Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by sheikyerbouti, Jan 25, 2012.
Who has an original tweed deluxe? Have you ever compared it against an imitator?
c'mon, no one with an original deluxe?
I heard Neil Young has around 250 of them. Somebody needs to track that man down.
I have an original narrow panel tweed D.
A friend has an original narrow panel tweed D
Another friend has a Mission kit build tweed D.
The Mission sounds much more like mine than my friends original.
My experience is that the consistency of old Fenders is all over the place.
I went through a few until I found a keeper.
After 50+ years of component drift any two real Tweed Deluxes have a extremely wide tolerance from one another...their citcuits can be up to 50% different from one another.
That renders comparisons with clones totally moot.
I had a real '60 Deluxe for a dozen years or more, all the clones are different and yet all the same. When comparing any two of an amp model, your brain highlights the difference, compare a dozen or more and your brain switches to highlighting similarities and they all sound the same.
That's why people obsessions over components are ridiculous.
I have an original '58 and have A/B'd it with a friends Crema Wheat. The Crema has tighter bass, more clean headroom and is less compressed. The Deluxe gives up the goods sooner, even with the same speaker, and is a "no pedals needed" amp.
Some pertinent info:
Fredric Taccone went through both of the originals within a year of each other.
Well the Creama Wheat has a completely different preamp design.
Didn't know that. I thought the Crema just had larger transformers. Good to know.
The Cortez is the straight 5E3, the Cream Wheat uses a tone stack that borrows the 6G3...it isolates the two channels (no interaction) and uses a different tone stack. S2 used to make a similar amp (layouts are around on the web) and I believe the Mission Vol/Tone mod is similar.
I think some clone and reissue amps sound like the original amps did when they were new, which is not a bad thing.
Oh, I would guess twice that. I believe all those old Astron caps were 20% tolerance. And I know the resistors were 10%.
I have a late 50s Fender and a 10 year old Victoria.
Fender is dirty, sweet, and fun.
Victoria is clean, bright, and serious.
I have a 58 deluxe and a clark beaufort special. I was playing both amps thru the same cabinet and speaker. Also, both were loaded with very similar NOS glass. The clark sounded alot smaller so I put a 5V4 rectifier in it to get it into the "vintage 5E3 overvoltaged" state. That helped a bit but the clark sounded really "new" and uninteresting compared to the 58. I did complete tube swaps and it didn't matter much. After about 20 - 30 hours put thru the clark on gigs, I noticed the amp's sound changed for the better. The change wasn't subtle. It got to the point that it's similar to the old deluxe. I still prefer the old one but find the clark a good sounding replacement for my old deluxe and a great gigging amp.
Chassis is an original 54. The cab is new, but not technically correct since it's a narrow panel.
Really, you can compare two original Tweeds back to back, both serviced last week by the same tech with the same parts and they'll vary in how they sound.
Buy the boutique/clone if you want the sound, buy the Fender if you have the $$$ to spare and having an old amp is more important than having the sound.
That's my take, anyway.
I sold mine because all it would have took was the OT blowing or other part going south and it would have been worth half as much. Plus, I just didn't like having the asbestos (yes, old Fenders have asbestos) in the house around my son, my wife's father died of mesothelioma from asbestos used on submarines.
Thanks Wyatt. I believe it.
It kind of reminds me of when they "restored" the sistine chapel paintings of Michaelangelo. They did all this high tech analysis of the paints and restored everything...and afterwards the paintings looked cartoon-like. Michaelangelo wasn't as great as everbody thought. Age and touch-ups by masters made things look better.
Same with an old amp. Make it exactly to spec from a schematic written 50 years ago.... and the sound will not be the same as a 50 year old amp with component drift and a history of tech work done on it. Maybe exactly like the designer intended....but not the same as it is now.
For the life of me I never understand why people still install a death cap in an amp that doesn't need it. Does it have a polarity switch too? That really gives up those vintage tonez.