Monday, March 5, 2018

When Vintage Was Vintage.

What you see here is the progress so far of a two or three year quest.

I'd been reading a piece by Hartley Peavey, the Mississippi amp wizard, and in it he discussed the 5F6A Fender Bassman and how he was inspired to cook up an all tube, 100 watt tweed Bassman with reverb.

Here's a page where he discusses that. I do not think he will mind.

"So" says I to me, "What could be better than an all tube 100w tweed Bassman with reverb?" and the search to locate one started.

In between all that I built a high power tweed twin knockoff which I am still not entirely happy with and I will get to it presently.

So I'd been searching on Craigslist and fleabay without ever finding a good all tube Vintage. There were a couple but one was pickup only in the great state of Oregon, and one was a wreck in Tennessee that the owner still wanted a lot of money for. And then there was the Peavey faux tweed, which is something nobody wants.

Anyway....this amp showed up on fleabay as a bare chassis, no tubes, and it seemed to be in pretty decent shape. A deal was made and it arrived here Saturday, no glass, power cord cut off, the whole works.

It's in good enough shape cosmetically although a few of the resistance welds are broken, but that is what me and Mr. Miller are made for.

Mr. Miller is a Miller MiG140 welder that runs on household current and is good enough for everything up to 3/16 steel plate.

But the overarching consideration was to do enough to power it up and see if it held up or whether one of the transformers was finished, and that required a recap with some of the good stuff from the House of Fischer and Tausche in the great nation of Germany.

But never mind that for now.

I just finished that job and installed a new power cord, fuse holder and strain relief and flipped the switch-running through the variac of course.

It held, by G-d. The plate and screen voltage without power tubes was about 525v and the filaments look happy.

So there it is. The plan now is to repair the cracked welds on the chassis, and order up a head cabinet in blond tolex with a wheat grille.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: I  decided to try repairing the cracked chassis spot welds with JB Weld epoxy. I cleaned everything with alcohol and an emery board, mixed up some JB Weld, spread the chassis where the welds had come apart, fed it in with a cut off zip tine and then clamped it tight. I'm letting it sit for a few days while I attend to other matters such as figuring out what sort of cabinet to order and polishing up the faceplate.

Stay tuned.

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