Vintage Fender Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by silencer eleven, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    Ok, well I recently have been pretty infatuated with vintage amps, hiwatt's, fender's, marshall's just ya, been wanting lots of fenders, but not really sure about what the difference is. like:
    what's the diff between
    vibrolux and tremolux (besides vibrato and tremolo)
    and the bassman and bandmaster?
    pro reverb and deluxe reverb?
    I guess i just dont wanna buy amps that are essentially very similar.
    if somebody can shed some light, or maybe direct me to a site filled with all the needed info that'd be wonderful

    thanks

    evan
     
  2. erksin

    erksin Member

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    http://www.ampwares.com/ffg/

    Pretty informative site, IMO

    And BTW - no Fender amp ever had Vibrato (pitch modulation), only tremolo (volume modulation). A huge misnomer on Fender's part...
     
  3. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    thanks alot. anybody else?
     
  4. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    There is a slight pitch modulation in the bias driven vibratos in the earliest brown Fenders,up to/including the Vibroverb...
     
  5. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Emphasis on 'slight' - but I know what you mean...
     
  6. lannyhall

    lannyhall Member

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    Evan,
    There is a lot to know. To speak in huge generalities, there was tweed (wide panel, narrow pannel), brownface, blackface and silverface. The trend was from the low headroom of the tweeds, to the higher headroom silverface amps.

    Supposing that you are mainly speaking about blackface Fenders, and staying in wide generalities, the Vibrolux had reverb and was a combo, the Tremolux had no reverb and was a head/cab configuration. [There was a blackface Vibrolux (non-reverb), but it was not a big seller and was a combo with one 12" speaker.]

    The Bandmaster had two guitar channels and the Bassman had a bass channel and a guitar channel.

    The Pro Reverb had a pair of 6L6 power tubes in a 2x12 combo and the Deluxe Reverb had a pair of 6V6 power tubes and a single 12.

    The ampwares site with the Fender Field Guide is a very good source for reading up on specifics about each amp. Another place to hang out and lurk for a while would be the Fender Discussion Page, AKA the Fender Forum. http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html
     
  7. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Check out the "Fender Amp Field Guide" for a nuts and bolts discussion of the differences. Also, Wikipedia has an article I started on "Fender Amp History".
     
  8. go7

    go7 Member

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    See the Tube amp Book. It`s all in there. Good luck !!
     
  9. karmadave

    karmadave Member

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    Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years
    by John Teagle, John Sprung

    Due to be released on Nov. 15

    The Soul of Tone: 60 Years of Fender Amps
    by Tom Wheeler, Keith Richards (Foreword)

    -KD
     
  10. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    thanks alot guys i'll definitely take a look into all of this.

    evan
     
  11. TiEsQue

    TiEsQue Member

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    Good info from Gries' site http://www.griesamps.com/id13.html

    The blackface amps from the Deluxe up to the Twin Reverb and Showman (everything except the Champs and Princetons) were basically the same amp. That is, they were designed using the same circuit with several variations. All were class AB with adjustable fixed bias and used the same two channel preamp, phase inverter, reverb, and vibrato (actually tremolo) circuits. The differences were:

    1. Some were combos, some were heads with dedicated cabinets.

    2. Most of the combos had reverb, none of the heads did.

    3. Output tube sets consisted of 2 6V6's (Deluxe), 4 6L6's (Twin & Showman), or 2 6L6's (everything else).

    4. Most had a tube rectifier, the more powerful amps had solid state rectifiers.

    5. Power supplies (power transformer & filter capacitors) were designed for the needs of the output tubes. That is, the higher the output power, the more current is needed. It is important to note that in the mid-powered amps (2 6L6) there was a lower current supply (Vibrolux & Tremolux) and a higher current supply (Pro, Super, Vibroverb, etc.) This is why some were rated at 35 watts and some were 40.

    6. The output transformers were tailored to the output power and speaker impedances.

    7. Many amps had midrange controls. Those that didn't had a fixed resistor that was the equivalent of a midrange pot set approximately at the half-way point.

    8. Many had bright switches. This is nothing more than a switched capacitor that allows very high frequencies to bypass the volume pot. As the volume is turned up, the bright switch becomes less effective because all frequencies are bypassing the volume pot.

    9. All had vibrato except the Bassman.

    10. Probably the biggest difference in sound was a result of the speakers used. Each guitar amp in the line had a unique combination of speakers with the exception of the Super Reverb and the rare Concert, which both had 4x10's in an open back combo format. None of the amplifier circuits were "voiced" in any way.
     
  12. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Just so there's no confusion - it's Tremolo (volume modulation) - not Vibrato (pitch modulation), even though it's labelled as such on the amps.
     
  13. Gries Amps

    Gries Amps Supporting Member

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    I thought I should be the one to point out the error in TiEsQue's post, since he was quoting me. As erksin said, blackface Fenders had Tremolo, even though it was called Vibrato. Now I'm off to fix the web page....
     
  14. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Hey man - it's not your fault, we should all blame Leo!

    Vibrato on his amps, Tremolos on his guitars - the guy screwed us all up royally. Couldn't he have whipped out a dictionary..?
     
  15. KenTone3

    KenTone3 Member

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    What the heck are you guys talking about !!
    Read the tail end of the very first paragraph, which reads ....
    ".... and vibrato (actually tremolo) circuits."

    Thus the clear distinction and correction is already provided in the very beginning of Dave Gries' article.

    Nice article, by the way, Dave.

     
  16. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    One thing that might help orient Silencer Eleven is a listing of fender amps in GENERAL smallest to biggest terms.

    Champ
    Princeton
    Deluxe
    Vibrolux
    Bandmaster
    Bassman
    Super
    Pro
    Twin

    Corrections from more knowledgeable cats are welcome.:angel
     
  17. erksin

    erksin Member

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    If we're talking BF amps it would look like this:

    Champ/VibroChamp
    Princeton/Reverb
    Deluxe/Reverb
    Tremolux
    Vibrolux/Reverb
    Bandmaster
    Bassman
    Concert
    Super Reverb
    Pro Reverb
    Vibroverb
    Twin Reverb
    Showman
     

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