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Old September 15th, 2012, 01:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Newly Refurbished Silvertone 1482

I recently finished the last of several mods to this 1965 Silvertone 1482.

I installed the chassis and speaker in a new custom cabinet, which probably gave the greatest improvement of all of the mods. The old cabinet had a 1/4" two-piece pressboard speaker baffle plate with a square opening. It was even slightly warped from the weight of the speaker over the years. I'm sure this reduced manufacturing costs, but it was killing the sound. The new cabinet is solid pine with Black Taco covering and a brown leather Fender dog bone handle. The amp now sounds much "louder" and tighter. It was like taking the proverbial blanket off the amp - it really opened up the sound.

I've gone back and forth between the stock 4 Ohm Fisher alnico speaker and an 8 Ohm Jensen P12R. I ended up keeping the Fisher. I've read a lot of complaints about the stock Fisher speaker in these amps, but after switching to the custom cabinet, adding the Jensen made minimal difference to my ears. I'm not convinced that the Fisher is all that bad of a speaker for the gritty sounds that this amp puts out.

I also cleaned and re-tensioned the tube socket pins, which got rid of all the preamp popping and crackling that I thought was from the original tubes (Tung Sol 12AX7 preamp tubes and Sylvania smoked glass 6V6 power tubes - Silvertone branded).

I replaced the original non-polarized two prong AC power cord with a grounded power cord for safety reasons. The original power cord was fused on the neutral side and also had a .05 MFD neutral coupling cap (the notorious "Death Cap") to ground. I moved the fuse to the hot side in front of the power switch and removed the neutral coupling cap.

I didn't change the circuit all that much. The original input jacks for the Instrument and Microphone channels were not shorting jacks, and were picking up a lot of noise. I replaced these with Switchcraft 12A jacks and also changed the two inputs for the Instrument channel to a Fender 5E3 Hi/Lo circuit. This eliminated most of the noise and also gave me a Lo input to use with my Les Paul. I also changed out most of the out of spec resistors and capacitors.

The end result is a much "louder" and tighter amp with almost no noise and without any noticeable loss of that gritty Silvertone "mojo". It's still a very dark amp - heavy on the mids - and it's almost impossible to dial in a usable clean setting. This, however, does not bother me all that much, as my goal was not to transform it into a Tweed Deluxe. That's not to say that I won't consider switching the volume pots to audio taper pots to see if I can't get a bit more control over dialing in the cleans for the sake of a little versatility, or perhaps add a 120 pF "bright" cap to the volume pot on the Microphone channel to improve the high end. Just not right now.


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Old September 15th, 2012, 01:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow. That looks great man. I've got a 1481, and used to have a 1482 - great amps but yes, the cabinets are so so cheap. Interesting to hear how big a difference a nice cabinet makes. I may have to consider that if I could get one as nice as yours. Cheers.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 01:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't emphasize enough how much the new cabinet helped. Before the new cabinet, I had simply added a temporary pigtail with an 8-Ohm output jack and was playing it through extension cabinets.

I didn't build the new cabinet. It was made by Rocco at Rockometer Amps in Chicago. He's very familiar with the 1482.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 09:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Very nice looking cab. Rockometer makes some nice ones. I love those little amps. I've got a dead mint '65 and a '67.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is one of the best lookin amps i've ever seen.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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nice work. looks awesome and I'm sure it sounds awesome too. congrats on your hard work.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 03:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I hit the jackpot last year with my '65.




I even got the original shipping carton.




I swear it spent the better part of 46 years in that box before I found it. I will keep that one as stock as the day it left the factory. I grabbed a '67 earlier this year for tinkering on. So far I've replaced the speaker baffle and speaker. You would be amazed how much of an improvement just replacing the crappy masonite baffleboard makes.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 03:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Love my 1482. Secret weapon amp
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Old September 19th, 2012, 04:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow. Those looks incredibly cool. Beyond retro-cool. Great job.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Riffraff - I've seen some of your clips on YouTube.

What settings do you use for a clean tone? In the photos above I see that you have the tone all the way up (mine too) and both volumes at about 2-3 (above 3 is where mine starts to break up).

Do you find that the volume controls are very interactive? Mine are not, although there's a bit of a sweet spot with both set at about 4-5.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with 4 - 5 being the sweet spot. That is were i set mine too. I also jumper the channels and put a delay pedal between them so I can blend the wet signal with the dry with the volume controls. I run the tone on the amp all the way up and use an EQ pedal in front of the amp to adjust my tone usually I just boost the high frequencies a litte and run the rest flat. 1482s are a little dark and this helps sweeten them up a bit. For cleans I just roll my guitar's volume control back to about 6 and roll up for grit. I also really like a boost in front of these. Something low gain like a blues driver or a route 66 really wakes the amp up. They are fantastic sounding amps and you really don't have to work too hard to get great tone out of them.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 02:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Riffraff - What settings do you use for the tremolo circuit when playing clean? I've noticed that mine works great as long as the strength is set above 5. Anything below 5 on the strength knob and the tremolo effect is extremely diminished.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 03:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wow Ramjac, that's a great looking amp.
I just started venturing into Valco-designed amps (like yours and like my '63 Executive) and I like what I'm seeing. Haven't had the pleasure of trying one of the smaller ones yet though.

Play it loud in and often.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 10:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think I had it on 6 or 7 on the clip. I really haven't used it a lot because I've been having so much fun boosting the amp. The tremolo sounds very cool though and I've got a footswitch for it now so I will be experimenting with it more. It has a very funky decay that I really like.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 11:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That was a nice clip.

That's about where I set mine. If you get a chance and don't mind doing so, set the strength below 4 and see if you can hear the effect.

I have a footswitch that I swap among amps but I usually just turn the strength to 0 when I want the tremolo off. It doesn't bleed through, but just to be sure, I ordered a toggle switch to put in parallel with the footswitch jack (closed = no tremolo; open = tremolo OR footswitch setting)

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Originally Posted by Riffraff View Post
I think I had it on 6 or 7 on the clip. I really haven't used it a lot because I've been having so much fun boosting the amp. The tremolo sounds very cool though and I've got a footswitch for it now so I will be experimenting with it more. It has a very funky decay that I really like.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 02:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'll definitely check that out.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 03:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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That's probably the best looking Silvertone amp I've ever seen. One thing I'd suggest is trying a different 4 Ohm speaker in that amp. Rather than trying a different but 8 Ohm speaker you might be pleasantly surprised.

I grew up with Sears Silvertone gear -- my folks bought me an amp-in-case 2-pickup Silvertone for my 14th birthday. Then for my 15th B-Day I got the famous Silvertone Twin Twelve with Reverb. Finally, for my 18th B-Day I received the 150 watt Solid State Silvertone with 6-10" Jensens.

All I wanted was a Fender Stratocaster and a Fender Bandmaster Reverb -- but they kept buying me Sears stuff and I didn't want to let on that it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I had a job and such, but at $1 an hour it would take a long time to save up to buy my own Fender gear while in High School. I remember taking home less than $20 a week from my job. At that rate it would take me nearly 3 years to afford the Fender gear I wanted.

PS. Of course, I'm talking about the 1964 to 1968 time frame when I was in High School.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm diggin' all the Silvertone love on this site.

I wasn't even aware of Silvertone branded products in high school. Everyone had pointy Ibanez guitars and solid state amps. My red Fender Champ 12 tube amp is a relic from that era.

I brought an Old Kraftsman Speed Demon into a local shop a few months ago to have the nut replaced and the amp tech recommended a couple of Silvertones they had on the showroom floor - a 1331 and the 1482. I instantly loved the grit and the tremolo of the 1482 and brought it home.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 11:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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@ ramjac

great job on restoring that old Silvertone. like Gretsch-Talk, I remember the old Silvertones of the 60s. my next door neighbor had one to go along with his Silvertone(Sears & Roebuck) guitar.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 07:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Your amp looks incredible. That was my first amp also. I was 13. My folks bought it for me from my best friends' Dad for...I think...$40 for the amp and Silvertone guitar. I wish I woulda hung on to it now.
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