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Old 22nd Jul 2023, 12:27 pm   #1
Martinez
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Default Fenton Weill Packaway Guitar Amp

I’ve had a number of old amps stored in the attic, so after a break of some 20 years I decided to reacquaint myself with repairing valve amps, and this little and very rare beauty was the easiest to start me off.
It was in a pretty grotty state and I’d never even taken the back panel off to peak inside. In fact I’d never heard of a Fenton Weill so thanks to the internet I identified exactly what I’d got in my possession.
Inside the amp was pretty much like the outside.
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Old 22nd Jul 2023, 12:30 pm   #2
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Default Re: Fenton Weill Packaway Guitar Amp

Sorry, system locked during last post. So hopefully here’s a couple more pictures
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Old 22nd Jul 2023, 12:49 pm   #3
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Default Re: Fenton Weill Packaway Guitar Amp

A quick look inside confirmed my suspicions. No way was I plugging this thing in until I’d replaced all the electrolytic caps and checked a few safety issues.
The board underneath had been badly damaged around what must has been the original dual cap. This had been poorly repaired by using 2 axial caps bodged together and soldered to what was left of the track underneath.
On removing the board from the case these 2 caps were noticeably loose and one of the leads was disconnected from the board. Probably due to them being unsupported in any way.
Guitar amps have a tough life getting constantly move about and travelling around by road. I’ve always worked on the basis of ‘if it can be broken, it will be’ when working anywhere in the Music Industry, so any repairs needed to be solidly built.
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Old 22nd Jul 2023, 1:17 pm   #4
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Default Re: Fenton Weill Packaway Guitar Amp

After a good clean up with a brush n vacuum cleaner I removed the 3 largest caps from the board and did a few continuity tests. The on/off switch didn’t. But luckily it was double pole so I just moved the wiring across. I removed all the valves and cleaned the pins then ordered some replacement caps.
My first priority was to get the amp working, so I ordered radial caps as they’re cheaper + there wasn’t a lot of room near the Tone-on/off switch so a bit of manoeuvring was require.
Caps arrived and I stuck them down well to the circuit board with silicon.
Final job was to improve build security by adding diagonal strips to stop the board wobbling about.
I had been searching for a Variac on various websites, but they were all very expensive. Then one popped up down in Somerset for £15 ! So after convincing my better half that a few days away in our Camper was a good idea, I called in and collected it on my way to Watchet. The guy said he used to be a TV engineer and also offered me a Taylor 45A valve tester which looked a little decrepit, however an offer of £20 was accepted and is now the subject of my other post.
But that looks like being a longer story !
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Old 22nd Jul 2023, 4:04 pm   #5
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Default Re: Fenton Weill Packaway Guitar Amp

I would have gone about this the other way round. Nine times out of ten the electrolytics usually recover and would have probably been fine, but on the other hand those green TCC things will be the ones to give you grief if you power it up with them still in place - particularly the two large ones, which couple to the grids of the output valves. It looks like that wire wound resistor has caused the scorching of the circuit board - ideally it wants upgrading wattage wise and standing further off the board and away from those lovely new electrolytic capacitors, if possible.
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Old 22nd Jul 2023, 4:10 pm   #6
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Default Re: Fenton Weill Packaway Guitar Amp

I wonder is the mains transformer made by Douglas? It may not say of course. Just looks like one of theirs.
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Old 22nd Jul 2023, 7:32 pm   #7
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Default Re: Fenton Weill Packaway Guitar Amp

The 2 transformers are screwdriver to the wooden case and I didn’t remove them, so sorry I’ve no idea except that they both work.
I’m looking to install a euro type mains socket on the rear with integral fuse. The rear panel seems to be made of hardboard with a gap at one end to store the mains lead so I won’t have to cut it up. Label on rear say sold by ‘Modern Music in Dudley’ so it’s not traveled far in 60 years !
The bloke who built it (Weill) apparently escapes from Nazi Germany and came to uk. He was also responsible for designing a number of amps for Selmer and for building guitars under same brand name. He also had involvement in the Burns Guitars company.
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Old 23rd Jul 2023, 11:34 am   #8
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Default Re: Fenton Weill Packaway Guitar Amp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Techman View Post
I would have gone about this the other way round. Nine times out of ten the electrolytics usually recover and would have probably been fine, but on the other hand those green TCC things will be the ones to give you grief if you power it up with them still in place - particularly the two large ones, which couple to the grids of the output valves. It looks like that wire wound resistor has caused the scorching of the circuit board - ideally it wants upgrading wattage wise and standing further off the board and away from those lovely new electrolytic capacitors, if possible.
The large caps that were wobbling about on the board were showing signs of bulging and obvious weren’t original, so they went straight in the bin !
I will eventually check all components after removing them from the board, but it’s surprisingly quiet which suggests there’s nothing breaking down.
I suppose the real test will be when it’s used ‘in anger’ at full volume
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