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The pearl of great price... NAD: 1976 Deluxe Reverb

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by theprofessor, May 12, 2017.

  1. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, slider313! I agree with your evaluation of the JJ's. I've already ordered a GE 5U4GB, and I'll re-bias it when I get it back from my tech next week. I've got a matched pair of Tung-Sol black glass 6V6GT's that I'd like to try in there. I loved them in my DRRI. It seems to me that the previous owner was trying to make the SFDR sound a bit more like a Twin by using those JJ's, which are kind of like a little 6L6, a GZ34 rectifier, and biasing to about 60% mpd, so it's not too warm. Very clear and linear sounding. Also they used the WGS equivalent of an EV SRO, the WGS Blackhawk HP alnico.

    I'd like your opinion on something. That WGS Blackhawk HP sounds fantastic, but what worries me a little bit is the bass response. It's enormous, and the speaker is also heavy. I play in a "live room" with wooden floors, and a 9 lb speaker on that medium density fiberboard baffle concerns me a little bit. The baffle is not in perfect shape.

    The question is this: If I swap out the speaker in this SFDR down the road, I'd like to know what you would put in it. If it were yours, what speaker would you use (aside from the OEM)?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  2. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    759
    Jan 6, 2011
    NC
    I'm not sure how one could make a comparison between the Blackhawk and an alnico EV SRO. The EV has a MUCH bigger magnet, a cast frame and a smooth cone. It looks more like a Fane AXA 12 100, with a larger dust cap, to me. I would have the amp tuned up, install the 5U4 and real 6V6's and give it a listen. It may sound completely different. A nine pound speaker is pretty much a non issue. An original alnico EV SRO is probably twenty pounds or more. If the WGS doesn't do it for you, then I would look at a Weber 12A150W, or if you want to go ceramic, an Eminence GA-SC64.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  3. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    I think it's the Champ we're all feeling... If you discount the DRRI, because of the obvious, then it's just a couple pedals and a Dot. Nuthin'. But the Champ.... I know, worth it. But still, if you're not missing it, we'll do it for ya :lol:
     
    t guitar floyd likes this.
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  5. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    I'd definitely revert to the 5U4. @theprofessor , as I'm writing, I just remembered you said you have a bunch of old tubes. Well, I'm here already, so for others who don't have old tubes, and want something better than harsh JJs... I really like the TAD 6V6.
     
    jondanger likes this.
  6. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Holic Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    60
    959
    Jan 29, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Congratulations on getting your dream amp.

    The trade scenario (and rationale behind it) sounds very familiar to me. If I can get the "thing I want" by trading things I already have (and don't want as bad as the "thing I want"), that is my preferred route. I don't even want to add up the values of what I'm trading to see if I'm "coming out ahead". That doesn't matter if what I end up with the the "thing I want". Sounds like that's exactly what you got. I'm happy for you. May you play it in relentlessly good health for many years to come.
     
  7. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, slider313. I'll give it a listen once it's tuned up. I've not heard an EV SRO before; I'm simply repeating the marketing of the WGS website in comparing it to an EV SRO: https://wgsusa.com/BHHP
    I had no idea that an original alnico EV SRO was twenty pounds! Thanks for the suggestions. If I feel the need to change down the road, I'll give the Weber or the Eminence you mention some consideration.
     
  8. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Hey @moosie . Yes, the Champ. I loved that thing when I played it. But here's the thing: When I was enumerating all the things I traded in for the SF DR in post 39 above, I FORGOT about the Champ. Enough said, I guess...
     
  9. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    I just went from a Mullard GZ34 (5AR4) in my SF Vibrolux Reverb back to a Tung Sol 5U4 and noticed an improvement. The amp is just sweeter, don't know how else to describe it.
     
  10. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Hey, I get it. I play a Twin. The Champ, however nice, would be long gone in my house. :)
     
  11. Rustbucket

    Rustbucket Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2016
    Arizona
    Sweet!! I sold the farm so to speak a couple years back to acquire my '65BF and don't regret it one bit. Extra guitars come & go but your dream amp is something you can build around for life.
     
  12. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    virginia
    I've got a 1979 deluxe reverb and its a killer amp and I sold my blackface champ about a year ago and at times I miss it but really I never played it -I always went for a bigger amp even for at home practice. Congrats!
     
  13. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    Detroit
    The way I figure it (low-balling resale on the stuff you traded) you paid about $1,100-ish for that amp.

    Don't know whether that's good or bad but congrats that you got what you liked !
     
  14. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    I like your generous assessment! $1100 would be good indeed in the current market! Things like cases for the guitar, and upgrades to it like pickups, nut, saddle, and stop-piece, plus the labor for a tech to re-wire the pickups get lost in the wash. Then there's the new speaker I had to keep in my DRRI when trading it, along with the tech fees for servicing both the DRRI and the Champ, but I'm not going to focus on that. He was asking $1400 for the amp, and I came out with what I wanted. I just didn't want to have to pay him any extra cash, and I was able to avoid that.
     
    t guitar floyd likes this.
  15. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Taking conversion rates into account that is exactly what those amps sell for around here...
    The low-balling is exactly how a retail store would operate... so none of this looks unreasonable to me.

    I'm not saying it's right, or fair - but any upgrades done to a piece of gear hurt their resale value more than they help it. That money is always "lost in the wash"... :)
     
  16. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Yes, you're right. I don't think it's unfair. It simply is the way of resale. I've learned this the hard way. When you buy a guitar case, for example, and then you trade in or sell the guitar with the case, you're just giving the case away for free. Same with all the "upgrades." It's just the way it is.
     
  17. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 5, 2011
    Poland
    As years pass, I am more and more a proponent of the approach: "concentrate on quality stuff" rather than "have a lot of mediocre stuff". Mediocre stuff adds up in time and money and is never as satisfying. Like the pearl reference, too. Enjoy your amp!
     
  18. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, Piotr! My line of thinking, exactly: I'd rather have one great thing than four good or very good things. Plus, it takes up less space in my house!
     
    codamedia likes this.
  19. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Absolutely.

    Yep, perfectly reasonable. Mods detract from value, not add. Whenever thinking of the value of an item, I might track how much I have into it, but when I list it, I only go by what I'd pay in the market as-is. You can tell when someone is anchoring on their cost, when the overpriced listing just sits and sits.

    Sometimes I'll part things out, to get the value back that I've put in. If I've gently modded a guitar, I'll revert it back to stock before listing, and then sell the extra tuners, extra pickups separately. It can be a hassle sometimes, but the only other option is to effectively give it away.
     
    codamedia likes this.
  20. cboutilier

    cboutilier Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    25
    Oct 28, 2015
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    So jelous. Pretty much my dream amp.
     
  21. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Good news, everyone! I got my amp back from the tech today and have just been giving it a little workout. It sounds glorious. Someone had indeed serviced the amp previously, and it was done well. The filter capacitors had already been replaced with the blue Sprague Atom capacitors, so that puts it in the last four years or so, right?

    My tech went through every part in the amp, checking against spec, and almost everything looked perfect. He replaced a couple of bypass capacitors. He cleaned the sockets and pins and re-tensioned where necessary. He checked all the grounds and capacitors, and re-stapled the velcro to the grill cloth so that it can attach properly to the baffle. And, at my request, he clipped one leg of the bright capacitor. All for... $50.

    I love the WGS Blackhawk HP alnico in this thing. It's simply fantastic. Also, I really like the way the amp sounds without the bright cap. Now the treble knob is usable on the Vibrato channel, and the bridge pickup on my tele also sounds much better.

    He noted that, at some point in its life, the following things had been changed: intensity pot for the tremolo (it looks like the skirted knob, too), the tremolo "bug," the filter capacitors (with the spec values of the blue Sprague Atoms, as noted above), some of the bypass capacitors (don't remember how many), and the footswitch had been re-wired at some point. Other than that and the speaker, it's original. Lots of blue blobs in there. No chocolate turds, etc.

    I've got a NOS 1962 GE 5U4GB coming in the mail tomorrow, so this weekend I'll be popping that in and re-biasing with my matched pair of 1960's Tung-Sol black glass 6V6's to see what difference in makes. But I must say: even with it as it is now--with a GZ34 and the JJ 6V6S's doing about 455 plate volts--I could be a happy man for a very long time. I think I'll like it better when I get the voltage down closer to 415 and with the Tung-Sols, but I like the fact that it already sounds so good. I'll report back once I've done that.

    So things have turned out really well. I'm very happy. It's part of doing business with a great store in our area--Rick's Guitar Room in Hixon, TN. And with a very good, reasonably priced tech: Charlie Harris.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 6:52 AM
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