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NAD: 1962 Brownface Deluxe

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by RadioFM74, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Aaaand… it's home!
    Thanks a lot to the fine folks on the forum who dropped by to advise on a previous thread! For those who did not follow the whole story: this popped up on my local market at a good price (actually, an excellent price for Europe). Original cabinet, grille, tolex, speaker, transformers; some well-replaced caps and resistors.
    I initially wondered whether it could give me an "old school" swing sound close to my treasured 1946 Zephyr, but with more reliability and clean volume for big band gigs. Many expressed doubts that this would be the right amp for that job. The word "dirty rascal" was used :D. But nearly everyone said it's one hell of an amp. And being an amp junkie, I pulled the trigger.
    It came to me sounding beautiful but with an extra noisy tremolo, very early onset of distortion, some bad vibrations. Off to my tech it went, and he gave it a good check, added a bias pot (the tubes were "cold-biased" said he) and tube retainers, replaced a faulty tube. Now it's quiet as a mouse at idle, very low "chop chop" sound with tremolo on, and it sounds a lot better.
    Today I could finally spend a little quality time with it. From what I could see, those who said it would not be the right amp for swing were right so far. With a DeArmond FHC it sounds muddy and distorts very early… jury's still out: I've yet to try it with the Rhythm Chief, which is a more polite pickup. But I have the impression that the Zephyr will remain the irreplaceable reigning king of swing in the herd.
    I will keep the Deluxe regardless because those who said that it's a wonderful amp were right too! In its "dirty rascal" way, it's an incredible strat and tele amp. It's LOUD! Dial on 2, it was already a lot for home use. I ventured to go to 4, then 6 for brief moments… WHOAA. But at 2 already, it had wonderful warm cleans: instant "Blue Jeans Blues" and "Wind cries Mary" with a strat; great blues and classic country tones with my teles. To push it a little, I chose my Blues Driver clone, which I never use with my BF Tremolux but thought could work well here. And it did! Early ZZ Top tones right there! Now I am spoiling to take it to rehearsal, crank it, and just ride the volume of the guitar and a clean boost. I don't miss reverb or delay on this one … and the bias wiggle tremolo is wonderful.

    The fact that it looks killer, and weighs very little, add to the charm. I love this beastie. Here it is, alone and with the herd almost in full formation.

    DSCF7726.jpeg DSCF7727.jpeg DSCF7728.jpeg DSCF7730.jpeg DSCF7717.jpeg DSCF7719.jpeg DSCF7721.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  2. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Agh I’m jealous!

    A spectacular find. Congratulations.
     
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  3. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    For the more technically inclined, some gut shots including the little bias pot installed by my tech. The power tubes are a couple of matched 1967 GE 6V6s (if I read the codes aright)… not the original tubes from 1962, but a nice find!
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Nice! The Browns are the only Fenders I really like. Congrats!
     
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  5. Alex W

    Alex W Friend of Leo's

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    In my tube amp coccoon.
    It's beautiful. Looks like it has found a loving home.
     
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  6. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice! I specifically sought out a '62 Deluxe and a '62 Princeton just to have birth-year amps. Now for that '62 Tele....'68 is as close as I got.
     
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  7. Maicobmw

    Maicobmw TDPRI Member

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    Lovely
     
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  8. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Great score, I had a chance to buy one of those a long time ago but I really wasn't informed about the brown Fender amps, I wanted a Twin Reverb which I did get and use for years. Now I would love to have a small brown era Fender amp or clone.
     
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  9. W.L.Weller

    W.L.Weller Tele-Holic

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    You have impeccable taste.
     
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  10. donrichfan

    donrichfan Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Looks good man! You'll love the brown-ness. I find that flat wounds allow for a little more headroom at an increased volume--around 4 or 5, with this amp, yet still allow for some cool barks when you dig in. Or just crank it, forget the swing and go all out Pat Hare.
     
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  11. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks a lot gentlemen! It has indeed found a loving home!
     
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  12. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Well, that's a great project! Good luck on your quest!
     
  13. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Judging from my Tremolux vs the Deluxe, black and brown are voiced rather differently, so having both would really make sense. I also like the idea of having different wattages covered – which would also apply to you!

    The price might be a bit steep for an old one – I lucked out I guess. But as @BobbyZ pointed out in the other thread, getting a clone also makes a lot of sense. Perhaps not so much in Europe: having a quality one fully assembled can cost you in the vicinity of 1500€. But it is my understanding that in the US you have plenty of excellent options for a lot less $. I hear great things of Lil Dawg's amps in particular.
     
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  14. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I'll try both: round wounds for jazziness on one of the teles, and go to an isolated place to open it at 10 and see what it gives. Earplugs mandatory, from what I get with the dial at 2 in a small room!
     
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  15. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Only tried flat wounds once, on my 65 ES-330, a very dynamic wild guitar, the flat wounds settled it down. Like going from a crazy redhead hairdresser bar fly named Tiffany, to home with the wife.
    Needless to say I've never again tried flat wounds. :)
     
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  16. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    If it sounds a bit muddy it might be because of worn preamp tubes. I would try a new one just to test.
     
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  17. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  18. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the suggestion! However my tech tested all the tubes, plus with my strats and teles it's as clear as a bell. I really think that it's the combination with that pickup, and I am not too surprised: it's a very particular pickup, and it only really sounds great with really "primitive" amps… the Zephyr, or my tweed champ.

    But thanks for the suggestion!
     
  19. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    It's true! I see lots of pictures of super-clean brownfaces! Your Princeton is a beauty and I bet it sounds terrific!

    PS: I see from all the likes I had left there that I'd been on your NAD thread already! What a cleanup job they'd done!
     
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  20. SLICKFASTER

    SLICKFASTER TDPRI Member

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    Gem of an amp you have and what a looker!
    62 Bassman owner here
     
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