Lou made a quick guest appearance in the front range of CO this past weekend. He and George drove the 1500 miles to perform the AP mod to one of his customers speakers in Conifer.
Talk about customer service
While he was in town, he thought he might as well drop off the DAR-Ma speakers that Dan Wright is going to use at RMAF this year. I have the task of breaking these babys in. Leave it to Lou to find someone else to do the dirty work
Here are a couple of shots of the DAR-Mas in my HT.
While Lou was in town, we traveled out close to the Kansas border to visit Mike Galusha. Lou, myself, Jason (Pez), Mike Garner (TweekGeek) and Mr. Galusha all had a fun visit and lot of listening to tube amps. Jason brought over his Simple SE build and Mike compared it to his Atma-Sphere M-60s and Consonace 211 SE amps. I believe we were all impressed with the sound of Jason's build.
Many, many, many months ago, Lou asked me to look at a Fender Blues Deluxe he bought off of E-Bay. The original idea was for me to come up with some mods to improve the sound of the amp and he could build a new cabinet for it. The thought was that maybe here would be a sideline we might be able to make some money with.
After the amp arrived here, I found it was in much worse shape than was represented in the ad. The cabinet was beyond used. The tweed looked like it had been on the road since the '30s.
This was an amp that was built in 1996. As part of the cost savings going on at Fender, they used a couple of 5 watt resistors to drop voltage down to power the op-amps that drive the reverb circuit. The resistor had to dissipate 4.7 watts. Needless to say they ended up frying. They also took out some of the nearby circuit. Here is a shot of the circuit board. Look close for the white rectangles under the big capacitors. You can see the darkened circuit board around them
There was also a melt down with the output tubes filament circuit.
I decided to forget about "minor" mods and build this amp the way Fender should have, IMO.
I replaced all the iron. Here are some pictures of the stock power transformer, choke and output transformer compared to the replacements.
I also replaced every capacitor and 95% of the resistors. All the Illinois Capacitors in the power supply were trashed and replaced with Sprague Atoms, Orange Drops were used in the signal path. Panasonic FM and Nichicons were used for the lower voltage caps. I build a new circuit using non inductive wirewound resistors along with real voltage regulators for the op-amp power. The op-amps were replaced with opa2604s in place of the tl072. All the tube sockets were replaced. The master volume control was replace with an audio taper instead of a linear taper. Yada, yada yada.
I finally got to listen to Lou play through it on Saturday. Jason was kind enough to loan Lou his bright purple Jackson. Lou and the amp sounded great. This was the first time Lou actually saw the cabinet. He thought it looked so cool being a beat up as it was, he didn't think he would make a new case for it.
I did ask him to see if he could get some local players to gig with the amp. It took WAY too long to build, but if someone really likes the sound of it, I might be persuaded to build another one...for a WHOLE LOT of money