Hand Wiring Reissue Guitar Amplifiers

Want to increase performance and reliability of your reissue guitar amplifier? This is a bit of an invasive repair project but it will make your amp much like the vintage amps they are based on. I like to call the process “gutting & rebuilding”. The process is as follows: 1- Remove all printed circuit boards from the amp chassis. All PCB’s must go including the ones for the power supply (filter capacitors). 2- Construct and populate the appropriate board for your amp model (fiberboard for reissue Fender’s, turret boards for British type reissue’s) so that it may be hand wired. Using full size components such as capacitors and some resistors increases the dynamic response of the amp as well as making the overall tone nice and rich like the amps of the good ol’ days. 3- Install the new hand wired board and make all the necessary connections. 4- Power on the amp checking all voltages, current draw & set the negative bias voltage.

I have had much success in my 300guitars Shop with this process on reissue amps that have PCB’s. I am not against PCB’s if they are made of high quality board material, have adequate traces and a good layout. There have been some great amps constructed with PCB’s such as older Marshall’s and Ampeg’s as well as some newer models made by Bogner and Fuchs. When done correctly amps can sound fantastic, are reliable and become very consistent in mass production. The use of PCB construction is cost effective as well.

I don’t recommend a project like this to a novice for many reasons. Besides being somewhat dangerous a novice does not have the knowledge or experience to troubleshoot the amp if it does not work properly when complete which can be very frustrating. If you would like to attempt hand wiring a reissue amp you could source a pre-wired board, do the installation then take it to a tech for the final step of powering on and setting it up.

Here are some photos of some hand wired reissue chassis’.