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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Best way to restore a Harvard without losing its value?

Rekoil

United States

Crosswind Community Church
May 10th, 2016 01:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So here’s the story. I work for a church and was on the way to our community house (a sort of after school program for students who live in tough neighborhoods.)

Driving, I saw what looked like an amp on the side of the road. I pulled over because it looked like an old school fender amp… and just sitting there (in what I like to call a “ghetto garage sale”, where you put unwanted stuff on the curb and people can pick it up) was an old used Fender Harvard amp. It has all original components, and hasn’t been touched. It fired up and then I smelled a bit of burning, so I quickly turned it off. It’s definitely dirty though…

Here’s why I’m coming to you guys…I am a complete noob to Vintage gear and am looking to getting this amp restored. I am going to take this to an expert, who knows there stuff but I still wanted to be knowledgeable.

Here are a few questions I had:
1. In order to retain the value for resale (If I decide to sell it), is the general consensus keep as many of the original parts as possible?

2. Are there any specific parts that I should absolutely not repair/replace? Is anything that I should absolutely replace?

3. It’s a bit dirty, what is the best way to clean the grill and the cabinet without damaging anything? How do I clean the metal on the control panel without damaging the writing?

4. Is there any best practices I should look for or questions to ask while i'm looking for someone to repair it?

5. If needed, where do I buy parts (resistors, caps, etc.) that will retain original sound and quality? Or be a good modern equivalent?

6. As far as tubes go, do I buy NOS tubes for the amp? Are Kits worth getting? Or should I look to buy each tube separately? Am I looking for “vintage” tubes, or are modern tubes acceptable?


Thank you so much for your help guys, I look forward to being part of this community.


BbendFender
Contributing Member
*********

American Patriot

I'm on guard these days.
May 10th, 2016 02:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Take it to a tech if you don't know how to do a cap job on it. Is it covered in tweed. I'd imagine it is. Look at the tube chart on the inside and see if there are 2 letters stamped on the tube chart. This will help date it. Tweed can be cleaned. I'd also talk to some musician friends if you don't know much about this thing. A tweed Harvard in good shape should bring $1500-2000 according to my Vintage Guitar price guide. Take a pic and show us the amp.

roadhog96

USA / CT.

May 11th, 2016 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes keep all the original parts even the ones needing to be replaced. Only replace parts that need to be replace meaning if your going to play this amp then it will need the Electrolytic filter caps changed due to there age. It's recommended to change out the Cathode bypass caps at the same time as well as the Bias cap. Some don't like to do the Cathode caps if they are still in spec. Just about everyone changes the AC power cord to a grounded cord for safety. I wouldn't be in any hurry to buy all new tubes either. Have them checked they may still be good. And if you have to replace any I'd stick with NOS if you can. The more you change the amp from its original configuration the less it's going to be worth and worst its going to sound. As far as cleaning your not going to make it look new again but you can clean the dust, dirt off. I only use Carnauba wax on my faceplates it doesn't hurt the writing, cleans them and leaves a protective barrier on it to prevent oxidation. I don't think it's a good idea to clean the grill cloth. It could look worst. Ever watch Antique Road Show? Everyone whoever brought in a rare vintage item worth a lot of money were disappointed when the appraisers told them what it would have been worth if they hadn't cleaned it. Patina is MoJo. Don't over do it, light cleaning only. It's old so it has to look old.

Rekoil

United States

Crosswind Community Church
May 11th, 2016 03:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here she is:

http://s32.postimg.org/bhsv515gl/20160421_202700.jpg

http://s32.postimg.org/te3nff2sl/20160421_202849.jpg

(This message was last edited by Rekoil at 05:24 PM, May 11th, 2016)

carsten

on the rhine

May 11th, 2016 03:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey Rekoil!

What a great find!
That´s a CLEAN-looking amp - no worries!

Take a damp sponge and/or some pressed air to it and you will be golden!

Roadhog and the others had good advice!
Take it easy and have someone who knows this stuff look it over.

Congrats!

best - C.

Rekoil

United States

May 11th, 2016 04:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks Guys...

Had a tech look at them...

I did have a question about some caps.

First thing is...

I need to replace 4 Astron Caps...

I need a quantity of (3) 16uf 450v Axial Caps that are polarized

and i need a quatity of (1) 25uf 25v Axial Cap that is polarized

I know this is an opinion thing, but in your opinion what caps best preserve the sound? do newer caps sound the same?

Ive heard to get jupiter reds, sozos, mallory 150s...

Any suggestions w/links where to buy?



BbendFender
Contributing Member
*********

American Patriot

I'm on guard these days.
May 11th, 2016 08:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Pic 1

Harvard

BbendFender
Contributing Member
*********

American Patriot

I'm on guard these days.
May 11th, 2016 08:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Pic 2

Harvard

BbendFender
Contributing Member
*********

American Patriot

I'm on guard these days.
May 11th, 2016 08:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Looks about like I thought it would look. Take it to a trusted tech who will keep every single part he takes off to replace. Make sure you get the parts back.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
*********

So. Cal. USA

May 12th, 2016 12:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The polarized caps you mention are the filter caps and probably cathode the bias cap. Common quality brands would be Sprauge and F&T. Although I use F&T now for all my repairs and builds I'd prolly put Sprauges in this baby. Just for the "look".

Very cool amp! Congrats.

(This message was last edited by Hammond101 at 03:56 PM, May 12th, 2016)

guitarcapo

U.S.A.

May 17th, 2016 12:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

At these prices worth fixing I would say.

(This message was last edited by guitarcapo at 02:42 PM, May 17th, 2016)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
May 27th, 2016 09:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The Harvard is the amp used by Steve Cropper to record Green Onions with Booker T. and the MGs. He also used it on Otis Redding's (Sitting on the) Dock of the Bay, and many other huge hits.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
*********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
May 27th, 2016 11:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

When doing old amp repairs on amps like this, I'll often remove insides of the old electrolytic caps, and insert new caps into the old cardboard cases, to maintain "the look." I did an old Gibson and an Ampeg last year and did this.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Best way to restore a Harvard without losing its value?




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