Which silverface?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by blackbelt308, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. blackbelt308

    blackbelt308 Tele-Holic

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    Hi all,

    I've been looking for a vintage SF amp for awhile, and two have just popped up for sale nearby...

    The first is a 1978 DR, all original with a ROLA speaker. Looks to be in excellent condition. I have not yet plugged in (will do so tomorrow), but the owner says it sounds great. He wants $1100 (have not yet pushed him on it).

    The second is a 1972 Bassman combo, all original (except the plug), also very clean. Will probably check it out on Saturday. This guy wants $700.

    So, which one?! ;)

    I have really been looking for a SF DR (to go with my BF PR), and the size is better suited to my basement man cave, but the Bassman is intriguing, especially at the price. I should also say that I had a preference for an earlier SF DR, although I've read that if you leave the boost alone, the '78s sound just fine.

    Advice? The winner will replace my DRRI, which is quite the noisemaker...

    Thanks a bunch,
    Rick
     
  2. Radspin

    Radspin Friend of Leo's

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    A Bassman combo…you mean a separate head and cabinet?
     
  3. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Is that the Bassman with the four tens? Rule of thumb. If it ain't tweed it's crap.

    Edit to add. I meant Bassman combos. I can't think of any good Bassman combos after the last tweed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  4. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

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    First thing is expect to have to do some servicing on either one.

    That said, the SFDR would be my choice without hesitation, and although more expensive initially, I think it's the better value. It also would have much broader appeal and resale value down the road - DR's are very popular.....and have been for a long time.

    I have a mint 74 SFDR and it's a wonderful amp (after a recap). Not sure about the ROLA - mine came with a Utah but has a Weber 12F150 in it now. If that SFDR is in excellent condition, not a bad price either. Condition is important to me........and important to future value too. YMMV, as they say.....:)
     
  5. CoolBlueGlow

    CoolBlueGlow Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, sfdr all the way, IMO.

    Double check the reverb and tremolo for operation, too.
    Rola is probably not optimum.
    If tubes are china-crap, thats another way to work the price down a bit.

    Imo, we don't pay premium price for any amp unless it has premium components, including tubes, speakers, and power supply caps.

    At the $1k price for a forty year old amp that is not a museum piece, I would (respectfully) request to open it up and look-see what I'm buying.
     
  6. blackbelt308

    blackbelt308 Tele-Holic

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    Very helpful, guys. I forgot that the Bassman doesn't have reverb or trem, and I want those onboard.

    Thanks!
    Rick
     
  7. Big_Bend

    Big_Bend Poster Extraordinaire

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    Exactly! Get the SF Deluxe Reverb, have it serviced, be happy forever. Enjoy...
     
  8. doc w

    doc w Tele-Afflicted

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    I have to disagree with you Bobby. A bf Bassman can be a monster amp. IMHO, it is possibly the best deal out there now. You can get a Bassman head for a very modest price. Not for the faint of heart though, They are loud and aggressive.
     
  9. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Being the owner of a a Silverface Bassman, I say get the DR.

    My Bassman 50 is a 50 watt head. And they go between 350 and 500 bucks usually. I love my Bassman. I play it out all the time. It's also my main practice amp... But I have a big room to practice in. 50 watts stays clean a long time. Plus, I think 700 is a lot for a Bassman 10... At least it was when I kept an eye out for a Bassman amp. Maybe the high end.

    The DR will work excellently in the man cave! 22 watts, trem and reverb. Not too much to think about, other than price, and 1100 seems like a reasonable price to me.
     
  10. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah I was talking about later tolex covered Bassman combos. They made some great Bassman heads but the 70's combos were crap.
    I'm sure you could mod a Bassman 10 into something interesting but unless it's dirt cheap why bother?
     
  11. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    High for both. The Bassman 10, in my opinion, is an excellent amp, but all you are really getting is a clean platform, great for pedals and volume. For an all around amp, the DR is killer.
     
  12. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    DR.
    Excellent amp. I have a 74 that I gig regularly and it's just about perfect in every way. Had my amp guy go over it when I got it and replaced the stock Oxford speaker with a Cannabis Rex and it's been a workhorse. My favorite amp of all time, by a long shot.
     
  13. CoolBlueGlow

    CoolBlueGlow Tele-Afflicted

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    Come ON you guys... A Bassman isn't that big. They fit right in the bed of an average 3/4 ton LWB truck.

    Speaking of big - There's a Fender 400PS and three folded W 18" cabinets on ebay right now. A setup that defines the word "portable". :twisted: The one on eBay is apparently on display at the Fender museum, and you can pick up the whole set - including the amp head with the rare stand - for a mere $5k, here...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/FENDER-VINT...421?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ad137b345

    Kind of provides a sense of scale for the discussion between a Bassman and a DR, eh?
    :lol:
     
  14. ASC67

    ASC67 Friend of Leo's

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    Would this amp sound good at bedroom levels ? :p
     
  15. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've got a 78 SFDR, I don't pull the boost and it is really sweet sounding.
    $1100 is a little on the high side unless it's really clean and has already had the electrolytic caps changed. I would probably replace that speaker also.
     
  16. doc w

    doc w Tele-Afflicted

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    If your bedroom happens to be in rural north Ontario...:D:D:D
     
  17. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

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    deluxe reverb for sure- although I had a bassman 10 and really liked it, I could only get $400 for it when I sold it
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A quick review of possible costs for a DR with no list of recent service and the wrong speaker.
    New speaker $100
    Cap job plus $100
    New quality tubes $100
    As long as you're aiming high,
    Blackface mod $100
    Purchase price $1100

    Total $1500
    IMO a bit high for a '78
    The idea of spending $1100-$1400 on a master volume pull boost replacement for a DRRI, going on internet opinions that "it sounds fine" will often lead to wondering if it could sound great with some more money spent. For $1500 you might find an earlier DR that doesn't need money put into it, and will be worth more in dollars and maybe in your satisfaction.
     
  19. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

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    ^^^^

    1) new speaker may or may not be necessary
    2) new tubes may/may not be necessary
    3) Aside from pull boost (use of which is elective) very minimal functional changes to SFDR vs. BFDR circuits - same with PR's. I've had both BF & SF (2 of each) and don't think any "BF mod" has as great an effect as proper tubes, caps, bias, etc. My 74 is the best DR I've owned.

    Compare to costs for new DRRI (and I'm not knockin' those at all) - one might have just as much "need" to change speaker and tubes on one of those - personal preference, YMMV, and all that......:)
     
  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    True that some things may not be needed, but the OP is dis-satisfied with the DRRI he has now, and spending more $$ to get a BETTER DR.
    Dis-satisfaction can become a costly syndrome, the worst of the symptoms being uncertain of how good a good thing really is, and how much better it could be.
    Some people aren't satisfied 'till the master is removed, I've actually found them stuffed inside, once behind a RI blackface panel, as if not having the knob there was an improvement. At leas that was inexpensive, aside from the black face replacement.
    To get the $1100 DR to sound better than the DRRI will probably at least require replacement of the Rola speaker and some manner of service and parts. A new set of good tubes costs well over $100, so I was being conservative on the various prices and needs.
    Maybe add a new reverb tank, reverb cables are often shot or replaced with stereo parts, prob a power cord...
     
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