Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My Kalamazoo Model 1

Years ago I picked up a Kalamazoo Model 1 from the Goodwill outlet store. I still haven't plugged it in to test it, mainly because it has an old 2 prong power cable and potentially a "death cap", which could send DC voltage through the chassis and down to me, which I would rather not chance.

Admittedly I'm completely ignorant of tube amps, and amp circuitry in generally, but I really wish that I could replace the power cable myself, as well as remedy any potentially death dealing capacitors. I don't want to screw anything up, yet I can't afford to send this off to a professional and have them send me a bill of more than this thing is really worth, just to have done things I feel I could have studied and done myself. (by which I mean simple soldering)

Being a solid state person I'm ill-prepared to maintain a tube amp, but I'm seriously wanting to get this thing turned on, turned up and listen to what it has to say. The problem is that I did a bit of research and found people on both sides of the fence saying these should be good to go, barring any unforeseen electrical issues, while others will say they should be checked over by a qualified technician to avoid damaging the amp or yourself.

Sure, it's not a Marshall, Gibson, Fender or any other well known vintage amp, and most of these aren't even used for guitar anymore. The Kalamazoo tube amps are now mostly used for mouth harps! I did happen to find one person on youtube who cranked a model 1, and it sounded REALLY nice, which makes me sad that I'm completely ignorant on how to fix this poor thing.

Everything except the end of the power cable looks to be in great shape, just a little bit attic. No black marks, no scary looking missing leads or wires to nowhere, everything looks great! Maybe someday I'll get this thing fixed, but there is such little information on checking and maintaining one of these, even with as popular as they are for harmonica players.

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