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  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    So I am doing a little research in anticipation of a kit build I am planning to do. Also considering a Princeton Reverb or tweed deluxe clone, but am curious about the 6g3. Did some googling, but most of the information out there seems to revolve around this amp's cranked sound. Respectfully, not really what I am looking for and frankly not really the volumes I am likely to play at. Figured this place was a good place to ask if people have any experience with said amp within it's clean/ jazz gig volume range .

    I am only really aware of the brownface amps as being "somewhere between tweed and blackface". That, on paper, sounds pretty ideal, but I suspect there is more to it than that. As a rule of thumb, I find most blackface amps to be a tad "cold" sounding for my tastes. Tweed amps I have very little actual experience with but I am generally weary of amps that are too heavy on the midrange - at times that can feel a little nasal to me. So where does the brown deluxe fall?

    I may still end of going with either a Princeton Reverb or 5e3 build and tweaking either to taste with some basic mods or with an appropriate speaker, but would love to hear from anyone with experience with the 6g3 about the general character of the amp.

    Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2

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    Julian Lage has been talking in interviews about his telecaster setup with a tweed amp (don't remember if it was a deluxe or princeton, google is your friend) and I think I read (or fantasized) that he plays this amp here.



    In any case, the particular overdrive he gets when he turns up the volume has a similar quality to what I can get from the bx_bassdude plugin, which is a simulation of a bassman. I think that one is blonde 6G6-B according to brainworks website.

    Barry Greene has a video about his recording setup - here he demonstrates how he uses an UAD interface and a tweed something plugin. After some eq Barry gets a very nice jazz tone. But I don't feel that he would get very different results from a different amp.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that there may be subtle differences but the Fender amps of that era have a lot in common. My plugin comes with a bunch of IR's with various cabinet/microphone combos, and switching between those give pretty dramatically different tones. I suspect the speaker an cab will be at least, if not more important as the circuit.

  4. #3

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    Julian was touring with a tweed Champ, IIRC, around that time. When I saw him he got exactly that sound as in the video even if it may not be the same amp.

    I have a tweed Deluxe 5e3 copy which in its natural state is very bass heavy and thus prone to causing feedback in archtops. Mine has switchable mods which allow the use of the other channel's volume knob as a bass cut (Mission Amps Humbucker mods). Sounds great with a Tele and the mod switched out, but too bassy for 'buckers IMHO.

    I've never played through a brownface amp but have been curious to do so for years. I don't usually care for the blackface sound- I find it thin, not warm unless cranked up enough to get some distortion and I never play that loud any more. I find the silverface sound fatter and warmer, but for jazz like the tweed sound more.

  5. #4

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    @Cunamara did you have a chance to try different speakers/cabinet combos? Through experiments with amps when I had a chance and now the sim plugins, I found that bass response can vary dramatically with the speaker/cab configuration.

    At home I have a BJF-S66 which is an analog clone of a super reverb, silverface I believe. It sounds smoother and more hifi to me than the tweed tone.

  6. #5
    Thanks for the responses - I am aware of Julian Lage and his champ - a great sound without a doubt.

    I am frankly leaning towards grabbing a PR kit and putting in a fairly midrangey speaker to balance it out, which, as you are suggesting Frankhond, and in my experience also, can make a big difference. Still vaguely curious about these brownface amps, but maybe I'll save that for down the line when I've had some actually experience with one.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    @Cunamara did you have a chance to try different speakers/cabinet combos? Through experiments with amps when I had a chance and now the sim plugins, I found that bass response can vary dramatically with the speaker/cab configuration.

    At home I have a BJF-S66 which is an analog clone of a super reverb, silverface I believe. It sounds smoother and more hifi to me than the tweed tone.
    I should have mentioned that I built this amp from a Mission Amps kit. Initially it was built as a head and I ran it into various cabs, noting as you say significant differences in base response. With Raezer's Edge 12 the bass response was ridiculously heavy. With an Redstone 8 it was less bassy, as you'd expect, but I didn't like the high end as well. Now the amp is in a regular open back combo cab and that seems to be the best option. The speaker is a Cannabis Rex, which is pretty efficient and gives some illusion of a bit more clean headroom.

    Your comment on the other amp makes perfect sense. The 5e3 circuit is really rather raw sounding, whereas the brown-, black- and silverface amps were aimed at increasing clean headroom and greater volume culminating in the silverface Twin Reverb- still clean at window rattling, paint peeling volumes. The 5e3 works great for me at living room to coffee shop/small bar volumes with a (pianoless) quintet (volume never above 3, tone also at 3, unused volume at 9-10 to cut some bass with the Humbucker Mod engaged).

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sys
    I am frankly leaning towards grabbing a PR kit and putting in a fairly midrangey speaker to balance it out, which, as you are suggesting Frankhond, and in my experience also, can make a big difference.
    It is extraordinarily easy to add a midrange control to a PR -- you can omit one resistor and you do add one pot.

    Here's my second hi-power PR build. I kept the factory 6.8k midrange resistor and added (in series) a 20k pot. That way, on zero I get the factory-stock Fender BF midrange scoop and the higher I turn the pot the more the scoop flattens out. I usually have it set around 8:30 or 9:00 -- just a little added mid.


  9. #8

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    Wow that looks fantastic! Could you kit savvy people educate me a little - so if one wants a certain vintage amp, you can buy a kit and DIY? What’s the pros and cons? Could I for example build a bassman, but quieter?

  10. #9
    Looks great, Sam Sherry.

    Thanks for that - I was aware of the mid pot addition mod, and definitely something I am keeping in my back pocket for the tweaking stage after building the stock circuit - but funnily enough I hadn't thought of putting the pot in series with the stock 6.8k. That just makes sense! Did you move the reverb pot to the back? To the speaker out?


    Frankhond - others will be able to comment a little more thoroughly - this will be my first build, graduating up from building some pedals. Personally for me the biggest pro is... Well that I get to build it! I've been curious about the workings of my amps for some time now, and this project is as much about trying to get my hands dirty learning about their inner workings as it is about getting a new amp. Though the latter sure is a significant bonus.

  11. #10

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    I have lots of experience with black- and silverface amps. I like them, but I max out the mids on most of them. I like tweeds for jazz as well, but hate the bottom-heavyness.

    The amp circuit that I like best so far, is my old Framus Strato 345. Actually, I love it so much that I pretty much settled for this amp as "the" amp for me: sounds full and .punchy on every volume, has treble reserves but never sounds sharp or sterile and the middle pot can dial in both tweed mids and blackface scoop! (And it has plenty of power for all indoor gigs, only for outdoor gigs and festivals I resolve to my Twin Reverb). The 1x12 design and its cab are still light enough not to be cumbersome (much lighter than my Blues Deluxe or a Deluxe Reverb). It handles humbuckers and single coils both equally well.

    In case it would ever get stolen or destroyed I wanted to be able the recreate and rebuild this amp so I traced the circuit meticulously, maybe you can use (some of) it:


  12. #11

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    There are a bunch of folks here who build amps; I learn from them. There are also very helpful boards on the topic including the AmpTech section at TheGearPage.net, the tweed-focused Shock Brothers section on TDPRI.net and the scratch-build-a-Dumble crew at AmpGarage.com.

    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    Wow that looks fantastic! Could you kit-savvy people educate me a little - so if one wants a certain vintage amp, you can buy a kit and DIY? What’s the pros and cons?
    Frank, thank you. Yah, the classic Fender circuits of the 50s and 60s are available as kits. There are generally two approaches:
    a) A complete crate of parts with a schematic and a layout. Because there's no build support the price is lower.
    b) A complete crate of parts (often including 'luxury' caps and transformers), with detailed step-by-step instructions and a panic button. You pay for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    Could I for example build a bassman, but quieter?
    There are plenty of 'Bassman' kits for tweed; BF can be done with a little work. Here's the Ted Weber tweed Bassman kit -- under $500 if you skip the cab & speakers. Whatever 'quieter' means to you there are plenty of options.

    Quote Originally Posted by sys
    Looks great, Sam. I was aware of the mid pot addition mod . . . I hadn't thought of putting the pot in series with the stock 6.8k. That just makes sense! Did you move the reverb pot to the back? To the speaker out?
    Thank you very much. Yeah, I can't picture needing a deeper-than-stock midrange scoop although you may feel differently.
    6L6 Princetons are great amps. That was my No. 1 amp until I very recently finished a D-style combo.
    I used the footswitch holes for the reverb pot and a toggle-switch for reverb and trem kill. Your preference may vary of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by sys
    This will be my first build, graduating up from building some pedals. Personally for me the biggest pro is... Well that I get to build it! I've been curious about the workings of my amps for some time now, and this project is as much about trying to get my hands dirty learning about their inner workings as it is about getting a new amp. Though the latter sure is a significant bonus.
    Amp building is big fun. You research like crazy. You build the coolest 3D jigsaw puzzle everrrr. If you're lucky and extremely patient you get a nice amp. But it's worth noting that of the five amps I've built three required some degree of outside help, ranging from 'You put 100r here instead of 100k' to 'Oh boy.'

    The advice I got at the start was, "Build a 5E3 -- get your feet wet then jump in lip-deep." I ignored that advice and started with the (first of two) Weber 6L6 Princeton build. It took 2.5 trips through that amp and outside help but I ultimately did finish up alone. Then a couple of amps later I ran a cheap 5E3 build alone in a weekend and said, 'Oh, duh!'

    Be careful, prepare to enjoy a process and report back please.
    Last edited by Sam Sherry; 11-30-2020 at 06:55 PM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    I have lots of experience with black- and silverface amps. I like them, but I max out the mids on most of them. I like tweeds for jazz as well, but hate the bottom-heavyness.

    The amp circuit that I like best so far, is my old Framus Strato 345. Actually, I love it so much that I pretty much settled for this amp as "the" amp for me: sounds full and .punchy on every volume, has treble reserves but never sounds sharp or sterile and the middle pot can dial in both tweed mids and blackface scoop! (And it has plenty of power for all indoor gigs, only for outdoor gigs and festivals I resolve to my Twin Reverb). The 1x12 design and its cab are still light enough not to be cumbersome (much lighter than my Blues Deluxe or a Deluxe Reverb). It handles humbuckers and single coils both equally well.

    In case it would ever get stolen or destroyed I wanted to be able the recreate and rebuild this amp so I traced the circuit meticulously, maybe you can use (some of) it:

    This is an interesting circuit; I think old tube Standel amps had the same output tube hum balance pot idea. But, what's the point of the 'diode' input at lower lerft on the diagram? Looks like a record player or external preamp input?? Anyway thanks for posting, always interested in old euro circuits - probably because I have a circa 1960 echolette B40N brought back from Hamburg....

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1997
    This is an interesting circuit; I think old tube Standel amps had the same output tube hum balance pot idea. But, what's the point of the 'diode' input at lower lerft on the diagram? Looks like a record player or external preamp input?? Anyway thanks for posting, always interested in old euro circuits - probably because I have a circa 1960 echolette B40N brought back from Hamburg....
    Well, multiple inputs seemed to be the norm back then ;-) Could be for a microphone, echo-machine or tape player, dunno, never used it! I only use input 1 and 2. The hum balance pot is very useful, because I can use unbalanced output tubes! Which is convenient, because EL-36 tubes are still surprisingly plentiful to get by, but not often as a balanced pair. Same goes for the heater hum balance pot.... I recorded with this amp a lot and sometimes I come around places where the amp all of a suddens hums and then I can minimize the hum with the heater balance pot (due to variations in the wall outlet voltages maybe?)

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    The advice I got at the start was, "Build a 5E3 -- get your feet wet then jump in lip-deep." I ignored that advice and started with the (first of two) Weber 6L6 Princeton build. It took 2.5 trips through that amp and outside help but I ultimately did finish up alone. Then a couple of amps later I ran a cheap 5E3 build alone in a weekend and said, 'Oh, duh!'

    Be careful, prepare to enjoy a process and report back please.
    Thanks for both the encouragement and cautionary tale. I may end up being foolhardy enough to make the same mistake and jump straight to the Princeton Reverb as my first build, though since I am not stateside, probably the best bang for the buck option seems to be a Uraltone Kit, and then to build my cab, and they do seem to have some instructional material on their website. I am also fortunate enough to have a couple of people in my immediate community who would be capable and willing to help me troubleshoot should push come to shove.

    And the resources are appreciated - I have been lurking on the Shock Brothers forum on TDPRI and reading through some build threads there. That and Uncle Doug videos have been my bread and butter in terms of research, and are in large part the reason I feel confident enough to give this a go. Pretty amazing, the amount of informtion people with experience are sharing out there!

    Safety tips of course double (and triple) noted.