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Thread: 78 deluxe reverb

  1. #1
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    78 deluxe reverb

    Hello,

    I recently inherited this amplifier and from what I've been told, it has not been used since the 80's. No marks or dings just very dusty. Before I start to prepare it for sale, I was wondering, would this be considered 'vintage' dust, and would removing it hurt the resale value ??

  2. #2
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    Welcome to TFF! Not a "specialist" answer, but a personal opinion: I'd prefer a "clean" vintage item rather than one that has decades of useless crud on it.
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  3. #3
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    I personally would like a clean amplifier. In fact I spent hours removing decades of nicotine stain from the grill cloth and tolex of my 1969 Super Reverb that I bought last year. See the picture below about 1/2 way thru the process.

    On your Deluxe Reverb, the grill cloth should be attached to a frame which is attached to the front of the baffle board with velcro on each of the 4 corners and a couple in the middle of the top and bottom of the frame. It can be kind of hard to remove the grill cloth frame, in fact I damaged one of the corners of the particle board frame on my 1977 Deluxe Reverb and had to glue and clamp it back into shape. It's actually easier to remove the grill cloth frame if the chassis is removed so you can kind of push on the top of it from the inside rather than prying it from the outside.

    Another thing to consider, if it hasn't been been used since the 1980's, the electrolytic capacitors are likely dried out or possibly leaking. You may want to take it to someone with a Variac when powering it up, so they can bring the voltage up slowly. Personally, I would pay more for an amp of this vintage if it had been professionally serviced recently as opposed to being in "original" condition. It would save me the trouble of doing it myself.

    Look on sites like "Reverb" to get an estimate of what recent sales of late 1970's Deluxe Reverbs are going for. I have noticed a substantial increase in just the last year.

    I used a product called "Oxygen Power" and a soft toothbrush to clean the grill cloth, and then used a rolled up damp towel to remove the yellow crud. I kept rinsing the towel and rolling it over the area of the grill cloth I was working on until it wrung out clear. Try to avoid getting the particle board too wet, because well it's particle board.

    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    thanks for the replies In looking at the Reverb website, I think I should invest a bit to have it professionally looked over. I ran the serial number and it's actually a 1974. Also found a service tag from 2007, where it tested ok, but even that's 15years. Will look for a shop here in Ottawa thanks again.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    Quote Originally Posted by jefflemke View Post
    thanks for the replies In looking at the Reverb website, I think I should invest a bit to have it professionally looked over. I ran the serial number and it's actually a 1974. Also found a service tag from 2007, where it tested ok, but even that's 15years. Will look for a shop here in Ottawa thanks again.

    I think that's a wise decision, especially if it's a 1974. Just because it "tested OK" in 2007, doesn't mean they replaced any aging components. You can confirm the build date by looking at the date code on the frame of the speaker or on the transformers. They will read something like XXX-412. Where XXX is the manufacturer and 4 means 1974 and 12 is the 12th week. Most likely your transformers are dated 1974 or even a couple years earlier, as they usually kept quantities of them on hand and used them as needed. You can also read the date codes on the capacitors in the "doghouse" (the rectangular metal box near the tubes secured with 4 screws). If they are the paper covered dark yellow ones, then they are likely original. You can see from the old doghouse caps in my 1977 Deluxe Reverb that they are dated from 1973 (the caps use a 2 digit year code) so there's no guesswork as to the decade.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    Thanks for the info, very helpful. I'll take a closer look at the electronics while I'm giving it a cleanup.

    Thanks again !!

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    If not already so equipped you should have a grounded 3-conductor power cable installed. Also, disable or remove the "death cap".
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  8. #8
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    If I was just selling it with no intention to play through it myself, I might consider not touching it and let the next owner decide what to do with it. Of course that means that potential buyers would not be allowed to turn on and try the amp.

    Otherwise, electrolytics must be replaced, as well as a two prong cord (if it has one) with a grounded cord, all resistors in the power supply need to be closely evaluated and replaced as required, pots and sockets cleaned as required, tubes replaced and bias checked if power tubes are replaced, etc...

    As a buyer, I enjoy going through all this stuff, not only because I'll do it right, but I actually enjoy the process.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post

    As a buyer, I enjoy going through all this stuff, not only because I'll do it right, but I actually enjoy the process.
    I've only been servicing my own amps for a little over a year, but I have learned a lot and enjoy it also. In the past couple of weeks, I measured the power tube bias in all of my amps, and discovered some surprises, like the new "matched" set of 5881's in my Sovtek Tube Midget 50H. After swapping them out with some 6L6's, I got much closer plate dissipation.

    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    eek, those 5881's were really close ... NOT.

    how do the 6L6 sound in the amp?
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  11. #11
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    As a buyer, I enjoy going through all this stuff, not only because I'll do it right, but I actually enjoy the process.
    +1

    ......And we save some money with DIY maintenance and servicing.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  12. #12
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: 78 deluxe reverb

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    eek, those 5881's were really close ... NOT.

    how do the 6L6 sound in the amp?
    Using the "Low" input the amp sounds very good with the 6L6's. It reminds me of a clean Fender Bassman. I'm not a fan of the sound the "High" input produces. It looks like it goes through 4 gain stages before the phase inverter, and is just too "gainy" and loud, unless you roll the master volume nearly all the way down, and then the tone is affected.

    I may try it again with some less efficient speakers. I tested it this morning with a pair of 1976 Utah 12 inch 8 ohm speakers.

    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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