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1976 Silverface Deluxe Reverb: cure for 'flubby' bass response from speaker?

Jimcord1

Member
Messages
73
Short of the obvious, replacing the speaker all together, are there any tips/tricks to tighten things up on the low end frequencies? I've tried eq'ing, using GE7, Sonic Maximizer, diff guitar/pickup combos, all of which help to a certain degree, but when it's full on cranked, it's not pretty on the bass side of things (anything on E and/or A strings) and dirt pedals etc. only serve to exacerbate the situation.
The amp is primarily stock, so I'm not in a big hurry to change that.
I'd even considered re-coning, if that would make any difference, my gut is telling me that if that's simply the nature of the speaker to begin with, a recone wouldn't help improve anything.
If I had to end up replacing it, I have a late 50's Jensen P12Q that's not being used for anything at the moment that I could try throwing in there vs. buying something. I've read/heard those can get 'brittle' and lean towards the ice pick-y side of things, depending on the specific speaker itself.
If all else fails, I really like several of the Weber and Jensen offerings, as well as WGS and some Eminence. But that's also why I'm trying to avoid buying new- I have a TERRIBLE time deciding on such subjective things like that, I'd almost prefer to describe the tone I want, and have someone else just put something in they feel fits my description.
I may be indenial, just delaying the inevitable, but figured who knows? There might be some secret trick out there I've never heard of that will help.
Thanks
 

Exceptions

Member
Messages
154
While it's true that the speaker is probably the issue - and new speakers will probably sound great - there are other issues that may contribute. I'd replace the speakers (or test one out) anyway. If the problem goes away, there ya go. Then you can think about speaker types.

I wouldn't get crazy with this model vs that one; just buy a high quality speaker and use your tone knobs. Don't worry about buying the wrong speakers. The subtleties of speakers, cabinets, etc are complicated, so follow simple recommendations. The current models ship with Eminence, the "Bordeaux Blues" FSR uses a Jensen. I'm sure they all sound great. Remember, too, that a new speaker will sound different, so you make freak at first.

I bought Webers for my SF Fenders, and just followed the advice on the website. For example, https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/12f150.htm That tightened up the bottom quite a bit, made them louder, clearer, etc.
 

silver surfer

Member
Messages
1,962
I have a 66 DR and have used various NOS tubes as well as playing the amp through probably 20 quality vintage and new speakers over the years - all of which affect the overall tone of this amp, but one thing seems to remain consistent - there is always a flubbiness in the bass that worsens as the volume goes up. Just the nature of those amps. I would not hesitate to put the Jensen P12Q in there. Those are great speakers and will at least give you some idea of what a speaker change will do - plus you may like it.
 

JDJ

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,671
You may need to replace your power supply filter caps. More filtering may tighten up the bass, too.
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,371
Has the amp been serviced or are the power supply and cathode bypass caps original?

A medium to large size magnet speaker is a must, something from say a 35oz-50oz.
 

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,825
no good suggestion if it's in good shape other than speaker ... I use a Weber 12A150 50w light dope in my DR and it's a reliable recipe for great tone with less/ without bass flab.
 

Hulakatt

Has done terrible things for a klondike bar
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,632
I'd recommend a Weber Sig12a. I had similar issues with the bass flub in my 5e3 until I threw the sig12a in. The speaker naturally rolls off enough bass to prevent flub.
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,371
I'd recommend a Weber Sig12a. I had similar issues with the bass flub in my 5e3 until I threw the sig12a in. The speaker naturally rolls off enough bass to prevent flub.
No disrespect here but, a 5E3 does not have the power or bass response of a Deluxe Reverb.
 

Belmont

Member
Messages
3,465
when it's full on cranked,


full on cranked, I don't think there's a speaker that's going to sound good in that scenario.
most fender amps sound too bassy (to me) if the bass knob is past 3, maybe 4 at most.
things get but more bloated and flubby the higher the volume.
try running it through a 4x12 with the bass knob at about 3 and that should tell you if it's the amp or not.
the only time I've ever heard a Deluxe Reverb cranked through a 4x12 was when Jimmy Page sat in with my friends band and did the "hand swipe" diming all the knobs and than backed off the bass knob, sounded great.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
CRex of course, you'll have to relearn the use of your treble knob to get sparkle back on top but not a problem, just run it up 2-3 notches from where you run it now. They are rolled off above 2.5k. Hemp cones are the best way to cure flubby bottom. TT 40/40 same hemp cone but bass rolled off 2-3db compared to Rex, mids more forward and way more top end above 2.5k but still not harsh.

Here's their curves overlaid, Canis Major in there also.
 

Jimcord1

Member
Messages
73
Has the amp been serviced or are the power supply and cathode bypass caps original?

A medium to large size magnet speaker is a must, something from say a 35oz-50oz.
Actually the only thing I know for sure that's not original is the main transfromer; I posted pics when the sale was still in the pending status, and one of the gurus there had this to say:
"It was made by Thordarsen-Meissner and it is higher quality than the Schumacher transformers.
No question it sounds better than the original."
I am no expert, so I accepted his analysis as valid, but I'm always open to 2nd opinions.
As far as tubes etc., I'm going to take it into Schroder Amps in Chicago for a through going over, apparently they're the best.
Side bar: I'm also taking my late 40s early 50s Weber amp that was my dad's from when he had his own 'orchestra', kind of a swing band/Dean Martin type of thing. It's SO cool, all road worn, but it works, just kinda scared of it till a pro gives it a safety check. I remember using it as a kid in my first band before we bought a PA, and had the $#!T shocked outta me on more than one occasion by being a human circut!
 

Jimcord1

Member
Messages
73
I have a 66 DR and have used various NOS tubes as well as playing the amp through probably 20 quality vintage and new speakers over the years - all of which affect the overall tone of this amp, but one thing seems to remain consistent - there is always a flubbiness in the bass that worsens as the volume goes up. Just the nature of those amps. I would not hesitate to put the Jensen P12Q in there. Those are great speakers and will at least give you some idea of what a speaker change will do - plus you may like it.
Wow thanks! That's great to know, at least I know I'm not going crazy, in this specific instance anyway. I've heard such amazing, chimey sparkle tones in some of these vids, I was thinking I had a dud, or a dead speaker. I know the P12Q is much more treble focused, can kinda border on the brittle/harsh side of things depending on pickups, settings etc., but for what I'm playing lately, I think it'll be kinda cool. Can't hurt to at least give it a test run. Wishing I wouldn't have sold my Vox 112 cab, could have used it as a speaker 'mule' cab for trying out diff. options, before taking the solder iron to the DR. Oh well, slow and steady and I think I'll be fine.
 

Jimcord1

Member
Messages
73
Preamp tubes your using?
Sorry to say I must confess I haven't even popped the cross bar off the back of this one yet:messedup.
My time with them is so limited between work and family etc., that when I've got a spare 20-30 minutes I've just been plugging in and playing versus stretching my amateur tech legs.
I do have a list of things I'm dying to do though, and fully documenting the DR is tops on the list, as well as it's 76 Silverface Twin Reverb brother that sits next to it. I do know that the TR is 100% bone stock, I've done some exploring there; it's SO pretty, and the tone is absolutely perfect Fender, that's kind of what's highlighting my concerns on the DR. If I didn't have that to compare it to, I'd probably not know any better.
 

Jimcord1

Member
Messages
73
CRex of course, you'll have to relearn the use of your treble knob to get sparkle back on top but not a problem, just run it up 2-3 notches from where you run it now. They are rolled off above 2.5k. Hemp cones are the best way to cure flubby bottom. TT 40/40 same hemp cone but bass rolled off 2-3db compared to Rex, mids more forward and way more top end above 2.5k but still not harsh.

Here's their curves overlaid, Canis Major in there also.
Again, great stuff here. Thanks for the specifics, I'm really learning a lot, and the hemp suggestion is also very helpful in narrowing the field of candidates if/when replacement shopping.
 

soldersucker

Member
Messages
2,705
My advise is to get a C-Rex and turn the bass down as you increase vol.
Part nature of the beast.
I own 5 DR's and the gigging amps all get a C-rex.
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,520
No disrespect here but, a 5E3 does not have the power or bass response of a Deluxe Reverb.
All of the 5E3's I've played have a good bit more bass than any Deluxe Reverb. Of course some of the 5E3 inspired boutique amps I've come across have less bass than the real deal, so maybe if you're comparing one of them to a Deluxe Reverb, then you might have a point. The power is listed higher in the Deluxe Reverb, but they're close enough in end volume that I wouldn't put them in two different categories.

To the OP, yeah, you need a speaker change. I use a modified TS9 with my SFDR to add some mids and cut some of the flab, but even then, I didn't really solve that problem until I put in a better speaker. But keep in mind, it's the nature of these amps. You'd need to install a larger output transformer and probably tweak some of the filtering in the rest of the amp to make it rock solid in the low end, and that wouldn't be worth it. You'd be better off selling it and getting a different amp at that point.
 
Messages
179
When you have time, a more permanent fix is to replace the 2 coupling caps coming out of the phase-inverter to anything smaller than the standard .1uf (.047 or .022uf). That'll take some of the bass energy out and lessen the flabbys.
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,371
All of the 5E3's I've played have a good bit more bass than any Deluxe Reverb. Of course some of the 5E3 inspired boutique amps I've come across have less bass than the real deal, so maybe if you're comparing one of them to a Deluxe Reverb, then you might have a point. The power is listed higher in the Deluxe Reverb, but they're close enough in end volume that I wouldn't put them in two different categories.
I will have to strongly disagree. I had two '58 Deluxe amps. The bass response isn't anywhere near what a DR puts out. You can use a P12Q in a 5E3 but a DR will have that speaker farting out in no time.

As for a 5E3 being close in volume to a DR.......it's not even close, and yes I would put them in two totally different categories.
 






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