Safe Or...?

Adinol

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That would be an interesting project.

Sell it as is on your local NYC Craig's List, for local pickup. Someone in NYC will pick it up for repair.
 

mrblooze

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I spent 20 years in the Navy as an Electronics Technician, and I still work in electronics today. And I agree, guys with my training are rare anymore, because for over a generation, it's been a lot cheaper to replace than repair, thanks to changes in technology of both electronic devices, and the manufacturing processes. We're mostly highly-trained dinosaurs these days, and most of our work is replacing, not repairing. The one skill we still use daily is troubleshooting to identify what to replace, which is rarely as challenging today when I'm looking for a bad board, as opposed to the days when I was looking for a bad component out of the hundreds ON that board.

One of my current personal projects is restoring an early '90s red knob Fender amp. The two biggest challenges have been finding parts and reading the schematic (the pdf I got from Fender, who have been very helpful, was of a very creased, multipli-xeroxed document that's very hard to read...).

Oddly, it may be easier to find parts for older amps. The hardest parts for me so far are replacements for the stereo jacks---there are literally dozens out there, but not the right dimensions, not in PCB mount jacks. These were probably made solely for Fender, and I'll probably have to find a parts amp from the same era to find any. There weren't as many boutique components, back in the day... Companies didn't, for example, contract for transformers using their own in-house spec, they mostly used what someone else made that they could afford in quantity, and designed around that. So you can often find the same input power transformer, for example, used in multiple electronic devices of comparable power loading not just within one company, but across the industry. I mean, everyone using 4 12A7X and 2 6L6 tubes in an amp will need the same taps off a transformer of the same power rating, because the range of biasing on those tubes doesn't change, no matter where within that range the designer wants to set it.

That started to change slowly in the '80s, with advances in solid state, and drastically in the '90s.

Sorry. Not to write a dissertation, but can that amp be restored? I don't see why not. Would it be easy, even for a technician who specializes in guitar amps? No. Sure, a specialist who does that as a business has lots more resources than someone like me, but it wouldn't be easy even for them. Fairly straightforward, but not easy.

Doing it yourself? Sure, if you have time and patience. But it'll be a labor of love, and take time. Some would think worth the effort (myself, for example), some not. What it isn't, is an easy way to acquire a vintage amplifier.

But--- if you DO make the effort, and you DO restore it, you'll have an epic story to tell and be proud of forever... Which is probably the only reason to take on a project like this.
 

zdoggie

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from rags to riches you did a great job congrats

zdog
 

PageSide84

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Not to be that guy, but that's a 65 DRRI not a 68 Custom Deluxe.
 

TWANG

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I'm trying to decide what amp to build into this old radio.
I was going with a Plexi Single Ended... but it has so many knobs.
and only 6 watts.
so maybe an 18 watt EL84 marshall style or a fender 6V6GT type.
 

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Soul Tramp

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I'm trying to decide what amp to build into this old radio.
I was going with a Plexi Single Ended... but it has so many knobs.
and only 6 watts.
so maybe an 18 watt EL84 marshall style or a fender 6V6GT type.


Lots of potential there. Could you keep the existing poweramp and craft a guitar-friendly preamp?
 

cooljuk

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I spent 20 years in the Navy as an Electronics Technician, and I still work in electronics today. And I agree, guys with my training are rare anymore, because for over a generation, it's been a lot cheaper to replace than repair, thanks to changes in technology of both electronic devices, and the manufacturing processes. We're mostly highly-trained dinosaurs these days, and most of our work is replacing, not repairing. The one skill we still use daily is troubleshooting to identify what to replace, which is rarely as challenging today when I'm looking for a bad board, as opposed to the days when I was looking for a bad component out of the hundreds ON that board.

One of my current personal projects is restoring an early '90s red knob Fender amp. The two biggest challenges have been finding parts and reading the schematic (the pdf I got from Fender, who have been very helpful, was of a very creased, multipli-xeroxed document that's very hard to read...).

Oddly, it may be easier to find parts for older amps. The hardest parts for me so far are replacements for the stereo jacks---there are literally dozens out there, but not the right dimensions, not in PCB mount jacks. These were probably made solely for Fender, and I'll probably have to find a parts amp from the same era to find any. There weren't as many boutique components, back in the day... Companies didn't, for example, contract for transformers using their own in-house spec, they mostly used what someone else made that they could afford in quantity, and designed around that. So you can often find the same input power transformer, for example, used in multiple electronic devices of comparable power loading not just within one company, but across the industry. I mean, everyone using 4 12A7X and 2 6L6 tubes in an amp will need the same taps off a transformer of the same power rating, because the range of biasing on those tubes doesn't change, no matter where within that range the designer wants to set it.

That started to change slowly in the '80s, with advances in solid state, and drastically in the '90s.

Sorry. Not to write a dissertation, but can that amp be restored? I don't see why not. Would it be easy, even for a technician who specializes in guitar amps? No. Sure, a specialist who does that as a business has lots more resources than someone like me, but it wouldn't be easy even for them. Fairly straightforward, but not easy.

Doing it yourself? Sure, if you have time and patience. But it'll be a labor of love, and take time. Some would think worth the effort (myself, for example), some not. What it isn't, is an easy way to acquire a vintage amplifier.

But--- if you DO make the effort, and you DO restore it, you'll have an epic story to tell and be proud of forever... Which is probably the only reason to take on a project like this.


A red knob Fender from that period has got to be THE most difficult Fender amp to restore. Maybe short of those Twin Reverbs with the motorized mechanical analog knobs for "presets." The earlier amps were much simpler, based on common designs shared among many manufacturers and, because they are also considered much more desirable sounding, there are current aftermarket parts made to replicate the originals. The more recent Fender amps, you can replace an entire board or large component with a factory replacement. That period in the middle, like you are working on with the red knob - well, I'm glad you are doing it out of the love of doing it because it's the worst. Complicated, full of proprietary parts and designs that were determined to not be advantageous to sound or manufacturing later on. Good luck with that one, you must have patience and a ton of love for it!
 

mrblooze

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A red knob Fender from that period has got to be THE most difficult Fender amp to restore. Maybe short of those Twin Reverbs with the motorized mechanical analog knobs for "presets." The earlier amps were much simpler, based on common designs shared among many manufacturers and, because they are also considered much more desirable sounding, there are current aftermarket parts made to replicate the originals. The more recent Fender amps, you can replace an entire board or large component with a factory replacement. That period in the middle, like you are working on with the red knob - well, I'm glad you are doing it out of the love of doing it because it's the worst. Complicated, full of proprietary parts and designs that were determined to not be advantageous to sound or manufacturing later on. Good luck with that one, you must have patience and a ton of love for it!

Ja, she's not very repair-guy friendly. Very over complicated, a lot of it, like you say. It works, oddly enough. I say that, because it was given to me by a guy who thought, once upon a generation ago, thought he'd like to play guitar, and loaded himself down with stuff: MIJ Strat, red knob amp, some stomp boxes... The amp spent most of the last 30 years in his basement where he left it after he gave up, with the cable plugged in. Rising damp, corrosion... Voila, bad Jack (when he finally pulled the cable out, he ripped the sleeve right out of it. So, that channel's put of action for now). He just gave it to me, along with three HO-141T spectrum analyzers. I thought I was repairing them for him. Nope, he dumped the lot on me, but kept the MIJ Strat (I have 4 Strats, spanning 1960 to 2011, but I'd not say no to an '82 MIJ...). A couple of Boss pedals, and a TS-9DX...

So I've got two of the spec-an chasses and three sets of plug-in modules working, the third chassis and an extra set of modules (he had three chasses and four module sets) that still need work, plus the amp that works, but needs TLC and a can or two of Deox-it...

What I'm going to do with THREE spectrum analyzers idunno... I only need one. But I'm having fun.
 

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