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reason to fear buying vintage amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by a e i o u, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. i think i am about to buy a v4 for 500 dollars. it seems to be working fine but is there any reason to think that their lifespan is almost up? these amps are almost 40 years old so im kind of shakey as to wondering how long can they last?:confused:
  2. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    If they're maintained and not abused, they can last indefinitely - we don't know what the expiration date is, but I can tell you that many guys are gigging with these 30 & 40 year old amps....me included.

    Any reputable seller will allow a tech check. It's well worth a bench charge to uncover potential problems or weak spots.
  3. John123z


    Jul 7, 2006
    Hershey, PA
    They can last forever if maintained. However, I would make sure the electrolytic capacitors have been recently replaced. And make sure safety modifications have been made such as a 3 prong line cord. Otherwise I would consider giving him less since these mods are needed and they will more than likely cost you $75 to do yourself or $150 to $200 for a tech..

    I just finished recapping my Plush 1060s and it's well worth it. It sounds incredible and it's even quieter than my new Ashdown.

  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    My '67 bassman has been very reliable of late. I never use it without a modern solid-state backup, but that said I've never had to resort to the backup. These things are built to last. And there are amp technicians who can give the amp a "tune up" to make it reliable.
    +1! I would consider a vintage amp without these modifications as unusable. Particularly the grounded power cable upgrade.
  5. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    i'm kind of wondering the same thing myself, being a ss user i wonder if my first tube head should be a vintage one. i know a guy selling his v4 for an amazing price, but i know i won't rest easy unless i send it in for inspection/tune up, cause i'd be hocking my current ss for it, thus having no backup.
  6. John123z


    Jul 7, 2006
    Hershey, PA
    Some of these old amps can be had for bargain prices and with a little work will be both reliable and sound great. My son knows nothing of SS vs. Tube wars and when he went from the Ashdown 300W 2x10 to my 1971 Plush 100w he was blown away with the tube sound. Now he only plays the Plush.

    If you are handy with a soldering iron you can do the job for about $75. That is what it cost me to do the following;

    1. Remove death cap and add a 3 prong grounded line cord.
    2. Replace all electrolytic capacitors.
    3. Replace (2) old scratchy volume pots.
    4. Replaced all CC 100K plate resistors with metal film.
    5. Replaced input to preamp cable with rg-174 shielded cable.

    Good Luck,

  7. Thakid2u


    May 1, 2006
    Just remember when you go poking around inside to unload the juice. Follow directions to the T and dont take shortcuts.
  8. John123z


    Jul 7, 2006
    Hershey, PA
    +1 These things are running from around 350V to 500V in some places. Be very careful.

  9. ++1
    More than that sometimes, my Sound City L200+ runs at 710V
  10. mvw356


    Mar 2, 2006
    contarry to all the new junk that's available, some vintage amps might increase in value. scary isn't it?
  11. jshellac


    Dec 10, 2006
    vintage tube amps are awesome, when maintained. the only thiing that can be a problem (sometimes exspensive) for amps like a v4 is tubes. I have a my svt cl, 66' dual showman, 68' twin, 68' bassman and 70's musicman. I always/only buy tube amps, and if it's vintage it's all the better. you can not compete with the sound. GO GO GO! I used my 66' dual showman, 3-5 nights a week for the past 10 years until I found my svt, blasting it with bass and guitar never had a problem other than a fuse.

    I only switched to the svt durability reasons, vintage amps deff. go up in value, when your loading and unloading that much it's starts to wear and tear.

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