Gassing for a blackface Fender and I’m stuck please help

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Chris4189, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Chris4189

    Chris4189 TDPRI Member

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    Again, this is a new untraveled road for me. I’ve literally only played Marshall’s (JTM45, 1986, 1987 and 1959’s) for years and one of the key ingredient to those is Nos Mullards, Brimars, RFTs in the preamps, especially V1and pre Rola’s or Scumbacks. Sounds like Fenders maybe a little different?
     
  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    It depends on the amp, but most anything that isnt Master volume is close. They are very easily made BF anyway. But really, SF can sound near identical. Even Master volume is not an issue... just leave the Master dimed.
    -Some amp models in the early (Drip edge 67-68-69) versions ARE still BF inside.
    -Pull boost models are fine.. just dont pull!
    -Later SF models (mid late 70's) with MV may be the Ultra Linear models. IIRC most of these have a mid control on the "normal" channel also. One way to tell what they are.Most tend to avoid them, but they probably have an unwarranted bad reputation. They are LOUD.
     
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  3. Chris4189

    Chris4189 TDPRI Member

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    Besides gut shots is there any other way to tell externally if a SF is a BF internally?
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Generally SF are mostly :
    -added small caps here and there to reduce noise, hiss etc
    -The bias circuit was changed to allow balancing two power tubes instead of setting a matched pair. The "balance bias" limits where you can set the bias the amp at. To BF this is quite simple but a tech would have to do it for you.
     
  5. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe someone will pipe in here to what models and years. The Deluxe and Princeton held on to BF for a while, but I think the bigger amps changed pretty fast. So my comment may be a bit misleading I think. Probably in the bigger amps by 68 or certainly 69 they were changed. Tube chart would indicate it, but Fender has a history of not marking the chart, or using the wrong chart more often than not! An AB763 noted chart would be BF, but many have that chart!
    Looking inside the amp it's easy to see. Also, many SF out there now sold used have already been Blackfaced inside by someone else!
     
  6. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    For you, based on your background and what you like playing, I’d suggest you grab a vintage silver face Princeton Reverb. Here’s why.

    You’re a Marshall guy. So you’ve probably got a couple of different cabs around the house, right? A Princeton through a 12 is spectacular. Shoot, so is a silver face champ, for that matter.

    But I’d suggest a seventies era PR. Have a QUALITY tech get it up to speed. Don’t fall for the whole blackfacing thing. Princeton Reverbs didn’t change much over the years.
     
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  7. Chris4189

    Chris4189 TDPRI Member

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    So, I literally just found this on my local Facebook for sale page.

    Says “Original vintage c 1968 fender “drip edge” transitional silverface (blackface circuit) twin reverb in excellent, perfect playing condition. This twin has just been fully serviced and recapped, fitted with new 3 prong power cord, and is ready for another 50 years. Fender branded original oxford 1968 date coded speakers sound perfect.“

    Would this be a good one?
     

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  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    If the DR or Princeton Reverb work for you they are a great choice. for Plug and Play overdriven tone. So are the non reverb versions. Even more so actually. My BF Deluxe non reverb is an amazing southern rock tone king amp. Get any of those and put an Emi GA SC 64 in it and boom! You're there!
    I think a reissue will do it too.
     
  9. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

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    Please. Go to a store and play a PR, DR, SR and TR.

    Decide which fits your needs and ears.

    Don’t buy an amp because some dudes on the Webz told you to.

    FWIW I think the vintage bias is just that.

    The reissues are great. Replacing speakers and tubes is just navel-gazing, tail-chasing.

    Those reissues are professional quality amps. Have the shop that sells it check the bias and once that is right, they sound great. Workhorses.
     
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  10. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    The best Fender blackface amp for overdriven sounds is a Bassman with the AB165 circuit, which was in the last blackface Bassmans (Bassmen?), after CBS bought Fender, so 1966 and '67. It's got a gorgeous bark that's like no other Fender that I've heard, more compression and midrange than the average Fender amp from that era, and a diode rectifier to keep it sharp and quick. A lot of people modify these amps to get all sorts of sounds, but I think they sound great stock, especially if you have an attenuator.

    I'd recommend against a Twin because they are designed very well to avoid distortion and play clean all the way up the volume dial. Even when you can crank them loud enough for distortion, it's a very restrained drive sound. If you don't like using pedals for drive, the Twin is not your amp.
     
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  11. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Twin changed in May 68. That's a BF tube chart, but as I mentioned, they are not reliable to predict what it is. The Twin also changed a bit in 69 and 70! There is a stamped number on the back of the chassis that may tell you what month the amp is. But really, you need to see the inside. But heck, a 68 Twin of any version is cool. But for "plug and play" man, a Twin is going to be killer loud to get into southern rock tone!
     
  12. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    I have a silverface Vibro Champ and love it. I bypassed the tone stack and it is a raging beast, especially when I plug it into my Bassman's 2x15 cabinet.
     
  13. Greg_L

    Greg_L Tele-Holic

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    Maybe? I honestly don't know. I built my own Blackface Deluxe as a head and run it through Celestions in Marshall cabs! :lol:
     
  14. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 TDPRI Member

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  15. swampyankee

    swampyankee Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    You could always look for a Vibrolux. A few different versions out there - vintage Blackface, Silverface, Custom Vibrolux Reverb (more of a brownface sound), and the latest '68 Custom Vibrolux. 35-40 watts, 2 10"s. I don't know too much about the '68 except that it's a 2 channel amp that has a "normal" Fender channel, and more of a Bassman channel.
     
  16. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    The bassist in my band has a ‘65 reissue DR, all stock. I have a’ 79 DR with an Eminence Hempdog. Side-by-side, his sounds weak, tinny, farty compared to mine. Like the before and after in one of those old Charles Atlas ads.

    So am I experiencing vintage bias or naval-gazing, tail-chasing?
     
  17. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

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    Yes. OK, more likely there's something wrong with his. Bias set incorrectly. Bad tube. It's the same circuit.

    FWIW I've owned multiple SF and BF Deluxe Reverbs. The Reissues sound great if biased right. How could they not? It's the same circuit. And the stock Jensen ceramic (if that's what's in his) is not a farty, weak, tinny speaker. If anything it's a little dark but rock solid lows. Maybe he has a special edition with a different speaker, come to think of it.

    People can believe what they want. There's something fun about old amps and guitars, no doubt. But a circuit is a circuit.
     
  18. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 TDPRI Member

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    I've removed myself from tube-delicious tones by compromising with solid state modelers so my words of wisdom are tainted by years of absenteeism (from daily doses of Bandmaster, Bassman, Super and Twin tones - I never had a Deluxe of my own), and just recent an occasional toe dipping with used (all black face) amps that had rapacious mods made on them - dangerously expensive waters to swim in for this old man. I only play on Black Face Fenders and some Blues Juniors and Hot Rod Deville's. I'm a bigot - I admit it.

    Reissue Deluxe should really serve you well. With that said - Best sounding amp I had the pleasure to play on (in the last 66 years) was a 64 no reverb Deluxe (about two years ago - amp had a small blue metal plaque on the front of it from a dealer up north), someone came into the store (ahead of me before I could put the money together) and blew the suspension on the speaker before I could buy it. I lost interest. That person - Saved me $2,500.00+ tax.

    you could opt up for the hand wired american made special edition with reverb handled by some of the large inter-web retailers - I'd get an extended warranty.
     
  19. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    And there are a lot of places in tube amp circuits for variance. A transformer is not a transformer. You get an old (or new) amp with an output transformer with that special something? It's a real thing. I had a Twin Reverb like that once. It was a special one, from 1970. There was no accounting for it, but it was indeed a great amp, not because it was old but because of a unrepeatable combination of variables.

    So anyone who wants a great amp should play a lot of amps, vintage, modern, and reissue.
     
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  20. Greg_L

    Greg_L Tele-Holic

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    But if you aren't keenly aware of what makes a great Fender amp a great Fender amp, then you have to go with a safe choice, and the reissues are good safe choices.
     
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