Original Fender Blackface Potentiometer Value/Taper vs Reissues

M1dnightrider

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Hey y’all, I ran across a comment on a video comparing an original blackface super reverb to a reissue that got me curious about something. Essentially, someone postulated that comparing the two with identical settings would not really be accurate in terms of getting them to sound identical because fender changed either the value or the taper of the pots in the reissues. Anyone know anything about this? Couldn’t find any info really on this subject so thought I’d see if anyone knew anything about this. Especially considering the way the controls interact on the AB763 amps, it’s interesting that potentially a small change like that could have an effect on the sound of the amp. With how obsessively vintage accurate some builders are in the guitar world, I also wonder if any of them are considering this specific detail in the construction of their amps.

Also, bonus question, I believe I remember reading about where you have the tremolo set on these amps interacts as well, even if it’s not turned on. Is this accurate or am I misremembering something, and how does that work if it is indeed true?

Thanks all
 

Axis29

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Every pot made has a tolerance... Most are like 20%. You pay extra for lower... I like 10% pots, but I bet Fender buys 20%.

At 1 MEG, that could mean 800k, or it could mean 1200k. So, even if Fender did use the exact manufacturer, and specs... Well, no two amps ever sound the same anyway, do they?

I am sure Fender has changed stuff over the years, and I would wager they did not chase down EXACT specs when it was time to reproduce the Reissues. But, I also doubt it is the only thing that makes a Reissue not sound EXACTLY like the original.


I had the opportunity, years ago, to compare a 1966 Deluxe Reverb, and my mid-90's Deluxe Reverb Reissue. So, forty some years of wear and tear, component drift, and the differences in manufacturing, speakers, etc.... I even plugged the originals speaker into my Reissue. You klnwo what I found? They sounded similar. You could tell they were a similar circuit. But, the cabinet and speaker made the biggest difference.

A few years ago, I first compared my 1958 Twin, with my '59 Bassman Reissue. The internal circuits are the almost the same. I will tell you that I was afraid that my Bassman would pale in comparison. But, the reality is, you could tell they were in the same tonal neighborhood. I mean, they are close enough that I was still in love wiht my Bassman when it was all said and done.

I guess this really only illustrates that I don't need EXACT... Or, maybe just don't wish to chase it down. I honestly think Fender does a halfway decent job with the Reissues. Every one I've played, I've enjoyed. But, I also think with the tolerances on components available, thinking hat a mass produced amp is going to be exact? Eh, I think it may just be an unreasonable expectation.

My only complaint with the reissue amps is the '623 Vibroverb's lack of tube rectification.... I know that, at the time, nobody was producing rectifier tubes that were reliable. But, in the Bassman, they put a plug in solid state rectifier... You can pull it and stick in a tube. The Vibroverb got solid state components on the PCB.


As for Tremolo, I do believe the circuits are the same. I haven't compared a lot of the schematics, but I cannot honestly remembering reading anywhere about a difference between originals and reissues when it comes to trem. I'd be interested to see if they did something different.
 

M1dnightrider

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True man, that all makes sense. Both my fenders are reissues and I’m totally happy with them. The only thing I wish is that they were still made in pine cabinets as a standard feature, but fender stopped doing that way back in the silverface era, and there are a few special runs they still do that have that feature. To be honest, mostly I was curious if the guy was full of **** or not lol. But yeah, all other things considered, I suppose it’s going to be a relatively small impact on the overall sound regardless of a difference
 

M1dnightrider

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Dude! Thank you. I thought this was gonna be a dead link that was just a smart ass response haha, but looks like there is lots of interesting info in there, gonna read thru it tonight. After years of being a musician this stuff has all of a sudden began to fascinate me in the last year. Maybe a combination of too much lsd and a lot of tinkering lol
 

Axis29

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True man, that all makes sense. Both my fenders are reissues and I’m totally happy with them. The only thing I wish is that they were still made in pine cabinets as a standard feature, but fender stopped doing that way back in the silverface era, and there are a few special runs they still do that have that feature. To be honest, mostly I was curious if the guy was full of **** or not lol. But yeah, all other things considered, I suppose it’s going to be a relatively small impact on the overall sound regardless of a difference
We all have theories about how sound happens... Some are kinda wacky, a lot are accusatory, some are based in old theories and some are actually accurate....

Not sure where mine falls on any given day. LOL

I guess I lean towards the idea that Fender really did try to do an honest job of recreating all of these iconic amplifiers. A lot of guys who still own originals are not always happy about this... I think many feel threatened, thinking it cheapens what they own. So, they come up with reasons why theirs is better.

It's the old GM Vs. Ford vs. Dodge thing... Vintage vs. Modern... Us vs. Them. Duck vs. Rabbit.

There are some Reissue circuits that vary from the originals. The Originals also ran for a few years, and were always being 'improved'. So, by saying they're different fomr the Reissues is not really saying much.

I know there has always been some weird stink about the '59 Bassman Reissue. Fender used an original and backwards engineered it. The values they used for things didn't match the schematic and guys freaked out. But, the values they used are actually found in a bunch of the later Bassman amps. They were un-documented changes to the circuit.

But, then, at the same time, they did the irritating solid state rectification for the '63 Vibroverb RI. They did a good job wiht it and these amps sound amazing... But, some guys can't get past the difference. Silly me, I didn't know any different when I bought my Vibroverb... I just liked the way it sounded. LOL
 




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