NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

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Surfysonic
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NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by Surfysonic » Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:13 pm

Found a used Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer in surf green (which is cool, would have liked to have found a slate blue) in the used section of Guitar Center and priced way below what's offered on Reverb at the moment.

Features:
Power: 12W tube
Speakers: 2x10" Special Design Vaporizer speakers
Two inputs ” 1/4", Normal and Bright
Internal speaker disconnects to allow the amp's 1/4" output to be used with external 8Î speaker enclosures
Controls: Volume, Tone and Reverb
Tubes: two x 12AX7; two x 6BQ5/EL84
Single-Button "Wedge" footswitch included
Weight: 37 lb (16.78 kg)

I knew going into getting this that there have been known issues with hum and hissing. As best as I can determine, the hum issue is related to the reverb tank and the hissing (it's intermittent, meaning, it doesn't always happen) is related to the Tone control.

The Vaporizer foot switch activates the overdrive "Vaporizer". Basically, it's a loud, hot mess and fairly useless to me. Still, I dig the amp's overall aesthetic. The stock speakers seem decent enough.

I unplugged the two cables (one black, one red) from the reverb tank and plugged them back in...the hum died down considerably. I'm not too bothered as I'm fine with just keeping the reverb off and using my reverb pedal, which I find myself using more and more than the onboard tanks. I might swap out the stock tubes to see if that helps at all.

Any fix recommendations for the reverb & tone issues are greatly appreciated.

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MayTheFuzzBeWithYou
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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:19 am

Hey Surfysonic! Woohoo! Welcome to the club!
I don't have the tone-pot issue on mine. But yes, the hum is a bit annoying - I also get a feeping-noise (from time to time) when I turn the reverb further than 2 o'clock... have you found out about the "secret" mode? Turn the volume all the way down and the reverb up to where you like it - can be all the way..
this gives you a super wet and drippy sound (that can still handle a Fuzz pedal for instant surf-garage tones) - and what I found out recently is that with my Silverface Bandmaster I can combine them - guitar straight into the Bandmaster into Input 1 on the Vibrato side and out from input 2 into the Vaporizer - super sweet sound whether it's the full wet mode or regular reverb or clean - or my pedal board between...

Image old pic (from the old flat) - but the only one that shows my full home setup.

Not having to face most of the problems normally associated with them - I didn't see the need to mod mine yet... but from what I've read and heard - exchanging the tubes might yield in some good results! especially the tube that drives the reverb...
Back in 2014/15 - when I bought it my now ex-band's bassist was very interested in how it would sound with another cab (Mesa Boogie 4x12)... it happened to be a bit louder - but I like the stock speakers too - they have a charm of their own.
A local sound engineer exchanged the tubes and the speakers (I think for Jensens) and it was his new main amp for the studio... he had the Slate Blue one - also a real nice color - but I clearly prefer the Surf Green - it looks so damn classy and perfectly fitting for that 50s retro sci fi theme.

I already tried another tank and also other cables for it - but somehow both didn't improve anything (could have been the wrong one(s)). or at least didn't work the way I expected. I might also try an AY7 instead of the AX7 in the V1 too - once I am up - or in need of an exchange.
But the next thing I'm about to do is building a mirrored extension cabinet for the reconed JBL K-130 that awaits its big show! :-)

Have fun with it!
And also: nice Jazzmaster!

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wproffitt
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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by wproffitt » Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:22 am

Nice score! I think these sound pretty nice. The surf green tolex really makes it for me. Sorry to derail, but what pickups are in that JM?

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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by Surfysonic » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:48 pm

Very cool, MayTheFuzzBeWithYou! Yup, I do know about the "Secret" mode - I'll definitely try it with fuzz for some of my surf tunes! Thanks! What's that Batman logo Reverb pedal on your pedalboard? Looks killer!

Thanks, wproffitt! No worries, it's a set of JBE (Joe Barden) Two/Tone for the Jazzmaster pickups that I got from mbene085 (Mike) here on OSG. Quoted from the JBE webpage:
The JM Two/Tone™ for the Jazzmaster™ is a variation of our HBTwo/Tone pickups that adds a new dimension to the Jazzmaster. Retained are all the beloved surfy single coil tones, but now for the first time a range of full-bodied humbucker tones for Jazz, Rock, Country as well as other muscial styles that benefit from the extended capabilities offerd by the JM Two/Tone. All these sounds are at your fingertips using the noiseless mode switching inherent in the JM Two/Tone design.

The JM Two/Tone for the Jazzmaster has been physically modified to fit under a specially made slotted Jazzmaster cover for drop in replacement of your stock Jazzmaster pickups. A simple replacement of the existing “lead” Volume and Tone pots on the lower control section of the guitar with Push/Pull pots offer easy mode switching without modification to this classic instrument.
The dual mode JM Two/Tone allows Jazzmaster players to retain all the glory of single coil surf tones plus the added drive for rock, jazz or country sounds, making the Jazzmaster a more versatile instrument for Jazzmaster players.

Available in White and Black (Cream is special order)
They sound awesome in either Push/Pull configuration. These JBE Two/Tone Jazzmaster pickups sound really great.
Last edited by Surfysonic on Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:39 pm

Surfysonic wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:48 pm
Very cool, MayTheFuzzBeWithYou! Yup, I do know about the s"Secret" mode - I'll definitely try it with fuzz for some of my surf tunes! Thanks! What's that Batman logo Reverb pedal on your pedalboard? Looks killer!
Oh, thank you! :)
It's my take on the now long gone Surfy Bear Reverb/Surfy Trem Diy kits... I built them into a self-bent aluminum enclosure!
The Dynamic Duo - Batarang Spring Reverb & Boy Wonder Tremolo! 8)
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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by Surfysonic » Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:13 pm

MayTheFuzzBeWithYou wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:39 pm
Surfysonic wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:48 pm
Very cool, MayTheFuzzBeWithYou! Yup, I do know about the "Secret" mode - I'll definitely try it with fuzz for some of my surf tunes! Thanks! What's that Batman logo Reverb pedal on your pedalboard? Looks killer!
Oh, thank you! :)
It's my take on the now long gone Surfy Bear Reverb/Surfy Trem Diy kits... I built them into a self-bent aluminum enclosure!
The Dynamic Duo - Batarang Spring Reverb & Boy Wonder Tremolo! 8)
Image
That is OUTSTANDING. I'd buy one! :w00t: :? :-*
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MayTheFuzzBeWithYou
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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:16 am

Surfysonic wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:13 pm
That is OUTSTANDING. I'd buy one! :w00t: :? :-*
Thank you! If I'd do it again I'd make a second setting available for each side (more depth/speed or more Dwell/Mix at the tip of your toe) but I'm still very satisfied with it aesthetically and sonically! :-)

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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by Surfysonic » Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:28 pm

I've alleviated some of the hum issues with the Reverb control and so far, seem to have removed the hiss from the Tone control. A friend on a Gretsch forum has a Vaporizer and recommended to do what he did. He removed the reverb tank which sits fairly near the front part of the amp near one of the 10" speakers. He moved the amp back and away from the speaker to sit against the back panel. He used only two of the four screws to affix the tank while the back part was braced against the back panel, securing it.

While the hum isn't gone completely with the Reverb control, it makes far less noise. I can crank the Reverb control to full and the noise level never increases, which is what it did prior to this fix. The minor hum noise is barely noticeable and I can live with it until a fix to completely remove it becomes available.

The Tone control is dead quiet now, at any level. I typically leave it at about 80% - fully dimed is a bit shrill. The hiss was a hit or miss issue, so I'll keep testing it out to see if it stays consistently quiet.

Since the "Vaporizer" mode (activated by footswitch) is a hot, noisy, useless mess, I disengaged it from the amp. I have the pedal secured inside the amp cabinet with the provided velcro.

In any case, for now, I have no plans for any mods - I like the stock speakers and see no point in changing out the tubes unless they fail me.
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Jonesie
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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by Jonesie » Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:21 am

I have a vaporizer as my only tube amp. I changed out the speakers and now it's a really outstanding amp. With the original speakers it was very honky, and honestly, pretty quiet. I put in two Eminence 10516's and now it's definitely quite a bit louder, I think I could gig with it easily. The tone is a lot more full spectrum now too. Highly recommended.

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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by MechaBulletBill » Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:30 pm

i would have liked to try different speakers in mine but it was too big and one-trick-pony-ish to hang onto at the time.

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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by jagstang » Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:17 am

Hey! I'm also a big fan of this amp. Great sounding and looking. I have no issues with anything. Love the hidden reverb sound!

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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by s_mcsleazy » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:43 am

my bandmate uses one of these.
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i've borrowed it from time to time and i've got to say, their kinda a one trick pony but they do that trick so well.
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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by Surfysonic » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:51 pm

I ended up doing a few mods after all. I ended up swapping out the small, stock reverb tank for a full-sized Accutronics, a new RCA cable (for the tank), EL84 tubes and 12AAX7 tubes. Tone control issue went away. Still some minor hum from Reverb control but much more manageable.

Vaporizer pedal overdrive boost is unusable still, but I don't really need it as I use overdrive pedals. The stock speakers are fine and currently do not plan to swap them out...but never say never, heh.
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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by s_mcsleazy » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:40 pm

Surfysonic wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:51 pm
I ended up doing a few mods after all. I ended up swapping out the small, stock reverb tank for a full-sized Accutronics, a new RCA cable (for the tank), EL84 tubes and 12AAX7 tubes. Tone control issue went away. Still some minor hum from Reverb control but much more manageable.

Vaporizer pedal overdrive boost is unusable still, but I don't really need it as I use overdrive pedals. The stock speakers are fine and currently do not plan to swap them out...but never say never, heh.
yeah the vaporizer circuit is just unusable. i looked up the schematic and it's basically an extra gain stage on the preamp tube but nothing to actually control it.
offset guitars resident bass player.
'Are you trying to seduce me Mrs Robinson? Or do you just want me to solder a couple of resistors into your Muff?'

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Re: NAD...Fender Pawn Shop Vaporizer

Post by Surfysonic » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:35 am

Well, either I just can't well enough alone or am bored (likely both!), I'm looking at swapping out the stock 2x10" Vaporizer speakers (16 ohms each). I'm a Jensen fan so I've been considering some brownface-tonal speakers such as the Jensen Vintage Ceramic 10" C10Q 35W 16 Ohms https://www.jensentone.com/vintage-ceramic/c10q or the Jensen Vintage Alnico 10" P10Q 40W 16 Ohms https://www.jensentone.com/vintage-alnico/p10q. Each has interesting characteristics and the P10Q sounds like it may be closest to the brownface early '60s Fender Super amp tone.

Forgive my lack of speaker knowledge - based on their descriptions, are ceramic speakers more glassy/brittle than alnico speakers? Might explain the price difference (C10Q @ $57.46 and the P10Q @ $136.50).

I'm basically trying to get this to sound as brownface 2x10" -ish as possible so that I can avoid the vintage bug/temptation of buying an old Fender Super, while completely understanding that other internal stock components might make it unlikely to ever get close to the brownface tone. :derp:
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