Hand wiring a DRRI?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by candid_x, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,735
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Golden Valley, AZ
    I've read here and there of those who have had their DRRI hand wired to DR BF specs.

    Would anyone here who has had this done say if it's worth it in terms of sound quality? Is it comparable to a real '65 DR? What is the cost, and who is doing this kind of work? Finally, would someone just be better off buying a new Vintage Sound amp?

    Sorry if this is redundant as I'm seeing this has been discussed before and am reading up. Still, new input welcomed.
     
  2. mignano

    mignano Supporting Member

    Messages:
    347
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    It wouldn't be worth the time or money because it would have no noticeable impact on the tone. The only thing you'd gain from hand wiring is that it would make the amp easier to work on, but the reissue Fender PCB's are laid out nicely and use decent parts anyway.

    There are some much simpler mods that would improve the sound more than hand wiring, like upgrading tubes, speakers, transformers and tone stack caps.
     
  3. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

    Messages:
    2,745
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    Nashville
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

    Now that's funny.
     
  4. jay42

    jay42 Member

    Messages:
    6,800
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo
    Don't you think if this is done, you get some "road-worthiness" in return?

    [edit] In case anyone is reading page 1...a couple things occur to me. Doing so, could be a labor of love for someone. In reality, you'd do better to find a silverface DR at a reasonable price and clean it up. You could also build one from scratch. An Allen Accomplice with the bigger transformer set, can give you a one channel version that can run either 6V6s or 6L6s. My one dull recollection of a pal's DR, is that it's actually pretty heavy for a 22W combo. I think I would go with a Celestion Anniversary 30 speaker or a V30. In the 80's, I put an EV-12L in a friend's. It was glorious...but too heavy in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  5. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,491
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Do the new amps really use decent parts? I really don't know, but I doubt if they use the high end caps etc. Just curious.

    I agree however that selecting good tubes, transformers and speakers can make a more notable difference.
     
  6. Gretsch&Vox

    Gretsch&Vox Member

    Messages:
    2,905
    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Don Felder uses one. He only changed the stock tubes to Groove Tubes and the speaker, to a Celestion G12H. Otherwise, it is a PCB amp with stock components. Scroll to 4:46.

     
  7. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,491
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    He says the Fender DRRI handles everything from Peaceful Easy Feeling to heavy Metal. (Heavy metal? Seriously?) Hmmm. But hey ....He is a world class player and it works! How can you argue with a musician the level of Don Felder?
     
  8. neteraser

    neteraser Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    St.Petersburg
    No. (EDIT: no, in my opinion.) Fender should be considered a higher-level amp because of the genuine transformers. Of course they're not the same as in the 60's, but they're still something. Boutique builders use second-rate aftermarket transformers like ClassicTone. That said, you won't come close to a real BF DR if you just redo the board, but you'll come a little bit closer :) But I'd personally leave it alone because as mentioned earlier the new Fender board is still not a bad layout... Still it's up to you. That's not a bad thing, you know... If you have enough enthusiasm that can be done. At least you'll gain knowledge and will have your OWN opinion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  9. neteraser

    neteraser Member

    Messages:
    2,014
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    St.Petersburg
    If somebody's opinion differs do you find it funny??
     
  10. duaneallen

    duaneallen Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,783
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    OC/LA
    OK, here's a question. If one were to buy a DRRI used; its seems that the obvious upgrades that people do that will affect the tone are to upgrade the tubes and the speaker. Is it worth upgrading the OT? Someone mentioned earlier that the OT is already good, is this true?
     
  11. moemoe6434

    moemoe6434 Member

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    I have looked into these options and here is my 2 pennies.

    Stock DRRI is a great little amp, but not easy to work on.

    Getting your DRRI hand wired is expensive especially on top of the entry price already spent on the DRRI already. Most I have seen are around $1000 to $1200 [Plus you already spend how much on the DRRI?]!

    So your best bet is to buy vintage or get a boutique version such as Vintage Sounds. But, my own personal opinion is when you buy vintage, you truly do not know what you are getting into [read horror stories of the baffles being rotten ot holes drilled into them for no reason to electrical issues that techs cannot figure out or were expensive, etc] as far as what has been done to it and how much maintenance will be required. To top all that off, a good vintage piece these days is easily $2000.

    A new Vintage Sounds 22 is like $1800, with no gabling on what shape it is in, with warranty, all new compenants that will not need replaced for a long time, bias points to easily bias at home, etc. Boutique is well worth the money. I plan to sell my DRRI and go this route soon.
     
  12. RJLII

    RJLII Member

    Messages:
    9,252
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Michiana
    I'll toss my opinion on the heap.

    I had a DRRI for 10 years. It was a very nice amplifier and a great value. Replacing the power tubes and biasing the amp properly made a huge difference. I didn't clip the bright cap nor did I change the speaker. The OT was left as is. Once the speaker broke in properly it smoothed out a bit.

    When I found myself yearning for more headroom and tonal flexibility I resisted the urge to modify the amp. Instead I sold it (for more than I paid new) and bought a Carr Rambler.
     
  13. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,334
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    A complete waste of time and money IMO--and you will be left with an amp worth less than a stock DRRI and that's if you are able to find a buyer at all.
     
  14. moemoe6434

    moemoe6434 Member

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Yeah, um No.

    If someone wants to sell me their DRRI that was converted to PTP by Alessandro for less than a stock DRRI, hit me up.
     
  15. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,339
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    Fender uses world class transformers, wow. They use parts that are sufficient, nothing more.

    These kind of mods are a sink hole you'll never recoup your money, so if you like pissing money away on things in which you have no return what so ever this along with modding cheap guitars is a way to go.
     
  16. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,334
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    Do what you want--I've owned and flipped a truckload of amps in my day and I've seen countless 'improved' stock amps that ended up selling for pennies on the dollar. The DRRI is a great little amp--the only people wringing their hands about 'road worthiness' are TGPers whose amps rarely leave their house anyway. If you want to throw money at a DRRI, change the tubes and speaker, otherwise sell it stock and get something else.
     
  17. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,444
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    Actually the Classic Tone transformers are very close to the old Schumacher transformers that Fender used in the 60's. Not "second rate" by any means; just not over hyped.
     
  18. moemoe6434

    moemoe6434 Member

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Yeah, same thing I said.

    But, I sure as heck would rather if you or someone else wants me to sell me a Alessandro re-wire for less than a stock DRRI, or "pennies on the dollar". I will wait for the offers to roll in.
     
  19. Trout

    Trout Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois/Far West Burbia
    :agree

    Exactly,

    Classic Tone Transformrers, Made by Magnetic Components Inc. which is a subsidiary of Marvel Electric Corp.
    Both companies have been suppliers to countless companies.

    Might be the silliest thing I have read this year LOL
     
  20. BudLite

    BudLite Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,844
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    The DRRI is built like a toy, I fixed my friends this week and never again. The circuit board is flimsy and the parts are cheap. 1100.00 for that? No Thanks
     

Share This Page