Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Chat about Equipment Info

 #28943  by betteroffdeadnc
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:27 am
Sorry, but I don't agree.The preamp sections of the Bandmaster Reverb and Showman Reverbs are pretty much identical and it sets the voicing. The Bandmaster Reverb does use a tube rectifier which fans of the Deluxe Reverb and tweeds like and the Showman Reveb uses solid state like the Twin which provides much less sag and warmth. The output sections differ by the number of tubes. The Showman Reverb puts 2 more tubes in parallel with the 2 from the Bandmaster reverb. Showman Reverb heads typically sell for under $600 on Ebay. I think your prices reflect the prices for complete head and cabinet sets. Other cabinets, with your choice of speakers can be bought for a lot less than what you pay for cabinet half of the head/cabinet sets.

my $0.02


 #28948  by betteroffdeadnc
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:54 am
One way to look at the difference is that a Bandmaster Reverb will do in a typical sized venue what it takes a large hall for a Twin/Showman Reverb to do without making everyone deaf. Think '71 Jerry for the sound.


 #28950  by strumminsix
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:08 am
BODNC - nice to have another vintage gearhead here!

The preamp section alone doesn't set the voicing. Only if it is preamped out which none were stock. For the total voice you need to account for the whole amp,

From all I know the diffs are on the BMR:
Smaller OT, Tube Rect, 1/2 poweramp tubes, slightly diff tone stack.

All of these combined make for a very different sounding amp.

I own a 74 BRM and a 68 DSR and A/B'd them with the same cabs. Each has a rare and different sound.

The sag from the tube rect & the smaller OT give it much less headroom and a different feel and diff voice.

My high price was for the 68 with drip edge :)

 #28957  by betteroffdeadnc
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:59 am
I think that the OT, phase inverter drive (for 4 tubes vs 2), and the 4 tubes make most of a difference only at moderatly high volumes, where the headroom difference comes into play. The mid cap can be compensated by the mid control setting. I suspect that most of the difference of the sound between your amps comes from the 30 year old 10 - 20% tolerance compnents they are built with rather than their design. Very few '68 amps of the same model will sound extremely similiar anymore, if they ever really did (the good sounding Twin Reverbs vs bad sounding Twin Reverbs discussion has been around since '64). That said, my 65 Twin and 68 Bandmaster Reverb actually sounded pretty similar at moderate levels. My 68 Princeton Reverb can be adjusted to sound reasonably close depending on tone control settings, since it doesn't have a mid control, up to about 5-7 watts output, which enough for a small venue.

Don't you love talkin' tube amps almost as much as playing them? Almost. Its so subjective. I teach a class here occasionally and really love the discussions we have.

Take care,

 #28961  by I'm on the Bozo Bus
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:33 pm
Beware Pointless Post ahead -RE: off topic

This is great guys... I love hearing the POV from like minded folk. It kind of brings the communal thing from back in the day to those of us that long for the the "feeling" again however time, and having the daytime job, and kids, and a house, and a car... prevent us from hitting the road as with the same frequency and vigor we wish we could muster.

As far as the topic...
You guys are a bit over my head with the comparison of a different tone/drip/sag from Amp "A" vs. Amp "B". Although an "Old Dog" I am capable of learning a new trick. I am lucky, for all the laminting I do about longing for days of old,... I can now afford to have smart folk that know what they are doing (Such as you guys) work on my gear. They know what I like and know how to make it work to it's fullest.
Mentioned in previous post...
I went to the way of All Rack mount gear with only a Crown Power amp to drive monitors and a direct to the house (mid-'80's) and it provided me the sound of a well executed fart..... I pulled out the one Deluxe Reverb I had at the time, threw a few effects in front, mic'd it and that is when it really hit me about the difference of having a quality TUBE amp vs.... well.... Everything else.

Ramble ramble ramble .....
Thanks guys and keep up the great work.

 #28965  by Laytonco
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:45 pm
Great points guys. I love these gear related posts. And just because I have one, I have to plug the Super Reverb with its 45 watts and 4x10 speakers. I got mine from a rather famous blues player, Duke Robillard. It's a 74 that was blackfaced by his amp tech. I replaced the speakers which were basically blown with some basic Weber speakers and this thing is tight and full sounding. It's like standing in front of a full stack. For my part, playing Bobby, this thing really nails his tone. Late 60s with my semi hollow, early 70s with my Gibson SG (yeah I know he hated the SG), and late 70s with my Alembic. But old, point to point, tube rectifier, etc. That's where it all comes from!



 #28967  by alcorelectric
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:49 pm
since were going off topic (somewhat)
if the most desireable twin has the ab763 circuit in it.
The most desireable Bandmaster has the ab763 circuit in it.
The DSR has the ab763 circuit in it.
(coded tfl 5000d?)
how can they have that much difference?

 #28969  by betteroffdeadnc
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:54 pm
The AB763 has to do with the release date of that circuitry of the specific amp. It doesn't mean that AB763 circuitry of a super reverb is the same circuitry as the AB763 of any other amp. very confusing, but no more so than serial numbers of Gibson guitars. LOL

 #28981  by strumminsix
 Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:18 pm
Or serial numbers of Fender amps geeze...

But AB763 is also the circuit of the time with mostly common routes and values with some differences:
Mid-pot vs fixed value, trem or none, tube vs SS rect

So from what I know it's kinda circuit, kinda era.

Funny, Bozo, I went all preamp straight to the board too and while I appreciated the simplicity, the soundguy had it easy, my band hated my only source being the monitors and I wasn't pleased with the tone.

BOD_NC: love talking gear and it's cool that you are comparing same gear diff years. I'm still surprised that you can get them to sound the same. What speakers are you using maybe that is the diff. I've tried Eminence Cannabis Rex, Weber NeoMags (D120f clones), & Weber Calis. None can get these 2 amps to sound the same.

(psst, don't forget the BMR has a much lower plate voltage)

Is there anything sweeter than the smell of tubes cooking in a vintage amp?

 #28997  by betteroffdeadnc
 Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:53 am
Nothing sweeter at all. I use JBL D120fs and K120s. I have assorted open and closed back cabs and swap them in and out as my mood changes. I also like to push the amps with a Klon Centaur pedal, very little or no gain but a lot of clean boost. It hits the 1st tube with a very large but clean signal. I don't use any other pedals or effects.