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Blues Deluxe Question(s)
CJTopes - Today, 01:13 PM
The new "Blues Deluxes" are Eastman guitars and are made in China. They look like sweet guitars b...
Toad Dissection Tale...
Gitfiddler - Today, 01:11 PM
...just like I was 10 years ago. Pretty much self taught, I'm not Einstein, jus...
Blues Deluxe Question(s)
Hfan - Today, 12:44 PM
Ed has passed away. Is the business still open? They cut ties years ago with Heritage. Maybe they...
NGD My cutom order H-150 .... finally!
Hfan - Today, 12:34 PM
Congrats that is a beauty. Nicely spec'd too
Blues Deluxe Question(s)
johnj - Today, 11:57 AM
Hello all,I'm new here and have only a few basic questins about the Prospect vs the Blues Deluxe....
Was the D-Vip wiring standard issue on those?
What were the stock PUPs?
Whats the going price on the used market?
Any personal likes or dislikes?
I'm looking for a smaller semi hollow and I'm looking at this or a Gibby 339. I'd prefer a Heritage but dont know anything about these accept for the fact that it has a through block instead of the floating block on the prospect.
1,727 Views · 16 Replies ( Last reply by CJTopes )
So I have had this amazing sounding amp head for a few years that I lent out to a friend who loves to play bass through it for a series of recordings...right after I had it out of the cab and had it biased and balanced to a tenth of a meter's millivolt. During this lengthy, 30 minute minimum time needed in particular for the Bendix 6384 pair's warmup and current drift to operating equilibrium, I restrung a guitar or two while the chassis was out of the headshell...sitting on the coffee table in the living room, I often restring guitars nearby and put the cutoff strings as well as the old ones on the same table nearby.
I called him up later and asked him how it sounded and he said it was very weak, something was wrong. When I picked it up I noticed that the impedance selector was for 8 ohms...going into a 4 ohm cab. So I figured that something had let go in the power section from the impedance mismatch plus the added current demand in the preamp and power section of playing bass through the amp and that maybe there was other stuff he wasn't telling.
This is one very well built, one of a kind Hiwatt DR504 style amp from a guy that used to maintain nuclear ICBM's in the USAF. The amp was built with the same tech and stoutness used in the nukes. I kept my mouth shut and took the amp home, I just couldn't believe it. I was also scared to trouble shoot it.
This amp is from the brand "Toad Suck Tones" This ain't no horny toad. It's a highly refined mutant. The preamp dutifully follows the 4-holer British style inputs, Dave Reeves' and Harry Joyce's Mullard circuit heritage within the preamp, but the power supply is much more robust than even a Hiwatt for a 50 watt amp. It's a requirement for running the Bendix 6384 tube, built at a cost of 350 bucks of taxpayer money per pop to stick in globally extinct-ing nukes aimed at the Kruschev klan. The tubes operate the servos that guide the missile's trajectory toward our global doomsday.
So the guy to who formerly teched on our world's most deadly weapons grafted a cold war military style nuclear missile build quality power amp onto one of the most beautiful clean to more than medium gain guitar preamp topologies ever conceived. When this amp was healthy it was tight, fast at attack and the Partridge clones had the tones of a Steinway Piano. Now it was barely audible. All the tone controls worked. I took the chassis out and stared at the guts and sniffed for the stink and colors of burned parts. All looked perfect and no detectable smells.
And now the builder lives a long way away on the East Coast. That's around a c-note-fitty to ship it both ways plus cost of work. Waaaaaah.
There was a schematic, but I was intimidated. On the back of the amp's faceplate is written in all caps..."THIS AMP WAS BUILT TO KICK ASS AND TAKE NAMES BUT BE WARNED IT CONTAINS LETHAL VOLTAGES THAT WILL RUIN YOUR DAY IF YOU CARELESSLY POKE AROUND IN IT" Double spaced below:
"IN MEMORY OF DAVE REEVES AND HARRY JOYCE, BUILDERS OF SOME OF THE FINEST TONE MACHINES EVER CONCEIVED"
So it sat for a year and a half.
A week and a half ago my new multimeter arrived from eBay. I was ready to dive into the guts of the toad. I took the chassis out and flipped it guts up, again, nothing visual. But some of the parts in the area I suspected were under the power supply and power section turret board. That meant unbolting it from the standoffs and not breaking any of the many wires or resistor leads while working under it. This build was just perfect looking with great parts and great lead dress. I measured the bias, exactly where it was before. Both fuses still not blown. Then I got out the new Klein and started probing the tube sockets in the preamp. I found 16 volts on all the preamp tubes' plates, there should have been 310-330-ish. That would account for the low volume.
So I went to the schematic. I'm deducing that a power supply dropping resistor had let go. The schematic took a good half hour to decipher to what was sitting in front of me, the writing was tiny and needed the reading glasses, I don't pretend to design amps. To add to the difficulty, there was a double section can cap sitting in the amp's power section at the problem area completely unaccounted for in the schematic...I stared at the top of the amp with glazed, red eyes, and by a glint of light and flicker of eye focus, my pre-geezer vision saw what looked like a hair thin piece of wire. HMMMM...damn, there it was, lodged under the end of two cap cans from the top down into the guts. and one end was charred black and brittle. It was almost impossible to see from its hair-thinness and matching color to the stainless steel chassis. A piece of .010 string trimmed from the headstock during a string change had unknowingly dropped in, lodged in place, and shorted out a power supply dropping resistor through the wire directly to the chassis, there was some charring in the side of the chassis cutout for the cap can. I felt real guilt at what I had thought about my friend.
Of course the location of the suspected fault was hidden under the power supply and output section's turret board, it was big, had a lot of wires leading from it, and it had to come up to work on what might be wrong underneath, a major PITA to get to. I could carefully pry it up enough to look under it. With the aid of a bright LED headlamp, EUREKA! There it was, a well fried crispy critter. Got the clamp and can cap out, a bit of a struggle, the resistor was soldered between the two sides and had to clean the soot off the sides with a dampened green kitchen scrubby to read the codes, even then had to consult with the schematic, it was so fried. Had a hard time telling whether a purplish band was a fourth code band or not. It turned out to be cracks from heat. Made sure to draw a picture of the top of the can cap, labeled the color and number of wires going to each side, and bundle those groups together for when I came back to reassemble, was tough to get them off, not much room to work, the military wire penetration and wrap on the terminals was hard to get off without damaging the wires.
The parts ordered arrived today, a new resistor and a new 100/100/500v can cap, not needed because when I thought the old one was bad I wasn't using the new multimeter properly.
So now I'm going into the guts of the most mighty sounding Toad I know of, when I button it up I hope to hear it's melodious roar shaking the floors, windows, and walls and getting my Sun and Green Cheeked Conures to dance and shriek their little birdy fill licks. The Green Cheek AKA Mr. Happy keeps time and bobs his head like an orchestra conductor, while his head feathers flare out a bit in back so he looks like he has a flat top hat on.
Birds and Toads and Guitars, oh my!
Boutique amps for boutique guitars!
Boutique guitars for boutique amps!
105 Views · 9 Replies ( Last reply by Gitfiddler )
442 Views · 20 Replies ( Last reply by Hfan )