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 #104040  by claytushaywood
 Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:44 pm
I'm really compiling a bunch of info to try to pull the trigger on a bunch of jerry gear- got way too much extra money by way of luck- but not SMS, moriarty, mac, HT kinda money.

so i'm interested in getting some opinions and new ideas for alternatives to some of jerry's gear. like the preamp- just found out about the Hughes and Kettner blues master/crunch master preamp and thought it sounded great for jerry tones! anybody know anything similar to this? what about Frenzel Pre's? I was also thinking that the preamp circuits in old fenders are really not very complicated. subtracting the dual channels, vibrato, reverb, rectifier power section takes a lot of money and weight out of those amps. are there any alternatives to the SMS (i know its great stuff, but i think $700 is a little high for a fender pre when I got a 2x12 non master pro reverb from 73 for $700)... and yes I have this amp... which is great for jerry sounds. but i do want to switch to an external cab (i too believe that combo amps shake up the tubes way too much and make them lose their sparkles) Does weber have any just preamp kits for a twin or similar? I'm open to all ideas just trying to save a little money. Seems like I could get a lot further by selling the pro and buying other gear than paying to have it converted to a head just to use the preamp!

this looks kinda interesting but cant find any sound demos of it ... 27be9d7ede

what about power amps? anything like the QSC i should check out? i dont need that much power! are there any lower wattage mac's that can be had for cheaper?

i found some opinions on the Eminence Commonwealths- but has anyone hear compared em to some JBL's?

Thanks for all the help so far guys!!! can't wait til i get started towards my jerry rig so I can contribute with some knowledge, opinions and video sound clips of my own!!!

 #104042  by mijknahs
 Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:55 pm
I'm having great success with a Carvin Tube 100 power amp (50W per channel - now called the TS100). It really sounds great with the SMS Classic (or my Fender Twin). It is in a rack with the SMS and is much lighter and easier to carry than a McIntosh MC2100.

 #104046  by mijknahs
 Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:17 pm
Your cheapest bet (if you don't want to shell out for a new SMS Classic) is to get your Fender Pro into a head cabinet and get a separate cab with some JBL speakers. Maybe upgrade some of the parts of the Pro if you haven't done so already (see Waldo's website for Fender preamp upgrades/mods).

You really wouldn't need anything else especially if you're going for lower power. It will sound killer. If you needed more headroom, just get a good power amp. That Fender preamp will blow away just about anything else for "Jerry" tone. Especially with the proper mods.

 #104049  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:33 pm
I agree. Your Fender Pro is your ticket, no question. Even with its own power, if you drive a pair of JBL's with it, you'll be very happy. You can do some of the upgrade/mods to the Pro and really be there. Like Jim said, see Waldo's site for the mods.

I just gigged this weekend with my '69 Bandmaster Reverb head with the full Jerry mods inside. That drove a single JBL D130 (15") speaker and was just fantastic sounding. Loud enough for my ears in that setting. I used the 15" because I played pedal steel most of the time. But anyway, your Pro is nearly the very same amp as my Bandmaster Reverb, about 40 to 45 watts from the pair of 6L6 power tubes.

So I'm with Jim. Save your money and let the Pro go to work. Pool your resources and get a 2-12" cabinet with a pair of JBL K120's or D120f's. That will give you the 4 ohm load your Pro wants to see. It really is wise to have your speakers in a separate cab. Using the Pro as the speaker cab too will kill the clarity and sparkle of the tubes after just a few gigs. Tubes shouldn't be subjected to the vibration like that, not if you're going for that super-detailed Jerry sound. Tubes in a combo amp get dull pretty fast. They can sound great and warm, but just not as clear and focused as tubes that don't get so violently shaken by speakers.

I bet you'll be fully satisfied with the results.

 #104052  by claytushaywood
 Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:27 pm
yeh i agree about wanting a head. here's some of my thinking. its gonna cost me $200 to turn the pro reverb into a head... lets put cab and speakers aside because thats inevitable. i could sell the pro for about $700-800 right now (blackfaced- with super nice caps on the board and all the stuff in the power thing under the hood are sprague atoms that were done recently- also has some nice tubes in it- so its a fantastic sounding pro in superb cosmetic condition) shouldnt be too difficult to get over $800. so lets say im up $1000 by selling it. that could get me an sms and a cheaper power amp. I've heard some of the QSC and for very stuff it really isnt bad but i havent heard it in person and I really dont know too much about it. so thinking about it like that... what do you guys think? the portability of rack pre is pretty cool too (especially with other stuff considered) I really cant believe there arent more designs for fender cleans out of a standalone pre!

i'm gonna go ahead and do the jerry mods to my pro reverb... the post alembic preamp tap mods look pretty rad. im not fully understanding the whole stereo tip thing, but is it saying that you can use the say the normal channel preamp tapped out to an external power amp and the vibrato channel could still function as a full combo amp? and there's an fx loop? this is stuff im not familiar with yet... can anyone point me to where this is explained in more laymens terms? cuz that seems pretty rad. funny i also just realized i was about to mod my little Fender Blues Jr Humboldt Hot Rod practice amp and change the bass cap from .022 to .1. I think the blues jr can have the exact same tone stack with a one jumper mod... well and some upgraded caps (except for the high cap which is too close to hear250pf vs 270pf).

it seems like the post alembic preamp taps have quite a few cool options for setups... some more light on this would be awesome!
And let me know what you think about the money to convert to head versus selling and getting sm if ya please! thanks!
 #104059  by mijknahs
 Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:26 am
Don't even think about selling your Pro Reverb.

All you need to think about is getting a head cabinet and some JBL K120 or E120 speakers and a speaker cab. Or maybe just use the existing Pro reverb cab for the speaker and get a separate head cabinet. Then you can experiment with a power amp later if you need the extra power. You don't need to do any of the preamp taps unless you already have a power amp. But you probably don't even need one if you are playing lower power gigs. The JBLs will help a lot with the Jerry tone though. Big difference. I have no idea how the Commonwealths sound. I'd stick with the real deal though. You can probably get some used JBLs for the price of new Commonwealths.
 #104067  by claytushaywood
 Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:39 pm
so you all think a pro reverb is better than the SMS pre with a power amp in the $3-500 range? because selling the pro versus putting it in a head cab equates to around that along with not having to deal with power tubes (unless i use the pro as a speaker cab with a hole in it) the pro does not have a mid control by the way. looks like a lower powered mcintosh and the SMS would be in my budget by selling the pro (and not having to pay $250!! for a head cab) i found a guy online that builds pine and baltic birch unfinished 2x12's for $160 with shipping by the way-- some tung oil and got that jerry looking cab. anyways the question isnt about holding on to a vintage amp (that will probably never be THAT valuable) its about what would sound better and SMS pre with a QSC or even a mcintosh 250 power amp. versus a silverface pro reverb
 #104069  by mijknahs
 Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:57 pm

First of all, the SMS is basically a Fender preamp in a one space rack. So, you already have that. Secondly, you probably don't need any extra power, so you don't really need a power amp. The McIntosh amps sound awesome but you could always get one later. You don't really *need* one.

Also, you don't need a head cabinet. Just use the Pro cabinet and remove the speaker. There is your head cab. That's basically what Jerry did (although he added another preamp for backup. All you need is a separate speaker cabinet and some JBLs. That's what you should be concentrating on. With that you'll probably be very satisfied with your amp tone. It will be very Jerry like. There are a few mods/upgrades you can still do to your amp with some caps and resistors but it will be pretty good since you already had a cap job, etc.

If you sell the Pro Reverb, you won't be able to buy an SMS, good power amp, and a separate speaker cab with JBLs (roughly $1600).
Just get the separate speaker cab and JBLs and you'll be happy.
 #104076  by claytushaywood
 Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:33 pm
youre really not getting it... gona have to buy the speakers and cab anyways and will definitely be buying that stuff regardless

sms + qsc power amp= $875
pro reverb= about $800 on the used market

like i said above this post ^^^ forget speakers and cabinet
and now lets forget the $75

and let us remember the difference in size between a qsc and sms compared to a twin reverb in a speakerless cabinet

the whole point of this post wasnt really about what would be the best way to get close to a good sound with the least amount of money... i just said i dont have $10k. so actually, let us the point of my money.

The whole point is what other options are out there for stand alone preamps based on blackfaced fenders. as youll remember i said i really dug the QSC with the h&K blues master into a single jbl 120. and i was wondering what else is out there that is similar? for instance- that link i posted that has build your own stand alone preamp kits. i really dont understand why this stuff isnt more popular? i got rid of a killer 30 watt 4 el84 class a amp because it just rattled the hell out of my tubes.

from everything ive gathered from this forum (and i admit im not the best at searching forums)
we... as jerry chasing freaks have the choices of
stand alone tube Pre's- SMS and h&k blues master
really i have not found anything else!
SS power amps- mcintosh (various models) and QSC
or you can use a vintage fender amp

correct me if im wrong- but a fender amp has what is known as a push/pull power stage this is known as class A/B. using the preamp of a fender with a solid state power amp would put you at Class A...right? the SS power amp is a big part of the sound in my opinion. the speakers are nescessary and yes the blackface pre is nescessary.
 #104078  by claytushaywood
 Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:55 pm
another thing... if money were a huge issue- band master reverbs go for cheap! instead of spending $200 to make the pro a head or having a big empty 2x12 (i did consider using it merely to present even MORE tie dye!) get a bandmaster head for like $500 and ive seen those cabs go for superrrr cheap! like $100 loaded.
are old fender cabs any good?
 #104081  by mijknahs
 Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:41 pm
The way I see it is you need to get a speaker cabinet plus speakers either way. If you want to save money, just get the speaker cab and speakers and use what you got (the Pro Reverb). The SMS is basically a Fender amp circuit. If you already have it, you don't really need the SMS unless you need a rack mounted unit or want an extra preamp (but I'm trying to save you money). I really doubt that the tone will improve if you went with a QSC power amp. The Fender preamp will be better than the H&K Bluesmaster as a Jerry preamp. So unless you're going with McIntosh power amps ($500+) you're not really upgrading the sound (although I love my Carvin tube power amp but still that's $400-$500). So you're going to spend $700 for the SMS and $500 for a *good* power amp. That's $1200 right there and you don't even have speakers or a cabinet. What I'm trying to say is that you probably have the best preamp tone already. You don't need to spend 10K unless you want the ultimate guitar. All you need right now is a 2x12 cabinet and a couple JBLs (I'm thinking $150 each). Then if you still need more power, get a McIntosh power amp and run your Pro Reverb into that but you'll probably be fine just with the 2x6L6 power section in the Pro.

Also, McIntosh SS power amps are class A/B (push/pull) just like the Fender amps. They just use transistors instead of tubes (Brad correct me if I'm wrong).