Jim rescued the amp several years ago when it had been left for the dump truck at street side. She was not a pretty sight; most, if not all, of the tolex had fallen off, and there was significant rust on the faceplate. Yet when Jim plugged her in and turned the rotary power switch, she sprang to life as though she'd been babied for nearly 50 years.
One cannot help but admire the durability of Hilgen amplifiers and the luck of their rescuers. This is the second story I have heard of a beat-up Hilgen left for dead on the street that worked almost perfectly -- in the former case, a Model 2503 Basso Grande. BUT DO NOT DO THIS SORT OF THING! Jim is lucky that he did not harm himself or his amp. The amp did not have a grounded cord, and it needed a cap job. You are hero enough -- and lucky enough -- if you carefully load such an amp into your vehicle and drive to an amp tech without switching it on. Think of it as a wounded animal. The amp is likely to make a full recovery and be your faithful friend for many years, but only if it receives qualified electro-medical help. To his great credit, Jim had the wisdom to take the amp to an expert tech immediately after he tried her out.
I'll be posting Jim's excellent photos soon. Incidentally, I have not posted photos of my two Model 5063 Swing Away Guitarist chassis because I had suspected that they were non-original in a significant respect. After viewing Jim's photos, I am surprised to find that they are, indeed, original. Jim's Model 5053 chassis has a layout I have not heretofore seen, indicating that Jack Gentul was in an experimental period when he designed the Swing Away models. Jim has a very important amplifier.
One ironic benefit of the mistreatment Jim's amp was given in its past life is that we see, for the first time, a Hilgen speaker cabinet stripped to bare wood. It is of startlingly beautiful construction.
Thanks, Jim! You have contributed, more than you realize, to unraveling the Hilgen mystery.
More to come (as always)...