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View Full Version : Why did Leo Fender start scooping mids with the blackface era?


Che_Guitarra
08-24-2013, 11:13 AM
Seems a curiosity to me that with the onset of the blackface era the Fender amp range began scooping the mids a lot more heavily from the baby amps to the big boppers.

Is it known why? Changing tastes (or a progression thereof) on Leo's behalf? Customer requests? To accommodate new speaker designs? Other reasons?

gldtp99
08-24-2013, 11:28 AM
The general trend with Fender amps is that the company worked to produce amps that would stay cleaner and cleaner at higher volumes from the Tweeds through the SF's----- the Brownfaces were cleaner than the Tweeds, the Blackfaces were cleaner than the Brownfaces, the SF's were cleaner than the Blackfaces.
They were building amps to what their customer base wanted at the time---- and the main customer base were clean pro players---- country, jazz, etc.
A lot of people still like the glassy, scooped mid tone of the 60's Blackface amps---- I know I do.........................gldtp99

My '64 BF Tremolux head that I rebuilt--- with Strat:

E9DT3zzplak

teemuk
08-24-2013, 11:39 AM
The tonestack circuit (which in Fender amps solely introduces the mid range notch) was, AFAIK, pretty much copied from competitors' products (namely Gibson amps).

2HBStrat
08-24-2013, 11:45 AM
The tonestack circuit (which in Fender amps solely introduces the mid range notch) was, AFAIK, pretty much copied from competitors' products (namely Gibson amps).

I've never heard that before.

guitarrhinoceros
08-24-2013, 11:47 AM
The tonestack circuit (which in Fender amps solely introduces the mid range notch) was, AFAIK, pretty much copied from competitors' products (namely Gibson amps).

Just because you say so, doesn't mean I believe you.

teemuk
08-24-2013, 11:52 AM
Ok, I knew it was sacrilegious...


Well then... Show me a Fender design using that tonestack that dates prior ca. 1953 and I might change my opinion.
I know for sure that Gibson was using pretty much similar tonestack design already in its early 1950's amps.


http://www.gibson.com/Files/schematics/ga-77.jpg

Figaro
08-24-2013, 12:05 PM
So Fender waited until the 60's to start using a tonestack they copied from the early 50's? :huh

riffmeister
08-24-2013, 12:06 PM
Scooped mids sit behind a singer very well. Tube Screamer type pedals put the mids back in when it's solo time. It's a great recipe.

gldtp99
08-24-2013, 12:14 PM
So Fender waited until the 60's to start using a tonestack they copied from the early 50's? :huh

The amount of "borrowing" that has and does take place in tube guitar amp circuits would boggle some people's minds.
I always thought that Fender came up with the BF tonestack themselves but the GA-77 schematic does show a very similar one way back in the 50's.
Thanks for the info, teemuk---:aok........................gldtp99


PS--- I was looking at files of old Gibson schematics and didn't see anything similar to a BF Fender tonestack----- but I hadn't worked my way down to the GA-77 schematic, either----- I wanted to have some factual backup before I doubted teemuk's info--- I wonder if Gibson "borrowed" it from somewhere else ?

Stu Blue
08-24-2013, 12:23 PM
Scooped mids sit behind a singer very well. Tube Screamer type pedals put the mids back in when it's solo time. It's a great recipe.

:rimshot We have a winner.... A lot of TGP member don't seem to think about altering their sound to "showcase" their vocalist, etc. This forum is all about indulging you tonal preferences regardless....

...when i suggested standing in front of your amp at stage volume and singing to it without a mike (setting the tone controls so you could hear the "breathy presence and depth" in your voice)... well most folk here thought I was mad.....:nuts

EDIT Bassman and early Marshalls are better from that point of view though... I'm not a Blackface Twin fan. If you dail the bass way lower than the treble and the mids way up higher than both then any amp will give the singer a hard time... it just makes life easy for the guitarist at the expense of the group sound......

flatfinger
08-24-2013, 01:00 PM
Scooped mids sit behind a singer very well. Tube Screamer type pedals put the mids back in when it's solo time. It's a great recipe.

:agree
Congratulations!!!

You win the spectral traffic cop award !!:bow

:agree

teemuk
08-24-2013, 01:12 PM
I wonder if Gibson "borrowed" it from somewhere else ?

I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

Then again, Gibson at one point used a lot of those "notch T filters" (which is basically a mid-range notch filter) and the classic tonestack circuit is more or less derived from one. Many other amp makers also used the "Notch T" to implement a midrange control, and even today it's still used for the very same purpose in many amps.

But who invented and used this stuff first... I really don't know. Perhaps the stuff was simply introduced by some popular electronics magazines of those days.

Stu Blue
08-24-2013, 01:37 PM
My father (naval radar during WW2, BBC afterwards) had books of amp circuits provided by the valve manufacturers Mullard and Western Electric which they gave away to help people use and buy their valves.... and I seem to remember something about Leo "licensing stuff from Western Electric"..... people who really invent thing often get no credit for their efforts.

wgs1230
08-24-2013, 02:32 PM
and I seem to remember something about Leo "licensing stuff from Western Electric"..... people who really invent thing often get no credit for their efforts.

That's right- most of the tweed Fender circuits are derived from the Western Electric tube manual, though there were some obvious tweaks in the last-gen "narrow panel" models to take advantage of, e.g., bigger iron and the shiny new GZ34 rectifier.

For the OP: in terms of circuit design, one of the issues with modding the bf/sf circuit for thicker midrange content from the tone stack is increased probability of overdriving the reverb-send stage of the small & mid-sized combos. That definitely wasn't something the country/western swing market wanted, and Fender definitely catered to them in the FEIC days. With the exception of the 2x10 Vibroverb, of which I believe a whole dozen were made, that problem didn't exist before the bf amps.

teemuk
08-24-2013, 02:55 PM
That's right- most of the tweed Fender circuits are derived from the Western Electric tube manual

True.

Though it should not be overlooked that probably about 99% of all tube amps are also derived from those manuals since those manuals covered pretty much all fundamental circuitry in making a tube amp.

A&T and its subsidiaries, and subsidiaries of subsidiaries (e.g. Bell, Western Electric, etc.), also owned patents to just about all those fundamental circuits so it was pretty much mandatory to license their technology if you wanted to make amplifiers for commercial purposes.

wingwalker
08-24-2013, 03:02 PM
He started pulling down the midrange way before the blackface amps...

Narrow panel tweeds have less mids than wide panel and TV front stuff...browns and blondes have less mids than narrow panel tweeds and so on.

Midrange is loud and where the distortion lives..pull it back a bit and all the sudden your amp is cleaner and that is what most players wanted at the time.

xjojox
08-24-2013, 03:35 PM
Also important to remember that Gibson amps were designed for Gibson guitars, which had hotter pickups than Fenders. Typically P90's and later hummers. So they tended to have a bit less front end gain. And as noted before, the bulk of the market wanted clean headroom.

bluesjuke
08-24-2013, 06:03 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

Then again, Gibson at one point used a lot of those "notch T filters" (which is basically a mid-range notch filter) and the classic tonestack circuit is more or less derived from one. Many other amp makers also used the "Notch T" to implement a midrange control, and even today it's still used for the very same purpose in many amps.

But who invented and used this stuff first... I really don't know. Perhaps the stuff was simply introduced by some popular electronics magazines of those days.





RCA & Western Electric to name a couple.

They had many circuits available to the public.
The reasoning was to enhance the market for their products.




Oops just saw this had been posted earlier, I turned the page too soon!

27sauce
08-24-2013, 06:26 PM
I think it was to stay cleaner louder. Wasn't that Leo's goal with everything?

Onioner
08-24-2013, 06:31 PM
So Fender waited until the 60's to start using a tonestack they copied from the early 50's? :huh

What is strange or confusing about this idea?

335guy
08-24-2013, 07:16 PM
I think it was to stay cleaner louder. Wasn't that Leo's goal with everything?

Yeah, I believe I heard that Leo would talk with the C&W players around LA and listen to their comments about how his amps sounded. He was trying to achieve what was called a "hi-fi"( louder and cleaner ) sound back in that era.

In the interests of more clean headroom (volume before distortion) to please his country players, Fender moved to the brown and blond amps in 1960.

By 1963 Fender wanted more power, less distortion and less cost, so the amps changed to what is commonly known as "blackface" cosmetics. These amplifiers had a black Tolex covering, silver grille cloth, and black forward-facing control panel. By reducing the amount of midrange frequencies in the signal, Fender was able to increase volume without increasing distortion. This resulted in the classic Fender "sparkle"-a bright clean tone most beloved by Fender's favorite country players

Guinness Lad
08-24-2013, 10:42 PM
I thought he hated distortion and his crowning achievement was the Twin Reverb.

RJLII
08-25-2013, 07:12 AM
I think it was to stay cleaner louder. Wasn't that Leo's goal with everything?

That pretty much covers it. Here's an interview with Mark Baier of Victoria Amps where he offers some historical perspective.

0RlXl6GIUnk

mad dog
08-25-2013, 10:30 AM
Everybody borrowed. Jim Marshall borrowed the tweed bassman. I've heard that same GA-77 was the source of the Vox top boost. No need to reinvent the wheel. Adapt and adopt.
MD

vain_guitarist
08-25-2013, 10:47 AM
I found the comment about BF and reverb interesting.

Stu Blue
08-25-2013, 11:01 AM
Of course we are forgetting something of fundamental importance.... human hearing is very sensitive in the mids/high mids but surprisingly insensitive in the true bass and very high treble.... building an amp with all mids is like taking a wire brush to your girlfriends G spot.... boosting top and bottom is what you need to have equal sounding notes (for humans) particularly as you get quieter.....

Tone_Terrific
08-25-2013, 12:01 PM
Gibson looks like it was already heading the same way, but the values chosen and implementation, were different.
I don't know that it would sound the same as Fender's take on how an amp should sound.
GA-77 vs BF Fender...any users have an A/B report?

drbob1
08-25-2013, 01:52 PM
True.

Though it should not be overlooked that probably about 99% of all tube amps are also derived from those manuals since those manuals covered pretty much all fundamental circuitry in making a tube amp.

A&T and its subsidiaries, and subsidiaries of subsidiaries (e.g. Bell, Western Electric, etc.), also owned patents to just about all those fundamental circuits so it was pretty much mandatory to license their technology if you wanted to make amplifiers for commercial purposes.

I think there's a fundametnal misunderstanding of how things worked at the time showing here (and with other posts). Fender didn't truly "license" the schematics or ideas from WEstern Electric because they were freely put out into the marketplace-no cash or written agreement needed. So, everyone borrowed heavily and tweaked from there. And yes, historically the guys Fender listened to were country players, so louder and cleaner was the order of the day. Gibson amps were, I believe, originally heavily influenced by the Jazz guys, with more midrange perhaps, but much harder to get to overdrive even with humbuckers. I think the crowning achievement of the Gibson amps in the 50s and 60s was the stereo GA79RVT, which was a clean monster with reverb and tremolo!

It's kind of funny that the National amps are loved for their overdrive/distortion characteristics, which it would be easy to argue are the result of more primitive circuits and underspec'd parts that wouldn't tolerate a loud guitar like the better built Fender/Gibsons of the day!

blackba
08-25-2013, 07:07 PM
I found the comment about BF and reverb interesting.
Me too, pretty clear in the video which he prefers between blackface and tweed. I was surprised he didn't mention anything about the brown and blonde era amps.

matchless
08-25-2013, 07:14 PM
ask Dick Dale-he talked to Fender alot

Figaro
08-25-2013, 10:00 PM
What is strange or confusing about this idea?

I don't think it was a "Gibson" circuit that Fender copied.

335guy
08-25-2013, 10:15 PM
That pretty much covers it. Here's an interview with Mark Baier of Victoria Amps where he offers some historical perspective.

0RlXl6GIUnk

Mark makes a couple of not quite correct statements re: the tweed era cabinets and the black face era cabinets. 1st, he states the tweeds were plywood and the black faces were MDF. Well, this is wrong. In both eras, the cabinets were constructed of solid pine boards. I think he initially forgot to mention that he is specifically speaking about the baffle board ONLY, and not the rest of the cabinet.

He then goes on to say that the tweed era baffles were 5/16" plywood, which is correct. That is what they were and are. But he then states the black face era baffles boards were 3/4" MDF, but that is incorrect. The baffles were 1/2" particle board, at least in all the combos. Now, I'm not absolutely sure about the larger separate speaker cabs, like the Showman or the Bassman. MAYBE in the Showman when a JBL speaker was ordered and installed, Fender did use 3/4 material, but it was still particle board and not mdf.

It is a minor point, to be sure. And the point Mark is attempting to make about the baffle boards in tweed era amps being more resonant acoustically than the blackface era amps is certainly true.

teemuk
08-26-2013, 03:20 AM
He also fails to address the point that when Fender switched from tweed covered amps to tolex covered amps and relocated the control panel into the front the method to mount the baffle board was completely revised.

Tweed amp: Baffle board attached to cabinet from inside of the cab
Tolex amp: Baffle board attached to cleats from outside of the cab

jay42
08-26-2013, 01:24 PM
ask Dick Dale-he talked to Fender alotI think if you do that, Dick will tell you he alone was the reason. He'll probably also tell you that he invented desktop fusion and pants, but it takes all types.

killer blues
08-26-2013, 02:45 PM
The tonestack circuit (which in Fender amps solely introduces the mid range notch) was, AFAIK, pretty much copied from competitors' products (namely Gibson amps).

Gibson and Fender both used circuits developed by Western Electric Corp. These designs date back as far as the late '20's. So this is incorrect.

mmp31
11-28-2014, 02:17 AM
I find it interesting that people refer to the Blackface sound as "scooped". Yeah, it's cut 1-2dB around 600 Hz compared to the Tweed, but all you have to do is cut the treble and bass slightly.

When you do that, it actually ends up effectively boosting the 200-500 Hz range by 1-2dB compared to the rest of the midrange (something you can't do with the standard Fender tone controls). I prefer this because that's where the balls of the tone is. So I think calling it "scooped" is a misnomer; it's just a different voicing.

When I hear the term "scooped", I think of high gain metal guitar that has absolutely no mid-range or power tube overdrive.

dclxvi
11-28-2014, 03:03 AM
cause he knew how popular scooped midz was going to be for the brootz.

Vic Interceptor
11-28-2014, 04:47 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you.... I thought I was the only one that thought BF's were ANYTHING but "scooped" !!!! They are middy as hell!

gmann
11-28-2014, 06:31 AM
That's right- most of the tweed Fender circuits are derived from the Western Electric tube manual, though there were some obvious tweaks in the last-gen "narrow panel" models to take advantage of, e.g., bigger iron and the shiny new GZ34 rectifier.


This is what I've always heard. I imagine Gibson leaned heavily on this as well tho I'm not really familiar with their ckts.

corn husk bag
11-28-2014, 07:35 AM
Great thread, learning a few things! I went to Mark B's you tube channel, some great things there. Thanks all!

Kind Regards,
Steve

buddyboy69
11-28-2014, 08:36 AM
well gosh, i got a lemon then. my 67 bf bassman is very midrangey, i need an eq in front to scoop it when i need to.

rusty a.
11-28-2014, 09:51 AM
I think if you do that, Dick will tell you he alone was the reason. He'll probably also tell you that he invented desktop fusion and pants, but it takes all types.

glad i'm not the only one who got that impression from his interviews! hahahahahaha

smolder
11-28-2014, 10:24 AM
I think the goal of all of the original amp players... Fender, Gibson, Ampeg... Were to minimize distortion... For Fender that meant the mids had to be sacrificed. None of the owners were partial to anything rock and roll. Up in Chicago, Valco was trying to make amplifiers that were less expensive... That over saturated cheap amplification played a huge roll in the Chicago blues sound. Out west, Leo focused on Country (Bakersfeild) and later Surf. Gibson seemed a mess, seeing amps as an inconvenient necessity, with random engineering often either misdirected, following Fender, or with a happy accident gem. Everett just want to make great amps for jazz players.

billyguitar
11-28-2014, 11:56 AM
I believe Forest White said in his book that Leo was trying to make the speakers last longer so he scooped the mids. The speakers wouldn't be pushed as hard. It was pretty easy to blow speakers back the and it was a real warranty problem.

abnerfm
11-28-2014, 12:26 PM
the Brownfaces were cleaner than the Tweeds, the Blackfaces were cleaner than the Brownfaces, the SF's were cleaner than the BlackfacesNot in my experience. I have had both a blackface and silverface Band-Master at the same time, the silverface had MUCH LESS clean headroom

mtperry85
11-28-2014, 12:47 PM
Leo did it for the same reason all manufacturers update their product... to sell more amps by responding to customer demands.

Custom50
11-28-2014, 01:53 PM
Scooped mids sit behind a singer very well. Tube Screamer type pedals put the mids back in when it's solo time. It's a great recipe.

completely agree. It's a perfect path to toneland for rock and blues players.

Tiny Montgomery
11-28-2014, 04:10 PM
Not in my experience. I have had both a blackface and silverface Band-Master at the same time, the silverface had MUCH LESS clean headroom

That could have been due to any number of factors with those two particular amps.. Sf's are definitely cleaner, generally speaking, by design.

Custom50
11-28-2014, 04:36 PM
^especially as the 70's went on. Ultralinear designed brought massive power and headroom. 135 watt twin reverbs? DAMN!

gmann
11-28-2014, 09:23 PM
Not in my experience. I have had both a blackface and silverface Band-Master at the same time, the silverface had MUCH LESS clean headroom

That could have been due to any number of factors with those two particular amps.. Sf's are definitely cleaner, generally speaking, by design.

The stated goal of Fender's engineers after the CBS takeover was to fix those ckts so they wouldn't have distortion.

Speedy East
11-28-2014, 10:31 PM
The mid scoop at 500-600 hz wasn't 2 db. It was 15 db. That is a BIG scoop.

mmp31
11-28-2014, 11:11 PM
The mid scoop at 500-600 hz wasn't 2 db. It was 15 db. That is a BIG scoop.

I said 2dB compared to the Tweed.

What you're talking about is if the Bass and Treble are turned to 10. If you turn them all the way off, the BF tonestack output is basically flat.

Seegs
11-29-2014, 04:10 AM
Scooped mids sit behind a singer very well. Tube Screamer type pedals put the mids back in when it's solo time. It's a great recipe.

I am that singer and I love BF amps

Of course we are forgetting something of fundamental importance.... human hearing is very sensitive in the mids/high mids but surprisingly insensitive in the true bass and very high treble.... building an amp with all mids is like taking a wire brush to your girlfriends G spot.... boosting top and bottom is what you need to have equal sounding notes (for humans) particularly as you get quieter.....

I can't seem to get this picture/thought out of my mind...what was the topic of the OP?

kimock
11-29-2014, 06:30 AM
What you're talking about is if the Bass and Treble are turned to 10. If you turn them all the way off, the BF tonestack output is basically flat.

Yeah, it reminds me of the phono needle curve.
The high impedance pickup being basically midrange, the amp's EQ is the inverse.
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3, 8, 3, you're "flat" whatever that means. .
You boost high and low, cut midrange.

blues
11-29-2014, 06:38 AM
They scooped the mids to take advantage of the onset of "surf music." There was an article about it but I cant remember where it read it.

logdrum
11-29-2014, 08:25 AM
Ibanez socially engineered Fender designers so that Tubescreamers would have a bigger market -- says my conspiracy theory self.

kiki_90291
11-29-2014, 09:27 AM
Check out this tool - it's a tonestack simulator that let's you see how the tonestack for various popular configurations work: http://www.duncanamps.com/tsc/ I haven't played with it for a while, but it's illuminating.

djdrdave
11-29-2014, 09:42 AM
Very interesting thread

Stu Blue
11-29-2014, 12:05 PM
I can't seem to get this picture/thought out of my mind...what was the topic of the OP?

(See Post 53 above) My apologies to Mr Seegs for disturbing his intellectual tranquility..... http://img.thegearpage.net/board/images/icons/icon7.gif

Trebor Renkluaf
11-29-2014, 12:11 PM
He wasn't trying to scoop the mids, he was searching for the elusive "haunting mids".

bob-i
11-29-2014, 12:34 PM
I believe ther was another reason. The speakers in the 50s and 60s tended to be lacking in lows and highs so the easiest way to balance out the tone was to scoop the mids. Stereo equipment would have a loudness control, which boosted the lows and highs about 3Db. It was intended to be used at low volumes.

Because of these speakers we'd typically see PAs with the EQ set like a smile, boosted lows and high, cut mids. This corrected the lack of lows and highs in the speakers of the era, but I still see guys using this EQ curve. With today's speakers this sounds like ass.

Tone_Terrific
11-29-2014, 12:55 PM
The scoop sounds good and works well with guitar pups, speakers, maintains amp power (to a point) works well in a stage mix.
Furthermore, many of those amps did have mid controls, too.
I don't see a vast mystery here.

Stu Blue
11-29-2014, 02:08 PM
Yeah, it reminds me of the phono needle curve.
The high impedance pickup being basically midrange, the amp's EQ is the inverse.
.

Ah, the good old days...phono curves....people forget how many corrections and limitations the old way of doing things required. With tape, you had to limit the amount of bass recorded because it "magnetically printed though" onto adjacent winds. Then the cutting machines had to limit the amount of treble (cymbals!) because it could "break through the grooves"/distort.

In '60s UK, 100,000 copies of the first Beatles Album had to junked/returned because Ringo had laid into the cymbals on the first track and someone forgot to put the treble limiter in ( it was a heavy little box you plugged in to the amp on the cutting machine)... more haste less speed.

With digital, in principal you could have an exact clone of the Master Mix, top and bottom intact. Regretably the industry "cheaped out" with 16 bit and 44MHz, instead of the 32 bits and 128MHz that would have (almost) equaled 45/LP quality.....

CORRECTION For MHz read kHz Sorry.....sloppy typing and poor proof reading.

DRS
11-29-2014, 02:40 PM
Couple of things and I am probably addressing old posts from more than a year ago.

Manufacturers didn't have to pay a license to Western Electric, etc. for using their various circuits, W.E. gave that stuff away so manufacturers and hence customers would use their tubes. They were in the tube business, not the circuit design business. Tubes were in everything amplified and had a finite life span. Really the first "open source."

Second, as mentioned before, Leo and team were simply trying to make music louder for live performance before the age of the decent PA. Leo became an adult before amplified live music even existed. So he was there in the for front as guitars and other instruments got louder and louder. As others have said, he didn't scoop mids, he just made loud music louder without distortion. The whole distortion, grind, overdrive began as a combination of rebellion and accidental misuse of equipment, not planning or research. I doubt if Leo designed with the needs of the studio and recording technology in mind, either. He knew they would figure it all out as they always did.

We seem to be coming full circle as the whole Steel String Singer thing is taking off with boutique builders. Heck of lot easier to shape a clean tone than to clean up a dirtier tone. Plus more and more people are realizing how a little dirt goes a long way. Leo new what was up, after all.

57TweedTwin
11-29-2014, 02:54 PM
Hey gldtp99, that was a beautiful melody. Your style and tone are just right. I can tell you spend lots of time on that guitar. Great vid. Post more.

kiki_90291
11-29-2014, 03:37 PM
Also, traditional passive pickups are very midrangey - try playing an electric, especially one with vintage pickups, through a truly flat amp (maxing the mids and turning bass and trevble to 0 on a Fender will get you close) - it will sound very midrangey to the point of being muddy. Scooping the tonestack makes sense if you are trying to get a more balanced response from the guitar signal.

mmp31
11-29-2014, 06:31 PM
I believe ther was another reason. The speakers in the 50s and 60s tended to be lacking in lows and highs so the easiest way to balance out the tone was to scoop the mids. Stereo equipment would have a loudness control, which boosted the lows and highs about 3Db. It was intended to be used at low volumes.

Because of these speakers we'd typically see PAs with the EQ set like a smile, boosted lows and high, cut mids. This corrected the lack of lows and highs in the speakers of the era, but I still see guys using this EQ curve. With today's speakers this sounds like ass.

I don't think that's the reason why. The Oxford speakers aren't really voiced any differently than modern Celestion speakers. And the Jensen speakers are still pretty much the same today as they were in the 50s aren't they?

mmp31
11-29-2014, 06:37 PM
Ah, the good old days...phono curves....people forget how many corrections and limitations the old way of doing things required. With tape, you had to limit the amount of bass recorded because it "magnetically printed though" onto adjacent winds. Then the cutting machines had to limit the amount of treble (cymbals!) because it could "break through the grooves"/distort.

In '60s UK, 100,000 copies of the first Beatles Album had to junked/returned because Ringo had laid into the cymbals on the first track and someone forgot to put the treble limiter in ( it was a heavy little box you plugged in to the amp on the cutting machine)... more haste less speed.

With digital, in principal you could have an exact clone of the Master Mix, top and bottom intact. Regretably the industry "cheaped out" with 16 bit and 44MHz, instead of the 32 bits and 128MHz that would have (almost) equaled 45/LP quality.....

What? Vinyl records and playback have inherent limitations to them...not only the EQ compromises you listed, but surface noise, channel crosstalk, inner-grove distortion, and the signal to noise ratio is at least 20 dB lower than CDs. All of those go away when you go to 44.1/16 digital. 32/192k is useful when working in the studio but there's no reason for the finalized master to not be downconverted to 44.1/16 if it's not going to be further manipulated.

mmp31
11-29-2014, 06:49 PM
Couple of things and I am probably addressing old posts from more than a year ago.

Manufacturers didn't have to pay a license to Western Electric, etc. for using their various circuits, W.E. gave that stuff away so manufacturers and hence customers would use their tubes. They were in the tube business, not the circuit design business. Tubes were in everything amplified and had a finite life span. Really the first "open source."

Second, as mentioned before, Leo and team were simply trying to make music louder for live performance before the age of the decent PA. Leo became an adult before amplified live music even existed. So he was there in the for front as guitars and other instruments got louder and louder. As others have said, he didn't scoop mids, he just made loud music louder without distortion. The whole distortion, grind, overdrive began as a combination of rebellion and accidental misuse of equipment, not planning or research. I doubt if Leo designed with the needs of the studio and recording technology in mind, either. He knew they would figure it all out as they always did.

We seem to be coming full circle as the whole Steel String Singer thing is taking off with boutique builders. Heck of lot easier to shape a clean tone than to clean up a dirtier tone. Plus more and more people are realizing how a little dirt goes a long way. Leo new what was up, after all.

The BF Twin Reverb was Leo's crowning achievement. It was the amp he was always trying to build, but he was too far ahead of his time because the technology just wasn't there to make an amp that powerful when he started out. It's not my preferred BF amp because I like a few dB less headroom, but I appreciate it for what it is.

It speaks volumes that 60 years later, guitarists are still going after those old amps, and why almost every tube guitar amp today is an evolved twist on the old Fender circuits. Since Leo didn't even play a musical instrument, I'm not sure he even comprehended just how much he nailed it.

SBax
11-30-2014, 10:59 AM
...
With digital, in principal you could have an exact clone of the Master Mix, top and bottom intact. Regretably the industry "cheaped out" with 16 bit and 44MHz, instead of the 32 bits and 128MHz that would have (almost) equaled 45/LP quality.....

MHz? :rotflmao

slider313
11-30-2014, 01:53 PM
One word........cut. Scooping the mids allowed the amp to cut through more.

ELmiguel
11-30-2014, 02:11 PM
One word........cut. Scooping the mids allowed the amp to cut through more.

Amps weren't being mic'd through the PA's in the 60's. So projection and clarity were important for bands playing to large audiences. There were always Twin Reverbs on stage back then.

Stu Blue
11-30-2014, 03:07 PM
MHz? :rotflmao

I don't know how that M crept in there. If you're are going to be wrong you might as go really big. (Should have been KHz of course.) K and M next to each other on the keyboard. Sloppy proof reading too.

EDIT The point was that the standard CD only samples twice a second at 20KHZ...... built in lack of detail.

kimock
11-30-2014, 04:48 PM
I don't think that's the reason why. The Oxford speakers aren't really voiced any differently than modern Celestion speakers. And the Jensen speakers are still pretty much the same today as they were in the 50s aren't they?

Nothing is really the same as the 50's, different alloys, material sources, manufacturing environmental regulations, blah, blah, blah.

Biggest diff between the new and old speakers, to the extent that you can find anything in original condition is the paper.
They used to use hardwood pulp, now it's all softwood, so the old Jensen's had a
little more clarity and transparency right off the cone.
You can "hear cone".
Grab any pair of dissimilar speakers and talk, shout, sing, right into the cones.
You'll hear the sound of your own voice reflected off the paper, and whatever "signature EQ" the diff amounts to will show up when you play through them.
It's in the nature of the material.
Most noticeable comparing hemp cones to new or old paper cones, and of course you can just tap the cones and listen to the pitch too, but hearing your own voice bouncing off those different materials is kinda fun.

kiki_90291
11-30-2014, 04:55 PM
I don't know how that M crept in there. If you're are going to be wrong you might as go really big. (Should have been KHz of course.) K and M next to each other on the keyboard. Sloppy proof reading too.

EDIT The point was that the standard CD only samples twice a second at 20KHZ...... built in lack of detail.

Not sure where you are getting the twice a second part - KHz means kilohertz - a device sampling at 20khz is taking 20,000 samples per second. Audio is sampled (nowadays) at 44 khz because the sample rate needs to be twice as high as the highest frequency you want to sample (since the human ear tops out at around 20khz, we sample at 44kz).

Jeff Scott
11-30-2014, 06:20 PM
...we sample at 44kz).

That would be 44,000 Ohms, right? ;)

Speedy East
11-30-2014, 06:26 PM
I said 2dB compared to the Tweed.

What you're talking about is if the Bass and Treble are turned to 10. If you turn them all the way off, the BF tonestack output is basically flat.

No. With the black face tone stack at 5, 5, 5, there is a 15 db notch at 500 hz. This is measurable AND you can simulate it with Duncan's tone stack. You are correct though--at a setting of 0.5, 9, 0.5 (essentially what you said)--you get a very flat response. Not many people try this. However, the great jazz guitarist, Grant Green used virtually this exact setting.

rusty a.
11-30-2014, 06:39 PM
No. With the black face tone stack at 5, 5, 5, there is a 15 db notch at 500 hz. This is measurable AND you can simulate it with Duncan's tone stack. You are correct though--at a setting of 0.5, 9, 0.5 (essentially what you said)--you get a very flat response. Not many people try this. However, the great jazz guitarist, Grant Green used virtually this exact setting.

0.5...so is that 1.5 on a fender knob...? :stir

Tone_Terrific
11-30-2014, 06:55 PM
Even if you can find a technically near flat setting for the tonestack there is still eq/voicing in other parts of the amp circuit.

Stu Blue
11-30-2014, 08:40 PM
What? Vinyl records and playback have inherent limitations to them...not only the EQ compromises you listed, but surface noise, channel crosstalk, inner-grove distortion, and the signal to noise ratio is at least 20 dB lower than CDs. All of those go away when you go to 44.1/16 digital. 32/192k is useful when working in the studio but there's no reason for the finalized master to not be downconverted to 44.1/16 if it's not going to be further manipulated.

Most of that is true, except that back when Sony bought a huge part of the record industry, they realized that all the magnetic tape masters they had paid big bucks for were loosing their magnetic signal year by year, so they decided to remaster it all digitally.

After much expensive research they found that that you needed at least 32bit/192kHz to be indistinguishable from analog. 16bit44khz was too low a sampling rate and was audibly inferior to analog. they used top studio engineers and test gear.... not internet forums... :Devil.

mmp31
11-30-2014, 09:18 PM
No. With the black face tone stack at 5, 5, 5, there is a 15 db notch at 500 hz. This is measurable AND you can simulate it with Duncan's tone stack. You are correct though--at a setting of 0.5, 9, 0.5 (essentially what you said)--you get a very flat response. Not many people try this. However, the great jazz guitarist, Grant Green used virtually this exact setting.

I've never seen a blackface amp that has a midrange tone control, so how can the tone stack be "5, 5, 5" or "0.5, 9, 0.5"?

mmp31
11-30-2014, 09:22 PM
Even if you can find a technically near flat setting for the tonestack there is still eq/voicing in other parts of the amp circuit.

That's true. I'd love to see some frequency response sweeps between the tonestack output and the speaker taps. I'm surprised that nobody has done that and posted the results on the internet.

Stu Blue
11-30-2014, 09:23 PM
I've never seen a blackface amp that has a midrange tone control, so how can the tone stack be "5, 5, 5" or "0.5, 9, 0.5"?

Er B/F Twin, Dual Showman, Pro reverb, etc..................

kiki_90291
11-30-2014, 09:24 PM
I've never seen a blackface amp that has a midrange tone control, so how can the tone stack be "5, 5, 5" or "0.5, 9, 0.5"?

The Twin has Bass, Middle and Treble controls. Not sure what other models do.

Speedy East
11-30-2014, 09:25 PM
I've never seen a blackface amp that has a midrange tone control, so how can the tone stack be "5, 5, 5" or "0.5, 9, 0.5"?

Showman, Twin Reverb, Super Reverb, etc. It is called "Middle" and is on Channel Two.

0.5 is between 0 and 1.

mmp31
11-30-2014, 09:25 PM
After much expensive research they found that that you needed at least 32bit/192kHz to be indistinguishable from analog. 16bit44khz was too low a sampling rate and was audibly inferior to analog.

Do you have a source for this claim?

Stu Blue
11-30-2014, 10:44 PM
Do you have a source for this claim?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Music_Entertainment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording


Details of Sony's experiments for digital archiving master tapes were in all the HiFi magazines at the time. Google didn't dig any up for me...but i'm 69 and internet searches are more for folks younger than me :Devil

Nearest I could find was below Wikipedia

Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio

The Super Audio CD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD) (SACD) format was created by Sony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony) and Philips (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philips), who were also the developers of the earlier standard audio CD format. SACD uses Direct Stream Digital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Stream_Digital) (DSD), which works quite differently from the PCM format discussed in this article. Instead of using a greater number of bits and attempting to record a signal's precise amplitude for every sample cycle, a DSD recorder uses a technique called sigma-delta modulation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-sigma_modulation). Using this technique, the audio data is stored as a sequence of fixed amplitude (i.e. 1- bit) values at a sample rate of 2.884 MHz, which is 64 times the 44.1 kHz sample rate used by CD. At any point in time, the amplitude of the original analog signal is represented by the relative preponderance of 1's over 0's in the data stream. This digital data stream can therefore be converted to analog by the simple expedient of passing it through a relatively benign analog low-pass filter. The competing DVD-Audio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-Audio) format uses standard, linear PCM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_pulse_code_modulation) at variable sampling rates and bit depths, which at the very least match and usually greatly surpass those of a standard CD Audio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD_Audio) (16 bits, 44.1 kHz).
In the popular Hi-Fi press, it had been suggested that linear PCM "creates [a] stress reaction in people", and that DSD "is the only digital recording system that does not [...] have these effects" (Hawksford 2001). This claim appears to originate from a 1980 article by Dr John Diamond (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Diamond_%28doctor%29) entitled Human Stress Provoked by Digitalized Recordings.[18] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-21) The core of the claim that PCM (the only digital recording technique available at the time) recordings created a stress reaction rested on "tests" carried out using the pseudoscientific technique of applied kinesiology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applied_kinesiology), for example by Dr Diamond at an AES (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Engineering_Society) 66th Convention (1980) presentation with the same title.[19] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-22) Diamond had previously used a similar technique to demonstrate that rock music (as opposed to classical) was bad for your health due to the presence of the "stopped anapestic beat".[20] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-23) Dr Diamond's claims regarding digital audio were taken up by Mark Levinson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Levinson), who asserted that while PCM recordings resulted in a stress reaction, DSD recordings did not.[21] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-24)[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-25)[23] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-26) A double-blind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-blind) subjective test between high resolution linear PCM (DVD-Audio) and DSD did not reveal a statistically significant difference.[24] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-27) Listeners involved in this test noted their great difficulty in hearing any difference between the two formats.

kiki_90291
12-01-2014, 12:07 AM
The article you are citing seems to say that testing showed no difference between the tested formats.

Che_Guitarra
12-01-2014, 12:23 AM
Maybe i'm missing something here, but what have digital sample rates got to do with Fender amps from the 1960s?

bloomz
12-01-2014, 12:26 AM
So why doesn't a Deluxe Reverb have a mid control?

Somewhere I read "because it doesn't need it" but that answer is just a bit too simplistic.

ahhh, some searching turned up this - right here on TGP - and I think I can buy this

Because you can control the amount of mids by controlling the ratio of treble and bass, and by changing volume settings.

kimock
12-01-2014, 12:31 AM
Maybe i'm missing something here, but what have digital sample rates got to do with Fender amps from the 1960s?

Electrolytes?

dewey decibel
12-01-2014, 12:50 AM
Er B/F Twin, Dual Showman, Pro reverb, etc..................

Not the Pro till the SF era...

DRS
12-01-2014, 01:10 AM
So why doesn't a Deluxe Reverb have a mid control?

Somewhere I read "because it doesn't need it" but that answer is just a bit too simplistic.

ahhh, some searching turned up this - right here on TGP - and I think I can buy this
Also, the amp we revere so much was still considered a bit of intermediate amp back then. Not a full pro unit.

Seegs
12-01-2014, 01:17 AM
So why doesn't a Deluxe Reverb have a mid control?

Somewhere I read "because it doesn't need it" but that answer is just a bit too simplistic.

ahhh, some searching turned up this - right here on TGP - and I think I can buy this

My 64 Deluxe had a fixed 6.8K mid resistor soldered over the volume pot IIRC...I removed it and installed a mid control (can't remember if it was a 10/25K pot) in the ext. speaker output...a great mod which is easy to do and reversible...

mmp31
12-01-2014, 02:13 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Music_Entertainment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording


Details of Sony's experiments for digital archiving master tapes were in all the HiFi magazines at the time. Google didn't dig any up for me...but i'm 69 and internet searches are more for folks younger than me :Devil

Nearest I could find was below Wikipedia

Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio

The Super Audio CD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD) (SACD) format was created by Sony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony) and Philips (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philips), who were also the developers of the earlier standard audio CD format. SACD uses Direct Stream Digital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Stream_Digital) (DSD), which works quite differently from the PCM format discussed in this article. Instead of using a greater number of bits and attempting to record a signal's precise amplitude for every sample cycle, a DSD recorder uses a technique called sigma-delta modulation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-sigma_modulation). Using this technique, the audio data is stored as a sequence of fixed amplitude (i.e. 1- bit) values at a sample rate of 2.884 MHz, which is 64 times the 44.1 kHz sample rate used by CD. At any point in time, the amplitude of the original analog signal is represented by the relative preponderance of 1's over 0's in the data stream. This digital data stream can therefore be converted to analog by the simple expedient of passing it through a relatively benign analog low-pass filter. The competing DVD-Audio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-Audio) format uses standard, linear PCM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_pulse_code_modulation) at variable sampling rates and bit depths, which at the very least match and usually greatly surpass those of a standard CD Audio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD_Audio) (16 bits, 44.1 kHz).
In the popular Hi-Fi press, it had been suggested that linear PCM "creates [a] stress reaction in people", and that DSD "is the only digital recording system that does not [...] have these effects" (Hawksford 2001). This claim appears to originate from a 1980 article by Dr John Diamond (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Diamond_%28doctor%29) entitled Human Stress Provoked by Digitalized Recordings.[18] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-21) The core of the claim that PCM (the only digital recording technique available at the time) recordings created a stress reaction rested on "tests" carried out using the pseudoscientific technique of applied kinesiology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applied_kinesiology), for example by Dr Diamond at an AES (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Engineering_Society) 66th Convention (1980) presentation with the same title.[19] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-22) Diamond had previously used a similar technique to demonstrate that rock music (as opposed to classical) was bad for your health due to the presence of the "stopped anapestic beat".[20] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-23) Dr Diamond's claims regarding digital audio were taken up by Mark Levinson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Levinson), who asserted that while PCM recordings resulted in a stress reaction, DSD recordings did not.[21] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-24)[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-25)[23] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-26) A double-blind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-blind) subjective test between high resolution linear PCM (DVD-Audio) and DSD did not reveal a statistically significant difference.[24] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording#cite_no te-27) Listeners involved in this test noted their great difficulty in hearing any difference between the two formats.

Your source does not support your claim.

Jeff Scott
12-01-2014, 08:05 PM
My 64 Deluxe had a fixed 6.8K mid resistor soldered over the volume pot IIRC...

Bass pot. :)

bob-i
12-01-2014, 08:54 PM
I don't think that's the reason why. The Oxford speakers aren't really voiced any differently than modern Celestion speakers. And the Jensen speakers are still pretty much the same today as they were in the 50s aren't they?

Agreed...

The goal of Fender (I think) was to flatten out the sound that reached the listeners ears. He was well known for trying to make guitar amps as hifi as possible.

We, as guitarists have embraced this mid focused tone and distortion. Just plug a guitar direct into a stereo and listen to the full range sound, sounds like ass.

Stu Blue
12-02-2014, 10:54 AM
Your source does not support your claim.
That Sony developed better digital standards than standard CDs proves that it didn't match analog. Perhaps if you read what I wrote... oh but this is the internet, kids know more about history than those of us who were there at the time. Believe what you want, I don't care. BTW I wrote for those Music and HIFI Mags at the time so if your find an old article about Sony's 32bit standard I may well have written it.

mmp31
12-02-2014, 02:58 PM
That Sony developed better digital standards than standard CDs proves that it didn't match analog. Perhaps if you read what I wrote...

I did read what you wrote. It doesn't prove anything because a digital signal will never truly match analog, which is why your claim that 32/192 is indistinguishable from analog is false.

oh but this is the internet, kids know more about history than those of us who were there at the time.

What makes you think I'm a kid and wasn't there at the time?

Believe what you want, I don't care.

My belief is irrelevant to the fact that you're wrong about 32/192 being indistinguishable from analog, and that you haven't provided a source to back up your claim that 16/44.1 is audibly inferior to analog.

BTW I wrote for those Music and HIFI Mags at the time so if your find an old article about Sony's 32bit standard I may well have written it.

Cool. I have 9 Ph.D's from Harvard...remember, this is the Internet. You can be anything you want to be!