TECH TIPS > ASK AMP MAN
SOUPING UP A FENDER SUPER 60 BY JEFF BOBER
I just started reading your articles and really
find them down-to-earth and informative. I
recently purchased a Fender Super 60 1x12
with red knobs. (Maybe this was produced
during the Rivera era?) I love this little mon-
ster’s clean sound and power. It’s perfect in
smaller venues. However, I’m not happy with
the high-gain channel—it’s not as tight as I
want it. I know the gain on Fender tube amps
is much different from Marshall amps, but
I’m hoping that by replacing the preamp tubes
I could get a little more saturation when the
gain is pushed. But I might be way off and
replacing preamp tubes may not be the answer.
Any suggestions? Thanks!
Different preamp tubes
from different manufacturers
sound different. A Chinese-manufactured tube is typically
considered a brighter tube with
a good deal of gain. A Russian-made tube is typically fuller
sounding with just slightly
less gain. Most new-old-stock
(NOS) preamp tubes are
thought to be the best sounding
The Fender Super 60 packed a
60-watt, dual-6L6 power section
into a compact 1x12 cabinet.
Other features include switchable clean and gain channels,
treble, mid, bass, and presence
knobs, and spring reverb.
of all, due to the quality of the
materials used back in the day.
My suggestion would be to
do your research by searching
preamp tube characteristics
online. There’s plenty of
information with descriptive
adjectives of different 12AX7
tubes. If possible, purchase a
few different types and experiment yourself by playing each
one of them.
In your particular case—
where you’re interested in
getting more saturation and
tightening up the overdrive
characteristics—I believe the
tube that will affect that the
most is V101. This is the tube
closest to the input jacks and
is responsible for most of the
amp’s gain. Plugging in each
replacement tube here will give
you a good idea of its charac-
teristics and if it’s capable of
accomplishing the sonic change
you’re looking for.
JEFF BOBER, one of
the godfathers of the
low-wattage amp revolution, co-founded and was
the principal designer
for Budda Amplification.
Jeff launched EAST
Amplification in 2010, and he can be
reached at email@example.com.
50 PREMIER GUITAR FEBRUARY 2012