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Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 13:01
by Dirge for november
I'm looking for something I'm slightly doubting exists. A wishlist follows:
- Good for trouserflapping stoner/doom/sludge/drone
- Also sounds good on lower volume settings
- Affordable
- I would love it to be one of those typical 'secrets' that are 60's/'70's oldschool and affordable.
- Needs to sound something like: Old Orange amps such as OR120, Matamps, Sound City 100 or Sunn amps at high volumes. But without blowing up the city.

Sounds I like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WXPVgF8bjQ (the dirt kicks in around 2 minutes) Problem is, this guy uses 5 sunn's and 2 old oranges simultaneously :scratch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeXChfKnh3I

I currently own an Orange Tiny Terror, which I think might actually come closest with low wattage and being new. This clip makes me sort of hopeful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLnZDjIn ... F17D240F29


Another idea I have is using an airbrake on my tiny terror and pushing the volume to the max. Only problem is that there's no real way to find out if this sounds awesome beforehand. Tube tips for coming closer to a drone sound with my tiny terror are also very welcome. Mine is currently loaded with JJ's on al slots.

Thanks in advance, I believe if there is an answer it might be hanging in the air here.

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 15:25
by Dr Tony Balls
If you like the sounds of those older amps mentioned then i'd say just build one! I built a 50W plexi style amp a few years back and I LOOOVE it. Does good rock'n'roll, good stoner sludge sounds....everything. I quickly learned there's a reason that Marshall was so popular with almost everyone for so many years.

I built that from a Weber kit and the best part about it was that it wasnt that hard! If you're an experienced pedal builder you'll have no problem throwing something like that together. You could even do 100W plexi, 2203 style, OR120, Sunn, etc...but be warned that some of those are a bit more complicated for a beginner.

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 16:05
by Dirge for november
Thanks for the tip. Two problems though! I'm not an experienced pedal builder (I built a Crackle Not OK SHO and it was hell :lol: ) I can't seem to get the basic logics down. Another problem is that the aforementioned amps only sound the way they sound at earshattering volumes. I'm guessing because of power amps overdriving, which I've never even managed with my tiny terror. (Can't wait to try somewhere though). Which basically means I can reach the volume to overpower the drummer by a long shot with my 15 watt amp.

Another thing, someone once told me to stay away from amp building unless you are very very experienced because of the danger of shocks.

A kit though... Does it come with a detailed step by step handbook? And what prices should I think?

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 16:22
by Dr Tony Balls
Yeah, if you're not experienced with pedal building then you might stay away from amp building. It helps to have the pedal skills and then build onto that knowledge with the new amp knowledge you get. My first amp was a kit from Weber, which is easily the most affordable (~$500 for a full plexi kit) although they do have some parts that are flimsy and you may want to change, etc. Still its good for the learning experience. I built my plexi mostly stock and it rules.

As for the volume issue...you can always add a master volume or a power soak.

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 16:47
by wyatt
Very few amp kits come with step-by-step instructions...Allen Amps is the best, but they are all clean-ish Fender-style. Marsh Amps also supplies instructions. For Marshall styles, the instructions posted at Metroamp forum can be very handy. The rest just supply a layout and schematic. If you don't know what parts does what and how to troubleshoot an amp, I don't recommend the DIY route. I would say 2 out of three people who attempt building an amp...shouldn't. Half of those need serious help to get it running and the other half may have a running amp but the build quality is shoddy as all get out.

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 18:50
by RnFR
you can pick up an old 100w tube PA head on eBay for pretty cheap. check out the Bogen CHB-100 or browse for something similar in the Vintage Electronics section. sometimes you just have to add an input jack and a grounded AC plug, but that's really easy.

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 20:28
by amptramp
RnFR wrote:you can pick up an old 100w tube PA head on eBay for pretty cheap. check out the Bogen CHB-100 or browse for something similar in the Vintage Electronics section. sometimes you just have to add an input jack and a grounded AC plug, but that's really easy.


Around 2004, I picked up an old Muzak 920B PA system which has a speech and a music channel, both controlled by a relay that grounds one or the other input. So when you hear music at a supermarket and a voice breaks in with "Cleanup on aisle three", this is done by a relay. But guess what - the relay is a plug-in device and you can remove it to get an amp with a two-channel mixer! Just add input jacks and you are done. The amp is conservatively rated at 15 watts but there is a resistor in the centre tap of the power transformer that you can short to get 20 watts. Since the output tubes are 6L6GC's, they are not being stressed much, unlike the normal guitar amplifier where the tubes are typically overstressed for plate voltage.

I picked it up at a meet of the London Vintage Radio Club in London Ontario, about 100 miles west of me (I'm in Mississauga, just two miles west of Toronto). An older gentleman was selling it and clearly wanted to make sure he did not have to put this hefty beast back in his van and take it home. He started with a price of $50. No one looked twice. He dropped it to $30. Some of us paused to take a look, but that was it. Near the end of the meet, he wanted $20. Just before he was to head home, I was showing signs of interest, but when I demurred, he dropped the price to $15. I snapped it up. It gave me more than a bargain - it prompted me to use this as my screen name, amptramp, since I went 200 miles (return) to get this amp. The subtext is, I'm not the star of my life, just the roadie.

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 02 Dec 2011, 10:07
by Dirge for november
Do those tube PA's have nice overdrive when pushed? Because those prices are interesting indeed haha.

Another amp I'm looking into is a Hohner Orgaphon, which is very very clean but lovely sounding. Do you think one of those could be pushed into lo-fi goody goodness?

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 02 Dec 2011, 14:26
by RnFR
depends on the amp. but, very often, yes. especially the smaller wattage ones.

Re: Looking for new (tube)amp (tips needed)

PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 17:59
by drumslinger
Anyone have the Allen Sweet Spot schematic/layout?