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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink 6g15 Fender Reverb ri optimization

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So, how do I get this reissue unit to sound more like my old blackface 6G15? I replaced the driver tube with a NOS RCA 6K6. I can’t say I hear that much of a difference.

I’ve heard tales of replacing the circuit board for a more vintage accurate PTP board, but I don’t know where to find someone who rebuilds these darn things. Any tips?

What about the tank? Is the stock fender ok, or should I get a surfy bear spring tank for it?

Jill Martini & The Shrunken Heads

Last edited: May 13, 2022 09:41:08

And I know there have been previous threads on this, but most of that info is 10-15 years old. There may be new tricks and products that have come to light since then.

Jill Martini & The Shrunken Heads

I have an unused hand-wired circuit board from a Gomez G-Spring, a person could install that (or something similar) in place of the printed Fender board.

I had one of those installed in my reissue unit. It did improve the sound, made it less brittle.
Mind you, my reissue unit also had jacks replaced, pan replaced to vintage Gibbs, c10 cap mod with toggle switch for 3 values, NOS tubes. All of these were done separately, not at the same time. Two of the most effective changes were: the 12AT7 was replaced with an NOS RCA tube, and the pan replaced to a vintage Gibbs.
Still, after all these changes, it doesn't sound as good as my magic 1965 unit, nor my Texotica (with a Gibbs pan).
So, I suggest, start with the pan, then the 12AT7, and if still not happy, look for something else.

Good luck,
Ran

FritzCat wrote:

I have an unused hand-wired circuit board from a Gomez G-Spring, a person could install that (or something similar) in place of the printed Fender board.

The Scimitars

I agree with Ran. Look into the new surfypan, they're quite good.

Danny Snyder

Latest project - Now That's What I Call SURF
_
"With great reverb comes great responsibility" - Uncle Leo

I'm back playing keys and guitar with Combo Tezeta

Surfypan, check
NOS 12AT7, check

what’s with the jacks?

Jill Martini & The Shrunken Heads

The jacks are for reliability, not for tone.
My pan reccomendation was based on your original question.

Ran

The Scimitars

My '63 Reverb came with a USA Accutronics pan. It has good drip, but is kind of clangy/metallic.

I swapped in a a 2019 Accutronics (Korea) pan, and it sounded smooth and very lush/cavernous, but doesn't drip very well.

I recently scored a 1969 Gibbs pan, and it sounds head and shoulders better than either Accutronics pan. It has the lushness of the Korean pan, and tons of drip, and sounds wonderfully 3D.

If you want THEE sound as heard on the old records, you gotta find a Gibbs!

Last edited: May 16, 2022 14:11:10

Was Gibbs the manufacturer of the original tanks Fender used?

Jill Martini & The Shrunken Heads

Yes

The Scimitars

Tele295 wrote:

So, how do I get this reissue unit to sound more like my old blackface 6G15? I replaced the driver tube with a NOS RCA 6K6. I can’t say I hear that much of a difference.

I've come to the conclusion you can't. I had an originally 64 Blackface reverb unit, it was GREAT. Foolishly sold it and tried at least 5 reissues chasing that sound. I never could, so I just went True Spring pedal at this point.

Tele295 wrote:

Was Gibbs the manufacturer of the original tanks Fender used?

Be advised that you need to find a Gibbs pan with the correct input and output impedance, which can be a bit challenging.

See: https://surfguitar101.com/forums/topic/32671/

Why is every piece of musical gear from the 60s better? Why can't we get anything right anymore? Don't we have several vehicles on Mars?!

andare wrote:

Why is every piece of musical gear from the 60s better? Why can't we get anything right anymore? Don't we have several vehicles on Mars?!

i agree completely. I’ve been playing since 1966 and can tell you from firsthand experience that not every piece of gear back then was great. Old pt-2-pt amps were far from 100% reliable. In the sixties, we played any umber of guitars to find one good specimen. Modern guitars are frequently made with CNC and the consistency between individual guitars is much greater than it was in the past.

In early 1972, I was looking for my first good guitar and wanted a Gibson ES-175. At that time, a decent used 175 cost about $400 in 1972 dollars. Just for perspective, later that year I bought a 6 year old Ford Falcon Sprint with 49,000 miles on it, with a V-8, four speed, and bucket seats, for $800. I used t9 cruise the music stores in Denver playing used guitars and many of these CMI era Gibsons were not all that good.

Just a few feet from where I am sitting, is an Epiphone Dot, which can be had for $300 in 2022 dollars. It plays as well and sounds as good as any Gibson from the good old days. Once again for perspective, in 1972, my parents kept up a three bedroom home in a pleasant suburb of Denver on about $1,000 per month. In other words, a used ES-175 would cost 40% of the gross monthly wages of a modest middle class family, while the Epi Dot costs less than a day’s gross in today’s world, and while it’s not as prestigious, the Epi is functionally as good as a Gibson from the CMI era.

I think that the ratio of good instruments was more favorable with Fender, because they were made very simply. As long as the specs were the same, Fenders were pretty likely to sound good.

I own a Tube Reverb RI and it’s pretty decent. I’ve played an original 6G15 and have to say that it was quite good, but I don’t think that my RI sounds bad. The difference in sound might be discernible if you spend a lot of time comparing them, but no one in the audience would ever notice the difference. It’s a non issue, in my opinion.

I love old guitars, but I have no complaints about the newer guitars I own. I have several MIJ Gretsch, made between 2004 and 2017. Only one of these did I get to play before I bought it, but the quality has been so consistent that I never had a second thought about buying sight unseen, and I was never disappointed. I have five Fenders, and once again, four were bought sight unseen. Other than a minor wiring problem on one Tele, I have had no problems.

I’m not saying that there are no problems, but as far as gear is concerned, I don’t think that we have much to complain about.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

andare wrote:

Why is every piece of musical gear from the 60s better? Why can't we get anything right anymore? Don't we have several vehicles on Mars?!

I share the same sentiment, but I suppose the reality is the junkers from the days of yore have not survived, while the truly great old gear has been passed along from musician to musician over the decades, skewing our perception.

Syncro's point about the consistency of modern CNC-produced guitars is spot-on. Even cheap new guitars made in Asian sweatshops are generally pretty decent guitars compared to what was considered entry-level in the '60s.

Last edited: Jun 10, 2022 11:04:44

beatcomber wrote:

andare wrote:

Why is every piece of musical gear from the 60s better? Why can't we get anything right anymore? Don't we have several vehicles on Mars?!

I share the same sentiment, but I suppose the reality is the junkers from the days of yore have not survived, while the truly great old gear has been passed along from musician to musician over the decades, skewing our perception.

Syncro's point about the consistency of modern CNC-produced guitars is spot-on. Even cheap new guitars made in Asian sweatshops are generally pretty decent guitars compared to what was considered entry-level in the '60s.

Just to add to that, I have a Squier CV ‘70s Thinline in the next room. The neck pickup was a bit dark, out of the box, but was modified by the previous owner, and now sounds fine. The fit and finish is excellent.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

I think my RI reverb unit actually sounds better than the original '65 I normally play out of. The RI does have an issue picking up FM radio stations occasionally though. I have changed the input and output jacks on the RI unit as the originals were awful. That was a mess. I vote point to point with the exception of the original Ampeg SVT that I once got into for a friend.

I had a Surfy Bear some years back that sounded really good too but it quit working and I could never figure out why. Something on the PCB crashed and that was it.

Ed

Traditional........speak softly and play through a big blonde amp. Did I mention that I still like big blonde amps?

eddiekatcher wrote:

I think my RI reverb unit actually sounds better than the original '65 I normally play out of. The RI does have an issue picking up FM radio stations occasionally though. I have changed the input and output jacks on the RI unit as the originals were awful. That was a mess. I vote point to point with the exception of the original Ampeg SVT that I once got into for a friend.

I had a Surfy Bear some years back that sounded really good too but it quit working and I could never figure out why. Something on the PCB crashed and that was it.

Ed

So, if it picked up FM, was it at least a good station? Smile

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

The first time it picked up a radio signal was when we doing a sound check at the nTelos Pavilion in Norfolk, VA, prior to our opening for the Beach Boys...... I was pretty pissed about that. Too pissed to actually listen to the broadcast.

It started doing that crap again when we played the Cotton Club here in Atlanta. Not long after that I bought another vintage one. No more problem-o's.

Funny thing about those RI's. There are at least two different board layouts and lead dresses. Mine must be a very early RI and Fender figured out they had a problem and fixed the later RI units. Just my guess.

Reverbs,

Ed

Traditional........speak softly and play through a big blonde amp. Did I mention that I still like big blonde amps?

eddiekatcher wrote:

The first time it picked up a radio signal was when we doing a sound check at the nTelos Pavilion in Norfolk, VA, prior to our opening for the Beach Boys...... I was pretty pissed about that. Too pissed to actually listen to the broadcast.

It started doing that crap again when we played the Cotton Club here in Atlanta. Not long after that I bought another vintage one. No more problem-o's.

Funny thing about those RI's. There are at least two different board layouts and lead dresses. Mine must be a very early RI and Fender figured out they had a problem and fixed the later RI units. Just my guess.

Reverbs,

Ed

Stray radio signals almost broke up Spinal Tap. Smile

My RI has treated me pretty well. I think it was not particularly an early example.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

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