Worst atrocity committed against an amp?

Messages
562
Seems like my thread on the worst amp decision sparked a lot of feedback. Anyone ever do anything to an amp that you regretted? I have...more than once.

Back in 1988 I read a great Guitar Player article on the amp mod kings (Soldano, Jose, Rivera, Harry Kolbe, Lee Jackson...I think) and got the idea that I too could mod Marshalls. Not ever having opened one up it seemed simple enough.

1973 Superlead. Mint. Surplus military electronics shop. Me. Soldering iron. Copy mod from a friends (not similar) amp. Lousy results.

Take another trip to Black Market Music in San Francisco to buy another one. Not so mint this time. $300 for a metal panel, $500 for a plexi. Bought two more metal panel '73's. Did it again.

Amps sounded like ****. So sorry Jim:horse

If there's an amp hell, they've got a room there with my name on the door.

How about you?
 
Messages
562
BTW, I've made it my mission to correct my past sins and now have resurrected over a dozen butchered Marshalls and brought them back to stock. Jim had it right the first time.
 

VacuumVoodoo

Member
Messages
1,547
Steve, resurrecting old Marshalls that have gone through Frankensteins butcher shop is a honorable endeavor, often a real challenge. Like the one below that once upon a time was a JCM800 . It showed up on my bench a few years ago, I think Frankenstein must have had one of his "better" days.


 
Last edited:

VacuumVoodoo

Member
Messages
1,547
Nice use of purple wire to tie the relay in place. I generally use red or green wire for this application.
That's not a relay, it's a 12V transformer, note a round rectifier and a radial electrolytic cap next to it. It powered a couple relays, hidden under the nest of snakes in upper left corner in the first photo.

I committed an attrocity that could have ended really badly. I was 14 yrs old in mid 1960s spending vacation at a summer camp in the mountains. There was a non-functioning sound distribution PA system and being the only one who has seen a soldering iron - my vast experience at the time was having built a crystal radio...well, I was given the task of connecting the loudspeaker net to the distribution amp. Easy enough as the fault was a missing plug on main loudspeaker cable and corresponding socket on the 150W distribution amp was missing too. Now, the only sockets and plugs that were available in local hardware store were for mains cables....oh well, mains, loudspeakers, same difference, no?
A mains plug got installed on the loudspeaker cable and corresponding socket on the amp. Somebody else assumed that a dangling cable with a mains plug on the end must be plugged into the mains socket on the wall. Some illiterate idiot didn't read the labels I put on the sockets and plugs. All loudspeaker coils throughout the compound burned out before they could set everything on fire. Those were the days of teenage innocence...and perhaps it explains why I routinely install fuses on all power transformer windings in my amps.
 
Last edited:

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,934
I had my 1966 Vibrolux Reverb modified with EL34s, cascading gain, channel switching, effects loop, etc... 20 years ago.

I've since had the amp returned to "stock" condition. Luckily, the original transformers, speakers, most of the components, faceplate/front of the chassis were untouched, though there are plugged holes on the bottom and rear of the chassis and a few resistors and caps have been replaced.

After returning it to stock condition I wasn't using the amp much so I installed a Metro Amps LarMar PPIV master and a Hicks Mender (with a 12AT7) in it and couldn't be happier. This was all that I really wanted done with it in the first place!
 

Tuberattler

Member
Messages
2,412
Not a butcher myself- I have found zero highly moddified amps that I like the tone of...

Almost all mods that I've come across was an attempt to get more gain out of the amp. Never works out... more gain usually means that it sounds tinny and buzzy...oh yeah, these usually aren't engineered modifications, usually morphidite electro experiments that some one tried and it didn't blow the amp up so it's a winner...NOT!
 

tapehead

Member
Messages
2,776


First thing that comes to mind. Even prior to playing this video, note the styrofoam cup of who-knows-what on the suede ODS:facepalm


Fav moment: HK saying "most people <sucks teeth> they use the same old, standard boring effects" with Dumble's board in view. Anyone know what his pedals are?

Dumble's tone sounds so good and then it's completely engulfed by that.....evil, evil rack of effects and its misguided user.
The things a businessman has to endure with some customers...no wonder he's become a hard man to reach.
 

teemuk

Member
Messages
3,148


Also, I cringe every time people take a very good solid-state amp and gut it to build a POS AX84 or a Champ or VJ clone.
 

6AM

Member
Messages
1,995
I remember some guy about 10 years ago buying a brand new Soldano SLO then immediately sending it to a (name withheld) amp modder. After the fact, the guy had realized what he had done. The pictures were horrific.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,683
plugged sony walkman headphones into the speaker jack of a Silverface Bassman 100. Instant meltdown.
 

teemuk

Member
Messages
3,148
First thing that comes to mind...
Who else but Henry Kaiser can simultaneously rape listener's ears and the tone of a revered ludicrously expensive amp, while making Alexander Dumble seem both like a total tool as well as a sellout.

This guy rules on so many levels. :cool:
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,693
Only amp I butchered (no holes) was a about a 75 Twin Reverb. I did every mod I could find and in the end took them off and just went with a black face mod.
What I found was if you what a high gain amp just go buy one or a few pedals.
 

Kiwi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,074
I bought an early-70s Marshall Lead & Bass 20 that had been modded (allegedly by a famous amp modder, name withheld) to internally jumper the channels, as I was told by the seller.

Gain monster, no cleans at all. As a rockin' buddy said in admiration, "That's an angry little beast." Sounded good if you wanted nonstop crunch, but another friend advised me to get it looked at; said it wasn't supposed to have that nearly much gain. It also started redplating some rather expensive 7189 tubes and emitting burning odors.

My amp tech opened it up. He described it as having been re-wired to cascade the channels' gain stages, as well as some other mods for even more gain, and the plate voltages were all screwed up. He took it back to stock. Completely different amp!

Sadly it got stolen, so I bought the 2061x RI ... a dead-nuts copy of the original. Jim indeed got it right the first time.

=K
 

support

Member
Messages
713
Cool thread. Not exactly on-topic, but, when this one arrived the owner claimed it was under warranty. This was after we sent a replacement power transformer to his "tech" who had also done some "improvements" :)

Before:







After:





 

axpro

Member
Messages
628
I've modded and ruined a lot of amps (most i have recovered after the fact) built a few hotrods for buddies, by my worst atrocity was trying to teach myself amp mmodding with my classic 30...

-It was my ONLY amp at the time, so i fi messed up a mod, no practice or jams till i fixed it....

-I had BARELY any electronics knowledge.

It's not that i butchered a good amp, it was a cheap-o POS that got no love, but it was the slow methodical torture as i added each and every switch, pot and cap network... it was a CATASTRO-F*CK! Killing that amp was by far the one i feel worst about... in the end i got another amp or 2, and left it out beside the trash bins... modded into oblivion, broken and lifting solder traces all over... my only hope is that someone found it and gave it some love....
 
Messages
1,852
Oh these are about bad mods! I have a quick story. 6 years ago at Michigan State the singer of the band let some attractive co-eds on stage to dance. During the dancing my beloved SLO 100 stops working... I check all my connections and turn around to see the pilot light was off. One of the girls put a drink on top of my amp, it spilled into the amp dripping out the bottom- blew every tube and melted a couple parts. I was so pissed I kicked over my entire rig. I had the privilege of playing a Vetta for the rest of the night...that was dialed like ass.
 

agradywills

Member
Messages
1,873
Oh these are about bad mods! I have a quick story. 6 years ago at Michigan State the singer of the band let some attractive co-eds on stage to dance. During the dancing my beloved SLO 100 stops working... I check all my connections and turn around to see the pilot light was off. One of the girls put a drink on top of my amp, it spilled into the amp dripping out the bottom- blew every tube and melted a couple parts. I was so pissed I kicked over my entire rig. I had the privilege of playing a Vetta for the rest of the night...that was dialed like ass.
:eeks Hey girlie...........tit for tat.
 

GT100

Member
Messages
3,765
Only amp I butchered (no holes) was a about a 75 Twin Reverb. I did every mod I could find and in the end took them off and just went with a black face mod.
What I found was if you what a high gain amp just go buy one or a few pedals.

...or even better go buy an amp that is designed to be high gain.
There is much more to a proper high gain design than simply adding more gain...

Lloyd
 




Trending Topics

Top