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I don't like Fender Blackface Amps!

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by 2HBStrat, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    Curious--what kind of music do you play? Whose sound do you like?
     
  2. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    During my beginning years, I got to play through a SF Twin Reverb with JBLs. This was in the mid-70s, and the amp was almost new. I didn't like it. I still don't like Twin Reverbs. Relative to what I'm looking for, they take up too much sonic space.

    From the mid-70s to 2000, no Fender amps for me. I had Alamo, Ampeg, Marshall, VOX, Traynor. Then I stumbled across a '64 Super Reverb. Yowza! All of a sudden, I found a sound I didn't know I was looking for. It was full without taking up too much sonic space.

    After that, it was various BF/SF Fenders and tweed clones, coming and going. Then in 2009, I built a Vibrolux Reverb. Game over! That's the sound. Not too wide. Not too hollowed out. Just right.

    These days it's mostly a 2x10 Deluxe Reverb. But I may have to haul the Vibrolux up the stairs and get it back into the game. It gives me the sound in my head.
     
  3. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    How I understand it, the only differences between the super reverb and vibroverb is the output transformer and speaker config (2 ohm 4x10", 8 ohm 15")
     
  4. snottyboy

    snottyboy Tele-Meister

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    Comfort with what you are used to, like with many things.

    For me, I spent about 20 years playing through my '68 Vibrolux Reverb and a few pedals. Never really looked at another amp. Playing through many other amps for the past 20 years, I still have a difficult time not putting up resistance when big glass cleans aren't part of the equation, even when I really like the tones I'm getting otherwise.
     
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  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I can see what people like about them, but no, I don't like them. The mid scoop is the problem for me. The eq is messed up.

    I also think unless the guitar player really knows what he's doing blackface/silverface amps mess up the band mix, because the guitar player is always turning up to compensate for the missing midrange
     
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  6. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That sounds about right. However, my holy grail amp is a Vibrolux Reverb. That's 2x10 with smaller PT, OT, and choke, and lower operating voltages, than a Super Reverb. Only a cousin to the Vibroverb.

    I should also add that the "Normal" channel on my 2x10 Deluxe Reverb is a brown Deluxe circuit. That gives the amp some added flexibility (including more mids!).
     
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  7. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    They're all a very cool family of amps, at least to those of us who like blackface amps. Some of the most beautiful and complex playing I have ever heard was through a Vibroverb. That guy and that amp were perfect for one another.
     
  8. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    Over the years I've played all kinds of music from blues to country. When I was in the country band I was using a Strat and a 50 watt Marshall half stack and the other guitarist was using a Telecaster and Twin Reverb. Right now I'm in one band that plays newish modern pop and dance music and another one that is kinda bluesy/jazzy with just a touch of Southern Rock.

    1. Duane Allman on "At Fillmore East"
    2. Billy Gibbons on just about everything.
    3. Allan Holdsworth on Jean Luc-Ponty's "Enigmatic Ocean Part III"
    4. The solos on "Everybody wants to Rule the World"
    5. Alex Chilton on Big Star's "Oh, My Soul"
    6. Jimmy Herring on Widespread Panic's "Cease Fire"
    Many more...
     
  9. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    Other than Billy Gibbons (Marshall amp player), I would say that you like silverface (+ dirt pedal) sorts of sounds. I don't think I'm saying anything that you didn't know already though.
     
  10. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I like BF Fenders for guitars with humbuckers,P90s and Filtertones.

    I much prefer tweed Fenders f(and vintage Marshalls ) for Fender vintage single coils and especially telecasters.I think their mids balance out the scooped character of said pickups.
     
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  11. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    On the flipside, what sorts of guitar do you not like? Do you know of any that are using blackface amps?
     
  12. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just judging from my own ( former) experience with BF and SF Fenders ( back in the '90's playing blues blands, older R&R ) I owned, AND ALWAYS around the same- ALL playing these Fenders amps.

    I think of them as a great full sounding/bright toned amps that you can sculpt great tone:

    -you can just crank them up to get great OD ( albeit getting different shades from power/ speakers)

    - or what I did- you can keep the amp at a lower cleaner volume for rhythm and beautiful clean platform ( a lot of variety if you use all PU options) and then setup your ' OD or dirt channel' with pedals - you can craft another tone and ALL is volume controllable if you work at it a bit.
    plus great REVERB!
    plus great TREMOLO!
    Perfect amps for me, you can work with them!
     
  13. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    2HBStrat, I might argue with you about amps, but no way I'm going to argue with you over the beautiful women you keep posting in your photos. Yowza.
     
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  14. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    There was definitely a time when I felt that way. When I was a teenager I bought a DRRI from Musician's Friend because the magazine description sounded good. Yep. The local music shop sucked and I didn't have a car to travel further. There really weren't too many tube amps available at the time. The hot rod stuff kinda turned me off. I wanted to '59 Bassman RI but the DRRI was cheaper so I bought it. I had a fairly cheap solid state deluxe 90 and I remember the disappointment when I unboxed it and turned it on and it basically sounded the same as the amp I already had. I was wonering where this "natural overdrive" was at. I found it, kinda, but had trouble hearing it over the sound of my eardrums exploding and the windows rattling, as well as every other loose item in the room vibrating. "Oh well" I thought, "this is what the good players had back in the day, so I just have to get used to it and find myself in it".
    I didn't like the clean sound of the amp. I wanted a little overdrive. I used it for years and years wishing I had something else.
    Fast forward almost 20 years. I have many good amps and I love them. I still have that DRRI and I love it now more than ever before. It doesn't have that "tone in my head that I grew up hearing"... oh wait, it does! It has that tone I grew up playing! It has all those memories of every single gig over a 15 year span. All those gigs that still echo in my head. The dancing, the drunken brawls, hail storms, getting soaked in a downpour at a street dance, tractors and BBQ, getting lost in towns I've never been to, my first love! All of that. I wouldn't trade that amp for anything but I do enjoy being able to switch around to different amps. These days, my tweed deluxe clone is racking up the memory mileage. I dig the sound it makes too.
     
  15. Tommyd55

    Tommyd55 Tele-Holic

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  16. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Amber Heard according to a quick Google image search.
    I've never heard of her and have no further information.
     
  17. arlum

    arlum Tele-Meister Platinum Supporter

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    I own two Rivera Era mid '80s Concerts. One 1 X 12" with a matching 1 X 12" extension cab and one 4 X 10" combo. I love them both. After my Bruno Underground 30s these two Concerts are my very favorite amps over and above my DR. Z's, Cornford, Star and Mesa amps. As to the original Blackface Fenders I've always loved the way the mid '60s Twin Reverb 2 X 12" and mid '60s Super Reverb 4 X 10" combo both sounded killer clean, (when no breakup was desired), and could be paired with almost any pedal that came down the pike years later. I'd pick a late '50s Fender Tweed over a Blackface for a guitar direct into amp set up. But ..... if pedals are to be included in the signal chain ...... I'd go Blackface.
     
  18. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo Tele-Meister

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    I agree that speakers are a huge part of the sound equation. A blackface amp with speakers that are less mid scooped (like the CTS alnico in a BFSR) really helps balance out the cleaner, mid scooped BF circuit. I can't think of a better example of this happening than the BF Super Reverb with the CTS alnico speakers.

    Some ceramic magnet speakers can contribute favorably as well; especially certain Celestion models in a BF amp.

    I always remove the bright cap from the BF Fender's volume pot as well.

    Buck
     
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  19. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    What's the difference between removing the bright cap and just turning down the treble? With the cap removed, can you get those highs back by cranking the treble?
     
  20. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Once you get bigger than a Deluxe the rest of the blackfaces have a switch, no need to disconnect anything on those.
    If I'm thinking right the Princetons didn't get a bright cap at all. (sometimes I think wrong)

    On something like the 66 BFSR, I'm using for foot stool right now. There is a difference between the cap switched off and on and using the treble pot.
     
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