Clapton's sound and the '57 Bandmaster Reissue...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by bluesholyman, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    I love the sound Clapton gets during the Baloise Session in 2013. After doing some digging, it seems he was using his strat with the mid-boost through a Fender '57 Bandmaster reissue. It seems that amp is discontinued so I am wondering what comes close. I don't know what "circuit" it uses but it has 3 Jensen 10's, a 6L6 power section and its rectified by a 5AR4. Great sound and other youtube demo's I have heard seem to sound similar (assuming a strat was used.)

    Is there anything that can do that sort of sound that is a) currently produced and b) can do it at a more friendly volume?

    Would appreciate suggestions...
     
  2. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Pretty much a 3x10 tweed Pro (which was 1x15) or Super (2x10). The negative feedback will be different because of the output impedance, but they're close. They are out there in the used market. Any of those three amps will get you close, as will the low power tweed twin.
     
  3. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Also, Dr Z makes a version of it, the Z-master Joe Walsh. There are a number of people who make copies as well.
     
  4. SoK66

    SoK66 Tele-Afflicted

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    I was not impressed with the way Fender's builds on these tweed reissues. Cheezy components, sloppy wiring, etc. Buy a kit from Mojotone and either build it yourself or find a tech. You can hand select the goodies that go in and have a monster amp.

    If built to the original spec. any of that era, Bandmaster, Bassman (the 2x rectifier 5E6 version) Pro, Super & Twin and tone waiting to happen. Not a lot of headroom, but you can get there with some knob fiddling. Fender took some liberties with the '57 Bandmaster spec to increase the B+/plate voltage and tighten the amp up. They used a mdified PT and GZ34 rectifier instead of a 5U4. They also added 10k interstage grid stoppers on all the preamp tubes to reduce noise.

    Here's the insides of a '57 Bandmaster Reissue

    004.jpg
     
  5. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Just look for a 5e7, which is the tweed Bandmaster. Buncha folks making them these days.

    Google Is Your Friend

    It is very, very similar to a 5e5-a Pro, or a 5e4 Super. But, there are a few very small changes in components.
     
  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The three amps mentioned above....5E5A Pro, 5F4 Super, and the 5E7 Bandmaster are very similar....but the Bandmaster has less negative feedback and acts a bit differently. It is my favorite tweed amp. The 5E8A Twin is basically the same amp as these three with the addition of a second rectifier. If you pull one rectifier from this Twin, it starts acting more like the other three.
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Do you have the mid boost? With that you don't need a special amp type to get very close. I have it on all my Strats, albeit not so much for the Woman Tone.
    I think his normal amp is a tweed Twin, but they both sound alike in those concerts.
    BTW, you aren't going to get that tone without being quite loud with a Tweed Bandmaster, just in case it matters.
    That's a great concert. The other superb concert is Hyde Park '97. The whole big band.
    The mid boost is an easy conversion on Strats and the price is dirt cheap for the kit now days also.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I just looked at a song in that concert. It appears to me like he's using his normal Tweed Twin (directly behind him) Doesnt look tall enough to be a BM.....but there are a couple taller tweeds further to the side near the bass amp. Who knows for sure which he is using on which song...?
    Good view at ~1:01 in this video when the other player steps out of the way:
     
  9. SoK66

    SoK66 Tele-Afflicted

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    The 5E8-A has an additional preamp tube.
     
  10. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just hear his boosted Strat. My friend had a EC Strat with noiseless (toneless) pickups and it sounded like that through pretty much anything with boost cranked. Unfortunately that's about the only decent sound it had. Body was a horrible conglomerate of about 6 pieces with glue lines visible through ordinary paint and the neck very meh.

    Might have been a Friday afternoon special but possibly the worst Fender badged guitar I ever played. Not terrible - just very disappointing. My buddy is a big John Mayer fan (Mayer supposedly uses EC Strats) so keen to have it. He flipped it in months.

    Maybe it is the amp sounding good? Or El Clapp is much better than given credit for.
     
  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    That IS strange, my '98 EC Strat is amazing. Especially the neck. With the mid boost down it's great normal strat tone. ... but with a bit of body to it like your amp is turned up high.
     
  12. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is yours the Lace model? Now THOSE pickups, I like. Maybe it was just this one guitar - we bought it in a set, he wanted the guitar I wanted the EC Vibrochamp. I sold that in months too. Great sound - chintzy build. I think his was a 2002 Blackie replica.
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    yeah, the Laces, but they were removed long ago, I still have them though. They are pretty good. A lot better than many people think. They do have just a hint of ....."sizzle"? on the highs, no one but a musician player would notice. But if one is looking for the sound the OP is looking for, you'd never notice among the dirt! If I was going noiseless, I'd probably go back to them. Or Lawrence dual blades.
    But an EC Strat is just a US Strat really, other than the special neck/ as far as wood goes. Many solid color Strats you can see the joint lines in the body if it's a dark shiny color...
     
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  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    SoK66 wrote: “The 5E8A has an additional Preamp tube.”


    Yes, the 5E8A uses the same input preamp arrangement as does the 5E5 Pro...not the 5E5A....and the 5D8 Twin. There is another thread hereabouts about the difference between these input stages and the later input arrangement with 68k grid stoppers.
    I don’t think that the difference is major...??


    Edited due to misquote.....
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  15. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can get a similar strat tone boosting through an EQ pedal into a 5e3. It’s all about the mid boost dB and lots of ways to do that.
     
  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have owned and worked on a fair number of 5E3’s and earlier Deluxes....the earliest a ‘49. I have owned two 5E7 Bandmasters, one 5E8A Twin, a 5E5A Pro. Imho and ime, there is no way that any 5E3 cops he notes that come out of these larger .fender amps. The Bandmaster does something that no other big tweed does, ime.....it sings with a beautiful sustain that is not present in any of the other big...6L6...amps. It has big rich cleans that a 5E3 cannot create, ime. From 1955 through 1960, I consider that there are at a minimum 5 different Sonic results for .fender tweeds.....
    Champ, Princeton
    Deluxe
    Tremolux/Vibrolux.
    Pro, B’master, Super, low power Twin
    Bassman, hi power Twin

    Each ‘class’ does something that the others don’t do, imho.
     
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  17. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Nope. No disrespect to the 5E3, but it will never sound like one of the larger tweeds.
     
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  18. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    A Weber 5E7 is a beautiful thing. Much more organic than Fender’s rendering of it’s own Amplifier. :D:D




     
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  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Clapton's tone from the bigger amps is much nastier than a 5E3 often is. Not entirely sure why. Probably he's using pedals as well. Compare that tone with the plug and play lead tone on Hotel California. (5E3 dimed right? or maybe a predecessor?) I'm a Clapton fan but never been that gung ho on his live tone when he's been on his own. It can be great at times though.. Just me I guess. Too "crackly" for me much of the time.
    Probably not a fair comparison I suppose. studio, live etc.
     
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  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Schmee, I don’t really care for what I hear there, either. I would rather hear Clapton play through a pickup more akin to a Gibson humbucker....or even a P-90. But...he prefers those clean single coils that don’t make an amp purr without some help before the signal gets to the amp....a pedal. He is on the middle pickup there at the beginning, and the amp is set up to the bright side. I like a lil ‘59 at the bridge with the amp set to be righteous....the middle and neck will properly follow suit totally. But hey...he’s the one making the money, right? A Gibson type of pickup on the bridge and a good tweed....that works for that kind of music...and so much more. Ime, Fender single coils...without some help....do that ‘crackly’ thing unless the amp has lot of preamp gain. The ‘crackle’ is right on that edge between clean and sustained distortion....and I don’t care to live there. I like it when things transition 8nto a full overdrive in a smooth manner.
     
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