In 1948, Fender introduced its tweed line of amplifiers, which were distinctive because they had a tweed finish rather than the traditional black finish. Many Fender amps, including the Blues Deluxe and Reverb Deluxe, were issued in tweed. Only reissues of the classic models have the classic look, but they are constructed with modern parts and circuitry. Making a Fender tweed amplifier requires salvaging parts from old and reissued amplifiers.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Fender tweed cabinet
- Pre-amp chassis
- Power amp
- Soldering iron
- Wiring schematic
Purchase a Fender tweed cabinet, a Fender-made preamp and power amp and the hardware and extra surface-mounted components, such as capacitors and resistors, from an amp kit.
Inspect the parts. Look for cracks or chips to the printed circuit board and loosefitting surface-mounted components. Inspect the speaker for rips. Replace any faulty parts because one faulty part can cause the entire project to fail.
Use the Internet to navigate to the Free Schematics website, which features an archive of Fender tweed wiring schematics. Download, print and study the schematic. The sound and quality of an amp partially is determined by the way it is wired, the plate resistors values and the components. The schematic illustrates this information.
Load the preamp chassis into the cab by sliding it in front first from the rear. The chassis contains the preamp tubes, the power transformer, circuit board and potentiometers. The preamp is where the guitar is plugged into, so the top panel containing the jacks and dials must be exposed. Fender tweed amp controls are all top-mounted. Screw the metal chassis to the cab, but don't wire it or load the tubes. The preamp tubes in original Fender tweeds were fitted upside down, which is why there is a gap underneath the preamp chassis.
Load the power amp, which is the section that adds current to signal once it has passed through the preamp and is where the speaker power is generated. Slide it in underneath the preamp, screw it in, but don't wire it.
Screw the speaker into the horizontal struts inside the top and bottom panels of the cabinet.
Wire the input jack to the input terminal on the preamp with a soldering iron to make the connections. Tack any loose wiring to the preamp chassis. Wire the preamp to power amp according to the instructions on the schematic.Wire the output terminal of the power amplifier to the speaker. Load the tubes, and enclose the cabinet.
Tips and warnings
- Practice soldering with some scrap wire and scrap metal, if necessary, because this project requires precise soldering.
- Consult a qualified professional at any stage if problems or questions arise.
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