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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fender Supersonic Club

I know there's another thread where we have been discussing this amp, but I figured we should at least have "Supersonic" in the title so it'll turn up on searches... I know I've learned TONS of info here by doing searches...

So, all you SS owners... CHIME IN & ADD TO THE CLUB!

OK, so my (used) SS got here today, and I just gave it a quick run-thru...

1) changed ALL the preamp tubes, helped the tone quite a bit.

2) can't change the power tubes yet, as they haven't arrived. Will also check/re-bias when they get here.

3) LOSS OF BASS IN BURN CHANNEL: I see what everyone is talking about. With all the gain available in the Burn channel, Fender no doubt limited the bass to keep the amp from getting woofy/boomy, but since I don't use that much gain, I would personally like a little more. I know the V30 will give more bottom once broken-in, but since I bought mine used I have no idea how broken-in it is. Maybe a speaker change (for one with more bottom) will be in order... not to mention one with less sensitivity, see if I can lower the volume a bit.

The reports of this sucker being LOUD are accurate... for home playing an attenuator is almost required (if you want to push the power tubes). Fender should most definitely make a lower-powered version of the SS. I'm using it with an Airbrake, but this amp doesn't like to be attenuated more than about 3db or so... gets way too compressed & mushy. My Genz Benz Black Pearl does too. My Dr. Z however attenuates excellently all the way down to bedroom level.

I notice the driver is a 12AT7. Has anyone tried a 12AX7 to push the power tubes more/get grinding at a lower volume? I may have to give that a try...

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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Be careful!

Do you know what the initials "SS" usually means around here???
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yeah yeah, but the "SS" is ALL-TUBE baby! Even the Reverb!
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Old July 15th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's a TUBE UPDATE:

My power tubes still aren't here, but I'm not too worried about the bias... I called Fender & found out this amp was made in May 2007, so I think they had the bias problems sussed out by then. I'm still going to check it, but I don't think my amp has the "thin brittle" problem due to cold bias.

As for preamp tubes... At first I replaced everything with Tung Sols, and some JAN Phillips 12AT7s, but then I started experimenting.

The drive channel, as stated earlier in this thread, definitely gets a "smooth makeover" with a JAN Phillips 5751 in V3. Pretty drastic change to my ears.

The PI: I tried a JAN 12AT7, a couple of 12AX7s (no, it doesn't REALLY help the amp break up sooner to provide for a lower overall volume, 60W is just friggin loud no matter what you do). But another surprise- a JAN Phillips 5751 in V10 sounds AMAZING. Again, to me, a pretty drastic change over the AT7. You have to then bump the gains up a little (moreso on the Burn channel) to get back where you were gain-wise, but the quality of gain is much better.

Can't wait for my TADs to get here.

Still can't decide tho, if a 60W is just too much moxy for me... I don't really like the way it "plays" with the Airbrake, and w/o it it's really loud...
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Old July 16th, 2008, 03:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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ruger9, you can count me in for sure !!

Mine still has the stock tubes in and i love the sound of this thing, finally got to gig with it and noticed no loss of bottom end in the burn channel at all BTW.
It was great at rehearsal so was a little nervous that when cranked at a gig it wouldn't be the same somehow, but it certainly (for me) stands up to it's claims, loud and very toneful.

Like a lot of others the difference in level between the Vibrolux and Bassman is quite marked but personally that won't be a problem for me, if i want to duck out of the mix a little and play back up i just switch to Vibrolux and it's pretty much taken care of, the loss of bottom end when doing that also stopped me muddying the onstage mix.

I can really see me using that setting to record with too, very Fender sounding, i'll check as usual with the engineer or producer but i might even leave the Pod at home !

All in all a good first outing then, i'll be hammering it again this weekend and i'm looking forward to it.



.................... and it's got tilt back legs !!
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 06:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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OK, just for kicks, I plugged the SS into my BJ NOS... the one with the Jensen C12N speaker. Just to see if I could get the SS (especially the Burn channel) to sound a little more "Fendery". I'm sure Fender chose the V30 because it can handle the massive amounts of gain the SS can dish out, but I don't use that kind of gain (and I wouldn't buy a FENDER for that kind of gain anyway.) I use the Burn channel to sound like Overdriven FENDERS, not Boogies...

Anyway, WOW! The Vintage channels sounded better, the Burn channel sounded ALOT better... WAY more Fendery, and there was also more bass, which I think the Burn channel needs. Not sure how much of the bass difference was the speaker (C12N vs. V30) or how much was the cab (SS open-back vs. BJ semi-closed back), but I'll find out, because...

I just ordered a Weber 12F150 (C12N), pre-broken-in, for the SS. Ted gauranteed me his 50W speaker will handle the 60W of the SS no problem. I was considering a C12K (Jensen's 100W version of the C12N, stock in a Deluxe Reverb I believe), but I'm always looking for en excuse to try another one of Ted's speakers, and the breaking-in thing he does makes them sound good right out of the box.

I won't have a report for awhile... it'll probably take 2 weeks to get here, and right after that I'll be on vacation for 2 weeks, so... a true evaluation may be waiting until the end of August... but if it's anything like the C12N in the BJ, it's definitely going to sound better than the V30.

BTW- I'm not a "V30 hater". I believe in the right speaker for the right job. And for some teenager who's playing TOOL in his bedroom thru a SS, the V30 works great. But I'm a tweaker, and looking for a more Fendery drive. I actually thought the V30 sounded pretty good... until I tried the C12N. Then my eyes were opened.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 06:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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ruger9 what guitar are you playing through it ?, i'm using a fairly lightweight Tele with Keystones and 9 - 42 DR's and i'm getting 'Fender' by the bucket load, gigged it agin this Sunday past and managed to crank it and past '3' on the dial and you are getting into serious twannnng !
I use both gains at about 12 O'Clock on the 'burn' chan and that suits me fine, i can control it from the guitar volume knob real well.
I briefly played the 335 through it at home and have an idea there could be a feedback issue with it at stage levels but not sure when i'll be trying that little trick.

On the whole i'm liking mine .................................... and of course, it's got tilt back legs !!!

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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm playing an Am. Std. Tele.

Don't get me wrong... "on the whole I'm loving mine" too... but that V30 just doesn't sound Fender to me. On the clean channels it actually sounds pretty good, (not as good as the C12N tho), and it sounds good on the Burn channel, altho with some bass loss (again, not as good as the C12N.)

I try to not get caught up in "the grass is always greener"... I've been trying to become LESS of a tweaker, and just play an amp because I like it THE WAY IT IS. But I hear some "magic" in the SS that the stock tubes & V30 isn't letting out...

Someday, you might want to try a few tube swaps, or maybe even a speaker swap. Like I said, I too thought the V30 sounded pretty good... UNTIL I plugged in the C12N.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a pair of Prosonics (head and combo) which the Supersonic is based on.
Can I join?
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 08:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually, I've read the Supersonic is NOT based on the Prosonic, but who cares anyway! Out of curiosity, what speaker(s) come in the Prosonic, and have you changed anything on your amps?
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 08:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I hear ya ruger9, i'm not averse to a bit of tinkering myself and have noted your tube setup so in time i'm sure the 'itchy fingers' will eventually take over and i'll be yanking a couple out !
I have my old trusty MKIIb Boogie that has an EVM12L in and that did get me wondering but i think an EV might be just a touch on the 'icepick' side of things in this amp and considering this is supposed to be my 'lightweight' alternative to the Boogie i don't want to go adding too much to it !
I may be alone on this but i actually like the 'tight' sound of a new speaker, they seem to sound snappy when you are hybrid picking so i think its just a case of me liking what you don't. (i hope that makes sense).

Octatonic, no, they arent really based circuit wise on the Zinky designed 'Pro' and i think that's one of the reasons for the 'tone police' being down on them but we might still let you join ................ as long as your combo has tilt back legs !
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 09:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
Actually, I've read the Supersonic is NOT based on the Prosonic, but who cares anyway! Out of curiosity, what speaker(s) come in the Prosonic, and have you changed anything on your amps?
Sure, Bruce Zinky (who designed the Prosonic) did not have any direct input on the Supersonic.
When I say 'based on' I simply mean they are similar design- cascading gain stage drive channel and a similar config.

I have the original 10" Celestions in the combo and a choice of 5 difference cabs for the head- I mostly use a Marshall 4x12 with V30's or a 2x12 with G75's.
The 10" Celestions are plenty loud and full for most situations though.

Both have been modded quite a bit.
First the prosonic has a fault that results in a loud 'thunk' when you switch channels. It is a design flaw but it was fixed.
I also have modded the reverb to be less wet and noisy.
The drive channel is tighter and more percussive.

Lastly the clean channel has been worked on to be less gainy.

I have links to the schematics for some of the mods here:

http://www.jamesrichmond.com/prosonicmods1.zip
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 10:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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"All tube", except for all the diodes and op-amps, right?

- Scott
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 10:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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"All tube", except for all the diodes and op-amps, right?

- Scott
Yeah, and chrome tilt back legs !
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 12:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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"All tube", except for all the diodes and op-amps, right?

- Scott
From all reports, no. I'm no tech, I haven't looked around inside of one, but the gain stages are supposed to be all-tube, as well as the tube-driven spring reverb. I can neither verify or deny the use of opamps and/or diodes, but I would think if this were the case, we would have heard about it by now... they've been out a couple of years.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 12:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have the original 10" Celestions in the combo
Fender should release a 2x10, or better yet, 3x10 version of the Supersonic. Especially since we're dealing with 60 watts here, I can see a 1x12 for a 5-30 watt amp, but 60 watts? An amp that's meant to be played that loud needs more than 1x12 IMHO.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 04:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
From all reports, no. I'm no tech, I haven't looked around inside of one, but the gain stages are supposed to be all-tube, as well as the tube-driven spring reverb. I can neither verify or deny the use of opamps and/or diodes, but I would think if this were the case, we would have heard about it by now... they've been out a couple of years.
Here's the schematic: http://www.fender.com/support/amp_sc...0(Updated).pdf

I'm not sure what all the solid-state stuff is for (haven't studied the schematic too much), but I had to give you a little static. I don't doubt that it's a fine-sounding amp.

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Old July 22nd, 2008, 04:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Fender should release a 2x10, or better yet, 3x10 version of the Supersonic. Especially since we're dealing with 60 watts here, I can see a 1x12 for a 5-30 watt amp, but 60 watts? An amp that's meant to be played that loud needs more than 1x12 IMHO.
I like how you are thinking.

I love 10" speakers.
A lot of people bag them as being 'wimpy' which is a complete loads of BS.
If you look at studio monitors, a 6.5" driver can go as low as 40hz (or lower) without any problems.
The low E on a guitar is around 100hz (give or take).

Often though higher wattage heads (that you use with a 4x12) have more headroom, being higher wattage, than combo's loaded with 10" so the perception is that 12" is wonderful and 10" sucks.

Anyone who has played a Prosonic combo knows the hugeidity (yes I made it up) of the sound- 10" speakers don't detract at all from the tone of the amp- if anything they sound bigger because the bottom end is tighter, not as 'flabby'.

One 4x12 cbinet that I love though is the Fender Tonemaster cabinet.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm not sure what all the solid-state stuff is for
- Scott

I'll bet that stuff is for the switching... the SS uses relays to switch channels. You can hear them "click" when the amp powers up, and when you switch channels. It's almost instaneous. My other channel switcher just uses an A/B type switch, which you can hear THRU THE SPEAKER, whereas the relays in the SS are dead silent where the speaker is concerned.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I like how you are thinking.

I love 10" speakers.
A lot of people bag them as being 'wimpy' which is a complete loads of BS.


Anyone who has played a Prosonic combo knows the hugeidity (yes I made it up) of the sound- 10" speakers don't detract at all from the tone of the amp- if anything they sound bigger because the bottom end is tighter, not as 'flabby'.

All the Vibro-King fans agree!
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