Tube Amps / Music Electronics
For current discussions, please visit Music Electronics Forum. New: view Recent Searches.
New: visit Schematic Hell!
The sunn still shines online!

Listen to great tunes streaming live right now!

ampage archive

Vintage threads from the first ten years

Search for:  Mode:  

super reverb silver vs black vs current production

12/24/1998 10:48 AM
Lee C.
super reverb silver vs black vs current production
What is the tone, different controls ie: master vol.spkrs reverb effect tremolo/vibrato and  
so forth?  
I knw either blackface is worth more than silverface but other than which is older why is  
one worth more and what is the newest year one could buy for less dollars and still have  
the super reverb sound?
12/24/1998 6:40 PM
Michael S.

Other than finding the first sentence of your question somewhat confusing, I can offer what little I have discovered/read about Super Reverbs.  
When Fender first starting offering reverb as a built-in (about late '63 or early '64,) they made some changes to the amp line. The original tweed Super had been a 2-10 amp. The 4-10 guitar amp in the Fender line was the relatively new Concert, which was purported to be the brown-era answer to the tweed Bassman. No bass amps were built after the tweed Bassman as a 4-10, until the arrival of the Bassman 10, in the early 70s.  
The Super Reverb (blackface) with the AB763 circuit, built-in reverb, and 4-10s, was introduced in early 1964 or so. It stayed a BF until 1968, at which time it was changed to the new silverface model, but the first year of SF kept the AB763 circuit. The '68 was unique in that it, like ALL the '68 Fenders, had an aluminum trim strip all the way around the speaker grille. From 1969 on, the aluminum strip went away.  
Also, in late '69, the circuit was changed to the AA1069, which was slightly different from the AB763. The speaker complement remained at 4-10s, but the manufacturers varied from Jensen to Utah to Oxford, depending on availability at the factory. All SRs had ceramic magnet speakers, to the best of my knowledge.  
In 1977, the last variant of the SR hit the stores, with an incredibly bad master volume/pull-distort circuit that could, if properly adjusted, drive dogs into a rabid frenzy, scare bats away, and cause ear bleeds in small children, not to mention peeling the wallpaper (a plus if you're into redecorating, a negative if renting an partment.)  
The M/V models are probably the best candidate for being able to get cheapest (though not here in Austin -- everyone wants a piece of the action when it comes to soaking musicians.) Depending on condition and the local market, you could conceivably find a M/V SR for $300-600.  
Retrofitting to BF specs, adding a presence control (well, you have to fill that hole where the M/V control used to be, don't you?), installing new filters caps, bypass caps, and plate load resistors (don't try to figure which is actually a plate load resistor -- just replace all the 100Ks) and resetting bias can be done in three hours or so by a competent tech. I know bench time here runs $30-50/hr, depending on who you use. The best techs usually have a backlog, if they'll take "normal" customers at all (the guys who work on the pros amps get to be somewhat prima-donna-ish -- regular working musicians don't get much of a break from them), WILL make you PAY for it. Some of us who do this as a hobby are reluctant to take on new customers because we do this as a "labor of love," rather than as the way we make the rent. I rarely work on an amp from someone I don't know. People get recommended to me by mutual acquaintances, and I don't advertise. I also have a habit of explaining that if you can't tell me when the filters and other electrolytics were last replaced, they probably need it, so it'll cost about $4-5/cap for the filters, and $1-2/bypass cap. I usually recommend that they bring in their own matched outputs, so I set the bias while I'm at it. All in all, it can cost $100-120 plus parts, to convert a M/V SF to AB763 specs.  
But I'll damn well guarantee that it WILL sound better than any SF you've heard in a while....  
Merry Crazymouse to all! Narf!  
Book Of The Day The Ultimate Tone, Volume III by Kevin O'Connor
Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to build a Bassman, Champ, Plexi, an 800, AC-30, Bulldog or Portaflex? Or you wanted to build an SVT with off-the-shelf parts? How about a master-volume amp that doesn’t change tone with the master setting? Everything you need to know is right here, including: proper grounding techniques, wiring methods, and mechanical considerations. Eighteen chapters cover the “iconic” amps everyone knows and loves, with schematics and layouts for each, along with the technical history of the product. Eyelet-board and chassis-mounted tube socket construction is used throughout, for easy servicing and modding. TUT3 is very accessible even if you cannot fully read a schematic and is a "must have" if you are going to build an amp for your self.

Note: The Ampage Archive is an Amazon Associate site. A small commission is paid to the site owner on any qualified purchase made after clicking an associate link such as the one above.
12/25/1998 1:05 AM

I purchased a BFSR in mid 1967, ( still have it) it came with CTS alnico speakers. Keep it quiet but,  
these are great speakers !  
Also, I have worked on amps that date from mid '67 with SF and alum. trim. The earliest ones have thin black vertical lines that devide the channels and name on the faceplate. Nit-picking I know!  
12/25/1998 3:42 AM
Steve A.

...adding a presence control (well, you have to fill that hole where the M/V control used to be, don't you?),  
    Can you post the details for adding a presence control to a BF'd SFSR? I added one to my Pro Maniac project amp, loosely based on the pc's used in the brownfaces and it seems to do the job, but my choice of component values was a bit arbitrary so I've wondered if a little tweaking might make it work even better.  
    Here are links to the GIF and PDF versions of the Pro Maniac schematic; maybe you can tell us what values you used:" TARGET="_top">" TARGET="_top">  
    I believe that a presence control is the most overlooked mod to the basic BF design, and it really lets you fine-tune your guitar tones with different tubes, speakers or guitar pickups. Thanks for posting a summary of the Super Reverbs!  
Steve Ahola  
But I'll damn well guarantee that it WILL sound better than any SF you've heard in a while....  
    And probably better than most of the BF's, too!
12/25/1998 6:30 AM

I have to agree with Michael. You can get the Silverface SR's to sound very good and as Steve said sometimes even better than the BF's. I personally like my SF converted to BF better than the 66 BFSR. Don't get me wrong, they are both excellent but the SR IMHO sounds better and has more power than the BF.  
Steve, just what does the presence control do? Is this something that is desirable on a SR?  
>>>All SRs had ceramic magnet speakers, to the best of my knowledge.<<<  
Michael, I have 2 SR's. One 76 and one 66. Both of them have or had the alnico CTS speakers in them. I have seen some SR's with the ceramic Jensens in them but most of the ones I have observed or worked on had the CTS alnico's in them. I personally, and I'm not doubting that they are out there, have not worked on or observed an SR that had anything other than the jensens in them if they had ceramic at all. If there was any other ceramics they were usually after market. I have AB'd the CTS and Jensens and cant tell the difference between them. They both are excellent speakers. Right now my 76 has 2 CTS's and 2 Jensen C10Q's gold label's in it. I put the jensens in there while I was getting the other 2 CTS's and 2 jensens reconed. I have had them back for a while now and have not put them in because "if it ain't broke don't fix it". It sounds great!!  
12/25/1998 12:39 PM
Steve A.

:presence control on SR  
    A presence control is like a tone control on the output section of the amp. Depending on your choice of components you should be able to tune in a basically stock BF sound, and then tweak it either way for more or less treble. I guess it may also have an effect on the mids- but maybe someone like Bruce Collins can pick up the thread from here and explain exactly how a presence control affects the frequency response, et al, of a PI. (That guy probably knows more about Fender PI's than Leo Fender himself!)  
    If you had a vintage BFSR I don't think you'd want to drill another hole in the front panel just to add a presence control, but I think it'd be worthwhile to add it to the rear panel (possibly replacing the ext spkr jack- just use an adapter cable if you needed to use an ext cab with the stock speakers). Fender used presence controls on many of their top-end amps through the brownface era, and dropped them in the change to blackface (which generally added in reverb instead).  
Steve Ahola  
P.S. Here's a post I saved from "James" describing how to add a resonance control to the output section of a BF/SF amp. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I believe that if a presence control would be like a treble control for the output section, then the resonance control would be like its bass control:  
Resonance control mod:  
This mod was first posted by Mark Cameron. I have used it on Fenders and Marshalls with great results. Basically, it is the opposite of a presence control, allowing you to tighten up the bottom. I will try to talk you thru the wiring.  
Looking at the back of the 1meg audio pot, left to right, numbering pins one two and three. Disconnect your feedback wire from the output jack and solder to pin three. Solder a new wire from the output to pins one and two.  
Solder a .0047 cap from pin three to pins one and two.  
That's it! I use the master volume control on Silver-face amps, which is a 1meg audio taper. Good luck!  
12/27/1998 2:30 PM

I'd like to add a few items to add to Mikes list of Super generations  
The MV first appeared in the Super as a non/gain-boost version in later '72. The gain-boost MV appeared in about early '74. These amps are easily converted to the Blackface circuit by changing the values of the components and elimination of the MV (or just keep the MV at 10 all the time).  
Later - and I think that was the '77 revision - the circuit was changed, incorporating the UL output transformer, and much higher B+, etc. These are convertable to the older spec, but really, you need to replace those transforers and add the choke back in (as well as rework the power supply). They're not really worth converting unless you get the amp for a very low price, IMHO.  
BTW, those UL amps are sought after by steel and jazz players for their clean tight sound - not exactly the bluesman's dream tho.
   Page 1 of 3 Next> Last Page>>