New Gear Day: Fender Custom Shop Dual Professional Tube Amplifier
New year, new gear! After internally struggling to build versus buy, I pulled the trigger on a 200's serial number Fender Custom Shop Dual Professional! The amp needed some cosmetic work but I was guaranteed that the electronics are all in working order. Upon first inspection, it was indeed true that she sounds amazing. Not disclosed in the listing, the amp came with N.O.S. U.S.A. Tung Sol and RCA tubes. Hot damn!
I did notice some rust between the faceplate and chassis so the faceplate had to come off. The past few years of this amp's life lived in Florida and Georgia. I didn't detect any signs of being a flooding victim (phew!) so the rust must have naturally formed being in humid environments and even more humid basements. Some 80 grit sandpaper, M.E.K. cleaner, and aluminum Rustoleum oil paint put a stop to the rust issue. I also removed the oxidation from the top of the chassis to get a better ground contact against the aluminum tape on the top of the cabinet.
One thing that a particular John Mayer fan and I found surprising is the use of dual pots. All of the pots are either dual 500KB or dual 50KB. Some of the pots have their lugs connected between the dual pots which 1/2's the resistance which is neat. I believe the use of the dual pots is to increase the torque required to turn the knobs. It's a really nice feel and it's sturdy. This is my preference when it comes to dials so it's a nice Custom Shop, expensive feel to it.
One of the previous owners had their band logo stuck to the grill of the Dual Professional at one point and you can see it in certain light. I'm going to replace the grill cloth as part of this reconditioning. I had a hard time deciding if I should leave the amp dirty and abused looking, but I chose to recondition everything as much as I can. I like to keep my toys well maintained and always taken care of, so I figured I should continue with this amp as well. I'm not sure if I'm going to sell this amplifier after I'm done reconditioning or keep it around as an "investment." Time will tell!
Here is a bunch of high resolution photos of the amp and guts. I have not seen gut shots of this amplifier before so enjoy! Please contact me if you'd like to see something special in the amp construction.