Total Restoration of a 1959 Superlead from 1973

Discussion in 'Building the Classics' started by Matthews Guitars, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting project, I'm looing forward to the amp rebuild. :yesway:
     
  2. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Active Member

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    Great project !!!

    Here's my '73 Superlead as I first got it:

    [​IMG]

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    I installed a new Metro/Heyboer PT and got everything working properly (parts replaced as needed to work 100%) and put a new logo on the head cab.

    Now it's a great sounding, but used looking old Marshall.

    Nothing approaching the detailed restoration you're doing.

    I salute your skills, attention to detail, and the lengths you're willing to go to in your '73 Superlead project !!!
     
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  3. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    DSC_6226_sm.jpg

    Second cabinet's done. Once I put in the handles which arrive tomorrow, and give it a final cleaning.
     
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  4. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    A quick before/after on the chassis.

    First pic is the chassis in "as received" condition.

    Second pic is the same chassis after strip-down, regalvanizing, rechromating, and the start of reassembly.

    DSC_6002_sm.jpg DSC_6203_sm.jpg
     
  5. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    man... your post made me want to refresh my major... at least new tolex!
     
  6. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    A restored Marshall like that is a real rare amp.
     
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  7. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    I can recover your head cabinet for you if you want. I'm only getting better and better at it!

    I have black elephant tolex in stock, plenty for a few heads. And I have purple, and bright blue, and even blue snakeskin as well. Plus I can easily get any pattern that's currently made.
     
  8. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    You did a really nice job on the chassis. It takes a lot of commitment and work to reach that level of restoration.
     
  9. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    OK, wrong amp, I know! This is my 2203, not my 1959, but it now sports one of my first run reproduction back panels. This one features an effects loop occupying the two inward speaker jacks and the added rotary switch is the impedance selector for the remaining two, Which I will mark later with clear Dymo labels with black print.

    I think that I'm going to do a slight print revision and bring the legends along the top edge down a little bit so they have more clearance off the back cover.

    I just need to stamp in the serial number and call it done.
    DSC_6363_sm.jpg
     
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  10. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    I was able to acquire a very rare original Marshall NOS front panel for a 1959/1987, and by virtue of having done so, I've been able to substantially improve the accuracy of my artwork. Just in time for the second batch of front panels to be printed, too! (The first batch was expected to have "issues" and I was right about that. I don't intend to sell any from batch 1. Well, maybe at a deep discount if you don't mind a couple of small inaccuracies. But for a highly authentic restoration, you'll want front panels from batch 2 or later.
     
  11. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Here's a transparency printed with the artwork, laid over and slightly offset, from an original panel. This shows how accurate the artwork is.
    1959 proof scan.jpg
     
  12. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    That looks really good - I’ll be wanting at least one of those front panels.
    Do you think you will be making any 50w rear panels? I had an original one and sold it, now I need one.
     
  13. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Yes, if I can verify the correct layouts. Since I don't have a 50 watt chassis available to me as of yet, other than one that has been modded a lot, I'm mostly working from photos and measurements I've collected.

    If you send me your email address, and a note, I can send you a 100 percent scale pdf of the appropriate file. Print it out at full scale and compare it to your chassis and you can then tell me what's not right about it and what changes need to be made. I'll then respin it and send the updated file. When you say "That's it!" then that version goes to print and punch.

    Want one where all the legends go to eleven? I can do that!
     
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  14. Mick10

    Mick10 Member

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    Beautiful work on a great project. You have some rare skill
     
  15. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    7 panels.jpg


    Here are the seven types I've sent to print so far. There will be others and I've got revisions done on the front panels. The I and II legends are badly spaced and the font is wrong so that has been corrected. And the input holes on the rocker switch front panel were punched a bit off position. Also fixed for the next print run.
     
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  16. nkd

    nkd Member

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    Good job, the cabs and chassis look great.
     
  17. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    And I got notice that my transformers are now being shipped back to me. Should have them next week. Reassembly will begin immediately.
     
  18. DrAndy

    DrAndy New Member

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    Wow. That is a whole new level of detail. I love it - tremendous restoration.
     
  19. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    I appear to have made a mistake. I entrusted the (re)build of this amp to a friend of mine who's been doing amps for 45 years.

    Well, due to issues with his medications that he's been on since just recently, I'm getting incredibly slow work out of him. He's always been slow and methodical but as of right now he's had the amp for literally two and a half weeks and has not yet wired in the transformers!

    I'm running short on time. I plan to have that restored amp on display at the Orlando guitar show on Jan 31, Feb 1 and 2, and that gives me just four days to get it completed, testing, biased, and running.

    I'd planned for HIM to do the work while I try to complete a new built Matthews guitar for the show but it's starting to look like NEITHER will be done in time.

    I've abandoned the guitar and will have to take over the amp rebuild myself.

    This kinda sucks.

    But on the brighter side, I've got about 75 assorted reproduction Marshall metal front and back plates in stock and ready to sell.

    I'm going to bring that 1959 to the show even if it's a non-running amp for display only. Interested people can still see all the restored metalwork.
     
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  20. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Looks really great, good job! I believe you will be selling a lot of those!!
     

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