Silvertone 1470 Video

17 11 2008

Time for a bit of a left turn as I try to sort the fuse issue on the Lafayette amp.  Here’s a video of me playing a 1980’s Harmony strat copy through the Silvertone 1470.

The volume of the amp was 75% up and even though the Silvertone is only a few watts, it was still loud enough to get me yelled at, lol.

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Upon Further Investigation…..

15 11 2008

As will be seen, this Lafayette amp is a fixer-upper. It wasn’t well cared after and someone took liberties with the control nobs, but the little thing rocked during the brief time that it worked.

At the moment it consumes fuses like there’s no tomorrow and presents a good learning experience to find out why. I bought this for just $75 about two years ago where I found the Silvertone 1470, purchasing both in the same transaction.

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When running single coil pickup guitars through the amp, it produced a very ratty 1960’s garage rock tone, all treble and spite with hardly any bass response. Forget lush, swirling, harmonically rich chordal moments, this is real bare wires stuff, like a budget version of the guitar lead on “Sympathy For The Devil” by the Rolling Stones.

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I wish Lafayette had come up with a model name for this amp, there’s no joy in referring to it by its given name of 99-9141WX. Fender had the Twin Reverb, the Bassman, even the long forgotten Bronco, Gibson gave it’s amps names like Ranger, Minuteman or Medallist, while Vox combined letters and numbers in an interesting way to produce the AC-10, AC-30, AC-50…etc, but to Lafayette, amps were just catalog order numbers.





Lafayette 99-9141 WX Meets Harmony Rocket

10 11 2008

The amp stopped working so I pulled it apart and it looks like it’s just a blown fuse, but as I’ve learned from Gerald Weber books this is likely an indicator of an additional internal problem. Hopefully, it’s not a bad transformer.

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Until I can get a few replacement fuses and begin to troubleshoot the amp, a description of its sonic properties will have to wait. But, the disasembled state that it’s in will afford a good opportunity for pictures of the circuitry.

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As can partially be seen in the photos above, the Lafayette amp is slightly larger than a Gibson GA-5T but the Lafayette is a real budget model in comparison with the Gibson. Comparing the build quality of the two amps is not too far away from lining up a Robin Reliant to a Rolls Royce.

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The guitar here is a Harmony Rocket from, as near as I can tell, 1974. I bought it the day before Christmas, 1993 with a $175 holiday bonus from a new job. I wasn’t really crazy about it as a guitar but it was the only one in the shop for that amount of money or less that could be tuned!

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The Harmony is a poor man’s 335 to be sure, but it does have that sweet tone shared by most semi-hollowbodies. I recently ran it thru a cranked Silvertone 1470 and the neck pickup produced a nice, bluesy, buttery soft sound while the bridge pickup was much sharper and the tone coming through the 1470 was close to the Vox AC-30/Rickenbacker chime of mid-period Beatles recordings such as “She’s A Woman” and “Day Tripper”.