A Closer Look At The Lafayette LA-35B

1 05 2012

Looks like a few components have outlived their service lives by a few decades…

Tracing the circuit of the amp right now prior to changing out bad components and tubes.





Lafayette Bass Amp Confirmed As LA-35B

15 03 2012

Needing a reliable bass amp, I removed the chassis from the old Lafayette bass amp and was surprised to find the model number stamped on the circuit board.

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I’ve seen other photos online of similar circuit boards in amps made by Univox for Lafayette.

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Huge transformer really gives the chassis a lot of weight! Next up, I’ll be replacing all 10 capacitors in the circuit and re-tubing it as well in hopes that it results in a usable bass amp for recording.

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Mystery Lafayette Tube Amp: LA-35?

31 10 2011

It’s a rare occurrence when I run into an old Lafayette tube amp and I just had to pick this one up last year when I saw it in a music store. The picture below shows it in the store.

At some point in it’s life, someone had bolted a homemade wheeled stand to it’s bottom. Looks pretty bad but comes in handy.

With the 15 inch Jensen and a horn handling speaker duties, I think it’s a bass amp.

There is no model number anywhere on the amp. Research has led me to believe it may be a Lafayette LA-35?





Output Tube As Culprit In Lafayette Mystery?

19 01 2009

As the investigation into the Lafayette amp’s inability to function, startling new evidence has surfaced that could put an end to this riveting mystery.

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Scotland Yard spokesman Neil Yarmouth was quoted as saying “It looks like the output tube has flamed out.” Investigators won’t confirm reports that the tube was simply 40 years old and failed due to old age but recent photographs suggest that is exactly what happened.

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Lafayette Amp Tone And Volume Pots

13 01 2009

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Some good closeups of the pots and input jacks.

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Also a good perspective on the power transformer and a big electrolytic capacitor.

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Lifting The Lafayette Lid: Tubes

29 12 2008

Taking the chassis out of the Lafayette yields a nice view of the circuit.

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The three tubes are plainly seen; two 12AX7 s, one shielded and one not along with the taller 6BQ5.

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The could be the original tubes but are very, very old in any case.  They are all marked “Hitachi Japan”.

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It’s a fairly clean chassis with a good bit of room between components except the circuit board is a bit crammed.





Lafayette Front Panel: Nobs And Jacks

15 12 2008

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As mentioned before, a former owner played around with the Lafayette’s control nobs and I’m not too sure if either style on there now is what was on the amp originally.

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The fat silver nobs look like they came off a hi-fi stereo tuner?





Photos Of Lafayette 99-9141 WX

5 12 2008

From the back.

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A wee bit closer.

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Output transformer mounted on the speaker, which is creatively attached to the amp using scrap wood nuggets rather than bolts.

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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”.