Fender RI rebuild

charley

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,488
Can anybody recommend somebody that can rebuild a Fender RI amp to make it more like the originals? Anybody know a ballpark of what it would cost to make it "the best?"

Thanks!
 

Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,016
George Alessandro does this and there are usually some of his for sale on eBay so check those for a price. I think he charges around $500 to convert your own amp. I'm sure there are other amp builders that also will do it. Nothing against George because his work is great but in my opinion it's not worth spending $500 to rebuild a reissue. But it's your money. I would buy a clone like a Vintage Sound or a real vintage silverface.
 
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RussB

low rent hobbyist
Messages
11,157
Sell your RI, take that cash and the money you saved up and buy the real thing.

I say this because I've hanging around here for a while now, and have read many posts about amps that have been "upgraded" to "original specs". The general consensus is that it's not worth it. Buy the real thing, and you have an amp that will retain/increase in value. Trick out a RI, and you have a $1500, $700 amp (or there abouts)
 

DiPa

Constant GAS
Messages
14,834
George Alessandro does this and there are usually some of his for sale on eBay so check those for a price. I think he charges around $500 to convert your own amp. I'm sure there are other amp builders that also will do it. Nothing against George because his work is great but in my opinion it's not worth spending $500 to rebuild a reissue. But it's your money. I would buy a clone like a Vintage Sound or a real vintage silverface.
The last time I spoke to George, it was $700, and this depends on what you have and what he needs to do. IMO it's worth doing this. George does amazing work
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,288
Fender Blues Deluxe reworked for me by Pete Cage of Cage Audio into a tweed tone stack/brownface like power section (the first pic was before I changed the Reverend AllTone for a Scumback):



 

RussB

low rent hobbyist
Messages
11,157
Looks great Jon, bet it sounds killer!


Did you use the original transformers? In the scumback pic, there are 6 knobs, but in the all-tone pic, there are just 4 pots? Looks like you had a PPIMV removed at some point, along with a couple extra controls?
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,197
Yep, cost will depend on the amp model. Any of the 2 channel reverb amps will be VERY costly if the job included upgrading the transformers. The time required to "vintage-ize" these amps is VERY considerable.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,197
Fender Blues Deluxe reworked for me by Pete Cage of Cage Audio into a tweed tone stack/brownface like power section (the first pic was before I changed the Reverend AllTone for a Scumback):



This is a cool upgrade but not quite what the OP is talking about (which is the RI amps). Different ball game, amount of work and end result. This job is a complete transformation and a lot less labor intensive than a 2 channel Fender reverb amp.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,288
This is a cool upgrade but not quite what the OP is talking about (which is the RI amps). Different ball game, amount of work and end result. This job is a complete transformation and a lot less labor intensive than a 2 channel Fender reverb amp.
Thanks, though I respectfully disagree agree that's it's a different ball game - the skills needed for one are equivalent to those required for the other - though, yes, the cost and end results obviously would differ. I feel the person who did my rebuild is eminently qualified to perform the amp work the OP is asking about which is why I recommended him. The pictures are merely to document the meticulousness of his work.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,288
Looks great Jon, bet it sounds killer!


Did you use the original transformers? In the scumback pic, there are 6 knobs, but in the all-tone pic, there are just 4 pots? Looks like you had a PPIMV removed at some point, along with a couple extra controls?
Thanks. Yes, we kept the original trannies. Pete considered them to be decent quality so we found no reason to change them.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,197
Thanks, though I respectfully disagree agree that's it's a different ball game - the skills needed for one are equivalent to those required for the other - though, yes, the cost and end results obviously would differ. I feel the person who did my rebuild is eminently qualified to perform the amp work the OP is asking about which is why I recommended him. The pictures are merely to document the meticulousness of his work.
True. I guess I meant " a less labor intensive ballgame".

There was a guy near Baltimore going whole hog on the DRRI vintagization thing several years ago. I think he was asking about $1200 for the job (which I completely understand having done one). He's nowhere to be seen today. I suspect that for even that amount of cash that it wasn't a winning business proposition.
 

RussB

low rent hobbyist
Messages
11,157
True. I guess I meant " a less labor intensive ballgame".

There was a guy near Baltimore going whole hog on the DRRI vintagization thing several years ago. I think he was asking about $1200 for the job (which I completely understand having done one). He's nowhere to be seen today. I suspect that for even that amount of cash that it wasn't a winning business proposition.

I remember the Dude. I also remember him saying that the difference in tone wasn't worth the cost and effort. He had a website up at one time
 

RussB

low rent hobbyist
Messages
11,157
and for something unrelated but way too cool,





That might be Oatie's amp. 4 Blues with a vintage Bassman chassis in a Killer cab!
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
I did one DRRI. It was a lot of work. I used a vintage Fender board I had. Kept the original trannies and pots. Many people change out the pots, which requires redrilling the chassis/faceplate unless you use small pots again. The original pots, although small body were quite smooth and noise free. It worked out well, but I can see why it would cost $500 to do.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,197
I did one DRRI. It was a lot of work. I used a vintage Fender board I had. Kept the original trannies and pots. Many people change out the pots, which requires redrilling the chassis/faceplate unless you use small pots again. The original pots, although small body were quite smooth and noise free. It worked out well, but I can see why it would cost $500 to do.
No sane business person would do it for $500...at least not one who stayed in business for very long. ;)
 

Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,016
No sane business person would do it for $500...at least not one who stayed in business for very long. ;)
I think It was Alessandro that used to charge $500 to upgrade your own DRRI chassis a few years ago but he kept the stock transformers and pots.
 

RussB

low rent hobbyist
Messages
11,157
I think It was Alessandro that used to charge $500 to upgrade your own DRRI chassis a few years ago but he kept the stock transformers and pots.

See post #4, $700 last time DiPa spoke with George
 






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