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Ummm... FOBAD?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tlite, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. tlite

    tlite Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2016
    Found Old Bass Amp Day? Is FOBAD a thing?

    So anyway, I went into an old building the company I work for owns and found this: a VERY dusty old Acoustic 370 Bass head!

    Seriously, this thing probably hasn't been moved in 25 years. Looks like it's now mine- woohooo!

    So, I've Googled the head- I guess it gets mostly positive, but admittedly mixed reviews. The power cord is all taped up with electrical tape. Aside from that, though, looks mostly decent. Question- any harm in plugging this thing in after 25+ years in hibernation?

    I'm psyched to try out the amp but also don't want it to explode (metaphorically or otherwise). I know, I know, plug it in- what's the worst that can happen, right?

    Also, my only cabinet is tiny (1x10). Guessing this thing screams for a wall of drivers.

    Any sage words of advice on the Acoustic 370, or stupidly attaching old taped up electronics to power?

    That said- this thing looks cool. But wow, reminds me that vintage bass heads are big and HEAVY.




  2. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    Go for it. If it's broken, it won't work.

    It can't "work when it's not plugged in and break when you plug it in"

    Make sure the cord is fully insulated and replace that tho.
    tlite likes this.
  3. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    You got it for free, why not spend a dime and take it to a tech.

    They will check it out, power it up with a variac or current limiter and not let it self annihilate upon powering up.
  4. tlite

    tlite Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2016
    Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but that's kind of what I was thinking. I am fortunate to have a pretty good shop nearby.

    That said, it's taking some serious restraint to not plug in now!

    I have never played through an Acoustic so looking forward to hearing the amp.
    Al Kraft and beans-on-toast like this.
  5. BlacknWhite

    BlacknWhite Supporting Member

    Cool amp man. I was just checking out some video's on you tube and they sound pretty good through a 215 cab!
    tlite likes this.
  6. tlite

    tlite Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2016
    Thanks! I'm psyched. I'll definitely give a 2015 a try at the shop. I kinda feel silly plugging this into my 1x10. Like powering a Vespa with a 455 engine.
    mrb327 likes this.
  7. BlacknWhite

    BlacknWhite Supporting Member

    I'd be pretty stoked too if I found that laying around! lol. Yeah the 1x10 wouldn't do it any justice! Would sound killer through some 12's or 15's though!
    tlite likes this.
  8. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Actually that amp screams for only one speaker;)
    Acoustic 301
    Great find on a great amp. Have it looked at and it will out live yourself.
    Roxbororob and tlite like this.
  9. tlite

    tlite Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2016
    Would be awesome if I could find a 301 to try it through. I love how free gear necessitates... getting more gear.
    S-Bigbottom and Joedog like this.
  10. I too recommend you take the amp to a tech before you try to power the amp on. That power cable must be replaced to make the amp safe. Caps that have sat for 20+ years will quite possibly be leaky and could fail during the switch on surge. They could then take out other much more valuable and hard to get components.

    If you must risk it do not connect to a speaker cabinet.
    ric426 and tlite like this.
  11. lpbfender

    lpbfender Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2012
    Stamford CT
    I have one and its worth taking to the tech as mentioned and checked out. You'll need to switch out the two prog chord for a three prong for grounding and maybe a capacitor or two. After that, it is indestructible and once gone over with cleaner, worth several hundred.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  12. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
    Run it through a shop.. A 370 is a loud SOB. It looks to be in great shape cosmetically. Running it through a 10' is a joke. 8 10's or 8 12's would be more appropriate.
  13. knigel


    Apr 20, 2009
    Hopedale, MA
    I'm the Squier of Fenderbirds
    I loved my 370. Great amp and worth taking to a tech.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  14. ofajen


    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    My first thought was that FOBAD would be somewhat similar to FUBAR and I was trying to work out what the O and D stood for. :)

    Perhaps "Over" and "Doubt"?

  15. tlite

    tlite Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2016
    I took it to Bass Central today where I take lessons. We plugged into a Bergantino 410 cab. I think we got it up to volume 2. Loud as all get out. Great growl! Huge full sound.

    It already has a 3 prong, but cord is taped up. A weird thing: it's wired to always be on. I guess the switch failed at some point and somebody hacked the power?

    Most pots cleaned right up after some twisting, but I'm sure could still stand some pot cleaner.

    Going to take it to a tech to fix the switch and inspect the components per advice.
    BlacknWhite likes this.
  16. tlite

    tlite Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2016
    Just catching up on posts, maybe shouldn't have plugged in. Got lucky I guess...
  17. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    At least you didn't let the smoke out.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I'm a former Acoustic owner (me a 360 and a 150 - not the 370) and all I'd like to suggest is that it really behooves you to take it to a tech and have it checked out before you first power it up. First up, anytime you see a power cord all taped up there's a chance of something shorting to the chassis. Catastrophic for the amp, and possibly lethal to whoever is plugged into or touching it once it's switched on. So you'll definitely want to get that fixed and replaced by a three prong grounded AC plug at the very least. There's also a good chance of a capacitor leaking or being ready to blow after such a long hibernation. And there may be corrosion issues inside the amp depending on where and how it was stored. So rather than risk damaging and possibly completely destroying that lucky find before you even get use it, have a pro take a look at it.

    It's a fairly simple circuit by today's standards (see below). Anybody with an audio or analog circuit background should have no difficulties troubleshooting and re-certifying it.


    Any competent tech can pop it open, clean it up and run some tests as well as replace the power cord. Unless you have some electrical expertise, it's not something you want to do yourself. There are some pretty hefty voltages stored in the large capacitors of that amp. Short out one of those and you won't be happy - or possibly breathing afterwards. And power transistors aren't cheap. So if you pop one of those it's going to cost you some money.

    Congrats on a great score! Now don't blow it big time by being overly anxious to fire it up.

    FWIW any Acoustic amp from that era (as in a real Acoustic Control Corp. rather than that same name stuff GC is selling) is a find. They last forever if treated properly and they sound great. I think you're going to be really happy, And if you're not, there's a steady demand for those amps. In playable condition you can get between $350-$550 for them depending in their cosmetic condition.

    If you can't find the folded horn 301 cab that goes with it or want to build your own, you can find plans here.
  19. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    I don't think it's ever a good idea to power up WITHOUT a speaker cabinet/load on it!
    tlite likes this.
  20. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised. Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I had a used 370 years ago and the varistor on the power switch failed and allowed the switch contacts to arc every time it was powered on. Eventually the contacts fused in the on position and it wouldn't turn off. I put a new switch and varistor (also called a MOV) in and it was fine after that. If you get the switch replaced, make sure the tech replaces the MOV or it will likely do it again.

    You got a kickass amp for free, so it'd be worth it to get it checked out and fixed up. I ran mine through a Sunn 1x18 cabinet and it was an earth shaker.
    tlite likes this.

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