School me on Brownface amps.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by radiohead625, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    I don't hear a lot about brownface amps and I want to know more about them. What is considered brownface? How would you describe their tone? Any clips would be appreciated!
     
  2. CaptRKirkB

    CaptRKirkB Member

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    Paging Leon C !
    goggle brownface society
     
  3. windjamma

    windjamma Member

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    ok i don't have alot of experience with brownface fenders but currently own a headstrong verbovibe and i used to own the fender vibroverb ri, brownface amps tend to be a bit thicker sounding in the mids as opposed to blackface which are scooped in the mids.
    the sound a bit more marshally if that makes any sense.
    I am really loving the verbovibe tone at the moment and it nails peter green's tone.
    I think duane allman played through a brownface super at some point.

    great amps are the brownface fenders
     
  4. guitarcapo

    guitarcapo Senior Member

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    My take is that they were a sort of missing link between the tweed and blackface designs. For one thing, they are less raw sounding than tweeds, but they still don't have the refinement of the "tone stack" of the blackface taming things. Actually I love the compromise. They overdrive more like a tweed but with better cleans.
     
  5. TD_Madden

    TD_Madden Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, my '63 Princeton is the perfect blend of tweed-raw and bf headroom.

    Reasonable volume as well.
     
  6. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    That sounds amazing! I'd love to know why a lot more people don't talk about these amps then? What are some good examples of the Brownface tone?
     
  7. riff1006

    riff1006 Member

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    The Rev Billy G!
     
  8. Buddy Boy

    Buddy Boy Member

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    1st album for sure!
     
  9. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    They are,quite frankly,some of the best amps that Leo Fender ever made.
    Criminally underated.
     
  10. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    I really miss my Transitional Brownface Princeton. Behind that blackface are brownface guts, the hint are the white knobs. Pair it with a period correct reverb unit like so, and you're good to go:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. radiohead625

    radiohead625 Member

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    I'm liking the sound of that princeton.
     
  12. vibrasonic

    vibrasonic Member

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    Very rare in term of the years they were manufactured. Not that many in 1960, then till about the end of 63. BF, some in late 63, until the end of 67. Tweed amps, all through the 50's and some into 64(tweed champs). Brown tolex amps were made for a shorter time than any other, besides an odd rare one like a white twin, which had a brown circuit.
     
  13. gtraddict

    gtraddict Member

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    Dick Dale's Showman and Brian Setzer Bassman other famous users of brownface

    But I think guitarcapo about summed it up
     
  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I've only played a handful of originals, but I tend to think of them as breaking up similarly to Tweeds, but at a higher point and cleaner cleans than the Tweeds. Just as the legacy would indicate... between Tweeds and Blackfaces.

    I've long been a Fender guy and played a bunch of vintage amps back before they started getting crazy in price. A Swart AST or AST Pro is on my horizon I believe and I'm sort of interested in knowing if a Swart AST was actually a Fender, would it be somehwat of a Brown Deluxe? That's how I've envisioned it to some extent. Sort of a mixture of a Tweed and a Blackface... with some of its own vibe thrown in, of course.

    I really liked my 5E3, but not so much for its cranked tones as much as it's complex cleans. I'd like a 1x12 or possibly a 2x10 combo (preferably a 1x12) that got that vibe, at a higher volume with a tighter bottom end. Should I just go with the Swart or should I consider a Brown clone of some sort?
     
  15. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    ^ Why not look for an original Fender Brown era amp? I have a '60 Fender Brown super and love it. Its one of my favorites and if I had to go all the way down to 2 amps, it would be one of the two I keep.
     
  16. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    I've played several really nice brown supers and concerts, now own a '60 brown pro. They are their own thing, not that close to either the tweeds or the later blackfaces. The pro is the one I know best. One of the rare SS rectified amps that totally work for me. Still warm, like the tweeds, but with a harder edge. Voiced not at all like the later fenders. No scoop, a very broad and full sound. Hard to explain, it's just different. Very pretty tones, and can certainly get edgy at high volumes. The Super too impresses. One of the most lively and fun amps to play I've come across.

    Then there's that harmonic trem in the big browns. It's a refined, elegant effect, distinctive.

    One thing is much like the tweeds ... some excellent pine cabs on the brown amps. Light and resonant. So different from the feel of later SF amps in particular.

    MD
     
  17. vibrasonic

    vibrasonic Member

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  18. Scooter Burbank

    Scooter Burbank Member

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    You are describing the tweed Super. I've got the Victoria version (35210), and I highly recommend it.
     
  19. Mattbedrock

    Mattbedrock Silver Supporting Member

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