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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink What's everyones favorite surf amp?

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The Blackface Piggyback amps have the Vibrato channel signal partially shunted to ground through the vibrato circuit. A lot of people simply raise the gain in the vibrato channel by disconnecting the circuit at the pot. it's an easy and reversible mod. I have also substituted the pot for a 5meg with on/off switch to disconnect the circuit when you are not using it. The 5 meg gives far less vibrato control, but I use it full on or nothing, so that dosen't bother me much.....ed

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

Phantom1
Hey Johnny Mosrite, I've got a Silvertone 1484 as well. Mine is all original except for one power tube, inc both original Jensens.
How does your 1484 do in the volume dept? I can't use mine unmiked because when it's maxed out it's not only totally overdriven (beautifully I might add) but it's just not loud enough to keep up with our drummer. If I want to be heard over the drummer for a solo or whatnot it's a lost cause.
Just curious, at this point mine just sounds great for home use, and looks cool as hell too!
I'm actually considering getting different speakers to coax some more volume out it.
-Ted

Your band must really thump! I'm good with volume on my Silvertone 1484 with the volume at about 3/4 turned up. It has the original Jensens. You might want to check if your power tubes are MATCHED in output.. makes a big difference.

I'm guessing that you play with a Fender or similar guitar with typical 7.0K-8.50K pickups. I'm using a Ventures model Mosrite with 11.50K-13.5K pickups..almost twice the (wimpy) Fender output. Have you tried a signal boost? Hot sound necessitates hot pickups.. or something..
Wink
JM

Also - I'm considering a Mercury Magnetics out put tranny repalcement. they go for about $150.00, I think.

My 1484 actually has an interesting story....I drove down to Bakersfield to get it about 1 1/2 yrs ago, and the guy I bought it from knows Ed Sanner (of Mosrite FuzzRite fame). Apparently the original owner bought it brand new, played it for a couple months and then it sat in his garage for approx 35 yrs. When he died his wife brought it to Ed Sanner, whom they went to church with. He fixed it up and then eventually sold it to the chap I got it from. Idunno how accurate this story is, but hey...
Anyway...while my 6L6's aren't a matched pair, the replaced one is pretty close bias-wise. To be even close enought in volume to be heard I've got the Silvertone cranked....which limits the tonal options cuz at that point you've got complete overdrive and rolling off the guitar volume only cleans it up so much. While the amp's certainly loud, it just sits in the mix without being able to really cut thru if needed.
I'm playing a Mosrite Super Excellent, a Strat and a 1965 Mustang which both have single coil sized P-90's from Vintage Vibe Guitars, and occasionally an '84 Tele with stock PU's.
I've actually been told that replacing the OT will help with the volume, but may take away some the sound that makes it so distinct......hhmmmm.
Haven't tried a signal boost....perhaps it just needs a good check-up to get it back in better shape again.
Another interesting aside, I have an 8ohm Weber 10" 10F150T speaker in a separate cab and the Silvertone's louder thru it than the stock cab at 4 ohms with it's 2-12's.....go figure.
Sorry if this has been off topic, just curious about others with 1484's.
-Ted

I have a blond Vibro King and I love it, but I feel like I could have spent less money on an amp, bought an outboard reverb and I'd be getting a better, wetter reverb. It really helps if you replace the 6V6 tubes with 6L6s. I mostly play an AVRI Jazzmaster and a Hallmark Sweptwing. The Sweptwing has pretty hot pickups and the Vibro King comes close to beaking up (which I don't want) when I use the standard issue 6V6s. The 6L6s have a surfier sound. I just got he Jazzmaster a month ago and it sounds fantastic through the Vibro King.
You can't kick a Vibro King and get that great crashing spring sound. The body is made of birch and birch is hard as freakin' rock. Kick a VK and it doesn't budge. I tried it after seeing The Mediera earlier this month in Columbus. They were kicking there outboards a lot and it sounded great. I couldn't bring myself to kick my VK but I gave it a good solid nudge and it hardly made a sound.
I guess the VK isn't my dream amp but I do love it. I'm intrigued by the mod to the reverb circuit that Ran mentioned.
Ziv

ziv
. I couldn't bring myself to kick my VK but I gave it a good solid nudge and it hardly made a sound.
I guess the VK isn't my dream amp but I do love it. I'm intrigued by the mod to the reverb circuit that Ran mentioned.
Ziv

It's a good thing you don't kick the amp, that's a bad idea...remember there are many more tubes in there than the reverb unit. Cause a short circuit in one of the power tubes and you might be real sorry.
About the mod - I don't have the exact procedure, and I'm not sure that the tech would share, but I assume it involves comparing the two circuits and just replicating the outboard's circuit inside the amp. It can't be that complicated, as the circuit is simple, and the VK places it before the pre-amp.
Now, Off Topic, is Ziv your real name?

Ran

Dual Professional with an outboard cab with JBLs, Altecs or EVs.

I do believe the built in reverb in the Dual Pro is perfectly fine for my needs, but I don't use "a lot" of Reverb. I do use a tape echo.

kickthe_reverb_

ziv
. I couldn't bring myself to kick my VK but I gave it a good solid nudge and it hardly made a sound.
I guess the VK isn't my dream amp but I do love it. I'm intrigued by the mod to the reverb circuit that Ran mentioned.
Ziv

It's a good thing you don't kick the amp, that's a bad idea...remember there are many more tubes in there than the reverb unit. Cause a short circuit in one of the power tubes and you might be real sorry.
About the mod - I don't have the exact procedure, and I'm not sure that the tech would share, but I assume it involves comparing the two circuits and just replicating the outboard's circuit inside the amp. It can't be that complicated, as the circuit is simple, and the VK places it before the pre-amp.
Now, Off Topic, is Ziv your real name?

Ran

No. My name is Nicholai. Sorry it took me so long to reply. My computer has been giving me grief - as usual. I had to decide between a new computer and a new Jazzmaster. Maybe I'll get a new computer next year. Speaking of names, is your name pronounced Ran or is it pronounced Ron as in the Akira Kurosawa film Ran?

Nicholai

I like my 1966 Super Reverb (4 x 10") fine for surf. We don't play real loud, the volume is usually less than "5" so it stays pretty clean. If its a small venue I'll drop back and use a (reissue) Deluxe Reverb (1 x 12") or even go down to a 1966 Princeton Reverb (1 x 10"). The Princeton is also my favorite amp for recording.
Boulder Bob, I'm curious as to what type of tape system you use. I too just use the onboard reverb in all of my amps and frequently use a Yamaha Magicstomp along with the built in reverb. It has a pretty good (digital) multi-head tape effect, especially if you tweak the settings. Casey

FENDER G DEC
Dead Thread

Stuff Hits the Fan

I just...

I like the amp I play (no surprise there, right?). It is a Fender '65 Reissue Twin Reverb Custom 15. I don't know why more surf guys are not hip to this amp. It sounds awfully nice to me.
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SSIV

Casey, I use a Dynacord Echocord, there's one on the 'bay right now:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130150015279&_trksid=p3907.m32&_trkparms=tab%3DWatching

it's in Germany, but $75 to ship is a good price

the thing about tape echo is the speed is not exact so the pitch changes a little bit on the echos. this fact makes tape echo rule for me

Thanks Bob, unfortunately its not in my budget at the moment but at some point would love to try something like that.
Casey

61 Bandmaster.

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Rock
A Man from S.U.R.F.
http://menfromsurf.com

Agree

Brownface Bandmaster = surf music nirvana! I put a new mercury magnetics oversized OT transformer in it when I got it and it probably added the equivalent of 10 watts of power, plus it sounds so sweet. It's plenty loud but not quite Showman loud, which is fine with me.

I often play with my new Quilter Steelaire, which is a fantastic amp and SO LIGHTWEIGHT! but when it comes to getting the best surf guitar lead tone I can, this is the one.

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PS I've since put on proper brownface era Fender badges.

Danny Snyder

Latest project - Now That's What I Call SURF

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So, is that a Bandmaster chassis and a Gomez G-spring stuffed inside a Deluxe Reverb cabinet?

Chippertheripper wrote:

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Paul
Atomic Mosquitos
Bug music for bug people is here!
Killers from Space

Don't know if it's my 'favorite', but I do like it.
Fender Dual Professional modified to a 1-15" Weber Cali Alnico.

image

Paul
Atomic Mosquitos
Bug music for bug people is here!
Killers from Space

Also not my favorite but it was a great little combo amp, aka the "Dual Showbaby".

Dual Showman head in a Deluxe Reverb cabinet with a pair of Weber Californias on a 2x10 baffle board.

I gave it to my brother for Christmas a couple of years ago because he was wanting a blonde Fender amp for his music room.

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Jack
aka WoodyJ

HulaHounds (1996-present, studio only)
The Mariners (1964-2019)
The X-Rays (1997-2004)
The Surge! (2004, 2011-2012)
Various non-surf bands that actually made money (1978-1990)

Last edited: Sep 30, 2016 13:41:17

Not one ounce of vintage cool or mojo but still the best sounding surf amp I've personally owned.
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Custom head cab w/a Quilter Pro Block, SurfyBear FET Reverb, tuner, delay, SurfyTrem, EQ, and EP Booster clone mated to a 1 x 15 cab loaded with the Quilter custom Eminence 15" Steelaire speaker.
Better than I'll ever need!

Bill S._______
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HELLDIVER on Facebook

Shocked I'm impressed.

Danny Snyder

Latest project - Now That's What I Call SURF

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