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Fender Clean Sound

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by iowacarver, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    With the Mustang III, you'll have a lot more control over the sound.
     
  2. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never got sparkle or jangle out of my Peavy's. I think your only going to find that in a big tube amp. I've never found it in any small or solid state amp I've tried, BUT I have no experience with the amps mentioned.
    I found it in my 130 watt vintage all tube
    Music Man. I suggest you keep researching and saving your money up for a big vintage tube amp. NOTHING quite duplicates that tone! Regardless of whether you need the volume or not. You don't have to crank them to get the sparkle and jangle. Just my opinion, hope it helps. Happy hunting!
     
  3. Scotland

    Scotland Poster Extraordinaire

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    Try the Fender VM Deluxe. It has what you are looking for then some.
     
  4. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

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    That is certainly correct for the Super Champ XD. Anyone who can read a schematic can see for himself/herself in the official SCXD schematic published by Fender on their website. Presumably the same thing is true for the SCX2, though there is still no official schematic available.

    These amps do not have a traditional tone stack or spring reverb. Tone controls and effects (reverb, chorus, echo, etc) are all done digitally in a DSP (digital signal processing) chip, and of course the tone controls and FX are available on both clean and drive channels, so DSP is involved in both channels.

    That said, it does seem likely that the DSP isn't trying to pretend to sound "tubey" on the clean channel. It sounds as though the preamp (including DSP) is hi-fi clean and neutral on the clean channel, and the tubey tone you hear through the speakers is mostly from the output 6V6 tubes in the power amp, and a little from the first triode stage (half a 12AX7 that comes before the phase-inverter stage).

    IMHO the cleans from the SCXD are really good, once you turn it up loud enough and start pushing those output tubes hard enough for them to generate a little tube tone. For my guitars that usually means turning the volume up past about 7 on the clean channel. To keep speaker volume manageable at this high volume setting I use a home-made speaker attenuator.
    I agree! I have the older SCXD, and not long ago I had a Blues Junior as well. The clean tones from the digitally impure, not-all-tube SCXD were much more attractive than the clean tones from the all-tube Blues Junior!

    Since then I've read enough about tubes to have learned that true pentodes (like the EL84's in the Blues Jr.) do tend to sound different than beam power tetrodes (like the 6V6's in the SCXD). Generally speaking, pentodes make more 3rd harmonic distortion than beam tetrodes, and beam tetrodes make more 2nd harmonic distortion than pentodes. These have different timbres, and some people prefer one, while other people prefer the other.

    To my ears the EL84's are more "growly", while the 6V6's are sweeter and have a shimmering or singing quality to the timbre. I'm not an amp historian by any stretch of the imagination, but it does seem that most of those old Fender amps famous for good clean tones used beam power tetrodes - 6V6 or 6L6 types. So lots of second-harmonic distortion is probably part of that famous "Fender clean" sound.

    If you're looking for good Fenderish clean tones, it's probably not a bad idea to start out looking for amps that use 6V6 output tubes, and possibly which contain the famous Fender tone-stack, which is also very much part of the Fender clean tone (with some exceptions).

    My search for better-sounding clean tones than the SCXD has been mostly unsuccessful. I didn't hear it in the Egnaters I tried out in the store, and came closer in a big Bogner amp - far too big and expensive for my needs, though. Recently I bought a used '65 Princeton Reverb reissue, and it has lovely clean tones - but I'm still not entirely convinced I like the much more expensive all-tube PRRI's clean tones better than what the inexpensive little hybrid SCXD puts out!

    By the way, I never really warmed up to any of the voices on the SCXD's drive channel, but I think Fender hit one out of the park with that amps clean channel. Probably by accident, not by design - though the fact of the matter is that the SCXD's tube power amp section quite strongly resembles the corresponding section of a Princeton Reverb amp. We all know the Princeton Reverb is well-loved for its clean tones, and I'm sure that shared DNA in the SCXD isn't hurting its clean tones any.

    -Gnobuddy
     
  5. iowacarver

    iowacarver Tele-Meister

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    Thanks all very much for weighing in. The take away, if you want Fender clean sound, get a Fender. I know I can get it from some of the bigger tube amps for sure. Someone asked, not sure again if you like the sound of the SC X2 and I do, very much then why you are still looking... fair enough....

    I want more than one amp frankly.... for back up, for when Dad and others come over etc. Again it's more about want then need and I do no like the Blues Jr. Why... it just sounds odd to me... the reverb sucks on it, doesn't have good tone at all to my ear like a good tube amp should, just don't like it so I will be selling it and getting something additional that I like that has the sound I am looking for.

    Since I like the X2 so much, I have thought about getting another... or getting a XD, getting the X2 head and extension cab. And then something in me wants to experience the Hot Rod Deluxe, Blues Deluxe and other nice tube amps. Just undecided but I think I have eliminated other makes for the most part at this stage.. needs to be a Fender. I was considering others like Peavey since they are talked about a lot.

    Thanks again for everyones input!

    Corey

    There is no hurry, I have time. Won't get around to selling the BJ for a couple weeks and will go from there.
     
  6. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

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    I think I was pretty much looking for the same thing as you, and have come closest to finding it in a used PRRI. Tried a used Blues Junior for a while, never managed to warm up to it even after I did some of the Bill M mods - the timbre just wasn't right. I don't think true pentodes (EL84's) do it for me. So I sold the Blues Jr. to offset the cost of the PRRI.

    Keep your eyes on Craigslist or other local classifieds, you should be able to sell your Blues Jr for at least $350 - $400 and with luck you can pick up a used PRRI for $600 - $650. That means less money out-of-pocket than a new SCXD, and you get an all-tube amp famous for its clean tones. Better bass than the SCXD as well.
    Ah well, if there was an effective cure for Gear Acquisition Syndrome, this forum probably wouldn't even exist. That is a long slippery slope in front of you my friend, so hold onto your wallet tightly before you take that next step! :D

    -Gnobuddy
     
  7. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Corey, a point of information, if I may.

    When someone says, "Fender clean sound", the amps that immediately come to mind are the older Fender Silverface and Blackface amps that had that signature sparkle that put Fender amps on the map.

    The BJr, HRDx and BDRI amps (all are Hot Rod Series amps, by the way) are no slouches. While each has a stellar reputation, devout followers and offers its own interpretation of Fender "clean" sounds, they are all actually on the track that moves you AWAY from what you say you want, not closer!

    My $.02.
     
  8. JurassicCactus

    JurassicCactus Tele-Meister

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    I can get some nice jangly sounds out of my Bjr. What dont you like about it?
     
  9. EricS76

    EricS76 Tele-Meister

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    I used a Hot Rod Deluxe for years. The SCX2 sounds much better In my opinion. The Hot Rod's sound seemed one-dimensional to me. I have a '72 Twin and a Reissue Twin and the SCX2 gets very close to their sound. Much better than the Hot Rod Dlx. I would spend my money on another SCX2 rather than a Hot Rod Deluxe if those were my choices.

    Sent from my iPad using TDPRI
     
  10. JurassicCactus

    JurassicCactus Tele-Meister

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    On the Bjr ill crank the volume knob to 10 and use the master knob for volume and add reverb accordingly, you can get some nice cleans out of it.
     
  11. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Sell all of the amps that you have a buy a Fender BF or SF Princeton Reverb. Problem solved. BF = about $1500. A SF about $1000-$1200. The search for clean will be over.
     
  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    +1 on this observation. The Blues Jr is basically the 5F6A Bassman circuit built with EL-84's. TehBlues and Hot Rod series are basically the 5F6A circuit built with 6L6's with the addition of soem drive functions. All of these amps have solid state reverb and are built on inexpensive PCB platforms. They do not yield the classic 'Fender Cleans', imho.

    The Reissues of the BF FEnders will do that classic clean thing IF they are biased correctly. Outside of them, get a vintage amp as Jared suggests.
    AS a comic once observed..."Reality, what a concept!"
     
  13. iowacarver

    iowacarver Tele-Meister

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    That is actually the recipe for overdrive and clean is the reverse which is what I do but the reverb sucks on the amp and the clean tone just isn't good.

    Corey
     
  14. RubyRae

    RubyRae Friend of Leo's

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    If you really want great Fender cleans, you could go for a Princeton (non reverb) for a little bit less cash.

    The silverface models work and sound delightful.
     
  15. willspear

    willspear Tele-Holic

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    A princeton does have a breathtaking clean.


    The issue is if you need a good bit more volume they don't have it with the clean. Also a single 10 is for most people who gig, just not it.

    At home , in the studio or tiny gigs it is perfect.

    A deluxe verb has a little more oomph with a 12 and the larger cab sounds great on a lot of stages. Is not crazy heavy it has dirt you can reach if that's your thing. Has pretty good headroom for a small to med gig.

    Twin has tons of clean and is a whole other class for large full tone. 2x12 is so much more moving air than a1x10 or 1x12


    Other fender amps just don't have anything on these three in current reissue status. Except for maybe a super reverb but if I was looking for a big amp I can still push dirty the super reverb is that.

    Any of these reissues are cheap on the used market.

    Once you go vintage the deluxe and princeton get expensive fast due to their popularity

    I can buy a silver face twin for less than a hotrod deluxe on a store shelf with barely looking. Little harder for late 60s twins. Heck I broke down a got a 67 blackface today for less than a grand. Tolex is a little rough but not shot. it sounds brilliant cost less than any of the reissues new.
     
  16. dhuber

    dhuber Tele-Meister

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    I modded my Peavey Classic 30 so I can adjust the presence. Not as jangly as the DRRI but pretty close. The Classic is a whole lot more versatile IMHO.
     
  17. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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  18. sacizob

    sacizob Friend of Leo's

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    Thats what I do, turn master up to 11, volume to 4.5, fat switch off and never ever use the reverb. I put JJ's in it and Mullards. I do use a C.C. for slap back. I like my Bls Jr.
     
  19. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

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    Lots of people love Blues Juniors, they are fine little amps. It's just a matter of personal preference. Some of us like chicken cacciatore, some prefer chicken gumbo. Some of us like the timbre of EL84's, others prefer 6V6's...

    -Gnobuddy
     
  20. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I LOVE my BJr III... and chicken cacciatore. ;)
     
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