Hello world. This is my first attempt at a first post on my very first blog.
Don’t be too judgmental. I’m no web guy and I’m no blogger by nature. I’m just a dude who got a hold of a basket case amp and I want to be able to document my restoration progress and also share it with the world in hopes that someone may find it useful or at least entertaining to follow. That being said, I’ve not put the effort into figuring out templates and whatnot. If this layout is ugly then I apologize.
I’ve intended this to be a “living” blog. In other words, things will change, posts will get added and maybe deleted, photos may appear out of nowhere, etc.
Come visit often as I will try and constantly update this blog. It is a work in progress.
Oh, one other thing. I’m no amp guru either. In fact up until about 3 months ago I had no idea how these work or what any of the differences are. But I drank from the firehose of information that is Google and vintage amp forums, and I’m confident that I know enough now to at least talk about them (this particular model and circuit anyway) but also work on it myself with help/guidance for more experienced enthusiasts.
That being said, if I misname something or refer to something that’s incorrect or refer to something as “the capacitor right below this resistor here” not knowing if its a bypass cap or not, its because I just haven’t quite got there with my knowledge yet, not for lack of trying.
I do openly encourage anyone to correct me if I’m off base with anything. This is a learning process for me and I cant learn if I’m not corrected.
So yes, honest, friendly feedback is encouraged.
Before I get too far into the introductions there’s kind of a cool backstory to this thing. If you feel like reading about how I came about this amp click on the About link in the upper menu. Otherwise, lets get on with it… Continue reading
Well, if you haven’t lost interest yet and still want to follow along, here’s where we roll up our sleeves and look under the hood.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. I’m pretty sure comments are turned on, not only in the separate pages but also in the individual photos too if they’re clickable. Comments are welcome so feel free to drop one.
Back in the day, shortly after this amp exploded, I did take the chassis out to assess the damages. You’ll notice in some of these chassis photos, the power transformer (PT from here on out) has been removed. Also in a futile effort to clean up the mess I scraped some of the residue off the exposed chassis pan. That was as far as I got and its been like that ever since.
It wasn’t until after I called around and showed the amp to a few local pros that I realized it wasn’t worth paying to have it fixed. If I could do it on my own however, I could probably make it worthwhile and the experience would be priceless. So it took about a week before I got the nerve to commit to doing this on my own.
Before I even touched the soldering iron I did a TON of research. Lots of forums, lots of asking beginner questions on lots of forums, talked with local pros and basically just anyone who had pieces of information to offer. I’ll admit, it took me a fair bit of time to even wrap my head around what is going on inside these amps, and I still don’t know 100%. 55% maybe. And tube theory? Forget it! I just know which ones to order. But I really thought it was necessary to familiarize myself as much as possible. Continue reading
Here we go.
Starting with the transformers and then the heater wires:
Now I unsolder each of the leads going from the board to the tube sockets:
That part really wasn’t as bad as I thought. And as I mentioned before, it was around this point in the game that I decided NOT to deconstruct the components off the fiberboard just yet. The board itself is pretty warped but it sounds like that’s pretty common. I really want to leave this as unmolested as possible. I decided from here that I would leave as much as I could intact. Just enough to get down to a blank chassis pan. Continue reading