Blackface Fender Pro Reverb -What would you do with this amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by squeally dan, Feb 5, 2008.


  1. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    This is the first blackface fender I have had in nay years. Its very warm sounding, but I feel like it could sound better. Its almost like the mids are too pronounced. The previous owner replaced the 6L6's with KT66's and the speakers are Naylors. I plugged it in to a cab with Weber Californias and thought it sounded a bit better? Do you think I should change the speakers? Also, what about the tubes. Would 6L6's produce a warmer more fendery (less mids) sound? Also, if I put 6L6's back in it, does it have to be rebiased?

    THANKS!
     
  2. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey SqueallyDan -

    Congrats - a BF Pro Rev is a cool amp. My opinions are:

    6L6's will make the amp sound more like the Fender sound one is used to hearing from a BF Pro. MOST DEFINITELY must rebias whenever you change output tubes. There are some exceptions for some cathode biased amps, but in general if you change an output tube, you're gonna have to rebias. It's like adjusting the points in a older car engine; you change the points, you gotta adjust the timing; they're interdependent.

    I own a pair of Naylor 12's, and a 4x10's cab too. They are darker speakers than stock. If you want your BF Pro to sound like a stock one, some other speaker would probably get you closer that the Naylors, though I do love the Naylors, they're just a little dark, IMHO.

    If I were you, I'd have that amp serviced (make SURE it's done by someone who really knows old Fender amps, who respects the Vintage/original specs), retubed w good 6L6's (talk to Mike at KCA, maybe some SED's ...) Then start trying out speakers.

    Old Fender amps can have reliability issues. I say have the whole thing serviced and avoid 'piece-mealing' it together as it breaks. Go for preventative maintainance - you'll save yourself some heartache. Plus, you KNOW it'll break on your most important gig if you dont ...

    Good Luck, that's a great amp, Dana O.
     
  3. JDW3

    JDW3 Member

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    Most guys try to get more mids out of a stock PR, so keep that in mind.
     
  4. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    True - no midrange knob on a BFPR, only Twins.

    If you're looking for a grindier, meatier tone, the KT66 might do that better ....

    Dana O.
     
  5. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    Put the 6L6s back in and swap the speakers for some more Fendery sounding ones, although I've never really heard the Naylor speakers, just going by what Dana O said. Maybe swap the tubes first and see if that takes you where you want to go.
     
  6. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    SqueallyDan,

    Congrats...these are great amps. I just picked up one myself...i posted some stuff about it here (no hijack intended). http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=347132

    My amp doesn't exhibit the darkness you speak of...it has plenty of sparkle and also has plenty of bass....almost a bit of a "scooped" sound until you really crank it up, then it thickens more. Mine also has the orignal RCA 6L6 tubes and Rola speakers.

    I agree with everything Dana O says (thanks Dana !).....Rebiasing is paramount.

    If you read my other post, you'll get some insight about a whether you may need a cap job or not.

    I don't know much about Naylor speakers but the Rolas sound fantastic. Jensens were also a speaker of choice for this amp so you may want to try those.

    What kind of guitar are you playing through it ?......This amp sounds wonderful with a Fender Strat..... :D

    Cheers
    -d
     
  7. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    Dana and all-

    Thanks for all the info. I am using a strat. You guys have convinced me to make some changes.
     
  8. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    Last night I plugged it in to a cab w/ two Weber Cali's. Not sure its the best option but I liked the sound better than the Naylors.
     
  9. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    Before purchasing new speakers, try a set of Tung Sol 6L6GC STR's. I find these tubes to have a nice transparent woody tone, which works well in Fender amps.
     
  10. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    I'm going to put some 6L6's in. I have some SED's.
     
  11. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Man - the clips of your band "Juice" sound great! I loves me some groove, funk, and greasy swampy stuff.

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  12. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    Dana-

    I appreciate that. We mostly play covers but those were a couple originals. I used a SF twin, tubescreamer, and wah.

    Do you really have to rebias even in going from the KT66 to 6L6's? How do you rebias? Is it something I could figure out how to do myself without electrocuting myself?
     
  13. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Bias is settig the 'idle' current of the output tubes. The thing is this: As your amp stands now, the bias could be close to where it should be, and it could be far away.

    Far away is bad. I don't remember if a BFPR is fixed bias or adjustable. If it's adjustable, you could bias it yourself without soldering. You'd need a volt/ohm meter or a bias meter like a Weber or Alessandro too. If you've never done it before, you should really watch someone who has - there's voltage inside that old BFPR, a guy could get hurt. Not to scare you, it's just about knowing how. If it's fixed bias, to adjust it you'll be changing resistors in the bias circuit - either way, you're probably better off having somebody who knows how do the job.

    If the bias is too cold, the amp will soud thin, if it's too hot, it could harm the tubes and other components. Some modern amps, like my Tone King Meteor II have bias points conveniently located in the back of the amp, and bias pots that are accessible from the back too, so biasing is easy.

    Sadly, the BFPR has neither external bias points nor (I don't think, can't remember) outside access bias pots. You could probably pop those SED's in for a sec and see if they work while REALLY KEEPING YOUR EYES and ears open to make sure they don't redplate. Maybe play it for 30 seconds; if you like what you hear, THEN have it biased by somebody who knows what they're doing, and who'll show ou how to do it yourself safely.

    That'll let you know if you're heading in the right direction with tubes. If you hear anything weird, throw the 'standby' switch immediatley!

    Good Luck, Dana O.
     
  14. thepimpdaddy

    thepimpdaddy Member

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    I don't see whether you mentioned the preamp tubes. I know that my Traynor Rreverb Master gets dark and brooding and inarticulate when it is time to replace preamp tubes. Start with a fresh preamp tube in V1, see if it makes a difference, if so, then try new ones in v2, v3, etc. No rebias necessary, no tech necessary, unless you're squeamish about poking around in the amp generally. this may solve your problem - cheaply, I might add . . .

    PD
     
  15. teleman55

    teleman55 Member

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    There's a little thing looks like a speaker jack behind the power tubes and the little transformer. Stick a flathead screwdriver in there, find the slot, it turns. That's your bias adjust. Now you gotta measure it. Most user friendly is probably the Weber BiasRite. Put 6L6's in that amp. Your SED's would probably be nice. But if it were me, I'd try 'em without a bias meter if I didn't have one. Just keep an eye and an ear on things. The last guy was right about the preamp tubes and you might want to check out speakers like the other guy said. You got yourself one fine amplifier there.
     
  16. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    Thanks I was having trouble finding that. I'm ordering a biasrite today!

    I know the output transformer has been changed. HOw much difference on the tone does that actually have? Should it still sound like a blackface?

     

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