Have y'all met my boy, Bobby? (1968 Drip Edge Super Reverb Restoration)

cooljuk

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It's not a duplicate thread. You're not loosing your mind (perhaps, I have, though). This is not a parallel universe (I have inside information that it's wired in series). ...but I am doing yet another 60's Fender amp restoration, and it's another Super Reverb.

Do I hate Marshalls, now? Did moving to the other side of the Rockies sway my love towards the ferric and silicate creations of repair techs in jumpsuits with magnifier glasses, rather than those by drummers in sports jackets? Nah. Things just work out how they work out and this is what's come my way, lately.

The reason I ended up with this particular amp is kinda silly. I was just after a nice quad of CTS AlNiCo speakers for my 1966 Blackface Super Reverb. That amp had CTS ceramics, as factory stock, and I wanted to give the other type of 60's CTS 10" speakers a whirl and see what worked best with my amp in my ears.

I wasn't finding a quad of 10" CTS AlNiCos for much less than a grand shipped and I wasn't finding any that were all 1960's and close dates. Then, there's always the problem of shipping raw vintage speakers in. I've done plenty of that in the last few years and had several that didn't fair too well.

So, I came across this amp and was pleased with the asking price. The few photos had some good signs. Original speakers and solder joints. Likely original RCA backplate output and rectifier tubes. Original power cord. Made me think it hadn't been messed with much. I bought it without much to go on. Really, all I was after was the speakers, anyway. I figured the rest of the amp would act as a nice crate to ship them in and be a bonus.

There was an akward bit of time between my payment and shipment from the seller. I had to call and ask what's up. At that point, I was told that the seller fired up the amp for a final test before shipping and it didn't power on. Nothing. No smoke or crackles, just no pilot light or thump or hiss.

The seller had looked me up and realized I worked on guitars/pickups, and asked if I also worked on amps and would still want it with a partial refund, as-is. I got offered about 1/3 of what I paid refunded, shipping free, and the option to return it on the sellers shipping account with a full refund if I wasn't happy, once I got to poke around inside and see what's up. Hard to beat that! I agreed, knowing the speakers were all I was originally after and getting even cheaper, now.

It showed up safe and everything but one knob seemed totally original. I mean everything. Including the original fuse. ...which was now blown. I didn't fire it up. I know better. I went straight to pulling the chassis and giving it an exam. Here's what I found.....









So it all looks COMPLETELY original, right?! Just awesome looking. I wonder why the fuse blew? Bad power caps, probably. ...hmmm.... Let's look a bit closer.....


...and this, right here, is how "Bobby" got his name!
 

The Ballzz

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If it works without the bobbt pin, my conscience would prompt me to offer the seller back, about half of that 1/3 off discount! I'd still appreciate that 1/2 of a 1/3 off for the willingness to take the chance.

Of course, it still likley needs a re-cap, etc, but fair is fair?

But That's Just Me?
Gene
 

cooljuk

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I thought the same, initially, but I discussed it with the store I bought it from and we both knew up front that it could have been anything from a fuse to transformers and did an as-is deal, so we're good.

It came up on a variac but it does need some work. At least filter caps and, IME, probably about a dozen small parts. The reverb doesn't work at all. Some voltages are a bit off. I'll go through it component by component and share all that here.

The original dog pack, still in the house.


It's not the right knob, but it's a pretty coo onel. A generous member here already gifted me an original for a replacement! Too kind!


Quick fix on the output transformer leg. It got a little bent at some point.


A couple "blue sausages" and a slew of "cat turds" for film and foil caps. Original white Mallory electrolytics. 2W slope and plate resistors.


Definitely the transitional AB568 funkiness in the bias and output section. Also, you can see the chassis is bent by the fuse. I found a crack in the fuse holder body. I'm thinking the amp took a hit here.
 

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I had kind of guessed that even with the bobby pin discovered, you were going to check it all over properly rather than power straight up and play. I used to go through a slew of fuses, and occasionally half electrocute myself back in the 90s. From previous posts, you have got to be well ahead of me on that learning curve. But I learnt to change fewer parts than many... ;)

Liam
 

CB91710

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Ya, the good news is the shorted filament windings likely blew that fuse without damaging the PT, and it doesn't look like it was shorted to any of the HV circuits.
Likely got really lucky in it's only going to need what any other '68 would need after being stored for years.
 

Soul Tramp

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Clearly, you have a thing for big heavy Fenders! :rofl: :rofl:

Old Fender amps are fun to work on. A smell that I'll never forget and always love it the inside of an old unmolested Fender closed back speaker cab. I was introduced to it as a kid when I bought a blackface Bandmaster with the oversize 2X12 JBL loaded cab.

So much nostalgia seeing you work with the old Fenders. I love it!

Do you make and effort to straighten the wavy eyelet boards?
 

Cjsinla

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The more I look at that picture of the bobby pin lying on the tube socket, I notice it’s right next to the speaker jack. I wonder if your seller has kids who may have shoved something in an empty hole?
 
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CB91710

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The more I look at that picture of the bobby pin lying on the tube socket, I notice it’s right next to the speaker jack. I wonder if your seller has kids who may have shoved something in an empty hole?
My first thought was an attempt to clean a noisy jack, but lacking any evidence of a patch makes me agree with you.
 

cooljuk

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So, the reverb didn't work at all. It got a little more hiss when I turned up the reverb, so I figured the internal circuitry was probably working. I patched over the reverb tank's cables to another 60's Super Reverb and the reverb didn't work. I thought it was the cables, as they are always fussy, especially the plugs on the amp side. So I pulled the reverb out to try new cables and figured I'd have a look inside, while it was out.

That's clean, outside!


Oh, man. That's clean on the inside!


Oh, wait. Bobby's reverb has a broken solder joint!


...and that was that. Now, the reverb tank works. :)
 

Soul Tramp

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For future reference: If you have to replace a reverb tank DON'T use the new Accutronic tanks. They use a Molex type crimp connector. The crimp on those tiny gauge wires has a very high failure rate as the crimp cuts quite a few of the wire strands. I've switched from Accutrnics to MOD. the MOD tanks have soldered connections which are much more durable.
 
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cooljuk

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Good to know. Thank you!

Am I alone in thinking neither of those modern ones really sound like the originals and some of the originals sound different from each other? Maybe it’s in my head. I have only done a little side-by-side and it was crude demoing.
 


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