Frenzel Preamps?

Re: Frenzel Preamps?

Postby waldo041 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:36 pm

Ender wrote:Is the sarno preamp a straight ab763 circuit? Or are the other mods done to it?
So are these preamps the same except for higher quality parts?


the sms classic is an ab763 minus the vibrato and with a very good digital reverb. component wise, brad has a great ear and knowledge of the best quality parts available and definately uses them in the most critical places needed in all his preamps. the classic is basically a take on jerry's ab763, and comes in a couple flavors, wickersham or healy. wickersham used different materials then healy did and brad accomodates to try and fit the era you are after.

have you considered the fact that the frenzel most likely does not have reverb in that price range you are looking at? that price will definately be more with a choke and transformers as well as springs and bigger chassis... yada yada yada.... just another thing to consider in your hunt.

peace,
waldo
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Re: Frenzel Preamps?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:33 pm

Just being honest, I can tell from photos that we're definitely going the high end boutique route in the SMS Classic with regards to critical component quality and selections compared to what's appears to be in the Frenzel, and we're also gonna be more accurate by having the 3rd tube stage just like an AB763 circuit and the parallel reverb mix (and sparkle add) stage.

All that said, that Frenzel is pretty darn impressive that he can offer so much preamp for $200, and not made in China. I personally pay way more than that just for my raw, unassembled parts to make an SMS Classic. So for someone on a tight budget, I think the Frenzel is surely a good move, and it's probably fairly easy to swap in some specialized components, etc. for upgrading, and at least come up with something maybe approaching the sound of the GT Trio or maybe an F2B. He probably won't offer a schematic, but for someone who understands the basics of this Fender-inspired circuit, it shouldn't be too hard to trace and know what's what.

Regarding the actual circuit topology, it doesn't appear that the Frenzel will do the exact Jerry Twin thing. But it's quite possible that it would dial in a tone that's close enough for some people's tastes.

But seriously, how does he do all that for $200? Worker elves? For that kind of money, I think I want one. :lol:

Brad
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Re: Frenzel Preamps?

Postby TI4-1009 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:14 pm

Brad- I, for one, find your honesty very refreshing. That means a lot these days. Thank you.
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Re: Frenzel Preamps?

Postby williamsaut » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:03 pm

Ender wrote:I have a DRRI right now, and a carvin 1x12 mesa type knockoff + strat with super II's. The deluxe really doesn't cut it volume wise. I'm trying to sell it to fund this actually.

This just seems like a great deal!
I was planning on one of these Frenzels + a Rocktron Velocity... No jbls yet.. .but i have an EVM12L that sounds pretty fantastic. :cool:


I've got a DP-1 that I ran through my Fender SS Jazzmaster head and a 2x10 open back cab loaded with Jensen Neo 10-100s once and It seamed like it was inverted or out of phase. Very nasal sounding. The deep control on the F preamp and the bright control on the M preamp seem to be backwards. The Fender reverb channels usually have the bright switch and the M ( for Marshall ) preamp has a bright switch which is really unnecessary. The M preamp is WAY bright. I mean REALLY bright. Like Rush power chord bright. The output level control works well and it's a quiet preamp. The two inputs can be mixed to get some unique ( and good ) sounds but they share the tone controls which is a minus. Running it through a 25watt PP 6L6 High-fi power amp through a 2x12 open back Peavey Scorpion 12 cab makes some great sounds. I'd say it's better for rhythm than dialing in a Garcia tone. I looked inside and it's a 'rats-nest' point-to-point style wiring instead of the Fender eyelet board but some feel that this is still better than a PC board. I'm going to try running it through a MC2100 before shelling out the $$ for Brads preamp.

OH, and I'm running a 2x12 cab now with 1-JBL E120 and 1- EVM12L and yes, the cab sounds almost perfect.
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Re: Frenzel Preamps?

Postby williamsaut » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:31 pm

strumminsix wrote:For MANY years I spent tons of small amounts on crap gear while searching for the sound but never 100% happy for more than a few weeks or things broke.

Since then I've invested in better gear which is, in turn, more expensive. The result is being happier with my gear for YEARS and the gear holding up.


I gotta agree here. I too, have spent a small fortune on mountains of gear in the last 15yrs and in the end it does seem like the higher quality and more costly gear is better over-all and has the best overall sound. More transparent and to use a phrase Garcia used to describe his own tone search, 'unambiguous' sound. The little Fender Jazzmaster head I've got is a $600 amp but can drive down to 2ohms ( 240watts ), has speaker protection, channel switching DSP on each channel. It works in both the Dead Band and County band and I've even used it as a preamp for Acoustic. Just a very versatile and reliable amp. ( and it's only 7lbs! ). It doesn't nail the Jerry tone but give's me a very high quality 'signature' tone and plays with pedals really well. I also shelled out big bucks for a real MutronIII and had it gone over and re-cased by a pro who specializes in Mutrons. Let me tell you, It is scary big sounding. Head and shoulders above any of the other Envelopes I've tried. It's the type of pedal that almost can't not sound musical.

I'm pretty sure that spending $1500 putting a Mc2100, Lexicon PCM-65 and SMS preamp in a rack is going to be a good experience too!! Sometimes it's the journey!
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Re: Frenzel Preamps?

Postby Ender » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:07 pm

williamsaut wrote:
Ender wrote:I have a DRRI right now, and a carvin 1x12 mesa type knockoff + strat with super II's. The deluxe really doesn't cut it volume wise. I'm trying to sell it to fund this actually.

This just seems like a great deal!
I was planning on one of these Frenzels + a Rocktron Velocity... No jbls yet.. .but i have an EVM12L that sounds pretty fantastic. :cool:


I've got a DP-1 that I ran through my Fender SS Jazzmaster head and a 2x10 open back cab loaded with Jensen Neo 10-100s once and It seamed like it was inverted or out of phase. Very nasal sounding. The deep control on the F preamp and the bright control on the M preamp seem to be backwards. The Fender reverb channels usually have the bright switch and the M ( for Marshall ) preamp has a bright switch which is really unnecessary. The M preamp is WAY bright. I mean REALLY bright. Like Rush power chord bright. The output level control works well and it's a quiet preamp. The two inputs can be mixed to get some unique ( and good ) sounds but they share the tone controls which is a minus. Running it through a 25watt PP 6L6 High-fi power amp through a 2x12 open back Peavey Scorpion 12 cab makes some great sounds. I'd say it's better for rhythm than dialing in a Garcia tone. I looked inside and it's a 'rats-nest' point-to-point style wiring instead of the Fender eyelet board but some feel that this is still better than a PC board. I'm going to try running it through a MC2100 before shelling out the $$ for Brads preamp.

OH, and I'm running a 2x12 cab now with 1-JBL E120 and 1- EVM12L and yes, the cab sounds almost perfect.


Do you have any recordings of the frenzel?
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