Ampeg questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by rorschah, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. rorschah

    rorschah Member

    Messages:
    541
    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    So I've got a 60's Ampeg that I need to drag into the modern world.

    It's a Reverberocket, and it's got a nice, crunchy breakup, but its cleans and something about the tone are lacking. It's kind of soft and distant-sounding, and gets super-lost in the mix. Sounds old in any number of ways. It looks like it hasn't been serviced in decades.

    I don't know much about amps

    Right now, it's got, from left to right:
    Ampeg 65L7
    Ampeg 65N7
    Ampeg 65N7
    Ampeg 65L7
    National 6V6GTA
    National 6V6 GTA
    Ampeg 5Y3

    one Aktron 12" speaker

    What're the weak links? (Especially if I want nice, full, sensitive cleans at lower volumes, before it hits that crunchy breakup.)

    Thanks!

    -thi
     
  2. teleharmonium

    teleharmonium Member

    Messages:
    2,558
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    weak points are the speaker, which is probably an Oaktron, and the 6V6 pair, which are most likely Sovtek. You will likely also need the filter caps replaced and maybe the coupling caps. If the trem works well, the coupling caps are probably all OK.
    I suggest either an old Jensen, or if you want something new, maybe one of those Eminence Swamp Thang speakers. NOS USA or Euro 6V6 are affordable and common, but if you want something new, the Tesla is good.
    The octal pre/6V6 or 6L6 powered Ampegs get chimey at low-med volumes and crunchy not long after. They are not loud clean machines like the later Ampegs with 7591s. I suggest embracing their tone as is, because it is a great one, you could spend a lot more to get a lot less.
     
  3. slipbeer

    slipbeer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,795
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Center City, MN
    I just got sort of a queasy feeling about you trying to turn something as unique and good for what it is into something more modern. It's like bolting a Floyd Rose on a 63 Strat.

    You've got everybody from Fender to Peavey to Crate to Boogie updating classic tones.

    If you must, make sure you find the best amp guy on the planet to do the surgery...and don't be mad if your vintage gem turns out different than you imagined.
     
  4. hawkeyeinexile

    hawkeyeinexile Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,732
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Location:
    WayOutWest (Santa Clara, CA (not Canada))
    cap job, maybe new 6V6s (i don't use NOS) and an Emi Private Jack did the trick for my '61 RR. i rarely turn it past 4 and use a Pharaoh Amps Class A Boost for solos. works great for small clubs with one pretty rambunctious bunch (6-piece) and has worked outdoors with a more subdued quartet.

    :cool:
     
  5. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,815
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    some good ideas, so far. Get a bright, efficient speaker. A G12H30 or Scumback SA12 75 would sound very good, an EV very good, or a LARGE magnet Jensen or Weber equivalent. The tubes may be just old and tired. Only way to tell is by substituting.
    The old top mounted RR's only put out about 15-18 watts, and they don't have the cutting highs of a Fender, or even the later front mounted, SS rectified RR2's , so they sometimes appear quieter. I wouldn't mess with the circuit too much, they only get so loud.
     
  6. rorschah

    rorschah Member

    Messages:
    541
    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    I didn't mean I wanted to convert an Ampeg into something it wasn't. I just meant the thing came to me half-dead, and clearly needs fixin'. It does other funky stuff - like cutting out sometimes. Definitely needs some major tech-love. I love it for its Ampeg-y crunch break-up, and that's the thing I want to keep most. But if there was some fix that would also give it some nice fuller cleans so it could serve double-duty as my practice amp mini-version of my Pro Reverb, that'd be nice, too.

    Thanks for suggestions.

    If I wanted to sub out for the 65l7 and 65n7 to see if the ones in it are tired, what should I use?

    I've dug soundclips of the Eminence Red White & Blue. What's the diff between that and, say, a Scumback or EV?

    Sorry, don't know much about amps.

    -thi
     
  7. hawkeyeinexile

    hawkeyeinexile Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,732
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Location:
    WayOutWest (Santa Clara, CA (not Canada))
    those are 6SL7 and 6SN7 (no 5s in there). looks like Ampeg stopped using them around '64. i like them myself, but maybe you want a later RRocket, which used 12AX7s, like your Pro. Triode has some tubes for you here.

    i love the new Emis. the only Scumbacks i've heard were terrific, but i had too limited time to comment. the E-Vs are heavy - maybe too heavy for your baffle?

    Pro Reverbs are great amps, a friend of mine has a BF one ('66 or so). but i actually prefer the RR - that's a heckuva mini-Pro/practice amp you'll have there. don't be surprised when you get that RR up to snuff that you're wishin' you had a 40watt version of it ;). good luck & happy playing with it!

    :cool:
     
  8. rorschah

    rorschah Member

    Messages:
    541
    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Alright - let's say what I wanted to do most was keep the basic Ampeginess of it, but make it more so - a little less faded and distant sounding. Which speaker? I'm thinking an Emi speaker here - Celestion and Scumbacks are a little beyond the price range.

    I remember listening to all those Tomo clips with the Emi speakers in his Pro Reverb - I remember liking the Swamp Thang least (sounded muddy and unchimey) and the Red White and Blue and Tonker most. But that's in a Pro...

    Why'd you pick the Private Jack, hawk?

    Sorry, I'm a total novice at amp-modding. Thanks for all the help.

    -thi
     
  9. AL30

    AL30 Member

    Messages:
    2,986
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    I have a few old Ampegs (BEAUTIFUL sounding amps). A quick cap job worked wonders on mine. There are some weird parts in there that are hard to find. Try here

    http://www.fliptops.net/

    Mine also had some sloppy "Friday afternoon" wiring going on so it may be a good idea to check it over for loose solder joints. The solder actually fell off of my jacks when I went to re-heat it.:eek:

    So:

    Cap Job,
    New Tubes,
    Change the 2-prong chord to a 3-prong,
    Check for loose wiring/cold solder joints,
    Check for drifted resistors,
    New speaker if you feel so inclined.


    The only thing left is to take it to a show and soak up the jealousy. Those are great sounding amps.

    AL
     
  10. erksin

    erksin Member

    Messages:
    21,512
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Yep, do all of the above and you'll get to what you're after IMO.

    I recently did it to my '65 Reverberocket w/7591As (except for replacing the speaker), makes a world of difference...
     
  11. hawkeyeinexile

    hawkeyeinexile Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,732
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Location:
    WayOutWest (Santa Clara, CA (not Canada))
    (i'm not a tech or a mod expert either)...i'd gotten the li'l ol' Ampeg and it sounded like you describe yours. after Evan Aurand went through it for caps & resistors & fresh power tubes, it still sounded weak & broke up too early. since the orig. Jensen is only a 12w speaker, i figured i'd try something high-efficiency & high powered. Bill Chapin had a Private Jack in stock & suggested it @ a real good price, so i tried it. said the sound was Greenback-like, but not really. close enough for me. worked out great.

    btw, Dave @ Avatar has a fresh, slightly dinged Tonker @ a killer price ($49, IIRC). i'd jump on it, but have to sell something first ;)

    :cool:
     
  12. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,166
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Upstairs, L.A.
    I've got a 7591-based Reverb-e-Rocket II. Killer sounding amp. Boy nothing 'faded' or 'distant' about its sound...so I'm guessing all its caps were okay.

    It sounded a bit on the strident/bright/loud side and wasn't breaking up at all until it was nearly dimed. So I put a used Greenback in it and boy...what a difference, remarkably better sound than the old alnico speaker (CTS?). From the Eminence line, I'd look into a Private Jack, or maybe a Wizard or has Hawkeye suggests, a Tonker. Bet you can find a used one around here for cheap.
     
  13. cameron

    cameron Member

    Messages:
    3,259
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Lower East Side, New York
    Just have a tech do a cap job, and check the tubes. Also upgrade the power cord to a grounded modern jobbie, if that hasn't been done yet. With new caps, and tubes replaced where needed, the amp should sound a world better.

    Only then should you start considering replacing the speaker. That old Oaktron might sound pretty cool in there. But you won't know until you do the basic maintenance work on the amp.
     

Share This Page