Trying to find new amp...help?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by tjbackstage, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    I am currently looking for a new amp to replace my unreliable Fender Blues Jr that has the input jack, pots, and tubes go out on me monthly. For how much I play, I can't take it any longer! I play A LOT and need something reliable and with a wide range of volumes and tones. I have my amp on for 4-5 hours each day, play it for 2-3 each day, bring it out of the house for band rehearsals once to 3 times each week and gig once or twice each week solo or with a band (I do only traditional blues with a slight amount of rockabilly). My initial thought was to find an amp that was handwired and would be a big step up from my Blues Jr in reliability and tone, but I can't find anything local and the only local vintage shop is bad and hard for me to trust. I've used Twin Reverb reissues in backline quite a bit and really like their tone and versitility. My only concern is that the PCB is going to do the same things as my Blues Jr which would defeat the point. I'm addicted to that Fender tweed tone (I also like blackface Twins and Bassmans) and don't want to leave it. But does anybody have ideas for where I should go for under $1000 (new or used in VERY GOOD condition) while keeping portability, tone, wide volume range, etc?

    Thanks!
     
  2. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    It sounds like maybe you got a bad one? For one thing, when jacks, and pots "go out", what was done to fix them?

    The reason I ask, did you or a tech replace them? Because the input jacks for example ought to be upgraded...if they are board mounted, and plastic, I'd go to chassis mount and solid. Same with pots (quality, and chassis mount). If tubes are going too often, and honestly...pots shouldn't go unless you are just twiddling them for 1 hour each day...which I doubt you are. I mean, usually you set and forget or tweak once and leave. Sounds like something is not right in that amp.

    If you really like the amp, and are not also looking forward to trying something different, I'd buy another and/or try and fix the current one corectly. Are they known to be problematic generally?
     
  3. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    I hear about these having this problem all the time from people who play as much as I do! And it's just not a good fit for how much I play and lug this thing around. I've had it for one year and have used the free warantee work from Fender a number of times to replace all the pots and the input jack each time. And these guys are the best in town and certified to do warantee work from Fender. I would NEVER buy another Blues Jr and it just doesn't fit me either. Too many reliability problems and early breakup in this amp with my full hollowbodies sounds pathetic. I like the Twin Reverb, but I don't know if I'll have the same reliability problems that I'm having with my Blues Jr. I am a tone freak and do mess with my controls quite often, but the pots deteriorate and cause horrible distortion and start ruining the tubes after 3 weeks of being replaced. The 1-year warantee is up now and I can bet that I'll spend double the amount getting this fixed over and over this year than I spent on the amp. the pots put into this along with the input jack are the only kind that Fender or any other company makes that fit into this circuit board. I know from past experience with this type of amp and from other people I know that own this type of amp that this problem is VERY common for people who use it as much as I use mine. It would make a better backup amp for me.
     
  4. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I recommend that you look for a Silver Face Deluxe Reverb.
     
  5. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    Amps that have pots mounted to the PC boards are more succeptible to (expensive) damage, and whatever you save up front gets spent on repairs as your noting. For shear reliabilty, a point to point hand wired tube amp is hard to beat. You can go vintage but you may find a lot of vintage amps need overhauls to be roadworthy. Good news is that we live in a golden age of boutique amps and you can find EXACTLY what you want, built new, with old school (and often better) construction techniques. If you like traditional Fender stuff, start with Allen, Victoria, Bruno etc. You'll get a great amp and if you take care of it it will last a lifetime.

    Yeah, you'll pay more, but if you're playing that much it sounds like you need the reliability. As the saying goes, it's a lot cheaper to "buy it once". Repairs are often cheaper on point to point amps since single components can be replaced as opposed to entire PC boards.
     
  6. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    I've had lots of people tell me to get a Silverface Deluxe Reverb, but I really don't like Deluxe Reverbs. The only amp I like that's a blackface (I don't like silverfaces, period) is the Twin Reverb. Does anybody have experience with the reissue Twin Reverb and if it's reliable for constant gigging and moving around? (let's say it'll get out of the house 2-3 times each week and I NEVER put a single nick in my amps! I play at home for 2-3 hours each day but leave the amp on for 4-5 hours each day. Can this amp take that without needing repairs? My Blues Jr can't!) I don't like Allens, and I DO NOT have enough money for a Victoria! I'm at $1000 max now, need an amp, and the Victoria that suits my needs is $2200!
     
  7. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    Has anybody had reliability issues with the new Twin Reverb RI?
     
  8. Belmont

    Belmont Member

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    you don't like any silverfaces period,yet you're interested in a Twin Reverb RI,which is pcb crap as well. I don't get it.
     
  9. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    I don't like the tone of the silverfaces one bit, but I like the tone of the Twin Reverb RI. I know it's a PCB, but it has metal jacks, better insides, more reliable USA tubes, and is USA made. The opposites of those are the problems I've been having with my Blues Jr. I just want to know if anybody has had any problems with the Twin Reverb RI.
     
  10. doc

    doc Member

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    I'd probably get a silverface Twin or Vibrosonic Reverb and have it blackfaced if I had your situation, but the RI might be the easier route. Most people are buying Deluxes these days, not as many want the bigger amps as much, so you can get a vintage Twin near the same price as a Deluxe. Loud as hell, heavy, but a great clean sound. I'm a little confused by your description though, you say you like Tweeds, then you say you only like Twins and not Deluxes. The Twins are very clean and the Tweeds break up the most, with the Deluxes in the middle.
     
  11. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    I don't quite understand myself either! I love the old Supers, Pros, and low-powered Twins. The only amp I like that isn't one of those is the blackface Twin, but I don't know if that would be a reliable amp or not...
     
  12. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    I don't have that much money yet and I want an amp that's higher wattage. Dang, I'm looking at an 85-watt Twin Reverb!!!
     
  13. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd second the SF Bassman (or pony up $1400 for my BF Bassman and 212 cab ;) Sorry...

    ACtually, in your case I'd lean towards a SF Vibrolux Reverb. Usually less than $1000, bulletproof if you keep them fed decent tubes, handwired and they sound great. If you need more volume add a 210 extension cab with more sensitive speakers (like the Weber Blues, more than doubles the apparent volume of mine).
     
  14. ~Naylor38~

    ~Naylor38~ Member

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    I was able to tour the east coast (Boston to Miami) several times with
    a Twin RI. Never had any issues at all with it. The tone was consistent night after night. I beat the heck out of that amp (no roadcase/standing on it/spilt beers on it...ect) and it never let me down. I feel that the Twin (ptp or pcb) is
    a true workhorse, while ptp may be the better amp in the long run - I would bet my hat that anyone on this forum could get a good gigging tone and 'move' the people with a RI. .....anyone seen my hat ...????:D
     
  15. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    Ok, does anybody else have experience with the Twin RI? What custom tweed remakes for around $1k would anybody have to recomend?
     
  16. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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  17. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    I played with a guy in San Diego that had the re-issue - he didn't have any problems with it but kept it only in his house and one club. He always worried that it might crap out.

    Conversely, I bought my old '68 twin used, had been gigged for 20+ years, had been off the continent several times and was beat to snot - and still sounded great. I re-tolexed the amp, had Jeff (of Jeff's guitar fame) go through it and replace the filter caps/tubes and put in some new speakers. It sounded phenomenal and still has another 30 serviceable years at least. A bass player knocked it off a stand one night - made a helluva noise, I picked it up and kept playing. Never had an issue. I don't think the re-issues will ever have that kind of track record, but I might be wrong.
     
  18. Rocked Star

    Rocked Star Member

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  19. Faustine Amps

    Faustine Amps Member

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    I doubt you're going to find a new high-powered (i.e. 50 watts or more) point-to-point tweed repro for under $1000. I've seen a few "boutique" tweed amps on eBay for that price and the build quality looked very amateur, the wiring was a mess, and I can't imagine they would be reliable.

    I have no experience with the Twin RI. The new PC board "reissue" amps from Fender do have some reliability issues (at least in my experience). As for a used amp, it sounds like you're insisting on a vintage Fender Blackface Twin (a great amp), but your budget and your specs are pushing you into a corner.

    Regards,
    Tim Gregoire
     
  20. tjbackstage

    tjbackstage Member

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    Well, the Twin RI has great tone, but I might have to pass because of reliability issues I've heard of. What about any cheap copies of tweed Supers or Pros? For something reliable and with good tone?
     

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