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A friend has inquired about blackfacing an old silverfaced Fender. I do this all the time and as you can imagine it's a great way to save money and get that blackface sound, considering the price difference between the two types of amps.

He's asking me questions about the difference in sound. I'm more a solder sniffer than a player. I know the history about how the SF changes nearly put Fender into bankruptcy but I'm not the best fellow to describe the tone difference as well as a good player can.

Would anybody be good enough to share your thoughts on this matter? The best metaphor I've heard over the years was that it was "like taking a thick quilt off of my speaker cabinet!"

To my ears the silver face models were so-so when played clean but when you cranked them the distortion quickly sucked. But that's just me!:smile:

:food-smiley-004:
 

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Wow, great thread topic.

This is one of those things that it is really dependant on what model of amp we are talking about. Some of the early SF amps didn't change much from the BF configuration. My 69 SFVR was still basically a blackface circuit, but had the crappy caps in it and just a couple of small changes in the phase invertor circuit.

I just finished doing 2 amps for a guy. His 71 princeton was still fairly much a blackface circuit, but his 74 deluxe was completely "new style"

From about the mid 70's on, you'll find most SF amps are brighter, have less distortion and more headroom than the normal BF amp does.

The increased B+ added to the headroom and so did the fact that they upped the value of the caps in the powersupply. It changed the sound a fair amount.

The SF era also used those crappy brown/reddy coloured caps. It's amazing how much the sound of a regular SF can be improved just by changing those out for better ones.

I've also found that the master volume versions that came out in the mid to late 70's never sound as good when blackfaced as the earlier ones do.

Blackface amps have a slightly darker tone, earlier and warmer breakup and they also have a little more of the "sweetspot" compression to them. They just give you that SRV, swampy sweet tone so much easier.


I think too that part of the blackface sound is because Fender still had Jensen speakers available for them, but that changed with the silverfaces.

One interesting thing though. Alot of players I know like the SF reverb set up better than the BF one, and leave the reverb section to SF specs.
 

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I'm bumping this thread as a way of keeping it "alive".

Hoping for more posts.

I'm wondering about those SF owners that have had their amps blackfaced:
....what did they think of the results? (i.e., did they find the tone they were searching for)
....was it worth the expense?
....did they also replace the existiing speakers with vintage /more expensive ones ?
...any other comments

Dave
 

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Not too much experience here, but there wasn't too much difference between my BF and SF Champs. I'm not sure if anything even changed in this particular model. The Tweed Champ I had was quite different.

I think Ripper pretty much nailed the generalization: BFs are warmer, less bright, and break up sooner.

TG
 

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I think too that part of the blackface sound is because Fender still had Jensen speakers available for them, but that changed with the silverfaces.
Funny thing, when BF's were the current models(yes, I am that old...), most players that I knew couldn't wait to get rid of the Jensens in favor of JBLs or EVs. At the time, I didn't have the cash but eventually "upgraded" to Emminence in the early 70's. Huge difference in sound and SPL.


And for me, the first word that comes to mind about the Fender AC568 circuits is "anemic". The CBS engineers were attempting to get rid of that nasty distortion that Fender amps were noted for.
 

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If they had only known what a huge business "distortion" would evolve into!!....LOL

Dave
It was always funny watching recording engineers trying to achieve that perfect pure clean hi-fi sound while the guitarists were searching for that perfect nasty distorted sound.
 

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Funny thing, when BF's were the current models(yes, I am that old...), most players that I knew couldn't wait to get rid of the Jensens in favor of JBLs or EVs. At the time, I didn't have the cash but eventually "upgraded" to Emminence in the early 70's. Huge difference in sound and SPL.


And for me, the first word that comes to mind about the Fender AC568 circuits is "anemic". The CBS engineers were attempting to get rid of that nasty distortion that Fender amps were noted for.

And around here in the 70's guys were tearing out their JBL's and putting in eminence or celestions cause the JBL's were too clean and added too much weight. :smile: A friend of mine picked up a whack of barely used JBL's for next too nothing and the a few years ago sold a bunch of them on ebay and made a killing!

I am very happy I BF'd my Vibrolux. It made a huge difference, and then I took out the old oxfords (ugghhh) tucked them away and put in a pair of eminence. Very happy with the results.
 

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For a number of years, I was running a brown Super with 2x10 Jensens along with a 2X12 Bassman cab. After swapping the Jensens for Emminence, the 2x10s were suddenly so loud that they drowned out the Bassman cab.
 

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I had a silver face Super Reverb that was built around 68-69 and it played excellent . I think SF's are often over looked and some good deals out there if you find one in good condition .
 
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