Fender ‘57 Custom Tweed Deluxe Dilemma - Buzz vs. Thinner Tone

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Burd, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Burd

    Burd TDPRI Member

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    Hi, new poster here. Need some opinions/advisory from amp techs, builders, or multiple tweed deluxe owners.

    I recently purchased a new Fender 57 Custom Tweed Deluxe, we’ll call it number 1, from a well known online sales resource. I was instantly smitten. My telecaster has never sounded better and I also absolutely love the tone with my Les Paul and Strat.

    Problem - I very shortly began to notice a buzz when playing open low E to A sharp. The range of notes diminishes to F#, G, and G# after about an hour and goes almost entirely away after two hours of playing. I rang the online provider and let them know about the buzz and they (quite amazingly) immediately shipped me a new 57 tweed deluxe, number 2, with a return shipping receipt for number 1.

    There is no buzz with number 2.

    Dilemma:

    Number 1 has THE sound. It is deeper, rounder, more overtones, better string to string definition, warmer break up, and less flubby in the bass when pushed hard. I love the thing but the buzz will definitely come through a condenser mic and will be noticeable in small venues...

    Number 2 is thinner and brighter and has less presence and warmth, and yet the bass is looser when pushed. Does not have that wonderful piano quality to the tone, like the sound of new strings. Admittedly, some players may prefer the sound of number 2, but I much prefer the tone and interaction with number one, accept the buzz will eventually drive me mad.

    I have to return one of the amps in a week.


    Questions:

    1. Can the buzz be legitimately fixed by a good tech? Anyone have experience trying to do this? I’ve tried everything with past amps to eliminate buzz to no avail.
    2. Has anyone else here suffered from tweed buzzing that they were never able to fix?
    3. Has anyone else experienced substantial tone differences in the same model and year Fender tweed amp?
    4. Can I fatten the tone and get better dynamics from number 2 with new tubes or a new speaker?

    Final note: I swapped the tubes out of number 1 into number 2 and vice versa. No change. Also, they are consecutive serial numbers.

    Sorry for the long first post but I have gone from worried to frustrated to feeling unlucky to now just plain mad. It’s a $2000 12 watt amp for goodness sake.

    Lastly, I am leaning toward keeping number 1 and returning number 2, today... Tomorrow I may throw them both in a steel barrel, pour gas on them, and set them on fire (I kid).

    Thanks to anyone willing to read this and provide any opinions regarding my conundrum. I hope I was able to clearly state the issues.

    Edited for spelling errors
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  2. sudogeek

    sudogeek Tele-Meister

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    Plug amp #2 into the speaker of amp #1. If the buzz is there, it’s probably the speaker or cab. Now, do the reverse. If that’s the sound you want, well ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  3. Burd

    Burd TDPRI Member

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    Will try that tomorrow. I assumed it was electronic because the buzz disopates after the amp is in use for a while. I’m a bit of a knucklehead head of late. I thought about swapping speakers yesterday... Your suggestion is much better. Thanks very much for the response!
     
  4. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    It would be very odd if a buzz went away after a while. It could be that things settle in after a bit of playing. Tracking down cabinet buzz is one of the hardest parts of building, imho, but doing the speaker trick might be enough to tell what's up.
     
  5. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    As to the thin sounding issue of amo #2, are you setting the unused channel's volume the same as amp #1? The unused channel has a big affect on the other channel and if its turned up near max it will thin out the sound.
     
  6. Burd

    Burd TDPRI Member

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    Right? Very odd the buzz becomes less the longer the amp is on. It’s the reason I swapped the tubes...

    A friend is an amateur builder and he is adamant I should get rid of number one with the buzz regardless of tone, as sourcing a buzz can be such a trip down the rabbit hole. Thanks for the response.
     
  7. Burd

    Burd TDPRI Member

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    Both amp’s controls are set identical. I am familiar with the mic and instrument volumes being interactive. Only using instrument, mic volume completely off on both. Thanks.
     
  8. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    Is it weird that the the tone of the two is different? These are 'factory' amps, right?

    I'm no buzz expert -- it took me weeks to find mine :D -- but I did learn about dozens of causes. There are some I'll call 'electro-mechanical'. The speaker vibrates a lead or wire or jack, or a component, or even a solder joint. (Maybe, just maybe, that kind could even 'fatigue' as yours does if warming up for a long time made some kind of difference. Maybe.)

    But to be parsimonious, we'd want to infer that the tone difference was somehow linked to the electrical factor involved.

    I'll look forward to results of speaker / cab 'swap' testing. If the speaker or baffle or wire harness or ??? was loose, maybe tone could change??? I'm reaching here...
     
  9. Lef T

    Lef T Tele-Holic

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    Switch the tubes .
     
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  10. sudogeek

    sudogeek Tele-Meister

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    I recently had a 62 Jensen P12Q reckoned by Weber (@30W) and when I put it in a (self-made) cabinet, there was a buzz with the low E, F, F#, and G. I was convinced it was my amateur cab but, after playing for few hours and breaking in the speaker, the buzz is gone and the speaker sounds great.

    So, make sure you give amp #1 a chance to settle in, it might be fine.
     
  11. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    If #1 sounds that good, the issue could definitely be found and fixed by a good tech. These circuits are very simple and easy to repair but I would wager the problem is most likely speaker related.
     
  12. Burd

    Burd TDPRI Member

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    So I called Fender tech support and they confirmed that the values of the caps fall within a range and are not specific, which I imagine is true for all builders. See my next post on the speaker/cab swap testing. Thanks very much for your input.
     
  13. Burd

    Burd TDPRI Member

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    I kept amp 1. I think your exactly correct that it was speaker break in with amp 1. The frustrating part was amp 2 started to sound really good. Different still, but good, and I had a tough time deciding which tonalities were most suitable for me. However, the better it sounded the more it buzzed (the humanity). Amp 2s buzzing was in the decay of notes, almost a fizzy static and did’t sound acoustic or mechanical (mechanical meaning chassis and or tube socket rattle). Incidentally, I followed up on the return and the retailer confirmed that something was up with amp 2...

    Thanks to all for your input. Happy music making.
     
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  14. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Welcome to tweed Deluxe!
    They are magical beasts.
    I'm thinking speaker break-in will do it for you.
     
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  15. Linkjr

    Linkjr Tele-Meister

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    Possibly tube rattle. Not sure what kind of tube holders that amp has but perhaps certain frequencies are vibrating one loose over time
    Did you ever find out what was causing it?
     
  16. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Standard tweed Deluxe see- saw:

    Whack it with more gain that it likes, the low notes fall apart.

    Back off the gain, the tone thins out.

    Crap- Ola new production tubes are part of the problem.

    I start out with an assortment of a hundred or so 12AX7s and roll 'em until the amp is "happy".





    Rejoice! Hallelujah, I don't need to chase after 12AY7s anymore.

    :cool:
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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