Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Black Line Silverface? What's teh deal?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by noah330, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    So I had some people over to my office last night and one guy (a friend of a friend who is more interested in gear than playing from what I heard) seemed preoccupied with the fact that my old Vibrolux was a "Black Line Silverface" which is something I have never heard of.

    A little background - I bought this map along with a 1980 Gibson Les Paul Standard and MXR D+ for $250 in 1988. It's a really great sounding box, even if I did get laughed at for a few years when I first got it because it wasn't a Marshall.

    Anyways, I know guitar nerdz/blooze daddies are usually super anal about the minutiae so I figured you guys could skool me on this. Do I have a box with more MoJo or is there no difference and if so do I have the MoJo equivalent of "historically accurate plastic".

    I don't want to sell this because it was the only map I owned from 1988 and I am kind of sentimental about it. I used it on tons of gigs and recordings and still use it (which is why it was out last night).

    IMHO the only people more anal than guitar nerdz and blooze daddies are Corvette people which was a big part of me selling my old Corvette but I will say a lot of these folks know more about the tiny details than I do so help a brother out!

    Here is the map in question:


    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    snottyboy likes this.
  2. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    Tough question. Does the winner get a blooze daddie hat?
    t guitar floyd and LuthRavin like this.
  3. zook

    zook Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2003
    Cochise, AZ
    The early Silverface amps had black lines on the control panel. Yours also has the drip edge grill. All that means is that it's an early one with relatively unchanged blackface circuitry
    Commodore 64, nojazzhere and noah330 like this.
  4. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Hopefully the winner will already own several. Seriously though, I've heard a lot of things over the years but I've never heard of this.
  5. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Thanks! Not sure if that's good or bad but it sounds good. I appreciate the information!
  6. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    They only had the vertical black lines on the faceplate for the first year or so of the SF maps (ha!)

    Some of those have the last blackface circuit, but my blackline Vibrolux had the earliest SF circuit.

    That's what I know, most likely others have more info.
  7. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    You're not fooling me. You have a blues hat, one of those baja shawls and your initials on your pick guard, don't you? Now you have an amp to go with them.
    zephyrR1, Jakedog and noah330 like this.
  8. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    I wish! Someday I will grow up and learn how to play grownup music.
  9. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Cool. Thanks man! I have no idea what circuit is in here but it sounds really good and it hasn't needed any repairs (aside from caps and a couple power tube swaps) since I got it in '88. That was last century!
    jondanger likes this.
  10. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Spring, Texas
    68' and 69' faceplate changes. Good thread on "the gear page", lots of theories. "could mean this, could mean that". For me, it's "is your glass half full or half empty?". Thumbs up on the mojo factor regardless...
    noah330 likes this.
  11. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    At the end of the day I have liked the box for almost 30 years (Jeez that makes me feel old, or should I say "olde"!). Hearing this guy wax about the details made me kind of interested.

    I appreciate all the replies!
  12. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2015
    Yeah, don't sell that amp.
  13. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    I think I would sell every other one I have before this one. Too many memories.
  14. I've got one myself - a very late 1969 or very early 1970 if my dating is correct. No drip edge grill on mine but has the black lines. Almost my favorite amp!

  15. warrent

    warrent Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2009

    Quote from above:
    "now let’s talk specifically about the earliest of the drip edge amps, the “black line” models. These amps can really be “sleepers” as most are in every way a blackface amp with silverface cosmetics.There is no clear consensus as to why these lines exist; they appear just before the Volume controls and on either side of the amps name. In contrast to every other aspect of the silkscreen printing, they just don’t seem “right”. They are non-symmetrical both vertically as well as horizontally and are extremely thin compared to all other lines. Many believe they were lay-out reference lines that were never intended to make it into production; that makes sense since they only appeared for about the first 4-6 months. At any rate, these lines are a great clue that your amp is one of the earliest with the silverface cosmetics, many of which were otherwise UNCHANGED from the blackface design. Cool, a blackface amp at a silverface price!"
    lil scotty and King Fan like this.
  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    The SF cosmetics were introduced in April, 1967. The earliest Sf panels had those black lines. There is no certain date at which the black line and the drip edge were phased out....they used the materials until they were gone. There are some drip edges from’69. There is only one way to know what you have there. That is to open it up, date components and study the circuit. Fwiw, the Vr is the only 6L6 Fender Reverb amp that did not undergo big changes during its lifetime. Like the DR, the VR never got the master volume or the Ultralinear circuit.
    If the amp has the mixed fixed/Cathode Biasing that was introduced in May, 1968; one might want to know that. Most would not want that cathode aspect left in the circuit. It is likely thT you amp still has the AA964 BF circuit, Noah....but curiosity drives us..... D you have a picture of the circuit board?
    BobbyZ, King Fan and noah330 like this.
  17. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 7, 2009
    Do whatever you must to secure Approval from the most unfluential local blooze daddy.

    Don't waste any more effort seeking it on the 'web.
    I've tried.:oops:
    Badger06 and noah330 like this.
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    There were numerous changes in the first couple years of SF amps.
    Drip edge.
    Cloth wiring.
    BF/SF circuit.
    The word "amp" on the panel (after '69 or so "amp" was gone)
    Grill cloth changed.
    Black lines.

    It seems blooze daddies get excited that signs on the outside tell you what's inside, but for the most part that is not true.
    It is probably safe to say that the early cloth wired BF circuit with '67 dates on the transformers will have drip edge, the word "amp", black lines, and less silvery cloth.
    But this does not work the other way around.
    There are black line drip edge "amp" amps with BAD guts.

    I would suggest you never look inside this amp lest you discover that it doesn't really sound as good as you thought due to wrong/ bad parts and specs.

    I currently have a black line drip edge "amp" Twin with bad guts.
    I used to have a black line drip edge "amp" Super with good guts, and sold it to a blooze daddy for big bucks, but had to endure his freaking out during inspection.
    Dude had PRS' dragons 'n' **** to die for.

    BTW, I have a spare black line "amp" word Twin panel if anyone needs to upgrade.

    Edit: @Wally pointed out that the VR never got badified so you can probably look inside without discovering you've been living a lie with bad tonez from a bad circuited bad amp.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  19. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    No, I only have outside pics. Next time I open it up I'll take a pic but I think I've ever only done that once or twice.
  20. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    Sweet amp!

    I have a Deluxe Reverb from the same era, with the same cosmetics (black lines, drip-edge).
    That one will eventually go to someone in my will.

    p.s. I don't wear hats and there are no initials on my pickguards, though I do play a lot of old music.
    noah330 likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.