So, I do restorations on a fixed price basis, where I quote you a price for the whole job. The price is based on a much lower shop rate, of about $20 per hour, than I normally charge for other work. The catch is that I won't do the job on a tight schedule, finishing it by some deadline of yours. At that hourly rate, restoration work has to be second priority that I fit into breaks between my production jobs. A full restoration on a vintage Ampeg generally will take 2-3 weeks, but if get real busy on AEB-2's, it could be 6-8 weeks. You have to allow me that flexibility.
By phone or e-mail, we can talk over the condition of your Ampeg, and what you want done to it, and I'll work out a price for the whole job. When the instrument gets here, I'll take a good look at it to make sure there aren't any hidden problems, and we'll verify the price before I start the work. When it's done, you make payment in full and I'll ship it back to you.
Here are some general guidelines on what restoration work costs:
Complete strip & repaint: $1200
I scrape off all the original paint, down to the bare wood, sand it, and repaint it to the original color scheme. I use polyurethane tinted with dyes over stain, so the wood grain shows through, and the finish has the depth and rich color of the original lacquer. Because I have a whole collection of vintage Ampegs right here, I can closely match the colors and details. The result is very authentic looking, and is much more durable than the original lacquer. This price includes disassembly, reassembly and setup.
Fret job: $200
This includes sanding and polishing the fingerboard and replacing the frets. I slightly round off the edges of the fingerboard and heavily round off the ends of the frets (in the same style that I use on the new AEB-2's) to make the neck very fast and comfortable. The frets are pressed in, using liquid hide glue in the slots to lock them in.
Neck Rebuild: $300 (fretted); $200 (fretless)
This includes replacing the truss rod, replacing the fingerboard, and the fret job. The new truss rod and nut are similar to what I use in the AEB-2, and are much stronger than the original. This does not include stripping and repainting, which is probably necessary.
Replacement pickguard: $100
I cannot make an exact copy of the original pickguard, because the 5-layer "engraver's stock" material that they were made of is no longer available. However, I can make one out of 5-layer vinyl, as is used on most pickguards today. I recently aquired a nice engraving machine, so I can now replicate the engraved Ampeg logo. I generally need to have the instrument here to fit the pickguard correctly, because Ampegs aren't necessarily consistent from one to another.
A complete replica neck for a vintage Ampeg, fully painted, will cost $700-$900, depending on the model. I know that seems expensive, but it's a lot of work to make up just one by hand. No, the neck for the new AEB-2/AUB-2 models does not fit on vintage Ampegs, and I don't sell them seperately.
I make up replacement parts for Ampegs in small batches whenever I need them. Obviously, there isn't a big demand for them, so I can't guarantee that I have everything in stock. Let me know what you need. Here are some of the parts that I have made or found sources for:
Wiring Harness: $50
AMB/AMUB replacement pickup: $150
AEB/AUB/Devil Bass replacement pickup coil: $150
AEB/AUB/Devil Bass replacement pickup diaphragm assembly: $50
Volume & Tone knobs (pair): $5
Set of tuners: $125
AEB/AUB/ASB/AUSB bridge cover with thumbscrews: $75
Bridge cover thumb screws (pair): $20
AEB/AUB/ASB/AUSB bridge assembly: $70
AMB/AMUB bridge assembly: $70
Plastic scroll inserts for the headstock (pair): $10
If there's some part not listed here that you need, ask me and I'll see what I can do.
The only parts that I cannot make replicas of are the AMB/AMUB bridge covers.