So, it's come to this . . . . Over the years, I have owned a ton of amps - tweeds, blackfaces, reverbs, brownfaces (just sold a '63 Princeton), boutiques (Savage Macht 6 - the best), solid states, heads, cabs, combos - I even once owned a Fender Super Six Reverb that also served as a room divider (if you haven't seen that one, look it up - it's something else). But those are all gone, and I'm sitting here with a Special 6, trying to sort it out.
I am going to lay all the blame for owning this amp on those of you who have posted on this thread - you are all guilty of forcing me to buy one of these! I know they've been around for a couple years, now, so I figured the early users would have some decent advice. To that end, I've already started doing the basic alterations to the amp. Here are a few of the things I've noticed and some of the changes I'll make.
- Straight out of the box, the amp sounded decent, but I was surprised at the lack of power - then I remembered it had a Pull Boost, and that changed everything. As you all have mentioned, this thing can get pretty loud. But I like the way it can be manipulated.
- The sound was a bit muddy or muffled, and I attributed that to the new speaker and the stock tubes. I'll play it awhile with the stock speaker, but the tubes will be replaced with some I've got on order.
- After running the amp for about a half hour, I found that plucking the low E string on my Tele was creating some very harsh breakup and distortion through the amp - totally unusable! Today when I re-tried the amp, the problem was gone - until the amp had warmed up for about 15 minutes. Then, the distortion returned. It likely is the tubes, so we'll see if that issue is resolved when I swap in some decent glass. The problem could also be exacerbated by the speaker..
- I remembered that I had homebuilt 10" speaker cab in the basement, but wasn't sure if it was loaded or not. Turns out there was an old 10" Mojotone 8 ohm speaker in it, so I tried that out. It gave the amp a much more focused and articulate sound - much improved to my ears! I have my eye on a couple of the recommendations by the posters here (Weber Sig 10 and Emi Legend 105), but if the Mojo speaker holds up, I'll wait on one of those.
- I was surprised at how chimey the amp was - not what I'm used to, but not really unpleasant at all. I can see where some of you recommend going without pedals. When I get my swaps in place, I'll try running my Hall of Fame Reverb through the amp to see what we have. Plus, I think the different speaker and tubes will alter the initial sound of the amp - we'll see.
- I partially opened up the cabinet to get to the tubes and take a look at the speaker, and I decided to remove the wire screen for the sake of convenience. If I decide to do any internal mods, I'll have to drop the chassis, but for now, your pictures will take care of my curiosity. I thought the construction was quite nice for such an inexpensive amp.
So far, there have been no surprises - just about everything that's been written here is spot on as far as what I should have expected. I'm looking forward to trying my Strat through this amp, and when I get my '59 Guild T-100 project finished, we'll really see if this amp will be a great fit. I do like how responsive it is to the controls on my guitar - I can do a lot of tone-shaping with just the volume and tone controls on the Tele. So far, the potential is there - this is a platform that has all sorts of possibilities!
Thank you all for the great info you've provided, so far, but remember, I'm still holding you all responsible for any additional GAS that I might incur relating to this amp. I'm looking forward to getting the Special 6 sorted out, so keep the ideas coming!