Vintage Amp Restoration by Will Dyke
Armadillo’s Specialty is Vintage Amp Restoration, Amplifier Recovering, & Tube Amp Repair.
Most Tweed amp cabinet restorations start around $300, but the total restoration cost is determined by what kind of shape the cabinet is in and what kind of glue it is covered with. Black, brown, and blonde cabinet restorations start at about $250.
No up charges for new hardware including corners, feet, and nuts and bolts. Handles, chassis straps, tilt back hardware, name plates, face plates, back panels, and baffle boards are extra. There is a lot of work that goes into restoring a cabinet properly and it often times takes longer than building a new cabinet.
We take pride in restoring your amplifier and look forward to working with you.
We also offer tube amp repair for hand wired (and some printed circuit board) amplifiers. Whether you need new tubes and biasing, a new transformer, or a cap job we can take care of your vintage tube amp repair. We will not do any unneeded repairs and try to up sell you with unnecessary repairs. We will diagnose your tube amplifier for free and email or call you with any issues we find and once you approve the tube amp repair will will fix your amp and test it . Remember that components fail because of age, abuse, or because of another component going bad so it is important to figure out exactly why a particular component failed and address that issue to assure the problem does not keep occurring. There is a $50 minimum on tube amp repair. Our goal is to restore your amplifier to vintage specs and get it back to its original state. We can preform modifications like blackface mods and such per your request. Gutting your amp is not something that normally needs to be done, but if you have a printed circuit board amplifier and would like a hand wired board we will accommodate you. Printed circuit board amps are all different, and we do not work on all PCB amps like Line 6 for instance, but if you have a printed circuit board amp you will have to let us know what the amp and model is before we agree to service it. We do not offer phone technician service for tube amp repair as we simply do not have the time to be on the phone all day answering tech questions, but will be thorough in our diagnosis and will inform you of any issues we find. If you need tube amp repair please email us with make and model, and also the symptoms your are noticing and we will get back to you. It is really hard to determine exactly what is wrong with a tube amplifier without doing a diagnostics, so you will have to send us your amplifier before we can give you a quote, but rest assured you will be treated very fairly. Make sure to package your amplifier very well in a box that we can use to ship back to you, or we will have to charge you a box and packing fee in order to have your amplifier shipped back to you safely. Any damages resulting from shipping are not our responsibility so please let us know how much you would like to have it insured for when we ship it back to you. Remember we offer Cabinet and Tube Amp Repair, and can also replace your speakers. We have special pricing on Jensen and Weber Speakers when ordering a cabinet or having your vintage amplifier serviced!
Check out the selection of available Tube Amplifier Books!
Thanks for considering Armadillo Amp Works for your complete Vintage Amplifier Restoration and Tube Amp Repair!
Over the years I have restored and recovered many a hundred amp cabinets, ranging from early 1948 Fender Amps to more modern and/or boutique amplifier cabinets, weather you fancy exotic safari animal skin or snakeskin, or you are more of a aged tweed
type of person like me, I can get you the look you want for your Fender Replacement Cabinet!
Fender Tweed 3*10 Bandmaster Cabinet Restoration
This cabinet was already stripped of tweed when I received it.
It was in not too bad of shape, but did need quite a bit of work. I built a new baffle and installed the original grill cloth, which had be already re-installed on a sub par baffle. I had to drill and install another wooden dowel where the cabinet had cracked next to one of the chassis bolts, this is pretty common with the old tweeds. It took a bit of bondo work to raise up some corners and patch some places in the cabinet. I was able to use both original back panels and I installed a new leather handle using the original clips as well as new feet, chassis bolts, and back panel screws. Here are some pics of the before and after.
Here is an example of a vintage amp restoration I did.
1962 Fender Brown Concert combo amplifier
1. Stripp and sand/ fill the cabinet
3. Regrille original baffle in wheat grill
4. New dogbone handle
5. Reglue joints
click on this link to download a vintage amp restoration slide show concert_restoration_0002
The pictures below show a Gibson GA-50 Amplifier that has been restored. The cabinet needed a new bottom and was in really poor shape when I received it. I had to also re glue all of the joints. The original material was not available but I found a close match. As well the original handles are not available so the customer requested a vintage leather handle. This is a very tough amp to recover. The customer was very pleased when he got it back.
Here are the “After” pictures of the Restored Gibson GA-50 Amplifier. The original grill cloth was used. The original covering material is no longer available and the customer requested a Vintage leather handle.
Next is a Tweed Pro that has been Restored to Original.
The Cabinet needed a new top, which had been cracked beyond repair. This Tweed Pro cabinet was in really bad shape, and need extensive work to get it back to original. All joints were re-glued, new top, and new front panels. The customer kept the baffle board so I was unable to install the baffle for the pictures.