Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Stratelejazzuar » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:36 am

øøøøøøø wrote:You're in business!

Here's the story with cab material. They went to particle board baffles sometime during the BF era-- I think after CBS took over, maybe? But don't quote me on that. I have a '65 "Fender Electric" Deluxe that has a plywood baffle, and I had a '67 "Fender Musical" Deluxe that had a particle board baffle.

Plywood baffles are better-thought-of, typically than the particle board ones for reliability's sake if nothing else.

Older fender amp cabs are usually finger-jointed solid pine. Then I think they went to lap joints sometime in the 70s, and they may or may not have gone to plywood (don't remember offhand-- been awhile since I've owned a SF amp and taken it down to bare wood!). Solid pine is real lightweight and resonant and sounds good for a guitar cab. Plywood makes a better "textbook" cab-- it's more inert, but it's heavier. Finger joints are more durable, and true dovetail (quite rare in amps) is the best of all.
my bassman head is finger-jointed. they look a little rough if you ask me...

Image

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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:56 am

Ah cool. Somehow in my mind the cabs were plywood first and then changed to particle board all-over. The mind being a tricky thing.

Funny. When I had my first tube amp (a Carlsbro TR-100), I built a solid pine cab for it. Not to be fancy; I just had a solid pine book case that got dismantled, and part of it I worked into the cab. This one (I'm playing bass in the pic, the guitarist is playing my Vibro there, the one I'm working on now). You can just see the cab behind my grossly over-sized trousers ;). This is 1990-1991 or so. Shortly after I got my '73 JB (the one in the pic is a JV-series Squier) and a 135W Bassman top&cab from 1981 or so. I gave this amp and cab away to a friend, who within a year traded them in for an extremely horrible Epiphone bass (a bright white hair metal style bass). Broke my heart, because he has an original Stingray which is gorgeous, and I gave him this because he had no amp to go with it. Ah well, I'm of the firm opinion that when I give something away, the new owner has all say over it, so I shouldn't complain.

Image

The monitor shelf above my present desk is actually part of that same book case:

Image

Still need to paint it black or something. Maybe not.
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:48 pm

OK:

Image

Flip over:

Image

Hmm, shit is considerably different compared to the other one. I need to print out the blueprint and check what's all different. Luckily, all the caps still have the same value. I'm staring to wonder if the silver ones in the other one were replacements alkready, because here it's all white Mallorys. Not anymore now:

Image

I guess this means I'm done :). For now, that is.
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:49 pm

Wraah, war zone!

Image

OK. Next plan of action: record a bit so I can re-amp a loop. That allows me to fuck about with the amp while having my own guitar signal as an imput at the same time. Useful, as I only have two hands.

What I'm going to do: use the best bits of both to frankenstein an über-Vibrosonic. Keep that one and faux-blackface its innards (i.e., there never was a blackface Vibrosonic Reverb model. Also, I'd like to keep the master volume.). The other one is going; I have two interested buyers. One of them has played them a lot as we've done several gigs together. Makes more sense if he gets it, I guess. I'll let him decide if I'll fix it up or let it remain in its current state. Proceeds will go towards a certain vibro champ with my name on it. And food.

Only thing wrong with that is that I really, really like the modification that has been done to the one that's going. It's been the Greeat Unifier in the several things I've called "my sound" for the past twenty years, so it'd be a bit weird to let that go completely. So I need to find out what it is first. It's an extra gain stage at the expense of the reverb. I was hoping it was the very simple mod Brad mentioned once, but alas, it's different (I should have known, as the reverb pot never controlled the distortion). It's a very usable sound, especially with humbuckers. I wonder if there's some clever way to add it to the "normal" channel of the amp I'm keeping. But it would require a lot of switching, it seems.
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:22 pm

Orang Goreng wrote: Image
that's a lot of books, smart guy...

Congrats on doing the cap job yourself! It looks great :) That must be one of those new fangled hot nails... ;)
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:19 am

Hey, couldn't have done it without you. Of course, now I don't have the correct resistors to do the bias rewiring, let alone the blackface conversion. So I'm just gonna install the new power tubes and be done with it for a while (unless shit blows up, of course ;)).

After some digging, it seems my one amp has the "revision F" version, the other "revision G". Just so you know ;).
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:23 am

OK, new JJ tubes installed. Moment of truth... so far no arcing, power failure, weird noises, or anything else. It makes sound...if I turn a scratchy pot I hear the reverb nicely.

I don't have any grounded outlets in my house except for the kitchen. So either I'm gonna drag it there before plugging in, or I'm gonna risk it.

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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:45 am

Holy shit, it's awesome.

First thing I notice: there's no noise or hum!

My guitar has never sounded this nicely. Of course, that bullshit. It probably has, but I'm overwhelmed by the fact it worked on the first try. Also, I like the sound with attenuated trebles, and at present it's still lying face down, so I'm hearing the back of the speaker. I like that sound, that's where I like to mic. So, I guess I'll now put the chassis back (and electrocute myself int he process), and listen to it the proper way.

Oddly enough, there's no sound coming from my JM's neck PU, so if I thought I had finished now, I have another thing coming. But I was just jamming along to Straw Foot on just the bridge PU with the reverb on 5. Just awesome. I'm happy.
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Stratelejazzuar » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:52 am

Excellent! Good job! :)

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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by øøøøøøø » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:29 am

Depending on how tired/old your caps were, it very likely DOES sound better.

Of course a failing filter cap can cause hum. But they also go "high ESR" (equivalent series resistance) over time and can cause a voltage drop in the power supply, robbing power, high end, low end, headroom, "vitality," "life," "sparkle," "punch," etc.

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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:47 am

øøøøøøø wrote:Depending on how tired/old your caps were, it very likely DOES sound better.
I'm pretty sure they're the original ones, which makes them 35 year old, yeah.
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:02 am

BTW, it's been off for about an hour. So I just unplugged it, and did a security check. Not bad, but yeah, still a voltage. Nothing dangerous, though:

Image

Flipped the standby switch, and immediately it started bleeding off.

Image

Quite funny to watch that. About a minute later it's at 0.1 V, which might as well be measurement error.
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by OnlyVees » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:07 am

Awesome job, thanks for sharing. Makes me wish I had the confidence to re-cap my little White 5F2A.

I'll bet that thing sounds spectacular now. :?

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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by Orang Goreng » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:16 am

If it's any help, this is the first time I have attempted anything like this. As may be obvious from the thread, half the time I have no idea what I'm doing. It's taken me forever to gather up the balls to do it, but now I've done two in a row I wonder why I ever fussed about it, really.

Of course, I'd never have attempted it without the moral support of people here ;).
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Re: Cap job on Vibrosonic - pictorial. Update jun5.

Post by sookwinder » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:50 pm

Hey Doc, can you write this up for the library please :)
relaxing alternative to doing actual work ...

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