Sunday, July 9, 2017
Son Of Need For Tweed-Enter The Rat Rod Tweed Pro
I was over at one of my usual haunts, Professional Music in Clive, Iowa. As it happened a very strange looking amp had been dropped off, on consignment it seems, and it looked vaguely familiar.
A bit of inspection with the flashlight revealed that it was a 1950 vintage Fender 5A5 Pro-amp that had been pretty badly hacked. The tweed covering had been removed and replaced with some kind of shelf paper of the sticky back variety-at least it was not walnut.
A look around the innards showed that the iron was original, but that it had been given an overhaul by maybe a residential electrician or a plumber, complete with low quality parts and ceramic resistors all over. The original speaker was long gone, replaced by a good-ish Weber and the output transformer had been relocated to the basement. The control panel looked as if it had been scotch brited and all the graphics were gone. Some home made preamp tube adapters had been cobbled up and installed and the back panel was closed up with a panel from an old Gibson amp.
After some horse trading I acquired it and decided to give it a spin before tearing it down for an overhaul, and whaddya know? It sounded damned good. I took it over to a pal's house for a Wednesday night jam and it ran for 4 hours with nary a squawk.
In the midst of all this I constructed a new circuit board with good quality parts of the correct vintage values-which are slightly strange but obtainable from the fine folks at Mouser Electronics.
That's going to keep while I revel in this amp's rat rodness.