Advice on my 1967 Fender Super Reverb

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by lemmiwinks, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. lemmiwinks

    lemmiwinks Member

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    I own a cherry '67 super reverb. I am the third owner. The second owner has had the amp since '72.

    It is loaded with mullards and ge's. I believe they as old as the amp, but possibly a bit newer, not much.

    Here is my problem. I own two super reverbs. The '67 is much quieter than my other('66). The 66 has newer tubes, it is much louder, but not as articulate and sweet sounding.

    So, what do I need to replace, in order to get my amp singing at a higher wattage? I don't want to dump tubes that are vintage and great, unless I need to. Power tubes? Preamp tubes? Rectifier? All of them? Help, I need it.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. sideman

    sideman Member

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    Tubes and speakers should explain most of the difference in tone. (How quiet they run may be alot of things that a good tech could track down.) The amps should have the same transformers. Old SRs usually came with CTS AlNiCos, but sometimes with CTS or Jensen Ceramics. Do your amps both have the CTS AlNiCos? It may be that what sounds "articulate and sweet" to you may in part be the speakers in the amp that sounds that way. Trying plugging one amp's speakers into the other amp, and see if that's part of the difference. Tubes sound different too. Some tubes are middier and smoother, some are harder and edgier. Consider swapping the power tubes between the two amps and listening to the difference.
     
  3. sideman

    sideman Member

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    Another thought -- if someone in past swapped out a transformer from one of the amps that could explain it. You may want to compare the iron in the two amps. I had a '64 SR that sounded completely difference from a '66, and my tech decided that it was the transformer. Similarly, a '70s power transformer in a '66 BFDR had the voltage running much higher than usual. After putting in a correct transformer, the amp settled down.
     
  4. aidan7737

    aidan7737 Member

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    +1 on the transformer.

    I also own two Super Reverbs. One is a drip edge Silverface stamped December 67 with BF guts, the other is a pre-master vol Silverface from around '74.

    The '74 (my first Super - which has been "Blackfaced" by the way) has a great big sparkling, tight "hi fi" sound. This sound is undoubtedly indebted to its tube contingent and non-vintage speakers (speakers the original owner dropped in are 4x10" ceramic Weber California's - talk about over engineering!). It's also got a solid ply baffle that again the original owner dropped in.

    The '67 has a fantastic classic vintage Super Reverb sound - earthy, woody, throaty when overdriven and a slightly narrower frequency range. This makes it great in a denser band scenario. It's got two original blue/turquoise label Fender Alnicos as well as a couple of Rajun Cajuns screwed to the original particle board baffle. This combo sounds great!

    Naturally when I first got the two together one of the first things I did was spend a lot of time swapping cabs/speakers/tubes between the two. In all scenarios, I was surprised to notice just how much of the "amp's" characteristics were retained even when running the '74 through the '67s cab and vica versa.

    The punchline being - while there is no way of quantifying this, one interesting observation I have made is that the power transformer in the '74 is a great big beheamoth lump of iron where as that in the '67 is a far more modest and much lighter offering. OTs seem fairly similar. Can't help but think the different characteristics of these amps are, in part, due to their different PTs (and less a factor of tubes/speakers/cabinet construction than you may think!).
     
  5. Mars Hall

    Mars Hall Member

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    Have the electrolytic capacitors been replaced? If so, how recently?
     
  6. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    First, patch both amps through the same speakers and note the differences.
     
  7. Zerksies

    Zerksies Member

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    I would think that the power tubes are worn. I would start with a fresh set. Maybe it needs a cap job. Or if you know anyone with a tube tester see how much life is left on the tubes.
     
  8. Doc58

    Doc58 Member

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    Man,
    before you go messin with that Super...do yourself a huge favor and take it to a qualified individual...Guessing is not good. No Experience is not good.
    You will thank me and your Amp willmost likely be fixed. One Warning...take the Amp to some one you really think you can trust. Research the Repairman in your area.
    DON'T go inside the Amp...you can kill yourself easily. J.
     
  9. lemmiwinks

    lemmiwinks Member

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