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Very old Fender Deluxe, any advice?

3/13/2000 2:22 PM
Joe D
Very old Fender Deluxe, any advice?
Hello all,  
A friend of mine's mother (used to play lap steel, & still has it) entrusted me with her old Deluxe to 'clean up'. This little sucker is of course tweed, has the TV looking front, 2 instrument inputs & a mic input. The tone knob doubles as the power switch. (I thought that was odd) & has an instrument vol & a mic vol. & a blue Jensen 12".  
Looks like it never had a cap job they are paper & leaking.  
We plugged it in (hey, you gotta die from something)  
the inst channel is dead & the mic is gritty.  
I'm gonna find some new tubes for it & put in new caps.  
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  
3/13/2000 3:09 PM
Jim S.

- Replace ALL the caps, including all the electrolytics and all the paper dielectric couplding caps.  
- Measure ALL the resistors. Replace any that have drifted more than 10%. New carbon comps are nice for maintaining a vintage appearance, but are not mandatory.  
- Clean everything from head to toe: Pots, tube sockets, etc.  
- Tighten everything: jacks, pots, screws, tube socket contacts.  
3/13/2000 3:21 PM

Jim's advise is solid and I just wanted to mention that I've worked on one of these recently that was made in 1954 (just like me). I replaced the filters as they were starting to "bubble," but they still functioned (45 yr+ service life) and all of the original tubes were still good. To emphasize one of Joe's suggestions I'd carefully clean the jacks - with "crocus" cloth if necessary, as they sometimes develop "invisible" corrosion (or perhaps a layer of tobacco tar if the amp has led a bar life).  
3/13/2000 3:53 PM
Joe D

3/13/2000 3:53 PM
Joe D

3/13/2000 4:50 PM
John Stokes
New tubes and caps will go a long way to getting that thing working again. Also, measure the actual values of the resistoprs, that very old style resistor drifts like crazy with age. Don't be surprised to find some that read double their nominal value. Replace those that are way out.  
A friend of mine has one of those TV-front Deluxe amps like yours.  
3/13/2000 8:11 PM

One thing to watch out for: I believe some of the early models (I *think* 5C3?) had an odd biasing scheme (grid biasing if I remember, which I tend not to) for the preamp that reacts poorly to high volume input. A fuzz box will make one freak in a really bad way. So check what model circuit it is, and if it's the weirdo either just don't use a hot input in it or get it converted to a different circuit spec.  
hope this isn't something I just dreamed up but is at least somewhat correct.  

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