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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / The Not So Secret Order of Tweed Blues Deluxe owners (Tweedies)

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Gibson guy
Contributing Member

Toronto, Canada

"Baby, how blue can you get?"
Jul 5th, 2005 11:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

OK, so here it is. Post all yer BDRI stuff here so's we can keep track! As I said elsewhere...

I'm purty happy with mine. Sounds great with Tele, Soapbar, or ES 135. Only thing I've done is bias it a bit hotter (around 70 - it was in the 50's from the factory). Right now I'm setting the Presence at 0, tone all in the middle, 'verb and volume's at 3-4, and vary the drive between 6-12 depending on what I'm playing. Bright switch is always off. I vary the tone and volume controls on the guitars, and it's working well. Might be nice to have an extension cab some day for the 2X12 sound....

And I shouldn't have called us "Tweedies." Might offend some of our vintage tweed brothers and sisters. Maybe "BD-Tweedies?"

(This message was last edited by Gibson guy at 11:18 AM, Jul 5th, 2005)

guitargeezer
Contributing Member
**

USA/Georgia

Some days the windshield, some the bug
Jul 5th, 2005 02:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Maybe "BD-Tweedies?"

How 'bout "Tweedie-BDs"?

My Tweedie-BD(RI) is on order. Guess that I'll have to wait to learn the not-so-secret handshake.

(This message was last edited by guitargeezer at 02:29 PM, Jul 5th, 2005)

ProToneThinline
Contributing Member

USA

Pittsburgh, PA
Jul 6th, 2005 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

With all the buzz around here about the BDRI, I thought I'd share something with you guys. I have an original BD that I bought in '95. While it was always a good sounding amp, I re-tubed with NOS tubes, and now it's a GREAT sounding amp.

For some reason, the BD is more responsive to NOS tubes than any other amp I have. In care you're wondering, here's my set-up:

V1 - GE 5751
V2 - Amperex 12AX7
V3 - RCA 12AT7
V4 & V5 - Sylvania 6L6

The 5751 and AT7 help smooth out the amp a bit, as the volume controls are a bit touchy at lower levels. If I weren't going to change out all the tubes, I'd at least start with these 2.

Also, I lacquered the tweed. There are several methods that have been discussed on the FDP, and they're all good. I used Minwax Polyshades Honey Pine (gloss), although some people prefer a little deeper color.

NOS or new, lacquered or bare, it's all good. Enjoy the amp.

guitargeezer
Contributing Member
**

USA/Georgia

Some days the windshield, some the bug
Jul 6th, 2005 03:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

PTT,
Two questions. You got a favorite vendor for those NOS tubes? And, two...how did you apply the lacquer? (brush, rag...mask the metal parts, etc.). OK, three questions...what if you want to kick up the gain a little...any tube suggestions there?

Thanks,
geezer


blue_dawg

Texas

Road goes on 4ever,the party never ends.
Jul 6th, 2005 05:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm in. The BDRI I have is awesome. I've used it the last 4 gigs and MANY positive comments on tone.
About lacquer:
For a relic look: Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac (AMBER) formerly called 3lb orange. Brushed on sanded in-between coats with #0000 steel wool. The amber color gives it an aged look that is really classy. For an even looking coat use the spray. I'm not sure if they make the amber in spray. The Honey Pine Minwax looks good but IMO the amber gives it that aged look I was looking for. I own a VK & BJ also but I REALLY like the BDRI more and more every day. I've recently had many positive comments on it's tone from other working musicians.
Whatever you choose to lacquer the tweed with I'm sure it will be great. I hope this little bit of input helps...

George17

USA

Jul 6th, 2005 05:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I wonder why Fender did not do the laquered tweed on the Blues Deluxe like they did on the tweed Hot Rod Deluxe?

ProToneThinline
Contributing Member

USA

Pittsburgh, PA
Jul 7th, 2005 06:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Geezer, I got VERY lucky with the tubes - I've had them in my tube stash since the late '70's. I just pulled them out of the box and put them in!! However, if you need to order tubes, I'd contact Mike at KCA NOS Tubes. He posts here regularly under the nickname "Blue Strat". He's really good to work with.

I used the 5751 and AT7 because I wanted to smooth mine out a bit. If you want to pump up the gain a little, I'd use some good AX7's all around. Mullards are great if you can afford them. Amperex are a good choice also, and a little cheaper. Mike can help you find some good choices as well.

The lacquer part was fun, and didn't take too long. First, disassemble the amp. You'll have to pry off the Fender logo in front to remove one of the baffle board screws. Just be gentle and you'll have no problem. Once everything's out of the cabinet, grab a brush and go. I used three coats on mine, which I would recommend as a minimum. I wanted an aged look, so I stopped there. I gave about 30 minutes drying time between coats. I let the final coat dry overnight, then put the whole thing back together. Instant vintage!

The Zinsser Amber that blue_dawg mentioned will darken the tweed a bit more than the Honey Pine will. I think both look good, but Minwax is easier to find where I live. I was pretty nervous at first, but once I saw how the first coat looked I was sold!!

guitargeezer
Contributing Member
**

USA/Georgia

Some days the windshield, some the bug
Jul 11th, 2005 03:46 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Had to keep this thread alive. I've (still) got one on order from GC and it should be here next week. Can't wait to really try it out.

Gibson guy
Contributing Member

Toronto, Canada

"Baby, how blue can you get?"
Jul 12th, 2005 12:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's a great amp. Just don't expect too much drive from the "Drive" channel.

guitargeezer
Contributing Member
**

USA/Georgia

Some days the windshield, some the bug
Jul 12th, 2005 12:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Stay tuned, Gibson guy, I'll probably be back asking for "inside Tweedie" tips when I get my BeeDeeRee.

She-rock
Contributing Member

sometimes I get

"volume creep"
Jul 13th, 2005 03:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The one amp I've loved the sound of was my older Blues Deluxe--and I couldn't keep it running!

The local amps techs around here said they were notoriously bad for malfunctions (one referred to them as a "disposable" amp.)

I finally sold it, but I've got a way better tech now, and I wonder if these guys were blaming the amp unfairly.

How are the new ones? If I could get that sound again in an amp that's reliable, I'd become a "Tweedie" again in a heartbeat!



Rick M

California, USA

Rick M
Jul 13th, 2005 04:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Your local tech is exaggerating. I've used a BD very heavily since 1996. In all that time, it's given me a problem exactly once on a gig when the #1 input jack began crackling. I was able to switch to input #2 and finish OK.

The BD's have some flaws--the cheesy input jacks being one--but that's an easily fixed problem. The 470 ohm resistors in the channel switching circuit also get hot and can result in a cold solder joint. That's another relatively easy fix. I saw mine starting to go when I replaced the input jacks and so just preemptively replaced the resistors.

You can't beat the BD for a great sounding, good looking amp for a reasonable price.


deepbluesuk

England

Jul 13th, 2005 05:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a 95. Great amp, no mods - just keep it well serviced by a good tech!

Gibson guy
Contributing Member

Toronto, Canada

"Baby, how blue can you get?"
Jul 14th, 2005 10:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I wouldn't think their reliability would be any worse than the HR's. Hey guitargeezer, how you holding out? Got the shakes in anticipation yet?

guitargeezer
Contributing Member
**

USA/Georgia

Some days the windshield, some the bug
Jul 14th, 2005 01:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Hey guitargeezer, how you holding out? Got the shakes in anticipation yet?"

Somethin' like that. I get tired of reading the same BDRI posts over and over--this virtual stuff just doesn't weaken the GAS much. I'm ready for the REAL thing.

It's supposed to be to the store by Monday, but I'm hoping for an early arrival of my baby...er, Tweedie. I'll let ya know.

ProToneThinline
Contributing Member

USA

Pittsburgh, PA
Jul 14th, 2005 02:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Stewie - "By the way that guitar was a mistake by Fender to make it a Squier. It is a 1000 dollars worth of guitar." Fender tried that in the late '80's and couldn't GIVE them away.

blue_dawg

Texas

Road goes on 4ever,the party never ends.
Jul 14th, 2005 07:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Does anyone know the model of Eminence Speaker that comes stock in the BDRI? I know it's a 50 watt speaker and the only 50 watt speaker on their website is a Legend GB12.
After 100 hrs it sounds better and better. No doubt the finest stock speaker I've heard...
I was thinking of replacing it with a Weber Blue Dog but now I'm not so sure.

(This message was last edited by blue_dawg at 07:06 PM, Jul 14th, 2005)

Gibson guy
Contributing Member

Toronto, Canada

"Baby, how blue can you get?"
Jul 15th, 2005 07:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well...you know.....it's the "Specially designed" one. Which is waaaaay better than the "Not so specially designed" one.

(This message was last edited by Gibson guy at 07:36 AM, Jul 15th, 2005)

ProToneThinline
Contributing Member

USA

Pittsburgh, PA
Jul 15th, 2005 06:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Stewie, yes, I hear you. The Esprit has gotten some great press. I had a Flame, which was a VERY well built guitar. But to be honest, it sounded terrible. The Schaller pickups just didn't cut it, and they were so oddly shaped there were no replacements available. The new Esprit has conventional humbuckers, so you could swap to your heart's content if you wanted to.

I sold the Flame a couple of years ago. I still think about her from time to time.

If you think the Esprit sounds sweet with your BDRI, go plug in your SG. I have a '72 SG Special with P-90's. That thing sounds great with that amp.

Now go have fun!!!

guitargeezer
Contributing Member
**

USA/Georgia

Some days the windshield, some the bug
Jul 16th, 2005 05:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Hey Geezer: Don't get your hopes up too high. I was a little disappointed when I first got mine."

Geez, Stewie...haven't even gotten it yet and I'm already having buyer's remorse.



Nah, just kidding. I figure it's a tradeoff. The amp will probably be a little disappointed when I start playing through it, too.

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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / The Not So Secret Order of Tweed Blues Deluxe owners (Tweedies)




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