Quality control Golden age Amps 50/60s vs Modern Amps.....Modern may be better...this is why

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by The-Kid, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    From a Quality control perspective......and given facts......

    Mass produced items made now are better quality than these amps were in the 50s and 60s....or than anything made before the 80s in America or the 90s.....this is why all 50/60 /70 stuff from this era is pretty bad and at the same time Japanese made stuff was better because of better quality control.



    Its just QC. Like Fender probably runs at Sigma Six or higher quality control which means their tolerences are pretty tight and there are only defects in one per million parts.....transisters, capacitors etc etc.........No such thing in the 50s and 60s and the defects per million were much much much higher. This didnt change much until Motorolla implented sigma six quality control in the 80s and everyone began adopting it.

    Before this in the 50s and 60s there may have been defects per 100,000 or less which is not all that good in comparison.


    Given this and that a circuit doesnt care how its made, who made it, where its made.....the stuff made now is miles miles better even that when it was made back then in the golden age just because our quality control is light years ahead of what it was in the 50s and 60s. Quality control now is like 1,000% better than it was back in the 50s and 60s given Sigma Six quality control or higher being used by Fender and modern manufacturers, This is a fact.


    Sigma Six is an industry standard now and they may be using higher quality control methods but at the least that one to keep to modern standards.



    Simply put if you get a Fresh 65 of the line and sent it in a time machine to the future and compare it to a 65 modern counterpart your probably not going to tell a difference and might actually walk away thinking the Modern one soundes better.


    Agree or not I argue given quality control you actually have a better 65 being made now than you do in the actual year of 65. They had nothing close to Sigma Six in the 50s and 60s and in comparison they would be much lower quality to modern amps PCB or not it doesnt matter given the QUALITY CONTROL we have now versus back then.
     
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  2. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    So essentially the whole "vintage is better", stuff was better quality back then notion is blown to smithereens given this QC insight.


    Just no way was stuff better made or had a better sound back then......or whatever, given quality control and how poor it was back then compared to now.

    Quality control and the higher standards of modern manufacturing and even artist and pros who use modern stuff and sound amazing prove otherwise.

    The old notion that stuff back then was higher quality couldnt be further from the truth because it wasnt and in fact modern stuff is actually calcuably much much much better than anything made in the 50s and 60s given the Quality Control.
     
  3. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I think your argument is built on a faulty premise, because it doesn't take into account the quality of the parts being used 50 years ago vs. what manufacturers use today.

    A couple years ago I picked up a 1967 Ampeg that was 100% original. Caps, tubes, all of it. I shouldn't have fired it up, but I did... and it sounded terrific. Take a modern Fender amp, throw it in a closet for 50 years and try the same thing... what do you think would happen, and why? Ampeg was using higher quality parts in 1967 than Fender is today- Fender may do better QC of those parts, but the parts themselves are of lower quality. The reason industry has tightened QC is because the quality of parts has dropped because the bean counters don't want to pay for them, but they'll pay for a fancy, buzzword laden QC initiative that wasn't needed before.

    Biasing new tubes didn't used to be a thing, because you could buy a new quad of 6L6s at the drugstore or Radio Shack, pop them in your amp, and they'd work the same as your old tubes. Tubes aren't made to the same standard anymore, so you need to do a little work to make up for the lower manufacturing quality. Does doing that work make the tubes "better"?
     
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  4. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    Aw heck, now I'm gonna hafta dump my pine cabinets and 60-year-old tubes and Ajax blue molded caps and all those A-B resistors that still test good after 50 years, and that vintage CTS speaker that seems to sound amazing despite the lack of QC back in ol' Chicago, and get all Chinese stuff made to 6 Sigma...
     
  5. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, at least with handwired amps. But todays PCB amps are not. They CAN make very high quality PCB's but pretty much no one does and the build quality therefore is not near as quality as back in the day when point to point was the norm. Today they also compromise on components, tho the one improvement is tolerance. But quality of caps for example is not as good. So if u r talking boutique or high end handwired production amps i agree. Unfortunately thats a very small % of todays amps. As for tone, thats a crap shoot but generally i have not found the tone of modern amps as good. In fact i recently played some new marshalls that get big raves and my 70s/80s Marshall i used to gig with easily beat them. EASILY.

    Now if you wanna talk guitars, on that subject i would agree 1000%. There's no comparison. Yes, some vintage ones sound incredible because wood thats had years to dry out so the resins are crystallized does make for great tone, assuming of course the particular wood a particular guitar was made with was a good piece to begin with. But guitars today are miles advanced over those days due to 1-manufacturing techniques that insure exacting tolerances they could not accomplish using hand tools, and 2- years of R&D spent learning what makes for good tone. Back ion the day manufacturers had little idea what made for great tone. It was the beginning of electric guitar manufacture and they hadn't even thought mudh about it in depth.
     
  6. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    Hey my Chinese Greenbacks sound dope....so does my AC15C1 China....


    So does my Princeton Reissue MIA.

    Im not saying dump all your gear hahha


    Just regarding QC the stuff made now is significantly better than anything coming out of the 50s and 60s. QC wise Modern counterpart vs vintage ones, modern wins all day and is indeed better quality made domestically or foreign made.
     
  7. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Apples and oranges. Hand wired with variable QC (my PRII), or PCB with more modern QC (my Peavey Delta Blues)? I know which one is easier to deal with if it does have problems. Better QC usually means better consistency and repeatability but the design determines the “quality.” Besides, it’s only the end user who can decide if it’s “high quality” dependent on its application.
     
  8. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    Its a fair comparison and quality of parts are better now today than the 50s and 60s given the higher quality control. It does take into account quality of parts back then.....thats the whole notion of Quality Control. Quality....Control....it was much lower in the 50s and 60s per parts and this is a fact.

    Its not a bing word. In fact it is needed to conduct manufacturing.


    In boeing jets for example I think one per 10 million is the standard or higher as if one of the little screws goes loose in a turbine/jet it may mean fatal catstrophe.

    The whole it was better back then thought is just romantic stuff....it really wasnt and Quality Control methods being much higher than they were back then proves this.

    Not opinion. Again fact.
     
  9. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I think Boeing might be the wrong analogy right about now...
     
  10. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic

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    I was there 50+ years ago, gigging every weekend with all of that "inferior" Fender equipment. We played the snot out of that stuff from -30 below to 100+ temperatures, inside and outside and truthfully, I never ever had an equipment failure and those amps and guitars sounded glorious and were extremely reliable. I remember having to replace only one tube back then, in one of my Fender Showman amps. That stuff was built great and built to last. It was reliable. We weren't afraid to count on them and never brought a backup amp. Most of us only had one amp, it was all we needed to get the job done! You shoulda been there....I was!
     
  11. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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  12. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    Good point but on topic statistically one is safer on a plane than in a car or possibly walking the street for that matter.

    Accidents do occur no matter the threshold of somethings and it cannot be helped.
     
  13. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    The only fact I know of, is YMMV.
    you can still get a lemon, modern brand spanking new or vintage. ;)
     
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  14. vintagelove

    vintagelove Tele-Meister

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    E69C4F82-FD7E-4B3E-A684-89A116B825E9.jpeg


    I disagree.
     
  15. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    Maybe in the 80s PCBs were bad....but opened up my Crate Vintage Club....need to retube and put new speakers in there MIA work....thick thick piece of PCB no warpage, clean and durable no rusting, no bad soldering just clean and rugged...

    My New PRRI same thing....my New AC15C1 same thing....using mounted old school capicitors and transisters so they can be fixed by a tech easily if ever needed. I do appreciate this and if it was SMD if be horrified but at the least they still make them like that.



    PCB has come along way from the 80s and early 90s and in some cases such as with my Crate Vintage club super rugged and durable PCB 30 years later.....


    Dont want to go into a DSL40CR vs a Vintage JCM800 I played as I dont think youll like the results....also I do belive Marshall started using PCB in the 80s no?

    If so plenty of dudes have their JCM800s and love em PCB or not. Even then the 80s made good PCB by this standard......
     
  16. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Meister

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    It’s a good thing you said amps and not guitars even if the same is true. Oh wait I guess it would be the same with a guitar. Huh... maybe the old ones aren’t so magical after all. Personally if the values was the same I’d take a modern.
     
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  17. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    You have clearly not worked on any guitar amps.

    And what I actually said was, "the quality of the parts being used". Although it's still possible to make quality parts, most manufacturers today choose to use the cheapest parts possible, and QC out the bad ones. My switches from 1967 all work perfectly fine today, the switches in modern Fenders are famous for failures within the first couple of years, But hey, they passed QC at the factory!

    Here's a modern Hot Rod Deluxe-

    [​IMG]

    ...and here's a '60s Deluxe Reverb-
    [​IMG]

    It doesn't take an electrical engineer to figure out that one is built to be disposable, the other built to last.

    I also notice you didn't address my point about tubes... why is that?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2020
  18. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    I think you are misunderstanding what QC is. The key term is control not quality. It is about achieving a consistent and repeatable level of quality. A vintage amp might have been built with parts that sound great and were in spec 95% of the time, while a modern amp might be built with parts that are in spec 99.99% of the time, but that means nothing is the vintage part sounded good in spec and the modern design sounds bland...

    Ask @muchxs about the first generation valve Junior, all the modern quality control didn't do anything to change the fact that it was designed by people who didn't understand vaccume tube amps.

    Even competent engineers often incorporate "modern features" that compromise the amp (subjectively) like solid state effects and overdrive.

    Then there is lack of serviceably, less rugged construction, etc.

    If you are talking about true reissues, built to vintage schematics and layouts with modern parts, then there is some argument to be made. But even there, you are assuming their suppliers at every level is using that same level of QC and they probably aren't. Are Chinese or Russian tube plants six sigma?
     
  19. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    Yes Chinese and Russian plants use Sigma Six or higher...almost every modern manufacturer from toothpic and toothpaste makers to the guys who make bags of chips or cars....


    This is an industry standard.

    Again please dont romanticize the old stuff just becauase it was "the golden era"


    Both quality and control have vastly increased in 50 years. Even comparing modernturret board or PCB vs the old, and modern Turret vs the old....

    The newer stuff well is better due to higher and better quality control methods not available in the 50s and 60s.



    Same applies to tubes made in China and Russia vs NOS.


    The whole Opinion of NOS is better quality and Vintage was better quality given actual facts is really just that....an opinion. Quality control is better now and this is calcuably measured, foreign made or domestic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  20. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Meister

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    Interesting topic. I'm having a little trouble with the logic. So if today's better quality control means more of the end products are not defective what does that have to do with the quality of a non defective product made 50 years ago and still working fine?
     
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