I hardly remember my first amp. It was black and green with linear equalizer pots but I totally forgot the brand. It was good enough to learn how to play guitar on my first Aria Pro II (red and black Strat-like) but I ended up selling both because they didn’t pass the gigs test. I replaced the guitar with another Aria Pro II, the TA-60 and later on with the Samick SCM-1B when things got serious. Regarding the amp, I set my sights on the Marshall Valvestate 8240 Stereo Chorus which was working very well with my “pedalboard” (CryBaby and Korg A4).
We were in 1993. Since then, you can imagine the amp aged a lot!
I can’t count the times I carried this amp from smoky rehearsal rooms to my place, friends places, bars, shows and festivals stages. To finish with, my cat puked on it (several times) and so did he on my PODxt live years later…
That’s why I decided to give this amp a “little” refresh and why not start a complete makeover with on my todo-list:
• Ivory tolex
• Brushed silver face plate
• Silver pot buttons
• Black power switch
• Grey grill cloth
• Side handles
Here is an idea of what I aimed at:
I received the Marshall silver buttons (from the Jubilee series):
I started the disassembly of the beast:
I also started drawing the new plate with respect to the old one:
In the meantime, the side handles arrived:
I finished the design of the new plate and printed it out 1:1 to verify everything matches fine on the amp face:
As the paper-faceplate simulation went fine, I was able to send the file to the custom shop.
Next, I removed the grill cloth and the staples:
Then I removed the 25+ years accumulated dust with a light paintbrush.
I also received the following items:
- white grill that I will use as under-layer because I don’t want to see the speakers under the grey grill cloth
- silver piping
- Tolex glue
- brushed silver / black faceplate sample : very convincing! but you can’t see it very well on the picture…
The following step was to set the white grill cloth “under layer”:
What an excitement when the faceplate arrived! Together with rubber feet, silver rivets and the black power switch :
Here is the faceplate:
It fits !:
Grill cloth and Marshall logo set:
After the Tolex arrived, it was time to prepare everything. So, I cleaned the screws, bolts, handle and also the electronics (especially the pots with WD40 contact cleaner).
Then, I wiped off the grease residues with gasoline and glued the Tolex on.
And it’s done!