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Blackface Pro Reverb doesn't like Overdrive Pedals

PCalugaru

Member
Messages
1,244
Very interesting stuff right there

Don't know if im right.. just what works for me.. I love American voiced speakers.. but darn it.. I struggled getting that decent light to moderate overdrive that still had that spank and thump my clean had. It wasn't till I pushed away those trasparent pedals in frustration that I got what my ears wanted to hear.
 

nickthenail

Member
Messages
1,104
I can't help but think that you may have something wrong with your amp. I have run so many od pedals through my '68 Pro Reverb-
Rat, DS-1, KOTv4, Minstrel, Sick As, Del Mar, plus loads of boost and fuzz pedals. I literally did not experience one that has not gotten along with the Pro reverb.
(Full disclosure that I run my amp through an Eminence Wizard and Red Fang.)
 

Gillespie1983

Member
Messages
2,569
Did you try dialing the Strat's tone control back to 3 when using the bridge pup and overdrive?
I use a Timmy with the Treble at 12 o'clock and no fizziness there.
A challenge I've always had with the Strat is getting good OD tones when switching from positions 2/4 to positions 1/3/5. The highs can be difficult to get just right. Now that I think about it--I would like a tone control for 1/3/5 and the other tone control for 2/4. Can that be done?
 

pageburst

Senior Member
Messages
965
Since buying my PS-2, I rarely use gain pedals, preferring to use the guitar volume knob with the amp cranked. The interaction and response is a thing of beauty provided u don't need high gain.

When I did use pedals I tyically used a klon type peal. With my strat and 1965 Vibrolux, I was able to get some nice singing overdrive. And we are talking about a vintage type Strat with low output single coils. I never liked the phrase takes pedals well. An overdrive pedal utilizing diode clipping has a tone. Any clean amp should basically amplify that tone. Whether the tone is good really has more to do with the pedal. Now where it gets a little more interactive and that phrase is more applicable is when u are using the pedal to boost the guitar output level and essentially overdrive the amps input stage. That shouldn't be a problem with a vintage BF Pro Reverb. I would check the V1 or V2 depending upon which channel you use and try a different tube. Maybe something NOS.

When I crank my vibrolux and plug in an LP, I get tones that are never harsh and can go from a shimmery semi clean with a tinge of distorted overtones to round vowely woody overdrive. A strat can't quite get that push to singing overdrive on its own but a good drive pedal pushes the amp nicely. I tend to turn the bass down to 1-3 treble at 5-7 bright switch engaged. keeping the treble in a sweet spot and bringing the bass down brings up the mids which is what u want.

A vintage pro reverb should be a thing of beauty with plenty of touch dynamic shading between clean and driven. Most pedals imho suck. They mess up the interaction between guitar and amp and impart an almost 2d amp sim quality to the tone. The Mythical OD is one of the few pedals that is transparent as a drive pedal and with a clipping stage that when engaged actually sounds good. ymmv. Congrats on the Pro Reverb
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,235
Ah speaker swaps are fun too. My pro reverb has this combo, which are two takes on the old Jensen P12R alnico, typically associated with big tweeds but with a Pro Reverb really keeps things loose but not muddy:

George Alessandro EJ1250 8 Ohm (Eric Johnson Prototype) 50W
Weber Ferromax 12F150T w/Jensen 12 Q/C cone, 8 Ohm 50w
 

FFking

Member
Messages
190
Try a guitar with humbuckers and see if it makes a difference.

My single coil strat and tele both have a certain fizzy quality when pushed. It’s just how they sound I guess. Maybe it is the same thing?
 

teleman55

Member
Messages
3,587
I used a Pro Reverb for 20+ years. My fave OD with it was a Boss SD1. And liked certain fuzzes. And, of all things, a Boss Metal Zone modded by Keeley.
 

Steve73

Member
Messages
5,265
I found in my '67 Pro Reverb that speaker choice was key to how well dirt worked in front of it. I like some type of Celestions with it. Still sounds like a Fender but with a bit more mids and totally eats overdrive pedals now.
 

effectsman

Member
Messages
3,662
Does your amp have a bright cap on the volume? Some people (me included) hate what they do when you use pedals. Mine sounded like a bright treble boost was on all the time whenever I engaged any type of pedal. Once I clipped it I love the sound of all my pedals.
 

teleman55

Member
Messages
3,587
Does your amp have a bright cap on the volume? Some people (me included) hate what they do when you use pedals. Mine sounded like a bright treble boost was on all the time whenever I engaged any type of pedal. Once I clipped it I love the sound of all my pedals.
Those have a bright switch on each channel.
 

=JL=

Member
Messages
984
I always keep a Nobel's ODR-1 in my gig bag in case the backline is bright-ish Blackface Fender Reissues, it was the Nashville drive pedal of choice for a reason. You can set it up with pretty much the same tone as when it's switched off, then add the required amount of smooth gain.

I never had any luck with Tubescreamer derivatives with traditional Fender circuits.
 

GenoVox

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,553
Wow, a blackface Pro.... and a TS9 and Timmy ain’t doing it for ya?

Clearly something’s outta wack :p

I used to gig with a drip-edge Twin and my 80s RAT... sounded fine to me
 

LaceSensor1

Member
Messages
3,708
My thoughts based on similar issue with deluxe reverb

1) never judge your tone from home u less you have a large studio room. I found that small rooms makes my deluxe sound anemic which also translates into a raspy non-musical overdrive

2) you can get great mileage by swapping the phase inverter with a 12ax7. I know this is safe to do on an ab763 circuit but not 100 percent for your amps circuit. In my case this improved the breakup sound.
 

Rumble5

Member
Messages
1,677
IMO you lose the essential characteristics of a vintage amp's tone when a pedal is put in front of it. For a little boost it might be fine, but I don't want a pedal to change the feel of the amp's natural overdrive. I much prefer attenuators. With an attenuator you don't lose the fullness of the sound like you do with pedals, and the attenuator doesn't add tones that are not inherent to the amp's sound.

I was in a similar position with my '66 Pro; I wanted all the natural grind of the amp but at lower volumes. I did a few things to get there without having to resort to pedals- I swapped rectifier tubes to bring the output down slightly; I put in some really inefficient (94 dB) Celestion GB style speakers that are designed for early breakup (Weber Legacies); and I got an inexpensive attenuator ($120). For me it's important to use humbuckers or P-90's to push a big enough signal to overdrive the amp.

Now I leave the amp's volume on "9", attenuate it by 4 to 8 dB depending on the volume of the people I'm playing with, and just use my guitar volume to control the amount of saturation. At about 2 - 3 on the guitar volume I can get classic Fender cleans for more folksy stuff, from 4 - 6 I get just past the edge of breakup for a Stones-ish feel, and at 10 it does punk/LZ level grind.

So it can be done without pedals or without making any modifications to the circuit.
 

killer blues

Member
Messages
3,633
After many years of coveting blackface Fender's, I finally got a '66 Pro Reverb. For me, this amp is in the sweet spot for power, volume, breakup and all that good stuff. Speakers are an original Oxford and a Weber 12F150.

My problem is getting an overdrive to play nice. As much as I've heard this is an amp that takes pedals well, I'm not really experiencing that. As I bring up the gain on an overdrive, it goes from clean to grainy distortion – with nothing in between. The pedals I've tried have been a Fulltone GT500 (only use the boost), Timmy, TS9 Tube Screamer, Xotic SP Booster, Boosta Grande.

Gigging volume for me has the amp volume on about 5. With my Strat, that is not causing the amp to break up yet. Generally, I play low-mid gain stuff, ranging to a thick overdrive occasionally.

I'm finding it peculiar that so many pedals are doing the same undesirable thing. Rather than chasing magic pedals, I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on any other angles to take, or any useful experience with this situation.

Thanks!
that amp needs to be cookin' a bit to work with OD's. Never played through a pro reverb that didin't sound good with a tube screamer.
 

teleluvver

Member
Messages
1,613
After many years of coveting blackface Fender's, I finally got a '66 Pro Reverb. For me, this amp is in the sweet spot for power, volume, breakup and all that good stuff. Speakers are an original Oxford and a Weber 12F150.

My problem is getting an overdrive to play nice. As much as I've heard this is an amp that takes pedals well, I'm not really experiencing that. As I bring up the gain on an overdrive, it goes from clean to grainy distortion – with nothing in between. The pedals I've tried have been a Fulltone GT500 (only use the boost), Timmy, TS9 Tube Screamer, Xotic SP Booster, Boosta Grande.

Gigging volume for me has the amp volume on about 5. With my Strat, that is not causing the amp to break up yet. Generally, I play low-mid gain stuff, ranging to a thick overdrive occasionally.

I'm finding it peculiar that so many pedals are doing the same undesirable thing. Rather than chasing magic pedals, I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on any other angles to take, or any useful experience with this situation.

Thanks!
I've made many a post about this same problem, and my personal revelation is that it's a speaker issue. About 5 years ago I was absolutely blown away by a 1965 Princeton with the original Oxford in it. I bought it, and proceeded to sell off every other blackface I owned, which were many of all sizes (including a '66 Pro Reverb). Even though this Princeton is small, it stays clean all the way to "10", and it is literally the best sounding Fender clean tone that I have ever heard out of all of those other blackface amps that I owned. This is partially because I can turn up the amp on stage and get great power tube clean without killing anyone on stage or in the audience. People throw shade at the old Oxfords, but I use my ears. Plus, the early ones are very similar in construction quality and voice coil gap to the early 60's Jensens. When I bought the amp, I thought that I would easily find a pedal to build upon the great clean platform. But several years and many expensive and cheap dirt pedals later, it has proven to be difficult. I always suspected the speaker, but I pretty much proved it this past summer when I spent some time with a Redplate Magica.
The Magica is a two-channel amp with the clean side voiced like a Fender blackface and the dirty side voiced like a Marshall plexi. This amp had a Scumback M75PV, which is a Greenback-inspired speaker. The Magica is one of the best modern amps I've ever played, but it's Marshall side seemed to be the stronger of the two channels. The clean side sounded more like a Marshall clean than Fender, and the dirty side sounded like a great old Marshall cranked up. So one day I tried an experiment. I hooked up my old Oxford to the Magica and suddenly the clean side sounded like an incredible old blackface Fender. Crazy good. However, when I played the dirty channel through the Oxford, it was grainy and just bad. I learned a huge lesson about speakers that day, and how much they play a part in amp tone. It also taught me that it's probably going to be difficult to find one speaker that does both sounds equally well.
The American speaker design (scooped mids) lends itself well to the Fender blackface cleans, and the mids in the British design are better for the Marshall tones. In theory, speakers with scooped mids should work well with pedals voiced with some mids, but I believe this to be case-by-case.
 
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