John Phillips, other amp experts... URGENT!!!!



Last night, construction workers failed to secure part of the roof on the building where I store my amps....

This morning, I find that a rainstorm has caused the roof to collapse - on top of my 1964 Super Reverb, Zinky Encore, Fulldrive II pedal, etc. I now have rain, roofing "plaster", insulation - you name it - inside and out of my most prized possessions (please don't tell my wife and children). Concern is mostly about the Super, which ended up with the worst of it. (Know you don't like them, John, but it's my fave, and fairly valuable to boot...)

What steps do I need to take to minimize the damage done?

I am throwing myself at your feet. PLEASE HELP! I fear that time is of the essence.

Thanks in advance.


Old Fuzzface

Can't give you any specific advice about those particular pieces, but generally, you need to:

1) Clean as much crap off the outside as possible as quickly as possible.

2) Tip any water out.

3) Get everything into a dry environment with a dehumidifier and a fan.

4) Get the electronics chassis out of the cabinets and let it all dry out.

If you didd find any water inside the amps, once it's all thoroughly dried out I think it would be wise to get a tech to check the amps out.

Low voltage pedals should so be safe enough to check yourself.
Holy crap Gene! So sorry to hear that. I don't know much to tell you that OF hasn't said - get everything taken apart and start drying it ASAP. Call me if you need an amp for anything, I may be coming your way this weekend.


Thanks very, very much for the replies.

The good news... The chassis of the amps appear to have gotten no water in them. They are out of the box and drying as I type. Only had a tiny amount get in the pots, jacks, etc. I'll have my tech check them in a week or so. Additionally, the speakers in the Super (they're original) somehow managed to stay dry - there is a God, indeed... hee hee. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no water snuck in under the radar.

The bad news... I'll be scrubbing the tolex on the Super for a day. Any suggestions on how to safely clean it? It's original, and I want to save it from any further trauma. Additionally, the grill cloth (not original) is pretty stained. Any idea on how to clean it or where to have it replaced?

Stephen - thanks very much for the gracious offer. Fortunately(?), I'm not gigging this weekend. I have my Mesa Studio Caliber should a call-in arise. That said, I'll be more than happy to take the Aly off your hands for a week or so... LMAO Seriously, you're a class act - always have been. Thanks again for the offer.

John Phillips

I've had to rescue amps in this state several times - water damage is quite common in Scotland unfortunately!

The water is OK. Really. Just as long as you don't turn the amp on when it's there.

It's the salts in the plaster you have to worry about, if they get into the electronics... can cause chemical reactions, corrosion, conductive deposits, etc - very bad.

What to do is to strip the amps down - get the chassis out, speakers out, grilles off, possibly metal hardware off. Then wash the shell and grille - I literally put them in the shower and scrub with warm soapy water. It doesn't matter if the wood inside gets a little wet, but don't let it get really soaked. If the tolex still looks dirty in the grain I have had great success with wax shoe polish to restore it - black, brown or blonde, you'll be able to find the right color.

If the plaster deposits have got into the chassis, you need to wash that too - seriously. Only water will dissolve this stuff, oil-based solvents won't. I would use a high-pressure washer to make sure it gets right into the small spaces where the salts are likely to collect.

Then leave it somewhere warm and dry (heater cupboard or whatever) for about a week to totally dry out. You'll almost certainly need to put contact-cleaner/lubricant in the pots too. Once you're absolutely certain it's dry, it will be safe to power up again.

BTW, the last album I made (former band Unquiet) was called 'After The Flood' not for any biblical reason, but because that's exactly what happened halfway through the sessions! Luckily my gear wasn't in the studio at the time (it was over the New Year weekend), but the water and plaster wrecked several thousand pounds worth of studio gear including a really nice old Allen & Heath desk - the engineer would leave the gear on all the time since it's better for it... unless it gets soaked and covered in plaster salts of course :(.



Followed your instructions. Haven't had a chance to shoe wax the cab, but the grill cloth came out about 95% of original. You'd be very hard pressed to tell there ever was a stain.

I am very thankful for your assistance. I am very limited in my knowledge of amps - the electronics, repair, etc. My policy of "I just play 'em" has many drawbacks. LOL Without your help, I would have just paid someone (too much, I'm sure) to replace the cloth. Or worse... paid them to replace it and then they just clean it and return it to me with the "new" cloth. I would have known no difference.

That's why I love this forum. You guys are tops.

Many thanks.

Gene Moran

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