Dr. Audrey takes you through the AST Panel Kit Switch
Tools Needed: 1 Philips Head (You remember this, right?)    Time: 18 Minutes w/Beer Breaks

Ok, so I finally bugged Audrey enough to get her to put down her summer book and install thy AST PRO Panel Kit, this on the second hottest day of the year, out on the deck. Why Audrey? Mainly because she's more amusing with the screwdriver and I'm a lazy horse's ass. Consolation was provided by a Harris-Teeter umbrella and an ice cold beer (ok, it was a lowly Michelob Ultra, hence the urine-esque visage. I'm not counting the beer I consumed, not Michelob Ultra, nor the yelling match half way through when the cashews ran out).

Here you see Audrey with the new panel. Take a quick comparo glance at the difference in the port size between original and new PRO panel version. The difference is not subtle.

A special note must be given to the screwdriver, an antique hand powered device rarely seen this millennium. Granted, most might prefer the power drill or other electrically operated option but we felt the vintage screwdriver, even if with shock orange handle, better fit the moment. Of course, half-way through the third screw, some were questioning this decision. Please be advised. Only withdraw the screws so 3/4 inch is exposed, keeping them with the panel, but releasing the hold with the cab.
Here you see ole Audrey has finally succeeded in extracting all the screws, leaving them within the panel. Also notice the beer dropped down quite a bit during this endeavor, pointing to a manual labor induced break amidst the screws extraction duty. The amp power cord is tucked in below the speaker, atop the Reverb Tank bag. Keep the original panel at hand to compare on a future date if you desire. Ditto with the speaker to amp lead which you might consider taping to the original panel so they won't become separated.
Go ahead and unplug the stock speaker output from the top of the AST chassis. Hold the plug firmly, just like you would any 1/4 jack.
Now, notice which leads on the speaker correspond to the white(hot) and black (negative). Remember this for hooking up the panel wiring.
Now VERY CAREFULLY, remove the female clips from the speaker taps. Sometimes, this is a bit difficult depending on how tight they are. Just be very careful here not to damage the outs on the speaker end. Some have resorted to carefully using needle nose pliers.
Now, simply bring the 1/4 jack around the back of the amp, plugging it into the speaker out on the top of the AST Chassis.
Now, it's time to hook up the female clips from the NEW panel, once again, paying attention to proper polarity for positive and negative leads. The white is positive here. Some report needing needle nose pliers to slip on here but try using fingers with special care not to bend or damage the speaker tab with misguided pressure..
Now give it a last look, perhaps a pause and another few sips of beer, all before tucking the wires away and replacing the new panel back in the opening. One hint here. Sometimes, the opening is VERY tight. In some cases, you might find loosening the chassis allows a bit more wiggle-room to get the panel to fit in opening.
Notice how much beer ole Audrey has had. Truth be told, I drank about half of it...well, maybe more than half. But I DID save her some. Ok, it's almost all done, even without the aid of thy drill driver.
Man, not another screw...

There she is, all done and no hassles as far as you know.

All that's left is testing the beast, both from internal and external cab. ALWAYS HAVE A PROPER SPEAKER CABLE PLUGGED IN if switching to the external speaker or you risk harming the output transformer. You can switch back and forth while playing, with amp on at full volume if desired, as there is no need to power down.

Have fun! For the output, it's best to match the 8ohm impedance with an 8ohm cab configuration ie two 16ohm speakers etc or any mixture to give 8.

- Kelly Holsten


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