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Noises/Vintage Super Reverbs

Doc58

Member
Messages
114
:munch
Hey all you Gitar Slingers out there!
I recently decided to take on repairing my 1967 Fender Super Reverb for a Crackling Sound I was experiencing ...This "NOISE" was quite bothersome to say the least!
Long Story Short... I traced the problem to the Reverb Circuit and started out by performing the obvious (cleaning & tightening the Tube Sockets...Checking the Tubes, checking Ground and Solder Connections, checking the Reverb Pan and Cables, Etc.)
To my despair, nothing helped...(but the maintenance service was not wasted effort...every bit of the work was needed!) I did a little more research in the "Crackling Noise Dept" on the Internet and found that the Plate Resistors can cause this type of problem if they break down under a load due to age. I ordered 4 Allen Bradley 100K/5 watt Resistors from my good friend Mark Baier and replaced the 2 Plate resistors in the Reverb Circuit and Walla! Fixed! The Amp was as quiet as a Church Mouse!
While I was doing some work already, I decided to install a Good Mullard 5AR4 and some Good RCA Black Plate 6L6GC's..."Set Bias to 35ma" The RCA's are some FINE Power Tubes...I noticed a big difference in the Sound! I have 4 Jan Raytheon Long Black Plate 12ax7's and 2 Telefunkin 12at7's coming for the remainder of the Tube Compliment and I expect to hear even more wanted Sound Improvement.
In my humble opinion, the Super Reverb is one of the best Amps ever built! I wanted to start this thread so that all the Super Reverb Owner's out there could share some of their "experiences" with their beloved Super Reverb's when it comes to repair issues! Spread the Knowledge Guys!
I'm sure we could all share some "Mind Bending" experiences with repairs on our Super Reverbs and what has happened to us when we have taken our Amps to so called "Amp Repairmen" LOL! :messedup
:beer

:idea
OK...In the Photo below you will see a good view of the 2 New Allen Bradley 100K/5 Watt Plate Resistors I installed for the Reverb Out...Look for the Red Wire at the bottom near center of the circuit board and directly in front of the wire you will see the 2 New Allen Bradley Carbon Comp Resistors (configured in an "Upside Down V" configuration).





(Rear Photo is with Amp's Old Tube Compliment)
LET'S HEAR SOME ADVENTURES GUYS!:banana
 

Adam Zaiger

Member
Messages
453
Sweet. IMO the late 60s BFSRs with CTS Alnicos are the best amps Fender ever made. Add a Hicks Mender I for a killer OD channel (keep the gain way down) w/o any permanent mod and you have the ultimate "American" vintage blues machine.
 
Messages
1,657
I'm going to say what I always say. A 45 year old amp needs to be recapped.

I know, everyone here is going to go nuts and say "No!!! That's where the tone is!!!" But I'm not sure how leaky, drifting, failing, tube killing, transformer stressing capacitors improve tone. If people are really so hung up on their old capacitors, measure the old caps and install new ones that match the drifted specs of the old ones.

The irony that most people don't consider with installing new caps is that they probably sound less different from the original paper foil caps did back in 1967 than these leaky caps do now, in 2012. I wasn't around in 1967, so I can't speak for a Super Reverb coming off the factory line, but in theory, a new .047 uf cap will give you the same sound as a new .047 cap did back in 1967. I see absolutely nothing wrong with restoring and amp to how the manufacturer intended.

As far as bad resistors go, I only restore my own amps, so I don't have the wide array of experiences as some "techies" here, but after rebuilding 15 or so amps, I had only 1 occasion where a bad resistor was the clear culprit for major sound problems.
 

Doc58

Member
Messages
114
The Dirty Tube...
Filter Caps are Numbero Uno Man! That's the very 1st thing I replaced in this Super...They were leaky alright! When I completed the job the Amp acted like it had a complete face lift! Everything was better. Way Better!
Yea, I suspected the Resistors last too...I even Ohm'd them and they read spec but that doesn't mean they won't break down under a load...they sure did! You know, just about everyone I spoke to hadn't ever replaced a Resistor as the Culprit of any problem...Go Figure!
When I replace parts to restore this Amp (only as needed) they will be as close to the original(if not original) as the parts were in the 1st place...(and this is only to maintain the Vintage Value...) I think along the same lines on the Caps...
*You're right...Best Damn Amp Fender ever built! The Super Reverb #1
 
Last edited:

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,511
The irony that most people don't consider with installing new caps is that they probably sound less different from the original paper foil caps did back in 1967 than these leaky caps do now, in 2012. I wasn't around in 1967, so I can't speak for a Super Reverb coming off the factory line, but in theory, a new .047 uf cap will give you the same sound as a new .047 cap did back in 1967. I see absolutely nothing wrong with restoring and amp to how the manufacturer intended.
It's worth calling out a bit of extra detail here. The filter caps (under the dog house) and the coupling caps (also electrolytics) do tend to dry out or leak, and I don't hesitate to swap them out for new/fresh caps.

But those blue molded caps in other places which are typically .1, .047, and .022 are precious and ARE key to the amps tone. Yes, there are caps that sound very similar after 40-100 hours of break in, but if they aren't leaking (and they rarely do) why replace them? I'm always pretty disappointed to see an open fender bf or sf that has all those caps pulled and replaced with orange 715's.
 

Doc58

Member
Messages
114
I totally agree...why mess with a wonderful thing! The Blue Moulded Caps are the Heart and Soul of the Tone...they're usually fine!
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,872
For all I know the orange caps and other new ones may sound better than the blue ones.
Fact is when I see them I don't buy the amp !
E-caps should be changed. I prefure to buy amps in original condtion and change them myself.
 

Doc58

Member
Messages
114
I've read where several guys have replaced the Blue Caps with the Orange Drops and regretted it...They wound up putting the Blue Caps back on the Board... The Sound is in the Recipe alright!
My Super sounds amazing and I wouldn't touch a thing if it wasn't absolutely needed...all the way down to the 2 prong cord. works just great.
IF IT AIN'T BROKE-DON'T FIX IT!
 

GuitarSmitty

Member
Messages
137
I've read where several guys have replaced the Blue Caps with the Orange Drops and regretted it...They wound up putting the Blue Caps back on the Board... The Sound is in the Recipe alright!
My Super sounds amazing and I wouldn't touch a thing if it wasn't absolutely needed...all the way down to the 2 prong cord. works just great.
IF IT AIN'T BROKE-DON'T FIX IT!
You lost me at the two prong cord -- if you use a microphone while playing your Super, you may be putting yourself at an unnecessary risk of electrocution. Bar wiring can be a real eye-opener.

-Smitty
 

Doc58

Member
Messages
114
NO SANG'IN! I had a 68' Silver Face that shocked me every now and then...
I'll eventually install a three prong...but for now the Amp doesn't leave the house and is just fine.
***ANYBODY GOT A LINE ON 3 PRONG CABLES THAT FIT CORRECTLY AND DON'T CAUSE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE KRIMP RETAINER AT THE CHASSIS?***
thanks
 

ScioBro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,389
Bravo on the tubes

That thing'll sound sweet and be ready go for another 20 yrs,
 






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