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Restore Vintage Amps or Buy New?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by bgmacaw, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I build new old amps. :D
     
  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    Makes sense being as how you're kind of a new old guy. :D
     
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  3. tery

    tery Dr. Stratster

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    New - ready to play .
     
  4. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    And I'd be tempted to offer $400 for the Princeton.
     
  5. Linc Gray

    Linc Gray Strat-Talk Member

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    I think I would definitely keep the champ, no matter what else you decide to do.
     
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  6. Impulsive guppy

    Impulsive guppy Strat-Talker

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    I like old amps, but there's something to be said for a scaleable, multi-ohm, UL approved, three prong, warrantied, wired for modern voltage, DAW ready, fire it up and go amp.
     
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  7. baz8785

    baz8785 New Member!

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    I use a Music Man 2x10 130
    Bought 1982 Never touched never let me down I also have Fender Twins A showman and a Concert All work great I go for old with Fender everytime
    I have a 62 Strat and 74 tele Also all original never let me down
    Baz
     
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  8. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    Its not a difficult choice at all.

    The thing about point to point vintage amps is they are always fixable. Your 800-1000 price estimates are too high. Steve Hunter is the best vintage tube amp guy in the southeast and I’ve never paid more than $250-300 to have an amp like the ones your discussing completely refurbished. Once they are fixed they will be more or less bullet proof and be super dependable for years and years. I would get them restored and use them. Both amps you mention are incredible studio amps and once they are restored Will be worth far more than the new amp you are looking at. They will also not depreciate in value like the new one.
    Chance are they only need some new capacitors and some tubes?
    A good Princeton is one of the best club amps ever made.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
  9. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    You are incorrect. The vintage amps, once fixed will be far more dependable than most new amps, unless they are hand wired, point to point Amps Built by an expert, and most of these start at $2k. Getting the vintage amps repaired will be a better solution. Once you have them fixed you could always sell one for enough to buy the new amp.
     
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  10. pete3rwr

    pete3rwr New Member!

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    Why would you buy such a head ache? I play professionally and sell vintage Fender Amps. They are usually in near mint condition and our world Expert goes through each one. The newer amps do not sound as good, that simple. You should contact me about a nice vintage one...Thanks!
     
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  11. bbarott

    bbarott Most Honored Senior Member

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    For me that would be an easy choice. Restore 'em. Or sell 'em to someone who will. I'll be impressed when I start hearing about how a '65 Bandmaster sounds almost as good as a Tone King. Until then you can have 'em. Life's too short to not play what you really want. The difference in cost, to be honest, is chump change on the grand scale of things. I've spent more on transmission overhauls.
     
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  12. Stratoman10

    Stratoman10 Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    Value question aside I'd ask myself if I liked the amp enough to put the money into it. In other words, if whatever the cost is makes me happy enough to want to keep it for a long time then I'd do that. If I'm sitting on the fence about that I'd sell as is
     
  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Strat-O-Master

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    Steve Hunter? Is that the guy in Athens? I'll have to look into what he can do since he is a lot closer to me than the amp repair locations in Atlanta. If I can get the Princeton done for $300 that would seal the deal.

    The Princeton needs the most work, probably beyond just a cap replacement. It most likely needs a new transformer and a new speaker. A while ago, I loaned it to a friend for a while and he pretty much wore it out gigging with it.

    The Champ needs caps and modernized grounded wiring. It might also benefit from a new speaker. I considered do this myself but I didn't want to learn how to work on amps on a vintage amp.
     
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  14. bblooz

    bblooz Senior Stratmaster

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    I say restore the older, point-to-point wired amps. They are easy to work on and IMHO will only go up in value as time goes on. The newer PC board amps are not as robust, and typically fall in value.
     
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  15. Lone Woof

    Lone Woof Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm jonesing for the '57 Champ reissue. What could you put together that's like that and what would it cost?
     
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  16. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Strat-Talker

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    As someone who has both vintage (tweed Harvard), and the Tone King Gremlin, I will say that both are awesome. Do you need/want an attenuator? Do you want an amp with 2 channels(3 with an ABY pedal)? I have had a couple of blackface fenders, and they are great too. You can't go wrong with either choice.
     
  17. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Buried alive in the blues Gold Supporting Member

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    Despite the clamor for "vintage amps," I tend to think that new amps are generally better. The circuits are usually based on Fender designs, anyway, and are improvements on or continuations of this old amps. The Tone King is probably more versatile than the old Fenders.

    If it were me, I'd sell the classics and buy the Gremlin.
     
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  18. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    If it needs a new transformer it will be more expensive, naturally.
    Steve Hunter is in Athens, Ga. 706-351-1863 is his number.
    He has reworked three champs for me, I think none of them were over $200.
     
  19. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    I build Old New Guitars.
     
  20. nederemer

    nederemer Senior Stratmaster

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    Having some vintage amps around the same years I can tell you..

    Sell them, and buy a damn helix and a couple FRFRs.