Advantages/Disadvantages of silver face vs. black face?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by auffredou, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. auffredou

    auffredou Member

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    What are the inherent differences in a vintage silverface fender from the late 60s or 70s versus a blackface? (take for example a silverface super reverb or twin versus an older one or reissue)
     
  2. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    Oodles, there are multiple differences in a lot of the different models. Could you be more specific?
     
  3. auffredou

    auffredou Member

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    well, say I was looking at a silverface super reverb versus a super reverb reissue or an original blackface one?

    or likewise an early seventies deluxe reverb versus an old blackface?
     
  4. nic'o'caster

    nic'o'caster Member

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    I would favor any silverface Fender. Less expensive than a blackface, but still hand wired which means easily repaired.
     
  5. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    A lot of this discussion depends on how specific you want to get.

    Some of the silverface era amps are identical to some of the blackface era amps. There are multiple versions in each era. Late 60s and early 70s amps tend to be pretty close to the later blackface eras, if they aren't identical. Mid 70s there were a lot of changes to some amps.

    There were 2 different Blackface Super schematics, and 6 different Sliverface versions. There were at least 2 different Deluxe Blackface schematics, and 2 different Deluxe Silverface schematics. Those are just the official counts. There are a few floating around that don't conform to those either.

    They all do sound good, and Silverfaces used to be very less expensive but they are catching up. My favorite Deluxe Reverb I've ever owned is a 1973 Silverface. It just has the sound I associate with Deluxe Reverbs, and sounds better than any Blackface one I've owned. Late 70s ones tend to sound a bit colder, but that is a personal opinion.

    The reissue is close, but not exact to either the blackface or silverface. A lot of people bash them in comparisions.
     
  6. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Deluxe Reverbs vary the least because they changed the least.

    Depending on what you prefer tonally, you'll find examples of both black and silver that sound better than the other type. 40 year old amps made on the same day can vary a lot tonally.

    Best bet is to try as many as you can and reach your own conclusions. There are virtually no constants other than varying opinions and preferences. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  7. NTBluesGuitar

    NTBluesGuitar Member

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    The Silverfaces tend to have slightly more powerful iron in them, too. I personally prefer SF cleans.

    It's really not hard to convert them to BF specs, too, if that's your bag, but there are a lot of minor circuit differences that result in more significant sound differences.
     
  8. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    They all sound different...the only important factor is the amp that your ears subjectively like to hear best. Buy for tone, not for specs. But before you buy any of them, check out a RCA 6L6 blackplate equipped Komet 60 ;).
     
  9. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    Some can be converted easily, some not as easily. I try not to consider that when trying to figure out which amp to get. Get the right amp. Don't get the wrong amp and try and make it into something it never was.
     
  10. pepperedmoth

    pepperedmoth Member

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    old thread..but is a silverface super reverb that has been blackfaced as good as an original blackface super reverb?
     
  11. mxvin

    mxvin Member

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    ^^^^^ what he said.....very sound advice
     
  12. mattymel

    mattymel Supporting Member

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    from what i have heard...not really.

    schematics might be the same, but CBS already started cutting corners on caps after their blue BF caps ran out. some of the early years SF still have them. but if you have a SF that doesnt, usually it will be a bit brighter and breakup will be a little more harsh than a BF. plus i think the speakers they started using were kind of sterile too.
     
  13. ReddRanger

    ReddRanger Member

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    Not if you get an early silverface with CTS alnicos. Those are great speakers.
     
  14. RaistMagus

    RaistMagus Member

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    Why are blackface amps considered better and have higher prices? Why are some people trying to 'blackface' their sf but noone tries to 'silverface' a bf?

    What are the cirquit differences and how do they manifest in the sound?
     
  15. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    ^^^^ blackface amps are more rare, and dealers, collectors and fashionistas rule the interwebs.

    A buddy said the other day that "black face amps break up sooner and sound good when they do. Silverface amps stay clean, but when they do break up, don't sound as good." I've owned a half dozen bf and 11 silverface fenders.... but with all of the other variables (circuits, transformers, speakers and parts tolerances) that's not nearly enough amps to make such a sweeping generalization.
     
  16. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    For me, the biggest hit on ca72 and beyond Fenders on is the change in the cabinet construction. In about 72 when Fender left screwed in baffles and finger joints behind and went to the glued baffles and dadoed amp corners, the cabinet strength suffered. The later cabs are more prone to split apart at the corners and get wobbly. And the MDF baffles (which Fender also used during the BF years) can degrade and need work. On a screwed in baffle, a swap is relatively easy. A glued in baffle not so much.

    If you haul or ship these amps extra caution is required. The finger joint cabs can get damaged too, but much less likely in my experience.

    Sonically there is good to found about everywhere depending on application and taste. The only thing I used to run into is some Fenders can run toward what my music buds and I used to call the broken glass sound. Maybe better described as less smooth, kinda harsh, fizzier breakup. Back then I wasn't involved enough in gear details to figure out why. Plenty of BF and SF Fender amps around. Just go find another one that wasn't that way. Seems like this could come up on either BF or SF. That was a long time ago. Who knows maybe it was our imagination.

    hunter
     
  17. guitarcapo

    guitarcapo Senior Member

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  18. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    Other than value, percieved value on the Marketplace, I wonder if as far as tones go, you almost have to listen to the actual Amp to compare.

    Meaning- is there enough variation in Blackface and Silverface Princetons, for example that some of them may overlap in tones, where a certain Silverface Amp might sound the same or even better than the same model Blackface ?
     
  19. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    Best sounding amp I ever played was an early Silverface Super Reverb. So *******ed good. Just saying :D

    Personally, I'd buy an amp based on its sound, not the colour of the panel.
     
  20. buddyboy

    buddyboy Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree = the worst (of many, to me) problems with most SF Fenders compared to BF, are the cabinets from the early 70's and on. The construction, material used, and baffle (again, to me) hurt the tone, compared to the older amps. I took the chassis from my 78 DR and put it into a JD Newell BF-style cabinet and the tone improved, A LOT.

    Some of the bigger models got major circuit overhauls too and don't as good as a tune-up BF version, at least not to me anyway.
     

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