Amp decisions

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by trxx, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Hey all. I just signed up to the forum, having read so many useful posts from this board over the years. I guess I should have signed up sooner.

    At the moment I have a silverface twin reverb (74 if I remember correctly) and a 90's Marshall DSL50. I'm not crazy about either amp, and what I really want is something in the neighborhood of a Vibrolux and a JTM50, but $$$. I have been working on other projects for some months and haven't been playing much, but I'm getting back to it lately and trying to figure out my amps situation.

    The twin of course is a loud and clean beast, but I think that maybe not too many people know that it can really crunch up (like an old Marshall) at higher volume settings. And I bet that with the channels in phase and jumpered, it could really get crunchy. Anyway, I use an attenuator with 2 of the power tubes removed, master all the way up, and preamp around 6 or higher to get it up to that point when the mood hits, but it's still a loud amp. The speakers in this amp are pretty much shot and have been since I got it, and I think they aren't worth reconing (Utahs). I have ran it through a Weber 1230 which sounds alot better, but this amp really needs a pair of 12's to get into just breaking up territory. I'm considering putting a pair of Weber Signature 12B's in it to warm it up, and I think I have read that the Signature speakers are considerably less efficient, which might help with bringing the volume down a notch when brought up to higher settings. So I could do that, along with a few mods to get the amp more to my liking, or sell it and move on. I have played a silverface twin that was 'blackfaced' by a very reputable amp tech that had a pair of Weber's in it that really sounded great and wasn't too loud when nearly dimed, although the low end was definitely on the mushy side, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm not sure which model Weber's were in it, but they must have been inefficient. The combination of the speakers and 2 power tubes dropped made the volume level about perfect. The overall sound was smooth and great for blues and general soulful playing. Anyway, I know that my twin could be a cool amp that I would love playing after some tweaks are made.

    The DSL50 also sounds good when with the master all the way up and preamp around 6 or so with the attenuator just knocking off a bit of the volume. It's a rocker for sure and can also do some nice blues tones, although it's not a particularly classic flavor of Marshall. How I tend to use it is as a single channel non-master amp, same as the twin but for very different types of playing. I have only played the DSL50 through a single Weber 1230, and I know that a pair of greenback type speakers with more mids would better suit the amp.

    So I guess I'm looking at either going down the rabbit hole with these amps (speakers and some mods) or selling them and finding something in the neighborhood of an old Vibrolux first and a JTM50 later. Working with what I have already would definitely be the least expensive route. I did take a look at the newer 68 Vibrolux Custom, but I think I would prefer one that has a tube rectifier and isn't a pcb amp. Looking at the construction of the DSL50 makes my head spin, and those DSL amps (and many other pcb amps) are prone to some common pcb/heat failures. With the way that I tend to run my amps (cranked into the sweet spot), that is probably going to come sooner rather than later.

    Anyway, apologies for being a bit longwinded on a first post. But if anyone reads this dribble, thoughtful recommendations are appreciated.
     
  2. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Silverface Super Reverb.
    Game over.
    Well under a grand.
    Never been a better time to buy.
     
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  3. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    There is a guy here who wants to sell one, but he is asking too much for the condition. Everything else I have seen is too far of a drive for me, given my experience with buying gear at long distances. People will often describe their gear for sell as being a golden goose over the phone, and after making the long drive I run into mostly turkeys. But yea. Supers are hella cool amps, and I would love to have one.
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Pull two tubes, replace the OT with a Vibrolux OT ($65) and you are getting close to a Vibrolux with 2 x 12 . :>)
    -Replace the filter caps with the smaller Vibrolux caps and you are getting even closer to a V'lux. ($20)
    -Replace the large choke with the smaller version ($15)and you are one step closer yet.

    All for less than $100
     
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  5. mjcyates

    mjcyates Tele-Meister

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    I have a 5F4 Tweed Super that I just rehabbed that I am going to be selling for a good price. It has 5UGB4 Tube Rectifier and 2 6L6 power tubes. Two brand new Weber 10" ceramic speakers. Nice amp!

    IMG_0345.JPG IMG_0346.JPG IMG_0348.JPG IMG_0349.JPG
     
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  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you anti-pedal? The reason I ask is that if it were me I'd just use the Twin as my clean pedal platform and then use a well selected dirt pedal or two to get
    whatever dirt tone I wanted at a reasonable volume. There are thousands of guys who have gone this route with great success. For example, a big Fender amp plus
    a MIAB (Marshall In A Box) pedal along the lines of MI Audio Crunch Box or other competitors gives you the best of both worlds at a huge range of working
    volumes, IMO.

    Here's a YouTube demo of several MIAB pedals through something like a Blues Junior.



    If it were me I'd put the Twin back to pretty much standard spec, make sure it has some speakers that don't flub out, and drive it hard with a few well chosen
    dirt pedals. There is a big advantage over the rabbit hole besides saving $$ and hassles. If you mod the Twin until it has great crunch at lower volumes then you sacrifice its pristine, classic
    Fender clean tone. If you restore the wonderful Fender clean tone and get your dirt from pedals you love, then you have the best of both worlds and it's easy to adjust
    volume levels. Basically you have the equivalent of an excellent channel switching amp with glorious cleans and glorious dirt at a wide range of volume levels for the price of a couple of dirt pedals.
     
  7. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    That sounds like an interesting option. Although I wonder how much of a difference a tube rectifier would make. The other 'blackfaced' twin that I played (which sounded great) had a diode rectifier and was a pretty killer amp. But those supers, vibrolux's, etc. are a notch above, and I do dig the chimey detail of 10's.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  8. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    That looks like a very cool amp, but a long spring reverb is a must for me. I never want to be without it again. I could get a reverb unit later, but $$$. Any way, I am curious what you will be asking for the amp. Shoot me a pm if you don't mind.
     
  9. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    if it was me, @trxx , I would keep the SF TR in factory stock condition :cool:, get rid of the 90's Marshall :confused:... And complete your rig with a SF DR or SF PR ;)...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    -tbln
     
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  10. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I'm not anti-pedal, but I much prefer my meat and potatoes sounds to come from the amp. Pedals are cool for adding other options, but I just never was able to get a good foundation tone using them. I do hear them working well for other people.

    The 'blackfaced' twin that I did some playing through did still have a nice and soulful clean to it, but rolling up the volume put it into liquid electric territory. That amp was on the darker side than a typical silverface (likely a result of the speakers), but it really did sound great when cranked up and when cleaned up. I know that my twin could be taken into the same neighborhood, but there is also that sound of supers and vibro's with 10's calling my name.
     
  11. mjcyates

    mjcyates Tele-Meister

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    Just sent PM.
     
  12. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, hard to say, but I dont think it's huge. The V'lux uses a GZ34 which is pretty strong rectification anyway. However, the big PT will keep it clean also, so maybe it will be too clean for you. The Twin is a chunk to carry around for sure. You can make 12" to 10" adaptors easy. I have a couple. They are just plywood donuts. But I like 12's, easier to find one I like in 12" it seems!
     
  13. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Thanks mjcyates. It does look like a cool amp at a good price.

    The changes which schmee mentioned are sounding most interesting to me at the moment. $100 or so plus speakers and do the changes to get reverb on both channels and have the channels in phase. I bet this twin would be killer. Another consideration is putting the chassis in a head cab to make it less of a beast to haul around. If I remember correctly, I paid $600 for the amp in very good condition with all RCA glass in it. But the speakers flub and crap out with anything over moderate volume and they are pretty ice-picky across the volume range.

    Anyway, if I did the circuit changes and cabbed the head, I could add a cab of 10's down the line if I still have that urge for them.

    The DSL50 really isn't a bad amp, but all that extra circuitry really is useless to me, being that I use it as a single channel non-master amp. And the pcb construction seems like a timebomb waiting to blow, although I have read that the late 90's versions of these amps are much less prone to failure than later DSL models made in Vietnam. Maybe part of it is the idealist in me who likes how amps used to be made before all the cheaping out began to take over.
     
  14. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I never heard of anyone making 'donuts'. That sounds like another interesting option. Thanks!
     
  15. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    So whatever I end up doing with the twin, it's going to need a set of speakers. I think no one would want it with those Utahs. So I might as well start from there and do the tweaks to get reverb on both channels, see where I am, and then look at changing transformers and caps or selling it.

    The DSL50 is pretty much in a similar situation. I had been running it through a single Weber 1230. I tend to like Weber speakers, but I'm not a big fan of the 1230. Are there better options out there for greenback style speakers than 1225's?
     
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  16. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    yup..74 master removed...norm channel set to beak earlier...& i am a marshall player..this thing is a beast..all things rock & a beautiful clean tone or give me that JCM 2000 DSL 50 ...slap it on good cab..work the volume & tone on guitar..that amp can set 5ish for chords..7 for break/crunch & dime for leads & cover almost anything there is 3Fenders (2).jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  17. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    Are you in Fort Smith, NWT? Just curious...
     
  18. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe sell the DSL50 to fund the improvements to the Twin as well as other GAS? Or, if you convert the Twin to a head and cab, you could use the DSL50 as an alternate head through the same cab.
    That way you only need to buy two new speakers. You wouldn't need to convert the DSL50, too-- you would just run it through the other speaker cab instead of its combo speakers. (Maybe not viable
    if the ohms are too far off...)

    For a few hundred bucks and a bit of elbow grease, why not. If you are looking at selling and getting something else, then something like the new Tonemasters might be a solution worth considering
    once you're in the $1k price range.
     
  19. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Now you guys have me drooling for a super. I really do love those things. But they are also big beasts to move around. But it's probably worth the backbreaking.

    The DSL really can sound good. I wouldn't describe it's goodness as sounding classic JTM or JCM, but it does it's own thing pretty well. But all the gadgetry on it it can be misleading. Forget all that and get it up into it's sweet spot on the classic channel, and it is admirable. And it can do a good variety of things at lower volumes. I'm sure the right cab/speakers would improve it further.
     
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  20. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Northwest AR. Not the best place to be from, but even relatively obscure music can turn some heads here. This place is and probably always will be stuck in whatever has played on the radio for the past 50 years. Then again, it is a place waiting to open up and bloom, not just music wise. Living away from here in various places opened up my ears to worlds of music that I never would have heard had I stayed around. But it's a black hole that sucks you back in eventually.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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