Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Concert

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Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Concert

Postby sunvalleylaw on Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:15 pm

I have a 1961 Fender Concert (which I currently have for sale in the for sale section). I really like the amp, but it is a bit big for my needs, which is why i have it for sale.

In the meantime, or if it does not sell, I am interested in getting the amp to open up more at a lower volume. As would be expected, the amp really opens up at about 7 on the volume knob.

I was considering an attenuator, such as the Weber Mini, or using one of the Catalinbread Tweed type pedals. Here is a vid featuring the pedals I was looking at, both the Formula No. 5 (5e3 based) and the 5f6, obviously attempting to recreate that circuit. Obviously, I am not seeking to turn my vintage amp into another vintage amp, or get a real accurate vintage amp out of a pedal. But perhaps one of these (I am kind of drawn to the Formula No. 5) will allow me to get a little more out of my amp with the volume knob somewhere between 3 and 5 instead of over 7.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoBNANbhEfo video comparing both pedals and a couple others in a rolling stones context.

Using the No. 5 "clean and dirty" with volume knob.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGhoZHGm7KQ

Weber attenuator I am looking at:

\https://reverb.com/item/1656932-weber-mini-mass-50-attenuator-2015-black-red



I have never used an attenuator, so am open to that idea as well.
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Re: Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Conce

Postby OldSchoolDave on Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:02 pm

If the Output Transformer in your '61 Concert is original, I'd be apprehensive about using an attenuator.

Depending on how original the amp is, you might consider running 6V6 output tubes (after modifying the bias circuit to accommodate). I did that to a '68 Showman and it's now able to reach its sweet spot without knocking down walls. The tone isn't significantly different between 6L6 and 6V6 (at least, not to my ears).

Other than that, physically attenuating the speakers (with aim, some kind of blast shield or even running into fewer, less efficient speakers) might be an option.

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Re: Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Conce

Postby sunvalleylaw on Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:50 pm

OldSchoolDave wrote:If the Output Transformer in your '61 Concert is original, I'd be apprehensive about using an attenuator.

Depending on how original the amp is, you might consider running 6V6 output tubes (after modifying the bias circuit to accommodate). I did that to a '68 Showman and it's now able to reach its sweet spot without knocking down walls. The tone isn't significantly different between 6L6 and 6V6 (at least, not to my ears).

Other than that, physically attenuating the speakers (with aim, some kind of blast shield or even running into fewer, less efficient speakers) might be an option.

Dave


It is a Mercury Magnetics. It has currently tung-sol 6L6WGB's.
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Re: Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Conce

Postby drewleslie on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:04 pm

Can try an attenuator but lose a lot of tone below -8dB ... fenders on an attenuator never sound right to me. Could try a MM 4-ohm tweed super OT? PS if your concert is like mine, it runs 500V at modern wall voltages ... a bit much for those power tubes. drew
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Re: Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Conce

Postby sunvalleylaw on Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:50 pm

drewleslie wrote:Can try an attenuator but lose a lot of tone below -8dB ... fenders on an attenuator never sound right to me. Could try a MM 4-ohm tweed super OT? PS if your concert is like mine, it runs 500V at modern wall voltages ... a bit much for those power tubes. drew


Thanks for the input on the attenuator. Regarding the voltage and the power tubes, huh. It has seemed to run fine all these years (since about this time, 2010). Same tubes, no changes. But that concerns me. If there is a problem, what should I be looking for? It appears to be a very nice set of old Tung-sol power tubes. It was gone through before I owned it (in SLC, Utah I believe, but don't know for sure), and in addition to the Mercury Magnetics OT, the caps were re-done. Power filter caps were were replaced with Sprague, and Mallory 150 for the tone caps. And a 3 pronged pig-tail plug installed.
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Re: Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Conce

Postby drewleslie on Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:26 pm

sunvalleylaw wrote:
drewleslie wrote:Can try an attenuator but lose a lot of tone below -8dB ... fenders on an attenuator never sound right to me. Could try a MM 4-ohm tweed super OT? PS if your concert is like mine, it runs 500V at modern wall voltages ... a bit much for those power tubes. drew


Thanks for the input on the attenuator. Regarding the voltage and the power tubes, huh. It has seemed to run fine all these years (since about this time, 2010). Same tubes, no changes. But that concerns me. If there is a problem, what should I be looking for? It appears to be a very nice set of old Tung-sol power tubes. It was gone through before I owned it (in SLC, Utah I believe, but don't know for sure), and in addition to the Mercury Magnetics OT, the caps were re-done. Power filter caps were were replaced with Sprague, and Mallory 150 for the tone caps. And a 3 pronged pig-tail plug installed.


Spec sheet for the old TungSol WGB states 400V max for the plates ... probably a conservative spec but still a risk if it's a gigging amp ... would sure hate to toast great tubes and maybe trannies too. That's a great amp. Hope you find a solution to your headroom issues. drew
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Re: Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Conce

Postby sunvalleylaw on Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:21 pm

thank you!
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Re: Attenuator or Pedal to increase breakup/warmth for Conce

Postby cedarchoper58 on Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:52 am

OldSchoolDave wrote:If the Output Transformer in your '61 Concert is original, I'd be apprehensive about using an attenuator.



My 67 pro reverb opens up at 7 like yours does. I gig the heck out of it for 12 years using my Ultimate Attenuator only changing power tubes about every 60 gigs. It lets it break up on the power tubes with volume low. The tone i have been told many times at gigs is amazing

drewleslie wrote:Can try an attenuator but lose a lot of tone below -8dB ... fenders on an attenuator never sound right to me. Could try a MM 4-ohm tweed super OT? PS if your concert is like mine, it runs 500V at modern wall voltages ... a bit much for those power tubes. drew


I run 470 V and the tone is great at low volumes
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