Worth it to mod my Fender?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Pseudohobbit, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Pseudohobbit

    Pseudohobbit Supporting Member

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    I've been thinking about modding my Blues Deluxe, not an expensive amp but I gravitate toward the sound. Some web research has revealed a few interesting mods like cap replacement and a pentode/triode switch. I'm wondering if others here have had their newer Fenders modded and if it was worth it. The total mod costs would be no more than $250 I think.
     
  2. Dad love mom

    Dad love mom Supporting Member

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    I doubt it. I have no experience with modding Blue Deluxes, but I can tell you that the difference isn't going to as perceivable as you think. More so, in terms of musicality, I doubt the audience would be able to tell. Remember -- they are the reason you play music -- to impress them. I've yet to come across many mods (including tube swapping, guitar pickup swaps, etc) where the audience can absolutely tell the difference.

    If you rock, you will know it by their reaction. If you don't, you'll know as well. :)
     
  3. DGDGBD

    DGDGBD Member

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    I had an orignal blues deluxes and tried some mods including the triode/pentode switch. That one is not worth it IMO. The best thing I did with that amp was to upgrade the output tubes (mine came with Sovtek 5881WXT stock) and speaker. I liked the small bottle 6L6WGBs in that amp.
     
  4. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    I agree, just upgrade the tubes and maybe the speaker.
     
  5. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    Forget about modding. If you don't like the tone you are getting get rid of it, its a little blunt but I've been down that road and no tube or speaker or resister change is gonna make it sound like "a keeper". Its in the circuit. You've known when you bonded with an amp when speaker or tube change makes hardly a difference
     
  6. Hound Dog61

    Hound Dog61 Member

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    I would try a speaker change if you are looking to change something.
     
  7. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    Yes, just change the speaker and tubes. Internal mods should just be in favor of reliability and upkeep since it's not a bullet-proof design. These can always use a little cap work after several years.
     
  8. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    It all depends on the amp and it's quality, but based on those facts, I agree with vicdeluca71.

    Save your money and find the amp for you that will scratch your tonal itch.
    You won't get your upgrade money back in a resale, so you might as well use that money towards an amp that does it for you from the get-go.

    Don't be in a rush , or say "Well, I just don't have that kind of money". Most of us don't, but the smart ones are patient enough to save and wait it out.
    In the end, it WILL be worth it.
     
  9. bluesky636

    bluesky636 Member

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    Don't waste money on the various kits. They are all overpriced. You can do it yourself in individual steps.

    Here is my thread on modding my Blues Deluxe Reissue. Sound is much better than stock. Before anyone asks why I bothered to do this, the answer is simple: I felt like it.

    http://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=80142
     
  10. Pseudohobbit

    Pseudohobbit Supporting Member

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    Interesting stuff. I do really like the sound. I mainly want to tighten bass, tame highs, and smooth it just a little. Otherwise, I really like the sound. I don't play with a band, just on my own at home and a little recording. I have a Supersonic 22 that I love. I was hoping to have the same experience with my BDRI, liking the initial sound then swapping the speaker (haven't done it yet for the BDRI). I put a Warehouse ET65 in the SS and it got even better. I have the same feelings for the BDRI. I definitely want to change the tubes and speaker, but I didn't know if the mods would do great things or not. The fact that both amps are PCB boards has been a concern, but I love the sounds I get from them.
     
  11. AcousticBoom

    AcousticBoom Member

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    $250 is way more than you need to spend on internals for this amp. The first thing I would upgrade is the speaker. That's going to make the largest difference in the sound of that amp. I upgraded mine with a Weber Blue Dog (8 ohm, light doping, 75W). Amazing difference in the sound.

    Tubes are another great way to improve the sound. I went with Tung Sol 12AX7's and Winged =C= 6L6's.

    If want to take it further and are comfortable with your soldering skills, go for the Fromel upgrade kit. It's only $54 and does improve the amp's tone. It also fixes the master volume taper issue. It makes a very noticeable improvement in the amp. Well worth the money and a fun project to boot. The instructions are very clear easy to follow. Only downside is that it does void your warranty.
     
  12. Cgkindler

    Cgkindler Member

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    Changing speakers makes a huge difference.

    When I was doing tube swapping on my Two Rock, what I noticed the most was the response, and how far I put turn the master up before I got the same volume (and the main difference coming in where the response frequency wise, was.....so....one tube I had to turn it up more, but it had a lot less lowend so it sounded cleaner....the stock tube made it louder at lower volumes but had much more boom (which I ended up liking)

    HTH - I'm not an electronic expert, just someone who's done some changing around.
     
  13. bluesky636

    bluesky636 Member

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    Read through my thread. Each mod is described in detail and can be done individually or in concert with others. My thread covers exactly what you are looking for.
     
  14. bluesky636

    bluesky636 Member

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    There is nothing wrong with the master volume in a BDRI. Those who complain about it the most don't know how to use it.
     
  15. AcousticBoom

    AcousticBoom Member

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    Maybe in the newer ones they fixed it. The schematic in the service manual I have calls for a linear pot (R26), which is what was installed in my amp. The mod kit swaps it out for an audio taper pot. Much less jump in volume when turning it up.

    "...don't know how to use it"? Please explain how someone would not know how to use a master volume.

    Edit: Date on the schematic is 12/4/2004, rev A. So it's quite possible there's a rev B that fixes it.
     
  16. bluesky636

    bluesky636 Member

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    Nothing wrong with a linear pot in a master volume. Set the master to a low loudness level. use the drive control to set the preamp gain and distortion. Set master to desired overall level. Never gave me a problem in using it like that.
     
  17. AcousticBoom

    AcousticBoom Member

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    I still don't understand how someone can use it wrong as you implied. After the initial jump in volume, yes, it works fine. However, if you want some volume below the jump, it becomes troublesome. I would love to always play that amp at the volumes it was intended for, but that's not always possible when you live with other people. Changing the pot out gives you more flexibility to play at lower volumes without fussing with the knob as much.
     
  18. Pseudohobbit

    Pseudohobbit Supporting Member

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    So, I just read about replacing the v1 tube with something different (maybe the v3). What's a good option. Also, I know very little about tube types. The only tubes I've used in the past are ruby tubes. I don't want to break the bank on tubes either, but reasonably priced suggestions are appreciated.
     
  19. bluesky636

    bluesky636 Member

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    There is no "jump in volume" in my master volume. If you expect to get good overdrive sound at bedroom levels from a 40 watt amp, then you bought the wrong amp. Even 5 watts at home is loud.
     
  20. bluesky636

    bluesky636 Member

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    Read my thread. It explains several tube options and the effect of each one. You don't need to spend a lot of money on NOS tubes to get good tone.
     

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