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In Reply to: RE: 1966 Gibson Explorer amp update. posted by FenderLover on April 17, 2017 at 18:49:02
Got it up and running. Only need to replace one Orange Drop cap.
Tone is very nice. Tremolo is great! Reverb is weak. More compressed tone at volume --- versus comparable Fender amps of similar era. Prolly due to EL84 versus 6V6GT output tubes.
Nice work as always. Sweet amp too.
Amp came with strong testing yellow labeled Tesla EL84 tubes. These are very nice tubes! Rich tone. Clean midrange. Compression is not as noticeable, as compared to the modern JJ EL84.
Well... may have found why this amp has such poor reverb. Took tank out of bag (which look like a mouse made a home of... for a few years) :)
There were foam pieces still glued to the frame to protect the springs during transport. I'm pretty sure these are OEM parts --- as they crumbled in my hands. And the glue is rock hard and old-colored yellow.
Will retry reverb with the 12AU7 driver tube (OEM) and see how it works now.
Onboard reverb still sucks. 12AU7 or 12AT7. Maybe the patch cord or the tank. Anyhow, plugged the Fender Reverb Unit into the amp. And WOW! Big difference. I haven't used the reverb unit for awhile and forgot just how good it is. Really transformed the amp's tone.
Might want to verify it's the correct tank. It should measure 180-200 Ohms at each end. I believe it's a 4FB3A1A.
A 4AB3CIB as used in Fender will be very weak in that circuit.
Also, sometimes the springs get particles of foam stuck to them, causing a lack of decay time. You can unhook them from the transducers (carefully) and clean them.
Yeah, gonna have to check continuity of this part of circuit, for sure. I've actually had jumper cables be bad. And the soldering inside the tanks go bad.
But, hooked to that Fender Reverb Unit... crazy. That unit is worth its weight in gold. No other amp (with onboard reverb) has that kind of range in tone and depth.
The Gibson's tremolo is as good as any amp I've heard. As good as the famous Vibro-Champ. It's a bias waggle on the output tubes. Not an opto-bug circuit. So, no ticking problems. But, at max --- it waggles the hum, with volume at zero. Crazy!
Been procrastinating on this project for a couple of years. I actually have a NOS reverb chamber for it. My biggest fear is that there's a blown transistor that is unobtainium.
Have all the parts just need to get the time to do it.
We need to get together and jam some!!!
This is one nice amp! I restored one about 5 years ago. Tone is completely different than a Fender Champ or Princeton. Those 7591A are such great tubes. Clean with nice midrange.
A worthy amp to restore!
Yep, thanks to you we got that little Jet. It works but needs a rebuild due to age have all the parts just need an afternoon to do it.
My son is learning guitar (MIM Strat) and is about ready now for a "real" amp.
The Jet we own is a very early one fairly rare owned by a gentleman who used it to play accordion at his church. My son likes classic rock and blues like his Dad!
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