Why did Leo Fender start scooping mids with the blackface era?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Che_Guitarra, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Member

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    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?
     
  2. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    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:

     
  3. teemuk

    teemuk Member

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    The tonestack circuit (which in Fender amps solely introduces the mid range notch) was, AFAIK, pretty much copied from competitors' products (namely Gibson amps).
     
  4. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    I've never heard that before.
     
  5. guitarrhinoceros

    guitarrhinoceros Member

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

    teemuk Member

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    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.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    So Fender waited until the 60's to start using a tonestack they copied from the early 50's? :huh
     
  8. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  9. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    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 ?
     
  10. Stu Blue

    Stu Blue Member

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    :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......
     
  11. flatfinger

    flatfinger Supporting Member

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    :agree
    Congratulations!!!

    You win the spectral traffic cop award !!:bow

    :agree
     
  12. teemuk

    teemuk Member

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    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.
     
  13. Stu Blue

    Stu Blue Member

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    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.
     
  14. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  15. teemuk

    teemuk Member

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    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.
     
  16. wingwalker

    wingwalker Fuzzy Guitars Silver Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  17. xjojox

    xjojox Gold Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  18. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder Gold Supporting Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  19. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

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    I think it was to stay cleaner louder. Wasn't that Leo's goal with everything?
     
  20. Onioner

    Onioner Member

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    What is strange or confusing about this idea?
     

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