Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Tube and solidstate amplifiers made by Rickenbacker

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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Aclempoppi) » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:54 am

Kevin, I played a Super 60(1X12) for a while, in the"Salty Dawg Blues Band". Liked it's strong mid-scooped tone for six string work. For now, my '67 Band Master serves the 2012 360=12 string, quite well. But yeah, I'm looking at 2 X EL84 Class A amps, right now. IMO A player needs to play amps side by side(in a reasonable enviornment) to make the call between Class AB1(Fender), hot AB1(Vox), and A(Matchless, Dr Z, or Badcat). None is better, until your ears make the decision!!! Art
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Medicus1963) » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:59 am

Hi,
I prefer a Fender Blues Junior 3 which is inexpensive, good sounding and portable. Play this Amp with my Ricks, my Gretsch Duo Jet and my Fender Strat. Sometimes I use the Jangle Box, but in most occasions you will have enough treble with the amp alone.

Greetings

Peter
[b]All you need is love and a rick !
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Aclempoppi) » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:42 am

Gotta say, although I'm an amp tech-player with snobbish tube amp preferences, the 360-12 sounds great through any of my amps!!! IMO it would only come down to the room size and a person's particular choice of amp configuration. Art
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (kenposurf) » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:14 pm

The Byrds played Fender Showmans...The Beatles of course VOX put also Fenders (Bassman piggyback)
Depending on what volume you need, I'd lokely go with something like a VOX AC 15
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (JakeK) » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:15 pm

Aclempoppi wrote:IMO it would only come down to the room size and a person's particular choice of amp configuration


Well said, Art! The EQ knobs on the amp also play a factor. I've discovered that certain volume levels work well in certain types of rooms. Is the room big or small? How much space is there in the room? Is it empty or full of gear? Are the walls and floors bare/wooden or carpeted/soundproof?
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (soundmasterg) » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:30 pm

Hi Art,

I just wanted to mention that very few amps are really Class A. The AC15/30/50/100 are not. Neither are the Matchless DC30 or many of their other models, many of the Dr. Z, and many of the Badcat models too. To be truly Class A, the amps must have much lower voltages and power output than they do...an AC30 would have to be around 20 watts with that tube compliment and probably 250v on the plates to be truly Class A, and even with those lower voltage and power numbers, it depends on how it is biased (not the bias method but what numbers it is actually biased to) as to if it is really Class A or not.

To get the Beatles Ric 12 sounds, most of it was done originally with a Vox AC50 or AC100 and lots of studio compression. To get the Byrds Ric 12 sound, use Fender blackface circuits and a good compressor. IF you are looking for something that will get you in both camps, a compressor and a Deluxe Reverb would probably be my vote, though the new DR's are too bright and are made terribly cheaply, so I would go for an older vintage one myself.

Greg
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Aclempoppi) » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:41 am

Very cool Greg!!! Know it's a mistake to assume commericial claims. But thought Matchless was straight-up. Owned a '95 Clubman 35, for 8+yrs, when in a Chicago area Blues band(Salty Dawg). Never measured the plate volts, never had to do anything, but tube R&R. And yeah, I'm with you on the 250vdc plate level. Probably would just have to build a Class A amp to insure the linear operation up to full undistorted output. I share your opinion concerning some of the newer Fenders. Play the new 360-12 through a'55 Valco(5 watt), '67 Bandmaster, or a '68 Bassman I converted to '64 specs(763 bias) in a blond 2X10 combo running 6V6's. No matter the amp, That guitar is just great!!! Art
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Aclempoppi) » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:58 am

OK , This tube snob has to own up to solid state reality!!! Been playin' the 360-12 through a Genz Benz amp at church. The amp is a solid state 65watt with a 12" and tweeter. It sounds great at that level!!! Kind of a testament to a great guitar. If I need to play on the bandstand with a loud drummer, I'd certainly go with a larger tube amp. But I'm really surprised at the sound with the GB!!! Art
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (soundmasterg) » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:52 am

You know back in the day Vox didn't even advertise with any Class A literature either...its only a 90's thing where the Class A stuff took off. Personally I prefer Class AB amps...they are louder and more punchy and sound better for guitar to my ears...but then that consists of a whole bunch more amps than there are true Class A out there. An example of a Class A amp would be a Fender Champ or a THD Univalve for example.

As far as the Matchless, I would have to check your specific model in detail, but I doubt if it is Class A. It might be cathode biased, but that does not mean Class A.

I actually prefer the AC50 and AC100 with Rickenbacker 12 strings to the AC30. THe bigger power tubes sound bigger too in my opinion.

Greg
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Aclempoppi) » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:43 am

As far as I can find out the Clubman 35 is indeed operating in Class A, up to it's rated output. So the power tubes are conducting current 360 degrees up to 35 watts. The output trans is the key. This would be a single ended- two power tube output section. Beyond 35 watts cut-off is very possible, then we're in hot AB1. But with this trans 35watts is the max. I remember playing this guy right up to the threshold. At that point it would squash the signal, and I'd think something was wrong. Back-off and the pure signal was right there. Maybe, you have some insight into this condition. The only Class A I have now is a '55 Valco, single 6V6GT, smooth as glass!!! Art
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Aclempoppi) » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:04 am

You know a wierd statement on the Matchless site, was that "this is a solid Class A transformer". Not sure if they were referring to the OT or PT. I have never heard of a Class A transformer(single-ended , yeah). As long as the tubes are biased for the 360 degree conductance up to 35 watts, I guess that fills the claim ??? But the way that amp sagged, kind of makes me think Class AB1. And yeah it's cathode biased. I can't say that I know for sure!!! Art
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (soundmasterg) » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:31 am

Aclempoppi wrote:As far as I can find out the Clubman 35 is indeed operating in Class A, up to it's rated output. So the power tubes are conducting current 360 degrees up to 35 watts. The output trans is the key. This would be a single ended- two power tube output section. Beyond 35 watts cut-off is very possible, then we're in hot AB1. But with this trans 35watts is the max. I remember playing this guy right up to the threshold. At that point it would squash the signal, and I'd think something was wrong. Back-off and the pure signal was right there. Maybe, you have some insight into this condition. The only Class A I have now is a '55 Valco, single 6V6GT, smooth as glass!!! Art


Aclempoppi wrote:You know a wierd statement on the Matchless site, was that "this is a solid Class A transformer". Not sure if they were referring to the OT or PT. I have never heard of a Class A transformer(single-ended , yeah). As long as the tubes are biased for the 360 degree conductance up to 35 watts, I guess that fills the claim ??? But the way that amp sagged, kind of makes me think Class AB1. And yeah it's cathode biased. I can't say that I know for sure!!! Art


The Clubman isn't a Class A amp either. It is cathode biased using a pair of EL34's. The thing is though that they are running at 430V on the plate, and 380V on the screens. You would have to do the math but ther eis no way an amp using those tubes with those voltages could be Class A as it would exceed the tubes maximum dissipation limit running at those voltages and biased where it is. It is just another hot cathode biased Class AB1 amp like an AC30. The tubes are setup as push-pull, not single ended, so the output transformer is also a push-pull transformer.

There is no such thing as a "Class A transformer." Output transformers are single ended, or push-pull...thats it. Transformers in general are just an impedance matching device. You have some amount of turns on the primary, and some amount of turns on any number of secondaries. These can be step up (wall voltage steps up to some higher amount) or step down (wall voltage steps down to some lower amount). The wire size can change depending on the requirements, as can the type of iron used (M6, M17, etc), and also the type of layering and type of bobbins used.

Somewhere along the way some idiot said an AC30 is a Class A amplifier, and all the hype started up. They aren't and they never were. Any of their clones aren't either. Nowadays, many companies will incorrectly use the "Class A" term to advertise an amp that is cathode biased and to get sales. It is all bunk basically. Gerald Weber goes on and on about it too, but he has it wrong also. A THD Univalve and BiValve are Class A. A Fender Champ is Class A as are single ended amps. The Victoria Regal 2 is two single ended sections running into a common output transformer, and it is Class A also. All of these amps use voltages that are lower than 400V on the power tube plates....and many are more like 300V.

Class A or Class AB is only referring to the range the amplifier is biased into and how much of the 360 degrees the tubes actually conduct. You can bias any amp to Class A....but if it is not otherwise designed to operate at that point, then it won't last long before it tries to self destruct.

Cathode biased or fixed biased is the method used to set the bias. This is a totally different thing than if it is Class A or Class AB. You can have an amp be any combination, though to get an amp to be Class AB2, you need to use fixed bias as cathode bias will not get you there since it develops less power and much more heat. Output power is measured at true RMS, which is right before the waveform starts to clip. In order for an AC30 to be Class A, the plate voltage would have to be lowered from the 320v it is stock to around 250v, and then the amp would be about 20 watts RMS. The Matchless Clubman would have to have the voltage lowered also, probably to somewhere below 380V, and the output would be somewhere around 25 watts.

Here are a couple articles that may help sort out the confusion.....but the basic gist is to be very skeptical when someone says an amp is Class A, because in all liklihood it is not.

Greg

http://www.tone-lizard.com/Vox_Myths.htm

http://www.aikenamps.com/VoxAC30classA_2.html
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Aclempoppi) » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:35 pm

Thanks for the info, Greg!!! Art
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Aclempoppi) » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:39 am

Yep, got you on the Class A condumdron!!! Anyway, I've been using: '67 Band Master, '63 Bassman, '55 Valco, and the'08 Genz Benz. Depending on the venue, the 360-12 just kicks out the real deal!!!! Art
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Re: Which Fender amp for the Beatles/Byrds sound?

Postby (Folkie) » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:24 am

For a classic Byrds sound, I prefer my solid state Fender Princeton Chorus amp, in tandem with a JangleBox JB2. Just a little tweaking of the amp's and the compressor's tone controls, and I can dial in something approaching that classic McGuinn tone from the first four Byrds records. 8)
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