No love for 78 super reverb ul?

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No love for 78 super reverb ul?

Postby racetruck1 on Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:39 pm

Picked up a 76 or 78 Super reverb at a good price and am wondering why these amps are considered junk? Presently playing a 68 Blackface SR and while it is amazing, the newer one ain't THAT bad. Opinion fishing and just general thoughts welcome......
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Re: No love for 78 super reverb ul?

Postby OldSchoolDave on Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:10 pm

racetruck1 wrote:Picked up a 76 or 78 Super reverb at a good price and am wondering why these amps are considered junk?


Don't know that I'd go so far as the term "junk", but the Ultra-Linear Transformers can result it a way-too-clean/sterile sound for some players. If you like yours, that's all that matters!

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Re: No love for 78 super reverb ul?

Postby stratele52 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:38 am

These a not junk, but for a vintage amps, they are not sough after like Blackface or '68 Silverface.

OldSchoolDave is right.

If you like the tone, your amp may be better than most modern and new amps.
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Re: No love for 78 super reverb ul?

Postby pdf64 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:51 pm

Note that it seems to be incorrect to refer to these late 70s/early 80s Fenders as ultra-linear. I don't think they were were marketed as such at the time?
It's just that the schematic representation of their OTs is the same as that for UL types, hence techs etc have referred to them as UL.
I think that the correct generic term for OTs with primary taps intended for screen grid connection is distributed load (ie the load being distributed between plate and screen grid), UL being a specific case with the screen grid taps being at a minimum distortion sweet spot (usually ~40%) of the total turns.
Whereas these Fender OTs have the screen grid taps at ~12.5% of the total turns.
I think that those Fenders are operating pretty close to regular tetrode mode, with the OT screen grid taps just acting to take a bit of stress off the screen grids (probably helpful given the high stiff HT required for the uprated power outputs of this range) and clean up performance a bit.
The point being that referring to these Fenders as ultra linear may not be helpful, as it implies something they're not; rather they're probably best seen as just somewhat more powerful versions of the previous models (and have good mitigation for bias shift / blocking distortion); so they play a bit cleaner when used for loud gigs etc.

I suspect that the phase splitter etc circuit may be more responsible for any perceived 'sterility' than the distributed load OT arrangement.

Here's a bit of background reading on UL -
http://www.tubebooks.org/file_downloads/ultralinear.pdf
and a much longer modern review of the topic http://www.oestex.com/tubes/ulo.html
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