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Thread: Resurrected Customized WOPL 400

  1. #1
    Forum Veteran scottonnob's Avatar
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    Resurrected Customized WOPL 400

    So, a friend gave me his old, four fin 400 that hadn't worked in years. Additionally, cosmetically, the thing was a mess. Most of the silkscreening was worn off. The faceplate was badly scratched all over. The chassis was scratched and dented. Plus, it didn't power up in any way. So I took it down to the bones and plan on giving it new White Oak life. It's already been quite a project. But now I'm starting to put it back together and get it ready for the big audition.

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  2. #2
    Forum Veteran OneTonScoutII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottonnob View Post
    So, a friend gave me his old, four fin 400 that hadn't worked in years. Additionally, cosmetically, the thing was a mess. Most of the silkscreening was worn off. The faceplate was badly scratched all over. The chassis was scratched and dented. Plus, it didn't power up in any way. So I took it down to the bones and plan on giving it new White Oak life. It's already been quite a project. But now I'm starting to put it back together and get it ready for the big audition.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Did you check the transformer for proper operation before assembly? Looks good so far!

    Did you re-do the silk screen on the faceplate? I was thinking about adding a white oak WOPL or what ever to the 400 I just completed but have no experience with having silkscreen done. The idea will be to have it match the plastic insert on the 700b that is it's companion amp that will be built soon.




    From the other thread in reference to the output devices, you can get those from Joe or Mouser.

    Post lots of pics, the more experience builders will be able to pick out errors in the pictures rather than you finding them at start up... or just provide suggestions.
    In my own experience I would encourage you to read a couple build threads and all the info given by Joe via email before starting.
    First Watt B1 Buffer Preamp
    Phase Linear 2000
    Phase Linear 5000

    WOPL-400
    PL-400 - White Oak Control board,light board, Caps and Watts abundant DCP

    Acoustat 2+2
    Pioneer HPM1500

    Pioneer PL-530
    Teac A-3300-SX

  3. #3
    Forum Veteran scottonnob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTonScoutII View Post
    Did you check the transformer for proper operation before assembly? Looks good so far!

    Did you re-do the silk screen on the faceplate? I was thinking about adding a white oak WOPL or what ever to the 400 I just completed but have no experience with having silkscreen done. The idea will be to have it match the plastic insert on the 700b that is it's companion amp that will be built soon.




    From the other thread in reference to the output devices, you can get those from Joe or Mouser.

    Post lots of pics, the more experience builders will be able to pick out errors in the pictures rather than you finding them at start up... or just provide suggestions.
    In my own experience I would encourage you to read a couple build threads and all the info given by Joe via email before starting.
    Actually, I'm getting some parts from Nav, who seems more than prepared and stocked with what I need. Also, you can get silkscreening done by companies that do such things, you just need to Google around your area. However, I'm not interested in the old silkscreening. I've actually begun painting my two faceplates (I have this 400 and a rebuilt Series II I bought new in 1980).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm shooting them with black acrylic lacquer. I'll eventually sand the painted plates with 1500 grit sandpaper and rub the surface out so that it's like glass. Also, my friend pin-stripes and letters Hot Rods and I'm having him logo my faceplates. I grew up next door to the Black Hawk, a very famous, old (long gone) Jazz club here in San Francisco. Google it. A lot of great Jazz albums were recorded live there including an amazing Miles Davis record. We used to climb up on the roof and sneak through a broken door (we broke it), and watch the shows from a crawl space you could access from there. We laid on our bellies and watched from just above the stage. We saw everybody there. That club was a big part of my musical education, in fact, a big part of my life back then.

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    So, just for fun, the logo I've made up is the Black Hawk graphics seen on this record, minus the marquee. Goofy, I know, but it means a lot to me, so my buddy's going to paint that logo directly on the faceplates. I thought about anodizing the aluminum, but decided on the Hot Rod look instead. Engraving is also very affordable. You could reproduce the original screenprinting with engraving, then use paint to color the letters and lines. It's easy to do. You can also easily make your own 700 plastic insert and have that engraved as well.
    And, no, I didn't check the transformer, so I guess we'll see. How do you check a transformer. I could still easily hook up some jumpers.

  4. #4
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    If the transformer was bad you'd smell it....the dead, burnt, motor smell....
    taking something that's already good, and making it better...........and for the knowing smiles that cross their faces.......Nando-2011...

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    Forum Veteran scottonnob's Avatar
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    So the next problem was that these very early 400s came with smoked lenses on the meters. With the old fuse-type lights, you couldn't see anything through the plastic. Plus, one of the lenses was cracked. I tried to find replacement lenses, or even replacement meters, but no luck. So I put the lenses in the mill and shaved off the part of the frame that holds the viewing area.

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    Also, the top strip of the frame had to be cut away. It was deep black and the lights have to shine through that area to illuminate the meter. Anyway, I cut pieces of glass for new lenses and the top frame strip, then used epoxy to put everything together. With the faceplate on, there's no indication of any alteration, other than the lenses now having glass faces, instead of plastic. I painted the bezels candy apple red, now the horribly scratched faceplate gets painted mirror finish black. The only other problem is the crappy fuse-type bulbs. They give off very little light. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to replace that set-up? I've seen fuse-type LED bulbs, but I've never used one.

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    So, not an elegant solution, but a solution, nonetheless.

  6. #6
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    Halfbiass...Electron Herder and Backass Woof
    Have you seen Joe's LED light board?
    taking something that's already good, and making it better...........and for the knowing smiles that cross their faces.......Nando-2011...

    "Silence cannot be Misquoted"--Lazarus Short-2012 "

    " I Just Collect Smiles Craig......Cheap Smiles!-----Fishoz-2017

    "anything can be done, it's finding the easiest way that's hard"-----Bobbysdad--2014

    " Synth percussion is deadly to children, house pets and shitty power supplies"---Stephen Evans 2014

    " You have not reached the point of diminishing returns, you've just ran out of money

    " The Pioneer U-24, unfortunately, is just too expensive and rare to find. That's why I have one."--Nando-2014

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran NavLinear's Avatar
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    LED bulbs shaped like the fuse style incandescent lamps.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/1119606...&ul_noapp=true

    These bulbs require 12 VDC.

    I agree with Lee that Joe's WO light board would work with some additional modifications to your meters.
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  8. #8
    Forum Veteran orange's Avatar
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    You should be able to use standard lamps and a strip for a diffuser, the benefits being that you won't need to do anything with a special circuit board and you can use a tinted plastic sheet in "any colour you like"...
    If I don't really exist then at over 15,000 posts my nothingness has longevity, if not serious mojo.

  9. #9
    Forum Veteran scottonnob's Avatar
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    Sorry, I didn't make the situation clear. My amp is one of the very early 400s that uses a system completely different from the one they switched to later. The meters are lit from above and through the lens. In fact, the socket strips were glued to the faceplate weird. I already talked with Joe about this, and he said his set-up definitely will not work on my model. They are different brand meters, and Joe's website clearly states that the kit he has will not work with models of my vintage. These old fuse-type bulbs are junk. I bought new bulbs and even the new ones are very dim.

  10. #10
    Forum Veteran scottonnob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottonnob View Post
    Sorry, I didn't make the situation clear. My amp is one of the very early 400s that uses a system completely different from the one they switched to later. The meters are lit from above and through the lens. In fact, the socket strips were glued to the faceplate weird. I already talked with Joe about this, and he said his set-up definitely will not work on my model. They are different brand meters, and Joe's website clearly states that the kit he has will not work with models of my vintage. These old fuse-type bulbs are junk. I bought new bulbs and even the new ones are very dim.
    Of course, my first thought was to simply mount Joe's board above the meters, in the same way the vintage meters were mounted. Seems like it would work, if I could find an easy way to mount it. But Joe said he didn't know and wouldn't guarantee anything with this model. I didn't want to buy the kit as an experiment and then find out I couldn't use it. However, if you guys have suggestions along those lines, I'd love to be able to use Joe's board.

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