Archive for the ‘Amplifiers’ Category

DYI Road Case Video Series available online

Monday, August 13th, 2012

This great company up the road from us in North Hollywood now has a full series of videos online and FREE for those who wish to learn how to build their own music gear road cases ( or even non music gear for that matter I guess).

They have the full line of hardware that you will need to complete the job also.  I have purchased from them directly for a couple guitar amp projects.  Earlier this year they were at the NAMM show in Anaheim.

So if you are on a budget and always wanted that cool road case for your Marshall amp head, are handy with the tools, or just want to learn a new skill, check out their website and these videos.

Rickenbacker Amp Repair and “Its Almost April Already??”

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Yes, our blog is alive (if not well) finally here in the year 2012.  After taking a little hiatus due a combination of a lack effort and being extremely busy, I think we are over the hump and back in the saddle.  And so without further explanation…..

Here is an odd site, its a guitar amp from the Rickenbacker company that came to our repair shop last week for a little refurbishment.  Known of course more as a guitar manufacturer, it appears after some research that Rickenbacker has made amps on and off in the past.  This amp, model TR-25, looks to be from about 1977, and is a 25 watt solid state beauty with built in reverb and tremolo.

American Made: Santa Ana, CA

The main issues were very scratchy sounding pots, speaker wires not soldered(just loosely wrapped around the posts), and non functioning reverb.  Once I took the amp apart and removed the very tiny reverb unit, it was thankfully very easy to identify that problem.  A very small wire within the reverb unit had a broken solder joint and had come loose.   Here are a few photos of the inside of the amp.

One thing that I did find incredibly surprising and amusing was the reverb manufacturers stamp on the side of this unit.  Apparently someone had a sense of humor and figured these would never be seen by the end user customer anyway.  Check it out.  I still can’t stop laughing. Definitely some late 70’s vibe going on there.

Well, after all that, I put the amp back together and it was time to see if this badboy was going to work properly.  The amp fired right up and sounded surprisingly good. The reverb works perfectly now and the tremolo is very cool too.

Mfg Plate on reverb tank

Ultimate Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Amp Page

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Check out this website that is finally back up and running again.  Here is a collection of some of the most detailed information on one of the most mass producted, popular tube guitar amps of our time: the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.  This site has mods, schematics, how to bias, and on and on. 

 This version of the Deluxe, with production starting in the mid 90’s  has gained its popularity by combining a few factors including:  reasonable price for a tube amp, enough power for most any gig,  reliable,  good enough tone, and that Fender name.   I did read somewhere that more of these amps have been sold than any other tube amp by any company.   You’ve probably seen a few in bar and stage backlines.

I bought one of these amps new sometime around 1996 and its been a pretty faithful workhorse for me since then.  I wouldn’t say its my favorite amp of all time, but I have bought and sold a few other amps since buying this one, and wouldnt really consider ever selling this amp. It just has a good classic sound that doesn’t go out of style and fits into alot of musical playing situations.   It will not give you the tightest, meanest distortion but then that is what pedals are for.  What is will give you is a great clean pallete to start with,  any reverb you want from faint to over the top, and 40-60 watts depending on the version you have.

As far as this website, there are some great modifications that he has listed, a number of which I actually did to my amp.   The mods definitely improved the sound of this amp, and proved that even PCB based electronics amp can be modified.  Now it wasn’t as easy as on a more traditional point-to-point amp, but it is possible.   This website was down for quite a while after the site owner had left college and lost the web space he originally had the site hosted on.  Although it looks like he is no longer adding any further information or updates, all of the original info is there again in its full glory and splendor.

Hope you enjoy and let me know if you try any of the mods on this page.