Inside the Mac, and retouching tips

Opened up for a checking and a cleaning. Looks like recent work done.

From the top, suspended thing that gets pushed down onto the reverb by the lever on the back, not sure if it should have a pad on it to mute it or something:

The mechanism in the top:

Funny angle board shot:

Also did some more to the Washburn patch up. And touch up paint and a colour matching expert may be closer at had than you though:

New amp arrive. Weird one.

Been a bit since any amp related updates, cause I’ve mostly been filing saddles on acoustics and wiping oil on the Wishbass, not interesting or photogenic. Kind of went too much on the oil on the Wishbass and it got smears, had a go at buffing it back with white spirit and a clean cloth, but mostly made it go dull again. Another go over with very fine wet and dry and a more cautious wipe over with oil is next plan.

Anyway, here is what my Dad dropped off today (got his courier to collect it).

Looks cool, weirdly the handles are bolted to the back panel, so to get the back off, I ended up unbolting the handles, which is was stood on. Can’t make much sense of it.

Advertised as 100w, but definitely not, those are EL84 or similar. Looks like it has had a dropping and knocked the transformer wonky, and been stuffed in the box with no heed to the new shape. Covering is a weird soft leathery stuff, thick and squashy to the touch.

Weird mechanism relating to the reverb there, moving a tongue poking out above the back cover pushes something down on the reverb, dunno what it does till I have it apart proper, and too tired for that today. Pics tomorrow.

Also arrived, pile of cheap strats, let me know if you want any:

Check out the forearm contour cut the wrong way on the Rockwood on the right.

Joy of epoxy

Classic shipping damage. If you are sending a guitar, take off the strap button, it will save a bunch of hassle:

Thick finish all chipped, and a big hole pounded into the wood. I’ve already put superglue around the area to stick down the finish edges so don’t lose any more. That isn’t going to steam out, so is fill the hole and redrill. Mixed up some epoxy putty an stuck in in the hole. Because its pretty cold weather, it still isn’t hard enough to do the cunning refin thing, so you’ll have to stay tuned for that.

Did bunches of other stuff, nothing photogenic, strung acoustics, used some leftover epoxy to fill a weird angled nut bass on a Fender acoustic, not sure what was going on there, but someone had previously had a go at filling with superglue.

Also wiped down the Wishbass with white spirit on a rag round a magnet to try and lose the wire wool bits, lot of dirt, guess shed abrasive came off it. ran superglue into the cracks, probably should have done before first oil, but was hoping they’d fill along with the pores. Probably do an oil coat tomorrow.

For Sale stuff

Pics of all these are in the history. I could do with some Christmas money. I can arrange shipping amps, but would rather you arranged collection.

Sound city Bass 150, the tidier of the two,  [SOLD]

Peavey 5150 MK 1: SOLD

Sound City 120 energiser Slave: [SOLD]

EHX Freeze pedal:  [SOLD]

Empty 70s (Carlsbro at a guess) 4×12 [SOLD]

A dead Sound City 120 if you feel like doing one up[SOLD]

Shortscale Encore precision style bass [SOLD]

A mate is selling a Sound City 120 with a Hiwatt style preamp (boo) for [SOLD]

Open to offers on most stuff on this blog, but they’d have to be good offers.

First oil coat on Wishbass

This is a day after the oil and steel wool. I see some sparklies so will have to get a bigger magnet. Is fairly cold so might have to wait a day or two more for it to stop being tacky then fine wet and dry over it.

And the back, pretty much gone round the bark at this stage, would just shred the wire wool and be a pain.

No pics this time

Not done much worth photoing, day of picking the brain of Eltham Jones in his workshop:

Did do the next step of finishing on the Wishbass, all sanded to 320 grit, went over it with 0000 steel wool and thinned danish oil, idea being the fine abrasiveness makes a slurry with the oil that fills the pores. Wool might be a bit fine for the purpose, butis what I had. This does leave you with a scattering of iron filings about the surface, figred a plan for this, wrap a magnet in clingfilm, and use it to gather the filings, then you can peel off  the film and still have a clean magnet.

Wishbass progress

Taken to cutting sandpaper into narrow strips to sand out the inside curves, hold the ends and pull it back and forth. Once those were smooth (which was coupla days sanding sessions) moved to a 280 grit sponge sanding block. I like this, went over everything quickly then had a ho at using white spirit as a sanding lubricant, but I stepped back off a step and chucked it everywhere, so I spread it about so can get a ‘wet’ pic to show how the wood should look (it will be shinier with more sanding and danish oil):

For sale

Spend all my productive time today filing down the saddle on an acoustic that came to me with a 3/8″ action at the 12th fret. Whole thing was made wrong/shifted, so only so much I could do, make it better, but not make it good. Plus I didn’t take photos, cause knew I wasn’t gonna be super pleased with the result.

Did take the Eagle to mentor tech who pushed on it a lot and pronounced it stable, so happy there. Trying to find cheap Elixirs now.

Here’s something I have for sale, a red Cort bass, Indonesian, pretty nice, been noodling a bunch, lightweight P style, had a bust off machine head, I’ve replaced the worm geared bit so one of the cloverleafs doesn’t quite match (and managed to cut it off the photo not on purpose).

After £95 for it, can post it for about £15, comes with a padded softcase.

Modern amps, boo. Also guitars.

Props to the guy that brought me this Marshall valve state, stopped using it when it started making funny noises, not continue using it till it explodes. this makes fixing a case of finding the problem and fixing, rather than replacing lots of exploded things, which is boring and ballache on PCB.

Starting at the start, the power lead tucked in the back, pretty wrong to see on the outside with the inner insulation showing, inside, not much better:

Neutral pretty much disconnected, most of the strands broken. Plugs should be a big deal, but figured should probably mention since stuff like this exists. Cut off the wires, and redid it so the clamp holds the main insulation, also tinned the ends of the wires for good measure.

First thing I do when I get an amp in to fix is open it up and clean everything, hoover out, spray the pots, cotton bud and meths into the sockets, clean valve bases. So if that is the problem, it won’t be any more an I can’t blow it up as soon as I test it due to dirt. The problem with this one, after doing that was some cutting out and crackling when you putt on the input lead, or wiggle the knobs in the first channel. Classic board mount pot problem of one pulling out of the pcb. All the knobs off, all the nuts on the jacks and the pots off (Valvestates luckily only have nuts on some of the pots). Then the little press connectors that push through the PCB have to be eased off. Someone has been in here before and snapped most of them off, so that wasn’t too hard. The last bit involves sliding out the whole PCB an you very nearly have to take out the whole transformer to do it, but there is just enough spring in the chassis:

Edited out some extreme messy workbench there. Once that’s like that, can get at everything. And here is is:

Third pin on that pot doesn’t have a nice mound of solder round it. Soldered that up and did all the others for good measure. Something on some of them repelled the solder, interesting, possibly why it went to start with, but the fact that using the volume and the input jack flexes that part of the board is more likely the reason. This is why pots with leads are better. All went back together easy enough, and good to go.

Have this to look at next:

Fun part of this is he was using it for 6 months like that, as the string clamp for the locking trem kept them in place, they’ve grown a crust now so sorting time. Far from ideal as there is now 6 months worth of crud in the joint so I can’t just inject glue, clamp, and be good to go.

Also arrived yesterday…

Waited till could get some well lit pics, as picked this up from a gig, and got back pretty late.

This is the bass owned and used by Leo Smee of Cathedral and Chrome Hoof (from whom it was purchased). You can see it in various videos, most clearly in Stained Glass Horizon. Unfortunately, the headstock has been broken off:

And a note confirming what albums it was used on:

Turns out the 1 GEC KT88 from that amp was dead. Lame.