To add my $0.02 Canadian funds.... Don't use the amp. DEFINITELY don't gig with it... until you take care of it. We had one get traded in at the shop I work at (not the same model, but similar type... Garnet "Stencil" amps as they call them up here) To be honest the amps like this don't usually sound "great" even as a funky sort of thing... and they will act like you are french kissing a light socket with any part failure, and you are counting on 50 year old parts, used in an amp that probably lived in someone's attic or basement for 40 years, keeping you safe.
You list your location as Houston, there HAS to be an amp tech near you. Maybe not one who will do it for Beer, but someone in your area knows tube amps... you just gotta search them out
This is why my Sears 5XL sits w/o an isolation transformer while I play other amps.I've got some pix of a Dano Corporal that I installed an isolation transformer in for a customer; I can post them if requested. For myself, I wouldn't want to own an amp with a line-derived power supply. Usually they are small, cheaply built, and lightweight as a result. By the time you shell out for a capable repair to install the isolation transformer and do what else is needed (you know it's going to need caps at a minimum) you are upside down on the amp financially, and it weighs a good bit more than it did before. I found the only safe place in the Dano for installing the transformer was on the cabinet floor, as there was no way that the masonite they used for the chassis would hold up a chunk of iron the size of a small fist.
Please ignore the above post; whilst it is correct to state that transformers block dc not ac, a direct connection to mains current is not tolerable in guitar amp circuits. All power must be provided be via an isolation transformer so as to prevent this.
Pretty good laymans explanation here (close to laymans as possible... it's still a kinda heady concept)
That's actually pretty good, including the "oops" situation where if your body interrupts the "isolated" circuit, well, you know. You can protect against some bad things some of the time but not all bad things all of the time. I think PT Barnum said that as he was slipping on some elephant poop.
Obviously everyone here is concerned about safety; and it sounds like you are too. But so far it is not clear what your objection is.AC is freely passed by an isolation tranformer and that AC can KILL you. That is why there is dangerous information in this thread!
I am indeed taking it to a trustworthy tech here in Houston when I can. I have been amazed at the wide ranges in information I've read over the last few days and it's made my head spin. We have one really good tech here in Houston (sad to say) and he'll get to sort it out.*(This is not intended towards those who have been trained and can competently work on amps).
Folks.........remember this is the Internet. If you have an issue with your Vintage Amp......or any amp for that matter, and you're not 1000% versed in safely dealing with Electronics, especially those that are older and pose a great risk even when unplugged, please consult a qualified Amp Technician. IMO, they are worth their weight in gold.
Very good decision!I am indeed taking it to a trustworthy tech here in Houston when I can. I have been amazed at the wide ranges in information I've read over the last few days and it's made my head spin. We have one really good tech here in Houston (sad to say) and he'll get to sort it out.