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Thread: 1962 Ampeg Reverberocket screws and foot switch

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    1962 Ampeg Reverberocket screws and foot switch

    What are the correct screws for the back panel of this amp? The one I have has had nasty, oversized, zinc-plated twin-thread chipboard screws fitted and I want to get it back to original.

    Also, what are the dimensions and construction of the foot switch? It would be good if anyone has pictures.

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    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Mick,
    Ampeg used clutch head screws. These days the term clutch head gets used for various types of screws so I've attached a photo of the exact type that Ampeg used.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clutch Heas Screw.jpeg 
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ID:	47060

    The closest photos I can find of a real vintage Ampeg are the following of a 1964 Rocket. I included closeups of the screws and the foot switch. The foot switch is hard wired to the chassis.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1964 Ampeg R-12A Rocket_1.JPG 
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ID:	47061Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1964 Ampeg R-12A Rocket_2.JPG 
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ID:	47062Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1964 Ampeg Footswitch.JPG 
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ID:	47063

    Hope these help.
    Tom

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    Last edited by Tom Phillips; 02-12-2018 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Typo Repair

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    And if you look at it, you see they made the foot switch from a door stop.

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    Well, I learned something there. I don't get to see many old Ampegs and the ones I have all had replacement screws. Either someone harvested them for resale, or switched them out for convenience. I don't think there's much prospect of finding them over here at reasonable cost and may end up using the Phillip's head variety from Fliptops. Even those will probably cost a packet with shipping and import costs. The UK has a punitive policy on items imported from non-EU countries. The threshold is £15 including shipping. A penny over and that price becomes £24.60. If there's import duty payable then this escalates even more. It makes sourcing bits in the US really expensive. Especially so when some suppliers have ridiculous shipping rates to the UK (I was quoted $30 shipping for a single wah inductor from one place as they had set the packaged weight as 2lb) or have flat rates based on minimum weight/volume that penalize small-order items.

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    I'm not sure my 63 Reverberocket came with the footswitch (had been cut off), but my 66 & 67 Reverberocket IIs both came with 2-button hardwired switches. As for the screws, many owners switched them out for Phillips head; I did. Ie kept some, but I managed to find some "normal" screws of the same length, thread count and pitch, and head size at my hardware store.

    Justin

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    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Over the years, I like many others replaced the clutch head screws in those cabinets with phillips, but I keep the old screws. Now that I retire, I have a bin of them. They do sell for stupid money, and I have a buyer for mine.

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    Senior Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    It's been years since I've worked on the old Ampegs having htge clutch head screws. What I haven't seen reported in this thread is WHAT the screw size is. # 8-32? # 6-32? # 10-32? Metric thread?

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    They are wood/sheet-metal screws, so they have a size number, but not a thread count. They would be imperial, not metric, as we did nothing in metric in those days.

    I have a box of them in front of me, but no ruler, so eyeballing them, I;d say #8.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevetslab View Post
    It's been years since I've worked on the old Ampegs having htge clutch head screws. What I haven't seen reported in this thread is WHAT the screw size is. # 8-32? # 6-32? # 10-32? Metric thread?
    Holding the back cover on. Round head wood screws maybe #6 or 8.

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    Senior Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    Often called 8-15 thread, if memory serves. Thanks. I'ts been over 40 yrs since I've seen one.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    I have a 1960 Rocket. The back panel is held on with drywall screws, lol. Works. It's a very ratty, ugly old amp made in NYC. When I use it I just use it as a speaker cab (it has an Emenence in it with the original speaker blown and setting in a box in the garage) and I run an Epi VJ into it (set behind it) and a Bad Monkey and a compressor into that. You would not believe the complements I get on my "vintage" tone and all the questions I get. Lol!

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    Lest We Forget g1's Avatar
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    I think a lot of those screws got replaced because people didn't have a tool for them. In Canada, Robertson (square head) screws are very common, so everyone has at least red and green size Robertson screwdrivers. I believe the green size fits in those and does the job if the head is in good shape. I have the proper clutch head driver but often use the green Robertson as it is usually out with my more common tools.
    These screws were more common in classic auto stuff so you can sometimes find them from those type of vendors. However, they don't seem to have the flange like the ampegs do, which is probably why fliptops is selling them for ten bucks each.

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    Well for that kind of money I'll go dig them out of my junk drawer & sell them at a discount! And mine are VINTAGE!

    Justin

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I did have the tools and I replaced them anyway. I had hand drivers for my clutch heads, and a phillips driver in my power drill. And even later when I got Xcelite 99 clutch head blades for my 99 holder for my drill, I still would rather just reach for the phillips drill motor and zip open the cab. WHy have odd hardware?

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    Interestingly, in the book 'Ampeg - the story behind the sound' it states that the move to clutch head screw was made when they changes to the blue check covering.

    I've ordered some 4mmx30mm truss-head phillips self-tapping screws in stainless (these have a head diameter of 8.9mm), along with some form G washers that have a diameter of 12mm. I think when these are all polished they'll look like nickel and be visually OK. I gave up on the clutch head screws.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    The value of the clutch head screws is when a guy has a vintage piece he wants looking stock and he is missing one or two of the clutch heads.

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    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Every screw I install becomes a "Phillips" screw no matter what the driver shape is.
    Tom P

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    Last edited by Tom Phillips; 02-14-2018 at 08:26 PM.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    So then when you mix vodka and orange juice?

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    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Nope. Do not dilute!

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    And at Xmas you roast a Tom Turkey?

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    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    An unfortunate expression from my perspective.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Whadaya expect, you dissed my screwdriver joke.

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    I've found a few pictures of the foot switch for the '62 amp. Mine previously had a metal cradle and there's a shadow and screw holes where this attached. So it should have a metal 2-button switch, but I'm missing the dimensions and how it's constructed. It looks like later amps had a spring retainer and plastic switch.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Posts #16 to #22 read like a bit piece

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

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    Lest We Forget g1's Avatar
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    BTW a phillips screwdriver is made with vodka and phillips milk of magnesia, hold the OJ (may cause curdling).

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    But, I did learn something. There are protons, neutrons, electrons, ............ and morons.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I thought a phillips screwdriver was just a regular screwdriver made with Phillips vodka.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I thought it was just Phillip's screwdriver.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    phillips screwdriver is made with vodka and phillips milk of magnesia
    No shit?

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    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    I thought it was just Phillip's screwdriver.
    Some of the japanese manuals they refer to them as positive and negative screwdrivers.
    nosaj

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    How does a negative screwdriver work? Can I drive home from the bar after drinking a few? Is it a hangover remedy?

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    BTW a phillips screwdriver is made with vodka and phillips milk of magnesia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    No shit?
    Ah! You caught the attention of the retired members with that one. Two birds with one stone

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

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    Supporting Member mtlbasslad's Avatar
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    On the screwdriver theme, I recently learned (will it ever stop?) about another type...

    Besides Phillips & Pozidriv, there is JIS (Japan Industry Standard) used on motorcycles like my Suzuki DL650 which has a slightly different shape - the end is ground flatter.

    A mismatch can lead to messing up screwheads, so beware all you screwballs!

    There, after 6 years I finally posted something that was not asking for help. Gotta say I get as much in giggles (& occasional snort) as tech advice on this forum

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Then look up Reed & Prince, also called Frearson, which is similar to phillips, but instead of the fillet between points, the tip is straight crosspoints.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives

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    Supporting Member mtlbasslad's Avatar
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    Well, that was a fun read - thanks Enzo. I like the pentalobe...

    And now to do something productive with my day

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    I'm not old - I'm vintage

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I first saw the tri-wing holding trim strips in place on the Washington DC Metro (subway). I got some, and it seemed about impossible to stick anything in the hole and turn it. A lot of the other types you can find a size of flat screwdriver blade that will wedge into the hole and turn out the screw. The tri wouldn't let me get a grip.

    I needed security screws in another industry, and found the spanners were the hardest to extract without the proper driver.

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