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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Blackface amps differences in sound?

Mike62Jazz
Contributing Member
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USA/Colorado

Mike
Dec 8th, 2011 10:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm struglling in how to word this but, how would you describe the difference in sound between different models of blackface Fenders? Set the same, is the speaker config the main difference between models or does the wattage contribute more? IOW, describe for me the "sound" differences between say a Twin, Deluxe, Tremolux, Pro, Super etc.
For the record, I am a bassplayer by trade and fool around on guitar. I do have several guitar amps though, including a 66 Pro Reverb, 64 Tremolux, HR Deluxe, Blues Jr. and a Mission 5E3 clone. I just bought a Mustang III modeling amp for fun and was wondering how, tonally, I would set presets for different Blackface Fenders.

SoK66
Contributing Member
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USA

We had the hit but Van got the money
Dec 8th, 2011 10:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I find that I set them all basically the same to sart, and then make small knob twiddles to raise on end or the other, or both. Bright switch off (or, bright cap lifted on a DR), about 7.5 on the trable, 2.5 - 3 on the bass. If It has a mids control, about 5. Adjust from there based upon the axe you're pumping into it and the room. If it's a tweed or brown I crank the presence control to the max, which essentially eliminates NFB.

The only modeling amp I've spent much time with is one of the original GDECs. Their presets were pretty accurate, but IMHO the amp sucked big time.


amphead4
Contributing Member
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Cincinnati, USA

Dec 8th, 2011 11:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

All of them tend to have that "Fender" sound by virtue of having similar tone stacks. But you can get more variety from those with the mid control as opposed to the two knob stacks with the fixed mid resistor.

A pro musician here came over once and played through my BF Princeton Reverb and said it sounded remarkably like his BFTR. Of course if you A/B'd them, there would be lots of differences. But what he was noticing is that the commonalities in the preamp/tone stack of my amp and his make them sound pretty similar when nothing's clipping or you aren't getting your distortion from your speakers.

Besides power levels and speakers, I think the main difference is whether they have a mid control or the fixed setting. Turning the mids down when modeling will give a different tone than you get from the amps with fixed mid (Champ, Princeton, Deluxe, Pro, Vibrolux). That fixed mid is like a setting of at least 5 and maybe more. And the lower you turn the treble and bass, the more the mids dominate.

Typical settings for me would be bright off, treble about 7, mid 5 - 7 depending on mood, bass on about 3, reverb on 2 or 3 (or 10!). To me, that sounds like a Fender.

MLC
Contributing Member
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It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Dec 8th, 2011 12:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I just bought a Mustang III modeling amp for fun and was wondering how, tonally, I would set presets for different Blackface Fenders."

Check the "Fender Amps: 1985-Current" section - there are a number of threads about various settings on the Mustang III.

Mike62Jazz
Contributing Member
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USA/Colorado

Mike
Dec 8th, 2011 01:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Check the "Fender Amps: 1985-Current" section - there are a number of threads about various settings on the Mustang III."

Thanks, I have read most of them. I was just wondering if a general Blackface Patch is really all you need. You could then change cab configurations. I would assume there would be some differences in 6L6 to 6V6 sound.



Axis40

Fredericksbu, Va USA

John F.
Dec 9th, 2011 04:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

There is a big difference between 6l6 and 6v6 to me... the 6l6 has a more glassy character. There is a set of frequencies that is in the upper mids somewhere that adds a little 'kerang' to each note. Not sure how else to put it.

The speaker config does have a big effect as well... then you start thinking about all the replacement speakers people use and it becomes mind boggling!

There is a basic blackface tone that tends to be rather mid scooped (mid control or not). But, different amps still sounds quite unique. AN example is my Vibrolux which has no mid control, but has much more mids than my old DR did. It also has a very boomey bass when you crank it up. The DR got a lot brighter as you cranked it (not in an icepick type way, just maybe it was less bass?).

So, yes, there is a basic Blackface sound... but each is also unique as well.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Dec 9th, 2011 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Heck, no two BF amps of the same model sound exactly alike.


Edit: to, too or two?

(This message was last edited by Hammond101 at 10:28 PM, Dec 9th, 2011)

Mike62Jazz
Contributing Member
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USA/Colorado

Mike
Dec 9th, 2011 06:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Heck, no to BF amps of the same model sound exactly alike."

Do you mean no 2? Yeah, I get that. I made a patch with my Pro Reverb side by side. It gets pretty close IMO. Of course, I am a Bass Player so take anything I say with a grain of salt!

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Dec 9th, 2011 10:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Do you mean no 2?"

Silly worn out keyboard and I didn't proof read it. Yeah the number, Ha. Time to edit.

I'm sure it gets close. I'm just sayin put two '67 Pro Reverbs side by side for an AB and they will sound different. Close but different. Same with Supers, DRs, Twins, Showmans, all of 'em. Same thing with the RI BF amps.

Mike62Jazz
Contributing Member
******

USA/Colorado

Mike
Dec 10th, 2011 08:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I'm sure it gets close. I'm just sayin put two '67 Pro Reverbs side by side for an AB and they will sound different. Close but different. Same with Supers, DRs, Twins, Showmans, all of 'em. Same thing with the RI BF amps."

Hence my statement about a general Blackface sounding patch is probably sufficient. Changing cab/speaker configurations may be all that is necessary but how would you, if even possible, describe the general blakface sound. I'm sure everyones' opinions and descriptions would be different.

squinty

Adelaide, Australia

Jan 7th, 2012 03:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm with Mike62, you could put any Tweed, Brown or Blackface side by side and they would sound slightly to moderately different.
Different sets of pre and power tubes can play a big part too.
But you can always distinguish a BF or earlier Fender amp.

Twangmeister
Contributing Member
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"I'll have cheese

grits with my cheese biscuit"
Jan 7th, 2012 09:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Years ago I compared a friend's Showman to my Showman and Twin Reverb.

There was a difference between the Showman amps but not as much between the Showmans and the Twin.

My friend's Bandmaster played through a Bandmaster cabinet sounded different than my Twin.

So there is a family resemblance between blackface amps but each amp has its own flavor.

(This message was last edited by Twangmeister at 10:47 AM, Jan 7th, 2012)

kawa

Japan

Apr 1st, 2012 06:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Any Fenders OK !!!
Just settings.

SpiroGiro

YorkshireUK

Apr 2nd, 2012 06:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

haha - I think I must have asked this question plenty when was first delving into the world of vintage-toned amps!

Truthful answer is that only by using your own ears can you get the answer to this. We don't all hear in the same frequencies and we all have same preferences for tone. But largely, Tweeds and early Brown/Blonde models share near-similar ciruits, Blackfaces differ amongst each other mainly due to speaker choices. Silver faces differ due to component and circuit re-designs/tweaks and some would say, inferior construction due to being under the CBS management... Bottom line - they all are part of rock history and you can make them 'your' sound if you have some soul!

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Blackface amps differences in sound?




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