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Which Red Knob Fender Amps Are Desirable ?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Wyzsard, May 21, 2012.

  1. SolidbdyJazzfan

    SolidbdyJazzfan Tele-Holic

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    Well, I'm kind of partial to my solid state Studio 85 (I didn't like the red knobs, though, so I replaced them shortly after buying it new with blue ones). :) It's this one here:

    [​IMG]

    Of course I did make one small modification to it:

    [​IMG]

    My last gig was 1985, and that was before I owned the amp. I only play it in the bedroom. However, for a nice, round jazz tone on the clean "channel" (it's not truly a dual-channel amp), I think it does pretty well. I like to call it my "poor man's Polytone." I've been playing at being a guitarist to a greater or lesser extent since 1965, and my other guitar amps are tube* (for what that's worth), so I'm not entirely without some basis for offering a positive review. :D

    It gets babied, so I can't comment on the build quality. I will say I busted the first input jack, which is plastic, and I wasn't happy about that.

    EDIT: *Except for an ElectroHarmonix 44 Magnum, if that counts. :)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  2. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    None, for me.
     
  3. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you sir for taking the time to gather that info !

    Good stuff
     
  4. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Years ago, a friend of mine wanted a good practice/bedroom amp. The market wasn't saturated with options like it is now, so I pointed him at a used Champ 12. He still has it, I still want it.
     
  5. jtees4

    jtees4 Tele-Afflicted

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    I just picked up a Red Knob "Eighty Five" last night as part of a larger deal. I actually like the amp a lot so far, it's basically mint too! Also picked up an '89 Korean made Tele which is nice too.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

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    I had a Champ 12 that I never should have sold. A nice little amp that sounded great when pushed.
     
  7. lareplus

    lareplus Tele-Afflicted

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    M-80 sounds very nice to me. . .not as good as a Moog lab amp but almost as good as a Pathfinder. .
     
  8. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had my Super 60 Red Knob since new....bought it in the late eighties I think. It has been and still is a really great warm sounding amp for cleans (blues/jazz/rhythm). My only issue is that even at 11 :p it's still clean....you cannot seem to get any natural breakup. There is an overdrive channel for some dirt but I personally do not like it, so I opted for pedals which work very well with the clean channel. My main beef with this amp is as mentioned previously....it's a back breaker for its size. I've replaced the cheaper input jacks with switchcraft but otherwise mine is completely stock and still sounds and functions very well.

    I've recently acquired a new DRRI which I find much nicer to carry, plus the added perks of a natural breakup.
     
  9. bdgregory

    bdgregory Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I've always been vocal about my Super 112 (already posted here - great amp), but I'm also really liking my Champ 12 these days. It's a great bedroom amp. In a large room, maybe less satisfying, but in a smaller room great.
     
  10. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1 pn the Princeton Chorus. Great sounding amp.
     
  11. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've had my Super 210 since new as well (1990). I love it, and can find many great tones with the very responsive eq stack and notch/presence. And yes, it stays clean to 10, not that I ever play that loud. When you understand that the EQ pots actually cut volume to each frequency range (when all EQ pots are on zero, there's no volume, even if the volume is on 10) then you can really begin to exploit the amp's versatility. You can get great tones from bedroom levels to ear-splitting cleans, and you can dial in some good dirt, or edge of breakup (my preference), on the OD channel with the right knob tweaking.

    BUT they are heavy. Mine pretty much stays at home, but I never plan to sell it.... Just sounds too sweet, and it's in mint condition. I put casters on to roll it from room to room :D

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Steveareno

    Steveareno Tele-Afflicted

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    +1. Plenty loud, compact, light. And warm tone. Easy enuff to change the knobs. Interesting to note that it was a cost cutting excercise by Fender to save 35 cents! The red knobs are cheap and they look it. The old black, skirted ones with the silver center look so much better. The trouble during this period was amp designers were obsessed with instant distortion at the flick of a switch, instead of just providing a good tone that warmed up as you increased the volume to the sweet spot.
    Swang on,
     
  13. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I actually prefer the red knobs with white insert over the skirted knobs with tiny numbers. MUCH easier to see how it's set. You can tell how the amp is set from across the room.

    Just look at the pic I posted above.

    Most all Fender OD channels suck, so that's nothing unique to the RK series.
     
    czech-one-2 likes this.
  14. bdgregory

    bdgregory Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    one thing about the RK Super series (60/112/210) weight issue. It's partly due to the fact that the cabinet is MDF. Also the speaker has a big magnet.

    I purchased a cabinet from a Rivera Era Concert amp a while back - and it's identical to the Super 112 cab. It's also constructed of solid pine, not MDF. I put my Super 112 chassis in that cab and it cut 4 lbs off the weight. If you sub it a Neo speaker like the Eminence Lil Texas, you can cut another 5 lbs out. The Lil Texas is a great speaker by the way. The Canabis Rex is an even better speaker for this amp and while it's ceramic, still saves a couple of lbs in weight.

    So net-net - get a pine cab and lighter speaker and the amp becomes pretty portable.
     
  15. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    I didn't know this. So the EQ pots are set up to the same concept as the Hammond organ draw bars. If the all the individual draw bars are off, there is no volume. Each one changes the tone by adding or subtracting the volume of that frequency, therefor changing the tone. That's a pretty cool design for a guitar amp. I'd like to hear one.
     
  16. Mranders

    Mranders NEW MEMBER!

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    Dual Showmwn Sr. is a tube, red knob that sounds amazing.
     
  17. BiggerJohn

    BiggerJohn Friend of Leo's

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    Desirable red knobbers? IMO, none.
     
  18. slippin slider

    slippin slider Tele-Afflicted

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    O.K. Mr. Smarty Pants .....:lol:......
    Yes if the red nobs are the ones from Garden Grove not the polish or the swedish nobs.

    How do red nobs compare to Roland cube amps with the tweed black face
    J.C. 120 options?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  19. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Same thing you said in post #2, almost two years ago, and still wrong IMHO :D
     
  20. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    IMO a lot of folks just don't realize how the tone stack in the RK dual 6L6 Supers work. They set TMB at 5 and complain that it's not loud enough, when they've lost perhaps half the volume by setting all the EQ pots at 5.
     
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