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Clean a Fender amp's silverface plate

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  • Clean a Fender amp's silverface plate

    Hi All,

    I have a Fender amp here, a silverface model that must've been stored in a garage or basement for a long time. I've renovated the amp electronically and it's now sounding great but the faceplate is not looking great, not necessarily pitted or scratched, but with a kind of deeply embedded dirt, schmutz all over it.

    I'm not so great on cosmetics but I'd like to clean this faceplate up. I'd like to find a substance that won't remove the silkscreening or printing on the faceplate. I think in years past I might have removed some printing from some of my former amps by too aggressive cleaning or using too strong of a cleaning substance.

    What's a good substance to use that will clean without removing the faceplate's printing?

    Thanks,

    Bob M.

    P.S. As I know someone will ask, it's a Fender Bronco amp (the same thing as a VibroChamp).

  • #2
    Pictures?

    I'd start with warm soapy water on a cloth.
    If that's not enough use some oil (or WD-40) on a cloth (after drying) and (carefully) follow up with naphta or white spirit - or soapy water (least aggressive).

    If no success, report back.
    Last edited by Helmholtz; 05-24-2020, 09:22 PM.
    - Own Opinions Only -

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    • #3
      Common problem with the silverface amps. I would just clear over it to stop it from getting worse.

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      • #4
        I do the same a Helmholtz, if a wet cloth doesn't do it the next step is WD40.
        "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mozz View Post
          Common problem with the silverface amps. I would just clear over it to stop it from getting worse.
          Wouldn't the solvents in the clear just cause the existing grime to lift, run and smear...

          .... and make an unholy mess?

          Don't think I'd risk that...
          The world is full of people that are right.

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          • #6
            WD-40, huh? Well, I'm glad that stuff's good for something. I certainly don't use it as a lubricant - Well, maybe on a screen door or something.
            I'll try it and thanks for the suggestion. I was thinking of trying Simple Green (or Simply Green).

            I think this amp has seen its final 'garage days' and will be kept inside in a good place (after its restoration) so I don't predict much more faceplate deterioration. It seems amps like Champs, VibroChamps and Broncos have developed a newfound respect over the last dozen years or so.

            Bob M.

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            • #7
              I started with warm soap and water - my usual dishwashing soap and it worked a trick. The faceplate looks almost new. A good reminder of the power of simple soap and water.
              I think I'll go wash my hands.

              Thanks,
              Bob M.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bob M. View Post
                WD-40, huh? Well, I'm glad that stuff's good for something. I certainly don't use it as a lubricant - Well, maybe on a screen door or something.
                Some people also swear by it for arthritis. I use it for bicycle chains too, very little fling-off.
                "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob M. View Post
                  Hi All,

                  I have a Fender amp here, a silverface model that must've been stored in a garage or basement for a long time. I've renovated the amp electronically and it's now sounding great but the faceplate is not looking great, not necessarily pitted or scratched, but with a kind of deeply embedded dirt, schmutz all over it.

                  I'm not so great on cosmetics but I'd like to clean this faceplate up. I'd like to find a substance that won't remove the silkscreening or printing on the faceplate. I think in years past I might have removed some printing from some of my former amps by too aggressive cleaning or using too strong of a cleaning substance.

                  What's a good substance to use that will clean without removing the faceplate's printing?

                  Thanks,

                  Bob M.

                  P.S. As I know someone will ask, it's a Fender Bronco amp (the same thing as a VibroChamp).
                  Bob! your in luck. The best stuff I've ever used to clean tolex, chassis, faceplates, etc is using this conditioner my tech buddy developed called "Cranky's Amp Spray". Just so happens he lives in Massachusetts. You near Mansfield at all?

                  Here are a couple of pictures of a hot rod in another thread as an example. He developed it really as a tolex and covering conditioner, but I love this stuff for silkscreen chassis and faceplates.


                  If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

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                  • #10
                    awesome job on the chassis...I would like to get my hands on some of that stuff if it was possible....
                    Cheers

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bsco View Post
                      awesome job on the chassis...I would like to get my hands on some of that stuff if it was possible....
                      Cheers
                      Time for me to re-up on a couple of bottles, myself.

                      ...so, I looked at the labeling on one of the bottles I have, and it lists a modest website, set up to buy via paypal:
                      https://ampspray.com/
                      The only catch for you, bsco, is that it looks like there is a quantity of 3 minimum order for shipping outside the U.S.
                      If I had one complaint, it's that depending on the what kind of disaster an amp's condition is in, I can go through a 2oz bottle pretty quickly.
                      I comes with a good fine spray nozzle, which is great for efficient coverage on a tolex cab. But, I'll probably keep a second bottle with some kind of "eye-droipper" cap, to be a use for face plates and smaller defined areas.
                      If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

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