We can get your silverface amp sounding and performing better than it ever has. As part of the standard maintenance/tune-up service, we clean all pots, jacks & switches, clean & re-tension all tube sockets, test all tubes, bias power tubes, tighten all pots, jacks, switches & transformers, and give the entire circuit an exam. Certain key components are replaced if out of spec. A full electrolytic recap is often required in original amps.
Shop rates are $90/hour plus parts. A typical complete silverface overhaul takes about 3 hours, and tends to average around $400-$550 for the full treatment, depending on selection of certain components (signal cap selection, NOS or new production carbon comp resistors, tube situation, etc). This estimate allows a new preamp tube or two, but does not include the price of a full re-tube if needed or desired. Blackface mod and most mods mentioned below are included in this estimate.
We replace certain resistors that do get noisy over time, such as the plate resistors in the preamp, bias board resistor, and power drop resistors in the power supply.
Please remember that these amps are 40+ years old! They often need general servicing in order to perform at their full potential and unlock the incredible tone that is not tapped in a stock silverface amplifier!
The blackface mod is highly recommended for much improved tone and performance. It does not really affect headroom per-say, but allows more of the natural signal to come through, allowing a lot of the even order harmonics and overtones through that get cancelled out in the silverface circuits.
If you have a stock silverface, we HIGHLY recommend a signal cap upgrade. It’s like taking a wet blanket off of your speaker cab. This upgrade brings you closer to the blackface sound as much as the blackface mod does! It ‘opens up’ the amp considerably, giving you richer clean tone, smoother distortion, more clean sustain, improved touch sensitivity, and a more ‘musical’ sound in general.
The Mallory M150s are a big improvement over the stock signal caps. The Jupiter “Vintage Tone” series rolled mylar/foil caps are absolutely amazing, and very close both in tone and performance to the classic “Blue Molded” signal caps found in the original Blackface amps.
The tweed preamp mod in the normal channel is an excellent option and a great voicing. It gives you another whole tone option at your fingertips, and still full on classic Fender! Thicker tone with more midrange emphasis and lends itself towards earlier breakup. If you’re doing the overhaul and signal cap upgrade, we can just install the tweed preamp parts instead of the stock parts in the first channel – no extra charge. We can then add reverb & vibrato to both channels (no extra charge)!
The easy gain boost is also an excellent mod – it’s a new potentiometer that gets installed in place of the existing intensity pot. There’s a switch on the pot that lets you “click” the vibrato out of the circuit for a noticeable gain boost. No cosmetic change on the front panel! If you use your vibrato regularly then we do not recommend this mod.
If you are a big vibrato fan, the ‘sexy vibrato’ mod is beautiful – reduces vibrato tick and slows the slow end of the speed range down to much more useable speeds.
We like to send back a silverface amp that literally blows away the tone & performance of the amp that was sent in. We also apply some “shop secrets” that improve the tone & response of your amp. Keep in mind, we are working within the framework of the true blackface circuit and do not want to get away from that sound!
After an overhaul, your amp will be good to go for a very long time circuit wise.
Current turnaround time is approx 20 business days.
Please let us know if you have any questions at all!