1960 Center Volume 5G12 Brown Concert

Ron W

Cable Guy
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
276
I recently picked up this really cool 1960 Concert. It's an early one, s/n 00488, making it one of the first 500 Pro, Bandmaster or Concerts made (they all used the same chassis & circuit board). It has all of the early brown 5GX series hallmarks:

Pinkish-beige Tolex
Tweed Oxstripe grille cloth
No round-over on top of cab
Center volume controls
Lighter brown face plates
5 preamp tubes
Pulse Adj. hole on rear panel
RCA speaker jack
Early style brown foot-switch

The best part is that these 5G12 Concerts used the same output transformers as the Tweed Bassmans, which were being made concurrently. I've noticed that a lot of these early Concerts have "replaced" OT's. I can only guess that they usually wind up in a Tweed Bassman restoration. This one has all original iron.

Going to be doing a restoration this one, as well as documenting the 5GX circuit for a few upcoming builds. Will post a few pics along the way...









 
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Axis29

Member
Messages
3,519
That is sweet. This is one of those amps I have a jones to try... And a fear I might end up obsessed over.

Looking forward to updates.
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,298
Nice! I believe one of the problems with replaced output transformers, on that model, was the RCA speaker connector.
 

hogy

Member
Messages
13,630
Those are such cool amps. Baby sh*t color Tolex. I had one of those, and a matching Bandmaster, too.

As much as I'm over buying vintage amps, a Concert like that is one amp I'd pickup again, given a chance.
 

Ron W

Cable Guy
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
276
Nice! I believe one of the problems with replaced output transformers, on that model, was the RCA speaker connector.
Haven't heard of that before. What was the problem with the RCA jack?
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,298
Haven't heard of that before. What was the problem with the RCA jack?
The ground connection, on the RCA jack, can become compromised on load in and out. The Bassman had them on the underside of the chassis. I've seen a couple of Champs/Vibro Champs with this problem; probably from those who use the amps cabinet as a "storage bin" for cables, pedals, microphones, etc.
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,623
Very cool, pretty rare amp with those center volume controls.

I had the fortune to service a '62 Fender Concert. It was 100% original including tubes. Chassis had never been pulled. It did have 2 blown speakers, which were sent to Weber for a recone. After replacing the leading electrolyitcs, rectifier diodes which were arcing and set bias, she was ready to go.

I got to compare the concert to my '60 brown super. First thing I noticed was that the volume controls on the concert were not as touchy. I found that the later circuits have 1M Audio taper pots. My super had 500k linear taper. I swapped the volume pots on the super to 500k audio taper and its much easier to control the volume. Not a big deal if you can crank it up, but for me its really helped me solving the touchy volume issue, so consider that for your concert.

As to which I preferred, well unfortunately for me, it was the concert. The punch and sweet 410 goodness was just awesome. One of the few amps that I hated to give back to the owner.

anyway, really looking forward to seeing the gut shots to that beauty. :)
 
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guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,415
I recently picked up this really cool 1960 Concert. It's an early one, s/n 00488, making it one of the first 500 Pro, Bandmaster or Concerts made. It has all of the early brown 5GX series hallmarks:

Pinkish-beige Tolex
Tweed Oxstripe grille cloth
No round-over on top of cab
Center volume controls
Lighter brown face plates
5 preamp tubes
Pulse Adj. hole on rear panel
RCA speaker jack
Early style brown foot-switch

The best part is that these 5G12 Concerts used the same transformers as the Tweed Bassmans, which were being made concurrently. I've noticed that a lot of these early Concerts have "replaced". I can only guess that the iron usually winds up in a Tweed Bassman restoration. This one has all original iron.

Going to be doing a restoration this one, as well as documenting the 5GX circuit for a few upcoming builds. Will post a few pics along the way...









Beauty!
 

JK1965

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,336
Kermit dropped about $2400, adjusted for inflation...
I was wondering when I saw the $296.40 on the receipt what that translates to in todays $$$$.

Looking real forward to seeing what you do with this one! That is one classic old Fender amp right there.
 

Ron W

Cable Guy
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
276
The amp came with a Dec '59 and Jan '60 P10R, and (2) Jan '61 P10Q's. All (4) have bells. Research so far indicates that these early ones would have had (4) P10R's from the factory.

The R's are original cones. The Q's have been reconed with some generic cones. Will send the Q's to Weber for correct ribbed, curved seam cones, PVC and felt dust covers.





 

Ron W

Cable Guy
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
276
The ground connection, on the RCA jack, can become compromised on load in and out. The Bassman had them on the underside of the chassis. I've seen a couple of Champs/Vibro Champs with this problem; probably from those who use the amps cabinet as a "storage bin" for cables, pedals, microphones, etc.
Thanks, Slider. I will make sure there is a tight, clean connection on the RCA jack and plug. That Tweed Bassman OT is worth it's weight in gold :)
 

Ron W

Cable Guy
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
276
At some point, the amp had the filter caps replaced with cheap IC's:



Pulled those out and cleaned up the board a little:



Checked the 1W carbon comps and they were within spec, so I left them for now. Replaced filter caps with 20uf 500V Sprague Atoms:



After I removed the cap pan, I noticed the stamped JC date code which indicates a March 1960 build date. Several of the pots dated to the 8th week of 1960. Tube chart indicates production run #2.



Next will be new Spragues for the cathode bypass caps and bias caps on the main board and bias/rectifier board.

Freshly re-coned pair of P10Q's arriving next week from Weber...
 

bluejaybill

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,002
Lovely amp! I had one for a while years ago but then I came up with a tweed bassman so I swapped it out- but it was a sweet amp!

Also loved the brown Deluxe I had back then- should never have let that one go!
 

bryan83

Member
Messages
1,071
Just beautiful. Awesome score. I’m currently saving up for a brown concert. It WILL be my next purchase. I just want that lovely brown sound and tremolo/vibrato!!
 

Ron W

Cable Guy
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
276
This one had very nice innards. The main circuit board was remarkably intact, save for the Aston MiniMite electrolytic caps. Mostly yellow Astrons with a few blue Moulded coupling caps. Not sure if the blues are original or not. Will have to due further testing to check for DC leakage on these after I get it brought back on-line.

Resistors all measured within spec. Might replace a couple that have drifted up a bit.



Since the previously replaced electrolytic caps were of unknown age (and there were a couple of values that weren't original spec), they were pulled and replaced with new Sprague Atoms of the correct value:



Will also be adding a bracket mounted bias trim pot. Next step will be power-up using a light bulb limiter and a Variac..
 




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