1962 bluesbreaker owners!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by what?, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. what?

    what? Member

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    I've got the 1962 bluesbreaker and thought it's amazing when I'm playing alone, but with my band, it just sounds so thin and the sound is not cutting through even on very loud volume level, individual notes doesnt come clear and with distortion/overdrive this thing farts!!!is it the open back design that causes this?

    My guitars are godin ST-IV a H-S-S high output pickups and a fender 60's mexico with GFS texas pickups....with the godin, it sounds too muddy and with the fender it sounds too thin?????do I have to lift the amp?or get the amp tilter thingy???what should I do?

    Is modding the power tube to 6V6 like the original bluesbreaker a good thing?is that the 6V6 or something else?I cant remember..
     
  2. what?

    what? Member

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    ooops KT66 is it?
     
  3. cnardone

    cnardone Member

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    Is this a re-issue? What speakers are in it? If it is a re-issue, I've heard the mods to make it closer to original can do wonders for the amp. It will be serveral hundred dollars though. Is it worth it? Only you know how much you want to spend.
     
  4. what?

    what? Member

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    Yes it is the reissue, I've never heard of the original but if it does loud clean and sweet tight break ups then it's what I want...I've read many articles on modding it back to the original spec, but I dont think I'd be spending several hundreds on changing caps and stuff, the most I'd do is probably change the power tubes....and maybe the speakers as well....it has got two grennbacks in it, 25 watters.....

    anyone know if I change the tubes to KT66 would it be louder and thicker?
     
  5. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    Is your cabinet the smaller "reissue" size in depth (9" I think), or does it have the deeper cab (11.5"-12")? I had a custom cab builder make me one to original style-2 dimensions.

    As far as loud clean on-the-edge-of-breakup, that isn't this amp. The design puts out around 33 watts, and it's best known as the Beano amp. It has an amazing overdriven character.

    Things you can do to make it sound better:

    If more headroom before breakup is desired, try a lower output preamp tube in the first position, like a 12AT7.
    KT-66's are the English equivalent of a 6L6/5881. You have 5881's in there right now I assume (if it's stock). You could try a NOS pair of 5881's, or have it set up for KT-66's. KT-66's have a unique OD characteristic too, but they aren't known as a big headroom tube.
    Try a Mercury Magnetics output transformer, that is a significant tonal upgrade. Also, try different speakers. I don't mind the Greenbacks, but have had great results with alnico Celestions, WeberVST, ceramic Celestions like G12H (30-watt bass cone Greenbacks), etc...

    It's really up to you. If louder headroom is the idea, you might want a different amp altogether. You could always mount a 100-watt chassis in a combo... :)
     
  6. ccoker

    ccoker Supporting Member

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    how old are the poweramp tubes?
     
  7. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    The farting is probably the Greenbacks getting pushed too hard in a open back cab. Weber C1230's sound awesome in these amps. Opens up the tone and gives it a nice crunch. You lose a lot of the woodiness that the Greenbacks have though, which is something I miss. Lowering the filtering and or trying a solid state rectifier can help tighten up the amp's low end. KT66's have a creamier breakup with a softer attack and more mids than 6L6's.
     
  8. aaronbarnes

    aaronbarnes Member

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    I totally dig mine. I've got the shallow cab.

    I have'nt changed any components yet, but am itching to swap the caps out to SOZO's sometime early next year.

    I'm running JJ 6L6's, GZ34 and GrooveTube Mullard RI pre's.

    I know what you mean about the farting thing. Mine did that. I got mine off the 'bay and it came with vintage30's which did'nt sound too bad but had a high midrange emphasis that I could'nt get rid of. I've read several posts of others having the same experience with vintage 30's in anything Marshall.

    I put in some Hellatone 30's (relabeled celestion g12h30) and that was the single biggest thing to improve the sound. HUGE difference and no more farting. :AOK
     
  9. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

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    Okay, do the following 3 things, and you'll thank me later:

    1. Change output tubes to KT66's, I prefer the Groove Tube KT66HP's, others like Sino's.

    2. Change the filter caps to 32x32 on the power amp side, and 16x16 on the preamp side

    3. Use the Impedance selector one setting higher than the impedance of the speaker(s) or speaker cab. For example use 16 ohms if running through an 8 ohm cab, 8 ohm for 4 ohm cab. DO NOT go greater than ONE mismatch setting higher. This mod is very helpful and allows the amp to be more "wide open" sounding.

    Go to www.raw-sewage.net for other mods and ideas, but these 3 are the ones that helped me the most. JJ preamp tubes sound really good in this amp too.

    I owned a JTM45 head for about 3 years and it was a glorious sound, especially when I mated it with an old 1960's 2x12 Vox cab with original Bulldogs. WOW that was tone!!!
     
  10. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    Agree with an above post, the current production KT-66's don't have a very robust life in an amp driven hard. I constantly make sure my amp is biased right, and have a couple sets of Valve Arts matched pairs ready to go.

    I use a NOS Mullard GZ-34 in mine to make sure the rectifier is working right. I do (although some say it shouldn't be the case) hear a difference between this and current production GZ-34's.

    I currently have two Weber alnico Blue Dogs (30-watt/light dope), and a slightly larger upper backpanel, to tighten up things just a bit. I love this tone, it compresses more than the previous combo, an older Celestion G12m-75 Greenback paired with a Weber G1230-55. I loved this combo, nice tight bass, but I wanted to put them back into my 4-12 and the Blues were gathering dust.

    Maybe the most important issue with these amps in regards to farting bass, mush, etc when turning up: turn the bass down. I run my amp into the bright channel top left input, with presence at 6.5, bass at NO MORE than 2, mid at 7.5/8, and treble at 6-7. Volume up full. Sounds amazing with single coils or humbuckers. Angus-meets-Billy Gibbons, with a little James Gang for good measure.
     
  11. Big Al Z

    Big Al Z Supporting Member

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    I had a RI and got rid of it for similar reasons. I was going to do the simpler things like get a deeper cab, different speakers and retube it - but with doing that I'd have almost more into it than I initially paid for it. As much as I would have liked to try a few things (as stated by others) before getting rid of it - I was better off looking for a different amp that was closer to what I wanted.

    See if you can find a different set of speakers/cabs to try the amp in before you make a decision. Might save some time and $$.
     
  12. what?

    what? Member

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    Thanks forthe reply guys, I think I'm gonna go with just the speaker change and tubes upgrade. I like the 6L6 cause they have some qualities like fender amps...I might get a closed cab 2x12 to put my greenbacks in and put a couple of weber alnico blues in my bluesbreaker. Is this a good idea?I dont want any speakers laying around in my house :)...

    I never run the bass more than two...even at two with volume quite high the bass is too much...the cab was shattering and all my picks that I put on top of it were dancing :)
     
  13. RichSZ

    RichSZ Member

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    Yes, I have to agree with this 100% especially #3. It took me a while to understand this and try it, but it makes a noticable difference (for the better!).

    For KT66's check out the Valve Arts. Really nice sounding.

    I also spoiled myself by trying (2) Celestion Blues is parallel. OMG, what a sweet sound!

    -Rich
     
  14. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    I'll make the unpopular suggestion - why don't you just get a new amp? It sounds like it's not for you. Most of us have had an amp that didn't quite do what we wanted. Then we put a bunch of money into changing it. Then we still didn't like it. Then we sold it.

    You can probably buy a JCM 800 combo for the same amount of money you will put into upgrading an amp that you won't want anyway.
     
  15. radialaced

    radialaced Member

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    Mine has the thin cab, celest blues and I never use single coils with it, and I don't have any problems with tone.:AOK

    [​IMG]
     
  16. 908SSP

    908SSP Supporting Member

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    Yes I spoiled myself C. Blues for speakers, GEC KT66, and Mullard for all the rest. Still I will probably try some of the other tweaks sooner or later. I can't afford the real thing now that they are bringing over 10k so this is as close as it gets for me. The upper registers are so sweat it makes up for a little looseness in the base. :BOUNCE
     
  17. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

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    how much are these things going for used anyway? Kinda been lookin' again for one. But maybe I'll just get a head, they're quite a bit lighter. I just miss that FAT, FAT Marshall JTM45 tone. Nothing like coming home from a hard day at work and CRANKING THE PISS out of a Marshall with a fine Les Paul. WAHOO!!!
     
  18. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    >I might get a closed cab 2x12 to put my greenbacks in and put a couple of >weber alnico blues in my bluesbreaker.

    You'll save some money and end up with tighter bass response if you go with the ceramic 50w Weber Blue Dogs instead. A great speaker, and dumping those greenbacks is your best bet to solving the mix problem.

    Also, if clean headroom is your goal, DON'T change the power tubes to a KT-66 type. What you want is a 7581A type, arguably the most efficient 6L6 iteration ever made, and the Tesla/JJ 6L6-GC is a fairly close cousin.
     
  19. Sudsysul

    Sudsysul Member

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    I'll jump in too.. I recently got a JTM45 Head, changed some preamp and rectifier tubes and left the Sovtek 5881's in place. I love the sound of this amp through my 2X12 bottoms and have played through it endlessly at home, but when I played out one time with it, I was lost in the mix and very uncomfortable with the same sound that I love at home, so I went right back to using my JMP50 Head. I'll try it again some time when I'm in a smaller venue, but for now it's the trusty old Marshall 50 watter.

    The first thing you could do is go to a large magnet Celestion like the G12H or V30. They will greatly increase the volume output vs. the Greenbacks.. believe me I've got all of these speakers and the greenies are the solution when you want less output. Personally I love the combination of H30/V30, but that said, I sort of agree with Sundaypunch that you could spend a lot of money and you're not going to address the real issue that you face, and that's probably that you need a more powerful amp.
     
  20. co-intelpro

    co-intelpro Member

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    I did the NOS Phillips 7581A power tube replacment on mine and it made a world of difference. They actually made the amp louder.. The stock 6L6's are garbage. I had my tech bias the 7581A's a little more on the hotter side. It warmed the amp up quite a bit...

    I am thinking of getting the board replaced with a hand-wired one with upgraded components. Perhaps I might get the Output tranny replaced, but that sounds like too much $$$ to me.

    BTW, the Bluesbreaker now sounds great recorded...
     

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