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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,391 Member Since:04/02/2011

#21 [url]

Apr 23 17 8:53 AM

wireline wrote:
And yet, the epitome of Fender sounds, original Tremolux, uses EL 84s...

Most Peavey amps chasing the tweed market for a while (Classic 30, Classic 50) use EL84s, but sound nothing at all like Vox, or Fenders really. My Frenzel Super Deluxe uses all octal preamp tubes, yet sounds nothing like another boutique with the same pre - I suspect it's a Gestalt thing with tubes, curcuits, and 'that sound' however you define it. All components make up the end result, not just characteristics of one

All tweed Fender Tremoluxes (the first several years of production) used 6V6s, and all black panel/black tolex (along with most cream-tolex) Tremoluxes used 6L6GC output tubes.

There was one rare variant (certainly fewer than 300 made, probably closer to 200) of the 6G9 cream tolex model which did use the 6BQ5/EL84. This is one of the rarest Fender amps (probably THE rarest). They never even got around to producing a proper tube chart-- the tube chart in these amps is a blue mimeographed typewritten sheet of paper. It was made only for a brief time in 1961 (the vast majority of white/cream 6G9 Tremoluxes have 6L6s).

I've never seen one "in the wild," only in pictures.

I feel it might be a reach to call this amp the "epitome of Fender sounds", even if they sound great, just because too few exist for them to have become archetypal in that way (especially since there are SO MANY other iconic Fenders like the 5E3 Deluxe, 5F6-A Bassman, Twin Reverb, Deluxe Reverb, Princeton Reverb, etc etc). I've never actually heard one! 

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Apr 23 17 8:59 AM. Edited 3 times.

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,169 Member Since:23/10/2013

#23 [url]

Apr 23 17 11:30 AM

I think it's a Class A/EL84 thing, more than it being just an EL84 thing.

Maybe even leaning towards being more of a Class A thing.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,391 Member Since:04/02/2011

#24 [url]

Apr 23 17 1:56 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
I think it's a Class A/EL84 thing, more than it being just an EL84 thing.

Maybe even leaning towards being more of a Class A thing.

I think you might be interested to know that, contrary to rumor and generations of misinformation, Vox AC30 and AC15 amps are and have always been class AB and not Class A! 

Everyone can be forgiven for misunderstanding that, since Vox AC30 amplifiers have been for decades held up as an example of "Class A" amps, but they're not, and have never been. I have no idea how that misinformation got spread, or where it started, but it's one of the (to me) strangest things in all of guitar amp lore.

The esteemed Randall Aiken proves it here, complete with scope traces: http://www.aikenamps.com/is-the-vox-ac-30-really-class-a

Each half of the amp does conduct for a little bit more of the cycle than would be typical in such a design, which probably reduces crossover distortion somewhat. But they're not "Class A" amps, by any stretch!

brad allen williams

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,169 Member Since:23/10/2013

#25 [url]

Apr 23 17 2:08 PM

Oh yeah, I knew better. I've read that before. Thanks for bringing that up.

I guess a correct way of putting what I was attempting to state, is that the Vox tone seems to be related to whatever that basic circuit is, than it being the inherent tonal quality of EL84s... since there are EL84 based amps that really don't sound Vox-like.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,391 Member Since:04/02/2011

#26 [url]

Apr 23 17 2:53 PM

I agree with that, for sure. And I think the speakers one typically finds in that era of Vox amp have something to do with it, too. Really it's probably more the aggregate of many factors.

The pentode front end is a rather distinctive thing, as well, when compared to most guitar amps (which typically have triode front ends)

brad allen williams

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John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,271 Member Since:31/05/2015

#27 [url]

Apr 23 17 3:28 PM

soapfoot wrote:

wireline wrote:
And yet, the epitome of Fender sounds, original Tremolux, uses EL 84s...

Most Peavey amps chasing the tweed market for a while (Classic 30, Classic 50) use EL84s, but sound nothing at all like Vox, or Fenders really. My Frenzel Super Deluxe uses all octal preamp tubes, yet sounds nothing like another boutique with the same pre - I suspect it's a Gestalt thing with tubes, curcuits, and 'that sound' however you define it. All components make up the end result, not just characteristics of one

All tweed Fender Tremoluxes (the first several years of production) used 6V6s, and all black panel/black tolex (along with most cream-tolex) Tremoluxes used 6L6GC output tubes.

There was one rare variant (certainly fewer than 300 made, probably closer to 200) of the 6G9 cream tolex model which did use the 6BQ5/EL84. This is one of the rarest Fender amps (probably THE rarest). They never even got around to producing a proper tube chart-- the tube chart in these amps is a blue mimeographed typewritten sheet of paper. It was made only for a brief time in 1961 (the vast majority of white/cream 6G9 Tremoluxes have 6L6s).

I've never seen one "in the wild," only in pictures.

I feel it might be a reach to call this amp the "epitome of Fender sounds", even if they sound great, just because too few exist for them to have become archetypal in that way (especially since there are SO MANY other iconic Fenders like the 5E3 Deluxe, 5F6-A Bassman, Twin Reverb, Deluxe Reverb, Princeton Reverb, etc etc). I've never actually heard one! 

I've seen one in the wild, when I was working for Spitzer Music (Hayward CA) in the mid '70s. It haed a weird problem, in that it was unstable and ate output tubes after being on for maybe an hour. I never did figure out exactly what the problem was (maybe I could now, maybe not), but Matt Spitzer didn't want me to go too far into changing things in it because it was so rare and totally stock, and Matt was one of the first, maybe THE first in the Bay Area to really jump on the "vintage" thing in a big way - he prerfered to keep it unaltered in his collection. (I'm wondering now if the problem might have been that there was a tube base incompatibility between some versions of the 6BQ5/7189/EL84 and other versions which was not widely known at that time...?)

Anyway, yes, I have seen one and have kinda assumed that the stability problem that we experienced with that amp probably had something to do with it being discontinued so rapidly. It may also have something to do with the fact that you never see them in use.

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Mike Rivers

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,526 Member Since:13/10/2012

#28 [url]

Apr 23 17 3:29 PM

soapfoot wrote:
I think you might be interested to know that, contrary to rumor and generations of misinformation, Vox AC30 and AC15 amps are and have always been class AB and not Class A! 

Everyone can be forgiven for misunderstanding that, since Vox AC30 amplifiers have been for decades held up as an example of "Class A" amps, but they're not, and have never been.

 
I'd think that a class A power stage in an instrument amplifier would be a real boutique item (and I know that there are several boutique-y guitar amps on the market). The low power stages are probably running class A - that wouildn't be unusal at all. But there's something very marketable about having a "Class A cachet."



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,169 Member Since:23/10/2013

#29 [url]

Apr 23 17 3:35 PM

soapfoot wrote:
I agree with that, for sure. And I think the speakers one typically finds in that era of Vox amp have something to do with it, too. Really it's probably more the aggregate of many factors.

The pentode front end is a rather distinctive thing, as well, when compared to most guitar amps (which typically have triode front ends)

The aforementioned Vox AC4TV, as well as AC4C1-12, C1-BL, and some similar models use a 12AXZ for the preamp. Seems to keep the Vox vibe to a large degree sonically. Not just the cosmetics :-)

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,391 Member Since:04/02/2011

#30 [url]

Apr 23 17 5:08 PM

mikerivers wrote:

soapfoot wrote:
I think you might be interested to know that, contrary to rumor and generations of misinformation, Vox AC30 and AC15 amps are and have always been class AB and not Class A! 

Everyone can be forgiven for misunderstanding that, since Vox AC30 amplifiers have been for decades held up as an example of "Class A" amps, but they're not, and have never been.

 
I'd think that a class A power stage in an instrument amplifier would be a real boutique item (and I know that there are several boutique-y guitar amps on the market). The low power stages are probably running class A - that wouildn't be unusal at all. But there's something very marketable about having a "Class A cachet."

All of the single-ended amps are class A, of course (Champ, etc).

And the AC4TV is, as well... though I must say I never could get on with the AC4TV. I think the cabinet is too small for the speaker, but that's another deal. I feel the same way about the Pro Jr., FWIW. Putting that amp in a larger cabinet really opens it up.

There were many AC30 variants over the years, too, some with triode front ends and some with pentode front ends. Some with solid-state rectifiers, some with tube rectifiers, etc.

 

brad allen williams

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,169 Member Since:23/10/2013

#31 [url]

Apr 23 17 5:21 PM

A Pro Jr is just not in the same league, to me. Way too tubby and sort of obviously "wrong" compared to a decent amp.

It would be nice if the AC4TV had a bright switch for *one* of my beefier guitars, an ES-347, and maybe spring reverb somehow (realistically not going to happen well in such a small space).

I don't think it calls for a bigger speaker or cab any more than a Champ does, but there are indeed people that feel that way about the old Champs as well.

On a 1~10 rating scale, I would put a Pro Junior at around a 3~4, and a Vox AC4TV somewhere between 7~8 (contextually, as small amps go).

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,169 Member Since:23/10/2013

#32 [url]

Apr 23 17 5:32 PM

PS, no intention to slam that little Pro Jr! :-)

The epitome of "it's a matter of taste" when it comes to this stuff.

Interesting that the little Voxs are in fact class A. 

I just don't know what to think anymore hahahah....

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Mike Rivers

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,526 Member Since:13/10/2012

#33 [url]

Apr 23 17 7:51 PM

soapfoot wrote:
All of the single-ended amps are class A, of course (Champ, etc).
 


Oh, yeah. I didn't think about those. I just naturally think about instrument amplifiers having push-pull outputs. What's the power output of a Champ? About 5 watts or so? For lots of things, that could be enough, but I suspect that singled ended power output goes hand in hand with the cheapest way they could make the preamp and tone control stage, unless it's a boutique amplifier. Maybe that's part of their charm, if any.



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,774 Member Since:26/01/2011

#34 [url]

Apr 23 17 8:04 PM

Give me an old vibro champ any day of the week. I keep a Silvertone 1482 here for similar duties, a '64 Super Reverb and an old 60's Gibsonette cover the other sounds... an nice old Vox AC15 would be great to add into the mix.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,391 Member Since:04/02/2011

#35 [url]

Apr 23 17 10:02 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
A Pro Jr is just not in the same league, to me. Way too tubby and sort of obviously "wrong" compared to a decent amp.

It would be nice if the AC4TV had a bright switch for *one* of my beefier guitars, an ES-347, and maybe spring reverb somehow (realistically not going to happen well in such a small space).

I don't think it calls for a bigger speaker or cab any more than a Champ does, but there are indeed people that feel that way about the old Champs as well.

On a 1~10 rating scale, I would put a Pro Junior at around a 3~4, and a Vox AC4TV somewhere between 7~8 (contextually, as small amps go).

I have a highly upgraded Pro Junior (the circuit is mostly stock, but the only original part is the power transformer) that I use more than any other amp. More than my vintage Fenders, Marshalls, Magnatone, etc.

There's not a thing wrong with the Pro Junior as a design (Bruce Zinky designed it, FWIW). Fender's implementation leaves much to be desired-- it's built down to a price point, rather than up to a standard of quality (as many things are).

It absolutely reaps major dividends from a larger speaker cabinet; I've done it to more than one. Remember that the Champ has an 8" speaker. The Pro Junior has a 10" speaker. In a roughly Princeton-sized cabinet, it opens up considerably. Of coruse, a better speaker helps, as well. That amp really wants a nice AlNiCo, P10Q style speaker.

If properly implemented, I like it much, much more than the AC4TV. As a design, sonically I actually think of the Pro Junior as one of the all-time "classic" Fender amps. 

But "whatever works"!

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Apr 23 17 10:06 PM. Edited 1 time.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,391 Member Since:04/02/2011

#36 [url]

Apr 23 17 10:04 PM

silvertone wrote:
Give me an old vibro champ any day of the week. I keep a Silvertone 1482 here for similar duties, a '64 Super Reverb and an old 60's Gibsonette cover the other sounds... an nice old Vox AC15 would be great to add into the mix.

The 1482 is a GREAT amp; highly underrated.

I think the masonite cabinet is a big part of why it sounds as good as it does. Weirdly, the flimsy cabinet just resonates and shakes all over the place, and in that little amp it just really works.

brad allen williams

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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,774 Member Since:26/01/2011

#37 [url]

Apr 24 17 5:37 AM

soapfoot wrote:

silvertone wrote:
Give me an old vibro champ any day of the week. I keep a Silvertone 1482 here for similar duties, a '64 Super Reverb and an old 60's Gibsonette cover the other sounds... an nice old Vox AC15 would be great to add into the mix.

The 1482 is a GREAT amp; highly underrated.

I think the masonite cabinet is a big part of why it sounds as good as it does. Weirdly, the flimsy cabinet just resonates and shakes all over the place, and in that little amp it just really works.

It's the amp I use most believe it or not.

A Wurlitzer sounds great through them as well... then you can do tremolo on tremelo sounds. Ha ha 

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 358 Member Since:11/10/2013

#38 [url]

Apr 24 17 8:27 AM

I love reading everything you guys knwo and have been thru! I was using plugs and a yamaha thr100hd and it was decent. I really wanted a small amp though and some of the boutique ones like 65 amps, or Dr Z, or matchless were just to much.

I had a little vox av15 sent out and just that little guy alone, to me, sounded better than any of the plugs and emulations. the Bassbreaker, also to me, was cost affordable at around 600 bucks (as much as i would spend on UAD plugs) and sounded even better. I am going to try and andd youtube links again for you

i knwo there are corners cut in these new ones, but i cant help that with where i am at. honestly to i just like getting back to an amp with my sm57 and not being to complicated. even with the THR or an amp sim plug i was playing a bit, then mousing around and around to then strumming and theb back to the mouse and most of those programs have an overwhelming amount of choices and I just finally said i want a simple amp that gets me some chimey clean, a great slight break up and if needed go a little harder.

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zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,159 Member Since:20/01/2011

#39 [url]

Apr 24 17 9:13 AM

Such an interesting thread..

As a guitarist there are amps I've loved and as an engineer there are amps I've learned to love..

One of my favorite amps for tracking is my tiny single ended class A Supro/Valco/Airline 12ax7 / 5Y3GT / 6V6 based amp (Airline 62-9022A made by Valco),  unlike the Fender champ, it never gets that mushy farted out tone when pushed,  it's got a Jensen 308Y21D1 speaker and sounds incredibly huge when miced with a 160 or other ribbon through a 1073 or similar..

I did one mod to it, I retrofitted the output transformer to the bottom of the cabinet because the power transformer was inducing a low level 60Hz hum.


SUPRO%20Airline%2062-9022A%20R5249792.jp


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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,391 Member Since:04/02/2011

#40 [url]

Apr 24 17 10:17 AM

Those are great amps!

Chuck, were the two transformers coplanar? Moving it to the bottom of the cabinet solved the problem, so it's all academic, but I wonder whether rotating it 90 degrees might have helped, too?

brad allen williams

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