What to do with Tremolux?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by thecajunboy, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. thecajunboy

    thecajunboy Member

    Mar 29, 2004
    South Louisiana
    I've got a Late Tremolux in almost original condition. It's got a non-stock pilot lamp assy and some boogered connections for it. The thread about the boogered Bassman got me to stop and think before acting on this Tremolux. If y'all dont mind, please take a look through the pics and tell me what you think should be done. I'm guessing that loading this thing up with orange drops like some people do automatically ain't the best thing to do. Obviously the electrolytics need to go. Any thoughts, comments, advice are appreciated. This won't be a gigging every weekend amp. It'll probably spend most of its time at home.

    Filter caps


    Boogered wires from PT and goofy pilot lamp assy

    Tube chart
  2. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

    Sep 23, 2004
    That is pretty sweet.

    The PT wiring definitely needs attention.
    Before it archs right there.

    Are those water spots in the amp? The white spots on the board and
    some of the caps?

    It always helps to take the measurements. With out that I'd do the following:

    It looks like some of those bypass electrolytic caps are starting to go down
    hill. They are just starting to buldge. Others might be okay. I know some folks for some reason never want to replace them.

    Typically I'd replace them all and not worry about it. They are 40 years old.
    Some folk take a more minimalistic approach, and only replace the leaky
    or high ESR caps.

    Some of the cc resitors look to have shorting/arching
    around the resistor/lead junction too.

    After the caps, I'd plug and play, give them a good burn in and
    see how she sounds/take readings etc.

    Then adjust as necessary or tone.

  3. brad347

    brad347 Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'd replace most of those electrolytics and definitely the screen resistors, as they look a little suspicious and it's a good practice to replace them anyway, IMO.

    As for the PT wiring, I'd pull that tape off and see what's under there.... if it's spliced for some reason that can be okay, but it should be a neat splice with a clean solder joint. If it has to be re-done, I recommend cleaning both wires to be soldered thoroughly and letting them dry before soldering them to ensure a good connection. Afterwards, cover with heat-shrink tubing and NOT electrical tape as has been done here.

    I'm not a tech, though, so if someone else like John or Mike chimes in, trust them and not me! :D
  4. TubeAmpNut

    TubeAmpNut Member

    Nov 5, 2005
    Warrenton, VA
    Most vintage gurus will tell you to "leave the 'lytics alone" unless they have failed. Replacing them all might buy you some piece of mind, however.

    If you're PT wiring insulation is is starting to crack, you might just replace the entire PT. It's the easy solution and it will look good. (I don't subscribe to PT mojo.)

    You should really upgrade the mains wire to incude a safety ground.

  5. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

    Nov 4, 2005
    This amp is in better shape than a lot of stuff that crosses my bench.

    I'd test the electrolytics and if they measure up okay leave them in. I don't see any evidence of leakage myself. You can tidy up the the power transformer wiring easily enough with some careful repairs and heatshrink. You can also replace the jewel light assembly.

    Nice amp - wish I had one.
  6. mr coffee

    mr coffee Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2004
    uranus major
    is boogered/burnt the pilot assembly appears to be "whats left" of the original..

    email me and I'll send you a new assembly if you are up for the repair
  7. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Hey CB, nice looking amp!

    That board looks like it is all original except whatever is going on with the pilot light. Here is what I would do...

    1) Replace the filter caps and the power resistors that are in the "doghouse". Use Sprague Atoms for caps.

    2) Replace the board cathode caps. You will need two 25uf/25v caps for each "double cap" you replace. Again, use Spragues.

    3) New 3 prong cord is a must, and I would also dump the death cap and the other outlet.

    4) Tube screen resistors is also a good idea.

    5) Pull that tape and see what is going on with the pilot. Buy a new light assm and solder it to the PT wiring. Use heat shrink tube and certainly NOT just black tape.

    6) Check bias and give it a whirl. Oh yeah, if you find a few of the other caps are bad and need replacement, I would use Mallory 150's, not Orange Drops. Opinions may vary, but that is what I like.

  8. wilder

    wilder Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Denton, TX
    Nice amp, CB! I've still got the one you turned me on to in Houston. I've re-capped it, but it's otherwise original. If you need any reference pics or info feel free to email me.

  9. thecajunboy

    thecajunboy Member

    Mar 29, 2004
    South Louisiana
    Thanks for the responses so far. Some of it helps, some of it confuses.

    Givens are the power cord and pilotassy/wiring.

    Confusing is the caps issue. The amp actually plays fine. We tested for a short while and didn't want to risk getting zapped because of the power cord, or taking out some parts if a filter cap let go. All the preamp tubes are Mullards, and the power tubes are some old RCAs, although I'm not sure whick particular style. Depending on who you ask, the answers aer as varied as I'm seeing here. But for peace of mind, I'm almost certain I'll change all theelectrolytics.

    I also need to look into the water spots, if that's indeed what they are.

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