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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink What do you know about Fender Supersonic amp?

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Wink
I'm not a big fan of modern production Fender amps, I think I will always give the preference to vintage amps from the early 60's, when Leo's main values were "tone, simplicity and reliability": yes I'm a sick brained vintage maniac, expecially when it comes to Fender amps.
BUT, I must admit the Supersonic sounded really good at the Surfer Joe Summer Festival this year. I cannot say the same thing about the Twin Reverb reissue, but maybe it was just my impression. And I can also say the Bradipos IV generated an incredibly amazing surf sound playing those Jazzmasters through their couple of Custom Vibroluxes !!

You say you are dubious about the Supersonic reliability, well I think there are only two ways to discover if it's reliable or not:

1) Give a couple of them to Dick Dale and see how long they last;
2) Wait 50 years and see (mmmm... maybe our nephews will see !) how many of them will survive, and in which conditions Smile

Guido (Orno Breaker)

SurfinGuy wrote:

BUT, I must admit the Supersonic sounded really good at
the Surfer Joe Summer Festival this year. I cannot say
the same thing about the Twin Reverb reissue,

If you're referring to Lorenzo's blonde Twin Reverb, that is not a reissue - that is an original blackface that Lorenzo found in a church (I think) in Antigua in the Carribean that was beat to hell, with termites having eaten through most of the wood! Lorenzo has put a lot of time and money into rehabilitating it, but it was in rough shape.

And I can also say the
Bradipos IV generated an incredibly amazing surf sound
playing those Jazzmasters through their couple of
Custom Vibroluxes !!

Funny, last night I was watching the Irish-folk/punk band Flogging Molly on TV, playing in front of thousands of people, and what did the guitarists use? PCB amps, in particular a Vibrolux Custom and some newer tube Crate combo. I guess nobody told the Vibrolux Custom guy that those amps are no good. Smile

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
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Ivan, I was talking about the black TRRI that was there, not Lorenzo's blonde one.
Ok, I agree about the good sound generated by some modern PCB amp.
But, at the same time, I am absolutely convinced that a vintage blackface Vibrolux, if well serviced, sound much better than a modern production one having the exact same electronic circuit. That's not due to the point-to-point wiring opposed to the PCB boards in my opinion, but it's rather due to the higher quality electronic components that were used in the early 60's, to some good old speakers (if still in nice shape !) and to the well dried and more resonant wood of the old cabinet.
But of course, if you have to gig, a 50 years old amp cannot be considered to be much more reliable than a brand new one, even if the new one is a PCB Wink

Guido (Orno Breaker)

Dalibor wrote:

They call me drama queen:)

More like drama KING. What's certain, you are a Romantic. That is appreciated by everyone here (and also reflects in your music).
I also believe that coming from Croatia, where good equipment is/was scarce, you get to appreciate the finer nuances, and learn to maximize the impact with whatever you do have. Great art comes out this way.

Ariel


A single, double, triple, quadruple song

DreadInBabylon wrote:

Dalibor wrote:

They call me drama queen:)

More like drama KING. What's certain, you are a
Romantic. That is appreciated by everyone here (and
also reflects in your music).
I also believe that coming from Croatia, where good
equipment is/was scarce, you get to appreciate the
finer nuances, and learn to maximize the impact with
whatever you do have. Great art comes out this way.

Thanks! Well, with Fender I have this love & hate relationship and we have really bad prices. We as a band really promote Fender here and we never get any discount from dealer. New pro line from Fender cost the same as Victoria amps so I lost any interest in it.

DreadInBabylon wrote:

What's certain, you are a
Romantic. That is appreciated by everyone here (and
also reflects in your music).
I also believe that coming from Croatia, where good
equipment is/was scarce, you get to appreciate the
finer nuances, and learn to maximize the impact with
whatever you do have. Great art comes out this way.

Well said, I could not agree more with each single word you said !
I'm quite a romantic too, specially regarding music and vintage instruments, but unfortunately with zero playing skills and less than zero talent... my only luck is that you still let me chat on this great forum ! Wink

Guido (Orno Breaker)

Three of us did a blind A/B tone test using a vintage SR and reissue SR and guess which one won....the RI.

Same guitar, same settings, all three of us left the room while the rest shuffled the amps.

I've owned and own several amps including vintage Fender and some RI jobs, of the RI Fenders the VV and the SR are the best to my ears.

Generally I think many folks split hairs regarding PCB vs handwired.

METEOR IV on reverbnation

Doug's Island Vibe Guitar Soirée

Las_Barracudas wrote:

Three of us did a blind A/B tone test using a vintage
SR and reissue SR and guess which one won....the RI.

Same guitar, same settings, all three of us left the
room while the rest shuffled the amps.

I've owned and own several amps including vintage
Fender and some RI jobs, of the RI Fenders the VV and
the SR are the best to my ears.

Generally I think many folks split hairs regarding PCB
vs handwired.

Handwired can be also bad. For instance new Vox handwired amps are complete nightmare. Once you start having problems with PCB amps it is impossible to repair. Or, let's say, you can repair it but then you never know when it is going to malfunction again (usually during the gig:))

It's a funny old world when everything from your phone to your car has PCB and is ultra reliable. But i'd guess most of these boards are made by computer-robot and boards in guitar amps are probably soldered by hand. The thing i've noticed about lead-free solder is it's much harder to get right. I know silver solder has better properties but the old illegal lead stuff really sticks i find.

Malc

Last edited: Jul 02, 2011 22:05:46

Soldering tube sockets, input jacks, and control knobs right onto the PCB board is the cause of most problems.

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

DISCLAIMER: My avatar is a reflection of the relationship between myself and computers, and should not be construed as any kind of comment on my fellow SG101'ers.

Dalibor, I thought your opinion was interesting - I have no frame of reference because I've never played a vintage Jazzmaster.

Anyway, I've said plenty of stupid things. That's never stopped me from posting!

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

Las_Barracudas wrote:

Three of us did a blind A/B tone test using a vintage
SR and reissue SR and guess which one won....the RI.

Well, it may be due to the fact that the vintage SR was probably not well serviced and not properly set up (caps, tubes, BIAS adjustment...), and maybe also the speakers in the vintage amp were not in full shape: did you try to connect the reissue SR's speakers jack to the vintage amp's output ?

Generally I think many folks split hairs regarding PCB
vs handwired.

If a PCB amp is well designed and well engineered, and has the right electronic components mounted inside, I'm sure it's as reliable and good sounding as an handwired amp. As Brian correctly points out, the problem with modern amps is mostly the bad design and engineering: if they go on designing and building amps with soldered tube sockets or pots or jack sockets directly on the PCB board, it clearly means that reliability is definetly not their main goal.

PS: I have no skills and talent as a guitar player, but I'm an electronic engineer Whatever

Guido (Orno Breaker)

Last edited: Jul 03, 2011 02:36:13

crumble wrote:

It's a funny old world when everything from your phone
to your car has PCB and is ultra reliable.

Confused Confused Confused Confused Confused Confused

Yes, the only "reliability" related to modern mass production electronic devices (such as cellphones) is related to the fact that you can be absolutely sure they will start having problems right the day after the warranty ends, and you will be lucky if they will not even explode: there are plenty of engineers working very hardly to design products and components that can last just for the warranty time: after that time, it's a gamble, just a matter of luck Argh

The 50's and 60's were really golden ages for electronic devices, each of them were built like a tank, made to last longer than the universe itself, expecially when talking about musical instruments, and even the cheapest ones: it was definetly a much more romantic age than today.

Guido (Orno Breaker)

Last edited: Jul 03, 2011 05:38:48

Guido,
You are correct about things during the 50's and 60's being build like tanks. There was certainly a pride in the workforce in America(I cannot speak for other countries) that doesn't exist today. At the same time, the 'build it like a tank' concept also proved to be a poor decision on a business level. I am not just speaking of electronics. I can equate this to my first job after college. I worked for a company designing heavy machinery for the rail industry. The company had been around since the very early 1900's. Well, the machines were built so well that companies that purchased them in the 20;-30's-40's were still using them. Therefore our sales in the US were eventually halted due to flooding the market with indestructable machines. It nearly put us out of business if not for expanding into business with China. The most money we made off of the US market the last few years I was there was in our small 'service' department that would do basic maintainence on the machines....Anyway, the point is that if you build things too well then there is never a need to replace them. At the same time, if you are going to make an amp disposable, don't charge an indisposable price. Fender amps are NOT cheap.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
www.reverbnation.com/killbabykillal
www.facebook.com/killbabykillal

I'm sure things are very different if you are designing a cell phone. A lot of gadget loving people want the next shiny toy when their 2 year contract ends. And since technology changes so fast, there probably isn't much of an incentive to build a cell phone like a tank. I'd expect more from a company building an amplifier for a gigging musician. Again, I don't know if the Supersonic suffers from the issues noted above, but I'd find out before I bought one (if I was a gigging musician -- I'm sure it's fine if you intend to only play in your basement).

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

DISCLAIMER: My avatar is a reflection of the relationship between myself and computers, and should not be construed as any kind of comment on my fellow SG101'ers.

We, up until recently, have had a supersonic out for the past year. I wouldn't say that this is enough time to get a good impression of how they hold up. It didn't, however, suffer any problems during the time. We do happen to baby our amps though.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
www.reverbnation.com/killbabykillal
www.facebook.com/killbabykillal

killbabykill34 wrote:

We do happen to baby our amps though.

I'm really starting to question exactly how hellbent for destruction you really are... Wink

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

DISCLAIMER: My avatar is a reflection of the relationship between myself and computers, and should not be construed as any kind of comment on my fellow SG101'ers.

Hahaha...Hell-bent as five guys with no money to buy new amps can be.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
www.reverbnation.com/killbabykillal
www.facebook.com/killbabykillal

I just want to open up this thread again because I played on the Surfer Joe Summer Festival 2012 through the Super Sonic 60 (2x12 closed back) again.

I have to say it is awesome! Especially the Vibrolux Channel!
The best sound I had so far! I never played a real Vibrolux but this is Super Sonic 60 Version amazing!

Its 10000 times better than the Twin Reverb. I didn't miss anything in that sound. Just perfect and really sparkling. Twin Reverb has no chance compared to this.

It would be interesting how the Vibrolux would compare to the Bandmaster. Has anyone tried both? Or the Super Sonic and Bandmaster(blonde or blackface)?

It seems to be that the Bandmaster and the Vibrolux are really similar.
They both have 40W and 2 x 6L6 Tubes 2x12AX7 and 2x7025. So they both might sound really similar except there is a 3. power tube or somthing on the vibrolux.

Do you have experiences with this?

http://www.bangmustang.de
http://www.reverbnation.com/bangmustang
http://www.facebook.com/bangmustang
https://soundcloud.com/bang-mustang

Last edited: Jun 29, 2012 08:04:34

i told you the supersonic is the best thing fender has done in a long time... i am glad you liked that.

Lorenzo "Surfer Joe" Valdambrini
(www.lorenzosurferjoe.com)

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