very nice!!
     
  8. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    I was researching these V-front Supers and Dual Professionals a couple of years ago. I saw at least three different speaker cut-out patterns, including one that looked like a giant gunsight graticle (or ornate window). Lots of experimentation and variation back then.

    The chassis and PT look like they're in excellent cosmetic shape. :thumb:
     
  9. Bill Hicklin temp

    Bill Hicklin temp Banned

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    Man, that's a loverly rara avis you've got there, 3-digit serial and mostly original (orange drops and cab covering notwithstanding).

    It would be great if you could carefully draw out the wiring as it is (and as it was, if the signs are there), since there's a lot of uncertainty still about Fender "A" and early "B" series circuitry.
     
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  10. Ron W

    Ron W Cable Guy MLP Vendor MLP Sponsor

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    Been busy building and delivering Down Brownies, but recently took time to get the board on the '49 Super sorted out...

    Since all the filter caps, orange drops and the incorrect value CC's were coming out, and pretty much all the original solder joints had been touched, I decided to pull everything:

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    Here's what needed to be replaced:

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    Tested all of the original 1W carbon comps and straightened up the leads:

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    Incorrect value 10W wirewound resistor replaced with correct value "tootsie roll":

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    Replaced the (2) 200pf caps in series with a correct NOS 100pf "Firecraker"

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    Replaced these:

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    With these beautiful Red Astron reproductions from Chris at Jupiter:

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    Here are some pics with a mix of original and new components installed. This circuit used several 1W 250K resistors that have not been made for years and are impossible to find. I lucked out and bought a dozen NOS AB 1W 270K's on Ebay. About half of them measured between 245K-255K, so I used those to replace the incorrect 220K's that were in there, as well as a couple of the original 250K's that had drifted too high. Tried for a neat, but not too OCD original look for redo of the board. I hope Lupe and Lily would approve...

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    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
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  11. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    Looks good so far. Are soldering some of your grounds straight to the chassis?
     
  12. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    Gorgeous! And you really made a great find, given that the replacement parts you have to secure are just resistors and caps, not trannies and other major components, nor does it look like you'll have to get the control plate re-chromed.
     
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  13. BluesRock

    BluesRock Senior Member

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    Beautiful job!!
     
  14. tolm

    tolm Bigsby Junkie Premium Member

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    Wow - looks amazing!
     
  15. Ron W

    Ron W Cable Guy MLP Vendor MLP Sponsor

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    Yes, those are the original solder joints for the grounds.
     
  16. Soul Tramp

    Soul Tramp Speaker Snob MLP Vendor V.I.P. Member

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    Nice work, Ron! Gotta love those old Triad transformers. So superior to the Schumacher that followed.
     
  17. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    bloody great, love these threads
     
  18. Ron W

    Ron W Cable Guy MLP Vendor MLP Sponsor

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    Here are some pics of the cab sent to me this past week by Will Dyke at Armadillo Amp Works. I asked my friend Ray at Grinning Elk to send me the hi-res pics of the minty 49 they currently have on their site, and shared them with Will. thought they would help Will get the seams on this were as vintage correct as possible. The look I was going for was: "What would this gem look like today if it was still wearing its birthday suit?" I think Will nailed it, don't you?

    Cab is in route, and should be here next week...I'll post more pics after it arrives:

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
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  19. Ron W

    Ron W Cable Guy MLP Vendor MLP Sponsor

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    Back from vacation this week, and had some time yesterday to get the Super assembled. Used an Octal plug for connecting the OT wires that go to the chassis. Makes it a lot easier to pull the chassis for service, if/when necessary.

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    Took a similar approcah with bullet connectors to reconnect the speakers.

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    Chassis in. Picked up some late 40's/early 50's NOS RCA coke bottle glass to run. Super used 6L6G's and a 5U4G. 6SC7's came with amp. They sound OK, but are pretty microphonic as they tend tend to be.

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    I'm using an Tone Preserver voltage reducer to show the amp something closer to the 110V it was used to seeing when new:

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    Initial impressions? Sounds nice and tight with very nice cleans; will break up some when pushed. Controls are interactive; somewhat like a 5E3. Used a Boss CS-2 compressor with it and a Nocaster CS Tele and it was getting pretty western, or was that country? I also put a JHS modded Soul Food in front of it, and that pushed it nicely using a R9 LP. Going to try an original Dan Armstrong OS, which I suspect will sound very juicy [​IMG] The Tone Preserver at -6V or -12V makes a big difference. Sounds a lot more organic at the lower, more vintage voltages.

    Will spend some more time with it this weekend getting it dialed in and sorted. Overall, its been a fun project, and I'm very happy so far with how it's turned out. Thanks for all of the encouragement and feedback!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  20. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    I am so freakin' jealous right now!! :thumbs:
     

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