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NAD - 68 Ampeg Reverberocket 2 (Questions & Cringe Pics)

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by WineCaster, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. WineCaster

    WineCaster Tele-Meister

    377
    Jul 12, 2012
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin
    Hey folks,
    I'm piggy-backing off of a thread that's been started by forum member, -Hawk-, who recently launched a thread about his same amp that he recently acquired (which is currently in tech-limbo as I understand).

    I got mine for $280 all in with no knobs, half a logo, a peculiar speaker, sketchy component modification, and finally-- decades of tolex wear and original electrolytic capacitors.

    I just replaced the electrolytic capacitors, light, fuse holder, power cord, and switch. You can see in the "before" pics, but the fuse holder was empty and only wired to one lug from the weird lighted push button switch. Woof!

    She's a hard workin' woman but still rocking for a jazz amp that now plays more blues than anything.

    ...BUT! She's quite dark, and I think it's the speaker that may be at fault for such things. The amp is running on vintage tubes and an old eminence speaker that I don't know anything about. Please refer to the pictures and help me determine if this speaker should even be in this amp in the first place.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    -Hawk- likes this.

  2. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    899
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    Yikes, that amp was rode hard and put up wet! Good thing it's an Ampeg- those things are warhorses.

    I'd get rid of all the large carbon comp resistors and replace with nice new metal films. Also, replace any diodes (does that amp have a tube rectifier or diodes?)- 1n4007s are cheap insurance. I recapped my '67 Gemini only to blow a rectifier diode a week later.

    If your amp has 6U10s, those are long out of production but still plentiful. Stock up on a couple while they still are- 7199s used to be that way too, but they're rare and stupid expensive now.

    If this is your first trip to vintage Ampeg land, remember that these were jazz amps- they don't have the sparkle of a Fender. But, if you turn the bass and treble up, you can get pretty close.

    As to the speaker, I have no idea. You could try hooking another amp up to it (and vice versa) to get an idea of what it sounds like.

    You sure it's a '68? I was under the impression that the last gasp of blue tolex amps was in early '67, and turretboard made way for PCB at the same time. But with Ampegs there's an exception to every rule.
     

  3. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    Interesting speaker! I will say that mine is anything but dark. Whether that's the speaker or something else, I have no clue though.

    Does yours have two 12ax7's? I agree (based off what I've read only, so I may be wrong) that it may be older than 1968.

    I bought a few NOS 6u10's for $20 shipped on eBay if you're looking. When it comes time to switch power tubes I may just grab the new Tung Sols. Apparently they are closer to what the originals were. NOS are pretty expensive. The good news is that I read that the amp is underpowered for what a 7591 is capable of, so maybe the originals will last a long time.

    Have you turned it up yet? Sounds delicious at around 3 o'clock.
     

  4. W.L.Weller

    W.L.Weller Tele-Meister

    208
    May 20, 2014
    Queens
    Ampegs use a different tone stack from the Fender/Marshall/Vox style, so I'd try spinning knobs first. But it is true that these Ampegs were meant to be clean machines.

    I wouldn't hesitate to try a speaker that would be considered "too bright for a Deluxe," or possibly a Rangemaster-style treble booster. I use a RM clone in front of my Ampeg-ish Hohner CA300 (pair of 7591s, baxandall tone stack) to great effect.
     

  5. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    913
    Jan 6, 2011
    NC
    Make sure the speaker is an 8 ohm. I've had good results changing the 10k negative feedback resistor to a 56k.
     
    screamin eagle likes this.

  6. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    Regarding the rangemaster - and take this only as my experience with my particular RR - it was unusable. I use a Catalinbread Naga Viper, which is a rangemaster with a little more control, and it was terribly brittle. I was surprised because I use that thing with every other amp I have and love it. I'd say it's worth a shot for you to try though.

    That being said, my speaker isn't stock either, so maybe I've got a bright one and you've got a dark one! I'm still considering a C Rex in there. It would be an easy experiment at worst.

    One thing that interested me with this model in particular was that it is supposed to have a great break up sound, which is atypical of the old Ampegs I guess. I thought it sounded excellent turned up.

    Patiently waiting for mine to come back to me. The shop has instructions to change everything from filter caps to rectifier diodes. I wanted to get it completely squared away for some heavy use.
     

  7. WineCaster

    WineCaster Tele-Meister

    377
    Jul 12, 2012
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin
    This one is the 7591 equipped model, and the distortion from this amp is excellent and very achievable at reasonable volumes. Honestly, my tweed princeton with an 8” speaker is louder than this Peg. Could be the speaker and tube combo. I really don’t know if this speaker is even suited to be used in a guitar rig but that’s what it’s got for now. I’ve got a 16ohm greenback that I’d be tempted to try but that might be treading a dangerous path.

    I got all my parts from Fliptops. Their prices are good and selection even better. They did forget to include my logo and power switch so there’s that... good stuff otherwise.
     

  8. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Holic

    645
    May 11, 2011
    North of Boston
    I've commented before on Ampegs having long been a fan. I have a RR 2 and the volume is good, once past 12 o'clock on the volume knob there is a very nice grind that is happening. It's a beautiful amp to use straight up. I went with the Tung Sol 7591s and they sound great. In fact I have original Ampeg labeled 7591s in an old Jet and the Tung Sols sound real close. The 6U10 can be a problem. I bought a bunch from different sources and used the least noisy one. A GE I think. These old Ampegs sound great. Mine plays real nice with my Tele, maybe better with a Gretsch 6120.

    Jet.jpg AmpegReverb.jpg
     
    W.L.Weller likes this.

  9. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    That's great to hear about the Tung Sol. I've not heard a ton of great feedback on the JJ or EHX.

    I'll be interested to see what 6u10's I get. They were supposed to be random from a selection of a few USA made versions still in the box. If they are good I'll probably order a few more just to have on hand.
     

  10. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Holic

    645
    May 11, 2011
    North of Boston
    I have a half dozen-GE, Sylvania, RCA, the original Ampeg labeled one and they don't make a difference in the sound, but the noise they add runs the gamut from intolerable to barely noticeable. In a band setting no sweat. Tough to record with.
     

  11. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Holic

    899
    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    I had JJ 7591a's in my Gemini until I shorted one out by being stupid (not the tube's fault), then I went with Tung-Sols.

    My impression is that the JJs had a fatter bottom end (without being mushy) more like a 6L6, but that the Tung-Sol was a little "airier" on top. Mine's a Gemini II with the 15" and although the Tung-Sols sound great, I kinda miss that room-filling bass the JJs had.
     

  12. WineCaster

    WineCaster Tele-Meister

    377
    Jul 12, 2012
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin
    I’m developing the opinion that anyone interested in a Princeton Reissue should look at these instead.
     
    Bob M likes this.

  13. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    I remember an early 60s Reverberocket I played for a few days, it was dark, and it was supposed to be and sounded great that way. The thick reverb too.

    I also knew someone who had a newer amp, I think it was a Gemini but it didn't sound much like the Reverberocket to me.

    Also, I think that's a CTS speaker, they were stock in some Fenders, don't know about Ampeg:
    [​IMG]
     

  14. WineCaster

    WineCaster Tele-Meister

    377
    Jul 12, 2012
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin
    I’m definitely okay with the darkness of this setup, it’s very responsive and seems like an excellent country/blues amp. I can always switch to the ole Vibrolux if I need a treble boost. The speaker must be super inefficient in this Peg. Very classy looker too!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

  15. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    there sure were a lot of CTS speakers with square magnets - I've got a 2X15 cab for a SF Bassman with square magnets, most likely CTS speakers - but just reading the label from your photo, it seems to say: "Eminence Speaker Corp., Eminence, KY..." etc.

    did I read somewhere that someone at Eminence was x-CTS? Maybe there's a connection there...

    and just because there's a label, may not be entirely proof positive, but from that era, not too many people were re-labeling stuff, AFAIK.

    congrats on the amp! there's a lot of territory there to explore!
     

  16. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Holic

    645
    May 11, 2011
    North of Boston
    Ampeg was one of the initial Eminence users. I had one in a mid-60s flip top.
     

  17. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Wiring looks wonky on the fuse socket. Looks like both wires go to one terminal?

    Those square magnet speakers were used in Ampegs like the VT22.
    Alot of Ampegs don't seem as loud as old Fenders to me so I run newer speakers in them. My early RRs have a G12H30 Anniversary and a Weber Blue Dog alnico, those both made my BFDR too loud but did the trick in the little Ampegs. (once I moved out of town)
    My Rocket II runs a Greenback.
    Just me but I never liked Celestion style speakers until I tried them in Ampegs.
    I like to add a speaker jack to them, just because I'm used to them on Fenders.
     

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