Jansen Liberator - New (old) Amp Day

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monster
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Jansen Liberator - New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:08 am

This came yesterday :)
20140123_175959sm.jpg
Jansen Liberator 9-180
I asked Richard at Orchard Amps if he knew where a Liberator was... and he did! It was languishing unused in a Wellington cafe. They were using it to play background music for hours every day and it broke down.
I found a SS Jansen PA80, got Richard to check it over and do a swap for the Liberator. The PA80 will be much better suited to playing background music all day and it has that retro look they wanted.

It now has a new quad of ValveArt KT88s, some new valve sockets, a cap job and other bits and pieces and makes 200 watts. Should work well through 2 1x15" cabs (against an AC30 and a Fender twin) :)

3 things to sort out asap -
  • New handles. The old ones have had the screws rip through the nasty particle board
    Faders on the front panel are a bit scratchy.
    Someone has completely removed the Tremolo circuit board :( Does anyone know of a dead Jansen Dominator (9-80 or 9-100) or Liberator anywhere that might have this part in it?
How does it sound?
Really good, I think. Possibly the 'best'/most developed Jansen valve amp; certainly one of their last designs (mid 1970's).
Background noise is very low and the tone really suits my Ric 4001 with new flatwounds.
Big transformers in this thing.

I wonder how many they made? There are a few more 100W Dominators floating around.
Last edited by monster on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by john » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:47 pm

Awesome. I remember on of those being on trade me a while ago, I was quite intrigued

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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:19 pm

john wrote:Awesome. I remember on of those being on trade me a while ago, I was quite intrigued
Yeah - there was one in late 2013. It looked pretty nice in the photo and the dude had had the output transformer rewound.

It seemed he took the listing off and bypassed the auction system. His username was banned after this auction.
I was umming and ahhing about putting a bid in when it disappeared.

I've only played it twice at old-granny settings in the house but I'm thinking this is going to be a great amp; nice tone and loud enough for bigger gigs.
For a while I was considering one of the new Fender Bassman 100T's or Ampeg V4B, but both are well over $2000. These prices were hardly going to be passed by the domestic treasurer :mrgreen: and they're full of fairly complex PCBs, so not easy for techs to work on like the Bassmans of old.
The Liberator has cost about $800 so far including the quad of KT88s - they cost $390 :o
And I like old stuff :)

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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by foal30 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:04 am

"Domestic Treasurer"

good one.

Think I know where one is, it'll be Wednesday night when I find out. IIRC it does work..........
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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by beagle » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:57 am

Hey well done... that's a really nice amp.
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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:20 pm

Slight update.
I've cleaned out the scratchy faders with compressed air and CRC2.26 and I've replaced the handles.

The original handles had ripped out out the (nasty) chipboard case, what with a 25kg amp and each handle having 4 measly screws!

So I acquired two old handles and got the autosol onto them:
20140206_153252sm.jpg
Then I changed the holes in the case... very carefully!:
20140206_214647sm.jpg
Fast forward past some cutting and gluing shaped bits of wood and and voila!
20140208_123337sm.jpg
Not too shabby, I think, and with 10 screws for each handle I am hoping they won't rip out again.

No luck yet with finding a replacement Tremolo circuit board. Here's the hole where it should be:
20140206_211248sm.jpg
Last edited by monster on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by foal30 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:33 pm

good one

will find that amp on Monday night
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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by john » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:09 pm

:lol: I love the massive wood saw in the tiny whole!! I would so do that too

Re the tremolo board, have you contacted John Veldwijk at Jansen? I know he designed some Jansen amps and he emailed me a (hand drawn) schematic for my amp that he designed and he helped me find a grounding problem I had with it.
He may very well have an idea, maybe he has a schematic and you could get him or someone to make it for you

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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:51 pm

foal30 wrote:good one

will find that amp on Monday night
Ta muchly :)

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Re: New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:57 pm

john wrote::lol: I love the massive wood saw in the tiny whole!! I would so do that too
...and I've even got the small saw in the same photo. Small saw... pffft! :D
In this case the side of the hole was an excellent brace for making a straight cut if I used the bigger saw.
Most certainly a case of 'measure twice, cut once', doing mods like this. :shock:

A big advantage of these handles over the originals (not that mine had them) is that you don't have to remove the handles before extracting the chassis.
Re the tremolo board, have you contacted John Veldwijk at Jansen? I know he designed some Jansen amps and he emailed me a (hand drawn) schematic for my amp that he designed and he helped me find a grounding problem I had with it.
He may very well have an idea, maybe he has a schematic and you could get him or someone to make it for you
I emailed him on the off-chance he might know where a trem board is. He didn't, but he sent me a schematic, so next time the amp is with my tech I'll get him to build it up for me.

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Re: Jansen Liberator - New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:53 am

Given the lack of any photos of Jansen Liberators in the wild or captivity here are some:
20140206_205723s.jpg
Liberator Back Panel
20140206_210011s.jpg
Liberator back panel off
20140206_210934s.jpg
Liberator Chassis (top view)
Any ideas what this socket was intended for? Doubtful it was for a footswitch - a standard 1/4" jack for the tremolo is on the frontplate.
20140206_211007s.jpg
Funny socket that is not connected
Is this a warning to keep your fingers out of the works when switched on? Good advice with 700V on the plates :D
Does anyone recognise the logo? Perhaps a church was a previous owner?
20140206_211353s.jpg
Interesting logo/warning??

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Re: Jansen Liberator - New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:00 am

I've got my 2nd gig with it tonight, with 2 1x15" TL-606 bins.
It's quite a grunter, even with two guitarists who seem to 'struggle to be able to hear themselves'...

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Re: Jansen Liberator - New (old) Amp Day

Post by martyforrer » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:11 am

Would that socket perhaps be for biasing?

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Re: Jansen Liberator - New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:04 pm

martyforrer wrote:Would that socket perhaps be for biasing?
Possibly - but it is not connected to anything now. I don't think it is factory fitted, but I can't tell for sure.

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Re: Jansen Liberator - New (old) Amp Day

Post by monster » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:32 pm

I've been using the Liberator regularly for gigging and it stands up pretty well against two noisy guitarists (AC30 and a Reissue blackface Twin) and loud drummer.
By the end of a 4 hour gig there is a tinge of overdrive occuring; quite pleasant but I might take it for a quick check up to see if bias needs tweaking or other components might be needing replacement.
Seems to be much heavier to carry after a gig too :?
Apparently one of the Jansen salesmen nicknamed it the 'Herniator'...

I got a local company (Elco canvas) to make up a padded travel case for some protection in transit:
20141205_202230ss.jpg


In the not too distant future I'll be getting the corners rechromed and I'll put new tolex on it.

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