Part 30: Working On It

Here's the first expression of dissatisfaction with the ill-fated reverb transformer, but why worry? Bruce is working on the amp that very day.

Naively perhaps I took this as an indication that the work could be done in the sort of timescale I'd previously imagined.

So I left it a couple of weeks before wondering how they were getting on - see part 31.

Part 29: Identity Revealed?

I indulged my curiosity with a couple of questions to Bruce, not that the answers were that important now he had the amp.

The missing serial number is something of a mystery to this day, though.

Bruce's response was plenty encouraging though - see part 30.

Part 16: Can You Fix It?

For the first time I took the chassis out of the combo case and really had a good look at it.

What I saw convinced me that only an expert assessment was going to unravel the mysteries therein. Rarely can a valve amp have had as tightly-packed circuitry - point-to-point this wasn't.

So I concluded with a direct request to ship it back to them. Bruce's reply was partly in agreement - see part 17.

Part 15: Really Starting Over

So I've got an intermittent reverb (paragraph 2)? I think I knew that, as well as I knew that it didn't for some reason have a serial number.

At this point I tried to steer back toward the idea of getting the amp repaired - see part 16.

Part 14: More Puzzlement

Although the method seemed sensible, I couldn't get the amp to drop the reverb signal to order or to make a crashing noise in a predictable way that would give an idea of what was wrong.

If the act of shaking the amp revitalised whatever was causing the reverb dropout, I'd hear the crashing always (although I'd tried gently banging the amp before when the reverb failed, with mixed results).

I reported this back to Bruce. His diagnosis was incisive - see part 15.

Part 13: Starting Over

I didn't expect Bruce to remember every detail of what had gone before, but having previously stated twice that I couldn't find a serial number, it was frustrating to see that as the first question.

Frustration was to be the overriding theme from henceforth however.

At least there was a sensible suggestion included, but why didn't Bruce or I think of that a year ago?

I tried the suggestion and reported back as soon as I could - see part 14.

Part 12: A Year Later

In the preceding year I had lived with the intermittent reverb but understandably was not happy at having to do so. As I outlined in my next email (opposite), I'd bought new pre-amp valves and even gone to the trouble of buying a new reverb pan (not particularly expensive considering it was sent from the USA), but that did not help the original problem.

By April 2008 the situation had changed partly due to the effect of having put in new (and supposedly good-quality) power valves.

Part 9: How Much To Ship?

I tried to restate the problem - no complete failure, just intermittent lack of reverb.

Aside from the shipping cost, I noted that I'd have to buy a backup amp to use while the Superfly was away. It seems a reasonable question to ask how long that would be.

...and I still couldn't find a serial number anywhere.

At least this time I got a quick response - see part 10.

Part 8: No UK Repairer?

So it seemed like the upgrade could be quite involved... but no-one in the UK was able to do it?

Shipping costs could be minimised subject to a possible wait? At this point I didn't know what waiting was!

Strange question at the end though: I'd mentioned in my first email that I could not find the serial number.

Still, I went back to the amp to have another good look. See part 9 for my response.

Part 5: Inconclusive Observations

It took me a week or so to find the time to check out the amp and my observations were not exactly conclusive - I still had an intermittent problem, but had it just become more intermittent?

Receiving no reply by 20 February, I re-sent the email with the comment "Hoping this will appear on your radar this time..." (see below right).

This was the first indication that the initial quick response from Bruce might not be typical. However a response did come - see part 6.