Let's face it...the Hot Rod and Blues Series amps aren't built like amps were back in the day. But, how could they be while remaining affordable? All debates aside, the Hot Rod and Blues series of amps are popular and, unfortunately, not engineered as well as they could have been. The PCBs burn, the traces corrode, and as a result, they just stop working right or straight-up die. It's not that infrequent; this is from a Blues Deluxe that I was given to work on:
So yours is on the way out, or already is, and chances are, you're pretty invested in one of these amps with time and money. You have some choices...you fix it up to sell it, and hope to get a decent price out of it to put into a new amp, or a kit. Maybe you've decided to get a quality kit. The Tweed Pro (5E5A) kit that this rebuild is based on is over $600, for example. Add $250 to $450 for labor charges to have a tech built it if you can't or don't have the time, and the cost grows beyond what you might be able to afford. At this price, you can buy one from a boutique builder, but you've already known your budget won't allow it.
I was in that same spot. Never one to give in, I pursued the idea to try and re-use everything possible this amp still had. After all, the part that failed is the not-so-sturdy circuit board. So what about the transformers, pilot light, switches, tubes, and everything else in there? They have to be worth something...and they are. I gutted the Hot Rod circuit and replaced it with the Tweed Pro circuit. It took a couple of prototypes, but I ended up with a hand-wired tweed amp for a fraction of the cost of a kit.
Good question. Read on at the features page.
See how at the process page.