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Fuchs Blackjack21 - WHOA!! Time for a Re-think

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Troubleman, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    So I'd decided to part ways with my Fuchs Blackjack21 head. I need to raise funds for a Strat so that I can retire my beloved 1961 Strat from gigging. With the value of early 60's Stratocasters going through the roof (thousands of dollars - stupid money!), I've decided that I should start keeping her home. The Blackjack21 is a pretty cool amp (blonde tolex - really pretty too!), but having fallen hard for my Budda SD-45, I'd decided to sacrifice the Blackjack21 to fund a Strat. I identified a potential buyer who was to stop by and check out the amp (he flaked and didn't show up), so I decided to have tone-meister Jeff Bober of Budda Amplification go through the amp and "tune her up". I told him the scenerio - I needed it to show really well. I got the amp back on Thursday and took it down to my guitar dungeon and sat it atop the blonde 2x12 Two Rock cab I play it through. Until tonight I hadn't had the time to actually try it out - too busy with my new job. I didn't even get around to even turning it on until tonight when I took it to band rehearsal. It's a very light-weight amp - very easy to carry with one hand, and I was running late for rehearsal; I could carry it and my guitar at the same time. Besides, I was curious as to what Jeff had done with it, so it was made sense to grab it and fly out the door for rehearsal. When I started playing with it at rehearsal my mouth fell open from the first couple of notes. OMG!!!!! It ain't the same amp. I can't describe the difference, it's too dramatic. I'd given Jeff carte blanche to do whatever he needed to do to make it purr; I had a potential buyer who was gonna demo it, and I really needed him to like it. Okay, I expected it so sound good, but damn - what an improvement. I mean DAAAAYYYY-UMMMMM.... When I picked it up, Jeff told me he changed a couple things around/tweeked it, but he wasn't specific. He just told me that whomever played through it would like it - it now sounded way better than when I'd dropped it off. Since he knew I was in a hurry when I picked it up, he didn't go into specifics. I am DEFINITELY gonna have to ask him what the heck he did. The amp is now ALIVE. I had to stop several times during rehearsal and just doodle and listen. HOLY COW BATMAN! That amp is AWESOME. It sustains, it chimes, it breathes - IT ROCKS!!!. I need to spend some quality time with it, just to (re)assess its capabilities. It's just that much of an improvement.

    For better or worse, this has forced me to rethink my plans. My buyer flaked on me, but I really do need to raise $$$ for a new main Strat. The Blackjack21 ain't gonna displace my SD-45 (absolutely different animals - entirely), but I'm now thinking that I may have to find other methods raising funds. This amp sounds much better than it ever has. I mean WAY better, and it was no slouch before. I'd have to say (expletive deleted) killer-sounding at this point. Now what am I supposed to do?
    :D Dang that Jeff Bober... :D

    Peace,

    jb
     
  2. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    keep it and hold out, my man! Great amp, and judging by the way you wrote this...I think you know the answer :D
     
  3. Roach

    Roach Supporting Member

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    Troubleman- I sure would like to hear what Jeff did to the amp to improve it...if you get a chance to ask.

    Dave
     
  4. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Keep the amp, play the strat. Guitars are meant to be played, not stuck in the closet for investment purposes. You got a good one, and a couple great amps.

    Keep em going.
     
  5. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    sell a couch or something? id always go for some option that meant you didnt have to sell some gear. maybe you should toss the old strat and get a new custom shop or something you wouldent feel so bad about beating up. But like big mike said. if it were my guitar, id still play it like a son bitch, cuz its a guitar not a prized artifact.
     
  6. SvenHock

    SvenHock Member

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    Keep them both. Its a no brainer. Sell the car, take the train. :)
     
  7. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    After reading the replies here... Well.... Methinks the '61 will stay in service for awhile. You guys are probably right. That Blackjack21 just plain rocks now. I'd end up pouting over it if I sold it... Thus, I shall rock on:dude

    Peace,

    jb
     
  8. 59model

    59model Member

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    Hi Troubleman, you sound really happy, jeff must have done really good. Could you explain a little better how the amp differs now? Does it have more gain, clarity, bottom, mids, etc.? Do you think it`s something Andy could do as a revoice? I`m looking for a Wreck type amp I can afford. Thanks!
     
  9. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    OK it is what Andy did to the amp. Fuchs are great amps indeed. I would love to have the supreme overdrive 50 watt head. Yes, I would stopp gigging with the strat. That is like placing a 10,000 item in jeopody of beeing stolen, broken etc. It is too nice to take that chance. Pick up a production model strat. There is the Mark Knopfler, 62 reissue, Time Machine series. Heck I'd even try out that black MIM tex mex MF is hawking or the blizzard pearl 60th ANN strat with tex mex pups. Hang on to the amp though. They are great amps.
     
  10. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Another Blackjack owner here salivating to know what was done.
     
  11. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    Guitar - After much trepidation, I decided that the 1961 is gonna be semi-retired. I'll play fund-raisers at churches, etc, but not bars and clubs. With my daughter headed to the UK (class trip) in a few weeks, and my son achin' to attend sports camps, spare $$$ would be short supply. I was really jonesin' for a Suhr or a Custom Shop Relic, but they are dollars and dollars away unless I part with some gear. Then I came across a Mexican-made (yeah, a NAFTAcaster) Limited Edition Vintage Player Stratocaster. Geez-Louise - the quality control guys and Fender let a good one slip through. Those are really decent instruments. I'm not a great fan of Texas Special pickups, but methinks a trip to the Callaham store for a bridge and a set of cryo-Fralin Vintage Hots... Hard to pass up. After running across that model I tracked one down. It should arrive this weekend - Aztec Gold with a snot-guard and pickup shield from a real 65 strat, and a tweed center-pocket case. I can't wait.

    Amp - Hooo boy!!!:drool
    The tweek involved rethinking the negative feedback entirely, and fiddling with the tone-stack. I still need to catch up with Jeff and ask him exactly what he did. What it did for the amp - it's far more open and airy, FAR more. It's very lively now. Very juicy sound. Somehow the flavor of the 6V6s comes through more. There are more prevalent overtones, and a steely/string-laden but not at all harsh tone when the guitar (strat players know what i mean) volume is rolled back. It is sensitive to the guitar volume knob and how hard I dig into the strings. It sustains like crazy. I noticed all of these things before I ever even activated a pedal. It REALLY loves my Super Chili Picoso - that thing should be nailed to the top of the amp permanently. The thing just breathes better and there's a singing whine to it's overdrive. It's definitely a member of the Fuchs family; that can be heard, and thats' a very, very good thing. If I ever get a break from my new job (VERY cool job, but demanding), I'll record some clips and post them....

    Peace,

    jb
     
  12. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    :D +1
     

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