2-prong power chords

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2-prong power chords

Postby jeffl » Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:47 pm

I'm purchasing a 1960 Gretsch amp and it still has the original 2-prong power chord; The amp features an on/off polarity switch. I hesitated to have the amp seller switch the chord to a 3-prong chord with ground, simply because I didn't know if I really needed it. What is the hazard of the 2-prong chord? Is it as much of a hazard if I'm not giggin' with it? Does it help to plug it into a GFI strip? Does it harm the collectibility value of the amp if I switch it to a newer chord? BTW, the old chord's in apparently great shape...no cracking or any signs of wear. Also, what is the function of the polarity switch?
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Postby Catweazle » Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:20 pm

A 2 prong power chord is only dangerous to the sensibilities of musicians. :lol:
A 2 prong power cord, on the other hand is danger to life and limb.
Electricity is like a Colditz inmate - it has a proclivity for escape and it particularly likes a watery escape route. As your body is more than 60% water (depends, somewhat, on your beer intake :lol: ), electricity likes this route a lot.
Your body (in particular, your heart) does not like this abuse and will very often be moved to play a I-II-V-I progression in the key of D. :oops:
I'd have a serious talk with a tech, before deciding what to do with the amp.
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Postby jeffl » Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:27 pm

I darn near missed the correction,Catweazle, even though it was deftly offered. The seller's opinion was that he wouldn't gig with it without switchin' the cord,but he didn't clarify his position on home use.
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Postby Catweazle » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:14 pm

I don't know about laws in other countries, but I do know that insurance companies will look for any loophole, if anything does happen - and no earth on an electrical device (particularly one with high voltages in tubes) would be a major excuse for them not to pay out. :cry:

It shouldn't stop you considering the amp, just ask a tech what he can suggest.

In your position, I'd buy the amp and look for a method of adding an earth connection, that could be reversed (i.e. put the original connectors/cord back), without damage to the amp.
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Postby t bone bruce » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:33 pm

I like an amp to be properly grounded. Especially if I'm holding a metal cased microphone, and have a harp pressed to my lips...
With the amp (it is the Gretch 6161 isn't it?) modifiying to a grounded cord is fairly straightforward. The polarity switch is so you can switch over if you are having grounding problems causing hum. The cap to ground is usually nicknamed "The Death Cap"
There are articles on how to modify to a grounded cord. http://www.unclespot.com/2to3prongconversion.html
http://www.unclespot.com/3prongconversion.JPG
http://www.netads.com/~meo/Guitar/Amps/ ... tml#ground
You can do it yourself if you are happy with using a soldering iron, otherwise if your seller can do it for you, then let them. Tube amps contain lethal voltages yadda yadda...
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Postby stumblin » Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:11 pm

Get it properly earthed.
Never mind insurance, just use your onion.
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Postby thebluesbox » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:06 am

Im scared into 3 pronging every old 2 pronged amp I get. Just hope its not a transformerless amp, they cant be as easily 3 pronged, you can do them but you have to add extry componants to the amp to get it done.
I wouldnt play one now unless its grounded its doesnt matter if its at a gig or at a nephews b-day party you can still get shocked and death becomes you if the amp feels like getting retard on ya.
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Postby maxx england » Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:31 pm

Go three pronged, before you get earth-to-earth....
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Postby jeffl » Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:51 pm

Ok. I got it. Thanks all.
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Postby bosco » Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:31 pm

A 2 prong power chord

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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