December 12, 2008

Magnatone Troubador M192-5

I had not ever heard a Magnatone amp, of any model, but always wondered about what they sounded like. Discussions here on the forum about the pitch-changing vibrato were quite interesting. When sluckey fixed up a Magnatone, I became more interested and looked around for one. In November, sluckey told me about a small one on EBay. Even though it was listed as "rough", I bought it.

It arrived, a disaster in a cardboard box! A real basket case, butchered, cobbled, parts missing, and painted blue over the brown covering. They even painted the chassis and everything on it gray, including the PT and tube sockets. A real "jewel" . Judging from the age of the filter caps that had been jumpered on to the cap can terminals, this thing had sat around for years since it was hacked up.

I started on it by gutting what was left of the "guts" and stripping the paint off the chassis, repainting it and re-assembling it with new pots,
jacks, a Fender PR OT, and misc other parts. I had to fabricate a small steel plate to cover the holes butchered into the top of the chassis.

After the chassis was back together, I stripped the covering off of the little cab, and discovered that there was no glue used to build the cab, just small nails holding it together. It came apart easily, and I assembled it again with West System Epoxy glue. I bought some alligator brown Tolex from Mojo Musical Supply to re-cover the cab, a new handle which seemed to resemble the original, and some grille cloth from, which sort of resembled the original. I used a 1963 Jensen C12 speaker I had, which is in great shape, and got the thing all together.

The final outcome of this little amp was really amazing. It has sweet tone, ample power, and what is really surprising, zero hum!!

...Bill Creller

eBay jewel? I don't know...

These pictures came from the eBay auction.

(This schematic was tracked down through Yahoo's Magnatone/Valco forum)

I had the pleasure of watching Bill throughout this entire restoration project. I have a lot of respect
 and admiration for the dedication and numerous skills required to produce the results presented here.     ...sluckey

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