#1
I have a really crappy Frontman 15R and I want to make it much better. Besides buying a new amp and replacing the speaker, what mods make this amp better? Thanks!
#2
Quote by y2k11hmmm?
I have a really crappy Frontman 15R and I want to make it much better. Besides buying a new amp and replacing the speaker, what mods make this amp better? Thanks!


You can't amke it better. just use it for cleans, everything else sucks.
Quote by mcraddict81592
If you need to kill a man with a 9v adapter? I say strangulate. Or swing the heavy end around and aim for the temple, all depends on your style.


FrankenBee Build
#3
I know a mod that makes a MG/Spider III sound better:

When your amp is on.

1. take out the wall wart plug
2. hide the wall wart plug somewhere in the house
3. make sure you don't remember the place where you hid the wall wart plug
4. convince yourself there's never been a such thing as a wall wart plug

If your amp is off, same process
#4
Quote by Vendetta V
I know a mod that makes a MG/Spider III sound better:

When your amp is on.

1. take out the wall wart plug
2. hide the wall wart plug somewhere in the house
3. make sure you don't remember the place where you hid the wall wart plug
4. convince yourself there's never been a such thing as a wall wart plug

If your amp is off, same process


haha! thats sort of what i expected.
#5
Quote by Vendetta V
I know a mod that makes a MG/Spider III sound better:

When your amp is on.

1. take out the wall wart plug
2. hide the wall wart plug somewhere in the house
3. make sure you don't remember the place where you hid the wall wart plug
4. convince yourself there's never been a such thing as a wall wart plug

If your amp is off, same process


Wow it sounds so much better now! Thanks for the tip!
Quote by mcraddict81592
If you need to kill a man with a 9v adapter? I say strangulate. Or swing the heavy end around and aim for the temple, all depends on your style.


FrankenBee Build
#6
You ever heard the expression "you can't polish a turd?" Well trying to make a Frontman better is like trying to polish diarrhea.

I've only ever seen two mods for it--new speaker, and kicking it down the stairs till it stops working.

The cleans are borderline usable. You can use a distortion pedal for dirt if you must.
#7
i've got another amp, but i just wanted a small project. i am aware of how much this amp blows too.
#9
un-funny bullcrap aside, a new speaker is the single best thing you can do for that amp. i mean think about it: the speaker is actually turning those electrical signals into the sound you hear; it MAKES the sound. most practice amps blow because they have crap speakers. speakers are one of the most expensive parts of the amp so they cheap out there first and foremost. it's exactly like a decently playable guitar with crap pickups.

for instance, i played a squier sidekick through some old Kenwood speakers and it just blew me away.

beyond a new speaker, you could try replacing the 4560 dual op-amp right at the front end (U1) with something better, like a TL072 (the rest of the op-amps are TL072). U1A is used for the input amp and U1B is the clean channel's amp.

The next one in line (U2) is a TL072, but it is only for the drive channel. 4558's make good overdrive chips due to their less-than-high-performance characteristics (the TS-808 uses these). protip: a 4560 is basically a marginally better 4558; it can give twice the output current and has a higher slew rate, among other things.

for example: the 4558 has a slew rate of 1v/μs, while the 4560 sits at 4v/μs. a good quality op-amp, like the TL072, has a slew rate of about 16v/μs. a high slew rate is important for a good-sounding clean output.

What makes for a good opamp versus a bad one? I dug through the data books on the ones that people told me sound good, and came up with a common factor. The ones that sound good seem to all make a point that they recover from overdrive gracefully. I can hear you asking "what the devil does that mean for opamps?" It's like this - in a feedback configuration, an opamp's enormous gain keeps both inputs within a few millivolts of each other all the time, every nanosecond. When the opamp is driven to the point where the output is near a power supply voltage and cannot swing any further, the feedback is no longer keeping the inputs together, and one input is driven further toward a power supply than the other. This can cause some ugly things to happen. In some opamps, the output inverts polarity for a few microseconds. I'll leave it to you to imagine how ugly those little "blatts" sound. In other opamps, the recovery time from overload is slew rate limited; the output does not follow a multiple of the input, but "slews" at a fixed rate until it catches up to the amplified input. This also sounds bad.

While the clipping opamp is not driven into overload, I theorize that the sudden change of gain every time the diodes go into and out of conduction can cause a similar although briefer recovery period at each "corner" of the clipped waveform. In this period, you'd get non-harmonically related artifacts that would neve be very big (all that lowpass filtering, remember) but which would be audible as a harshness or edginess. While this is just a theory, it does seem to meet the only observed facts, and has predicted a couple of opamps that did sound good. You're free to come up with your own theory, of course, but I like this one. It has worked so far.


I have a PDF schematic of this amp if you need it. Just PM me your email and I'll get back asap (by thursday at least).
Last edited by Invader Jim at Jul 12, 2011,
#11
Quote by Vendetta V
I know a mod that makes a MG/Spider III sound better:

When your amp is on.

1. take out the wall wart plug
2. hide the wall wart plug somewhere in the house
3. make sure you don't remember the place where you hid the wall wart plug
4. convince yourself there's never been a such thing as a wall wart plug

If your amp is off, same process

What's a wall wart plug?
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#12
ACtually I foudn a great applicaation for this crappy amp. With the reverb at 4 and gain at 7, trebble:4 mid:8 Bass:6 it actualy sounds REALLY good for VAn halen. I'm not lying, try it.
Quote by mcraddict81592
If you need to kill a man with a 9v adapter? I say strangulate. Or swing the heavy end around and aim for the temple, all depends on your style.


FrankenBee Build
#14
But then how does the amp turn on?
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#16
Oh, it's a joke?

Man I didn't get it.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#17
Hi, newbie Frans here. I recently bought a FF15R and love the clean tone. The overdrive is more a Marshally distortion (no wonder cause the overdrive circuit is allmost the same as a MarshallBluesbreaker pedal!). Terrible sound. It screems to mod this little amp. I have tried several speakers and the absolute winner is the Jensen Vintage C8R. The jensen chicago mod sounded not so Fendery. The Ceramic Vintage is pure Fendertone!.
That was the greatest mod for the clean channel. The mod I did on the overdrive is: Lower C7 to 100 or 47 nF. Cut C8/C9 and C10 out of the pcb. and at last swap R22 for a 220kOhm (I soldered a 470kOhm parralel on the R22).
With these simple mods the overdrive channel is a very nice overdrive. You can get SRV to DickDale surf sounds. fantastic. You can play with the value of R22 to make the overdrive as you want.