Brown Concert Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Lance Long, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Lance Long

    Lance Long Member

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    I am thinking of a 1961 Brown Concert as my next amp. The amp is on the West Coast, and I have not gotten to use it. I am very partial to the 4 x 10 combo amps. However, I don't know what to expect of the solid state rectifer vs a tube rectifer a la Super Reverb. The tube tremelo circuit is a strong pull for me, but I would like to know about the volume, tone (harsh vs sweet), tightness due to the rectifier, etc. from players familiar with the amp. I plan to use the amp in a medium size (200 people) club with a Telecaster and 335. All advice is appreciated. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    A good one is a very sweet sounding amp. I wouldn't worry about the rectifier. The amps are old, and most have a lot of give.
     
  3. monstermike

    monstermike Member

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    It's loud, round and fat, with the solid state rectifier tightening up the low end (a little too much for my tastes), and the tremolo has hints of univibe and autowah in a completely lush soup. Nice amp, but way too much volume for what I'm doing. Are you looking for overdrive without pedals? How loud is your drummer? Is a Super Reverb too loud for your needs?
     
  4. Lance Long

    Lance Long Member

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    Thanks for the helpful information. To answer your questions, I like a lot of clean headroom and use a Route 66 overdive pedal for overdriven tones. Our drummer must be training for the Olympics because he gets louder by the month. The Super Reverb often slides into mild overdrive when I still need a little clean headroom.
     
  5. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    Isn't the amp basically Leo's response to what he thought guitar players wanted in a Bassman-like amp?

    In other words, lots of clean headroom, which is NOT what most players wanted and why this is not all that desirable in relation to Bassmen or Deluxes.
     
  6. pirateflynn

    pirateflynn Supporting Member

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    I could be wrong about this because it's been so long ago now but I recall my Brown Concert amp as NOT being very loud. It was a great sounding amp though. I traded it for a Les Paul when I was 16.
     
  7. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I frequently go to hear a guy that plays the local Austin scene (I'm not from there, but visit frequently) who plays a Les Paul through one.

    Killer tone. Reminds me of a cross between ZZ Top and Freddy King with some tremolo thrown in. Fat, deep, straddles that "clean but still dirty" zone where you get dirt, but you hear every string.

    I think the SS rectifer is responsible for the extra "crispness" and tight bottom end that he gets, even with the LP.

    Here is a CD where he is providing the guitar tones for Austin Blues Singer Erin Jaimes. There are short mp3 samples for some of the songs.... Might give you some idea.

    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/erinjaimes
     
  8. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    The concert isn't an in your face loud amp. I feel it doesn't start getting "full" until you hit 6-7 on the volume; again not overly loud, actually BIG,moving plenty of air. It does give plenty of headroom with tight bass and a midrange honk and smooth highs. Great for chording and snappy leads with crisp definition and a thickness surrounding each note. Using an OD1 or TS9 is the ticket for solo's that seem to have that "how long should I hold this note" sustain.[​IMG]
     
  9. Lance Long

    Lance Long Member

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    Hi GenoBluzGtr,

    Thanks for turning me onto the CD. The tone on "Walkin Blues" is exactly what I hoped the amp would give up. Manna from heaven for my ears, and that dude is one soulful bluesman. Thanks and thanks again.

    Regards,

    Lance
     
  10. Moods

    Moods Supporting Member

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    The Brown Concert is one of my all-time favorite amps. Not super loud with the stock speakers IMO. My Super with CTS alnicos was noticably louder and had more clean.

    If you change the speakers in the Concert you pick up some volume and clean but the tone suffers. Both the original P10Q's and gold Oxfords sound really sweet and just right with that amp to my ears.

    <M
     
  11. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    I think "sultans of swing" was recorded with a brown super.
     
  12. jetlag

    jetlag Member

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    Concerts vary as their circuits and iron changed over the years. I owned the very first version (center volume) which had tweed bassman iron and P10Rs. The amp ran up around 490v on the plates or higher and was loud as hell. No other way to describe it. It did have a cool, plexi like crunch to it when you cranked it. I've played some later concerts with the blonde or wheat grills and the oxford ceramics - they weren't nearly as loud or as crunchy sounding. I've also played a couple gigs on a "middle era" concert -the one with brown grill cloth and P10Q's. It's volume was in the middle of the group and had a real nice, full, round tone. Like I said, they really varied. The later ones had Schumacher iron and lower voltages. The earliest ones, like I mentioned, had triad iron identical to tweed bassmans. Since they ran that PT with a ss recto, plate voltages are sky high which equals more wattage and more gain, crunchier tones etc. Then there are the blackface concerts - man, those are great sounding amps!
     
  13. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    No Problem, Lance.

    if you ever get to Austin, he usually plays the 6th street bars a couple times a week. He plays dates all over Texas and Oklahoma from time to time... a quick google search turned up this series of pics from a Fort Worth Blues Bar...

    http://www.jjbluesbar.com/mcveyphotos.htm

    In the first photo, you can see a glimpse of the Concert behind him (with his LP case in front, presumable to attenuate it a bit (cheaper than a Plexiglass shield!).
     
  14. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    The one I played wasn't as loud as a Super Reverb and I was told that they generally were not because they use the output tubes to run the Vibrato which takes away from the total power the tubes could supply. All I know is when I turned on the trem you could see the tubes pulse at whatever speed the trem was set at. These are awesome amps and I always loved the Brown Fenders...in a lot of ways I think these were the best amps Fender ever made.
     

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